• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Asia Park Trip Report (SHDL, HKDL, TDR)

Piebald

Well-Known Member
#21
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.

JTTCOTE-
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

ToT
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

Sinbad

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

Nemo

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.

7/10

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.

Pirates

Queue- 6/10
Ride-9/10

Then I was exhausted so I went to bed..
10/10

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.
 

david10225

Active Member
#22
Advertisement
<<At this point I left to go check into the my room at the Disneyland Hotel. >>

Loving your trip report. I am in the middle of planning my TDL trip for October. It will be my second visit there, this time bringing my wife. I had wanted to do Shanghai so I can check off the final park, but I had second thoughts, and I really want my wife to see Japan (she has no interest in going back to China). I do agree about HK - so much to see there in the city and the mountains in the park are amazing (see my picture!)

In my trip planning, I believe that all the tickets I've seen for 3 days are Day 1 park A, Day 2, park B, and day 3 Park A/B. Perhaps your package allowed for park hopping the first day? We are staying at the Hilton (where I stayed last time) so I'm pretty sure that is not available.

Did you by chance take any tours in Tokyo. I'm looking for a day tour for a couple of days of our trip where I don't have to think and let someone else do all the planning. :)
 

MickeyMario

Well-Known Member
#23
I'm also not really a fan of Disney Sea, the only thing it has over a park like DCA is the fact that its theming is at least kind of coherent, the park just doesn't really have that many attractions.
DisneySea has the biggest number of attractions of all the non-castle parks.

Plus 5 new ones (not replacing anything) that will be opening in the coming years.

American parks wish
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
#24
DisneySea has the biggest number of attractions of all the non-castle parks.

Plus 5 new ones (not replacing anything) that will be opening in the coming years.

American parks wish
A quick run through of "List of [park name] attractions" Wiki articles has DCA outnumbering TDS, although that's neither here nor there because spinners and other such small kiddie rides don't matter to me. I typically finish DCA in about 3-4 hours when I go to DLR and I feel that the only reason TDS takes me longer is because FP times go later faster, thus keeping me stuck in the park waiting.
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
#26
DisneySea has the biggest number of attractions of all the non-castle parks.

Plus 5 new ones (not replacing anything) that will be opening in the coming years.

American parks wish
A quick run through of "List of [park name] attractions" Wiki articles has DCA outnumbering TDS, although that's neither here nor there because spinners and other such small kiddie rides don't matter to me. I typically finish DCA in about 3-4 hours when I go to DLR and I feel that the only reason TDS takes me longer is because FP times go later faster, thus keeping me stuck in the park waiting.
It's honestly pretty much the same when you break it down by attractions. DCA technically prior to closures for Pixar Pier was up by one ride, more if you discount transportation. An argument can obviously be made some of the attraction quality across the board is a bit more consistent for Tokyo's E-ticket/D-ticket selections. The shows are of higher consistency across the board too at Tokyo. But really the numbers in each category shake out very similarly today.

Both parks need more meat on the top end, TDS is however clearly going to take the unarguable lead in 5 years. 2 E's (Pan/Frozen) and 2 D's (Soaring/Tangled), plus a whip. Whereas DCA is merely in line for a Marvel E/D and is losing 3 bugsland flats from the total below.


Tokyo Disney Sea
Land headliners (5) - JTTCOE, Indy, Nemo, Tower of Terror, Sindbad
Land Supports (3) - TSM, 20k Voyage, Raging Spirits
Semi-substantial filler (2) - Aquatopia, Flounder's Flying Fish
Flat Rides (6) - Carousel, Jasmine's carpets, 4x Mermaid,
Transport-esque (4) - Venetian Gondolas, Electric Rail, Steam Liner, Big City Vehicles

Shows (5) - Big Band Beats, Turtle Talk, Mermaid, Magic Lamp Theatre, Hangar Stage

Bonus - Fortress Exploration

Disney California Adventure
Land headliners (4) - Guardians, Radiator Springs Racers, Incredicoaster, Grizzly River Run
Land Supports (4) - TSMM, Monsters Inc, Mermaid, Soaring
Semi-substantial filler (2) - Goofy's Sky School, Pixar Pal Around
Flat Rides (10) - Carousel, 3x Paradise Garden flats, 4x Bugsland, Carsland x2
Transport-esque (1) - Red Car Trolley

Shows (3) - Animation Academy, Turtle Talk, Frozen
Recently closed (2) - It's Tough to be a Bug, Muppets/pre-view/Pixar shorts

Bonus (things classified as attractions by the operator) - Bakery Tour, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Blue Sky Cellar, Sorcerer's Workshop
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
#27
If all you do is run from ride to ride and finish a park in 3h, I don't expect you to understand why TDS is considered the best Disney park in the world
Sorry but DCA isn’t exactly the type of park that inspires me to spend a bunch of time walking around taking in the “theming”. I’d imagine another user of a Disney Parks forum would understand that. TDS is special in the respect that it’s a rare example of a secondary park that has a coherent and convincing theme. It’s not that I don’t understand that (indeed Mysterious Island is one of my favorite park lands in the world) but calling the park the “best in the world” when any other castle park except maybe HK can blow it out in terms of attractions is a bit too much hyperbole for me. Maybe I’m too young and thus I focus too heavily on attractions for your taste, but the beautiful thing about Disney parks is that you can enjoy them whichever way you’d like.
 
Last edited:
#28
In terms of major attractions (what people generally consider the D to E-tickets at the park), only the original Disneyland- and TDL and MK to a lesser extent- have a prominent lead over TDS currently out of the castle parks. With the opening of Soarin' next year, TDS will have more major attractions than half of the castle parks- DLP, HKDL, and SDL. And the addition of three more major attractions by 2023 will see it pass MK and tie TDL for number of D/E-tickets after their own confirmed additions. Disneyland will still hold a noticeable lead as expected.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom