Exclusive to TDR

So you are planning to visit the mouse all the way here in Japan? You’ve been to the Disney parks in the U.S.A. Maybe you’ve even been to the one across the pond where Mickey goes, “Bonjour.” What makes Tokyo Disney so special that it warrants a visit? Is it enough if I told you that the service is amazing? Or the fact that, the parks are as clean as a whistle, the way Walt would have wanted a Disney park to be. Would that be enough for you guys to visit Tokyo Disney Resort? What about the exclusivity of TDR?

Somethings that you can find here at TDR, you will not be able to find anywhere else in the world. They have a whole theme park that is unique to the world, Tokyo Disneysea. Even if it’s taking a concept from attractions that already exist in other parks, Tokyo Disney more often than not, will find a way to revamp the attraction and make it better. There are a lot of attractions in TDR that are unique to this resort. Lets take a closer look.

Tokyo Disneyland

1) Pooh’s Hunny Hunt – There is a Winnie the Pooh ride in the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland too, but the one in TDR is just another monster. There is no competition. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt tears it’s competition apart. This is a must ride when visiting Tokyo Disneyland.

2) Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek – What TDR was trying to achieve with Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek was an interactive journey whereby guests will want to ride over and over again to uncover it’s secrets. They missed the bar by quite a bit. Whenever I take this ride now, I don’t even bother pulling out the flashlight. I just sit back and enjoy the animatronics, which to me are still pretty amazing. A very well done C-ticket ride.

Queue area of the best family dark ride in the world, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Special thanks to BONGURI for this picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonguri/4540573354/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Tokyo Disneysea

1) Tokyo Disneysea – You will never find another theme park quite like Tokyo Disneysea. Exclusive to TDR, this theme park is the best in the world. Walt Disney would have been proud.

2) Venetian Gondolas – A nice little romantic ride that you can take with your loved ones. It goes through part of TDS’s lagoon and you get to listen to a Japanese man singing in Italian. The view is gorgeous. Sit back and bask in the beauty of TDS on this ride.

3) Tower of Terror – The best version of Tower of Terror is in Tokyo Disneysea. I know, this is not exactly an excusive to TDR ride, but the way TDR took a classic and revamped the whole storyline for the attraction makes it unique. Storytelling at it’s best.

4) Stormrider – This motion stimulator will take you to the center of a tornado. Sounds thrilling doesn’t it. I’ve never really been into motion stimulators. Well, it’s actually an ok ride. I wouldn’t waste a Fastpass on it though.

5) Aquatopia – One of my favorite rides in TDS. Simple and beautiful. Take this one at night. The view is beautiful.

6) Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage – I remember before TDS opened, I would spend many a days reading about the attractions slated for the park. I had high hopes on this one. I thought that it could be as big as Pirates of The Caribbean. The potential for this ride was enormous. What a miss this turned out to be. The only reason I go on it now is because of the wait time. It never exceeds 10 minutes. On a hot summer’s day, I use this ride to escape the heat for a bit.

7) The Magic Lamp Theater – Another attraction that allows me to escape the summer’s heat. That’s about it. This attraction has an English Captioning device which you can ask a cast member for. It will allow English speakers to understand the storyline of this attraction.

8) Mermaid Lagoon Theater – A much better show compared to The Magic Lamp Theater. A nice storyline with live actors and lots of color. For the kids and the young at heart.

9) Journey to the Center of the Earth – Brilliant ride. Fastpass this bad boy. The queue for this one can go up to 200 minutes. Great animatronics, good storytelling and you get to be in TDS’s icon, Mount Prometheus. What’s not to like?

10) 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – Another attraction that I had really high hopes for before they opened the park. The potential for this ride was huge, but it missed the bar. Once again, don’t waste your Fastpass on this one. I only ride it now if queues are less than 20 minutes.

11) Big Band Beat – I’ve brought many of my friends to catch this show in TDS. Every time, all of them sleep throughout the show. This is not an exaggeration. Everytime, everyone sleeps. Then more often than not, they will awake when Mickey plays the drums. Now, that is a sight to behold. Mickey rocking a real drum set. If you guys get on this one, I wanna know if you got caught by the zzz monster.

12) Mystic Rhythms – I love this show. One of my favorite shows in TDS. The combination of the live musicians, plus the special effects and the simple yet wonderful story gets me all the time. It reminds me a lot of a Cirque Du Soleil production. A mini one.

13) The Legend Of Mythica – Amazing floats, jet ski stunts, loads of color, dancers in weird costumes and most of the Disney characters. This afternoon parade should not be missed. Get a hot cocoa, grab a nice little spot in the Mediterranean Harbor and get ready to enter another universe.

The Legend of Mythica dancers                                                                                                              Special thanks to dai-kon for the picture                                                                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/dkdk/4693184678/sizes/o/in/photostream/

TDR overview and saving 500 yen

The very first post for Konnichiwa Mickey. WOOHOO!!! Ok, so you have exited Maihama-eki (station) and you are on your way to the parks. Zippidee doo dah!!! Whoa, lets hold up a little bit. I got a little bit overexcited there.

First up, I will be using quite a bit of acronyms in my posts. Here are a few:
TDR = Tokyo Disney Resort
TDL = Tokyo Disneyland
TDS = Tokyo Disneysea

Ok, lets carry on. There is more to this resort than the 2 theme parks, TDL and TDS. TDR comprises of 3 Disney Hotels, 6 TDR Official Hotels, TDR Welcome Center, Ikspiari (A shopping mall), Bon Voyage (Here you can buy TDL and TDS merchandise without entering the parks), a monorail that circles the entire resort and of course TDL and TDS. There are also TDR Partner Hotels and TDR Good Neighbor hotels that are not within the vicinity of TDR, but free shuttle buses are provided to take you from your hotel to the parks. That was a lot of acronyms used in a paragraph. I promise to try and keep it minimal from now on. Here’s a map of the whole resort.

Just knowing the outlay of the resort can save you quite a bit of cash. Instead of taking the monorail which costs 250 yen, per person, single trip, you could walk to the parks.

Lets start with Disneysea. Now, using Maihama-eki as our starting point, if you exit the station and walk left, the TDR Welcome Center is just there. Beyond that is Ikspiari. If you walk through Ikspiari, all the way to the other end, you will emerge at the Disney Ambassador Hotel. From the Disney Ambassador Hotel, you have a choice to make. You can either take a 5 – 10 minutes walk or take the Disney Resort Cruiser from the hotel’s shuttle bus stop to Disneysea. If you choose to walk, you will continue walking pass the old Zed Theater till you see a park with an odd looking statue of what I call, “5 green men in the sky.” Turn right to Disneysea. 250 yen saved!!! If you walk from Maihama-eki all the way to TDS, the walk will be about 15 – 20 minutes.

Roman Tarassov aka K-9, lead guitarist for Moochie Mac & Superfriends, in front of the “5 green men in the sky” statue. Once you get to this statue, turn right and Disneysea will be just a stone’s throw away.

Disneyland is way easier to walk to from Maihama-eki. Once you exit the station, turn right. Up ahead will be Bon Voyage. As you continue walking past Bon Voyage, you will see TDL ahead of you. 250 yen saved!!! The walk from Maihama-eki to TDL will take you about 5 – 10 minutes.

To and fro, that’s 500 yen saved!!! That’s a churro and a drink in the parks!!!