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.

 

 

To infinity and beyond with an infant (Jan 2013 Trip Report part 3)

After our lunch at The Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, we walked out into Fantasyland and saw Pinocchio mingling with the crowd. Took a shot of him, Mahina and my better half. Right after that, we decided to go try out a photo taking tip that I got while watching a Japanese TV show here.

My ladies with Pinocchio

My ladies with Pinocchio

This was the first time I tried this tip out and it worked perfectly. If you ever want to get a shot of the castle, do try this out. It requires a little effort, but it works like a charm. In Fantasyland, there is a statue of Fantasmic Mickey which is just in front of the castle. As you are facing the statue and the castle, walk a little to the right, lay down flat on your back (This is not a joke. I repeat, this is not a joke) and take a shot of both the statue and the castle. Voila!!!

Beautiful shot of the castle.

Beautiful shot of the castle

After our little photography adventure, we walked towards Tomorrowland, excited about taking little Mahina on her second attraction. Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters was the target. Once again, we walked into the attraction without a cast member saying anything about our baby girl being too young to ride. This time, I took Mahina on the ride, in her baby carrier. That allowed my hands the freedom to annihilate my wife in Buzz. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Lining up for Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters

Lining up for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters

IN the ride vehicle with Mahina IN her baby carrier IN Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters IN Tomorrowland IN Tokyo Disneyland

IN the ride vehicle with Mahina IN her baby carrier IN Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters IN Tomorrowland IN Tokyo Disneyland

After going to infinity and beyond with Mahina, we decided to go get a little snack. We took a walk across World Bazaar and found ourselves a little eatery, Cafe Orleans, in Adventureland. Crepes, one of Japan’s favorite snack food. Everywhere you go in Tokyo, you will be able to find some store, somewhere selling crepes. They love Hawaii and France over here. Rock bands would have French names and anything with the word Hawaii in it, will sell. “Hawaiian Nasi Goreng”, “Hawaiian Dim Sum”, “Hawaiian Tom Yam Soup”. There you go peeps. Some business ideas from me to you. You’re welcome. Wow, we are way off track. BACK TO BUSINESS!!!

So, we ordered the Pork Patty with Chilli Con Carne crepe and the Cajun Shrimp Salad crepe from Cafe Orleans. After placing our order and walking to our table, I recalled reading on a Disney forum once about Japanese Hot Pot (Oden) being sold at The Gazebo. Since The Gazebo is just a stone’s throw away, I had to get it. The crepes were so-so. One reason why the crepes did not taste as good as I thought they would, might be the fact that it was super cold on that day. We were seated outside and the crepes got cold really fast. Based on that experience, I wouldn’t recommend anyone spending that amount of money on a hot crepe, in a cold winter’s day.

Cafe Orleans

Cafe Orleans

Cafe Orleans Menu

Cafe Orleans’ Menu

A closer look at the crepes

Crepes in the making

Crepes and hot cocoa

Crepes and hot cocoa

The Hot Pot on the other hand, was better. It tasted better than the crepes and got me warm. I have to warn you guys that the Hot Pot is served in a really small bowl. Definitely not worth 500 yen, but hey, this is Disney. All in all, it tasted good and will keep you warm. Just know that the portion is not big at all. A perfect SNACK in winter.

The Gazebo

The Gazebo

The Gazebo's menu

The Gazebo’s menu

Hot Pot Japanese style (Oden)

Hot Pot Japanese style (Oden)

Right after our snacking, we decided to do some shopping. While walking to World Bazaar, I smelled something amazing, so I followed that scent and found a popcorn stand selling Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn. As you can probably tell, I was not ready to be done with snacking, so I got us a box. Don’t judge me people. I was on holiday!!! This has to be one of my favorite popcorn flavors in TDR. It was brilliant. I’ve always loved soy sauce and butter, so this was a perfect combination. You guys got to try this if you ever go to TDL. It can be found in Adventureland. Pretty close to Cafe Orleans and The Gazebo. With my popcorn in hand, we went shopping.

Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn stand

Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn stand

Soy sauce and butter popcorn

Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn

We shopped for about an hour and a half in World Bazaar. The Japanese really buy loads of souvenirs when they travel. I’ve been to all Disney Theme Parks in the world and I would think that TDR makes the most money from merchandise sales. Everyone was buying tins of goodies. Everyone visiting TDR was dressed up in Disney apparel. Almost everyone had the character ears on. Yen bills were being transferred from wallets of park guests to the cashiers and the process repeats itself, like clockwork. In my head, all I could imagine was the mouse driving a huge truck of cash with a big smile on his face, bigger than usual, whistling to the tune of Steamboat Willie. Disney is huge in Japan. I mean, it is huge almost everywhere in the world, but in Japan, Mickey is godlike. After getting Mahina her Dumbo soft toy and a cute little hair clip, we decided to go for dinner.

We headed to Plaza Restaurant in Tomorrowland for dinner. Since we pigged out just about 2 hours ago, we decided to share a meal before watching the Electrical Parade. We got the Spicy Beef and Rice in Soup. This, really hits the spot. It got me warm, there was a little spice going on and I finally got some rice in my system. Overall, if I had to choose between Cafe Orleans, The Gazebo or Plaza Restaurant, I would pick Plaza Restaurant. It provides indoor seating and the food is better. I didn’t feel ripped off after having my meal here. I thought that it was fairly priced.

Plaza Restaurant menu

Plaza Restaurant’s menu

Spicy Beef and Rice in Soup

Spicy Beef and Rice in Soup

After dinner, we watched the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. Mahina’s eyes were glued to the floats. At that point, I felt so much love from her. It made me realize that I am doing for her, what my Dad and Mum had done for me. It was a beautiful moment. The world stood still. It made me recall watching this parade with my parents when I was a kid and now, I am watching this with my own kid. The Disney tradition lives on in this family and I am so happy that I can share my childhood with my daughter.

When the curtain closed on this wonderful day, a first for little Mahina, it was time for us to retire to the Miracosta. The adventure of fatherhood has begun for me and I can’t wait to walk hand in hand with my wife through it.

Mahina with her new Dumbo soft toy

Mahina with her new Dumbo soft toy

Goodnight world

Goodnight world

To be continued…

Little Mahina’s first ride in Disney (Jan 2013 Trip Report Part 2)

It was going to be Mahina’s first ever trip to Disneyland. Our plan for the day was to just enjoy the atmosphere, take in the sights and to take some pictures with the characters. A leisurely day in Disneyland was in the cards. We did not have high hopes on getting her on any attractions as it is stated on the official website that infants had to be able to sit on their own without any support. Mahina was only 5 months old at that point. She could sit on her own, but she definitely needed support. With that being said, we were still going to try to get her on her first ride. It would be wrong for us not to try. Can you guys see the evil grin I have on my face right now?

Mahina ready for a day in Tokyo Disneyland

Mahina ready for a day in Tokyo Disneyland.

We entered the park earlier than opening time as we stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. We entered about 15 minutes before opening time. World Bazaar and Tomorrowland opened early for all TDR hotel guests. There will normally be one attraction open at this time in Tomorrowland. From my experience, it’s either Buzz Lightyear or Monsters Inc. For the day that we were there, it happened to be Monsters Inc.

My wife and I decided against having a go at Monsters Inc after watching a lot of people sprint towards that direction. A little preview of Tokyo 2020 there. Instead, we tried to get a character picture with Mahina. There was an array of characters at the entrance. There was a really long line for a lot of characters. I don’t like the idea of standing in line, especially if it’s the first thing in the morning. Then from the corner of my eye, I saw a character standing all alone. No one dropped by to show him any love, so I decided to. In my mind, it was way cooler to show my daughter that her first ever picture with a Disney character was with Captain Hook rather than Mickey. It would be different. It would be more rock and roll. Aaaaarrrrrrrrr!!!

1st ever picture with a character for Mahina. Say hello to Captain Hook little one!!!

1st ever picture with a character for Mahina. Say hello to Captain Hook little one!!!

When the park officially opened, we headed to get Fastpasses for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. Fatspasses for this attraction disappear quick, so I highly recommend getting your Fastpasses for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt first thing in the morning. There have been days when I entered the park an hour after opening time and they were all gone. I repeat. This attraction should be your first stop upon entering the park.

Once we got our Fastpass tickets, we headed over to Toontown. For the first time in my life, I was going to head over to Mickey’s House to meet the mouse. Things change when you become a parent. We joined the line and after 30 minutes, we got to take pictures with Mickey. The first thing Mahina did when she saw the mouse was to squeeze his nose. That put a smile on my face. A memory I will never forget.

Mahina attacking Mickey's nose.

Mahina attacking Mickey’s nose.

Triple M. Mahina, Mickey and Mummy.

Triple M. Mahina, Mickey and Mummy.

Squeezing Mickey's hand.

Hand in hand with the mouse.

As we were walking back to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt for our Fastpass return time, I noticed a popcorn stand with a flavor that I’ve never seen in both parks before. Corn Potage popcorn. This was new to me. Got a box for 300 yen and munched away. It tasted really good. Not the best I’ve tasted, but still really good. In TDL, the honey flavored popcorn (outside Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) is still my favorite. We also managed to catch Donald on the way.

Corn Potage Popcorn stand.

Corn Potage Popcorn stand.

Corn Potage Popcorn.

Corn Potage Popcorn.

Donald with the Shahs.

Donald with the Shahs.

We carried Mahina and proceeded to the Fastpass line of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. We wanted to take our little one for her first ride in Disneyland. Showed the Fastpasses to the cast member and….. she let us in without saying a thing!!! We were so excited for Mahina. This was going to be her first ever ride in any Disney park and what a ride to start off with. We walked through the line and entered the ride vehicle, put Mahina in her seat between us and lowered the handle bar. I had my arm around Mahina throughout the ride. She really enjoyed it. She was smiling all the way in the ride and that smile will forever be engraved in my brain. This was the best Pooh Hunny Hunt experience that I’ve ever had. Brilliant.

In line for Pooh's Hunny Hunt.

In line for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.

Mahina in Pooh's ride vehicle.

Mahina in Pooh’s ride vehicle.

Getting secured in our seat.

Getting secured in our seat.

With that beautiful memory made, we decided to fill our tummies with some Disney chow. The Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall was the destination of choice for lunch.

To be continued….

*For a full review of The Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, click on the name of the restaurant above or here.*

Diaper changing and feeding

Before I became a father, I didn’t even know that there were such facilities in any Disney park. Then again, before I became a father, I didn’t care for a lot of things. Then little Mahina (My daughter’s name) came into my life and all of a sudden, my eyes opened up to things that I’ve never noticed before. I started noticing diaper changing stalls, nursing rooms and baby care centers. I went from talking to buddies about women to having discussions with the guys about brands of diapers. It’s funny how life changes.

Baby Care Center sign in Tomorrowland

Baby Care Centers. A haven for your little ones.

Tokyo Disney Resort is fully equipped with parenting facilities. Nursing rooms, diaper changing stalls in nearly every washroom and baby care centers. If you run out of diapers or milk powder when you visit the parks, don’t worry. Everything that you need to parent your child can be found at the baby care centers. But, as we all know, the house of mouse ain’t cheap. My advice is to make sure that you bring enough of everything to the parks. Mickey don’t do discounts.

Baby essentials for sale

Baby essentials for sale.

Baby wipes

Baby wipes.

2 diapers for 150 yen. M sized diapers in any supermarket would cost about 1300 yen for a pack of 65. That's more than 300% mark up!!!

2 diapers for 150 yen. M sized diapers in any supermarket would cost about 1300 yen for a pack of 65.

A pack of 56 of the same baby pants would cost about 2,000 yen. It's double the price at the House of the Mouse.

A pack of 56 of the same baby pants would cost about 2,000 yen outside Disney.

 

Baby food. Disney style.

Baby food, Disney style.

In total, there are three baby care centers and one nursing mother’s lounge in the two parks. TDL has 2 baby care centers and TDS has a baby care center and a nursing lounge. If you are planning a visit to TDL and you need to use this facility, head to the one in Toontown. The theming for the one in Toontown is much more detailed and it is a lot less crowded than the one in Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland Baby Care Center

Inside of Tomorrowland’s Baby Care Center

Toontown's Baby Care Center entrance.

Toontown’s Baby Care Center entrance.

Waiting area for the Papas to mingle.

Waiting area.

Diaper changing stalls

Diaper changing stalls.

Child feeding seats.

Child feeding seats.

Pantry area.

Pantry area

Pantry area 2

Pantry area 2

Sink and hot water.

Sink and hot water.

In TDS, there is a nursing mother’s lounge and a baby care center. The nursing mother’s lounge is essentially a place for mothers to breastfeed their babies. It doesn’t include a lot of the other facilities you see in the pictures above.

Tokyo Disneysea's Baby Care Center

Tokyo Disneysea’s Baby Care Center

I’ve been to the parks 3 times with our 10 months old daughter and we really enjoyed ourselves. We didn’t use the facilities all the time when little Mahina felt hungry. There were many times when our daughter got hungry, but the parenting facilities were just too far away. My wife just popped out her weapon, covered little Mahina and started feeding her on a bench or in a restaurant. We would often find a quieter place, somewhere near us to feed her. People didn’t give us any weird looks or anything. As long as we were respectful and covered up, everything was fine.

When it comes to changing diapers, most toilets in TDR have diaper changing stalls in the men’s and females’. Daddy could feel a little important when it comes to diaper changing. Just take your child, look at your wife and go, “I’ll be back.” Your wife’s heart will melt seeing you radiate with such manliness….. Ok, getting way above our heads now. Well, at least you’re giving your partner a little time to rest and we, MEN, can get to spend some quality time with our little ones. Win, win situation. ROAR!!!

Me, all alone, while my wife feeds Little Mahina

Me, all alone, while my wife feeds Little Mahina

Little Mahina and I after changing her diapers. One happy father and daughter team.

Little Mahina and I after changing her diapers. One happy father and daughter team.

Here are the locations of these facilities

TDL

Tomorrowland (Just beside Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!)

Toontown (Just beside Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin)

TDS

Baby care center – Mediterranean Harbor (Just beside Mamma Biscotti’s Bakery)

Nursing Mother’s Lounge (In between Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania)