Tokyo DisneySea and a gondola ride
One thing that a number of relatives were asking me was if I was planning on going to Tokyo Disneyland during my Japan trip. Personally I had never thought about it as it would seem rather strange for 4 guys to head off to such a place. Sure enough if I had a girlfriend I would probably go or if I was with my niece then sure. However Roobar was adamant that he wanted to go but not to Disneyland, but to DisneySea. Once again with nothing else planned for the day and the weather seemingly turning out for the better, we headed out. Hit the jump to read more.
It was pretty early in the morning, I think it was about 9am when we left the hotel, and after doing some research I found out how to get to Tokyo DisneySea. It was roughly a 10-15 minute train ride from Tokyo JR station on the Keiyo line. One thing about this line though, it was about 500 metres away from the rest of the JR lines, which is pretty far. I never realised exactly how large Tokyo station was until then. Hopping on eventually reached Maihama station, which is the starting point for Tokyo Disney Resort.
It was a rather dreary day with a large overcast and occasional rainfall now and then, but it certainly didn’t stop any visitors to the park at all as the place was rather busy. We walked up towards the entrance for Tokyo Disneyland just to get a small glimpse, but saw nothing much as the main park was still further away. Heading into the Disney Store just by the entrance, it was like being a little kid again. Just seeing all the things that you would’ve bugged your parents for was all there and seeing some of the Disney characters brought back many memories. I was actually rather tempted to buy a plushy for my niece, but decided against it as I would need to carry it around all day.
Heading back the other way we walked through a small shopping centre trying to find our way to Tokyo DisneySea’s entrance. Walking through we came across a number of clothes shops and restaurants, heck even a cinema. Looking at the screening times we saw that The Mummy 3 and Clone Wars were being screened. We decided we’ll come back later to watch a movie. Still, not being any closer to Tokyo DisneySea we were stumbled, until we realised we had to take the monorail to the main entrance. We bought a one day ticket pass which was only ¥640 and that gets you unlimited rides on the monorail, though we would only need 2 rides.
The monorail goes in one direction only and there are only 4 stops. So we at least got to stop by Tokyo Disneyland station and the Tokyo Disney Resorts station as well before arriving at Tokyo DisneySea. Entrance fee for a 1 day passport was ¥5,800 and that gave us access only to Tokyo DisneySea. But really, no one could ever visit both parks in one day. That’s just madness! Just as we passed through the gates it started raining again, luckily I had my umbrella though one friend bought himself a pancho. Looking at the map given to us at the ticket booth, we walked on through the first area, which was Mediterranean Harbour and OMFG it was built to look like Venice.Sure enough it was all fake but walking through there, I was living an ARIA dream for that moment until I found out one of the best things ever. Gondolas!! And you can ride them!! I made it a definite that we would be back here later in the day to ride it.
The first ride for us is known as the Tower of Terror. We actually just scrambled into the line to get out of the rain. But damn, people sure like to line up. The line was quite long and we waited probably a good hour before we got to the marshaling area for the ride. But alas this is Japan, thinking you were through, once again you line up. It was also amusing to find out at this point that 2 of my friends were in fact scared of heights and rollercoasters type rides. Well the Tower of Terror was simply an elevator ride gone crazy. Still it was a lot of fun and look how excited we are in the photo above (we’re the ones in the back row).
Finally it stopped raining so we made the best of it to walk a bit more to explore more of the park. It’s actually pretty cool seeing the things in Tokyo DisneySea, not to mention some of the cute girls around, lol. The next place we arrived at is called Port Discovery. The next ride was the one seen in the picture above. A nice little automated boat ride that choses random courses. There are two types, a normal one and a wet one. Though being a wet enough day as it was, we chose the wet course. Plus the line was shorter. Not liking the idea of getting wet, I borrowed my friend’s pancho as I had to protect my camera gear, but seriously, it did nothing to stop the downpour I got at the end of the ride. Needless to say, we all looked like big kids who got a bit too excited.
Needing time to dry ourselves off we wondered further into the park and then came across what I thought would be an epic ride: Indiana Jones Adventure! But the not so epic thing about this ride, yep, lining up. By far this was the longest line we waited in our trip to Tokyo DisneySea. It took us a whole two and half hours just to get through the line and to the marshaling area for the ride. Though we did keep each other amused barely as none of us had brought our DS’s. If you ever goto an amusement park, take a DS just to kill time for the waiting in line. My friends were cursing me hoping this had better be an epic ride. I kept faith and reassured them, and sure enough, the ride reassured me. Everything you know about Indiana Jones was packed into this ride. Even the rolling boulder was there. But lol, Indiana Jones speaking Japanese.
Leaving the Indiana Jones ride, we stumbled into Arabian Coast. This place was awesome as I loved Aladdin when I was a kid, so seeing all the buildings, whilst playing music from Aladdin put a grin on my face. We also took a ride on Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage since the line was only a 5 minute wait. Pretty much it was a boat ride that takes you through the story of Sinbad in the eyes of Disney. The ride is pretty much all mechanical dolls singing along to a story with each section being a chapter. Think of it like when Lisa and Bart went to Duffland and went through that boat ride, except not as scary, and minus the beer.
We also came across a large merry-go-round. The guys weren’t too fond of the idea, but my powers of persuasion can work wonders at times. Can you imagine 4 guys in their early 20′s sitting on a merry-go-round? Yeah I’d laugh as well. Our stop in Arabian Coast was short as there wasn’t much else. Next up was Mermaid Lagoon and Triton’s Kingdom. This place was pretty much kid central as most of the rides are suited for those 10 and younger. But we did stop by for a snack as we were getting rather hungry. Food wise this place is average and if you been to amusement parks before it’s all usually the same stuff.
Getting outside once again, rain. Yeah the weather is starting to put a sour mood on the day. Walking through Mysterious Island we didn’t join the queue for any lines as it required us to stand in the rain. At this point we’ve done a full circle of the park and we had a while until our next ride. Once again I lead our group to the one place I wanted to go. Gondolas! At first I was doubtful on whether the ride was still running, but upon arrival, the rain had let up a little and they were preparing to let people on. This was also the only line that had seats for you to sit and wait for, but even sitting down I was getting excited. The gondoliers had a hard time trying to dry off the seats what with the rain still coming, but they managed and soon enough I was the first person to board the gondola.
Oh man, all my ARIA fantasies have come to life. Except it was rowed by two men instead of two young girls. Still it was an experience to soak up and this is the closest thing I’ll get to a gondola until I go to Venice in a few years. The ride was a short 10 minutes, but it surely felt longer than that. The best thing was at the end of the ride, one of the gondoliers had sung us a song, and by god he was really good. A cheerful stocky looking guy singing us a song, you can’t beat an experience like that. Though now I really can’t wait till I goto Venice and experience the real thing.
Leaving the gondola’s, we headed back to Port Discovery for our final ride of the day. Though we still had about 40 minutes to wait, we sat around doing nothing. We got a FastPass which allowed us to cut through the line. The last ride was called Storm Rider and it was only a simulator ride.You join a flight crew to fire off a missile into a storm in order to neutralise it. Very bland in my opinion but I blame my friend for picking this ride. After it was time to head back to the train station. It was getting dark and gloomy, and with it being wet still we had enough. Luckily for us the park had switched on the lights and everything looked magical. Though I was rather surprised at how many people are still entering the park when we left.
Though instead of heading back to the hotel, Roobar really wanted to watch a movie. Or more specifically The Mummy 3. Released in Japan before Australia?? Yeah we thought WTF as well. At least the seats here were better than the ones in Shinjuku but cinemas in Australia are still better. But at least watching a movie gave us the time to dry off a bit. Afterwards we decided to head back to the hotel as we didn’t want to get dinner there as food was expensive, and we’d probably be catching the last train.
Dinner was at a pizza and pasta place that my friends had all been to. Though this was my first time and I haven’t had pasta for a while. A very basic dinner as we felt pretty tired and didn’t want anything too large. In the end it was a rather enjoyable day so I must thank my friend Roobar for convincing me to goto Tokyo DisneySea. I would definitely say goto Tokyo Disneyland if you had the time and do enjoy all things Disney, but definitely go with a group of four, or at least a girlfriend/boyfriend.