In my last post, I talked about my family’s trip to Tokyo, but I left out the part when we went to Disneyland. Why? Well, because it really deserved a post of its own! I won’t talk too much about it, as I took plenty of photos that speak for themselves:
You might have noticed the Christmas decorations, so yes, I will confirm I am the worst blogger in the world as I’m finally uploading this after half a year…!
The shows are all in Japanese (lip-synced by the mostly non-Japanese cast playing the various roles). Sadly I didn’t understand a word but it’s still fun to watch.
Although we went during the off-peak season (November), Disneyland is extremely popular with locals, so be prepared for huge crowds everywhere. People were already reserving the best spots to view the parade hours before it was scheduled.
The Christmas parade was a little special, as you only get to see it near the end of the year.
The castle is big enough that you can go inside to view the rooms and shops, but the park was so big I didn’t have enough time to have a look. Definitely a good enough reason to return someday!
(Side note: how high do you think the electricity bill is here…..?)
It’s already a well-known fact that Japanese culture is very polite, and it definitely showed during our time here. During the shows and parades, everyone stayed seated so no one had their view blocked, and when the staff removed the belt barriers, nobody pushed forward to get a better look, like mainland Chinese would in Hong Kong (I’m speaking from experience…)
Unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled due to heavy rain, so we wandered through the shops before heading home. The Disney themed subway is directly connected to the rest of the subway lines, which makes it very easy to get there and back.
But wait, there’s more! Tokyo Disney actually does a two-day pass for both Disneyland and Disney Sea, as long as you visit both on consecutive days. So like any sane person, that’s exactly what we did. Disney Sea isn’t exclusively themed with mermaids and dolphins like I thought it would be; instead, the park has a vaguely nautical concept, with several sections modelled after the Mediterranean, the Arabian coast and the ambiguously named Mysterious Island. (There is a section called the Mermaid Lagoon, though.)
Whilst Disneyland has the iconic castle as it’s centrepiece, Disney Sea has a giant volcano that has a roller-coaster inside. Everything looks quite realistic from afar, and once in a while, you can see a plume of fake smoke and hear the screams of the people on the ride- though it’s not as creepy as it sounds, I promise!
The indoors Mermaid Lagoon is aimed for the younger kids with simpler rides and cuter characters decorating the interior. Be sure to catch the Little Mermaid show, where the actress playing Ariel descends from the ceiling on a wire to mimic swimming through the water. Photos weren’t allowed so sadly I can’t show you- just be prepared to pay the price of a neck strain. Worth it!
Although both theme parks were beautiful, my favourite section was easily the Arabian Coast- every angle is Instagram-worthy. It looked especially beautiful as the sun set and the lights turned on. The architecture and design layout is definitely worth a mention, too. Even the simple barrier gates were laced with intricate designs.
That might look like a real cruise liner, but the life-size model is actually a building. As for what’s inside, I honestly have no idea as we simply didn’t have enough time to explore. Frustrating!
One of the later shows we managed to see were located on the lake itself. Popular Disney characters sailed round on the boat and… that’s pretty much it. Not really worth watching to be honest, but it did make some nice photos. The characters were all dressed in Christmas costumes, and the lake was decorated with lots of sparkly stars and Christmas trees. The giant one at the back rather dramatically ascended from underwater in what must be an annual phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes affair. A rather eyebrow-raising moment.
We had a second stroke of bad luck; the fireworks were cancelled again due to the rain. We took refuge inside the shops where I was sorely tempted to buy a matching set of snow-Mickey and snow-Minnie. Living the penniless writer cliché might suck, but it’s good incentive for not squandering money on overpriced souvenirs!
Finally, after two days of experiencing the Disney induced haze of magic and ridiculously cheery music, it was time to board the subway and return home for good. I’m a huge fan of both theme parks and Disney, so you can imagine the manic joy I felt to be here. The park is so big that I missed most of it, but it was still really fun and I would love to come back. Preferably for a whole month. Disney, take my money.
Thanks for reading!
[Shoutout to my brother for funding our family trip to Tokyo. You know I’ll pay for your trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I’ve made it. It just might take a while…]