You might recall that while I was in Paris, I took a trip to the local Disneyland (because that’s what any reasonable person visiting one of the greatest cities in the world would do, right? Go to a theme park?).
Well, I’m in another of the greatest cities in the world, and there’s a Disneyland here, so take a guess at what I did (hint: it involves both Disney and Land).
Actually, I doubled down; there are two Disney parks here. There’s Tokyo Disneyland, and there’s DisneySea. I’d heard that they’re both packed with enough stuff to do that they really need at least a day each, so instead of trying to cram them both into one day, I’m doing a two day Disney extravaganza.
Up first: DisneySea. This is the park that, from what I’ve heard, was meant to be slightly more adult-friendly than the typical Disney park. So it’s a bit less ride-heavy than you’d expect.
But there are still a bunch of rides, of course. The most popular one — by far — is called Toy Story Mania, so I figured I’d head there as soon as the park opened to avoid the crowds.
It turns out that literally every single person in Japan also had this idea, because look at this madness:
That monstrosity is just the Fastpass line, which allows you to come back and do the ride at a designated time with a much shorter line. I did not stand in it, because it was nuts and I’m not nuts.
But of course, the line for the ride itself never got much shorter than about 80 minutes, so eventually I just bit the bullet and waited. And after all that it was easily the weakest ride of the day — basically just a glorified arcade game shooting gallery with a few neat 3D effects thanks to the 3D glasses you have to wear.
The best thing about it, weirdly enough, was the line itself. Once you get to the indoor portion of the line (which takes about an hour), it’s as if you got shrunk down to the size of a toy, with a bunch of humongous toys strewn about.
The other rides were way better, including a pretty exciting Indiana Jones ride, and a Small-World-esque ride called Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage which is notable for how impressively animated all of the animatronic figures are.
But a lot of the appeal of the park is how impressively detailed everything is. The park is divided into various themed sections (one is like old-timey New York, another is Aztec-themed, etc.), and just walking around and taking it all in is really entertaining in and of itself. The amount of thought (and money) that must go into building a park like this is staggering.
There are also some pretty great shows. There’s one called Fantasmic that starts like a pretty typical nighttime laser/light show, and ends with a Fantasia-inspired sequence in which Mickey fights an enormous animatronic dragon, complete with some pretty impressive pyrotechnics.
But the best show (and the best thing I saw/did at DisneySea) was easily Big Band Beat. It’s a really fast-paced, Broadway-inspired song-and-dance show featuring a full big band and some very elaborate musical numbers. It was so much fun. It was half an hour long, and it absolutely flew by.
(I didn’t take that photo — obviously I couldn’t take out my camera and snap a picture in the middle of the show, so just go with it).
And the food was so good, I’m actually going to do a whole separate post about that, so stay tuned (you’re on pins and needles, I can tell).