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  • Trip Report Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    Abbreviations















    Summary





    TDL and TDS are amazing parks. The detailed theming and immersion is overwhelming - especially TDS.

    From our experience the TDR parks are for the Japanese. They are as accommodating as possible to the rare westerners like us, but the attendance is predominantly Japanese. On our first day at TDS we saw two other Westerners all day.

    It was apparent to me that the Japanese take their Disney very seriously. They arrive at the gates very early (lines form an hour before park opening), they are FASTPASS experts, they know where they want to go, they are willing to wait in insanely long lines for rides and (more on this later) for flavored popcorn, and they eat up all the Disney theming and characters.




    Planning Resources for TDR



    Tokyo Disney Made Easy, Kevin Yee, Book - Barnes & Noble



    ***********************************
    Overview of TDR
    ***********************************



    The two parks at TDR receive huge attendance. In 2008 TDL was the third most attended theme park in the world, close behind DL and MK. TDS was in fifth place just behind DL Paris and thus the most attended second gate in the world and ahead of sixth place Epcot. From this report http://www.teaconnect.org/etea/TEAERA2008.pdf the top eight are all Disney:

    1. MK 17.1 million
    2. DL 14.7
    3. TDL 14.3
    4. DLP 12.7
    5. TDS 12.5
    6. Epcot 10.9
    7. DHS 9.6
    8. AK 9.5
    13. DCA 5.6

    I am not a DCA basher but I am a DCA realist, and thus I have to throw in that while I was at TDR it occurred to me more than once that TDS as a second gate compared to DCA is laughable. DCA looks like a cheap, pathetic park next to TDS. I have been to DLR many times, WDW twice and DLR Paris once. When DLR starts looking ahead to adding a third gate they should look to TDS. Building a TDS in Anaheim would be huge.





    TDR sells entrance tickets of one to four days. If you buy 2+ day tickets you must declare at time of purchase which park you will visit on day 1, and then day 2 must be the opposite park. On days 3 and 4 you can park hop and do not need to pre-declare parks. The tickets must be used on consecutive days. There is no taking off days in between.

    There is no official Disney transportation from the two local airports Narita and Haneda. There is bus and train service to TDR. We flew into Narita and, because our flight was delayed into Tokyo, missed the last bus to TDR. So we had to shell out $200 to take a taxi to TDR because I did not want to risk the Tokyo train system with all of our luggage. We got back to the airport on a bus for about $25 each.

    Kevin Yee goes into all the details of hotels, tickets and transportation.

    See next post for Day 1

  • #2
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    ***********************************

    ***********************************



    It turns out Monday was a holiday in Japan and was expected to draw huge crowds. From advice I received on online forums, TDS seems to handle large crowds better than TDL and since we expected Monday to be the most crowded of our three days we decided to TDS on Monday and TDL Tuesday when the crowds were expected to be less.

    We were advised to arrive 45 minutes early to TDS, and since I was not sure how long the bus to the monorail station and monorail ride would take, we left early and ended up arriving 65 minutes before TDS opening time of 8:30AM.

    The weather was cloudy in the morning with the sun breaking through at about 10AM. The morning was about 50 degrees and the high got up to about 60.



    Most of the rides at Tokyo DisneySea are not found at other Disney parks. The only ones I can think of are Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones and Turtle Talk with Crush.

    Entrance Plaza of Tokyo DisneySea


    Visitors Enter Under MiraCosta hotel to Tokyo DisneySea


    Without giving you a rundown of the whole day, let me describe some highlights:





    Both of the above were on Mysterious Island which has an inside that reminded of the Waterworld movie.

    Inside Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea



    o After 20,000 Leagues we grabbed a FP at 9:10AM for Tower of Terror but there were so many people that the return window was 3:50PM already. We moved on.

    o Storm Rider is worth at least one ride and is a motion simulator closer to Soarin Over California than Star Tours but kind of in between. It simulates a flight into a hurricane. I cannot ride ST as it makes me ill, but Storm Rider gave me no problems.

    o We used the Single Rider line to ride Indiana Jones. By 10AM the standby line was already 2 hours long. Indy at TDS is very close to the Indy ride at DL, but is based on the Crystal Skull movie. Hence it takes place in Latin America. It has a few different effects including our favorite when the angry god blows a smoke hole at you. It is also amusing hearing the Japanese CMs trying to play along with the Latin American theme by speaking Spanish greetings to you. We later rode Indy twice more also through single rider.

    The Japanese tolerate way longer lines than Americans. It was not uncommon to see 2 and even 3 hour lines at TDR. The Japanese are very respectful of line waiting and we never saw anyone taking cuts. Lines were orderly and patient.

    Temple at Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull Ride at Tokyo DisneySea (DS13 and Me)



    o The Arabian Coast area was probably my favorite place in all of TDS. The architectural detail was awesome.

    Arabian Coast at Tokyo DisneySea is Very Detailed




    Video of Arabian Coast at Tokyo DisneySea
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYoYmOvkZTE"]YouTube - Arabian Coast.MOV[/ame]



    o The Tower of Terror ride is quite different from DLR and WDW. It is based on the Shiriki Utundu idol and adventurer Lord Hightower. The pre-show has an illusion of the idol that we still have not figured out. We rode ToT once on Day 1 and again on Day 3. We used FP for this ride as it appears to be the most popular at all of TDS. Nowhere will you see the Twilight Zone here.

    Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea



    o DS13 wanted to skip the Mermaid Lagoon Theater as it sounded so boring. But Kevin Yee said it was not to be missed and so we went. It was really good. It is somewhat like Voyage of the Little Mermaid at DHS but has aerial acrobatics and is much better than VLM.



    Raging Spirits Rollercoaster at Tokyo DisneySea




    o The Fortress on Mysterious Island is sort of like a detailed Swiss Family Treehouse and it is fun to explore all the corners. You can find a moving solar system mockup and a two or three story pendulum. It also offers great views of the Mediterranean Harbor and we watched Mythica and Harborside Christmas shows from the heights of the Fortress.

    o The Mythica show in the Mediterranean Harbor Lagoon was spectacular.

    Video of Cannon Fire on Tokyo DisneySea Fortress Fired by DS13
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-af-Z_66Tho"]YouTube - Cannon Fire On Med Harbor.MOV[/ame]

    Cannons on Tokyo DisneySea Fortress Fired by DS13


    Fortress at Tokyo DisneySea


    A Mythica Water Float at Tokyo DisneySea as Seen from the Fortress


    Volcano and Fortress at Tokyo DisneySea


    We came across Mermaid Lagoon while searching for the Mermaid Lagoon Theater. At first I was impressed with the color but misunderstood the underground location. On my second visit there I grasped that Mermaid Lagoon themes being underwater. The colors are amazing and I could not get any good pictures because of the underground lighting. But a video I took gives and idea of what it is like:

    Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrXUnh3Uu0s"]YouTube - Mermaid Lagoon.MOV[/ame]

    Mermaid Lagoon Entrance at Tokyo DisneySea


    Like all Disney parks TDS has street entertainment. We came across this show about weathermen in Port Discovery. I made a video to remember the enthusiasm of the CMs, audience response and Japanese language.

    Street Comedy Weathermen at Tokyo DisneySea
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oLCNeU3B0g"]YouTube - Weather Men Comedy.MOV[/ame]

    We ate a big breakfast at the hotel and snacked throughout the day and then ate an early dinner at a table service place called Ristorante di Canaletto. We had to wait about 45 minutes for a table. The food was decent but not great. The Italian restaurant was right on the canal in Mediterranean Harbor and the Venetian Gondolas came by frequently. We had a waterside table and the CMs on the gondolas encouraged the riders to shout hello to us while we ate. The first few times it was fun but after the tenth time it got a bit annoying.




    Language was not a huge issue and CMs tried to help, but overall the English language is not well supported at TDR. The CMs know enough in context of their ride or restaurant to help you. But we rarely ran into a fluent English speaker. Fortunately all the parks and rides had signage that was in English as well as Japanese.



    Hidden Mickey on path between Mysterious Island and Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea





    We stayed at TDS until after the 8:30 Christmas Fantasy fireworks and then headed back to the hotel at about 9PM.

    For some of the more popular shows TDR uses a lottery system. You insert your park tickets sometime before the show and choose the show you would like to see. Then you are randomly offered or denied tickets. We tried to get tickets for the Christmas Big Band Beat but were not one of the lucky ones.

    The crowds at TDS were not very bothersome. The longest wait we had all day was 25 minutes for Aquatopia in the evening. We used about five FP sets and utilized single rider lines for Indy and Raging Spirits. There were many 90+ minute lines and some over two hours (Tower of Terror).

    See next post for Day 2
    Last edited by HydroGuy; 12-11-2009, 06:14 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

      ***********************************
      Day 2 – Tokyo Disneyland
      ***********************************

      This was on Tuesday after the holiday weekend which ended Monday and we expected to have much shorter lines. But the lines were insane.

      We arrived at the gates about 45 minutes before the 8:30AM opening and were about 30 people back in line. TDL is right across a plaza from the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel.

      Tokyo Disneyland Hotel with monorail in foreground


      As mentioned earlier, it is commonly accepted that everyone runs into TDL and TDS in the morning. This video was taken while we were still outside the turnstiles about one minute after park opening and shows the mad rush into TDL. Everyone runs – small children, older men and women, and girls in heels.

      Visitors Running into Tokyo Disneyland
      [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fF7GUxtnUw"]YouTube - Running Into TDL.MOV[/ame]

      The weather was sunny in the morning with partial clouds throughout the day. The morning was about 50 degrees and the high got up to about 60. It rained lightly in the evening.

      TDL does not follow the dual tunnel entrance model like DL and MK. Instead visitors are funneled into World Bazaar which is a covered version of Main Street.

      Entrance to Tokyo Disneyland


      Without giving you a rundown of the whole day, let me describe some highlights:

      o The newest ride at TDL is Monsters Inc opened in April. I have never seen anything like the lines at MI. I have been to AK shortly after EE opened and experienced the lines for standby and FP there. I was at DHS on the day TSM (Toy Story Mania) opened and experienced FP and standby there. I was at DL about two weeks after Finding Nemo Sub Voyage opened. The closest thing I have seen to MI at TDL was FNSV at DL in June 2007. Sheer insanity.

      We got in line for FP just a couple minutes after the park opened. The picture I took of the FP line does not give the whole story but it is shown below. Ten minutes after park opening we got our FP with a window of 11:40AM-12:40PM. By this time the standby line was 120 minutes long. By 10:30AM the FPs were gone for the day.

      FP line at Monsters Inc ride at Tokyo Disneyland five minutes after park opening.

      FP Return window and standby line about seven minutes after park opening


      We rode MI at about 1:30 and the standby line was listed as 3 hours long. The ride was a huge let down. It is at best a D-ticket ride but closer to a C-ticket. It was not like the MI ride at DCA. At TDL it is a dark ride (literally – each rider is given a flashlight). It is really not any better than MI at DCA and not worth a wait of more than 20 minutes.

      Video of MI FP machine with its laugh meter where one can hear the audio
      [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd3iC6Y0pgE"]YouTube - MI FP.MOV[/ame]

      o For me Space Mtn at TDL was literally like going back in time - specifically to Space Mtn at DL prior to 2003. The TDL Space Mtn is a virtual carbon copy of DL’s original Space Mtn. It really made the updated DL ride look even better. IMHO the Space Mtns rank as follows – 1. DL (easily the best), 2. TDL, 3. MK, 4. DLP

      o We got our second FP set of the day for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and used them in the evening. This ride has all the appearances of the Pooh rides at DL and MK, but that is an illusion. This ride is a real treat. It has a unique ride system without tracks that is hard to describe. It is very immersive and fun. We wished we had a chance to ride it again but standby lines were 70 minutes in the evening.

      o I am not a big fan of spinning rides but have always tolerated the Tea Cups at DL and MK pretty well. About 10 seconds into this ride I immediately noticed something was different. DS13 and I both agreed that the Cups spun more quickly at TDL. Whether that is in fact true, I started to feel sick right away. So we took it easy on the spinning and I was glad to get off.

      o TDL does a holiday makeover to HM like DL. The ride itself is obviously closer to HM at MK than DL. I do not care for HMH at DL and did not care for this one that much either. But it was fun to see the TDL version of HM.

      Haunted Mansion Holiday at Tokyo Disneyland


      o POTC at TDL is very good. It is much closer to DL’s POTC than either DLP or MK. POTC at TDL has had a makeover like DL’s and hence Jack Sparrow is a prominent figure. The Davey Jones projection is also there. IMHO the POTCs rank as follows – 1. DL, 2. tie between TDL and DLP (they are different from each other but good in their own way), 4. MK

      Video of beginning of POTC ride at Tokyo DisneySea has audio of talking skeleton in Japanese
      [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL9UcGbgP9g"]YouTube - POTC Entrance.MOV[/ame]

      o Tiki Room and Country Bear Jamboree in Japanese were both a hoot. The Tiki Room features Stitch and is quite different than the American version and all in Japanese. I liked it – at least what I could understand. The Country Bear Jamboree Christmas version was a mixture of singing bears in Japanese and English.

      o BTMRR was down for refurb that day. So we missed BTMRR.

      o We got a good spot in the hub to watch the Dream Lights parade. While DS13 held our spot I grabbed a couple burgers and some fries at Tomorrowland Terrace and we ate in our parade spot in the hub. This parade is like the EP at DLR and Spectromagic at MK. But better. It has updated floats and characters, and is presented in a mixture of Japanese and English.

      o Small World is similar to the MK/DL/DLP versions and presented in a mixture of English and Japanese, plus the other world languages you would expect.

      o Splash Mtn had two hour lines mid-day and so we grabbed some FPs with a window of 9PM. Splash has a different feel than MK or DL and the Japanese language does detract here from the story set in the American South. The ceilings are lower and it feels more crowded. The drop at the end seemed much shorter than the DL or MK drops. The FPs were helpful but not overly so as the 2+ hour lines earlier in the day were down to 20 minutes by 9PM when we used our FPs.

      o Some things are universal and long lines for Peter Pan is one of them. We rode it near closing with a 15 minute line. But mid-day lines were over 60 minutes. I can no longer remember the differences in PP between DL, MK, DLP and now TDL. They all seem very similar to me.

      o We tried to get tickets through the lottery system for the One Man’s Dream show at TDL but were denied.

      In the afternoon we shopped on World Bazaar and watched Christmas Music by street performers.

      World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland




      The TDL castle is more Gothic than the fairy tale castles at DL, MK and DLP. DLP’s castle is still my favorite.

      Castle at Tokyo Disneyland




      Sea Monster topiary in hub at Tokyo Disneyland


      View from castle towards entrance at World Bazaar across hub


      The Japanese are serious about their popcorn. Flavored popcorn stands are found everywhere, as are very long lines at the popcorn stands. The Japanese bring their souvenir Disney popcorn buckets with them. It was not unusual to see 50 people lined up at the popcorn stands and sometimes as many as 100. Can you imagine waiting for popcorn or ice cream at DLR or WDW in a line of 50-100 people? The Japanese do it all day and everywhere at the parks.

      This popcorn line (not at a cart here) still sports a line that starts at the left and circles around the railing and back beyond the trees! About 50-60 people!


      By mid-afternoon we were discouraged by the long lines at TDL and decided to go back to the hotel and nap then return to use our FPs and see the evening parade. We came back into TDL at about 6:30PM.

      See next post for Day 3
      Last edited by HydroGuy; 12-11-2009, 06:17 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

        ***********************************

        ***********************************

        We had a bus to the airport at 1:15PM on Wednesday and so only had 3 1/2 hours available this morning as the parks opened at 9AM. At one point we considered spending Wednesday at TDL because of the long lines from Tuesday, but we got in several rides late Tuesday night and decided to spend the last half day at TDS.

        It was raining as we left our hotel and was raining when we got in line at TDS. We got a spot in line outside the turnstiles that was covered. So we were able to put our rain ponchos away. As we got into the park at 9AM the rain was very light and we did not need ponchos anymore.

        Lines were much shorter today. The ToT lines which were two hours on Monday were today at 40 minutes.

        o We did ToT to see if we could figure out the Shikiri Utundu illusion but could not

        o We rode Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues through standby again which meant three total rides on each one

        o We rode Indy twice more for a total of five rides

        o We rode Sinbad for the second time (first time was on Monday)

        o Before leaving we had a big lunch at Sail Day Buffet at the American Waterfront

        See next post for Overall Observations

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

          ***********************************
          Overall Observations
          ***********************************

          o English language was limited at the Sunroute Plaza hotel, the parks, and basically everywhere we went at TDR. However, the signage, maps and menus in English were sufficient to understand what was happening and allow us to have an enjoyable time



          o Christmas season was everywhere which was installed in early November. Christmas music in English was played constantly over our three days. There were Christmas trees, parades, and live and recorded music.

          o FP works almost exactly the same as DLR and WDW. One hour return windows start the day 40 minutes out. Minimum 40 minutes and maximum 120 minutes to second FP set. Late FPs accepted with no problem. The one difference I saw was that FP users were given higher preference than standby. Basically if you had a FP you were immediately merged into the standby line without waiting. It was like a true front of line pass.

          o The Japanese must have a thing for the Chip and Dale characters as they were prominent in the shows and parades

          o The Japanese arrive to the parks very early and lines at turnstiles before park opening are much longer than at DLR or WDW

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

            As far as merchandise goes, did you try Bon Voyage?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

              Originally posted by HydroGuy View Post
              ***********************************
              Overall Observations
              ***********************************



              o The Japanese must have a thing for the Chip and Dale characters as they were prominent in the shows and parades

              o The Japanese arrive to the parks very early and lines at turnstiles before park opening are much longer than at DLR or WDW
              Nice report, HydroGuy. I'm sorry you couldn't find the merchandise you were looking for. It's true that souvenir T-shirts are less interesting to this market, and the merchandising really caters to the Resort's overwhelmingly Japanese audience. For me, this is great, as I love cell phone straps, excessively high-quality expensive trinkets and those cute "Christmas bears.":lol: I can imagine your frustration, though. The apparel at TDR is known by design, versus being printed all over with park logos. Most of the time, I find this tasteful and enjoy it. I can imagine, though, that coming from overseas, sometimes you just want the logo-printed "I-went-to-TDR-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy" T-shirt.

              Chip and Dale are really popular, and have especially been prominently featured in the TDS Candlelight Reflections design. I don't know if the Japanese enjoy them more than other places, though... Aren't they popular everywhere? They're part of the "base family," just after the Mice, the Duck(s), and the Dogs, no? Poor Daisy, though...she often gets left out. It's weird, too, because as far as I can tell, she is very popular with fans.

              Yes...the Japanese and lines...part of why I haven't left for TDS yet today. I figure if I'm not already there, I might as well not rush. I'll just be standing in lines all day.^^

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                Hydroguy, this is one fabulous trip report you have written so far, and I agree with you on the pros and cons in every respect. i am also glad you found kevin's book usedful since some of us long term TDR visitors did offer kevin some assistance in compilling info for the book, so I am happy to hear it was helpful.
                I think you pretty much touched on the aspects that I believe make TDR one of the best Disney park experiences out there.

                Couple of things I must note:
                - The merchandise issue.. Most of the stuff sold at TDR are souvenirs that appeal to the japanese's every day use, omiyage, or are seasonal merchandise reflecting what goes on at the parks, which is more geared to the local fan base that goes there repeatedly. The japanese are not much into going around with tees that advertize parks and such like we do in the USA. they are more into trendy clothing. Still, that is not to say that you couldn't find "disney style" tees. the store next to Toy Shoppe, Disney Clothiers, in World bazaar do sell the type of tees that you were looking for... Not long ago, I bought the basic mickey tee with "Tokyo Disney Resort' below him. Did you not go in there? As of my last visit two weeks ago, they still had them. I will go back in a few days and will check again. Also be reminded that japanese sizes are smaller than USA. A medium in the USA is comparable to a Large in Japan, etc etc

                -mosters inc ride. I have not been on the one in DCA, so I can not compare the quality. I agree with you that this ride is a very good C or D ticket. however, compared to that horrible MILF at the MK park, this is 10 times better, so to me, that (and the better theming of the ride overall and queue, is the redeaming quality here.
                I also agree on your ranking of POTC on all the parks. note how the MK comes last almost everytime,,, reason why I rant about that park's quality. The reason why the FP lines at monsters are outreageous is because everyone knows it's the newest thing there, and word of mouth is.. that the ride is not worth waiting for too long.. hence, FP chaos in the morning.

                -The sunRoute Hotel.. hmmm, never stayed there because it is a japanese hotel. Maybe you should stay at the Hilton or Sheraton next time you visit since their staff is more english knowledgeable.

                First up.. I feel the need to apologize for the lotto system, which i have criticized before and find to be unfair. I feel awful that you missed both the Xmas version of big band beat, which is an excellent show, and TDL's premiere salute to walt, One man's Dream 2. That bugs me terribly.

                Finally, now that youo have been to TDR.. and seen the level of quality that Imagineering is able to create at TDS... it will become the standard that you will measure the other parks' themed quality by, i am very happy you enjoyed your visit, and I feel vindicated because for many years, i have been praising the same level of quality, operation, cleanliness etc etc that is so unique and exceptional at TDR as a whole. thanks for posting and for the cool videos.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                  Originally posted by ICe101 View Post
                  As far as merchandise goes, did you try Bon Voyage?
                  No, I do not think so, and I just looked at a TDS map and could not find it there. Where is it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
                    Hydroguy, this is one fabulous trip report you have written so far, and I agree with you on the pros and cons in every respect. i am also glad you found kevin's book usedful since some of us long term TDR visitors did offer kevin some assistance in compilling info for the book, so I am happy to hear it was helpful.
                    Thanks for the comment and I figured Kevin must have had some help from folks like you.

                    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
                    Couple of things I must note:
                    - The merchandise issue.. Most of the stuff sold at TDR are souvenirs that appeal to the japanese's every day use, omiyage, or are seasonal merchandise reflecting what goes on at the parks, which is more geared to the local fan base that goes there repeatedly. The japanese are not much into going around with tees that advertize parks and such like we do in the USA. they are more into trendy clothing. Still, that is not to say that you couldn't find "disney style" tees. the store next to Toy Shoppe, Disney Clothiers, in World bazaar do sell the type of tees that you were looking for... Not long ago, I bought the basic mickey tee with "Tokyo Disney Resort' below him. Did you not go in there?
                    I had the same idea as you and did look pretty thoroughly in the Clothiers store. And the all the store on WB. All I remember seeing was some "Tokyo Disney Resort" hoodie-type offerings but did not see any tee shirts. Must have missed them. I was doubtful I could find a fit though as I am broad shouldered at 6 ft tall and need XL in the USA to fit my chest. At DLP I did find tees but the largest sizes they had all were too small for me after the first wash ).

                    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
                    -The sunRoute Hotel.. hmmm, never stayed there because it is a japanese hotel. Maybe you should stay at the Hilton or Sheraton next time you visit since their staff is more english knowledgeable.
                    I would have preferred the Hilton or Sheraton but by the time my China trip dates firmed up I was four weeks out and there were no rooms left at these hotels. The SR was the only official hotel with rooms and so I took it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                      Hey Hydroguy excellent trip report, you really captured the spirit of tokyo disney in your pictures and commentary. It makes me miss all the glory of TDR. I hope you and your son had a blast. As a side note what did you think of Poohs hunny hunt??
                      I am also sorry to hear you got screwed with the lottery system, this really concerns me that vacation visitors will get left out and they have no standby option.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                        Originally posted by HydroGuy View Post
                        No, I do not think so, and I just looked at a TDS map and could not find it there. Where is it?
                        Bon Voyage is the giant suitcase-themed shop located outside the parks along the promenade going towards Tokyo Disneyland.

                        Glad to hear you had a great time at the parks.

                        last time i buy crystal ball from pic n save!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                          Originally posted by lighttragic View Post
                          Hey Hydroguy excellent trip report, you really captured the spirit of tokyo disney in your pictures and commentary. It makes me miss all the glory of TDR. I hope you and your son had a blast. As a side note what did you think of Poohs hunny hunt??
                          DS13 was skeptical of PHH as he thought it would be like the Pooh ride at DL and MK. But we both really enjoyed it. Definitely a highlight.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                            Great TR.

                            I love all of your TDS photos! How gorgeous *faints*

                            Love those little details like that cannon. I must of spent an hour or two just hanging around that Fortress.

                            But TDL... a diferent story:

                            I hate the HUGE courtyard area after the World Bazaar... it's just so awkward. Your pic makes my point obvious.

                            World Bazaar is the worst Main Street. I can't get into that turn of the century vibe like I do at the others.

                            Is flavored popcorn good? It sounds... odd. I never tried it.

                            Do families primarily go to TDR? I didn't notice many on my trip there, and I especially can't imagine a family waiting in an hour or longer line over and over again. Plus, the FPs are taken so seriously that it ruins the chances of getting on those new rides. This is my biggest complaint.

                            one hundred and one

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                              Originally posted by HydroGuy View Post
                              DS13 was skeptical of PHH as he thought it would be like the Pooh ride at DL and MK. But we both really enjoyed it. Definitely a highlight.
                              tHE pooh's in america are just that Poo. The Hunny Hunt in TDL is just so much fun you want to experience it many times. I believe every time i had magic morning I did that first... so I went out 4 times on my trip. again great job with the TR.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                                Awesome trip report! Thank you so much for sharing. Just one question to you TDR regularsoes the "Partners" statue at TDL have an inscription and if it does what does it say? Is it the same as the one at MK?
                                Out of the NIGHT....
                                When the full moon is BRIGHT!!
                                Comes a horseman known as ZORRO!!!
                                ---------------------------------------

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                                  Great job with your report! We almost ran into each other, it appears - but we did Sea on Tuesday instead.....I think DisneyLand was just crowded the whole week!

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                                    Wow this is a great report! I loved the commentary and photos. I wish more reports were like yours!

                                    And since you seem to have frequented all the disney theme parks, how do they rank in your humble opinion?


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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                                      Originally posted by rkj1969 View Post
                                      Great job with your report! We almost ran into each other, it appears - but we did Sea on Tuesday instead.....I think DisneyLand was just crowded the whole week!
                                      TDS was much less crowded on Wednesday than Monday, and I wondered what happened at TDL. Did it stay reaaly crowded all week?

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

                                        Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
                                        Wow this is a great report! I loved the commentary and photos. I wish more reports were like yours!

                                        And since you seem to have frequented all the disney theme parks, how do they rank in your humble opinion?
                                        That is a hard one. TDS and TDL are great parks, but because they are rightly focused on serving their Japanese market it lessens the appeal for westerners, IMO. I mean, I would rather hear Tiki Room and Splash Mtn in English than Japanese because that is my first language. So for obvious reasons TDL and TDS did not connect culturally with me personally as well as the other parks. It does not detract from the beauty of the parks though.

                                        Out of all DLR, WDW, DLRP and TDR the only park I just plain did not like was DLRP's second gate Walt Disney Studios. It has zero personality. Other than that I like all the other parks at the resorts for different reasons.

                                        Rather than ranking the parks and resorts, it is easier for me to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each one. So let me take that approach:


                                        DLR

                                        DL is my home park, the original and IMO the gold standard for all other parks. I am not sure if it is my favorite because I have been visiting my whole life, or because it is truly the best. I suspect it is a bit of both. DL has the highest concentration of rides of any Disney park and the most headliners. It has some fabulous shows. And it has so much personality.

                                        DCA is not terrible IMO. But it is not great either. I am glad it is there, and the California theme works for me.

                                        I like the weather at DLR, especially in the summer.

                                        The proximity of the parks, hotels and DTD makes DLR something you can experience entirely on foot. If you have 3-4 days then DLR is the best of all the resorts.

                                        DLR is weak on food, maybe the weakest of all four resorts.

                                        WDW

                                        WDW is the gold standard for a vacation resort. With four quality theme parks, two water parks, and all those hotels, etc., etc., it is the best of all Disney resorts to go on vacation. It is the most immersive. You need at least 5-6 days to experience WDW but 7+ days is better. It has the most food offerings and themed dining experiences.

                                        IMO MK itself is not as good as DL or TDL. DLP is definitely more beautiful than MK, but DLP's rides are a bit weak. Not sure if I would put MK or DLP at the bottom of the Magic Kingdom type parks.

                                        WDW has terrible weather in the summer and a lot of rain year round.

                                        WDW's strength is not any individual park but the aggregate of the resort.


                                        DLRP

                                        Now that I write this I would have to rank DLRP as the lowest of the four resorts. WDS is by far the weakest second gate, and DLP itself is either the weakest first gate or close to it. But the strange thing is I really have an affinity for DLP. Their castle is my favorite. Their Fantasyland is incredible and better than FL in all the other parks. Their Tarzan show they had running in 2007 was my favorite Disney stage show I have ever seen. And the tune from their Once Upon a Dream parade still rings in my head.

                                        On the downside, I think DLRP has limitations with the local community on when they can do fireworks. So their night time entertainment looks weakest of all the resorts. Their northern latitude means lots of daylight in the summer and when I visited in June they closed at 9PM which meant their Candleabration was not very good because it was still daylight. I suspect it would be better at other times of the year.

                                        They do a good job of mixing French and English languages. It is my understanding that 40% of DLRP visitors are French, 20-25% British and most of the rest European (Spanish, Italian and German mostly). So it is not a "locals resort" like TDR is. It appeals more to a broader audience.

                                        If you stay at one of the Disney hotels (I believe there are six) you can do DLRP entirely on foot like DLR.

                                        DLRP can be experienced fairly well in 2 or 2 1/2 days.


                                        TDR

                                        TDR has two very strong parks. TDL would probably rank as the second best first gate after DL, and TDS may be the best second gate. It is certainly much better than DCA at DLR and WDS at DLRP. Is it better than each of the other three WDW parks? I can't say. If it is not better then it is very close.

                                        TDR is immaculately maintained, and detailed theming oozes out of every part of these parks.

                                        I suspect TDR and especially TDL would have appealed to me a little more if it was not so crowded when we were there.

                                        TDR is definitely a "locals resort" and hence the thrust of their effort is to appeal to their main audience, the Japanese. That lessens its appeal to me and maybe the other occasional westerners. Because of the predominant Japanese language it was harder for me to connect with TDR.

                                        The Japanese workers at TDR and park visitors were unfailingly polite and positive.

                                        Like DLR, TDR needs about 3-4 days to get a solid experience.
                                        Last edited by HydroGuy; 12-04-2009, 12:03 PM.

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