After a few days in a serene atmosphere, we’re back in Tokyo for a few days before the end of our trip (aaah, I’m so sad!).
We had to choose between all the japanese amusement parks: Universal Studio in Osaka, Puroland (dedicated to Hello Kitty & Friends) in Tokyo and Tokyo Disneyland. It is possible to visit them all, but since we had little time, we chose to focus on one.
Although I’m a fan of the Sanrio world, I thought Puroland would be too childish… and we had already visited Universal in LA…
So our choice fell on Disneyland. Inside Disneyland there were two parks: classic Disneyland (like ours in Paris) and Tokyo DisneySea, which exists only in Japan.
Our choice was quickly made, knowing there is no daily pass for the 2 parks (except if you buy a ticket at 5pm for a 2nd park) and that really visiting 2 parks in one day would have been quite a feat. Tokyo Disney Sea, you’re up!
First off, you need to know that just like in Paris, the park is taken over by the crowd (even during the week): you need to be very strategic and optimize your time.
We’re very proud that in one day, we managed to try all the attractions. (all except the Tower of Terror, which is similar to the one we have in Paris : we decided it would be useless to go).
The park is articulated around a harbor and marine world, but contrary to what I was expecting, the attractions aren’t all about water and splashes. It’s like a normal Disney park, except that new worlds are open to us.
And the park has it’s own mascot: Duffy the bear is everywhere!
Duffy is the teddy bear Minnie gave Mickey so that he wouldn’t feel too alone during a long and faraway trip. Since then, Duffy never left the two (…menage à trois?).
I didn’t really fall in love with the character : strangely, I didn’t find him particularly cute, but the Japanese love him! In the park, old and young all had their Duffy teddy bear!
The decorations are superb, much more impressive than the Paris, and less childish, with a sense of detail specific to the Japanese.
In Paris, you can sometimes feel the decorations aging, a dream that didn’t quite come true, but here, you really feel like it’s a completely different world! True magic.
There are 7 different worlds total:
An italian atmosphere with a particularly accurate Venice reconstitution
The Little Mermaid’s pastel world
Lost River Delta
Indiana Jones type South-America jungle and temples.
Discoveryland type futuristic world
Early XXth century NYC and american harbor atmosphere
a great volcano with a Jules Verne decoration
Normally, I’m a real wimp when it comes to sensation attractions, but here I found them all pretty tolerable (I’d say the average intensity of the attractions is comparable to Space Mountain – maybe even less): it might disappoint a few of you adrenaline junkies out there, but the decors and the quality of the service will completely compensate this failing!
My favorite attraction was Toy Story Mania: it’s similar to the parisian version.
On a wagon for 2, you pass several sets and shoot at every moving object BUT the main difference here is that you have 3D glasses, and that your weapon is a sort of slingshot.
It’s incredibly more realistic than Paris (where I personally don’t see what I’m shooting at with their laser system) and the sets are way more real (being in 3D helps).
AMAZING FOOD !!!!
The strongpoint of the park is also – indeniably – the food: it’s pretty rare to find quality food in a Disney amusement park! Here you can eat with your eyes closed: EVERYTHING is good – be it the junk food or more elaborate food.
We had lunch in the SAKURA japanese restaurant, and just look!
The menus are worthy of a real restaurant and pretty cheap too (15€ for a menu, if I recall correctly). Look at this presentation!!! I just couldn’t believe it! I’m sure the Topchef jury would give their blessing!
Also, the park’s popcorn quest system drove me mad. You can choose to buy a popcorn box in the world of your choosing (they are different in every world = which makes you want to collect them all) and you can go through all worlds and collect different flavors.
On that day for example; Arabian Coast had curry popcorn, American Waterfront had a milktea flavor…I’ll admit, we tried almost all the flavors available in the park that day: caramel, strawberry, salty, corn chowder, milktea and curry. Amazing!
A thing that also surprised me was the child spirit the Japanese manage to keep after growing up without any shame. The park visitors are generally wearing a costume, no matter their age, and you can find landmark-pedestals everywhere around the park where you can set your teddy bear (often Duffy in this case) to take its picture with various backgrounds.
I saw an elderly couple taking pictures of their teddy with great care and professionalism. Truly heart-warming (had I but known, I would have brought my Care Bears!).
What would be considered completely childish and juvenile in France takes a whole new dimesnion in Japan. I’m definitively a fan of this capacity to switch between your child-side and your responsible-side. It shouldn’t be incompatible.
And since you can probably feel my excitement, I’ll finish off by giving you a few tips so that your days goes as well as mine:
– Arrive at the park at least half an hour before opening (10am I believe, but better check!) to buy your ticket. As soon as the park opens, head for the attractions that have the longest line and you’ll gather more and more Fast Passes as you go along (you can’t get two at a time, so time management is a must)
In between two Fast Pass attractions, go do the ones that require little queuing, or enjoy the shows.
-The two restaurants I tried on that day: SAKURA and NEW YORK DELI (with a burger that was just sublime) at the Amercian Waterfront, but the snacks are really good too, with food in very imaginative shapes! Well, you get the general idea: it’s all delicious!
-For the night parade, the best view point would seem to be by the Mediterranean Harbor lake, by Disney Sea Plaza near the entrance.
As for the rest… ENJOY! (English translation by Bleu Marine)!
Previously on MY JAPAN TRAVEL DIARY :
Notre appart à Tokyo
Day 1 : Sumida Park & Asakusa
Day 2 : Namco Namjatown
Day 3 : Omotesando & Harajuku
Day 4 : Ueno Park
Day 5 : Errances gourmandes à Omotesando
Day 6 : Odaiba お台場
Day 7 : Tsukiji market, Meiji & Yoyogi
Day 8 : Tokyo Skytree
Day 9 : Dans le train pour Osaka !
Day 10 : Osaka Castle & Hanami au Mint
Day 11 : Osaka DenDen Town
Day 12 : Nagoya
Day 13 : Takayama Spring Festival
Day 14 : Notre ryokan « Hoshidekan » à Ise
Day 15 : Ise & Futami