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[Japan 2015] Day 5 of 7 | Urayasu: A day well-spent at Tokyo DisneySea~

 

Previously: [JAPAN 2015] Day 4 of 7 | Tokyo: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Abura soba, and Hachiko’s tribute.

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So we’re still staying at Hotel Gracery this night all the way till Day 7 of 7. See the details of the “Godzilla hotel” here.

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t wait to do this post because I pretty much left most of the photos here unedited. These are all mobile data, and yes, that’s right – I intentionally left my DSLR camera in my luggage this day. Who wants to go on crazy rides carrying around so much weight?! Although it’ll be nice if there’s a cameraman the whole time so we could have more pictures …

#kazoku 👫👭

A photo posted by Not Stacie (@staciapriscilla) on


As per usual, you’re going to navigate your way around the posts with the bulleted points below. Specially for this post, I’m going to divide the posts according to the throughout the park. To see a particular area first, just click on its name, and then you’ll come back to this navigation section again anytime you see the upward-pointing arrow symbol (↑). Hope you enjoy the Disney spirit as much as I do reliving my memories~

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 URAYASU 浦安


 

This would be my second time visiting the Tokyo DisneySea. The first time round was back in 2004, when I was still 14 and the lot was not as packed as it is today. What most people didn’t know is that the Tokyo Disney Resort isn’t exactly in Tokyo. The happiest place on earth is a little beyond the outskirts of the capital, located at the reclaimed areas of Chiba’s small town Urayasu 浦安. So if you’re traveling by JR like us, it’ll be roughly an hour’s ride from the Shinjuku Station to Maihama Station 舞浜駅. Once you get off the train, you’ll have to pay your ticket fares for navigating through the Resort using the Disney Resort Monorail Line. Whether you’re looking to stay multiple nights on the resort or spending a full day on DisneySea and/or Disneyland, the Line makes it ultra fast and convenient for you to explore the whole Resort.

For other modes of transportation, check out the complete guide from Tokyo Disney Resort’s official website.

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The DisneySea AquaSphere

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Click image to enlarge (PDF file)


 

Mediterranean Harbor

The Mediterranean Harbor is one of the areas in the park that we spent the least amount on time on, for a very specific reason – there are no FASTPASS attractions here. But if you’re a young mom and looking to spark curiosity in your little one(s), this is the perfect place to go. As the baby ebbs and flows between waking and napping, take him/her to view the park’s surrounding views on a 7-minute voyage aboard the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line. It’ll take you way up north to the furthest corners of Lost River Delta. But if you’re looking for something a bit more romantic, opt for the Venetian Gondolas – one gondola carries up to 8 couples to view the architecture around the Palazzo Canals. While onboard, why not treat yourselves with the sweet stuff from Valentina’s Sweets? The largest confectionery in the park is the first thing you’ll see from the DisneySea entrance.

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Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta, featuring suites with spectacular views

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Mysterious Island

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Our first FASTPASS ride was the Journey to the Center of the Earth (JTTCOTE), the main attraction of the Jules Verne-inspired island as well as the whole park. JTTCOTE was one of the first major rides built in the park, as I recalled my first time there. The Old Mill is packed back then and it’s packed today. I highly recommend you getting a FASTPASS ticket for JTTCOTE to save time, because the line extends from the center of Mount Prometheus (that iconic mountain) all the way to its base. I had great memories on my first ride, but now that I’m officially no longer in my early teens, JTTCOTE wasn’t as exciting as I remembered it.

Then there’s the kid-friendly dark ride, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Even though it’s a FASTPASS attraction, it’s not something I recommend purchasing the pass for. You’re basically taken to a voyage “underwater” (dark-lit studio) on a submarine, and narrated with a story throughout the voyage. You’ll tremble with terror, shriek of sudden surprises, and simply enjoy the sights around you even in the face of a “storm”. The perfect first ride for a kid’s first time in a theme park.

While you’re enjoying the island, try to make a pit-stop at Nautilus Galley – they have the best smoked turkey legs in my history of visiting theme parks (yes, even better than those they have in the States).

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Mermaid Lagoon

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • Mermaid Lagoon Theater

As I remembered it, Mermaid Lagoon is catered to every kid who’s between ages 3 to 12. You have small roller coasters and low-impact flying rides just outside King Triton’s palace. These rides serve to supplement traditional indoor entertainments inside the palace, which include things like twirling cup rides and merry-go-round gondolas. There’s even a special area to keep strollers at the palace’s entrance. But all this doesn’t mean the area isn’t worth a visit – there’s plenty to look at, especially in the gigantic Sleepy Whale Shoppe. It’s got all sorts of merchandise (everything from housewares to clothing to jewelry) and also where I got my Disney princesses tea collection. If you’re a fan of live shows, check the schedule of the Mermaid Lagoon Theater while you’re in the palace – the musical allows you to see all The Little Mermaid characters singing classics,  such as Part of Your World and Under the Sea, in person. But if you and your kid are more of the explorative type, check out Ariel’s Playground, her hideaway from the world and where she keeps her human treasures and antiques (including that iconic Prince Eric statue). Great trove for taking family pictures.

We had our pizza and sandwiches lunch here in the Lagoon at Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen. The canteen was soooo crowded I couldn’t understand why …

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Lost River Delta

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • Indiana Jones® Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

  • Raging Spirits

Straight from the Mermaid Lagoon comes the central area for rides catered to the grown-ups. Our queue for both the Raging Spirits and Indiana Jones is python-long, which was why it’s a good call for us to purchase another FASTPASS for the latter (yes … even the FASTPASS tickets did not excuse us from long queues! More on that later).

The super high-speed Raging Spirits coaster is, at best, the outdoor version of Disneyland’s Space Mountain, which happens to be my all-time favorite Disneyland ride. During first time at the park, I had no clue what this tribal temple is going to be. It was still under construction at that time and I was just scared by its mere facade.

I don’t think you need a FASTPASS for this one as much as you do with Indiana Jones, but still, surely a must-ride attraction during your visit to the park. You’ll find yourself suddenly upside down, speeding inside out, and ultimately turning into a mix-bag of shock, fear, and excitement. The whole 30-minute-or-so queue under the sun was so worth it.

Then, it’s none other than the Crystal Skull. As I’ve mentioned, we got ourselves halfway through the Indian python queue, all the way to the indoor part of the line. The timeless dark ride Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull, as with all Indiana Jones rides throughout the world, will not disappoint. There’s going to be angry spirits with you entering their perimeters, as well as the mandatory giant boulder rolling towards you. You’ll be terrified by the spookiness of all the elaborate props: littered skeletons, hellish frescoes, scarabs and all. Highly recommended getting a FASTPASS – and don’t forget to collect the snap of your fearful face by the end of the ride.

While at the Delta, we also grabbed a bunch of tacos and tortillas at Miguel’s El Dorado Cantina. Looveee ’em baked beans and sour cream~

As mentioned before, there’s a dock for the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line northwest of the Delta. It will take you back to the Mediterranean Harbor in no time.

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While queueing for Raging Spirits …

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Arabian Coast

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • The Magic Lamp Theater

Out of all the park areas, this is probably where we spent the longest of our time. Sis got to meet and greet Stitch, I got to meet Princess Jasmine, we got ourselves Mickey-shaped churros at the Open Sesame wagon, and queued and watched the amazing 23-minute magic show in The Magic Lamp Theater. I’m normally not a fan of live shows, but this attraction is a must-see!! It tells the story of the world’s greatest magician, who has malicious intentions, who wants to be even more powerful than Genie. The show marries the 4D aspect of the theater with outstanding live performance, so everything looked super believable and exciting.

As much as we’d like to try the soft serve ice creams at the Sultan’s Oasis as well as the curry dishes at the Casbah Food Court (they looked really, really delicious … for a curry fan myself), we were quite full for the munchies we’ve already had earlier. At one point we decided to come back here for dinner, but didn’t get to do so because of something totally unexpected and utterly disappointing … again, more on that later.

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American Waterfront

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • Tower of Terror

  • Toy Story Mania!

As you might expect, the American Waterfront, also the westernmost part of the park, has the most attractions of all areas. The Duffy photo points up north was so crowded – it’s only then that I know Duffy’s that well-loved, and that any character resembling teddy bears guarantees you huge success in the animation studio business. Corporation-talk aside, the Cape Cod area, which overlooks the New England-ish village harbor, is a great place for taking pictures. You’ll find a Steamboat Mickey statue, a modern Minnie statue, and Duffy sitting prettily on a park bench. Stores around the Duffy photo points and the larger Cape Cod area include the fully Duffy-themed Aunt Peg’s Village Store and Cape Cod Confections.

There’s also a nearby dock for the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line that’ll take you back to the Mediterranean Harbor and/or all the way up to the Lost River Delta. Once you’ve crossed the bridge connecting this old Cape Cod area to the modern New York harbor, you’ll find the huge ship that’ll remind you of Titanic. Unfortunately, both times I came here I didn’t enter the boat at all~ Specially catered to the fine dining connoisseurs, there’s the S. S. Columbia Dining Room inside that offers full-course menus as well as the next-door Teddy Roosevelt Lounge for light snacks and alcoholic drinks. There wasn’t enough time to board the ship because of what I’ve been wanting to talk about since the beginning of this post …

In a nutshell: If you want the experience of true terror of the famed freefall ride Tower of Terror, by all means fly all the way to Florida’s Hollywood Studios or to Los Angeles to try the Tower of Terror at California Adventure. I remember all the ticklish feelings in my stomach as we were dropping from the top of the tower and I screamed at the top of my lungs. Plus, while you’re abruptly stopping on the tower’s peak, you get the priceless view of the whole California Adventure park, with the Mickey Mouse ferris wheel and all. It’s one of the most thrilling rides at the park – if not – the best. So I had high expectations going into the DisneySea version here, especially with the fact that we bought a FASTPASS ticket for it and still queued for more than an hour for it.

Yes, there was a deep backstory behind the ride compared to the American version, and you can admire the old European-inspired architecture and the exquisite paintings installed all over the Tower’s lobby. They’re all about the fictional hotelier Harrison Hightower III completing some of the world’s most famous and dangerous expeditions. You also get to see how the Tower of Terror came to be during your queue: Hightower III conquered Africa and stole a mysterious idol statue called Utundu. Its spirit cursed the whole hotel and the hotelier himself, killing him during an elevator ride on Christmas Eve in 1899. Pretty spooky, you might say, although the ride wasn’t all that spooky (but I still screamed anyway).

As I mentioned, we wasted a lot of time queueing for something that wasn’t as scary as it looks. We didn’t get to see any outdoor view, just the menacing laughters of the idol appearing in a giant mirror, and my stomach didn’t even tingle in between the drop shafts. I think it’s because of this whole indoor experience that made it feel as if this Tower wasn’t as tall as the ones in the States, thus making the falls a shorter and less scary experience.

On the bright side, I feel this is the perfect ride for any first-time freefall riders. If you’re quite the adrenaline junkie, I highly recommend Great America’s Giant Drop. It’s one of the most thrilling freefall rides I’ve ever experienced.

Now let’s get on to the fun stuff: Another FASTPASS attraction in the area is the Toy Story Mania!. We didn’t get to ride on the interactive 4D attraction for the same reason as we did with most things that made us short on time – as you know, FASTPASS tickets allows you entry to your ride on a specified time. So yeah, we only took pictures of the surrounding Toy Story-themed area, where you’ll also find merchandises of the Pixar film series at the nearby Slinky Dog’s Gift Trolley.

From there, head straight pass the Broadway Music Theater to find more eateries and shops. If you’re wondering where to find the wildly popular Toy Story alien mochis, the New York Deli‘s where it’s at. That Hamm headwear I’ve been posting on Instagram and pretty much everywhere else on the blog? Get it at Steamboat Mickey, which has every imaginable Disney apparel merchandise you can think of. Also visit its neighbor, McDuck’s Department Store if you haven’t had enough of Duffy.

There’s also a traditional old America-esque railway station if you go to the direction of Tower of Terror from here. The DisneySea Electric Railway will take you straight to our last area of the day here, the Port Discovery.

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Shooting again … and again … and again to get an Instagram-worthy shot

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Port Discovery

FASTPASS attraction(s):

  • StormRider

The Port is the area we spent the least time in, as by the time we’re done exploring the Waterfront, it was already around 9pm!. StormRider was our last FASTPASS for the day, and because of the major disappointment after Tower of Terror, we all felt the airplane simulator ride was quite exciting. It’s an eye-opening experience of a possible future technology that essentially destroys typhoons, though I still think the Magic Lamp Theater was a more fun ride compared to this. Regardless, it’s worth a try before they close down. Starting from May next year, they’ll begin the work to replace StormRider with a Finding Nemo/Dory-themed simulator ride, which will be open for public around the time Finding Dory‘s out in the theaters. So that’s that – another reason for us to come back again~

Since the park closes at 10, we got an experience to ride on the DisneySea Electric Railway back to the American Waterfront, and then head out to the park’s exit. It’s a breezy night, a nice way to end the day wtith amazing views of the waterfront’s horizons as well as the mainland attractions of the park. I remember the last time I was here, we didn’t get to spend our time till this late because we were on tour. Even though there are many more attractions in the park we’re still curious about, and the fact that I haven’t stepped a foot on the neighboring Tokyo Disneyland at all, I still feel we all had a great day nonetheless~


 
 
 

Tokyo DisneySea ディズニーシー


Urayasu
舞浜1-1
Chiba 〒279-0031
+81 570 008 632
www.tokyodisneyresort.jp

Operating hours:

M-S 08:30am – 10:00pm

Nearest JR station(s):

  • Maihama 舞浜駅

 
 

Next up: Day 6 of 7 | Hitachinaka: Summertime at Hitachi Seaside Park~

 
 

Have you been to Tokyo DisneySea? If so, which ride was your favorite?

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

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