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A Tokyo Disney Trip Report

Discussion in 'Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai' started by MichWolv, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    Agree on the frozen in time piece. It's noticeable and odd, but not necessarily bad. Most noticeable in Tomorrowland, of course.

    The visuals are just shockingly bad in some areas. Dumbo and the area around it is the worst, but being able to see Pooh's Hunny Hunt, Toontown, and the StarJets in the same vista was just about as cringe-inducing. The difference between the TDL bad visuals and the MK bad visuals is that the TDL bad visuals are smack dab in the middle of everything and you can't miss them unless you close your eyes. MK has some spots that have bad visuals, but outside of the Carpets in Adventureland (which actually doesn't bother me much), the bad visuals are mostly fleeting. Not so at TDL.

    Sure, if I had to choose good visuals or good attractions, I'd pick attractionss, but it usually isn't a one or the other thing at a Disney park.
  2. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    That area does look nice, particularly if you are facing Splash Mountain with BTMR in the foreground.

    I heard about the transport law issue, but somehow it didn't stop them from the DisneySea Electric Railway. :shrug: As an attraction, it's fine, but it's a jumbled set of things, comparable to everything you see on Disneyland's Railway. When it's also transportation, the variety of unconnected things to see isn't so odd, but when you just keep moving, it seems strange to go from "Here's Jungle Animals" to "Here's a Native American camp" to "And there is the Grand Canyon Diorama".

    Didn't eat there, but being built into the mountain, it looks great!

    Funny, I hadn't realized that the fact that I enjoy getting wet on Splash Mountain made me less classy. :rolleyes:

    That said, on the day I was TDL, everybody was walking around in soaked clothing from head to toe. Many people had umbrellas, but the instance of rain slickers and ponchos was much less than on rainy days at WDW. I had my very expensive hurricaine-stopping water and windproof shell, along with an umbrella, so I was drier than 95% of the folks in the park, but I would have paid significant money for a decent pair of dry socks, but the shops don't stock socks for adults, despite the fact that every person's shoes were squishing from being soaked through. So I guess the Japanese don't mind being soaked all that much.
  3. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    The Star Tours, Pizza Port complex is indeed nice. And like much of the nice visuals in the park, it was added after opening.


    Fair point. This show in Tomorrowland and the one in the Broadway theater at DisneySea have a sort of lottery system where you scan your ticket and might get a seat and might not. That system is in play for all but the first show of the day, where it is normal first come, first serve. I saw the first show and got a seat 5 minutes before curtain. And I didn't try for the broadway theater show in TDS.

    I consider MI Ride & Go Seek to be their version of Toy Story Mania (even though they are getting a real TSM later this year at DS), a great attraction with no height restriction that you can ride multiple times (and I'm glad TSM got through the steadfast refusal to build it :lookaroun). R&GS skews a bit more family than teen, but the point is the same -- re-ridability. It's not thrills, and it's not fast, but it appeals to young while appealing to adults as well. I actually thought the ride was ingenious in part for its inexpensiveness -- cheap ride system and cheap, I suspect, game play elements, since all you need is a light sensor, and it doesn't bother to keep score or anything by person. Whoever hits the target with their light triggers the action on the set. There are very few true AA's, as well, but you pass by things so quick that it doesn't at all matter.

    Regardless, it's a great ride, and the lines are way down from when you visited!
  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have specific questions but wanted to let you know ive been reading along and appreciated your sharing!
  5. Bolna

    Bolna Well-Known Member

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    This was truly a great report! Thanks for posting it and to include all kind of practical info as well!

    One question: Do you think that the order you chose to see the parks in was the best way now in hindsight? I am thinking I might be so impatient to finally get to TDS that I will not be able to take TDL in fully, but then I think a lot speaks for seeing the parks in their chronological order as well.
  6. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    Glad you liked the report, and thanks for the comment.

    I made choice based solely on practical reasons. My first day in the parks was a Thursday. Remember that you can only visit one park per day the first two days of a multi-day ticket. That Thursday, TDL was open from 9 to 9, and TDS from 10-7 (or maybe 8). Friday both parks were open 9 to 9. I wanted more time in the parks, so the choice was made for me.

    I think it worked out well for a couple of other practical reasons as well. The first day, as you might suspect, I was a bit less efficient at getting around, as I had to figure out how the FP machines worked, how ordering food worked, etc. So I got that out of the way at the park where I didn't mind missing a few attractions, as most of them are versions of attractions at other MK parks.
  7. Kuhio

    Kuhio Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting such a detailed trip report.

    I've been to TDR twice, and probably would visit on at least an annual basis if only it were a bit closer.

    Although TDL's earlier adaptations include some head-scratching failures to maximize the best of DL and WDW (BTM's use of WDW's template but without the Tumbleweed flood segment, the use of DL's much tamer version of Space Mountain instead of WDW's, the failure to build in a PeopleMover, etc.), the subsequent attractions that are unique to TDR have all been, by and large, home runs. Hunny Hunt remains probably the single most immersively satisfying dark ride in any Disney park -- at least until Mystic Manor and Ratatouille debut (assuming both live up to early expectations).

    As you observed, whereas TDL has a few lapses here and there, TDS really exemplifies how everything was done just right, thanks in part to the willingness to expend bucketloads of cash.

    My only problem with TDS was that the park is so well designed, so impeccably themed, that sometimes you feel the actual attractions don't -- or can't -- quite live up to their trappings. Take the Tower of Terror: I love its original backstory; how incredibly detailed the hotel grounds and lobby are; the fantastic preshow with the disappearing Shiriki Utundu; and the awesome load area, with piles and piles of Hightower's artifacts. But get on the elevator itself, and it's basically just the DCA ToT, with slightly different set-up scenes prior to the drop. After all that build-up, you almost expect something as truly special as, say, Forbidden Journey -- and it ends up being just a couple of drops in the dark.

    Or JttCotE. Another mind-blowing queue (definitely not for those afraid of enclosed spaces!), set amid the most impressive "land" in any Disney park. Truly beautiful ride vehicles. Yet, other than the stunning Lava Monster, most of the other flora and fauna you see on the ride come off as under-detailed and run-of-the-mill -- and the big drop itself is far less exciting than the view from outside makes it seem to be. For all the build-up, you kind of expect Lava Monster-level AAs throughout the length of the entire ride, and a truly white-knuckle physical experience.

    Or Raging Spirits -- which is just a prettied-up version of the not-very-exciting and not-very-comfortable Temple of Peril. I could go on, but you get my point.

    As far as "problems" go, this is a good one to have. But, to me, it's still a slight mar on an otherwise flawless product -- when you go into an opulent mansion with exquisite grounds and priceless artwork, and then realize the chair you're sitting on is "only" an Ethan Allen piece, there's going to be some slight twinge of disappointment, or a tiny disruption of the suspension of disbelief.

    I'm certainly not advocating that Disney deliberately "dumb down" their theming or design so that attraction experiences are fully commensurate with the level of quality of their preshows or show buildings or the park environment generally... I certainly appreciate TDR for what it has, and would be overjoyed if WDW could match it in terms of dedication to theming, cleanliness, and upkeep. And, not every ride can be a Hunny Hunt or a Forbidden Journey -- you've got to have some that, however much fun they may be, are just a hair short of the pinnacle of theme park design.

    It's kind of a perverse outcome of the relativity of expectations -- when you have something that consistently provides A+ results, an A- result is going to be a relative disappointment. On the other hand, when you have something that consistently provides B- results, a B+ result is going to seem like occasion for celebration.

    Unfortunately, these days WDW tends to follow the latter model more than the former one...
  8. crosten

    crosten New Member

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    Awesome trip report. I am considering a trip from during June 24-July 1 timeframe. I would be flying from the midwest and making it a TDR-only trip for 4-5 days. Do you have any pointers for how much I should budget for food during that time? What might be a very comfortable amount to need? I would like to try a mix of snacks, counter-service and table-service dining.
  9. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    Let's see...average cost of meals at the parks was:

    Table-service -- around 3,000 yen per
    Counter-service -- around `1,000 without drink, 1,200 with
    Snacks -- 300-800 yen.
    soft drinks -- 200-300 yen.

    That seems to play out to around 6,000-7,000 yen per day, give or take, if you stick to one TS each day. With the yen around 80 per dollar, that makes about $75-85/day for food. If you get breakfast at your hotel, you can probably cut that down a bit.
  10. gsrjedi

    gsrjedi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the detailed report. I'm thinking I'm going to try and visit Tokyo sometime next year and definitely do TDL & TDS a couple days.
  11. Fantasmic

    Fantasmic Well-Known Member

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    Great report!!!
  12. Genie of the Lamp

    Genie of the Lamp Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this trip report @MichWolv!:) This is literally the greatest thread I have come across in my little over 2 months being a member on this site. Your extremely detailed trip report made me feel as if I were right there with you experiencing this truly MAGICal resort. You have also inspired me and my family on strongly considering booking a trip to TDL in late 2018 with a 5 day, 4 night stay in the plans as of now. I do have one question for you or anyone else like @WDW1974 could answer. I am very intrigued, interested in convincing my family members into staying at the Hotel Mira Costa based on the details you have given. I'll do research and look at their hotel website, but which hotel other than the Hilton did you think stood head and shoulders as the best hotel in TDLR? Again thanks for doing this. I need to come to this forum section more often.;)
  13. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    Aka for the praise for the report! I actually need to add some more pics to it, since I finally recovered by crashed SD card a year later.

    As for the hotels, I did not seriously consider the three Disney hotels, as the cost was out of sight for a solo traveler. I didn't visit any of them either, so I'm really not a position to make a recommendation. I chose the Hilton specifically because I was looking for a predictable experience combined with convenience. I got exactly what I wanted. My room was actually very large. E hotel was quiet and comfortable. The staff spoke English, and the breakfast was great, a real bonus as food in the parks was rather expensive. And at $200/night, at least the price didnt make me physically ill.
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  14. Genie of the Lamp

    Genie of the Lamp Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, someone on Miceage stayed at the same Hilton you did and remarked similar statements like you did. Of course, my mom has a Hilton Rewards card so we could look into that as well and see if we can use those points overseas. So will see what happens between here and now but the good thing is that I have convinced my family that a trip to this resort is a must and is going to happen.
  15. MichWolv

    MichWolv Born Modest. Wore Off. Premium Member

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    You can use Hhonors points there. I didn't, but could have.
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  16. Genie of the Lamp

    Genie of the Lamp Well-Known Member

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    I watched a video of the TSMM in DisneySea and I must say it (the exterior/queue) truly is beautiful esp. at night. Love the paint scheme, detail put into the exterior of the building and love all the luminescent lights at night. Love the Mr. Potato Head AA at that queue pre show and I love the carnival games hosted by bullseye. The ride for the most part is similar to pretty much every other TSMM ride but the queue (minus the Woody mouth/head whatev you call) truly is something to take in. It's in this off area called Toyville Trolley Park with some old railroad buildings and I believe has a QS there (but not sure from the vid). Overall, I would consider this ride below it's american counterparts but Exteriorly speaking blows away every other TSMM exterior.

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