Sunday, September 13, 2015

Japan Trip Day 7: Tokyo Disneyland

I stand corrected about Japanese being workaholic that I thought yesterday. We went out early this morning and it was how Sunday morning should be: less people on the street and the shops which already opened this early on the other days were not open yet. So yeah, they still know how to enjoy Sunday.

Disneyland opens earlier at 8am on Sundays and we reached there about 830. There were already so many people which obviously dampened my camwhoring mood :( I entered the shop before the Disneyland entrance and I was excited to see so many Mickey & Minnie plushies with various exotic Halloween attires. I left a mental note to get 1 pair today.

Just after the entrance, we saw Mickey and Minnie at the public photo taking area. The queue was already snaking and I told my friend to go to Mickey's house first. Upon passing the World Bazaar area, I felt slightly disappointed as it really reminded me of Universal Studios Singapore. Everything looks so fake and man-made. Bleah..
The queue at Mickey's house at Toontown was already snaking and we queued for about 1.5 hours. It started to get cloudy and windy which made the queue more bearable. Sadly the photo taking opportunity was bad. In Paris, after queueing so long, at least we could take photos for few minutes with Mickey without limit whether we want to use our own camera or the official photographer. Over here, only 1 photo allowed per party. What the fuck seriously!! Not to mention that a group of 7 people entered the room at one time and it made the photo taking very awkward. So basically I only had 1 photo taken by the official photographer. At Paris, the official photographer took several photos that I could choose from. Really really big disappointment!

I wanted to take photos with Halloween decorations around the Toon Town area but it got even more crowded after we were done with Mickey. That dampened my mood even more. We decided to sit down and wait for the Halloween parade until it was announced that due to the weather condition, parade would be cancelled and only character meet and greet would take place. We had no idea what it was so we went to the shops at World Bazaar and then queued for buffet lunch at the Crystal Palace. While queuing, only then we realised what character meet & greet meant: it was still like the parade minus the songs and the dancers on the street. So the floats still went through the parade route and the characters still appeared. Due to concerns over the rain, the characters put on raincoat over their costumes. Lol.. We made the right choice of queueing now because after the parade passed by, everyone started to hunt for food and a lot of people started to queue behind us. The lunch buffet cost about 3000+ JPY which I thought very reasonable for a buffet at Disneyland. The food was pretty great too although my stomach really could not handle buffet anymore.
Raincoat over the costumes. Lol...
After lunch we went around each area and the shops were disappointing. I did not see any plush toys and only the shop at Cinderella Castle sell figurines. The Genie that I am hunting for is available. Yaaay!! After that we just spent our time waiting for the Happiness is Here parade and the afternoon Halloween parade. The Halloween parade is shorter than the Happiness is Here parade and I found that really disappointing. They make a big hoo hah about the Halloween special but the Halloween parade is that short. Bah!! 

My friend urged me to quickly buy Genie statue because the Castle area might be closed to prepare for the night show. The statue is really huge!! They did not have a plastic of suitable size and gave me a really oversized plastic (can fit like 3 of the Genie statue there) which made carrying difficult. We went to deposit that in the locker near the entrance. Wew.. thank God for the locker service.. I told my friend that I wanted to have dinner as there would not be anytime to eat after the evening parade and night show.
I don't usually take photos of food. This is an exception because the bun is shaped like Mickey's head.
According to the brochure, patrons are only allowed to start sitting down along the parade route 1 hour before the scheduled parade time. After my dinner, it was still 1.5 hours but people were already sititng down. We also sat down and we were already on the 5th row from the street. Madness!! Thank goodness for the great breeze to make the wait bearable. When I wanted to pee, I decided to walk around and took photos of the Toon Town at night.
Thanks to inconsiderate tourists who ruined my picture!
I did not even come across this at daytime
Halloween decoration in front of Goofy's house
Halloween decoration in front of Donald's house
Halloween decoration in front of Mickey's house
Halloween decoration in front of Minnie's house
The Electrical Parade Dreamlights were amazing!! However it was awkward to see the main Disney characters i.e Mickey and friends appeared on the first few floats. Usually they always appear on the last floats. That dampened the mood of the parade a little bit. I think the parade is amazing because it is really as what the name suggests: they really make full use of lights and light effects to make the whole parade grand and feels out of this world. Not that I am biased but I think the best float is Genie which keeps changing pattern on his body just like how he keeps morphing into other things/characters in the cartoon. Unfortunately, when he started to change patterns, his float already went pass where I was seated. Bleah...

Unfortunately, fireworks were cancelled because of the weather :( So yeah.. 2 trips to 2 different Disneylands and I never experienced the night fireworks. The night ended with Once Upon a Time night show which included some fireworks. The fireworks did not burst into flames in the sky. No wonder they cancelled the fireworks show earlier. Bleah..

Basically all the excitement and the anticipation turned out to be a huge disappointment at the end of the day. I was expecting something even better than Disneyland Paris but it was far off from my expectations. I prefer Disneyland Paris many many times over Tokyo Disneyland for the following reasons:
1) Tokyo Disneyland is too small and in 1 whole day, I circled the whole area at least 3 times. I did not even circle the whole Disneyland Paris once when I went there.
2) Because of the smaller area, human density is also much higher in Tokyo Disneyland. Bleah.. I can't even take a photo with the castle because other tourists are everywhere. Before you judge me crazy for wanting no other tourists in my photos when I am in Disneyland, let me tell you that I manage to have a lot of photos with no other tourists in Disneyland Paris!
3) In Paris, parents brought their children to experience Disneyland while in Tokyo, parents are the ones wanting to enjoy Disneyland. In Paris, it was so difficult to get empty seats for meals while in Tokyo, even during lunch or dinner hours, there were still empty seats at the restaurant. Yep, for the people in Tokyo, waiting for parade is more important than eating. In Paris, I still managed to get the most front seat half an hour before the parade. In Tokyo, I never even got the first row despite waiting >1 hour before the scheduled parades. Crazy!!
4) In the country where cosplay originates, it is not a surprise that the tourists here dress up as Disney characters. Earlier in the day, I thought this was an interesting experience. At the end of the day, I regretted coming during the time when Disneyland allows the patron to cosplay. These cosplayers took photos everywhere. I saw some pictures during other periods and the courtyard in front of the Cinderella Castle was relatively empty. When I went there, the courtyard was literally full of cosplayers the whole day!!
5) Despite the eagerness of Japanese to take pictures, ironically the photo taking opportunities with Disney casts are terrible. In Paris, the photo taking corners are "private" enough to ensure that the photos are taken against an empty background. There is no such dedicated corners in Tokyo and you basically can see other tourists crowding behind you. Terrible.. However, I have to praise the Japanese for their courtesy: they even form a queue to take pictures with the objects around.
6) The shops in Disneyland Paris are generally bigger and there are more varieties of items on sale. Plushies are rare to find in Tokyo while in Paris, they can be found in each shop. In fact, different shops may carry different plushies.

Sad :( But seriously I need to return to Disneyland during Christmas and stay over at the hotel at least once my life time! For now, I need to think how to ensure that Genie flies to Singapore safely.

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