Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Japan - Tokyo Disney

     James' feet are really bothering him after our touring day Saturday and our treks through the bowels and stairs of the subway Sunday.  He has blisters on several toes and his heel of his left foot bears a distinct resemblance to raw hamburger.  My feet are fine- if a bit weary- as I've been switching daily between walking shoes and sandals.  When James goes to try on his crocs, however, the strap breaks so now he's down to just his walking shoes.  We break out Craig's moleskin and borrow scissors from the front desk to try to patch him up.  All this takes time, so we arrive at Disneyland (by monorail- love the Mickey touches!) about 10:30, well, after the 9:00 opening time.
       We head for Pooh's Hunny Hunt- a ride available no where else in the world- to get our Fastpasses and we get a 5:20 pm time!  Wow!  Either the park is crowded or this ride is POPULAR.  Guess we'll be standing in line for most of the rest of the rides.  We try Splash Mountain, but their Japanese sized cars are not big enough for James- he is barred from Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain.  Space Mountain is closed, so that gets him out of all the roller coaster-type rides.  I would sympathize, but I know he is delighted.  He hates those rides and was dreading accompanying me.  Instead we do Pirates of the Caribbean twice (I like how they've included Johnny Depp and the other stuff from the movies.)
     It is actually hard to find enough water at the park.  If you eat at a restaurant with table service, they serve ice water, but otherwise you have to buy their 300 yen bottles of water or find one of the drinking fountains- which are mostly located near the rides themselves- evidently there are a lot of people who experience heat stroke and need water after waiting for a while.  The water isn't very cold though- a pet peeve of mine- so I end up buying more coke and juice than I should.
     I like that they still shoot the hippo on the Jungle Cruise (Peta wussies have taken that out of the California one.)  I've heard that they have now put movie characters into "It's a Small World," so I talk James into going, but this ride is identical to the one I grew up with as a child.  (Grandma lived close to Disneyland and, in those days, there was no admission fee, you just bought tickets for the rides.  Friends would come to stay and leave all their leftover tickets with her, so we went often.  We always went on "It's a Small World" and to a show called "America the Beautiful" because they were Grandma's favorites.  In "America the Beautiful" you stood in a theatre with a domed screen that surrounded you and saw footage of famous sites like the Grand Canyon.
     We also went to Knott's Berry Farm all the time.  My brother Stan would pan for gold, I would ride the mules, Grandma would buy jam, and we would all have the chicken dinner.  I have a deep fondness for amusement parks, having gone so often in childhood.  Today's parks, where you pay so much to get in that you feel you have to stay all day to get your money's worth and where so many of the rides are stomach-wrenching thriller rides, just aren't the same....)
     All the rides are in good working order, for which I am thankful.  I'll always remember the time our boat broke down in the middle of "It's a Small World" and we had to listen to those birds chirping for 45 minutes.  That was some 40 years ago and it cured me of wanting to go on that ride for- ahhhh, about 40 years.
     The pin trading craze has not hit Japan.  I found only a few pins- all of which we have at home and none of which say "Tokyo Disney," which is, of course, what I wanted.  As I look closer, this is true of all the merchandise.  The tags say Tokyo Disney but not one shirt, pin, or stuffed animal has that actually on it.  I think everything is shipped over from the generic Disney Factory and tags are added afterward.  Rats.
     The selection is a good deal more limited than at Disneyland California too.  Nearly half the people in the park are wearing these cute ultra-colorful Mickey or Minnie shirts.  I instantly decide I have to have one but, alas, even the LL- their largest size- does not fit my well-fed American frame- sad!
     The local craze here- rather than pins- is popcorn.  Popcorn is sold in various containers all over the park in salted, honey, caramel, curry, black pepper,  strawberry and soy sauce flavors.  You buy the container for 1300 yen, which you wear around your neck and can refill for 500 yen.  James really wanted the Stitch popcorn holder, but couldn't stomach the curry or black pepper flavors it came with, so he went for Winnie the Pooh and honey-flavored.  He said he really liked it.
We got to ride the ultracool monorail

Love all the mouses

I was so sad the monorail was closed when we stayed at the Disney Hotel in California.  Now, at last, I get to ride it!

I can't believe you're making us ride "It's a Small World," Mom.

Hey, it's my unbirthday too! (At the Queen of Hearts Buffet.)

James' shrimp still has the eyes on it- shudder.

Did you know it's Easter in Japan?  Well, it is until June 30.  3 Easter parades and everything egg-shaped

Parades.  I hate parades, but James' feet were hurting, so we watched them all.

At Mickey's 3D Philharmonic- I know all the songs, so who cares if it's in Japanese?

Cinderella's castle is really big

We waited for this ride but it was fun- are all you California Disneyophiles jealous??

The Haunted Mansion has a Pet Cemetery instead of the usual punny tombstones- Human remains judged too sacred here, perhaps?

Ah, Johnny, it be you!

James stayed for the Electric Parade, but I was off to bed.

     Disney Sea also pushes "Duffy the Disney Bear"- a stuffed bear that can be dressed up and photographed at various locations throughout the park.  Mindful of our luggage we still have to tote around for a week, I restrained myself.  I was pretty tired by 8 and our Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear weren't until 9:30, so I took the monorail back and left James to watch the Electric Parade (he said it was great but didn't take any pictures) and go on the ride.  I did get to the see the fireworks show just as I got back to the hotel- they did a good job making mouse ears in the sky.

LINK to Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay

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