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Asia Park Trip Report (SHDL, HKDL, TDR)


Well-Known Member
Tokyo Disneyland-

Ohhh so good. Where does one start?!

Flew into Haneda from Hong Kong after 2 days at HKDL resort so it gets interesting doing all these Asian parks back to back. Got in around 7pm, took a few trains to maihama station, transferred over to a better monorail, a great harbinger of things to come, before arriving for our first night at the Tokyo bay Hilton. Honestly it was just a place to stay for the night and I was using points. It was fine, the breakfast buffet wasn’t very good. Ok- let’s get outta there and head over to vacation package pickup at Iskpiari.

I love the punctuality of the Japanese people. They do what and when there going to do something to the second. It’s incredible. As this was my first time to Japan, I was shocked, others that have been know what I’m talking about. Are these people robots???

So we got our tickets and package stuff for the next three days. They took our bags to the Disneyland Hotel so we could head over to Disney Sea for park opening. Today we had 3 goals. It was the last day of Golden Week so we were prepared with our expectations but it was also the last day to ride Journey to the center, Tower of Terror and Pirates. One, that’s just crazy to close 2 of the 3 biggest attractions at Disney Sea at the same time and two this is why we came a day early even though it was the dreaded golden week, or so I thought.

Ok, maybe golden week was worse the days before but it seemed like a busy day at a WDW Park. Many rides 2 hours... Orlando folk are used to this so I was like meh... I can do this. So we headed to tower to get a FP and then to ride standby for Jttcote.

Let’s go back a second. Can we talk about how epic and beautiful this park is. Geeez, you can’t take it in through a YouTube video. This place is something else. It feels like the best of Disney and dare I say Universal got together and made a baby. A baby that was child prodigy, goes to Stanford and cures cancer. This park is visually insane. It’s like pandora level to attention, everywhere. Now that I’ve been to all parks, only Animal Kingdom comes close to this level of detail and craftsmanship park wide. Tokyo Disneyland doesn’t seem to share quite the attention to detail as Sea. Alright, back to the rides.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
65 min wait 2 hours after park opening during golden week...

The setup and walk through the mountain and many caverns are just incredible feats of design and engineering. So well done. On to the queue, which I thought was sort of boring for such a cool place. The queue moves at a nice pace and the Japanese don’t molest you or rob your spot in line like the Chinese (Shanghai) do. What a nice change of pace that was...

So 65 min on the dot, we enter the preshow elevator, that’s actually a functioning elevator. It simulates going down but I feel like maybe it’s going up?? The effects are well done similar to Gringotts but not as cheesy.

The elevator doors open and we’re in another cavern. This one, leads to the load platforms. The ride vehicles are larger than its clearly related brothers, Test Track and RSR, which allow the ride to be much more efficient. The seats are a bit tight. I’m 6’1” and about 215. I’m not tiny but I’m not huge. A lot of the Orlando crowd would be challenged getting on this attraction. It’s probably more to do with how the restraints are positioned though..

Anyway, the ride starts with dark ride elements all while you begin to dive deeper and deeper into the earth. You see some weird while wonderful alien creatures hanging out bouncing about and then something goes wrong, the lights flicker, the sounds intensify and your vehicle starts picking up the tempo. All of a sudden you see huge flame on the left and then a giant creature to the right.. an impressive yeti sized animatronic that works.. he has a fit and you blast out of the mountain and get some great airtime for a Disney attraction at the end. Ok, all I can say is holy crap and by the time the day was over I would have ridden this 5 times. Yes, this is my favorite Disney attraction in the world. It checks off every box. Dark ride, animatronics, story telling, thrill, just everything. This is the best attraction the imagineers have produced since TOT in Orlando. This ride is better than anything Disney has in Asia. It’s just so well done.

Queue- 8/10
Ride- 10/10

Tower of Terror

Ok I love the look of the building, the interior space and different spin on the story. That said, to me, the only interesting part of this version of TOT is the preshow with the disappearing dude. The rest of the ride is similar to DCA and Paris tower however it’s less intense. Let’s leave TOTerroring to Florida. Mmmk

Queue- 8/10
Ride- 7/10

Indiana Jones

Ok, how do you improve a ride that already has an incredible queue, story and experience... ohh year you just let the Japanese do it. The queue is quite different from DLs version but equally good if not more impressive. The ride is very similar but the story and effect are different. I think the story and soundtrack are better in Disneyland but the effects blow Disneyland’s away. Both rides are starting to show their age though. Good experience. Rode only once.. didn’t feel the need to ride again even though it had a 5 min wait on Monday and Tuesday after golden week.

Indiana Jones
Queue- 10/10
Ride- 8/10


My new favorite boat dark ride. I love this thing. It’s what we want small world to be. Those animatronics are so creepy and wonderful. I love the music, the story, the troll, the giant bird snatching the man, the banana smelling room full of monkeys... I love it, you love it, we love it. Love.

Queue- 6/10 not that interesting
Ride- 10/10


I don’t know what this was. Like a huge star tours cabin but Nemo’d up. Meh.

Queue 6/10
Ride 5/10

20,000 leagues

Ok this is a classic done better than ever. A YouTube video doesn’t even makes sense. This is great, if you’re not claustrophobic. The little alien guys under water are creepy and cute. This is clearly something the Japanese are great at and enjoy. Creepy and cute.

Queue 9/10
Ride 9/10

Toy Story

Rode it last day at opening to just say I’d done it. Same as the other two but perhaps the set pieces between screens have more detail. Not with waiting more that 20 min if you’ve ridden before.

Queue 7/10
Ride 7/10

Didn’t ride- raging spirits, anything in mermaid area, anything that spins.

Big Band Beat

Quality of musicians in the bad are top
Notch... singers were hit or miss... show was good but not as good as the hype led me to believe.


Didn’t see Fantasmic, it was cancelled for rain or wind each night. Grrrr.

Easter celebrations a month after Easter are a little too much. I could have done without it. I get that they like it but a week after a holiday should be plenty me thinks...

Also, I’ll talk about merchandise at the end. So many things were purchase along the way. Merchandise is epic here.

At this point I left to go check into the my room at the Disneyland Hotel. I took the awesome monorail two stops to the entrance of the hotel and was assigned my park view room right away. I was on the 6th floor with a view that was pretty nice. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a theme park view unless you want to watch the fireworks from there but I’m always in the park so I didn’t take advantage of that. Anyway...

The room-

I’m over this Victorian decor that Disney loves so much. This hotel is 10 years old and while it’s beautiful maintained, it’s tired, and boring. Time to update this look.

Best part of the room is the shower room. All in one tub and shower next to it. It’s a large wet room. Great stuff!

Room decor: 5/10
Beds: 8/10
Amenities 8/10
Value 6/10

You’re paying for he location and the name but I’ve stayed at Better Disney resort. Honestly the Shanghai and Hong Kong resorts are better.

Later that night I headed to Disneyland to ride pirates before it closed. It’s very similar to Disneyland’s. The difference is that the animatronics are much more smooth. It’s has older scenes still in tow. Redhead, men chairing women.. it’s classic pirates but very well maintained.


Queue- 6/10

Then I was exhausted so I went to bed..

More coming...
Not to hijack your great reviews but I wanted to mention some things. I didnt do Nemo but did everything else. Sinbad puts all the dark rides to shame and the song is stuck in my head a month later, Journey is incredible and nothing there we saw or did was lame. The Genie show was surprisingly cute and the live Mermaid show inside was really good. A mix of Nemo and an impressive King Triton puppet/animatronic? Ariel gliding through the air is great too. Raging Spirits was fun but nothing to write home about. It would be a great addition to Adventureland or AK back home but not worthy of big advertising ala Toy Story Land or anything. Tokyo Disneyland does everything better. Everything that annoys you about the other parks is nonexistent here. The crappiest food in TDR would probably be considered top notch at WDW (I ate quite a bit). To expand on the CMs being robots, I think the biggest surprise to me was how animated the characters are. I actually felt like I was meeting Scrooge McDuck and the 3 little pigs, not sweaty kids in a suit. And I'm not big on meeting characters or any of that. The CMs were all amazing and they took great pride in their jobs. Incredibly animated and jovial, if you waved at them they'd wave back with such enthusiasm it really makes you feel special. If you spent any time in Japan outside the parks you would have noticed that same level of pride from store clerks to bus drivers to the folks vacuuming the subway station (imagine seeing someone vacuuming a NYC subway station.)

I've been to many many countries but this was our first time in Japan and the first time as looked at each other and knew 100% we'd be back.
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