Tokyo Disneyland - Day 1

Associated parks:
Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan

Saturday, January 29, 2011 5:29 AM

Weather: 42.8° Fahrenheit / 6.00° Celsius
Park Hours: 9am - 10pm
Time on park: 9.30am - 6pm

I'm tired, so thought I'd do this before I head off to bed. Today was my first day at Tokyo Disneyland, I wanted to go - but did wonder if it would be worth sacrificing my time in Tokyo, having never visited before.

That said, I ended up heading out there and getting a four day pass so I can head there for another full day and for parts of another two days while I'm over here.

Getting to the park by train from Tokyo CBD is pretty easy and inexpensive - just a word of warning though, if you're at a train station in Japan, it's not uncommon that the underground platforms are spread over a huge distance, connected by underground tunnels.

The line that goes to the resort heads out of the main Tokyo station but the platform you require is a good 15 minute walk from the main entrance to the station. English signs indicating where you need to go are extremely limited, so keep an eye out.

After visiting the Paris park, it becomes clear that visiting Magic Kingdom style parks throughout the world isn't very rewarding if you're looking for something different, they still copy their American counterparts almost exactly with minimal differences.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course - Paris has the massively altered Space Mountain, making it the best of the bunch and instead of Jungle Cruise, they have Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, which is pretty lame all things considered.

With the similarities in mind, I didn't bust a gut to get on attractions, I was quite content to wander round and not worry about my ride count too much.

The entrance to the park is similar to Main St USA, but not quite the same. It's called the World Bazaar, but there's nothing 'World' about it, it's all American. Similar to Main St, but without some of the buildings and transport.

In Tokyo, there are a few unique rides that aren't found elsewhere, I've not ridden them all yet, so will save judgement on those for the time being.

Annoyingly, the park doesn't offer a park hopper option. You must buy a 3 or 4 day ticket that gives you the following access;

Day 1 - One park only
Day 2 - The other park
Day 3 - Hop between
Day 4 - Hop between

Essentially, if you're only at the resort for one day and you'd like to check out one or two attractions in each park, you can't - unless you buy an entrance ticket for each park (which would be extremely expensive).

Before arriving, I knew several rides were going to be closed for annual maintenance (Big Thunder, Peter Pan's Flight, Gadget's Go Coaster, Star Jets & Swiss Family Treehouse). Would have been nice to compare Big Thunder to the others but I didn't think it would be a big deal.

Well, I guess I'll never know, but I suspect that the closure of two out of the three coasters in the park didn't help with crowds. Especially when Space Mountain closed for over an hour, meaning all the park's coasters were closed.

Queues for most things tended to be an hour or more. The largest queue I saw was Splash Mountain at 180 minutes (3 hours!). Fast Pass for all attractions were gone by 1.30pm.

On arrival (9.30am) I got a Fast Pass for Space Mountain (to return at 12.30pm (I could get another Fast Pass at 11.30am).

I then hit Pirates which does the whole New Orleans thing really well, wait was round 30mins, which turned out to be the shortest wait of the day. Dialogue was split between English and Japanese. I then headed over to Jungle Cruise which was fun. Our skipper was pretty fun and I'm sure if I had understood a word he was saying, it would have been a much different experience. I found myself guessing what he was going on about!

I then did the Mark Twain River Boat which appeared to be extremely popular with wait times hitting 45 minutes later in the day. It was fun, the rivers were pretty busy with rafts, river boat and canoes all in full swing.

I then grabbed some lunch in Tomorrowland, which looks like Decadeagoland. It was then time to hit up Space Mountain, almost exactly the same Disneyland version. As I arrived it broke down and stayed down for an hour or so. So I decided to head over to Star Tours, it almost feels hidden - the line being around 40 minutes long. I could then grab another Fast Pass, I went for Captain EO. Glad I tried it, never again though, I wanted to gouge my eyes out by the end.

Got on Space Mountain after Star Tours, the influx of an hours worth of Fast Pass holders sent the standby line from 70 mins to 120 mins.

Reading back through what I have written, I feel like I'm hating on the park, but that's not my intention. It's a nice park, I had a good day. I just felt as if I had done most of it before in other places.

When I head back, I need to try and get Fast Passes for the rides I haven't yet hit. (Trying to) talk to people throughout the day, it appears you're lucky if you're able to get two passes throughout the day, running out by lunch time seems to be the norm, even when the park is open until 10pm.

Food isn't expensive, but portions are SMALL. I got counter service each time. There are plenty of outlets available and huge numbers of carts selling popcorn, churros etc. There are a number of restaurants but I haven't tried any of them yet.

The only ride to offer Single Rider is Splash Mountain and it wasn't in use today. This sucked considering logs were going round with seven people in with a 120-150 minute line for much of the day.

Disney Sea tomorrow I think....that's what I am looking forward to. Even though it has rides from other parks, it'd be cool to see a new concept.

Apologies if that doesn't make sense...off to bed!

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