The Home Store

In a previous blog post, we ventured into one of my favorite stores, Monsters, Inc. Company Store, in Tokyo Disneyland. As I have mentioned in that post, there are only a few places whereby I like to go shopping. I talked about shopping at Disney theme parks and Factory Outlet Malls.

Actually, there are a few other places where I love to shop at. Once in a while, I would take my family and head to Shin-Misato. Shin-Misato is a town that’s kinda close to Tokyo Disney Resort. Forty minutes via train and voila!!! One day, I hope to buy a house there and call it my home. You might be wondering what makes this Shin-Misato place so special? Why do I like it so much? I have two reasons….

Costco!!!

Wife-chan and I at Costco, Shin-Misato

Costco and IKEA!!! Furniture, home appliances and grocery shopping. Love it!!! I love looking at furniture so much, sometimes, I get musical inspiration from walking around in IKEA. A bass line or a vocal melody would magically appear in my head. That happens with household appliances too. I start imagining how it would sound to use some household appliances as percussion instruments and from there I get inspiration.

So, naturally, I am super excited to write about The Home Store. Household appliances coming together with Disney. Brilliant!!!

The Home Store

The Home Store

Whenever I enter The Home Store, I start to dream. I dream about my future home. I start envisioning how each individual room will look. A lot of merchandise from this store will definitely fit into my dream home. Wife-chan and I always get excited talking about our future home when we visit this store.

Rice Scoop: 500yen

Rice Scoop: 500yen

Tokyo Disney Resort plate: 1000yen

Tokyo Disney Resort plate: 1000yen

Alice in Wonderland Crazy Teapot: 4,090yen Alice in Wonderland Tea Cup and Saucer set: 1,540yen

Alice in Wonderland Crazy Teapot: 4,090yen
Alice in Wonderland Tea Cup and Saucer set: 1,540yen

Chip Tea Cup: 1,575yen

Chip Tea Cup: 1,575yen

Mickey Japanese Plate: 1,700yen

Mickey Japanese Plate: 1,700yen

The Home Store is a really unique store. I highly recommend visiting this store when you are in Tokyo Disneyland. I am very sure that there’s something in here that will be able to complement your home. As for me, I know that I’ll be returning to this store when that dream home of ours is built. Costco, IKEA and Disney. It doesn’t get much better than that.

PS: If you are looking to buy some unique merchandise from Tokyo Disney Resort, you might also want to check out this post on Underwear at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Center Street Coffeehouse

After visiting Tokyo Disneyland countless times, once in a while, this park still finds a way to surprise me. This day was hot. Little Mahina was enjoying her Strawberry Popcorn, a pregnant Wife-chan was trying her best to keep upbeat and I was slowly melting away from the heat and humidity. All of us were sweating profusely. We were at World Bazaar and wanted to walk to Grandma Sara’s for lunch, but it was too hot. So, we made a u-turn and headed towards Grand Emporium for some A/C. While walking back towards Grand Emporium, we noticed that there was no line for lunch at Center Street Coffehouse. It was a super hot summer’s day at a super packed Tokyo Disneyland and there was no line at an air-conditioned, sit-down restaurant during lunch time?! Was this a mirage? This must have been a sign. Center Street Coffeehouse was calling out to me saying, “Come in and review me. I’m ready for ya!”

Center Street Coffeehouse

Center Street Coffeehouse

Center Street Coffeehouse is one of those places that I have known about for years, but it never really appealed enough for me to enter. It reminded me of any normal “Family Restaurant” here in Japan, like a Gusto or a Royal Host. Nothing in the menu screams out to you. There’s nothing fancy on the menu. Safe bets like Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Hamburger Patty with Rice fill the menu at Center Street Coffeehouse. The menu reminded me a lot of Saizeriya’s menu, but of course, this being Disney, prices are more than doubled.

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 1

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Soups & Salads

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 2

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Main Dishes (A)

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 3

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Main Dishes (B)

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 4

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Desserts and Beverages

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Kid's Menu

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Kid’s Menu

I ordered the Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce set while Wife-chan ordered a Spaghetti with Meat Sauce set. We got a small plate of side salad, the dish itself and free flow of drinks with this set. If you ever wanted to find a place to chill out for an extended amount of time without breaking the bank, look no further. Free flow of drinks!!! Mahina took a nap while we were eating. A really long nap too. The heat must have got to her. Wife-chan and I spent about two hours here having a variety of drinks, chatting and reminiscing our past while Little Mahina ventured off into dreamland.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce

Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce

Before heading into Center Street Coffeehouse, I came to a point which I thought I would never reach. I came to a point whereby I would have hated a trip to Disneyland. Weather plays a huge part in enjoying the parks. Plan your trips accordingly. Center Street Coffeehouse saved me. I was Snow White, the weather was The Wicked Witch and Center Street Coffeehouse was the Prince that nobody notices. I’ll leave you guys with that thought for a while…

… Alright back to this review. I have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news. The atmosphere in the restaurant was similar to a “Family Restaurant”. A Japanese “Family Restaurant” is sorta like a Denny’s. Theming in this restaurant is nothing to shout about. The theming seemed lazy to me. For a while, I almost forgot that I was in Disneyland. Good news? The food was brilliant. Yes, the menu is boring, but the food was really good. Yes, it was more than double the price compared to a “Family Restaurant”, but it tasted doubly good. Good food and a free flow of drinks. I love value and I feel that Center Street Coffeehouse delivers on that front.

KM gives this restaurant a 7/10.

Seating arrangement at Center Street Coffeehouse

Seating arrangement at Center Street Coffeehouse

PS: If you are looking for another restaurant to escape from the crowds at Tokyo Disneyland and chill out, KM would also like to recommend Dreamer’s Lounge at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel.

 

Monsters, Inc. Company Store

I’ve never liked shopping. In fact, I hate it. Shopping, for me, is knowing what I want beforehand and going out to get it. It’s a really short process and I like it. It limits time wasting and I’m able to spend that time on other important stuff like taking a shower or napping. However, there are exceptions to this hatred. There are some places that are  able to turn my hatred into an exciting adventure. These places are able to hypnotize me into thinking, “It’s ok to splurge once in a while. We don’t get to do this so often. We can always make that money back.” It’s diabolical. These few places are able to turn me into something that I’m not. Factory Outlet Malls and Disney Theme Parks turn me into Lindsay Lohan.

Monster's Inc. Company Store

Monsters, Inc. Company Store

Monsters, Inc. Company Store is one of the stores that we frequent a lot when visiting Tokyo Disney. It seems to have a magnetic pull on my family. We love the movies and Little Mahina loves the characters. The theming of the store is brilliant. The Imagineers did an amazing job with the level of detail in this store. You can find a lot of “Easter eggs” from the movies here. If you are a fan of Monsters Inc, this store is a must visit.

Inside the Monsters, Inc. Store

Inside the Monsters, Inc. Store

Rules to follow when working at Monsters, Inc.

Dress code at Monsters, Inc

Sully's trophy case.

Sully’s trophy case

Notice Board.

Notice Board

The products in this store are super cool. Some of the products in this store would give the underwear sold at Tokyo Disney Resort a run for their money. We have spent quite a bit of coin in this store. A lot of money has been transferred from my wallet to Mike & Sully’s. I would say that Mike could have taken Celia to Harryhausen’s at least 3 times with the money I’ve spent there. Harryhausen’s! That’s a lot of money folks. Oh no. Am I a shopaholic?! Do I have self discipline issues?! Arrghhhh. I can’t help myself when I’m in Disney! I’m losing it. What’s happening to me?! Get a hold of yourself, Hayatt!!! Take deep breaths and say this aloud 3 times, “It’s ok to splurge once in a while. We don’t get to do this so often. We can always make that money back.”

Sully Tissue Box cover 3,200yen

Sully Tissue Box cover: 3,200yen

Mugs: 1,300yen Chopsticks: 600yen Fork and Spoon set: 1,300yen

Mug: 1,300yen
Chopsticks: 600yen
Fork and Spoon set: 1,300yen

Black T-shirt: 2,600yen White T-shirt: 2,900yen

Black T-shirt: 2,600yen
White T-shirt: 2,900yen

Monsters, Inc. Company Store is a must visit for anybody who is a fan of the movies. Apart from having loads of great merchandise, the store itself, tells a story. The level of detail incorporated into this store is amazing. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, you should just visit the store and read the notice board. My wife and I shared a few laughs together, reading that. However, if you do purchase something here, I am sure that you will not regret it. Just remember this phrases, “It’s ok to splurge once in a while. We don’t get to do this so often. We can always make that money back.”

 

Underwear at Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort’s underwear. I love it. Their one of my favorite products in the entire resort. In fact, I own quite a few pairs of them, myself. I would model them for you, but my “amazing” physique might be too much for you to take. Here’s a mental picture. My friends used to call me E.T because I have a big head and a beer belly. There you go. Now, let your imagination run wild.

A huge selection of underwear

A wide selection of underwear

Now, that’s a lot of underwear on display. I remember coming to Tokyo Disney Resort once with my friends many years ago and they had only a few pairs. Now, they have multiplied, much like Kanye West’s ego. Their price range from 1,000 yen to 2,000 yen. They’re pretty expensive if you factor in the fact that not many people will actually get to see you in them. However, the confidence you will get when you put them on is unparalleled. Whenever I don a pair, I always feel like David Hasselhoff. It’s an amazing feeling. You should “Hoff” it up too. Below are some of my favorite designs.

Mickey underwear

Mickey underwear 1,050 yen

The Wicked Witch underwear

The Wicked Witch underwear 1,400 yen

Ursula underwear 1,400yen

Ursula underwear 1,400 yen

Mr Potatohead underwear

Toy Story underwear 1,800 yen

Sully underwear

Monsters Inc underwear 1,800

Tokyo Disney Resort’s underwear can be found in some shops in the parks and Bon Voyage. From my visits to the parks, I’ve noticed that the biggest selection is in Grand Emporium, in Tokyo Disneyland and Emporio, in Tokyo Disneysea. In my opinion, this is a must get souvenir for everyone visiting the resort. Two words. David Hasselhoff. How can you pass that up?

Strawberry Popcorn

When I think of strawberries, I think of the Beatles. I don’t know why. That’s just the way my mind works. Strawberry is probably one of my favorite fruit. Pineapple, Fuji Apple and Strawberry would be in my list of top 3 favorite fruits. Tokyo Disney Resort, can you hear me?!! I’ve got a few ideas on new popcorn flavors. I want a cut if you choose to accept my super creative ideas of Pineapple and Fuji Apple popcorn flavors. 10% of total sales should be enough to wet my beak.

Strawberry Popcorn Cart

Strawberry Popcorn Cart

Naturally, with strawberry being one of my favorite fruit, I was excited to try it. It smelled really good too. Sorta like cotton candy. Then, I grabbed one popcorn and slowly put it into my mouth. I felt like one of those models in a hair commercial. You know how they put on the shampoo, rinse it off and move their head from side to side to dry out their hair, all in slow motion? Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? That was the effect I was going for. After that, I started chewing and waited for the popcorn to blow my mind. Hold up!!! Something’s wrong here. It didn’t blow my mind!!! Wait, let me try it one more time. This time a handful. Hmmmm, still not mind blowing. What’s going on here!!!??

Strawberry Popcorn

Strawberry Popcorn

I was really disappointed by this. Almost to a point of depression. I felt empty. It was almost as painful as the time when Guns N’ Roses broke up. I’m distraught to say that Strawberry Popcorn is not on my list of top 3 popcorn flavors at Tokyo Disney Resort. It would have been cool if it was in my top 3 list, so that I could align it with my top 3 fruits. That way, I could have told the world that I LOVE STRAWBERRY ANYTHING!!!

Mahina chomping down Strawberry Popcorn

Mahina chomping down Strawberry Popcorn

So, I did what any awesome parent would do. I passed my disappointment on to my child. Little Mahina chomped it down like a champion. Overall, Strawberry Popcorn was disappointing. It definitely did better than Soda Popcorn, but then again, any flavor of popcorn would have done better than Soda Popcorn. Little Mahina might have given this a higher score, but for me, Strawberry Popcorn did not do enough to get placed on the medals podium.

KM gives Strawberry Popcorn a 4/10.

 

Nana’s Green Tea in Ikspiari

This is Wife-chan and this is my first post. I hope that I can help every parent who wants to visit Tokyo Disney Resort. I would like to introduce a relaxing cafe in Ikspiari to you. There are many big name coffee shops like Starbucks Cafe, Tully’s Cafe and Honolulu Cafe around Tokyo. Nana’s Green Tea is one of my favorite cafes. You can enjoy many different kinds of authentic Japanese tea here. It also serves up light meals, sweets and has a cozy kids play area.

Nana's Green Tea

Nana’s Green Tea

If you wanna try some traditional Japanese tea, you can go for Maccha or Houjicha. For those with sweet tongues, like my husband, a glass of Azuki (Red Bean) drink will do the trick while those who prefer something that’s not so sweet, like me, a glass of Maccha Latte will help you to relax. Nana’s Green Tea opens a little earlier than a lot of other eating establishments in Ikspiari. It opens at 10am while a lot of other places open at 11am.

Nana's Green Tea Drink Menu

Nana’s Green Tea Drink Menu

Nana's Green Tea Food Menu

Nana’s Green Tea Food Menu

Nana's Green Tea Seating

Nana’s Green Tea Seating

I like Nana’s Green Tea a lot because I can enjoy my drink and relax while Little Mahina enjoys the play area. It gives me a little bit of time to unwind from a tiring, but fulfilling day spent with my family at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Nana's Kids' Space

Nana’s Kids Space

Little Mahina Enjoying the Kids Space

Little Mahina enjoying the Kids Space

Little Mahina posing for a picture

Little Mahina posing for a picture

Nana’s Green Tea is an excellent cafe. Children have a place to play while their parents can sit back and relax with a tasty drink. If you are rushed for time, Nana’s Green Tea also provides take out service. You can grab a delicious drink and enjoy your walk to one of the parks. I hope that you found my first blog post useful. I can’t wait to share more parenting tips with you in the future.

 

 

Mahina with her Disney friends in Aulani

There were many things that Little Mahina enjoyed when we traveled to Aulani in February of 2014. This resort is heaven for everyone in the family. She loved the character breakfast at Makahiki, The Keiki Cove Splash Zone, her first time on a beach, but most of all, she loved calling the Disney Characters her neighbors.

Little Mahina with Donald

Getting a kiss from Donald

Hanging with Chip & Dale

Hanging with Chip & Dale

Two ladies chillin by the pond

Two ladies chilling by the pond

Taking a walk with Stitch

Taking a walk with Stitch

Dreaming of Goofy

Dreaming of Goofy

Altogether, she got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip & Dale and Stitch. Aulani would release a schedule everyday of where and when to meet the characters. Meeting the characters in Aulani felt a little different from meeting them in the parks. There was never a long line when we visited. The characters spent more time with us and interacted more. There was none of that pose for a picture and you’re off kinda thing.

Little Mahina would go for a Character Meet & Greet at least twice a day. There were a few times when she was last in line and the characters would hold her hand and take a little walk with her till they bid farewell to one another. That did it for her. She would smile from ear to ear when that happened.

Last Meet & Greet of our trip. Little Mahina wanted to say goodbye

Last Meet & Greet of our trip. Little Mahina wanted to say goodbye

Telling Mickey that she will be back

Telling Mickey that she will be back

Walking hand in hand with Mickey and Minnie

Walking hand in hand with Mickey and Minnie

See you again Aulani. We will be back soon

See you again Aulani. We will be back soon

Everyday was an adventure for Little Mahina. She would wake up in the morning and say, “Shoes.” Then she would grab our shoes and bring them to us. Next, she would call out a Disney Character’s name and say, “Go out.” I would wake up to that everyday in Aulani and I loved every moment of it. I will never forget that. Thank you Little Mahina for giving me such a precious memory. You are the fuel to Daddy’s dreams.

To read about Mahina’s adventure at Makahiki, Aulani, click here

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