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After the amazingness that was DisneySea in Tokyo, I sort of figured Disneyland would have a hard time measuring up.  And yeah, it’s definitely not as good; DisneySea was such a memorable experience that I could easily recommend it to anyone, even people who wouldn’t otherwise be all that interested in visiting a theme park.

Disneyland Tokyo

Disneyland, on the other hand, was great (I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bad Disney park), but it’s definitely more ride-oriented.

Disneyland Tokyo

There were some pretty memorable rides, though.

Disneyland Tokyo

There’s the classics, of course.  Pirates of the Caribbean, which is fun, though it can’t quite live up to the version in Shanghai, which uses cutting-edge technology in a way that’s downright mind-blowing (it’s probably the best ride I’ve ever been on).

Disneyland Tokyo

There’s Splash Mountain, which I really enjoyed, and which certainly lives up to the “splash” in its name — I got thoroughly soaked, though I think I was just unlucky, because it seemed like everyone else in the car (the log?  The vehicle?  I don’t know what to call that thing) barely got wet at all.

Disneyland Tokyo

The Haunted Mansion was fun, especially because they had completely overhauled it with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme for the season.  It was seriously impressive how thoroughly they had modified the ride; it wasn’t just a few cosmetic changes, it was a complete transformation.

Disneyland Tokyo

There’s a Winnie the Pooh ride, which was insanely popular, with crazy long lines all day.  Meanwhile I don’t think I waited longer than five minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean, so go figure.

Disneyland Tokyo

I also quite enjoyed the Who Framed Roger Rabbit ride, though I have to wonder if anyone under the age of 20 has even heard of that movie.

Disneyland Tokyo

And there’s a Star Wars ride — a motion simulator that has you flying around with X-Wings (and going underwater with the Gungans, for some bizarre reason).  I actually skipped this in Paris because I was afraid it was going to give me motion sickness.  And it kinda did, but totally worth it.

Disneyland Tokyo

Plus, like at DisneySea, the food was surprisingly great.  So come back tomorrow for way more detail on the food in Disneyland and DisneySea than any rational person needs.

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).

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

It’s neat.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

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.

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

(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).

DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan

I was walking around after eating a pretty great pizza at Pizzeria Brandi, when I saw a huge crowd lining up for what appeared to be some kind of food. A bit of investigation revealed it to a place called Zia Esterina that’s actually really famous for their fried pizza.

If you’ve read my post about Las Fritas in Barcelona, then you’ll know I’m pretty much entirely powerless to resist a line for food. What’s at the end of that line? How delicious is it? I must know.

But… I just ate an entire pizza. I’m not hungry. I’m actually the opposite of hungry. What’s that again? Oh yeah: full. As in the state of being where you don’t eat a fried pizza like a moron.

I’ve said before that I’m not very smart. I’d like to reiterate that, if it’s even necessary at this point.

So fried

They have a few different combinations of fillings, but I went with the base model, which is tomato sauce, mozzarella and ricotta.

And I mean, it was good. How could it not be? Pizza is delicious. Fried things are delicious. That’s like a collision course of tastiness right there.

But it wasn’t great. Maybe it’s just the extreme fullness talking, but it lacked that perfect balance of textures and flavours that makes regular, non-fried Neapolitan pizza so remarkable. It was a bit sloppy, and though it had that crispy fried exterior, most of it was soggy from all the sauce and cheese. I basically enjoyed it, but it tasted enough like a regular pizza to make me wish I was eating that instead.

The inside

But I mean, I was ridiculously full, so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt? It’s certainly popular enough.

Also: I absolutely do not recommend eating one of these after eating a whole pizza. I didn’t even manage to finish it — I got about two-thirds of the way through and then quickly chucked the rest before I’d have a chance to change my mind — and I was still profoundly, uncomfortably full (you can file that one under yeah, no shit, Sherlock).