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

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  • mikeland
    replied
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    Great TR indeed! Makes me want to return to visit soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • RocknGuitar
    replied
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    Thank you for the very detailed report, that must have taken much research and time on your part. Great job, and it sounds like you had a blast!

    It's my life-long goal to get to that resort.

    Leave a comment:


  • Olivier
    replied
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    Your Tokyo Disneysea pictures and report are great! Thanks for sharing. I miss that park!

    Leave a comment:


  • BrizMarc
    replied
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

    Great report. I cant wait to get to TDL hopefully late next year.

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Coheteboy
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • rkj1969
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Zorro825
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • lighttragic
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imagineer Scott
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • malice
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • lighttragic
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • TDLFAN
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • DuffyDaisuki
    replied
    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.^^

    Leave a comment:


  • Ice101
    replied
    Re: Photo Heavy TDR Trip Report With DLR/WDW/DLRP Commentary

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

    Leave a comment:


  • HydroGuy
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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