Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan
I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to ride Soaring: Fantastic Flight at Tokyo DisneySea when it opened July 23rd, 2019. I liked the merchandise selection, special menu and I knew from experience the merchandise would not last very long there. So, I made plans to go for a long weekend to Tokyo from Montreal to spend a day at the park and one day doing shopping around Akihabara and Nakano Broadway. I spent an whole evening before leaving for Tokyo making a priority seating for Magellan's on the Japanese site by creating a japanese Disney account, which in turn allowed me to log in on the Tokyo Disney application.
I downloaded the most recent Tokyo Disney apk file for Android online and had no issue installing it. I then figured out how to log in and it linked my priority seating too. Perfect! I bought my park ticket online and grabbed the earliest train I could get out of the Ariake Washington Hotel Tokyo Bay. By 06:10, I was sitting in front of the Tokyo DisneySea gate, with maybe 15 people in front of me. More people showed up and there was a lot of people by the time 07:45 rolled around at the Magic 15 turnstile next to me. As soon as 08:00 hit, I was in the park by 08:02 and immediately scanned my park ticket in the fast pass tab of the app after it went through the turnstile. By that time, due to the Magic 15 people, I was down to a 13:20-14:20 Fast Pass for Soaring which I scored. I relaxed a bit and powerwalked toward the ride to see the situation. The line was getting longer and longer by the second and was already over 2 hours long at that point I estimated as they could not update the wait times fast enough. Fast passes were for 16:20 even if it was not 08:10 yet.
I had a great walk-on ride on Journey to the Center of the Earth by the time I got there. They had just opened the standby queue. Journey to the Center of the Earth is the evolution of the Disney slot car ride system first seen on Test Track at Epcot. In this case, you sit in three rows of two and a lap bar is used to restrain rides instead of seat belts. The dark ride portion is incredible and the ending is a high speed helix up the volcano before dropping 50-60 feet straight down. The airtime is amazing on the drop and you truly feel yourself floating.
I walked back toward Soaring and it was 08:25 at this point, where it posted a 230 minutes wait with no fast passes left.
I then took the day in a quite relaxing way, since I had been to the park plenty of times before and my priorities were Soaring, the merchandise and the food. I scored fast passes for Indiana Jones Adventure, Tower of Terror, Journey to the Center of the Earth and used Single Rider queues at Indiana Jones Adventure and Raging Spirits.
Tower of Terror in Tokyo has a different story line and look. The plot here is that Mr. Hightower stole a statue from Africa and he disrespected the statue during a press conference at his New York hotel. He then disappeared and only the Statue was found... The ride mechanically is the same as the California/Paris Tower of Terror with a much milder drop profile consisting of only three drops. You also can't really float since a three point seat belt is used, but the added cushion you sit on makes it more comfortable. The queue is breathtaking and the pre-show quite... surprising.
Raging Spirits is a Sansei manufactured near clone of the Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril at Disneyland Paris. That one was built and designed by Intamin based on the first Pinfari looping coaster, the rare TL-59 layout. Sansei did improve the engineering of the layout and even if its now 14 years old, its still smooth and fun. Great fire and fog effects too.
Indiana Jones Adventure is a different take on the one in California in Tokyo. As Journey has the fire, they went to calmer colors and substituted the fire effects in the main room with a tornado, heavy thick fog and lighting. As the ride gets regular month long refurbishments each year, the ride is in perfect shape.
The annual refurbishments really make a difference here as each ride and show look like it just had its grand opening. Everything is working and they do upgrades too. On the other hand, planning a trip outside of Golden Week (first week of May when the country is on vacation for a week) means scheduling around annual rehabs. During my visit, the amazing Sindbad dark ride and the Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster were closed for their annual closures.
I had my favorite snacks before moving to the Soaring menu:
Spiced Smoked Chicken Leg from the Lost River Cookhouse near Raging Spirits. My favorite chicken thing in the world. Asian Pear Crushed Ice served at Tropic Al near Mermaid Lagoon in Lost River Delta, absolutely amazing. From the Soaring: Fantastic Flight menu, a pineapple churros and Tapioca Litchee drink, AMAZING and I kept the plastic glass after!
I rode Soaring Fantastic Flight with my fast pass and it was... incredible. The Fast Pass queue for once has most of the story elements through the paintings seen in the standby. They added them to the fast pass entrance as well, so you can figure what the idea of the Museum of Fantastic Flight is about. The main rotunda is incredible and jawdropping in its beauty. The music, the paintings, props, etc. everything comes together for what I think is the most beautiful queue in the world. After the rotunda, you reach the first pre-show room, where, without going into spoilers, Tokyo DisneySea reinvents the book on how to make a preshow and get people inspired. The security preshow is the safety video and again, its clearly hidden how they do it.
Now, for the main show: I am not a fan of either Soarin' ride movies as it doesn't hold my interest due to poor format and editing, especially for the Around the World version. The ride vehicles also do very little. Here though: they managed to impress me. They themed the ride chamber as the balcony of the museum at night where we're about to take a flight using our imagination aboard the Dream Flyer. The Dream Flyers are all elaborately themed and the chamber with its marble fence felt luxurious and authentic. For the movie itself, I'll say that the Tokyo specific stuff raise this above any other versions around the world.
I was extremely impressed with the ride and I prefered it to Flight of Passage. The architecture of the building is fantastic too, since it looks like the museum in the lower portion... and an italian village in the top part, making it appear from far like an extension of Hotel Miracosta.
I then had dinner at Magellan's later after I grabbed the ride Popcorn Bucket. Magellan's is the park premium restaurant, located in the fortress near the volcano. It is high end gourmet food with small portions and very premium ingredients.
Magellan's had a special Soaring: Fantastic Flight Menu:
- The first course, chopped chicken with mustard and a seafood Bisque, with nice pieces of shrimp, clam and a scallop.
- Fried flounder dish.
- Bread Service.
- Kuroge Beef (Japanese A5 beef, equivalent to real Kobe or Matsusaka beef) with a roasted potato and eagle shaped fried piece on top.
- Dessert, with the orange-yuzu sherbet and vanilla tart. A cloud is made of cotton candy.
For my drink, I went with the signature non-alcoholic drink of the restaurant. Tasted like a nice pineapple juice and I finished with an iced lemon tea.
It was probably among the top 3 best meal I ever had. The beef was incredible, as good as the Matsusaka Beef I had a few years back. The portion was just right as real A5 beef is incredibly rich and any more would make you full. Every dish had layers of flavors and everything was presented in an imaginative way. Love the Cup and Saucer for Soaring? Its the only way you can buy it, along with the souvenir glass. What's great is that unlike other parks, they never serve you directly in souvenir dishes or glasses. They either serve you in a generic one, put a cover on it or in this case, give you new ones in nice boxes that protect them. The meal was expensive, but worth it!
I also hit the souvenir shop where I score many things. I love the T-shirt, which I got in their largest size, LL (a small XL-Large L in the US). I also got some plushes, a mat to sit on, file folders, collectible toys and other things.
Beside that, I had a few good character encounters, including this beyond rare one: Jiminy Crickett and I also met Goofy in his Port Discovery crazy doctor outfit.
Nice trip report. Made me want to visit Disney Sea and I'm not a "Disney guy." Also, "Asian Pear Crushed Ice" sounds amazing!
tall and fast but not much upside down
Thanks for typing this up. I'll be there in a little over a month when Journey to the Center of the Earth is closed for refurb. :(
Awww that’s a shame 8.3. Having said that, the park is so amazing you won’t feel super upset after going because it’s literally the most immersive park in the world.
Gkad to read this report. I too am not a fan of Soarin’ but this one intrigues me. I love that TDC takes tried and true ride concepts and transports them into something way better than you could imagine based on the originals (Journey/Test Track, ToT/ToT, iasm/Sinbad).
Now I have the Sinbad dong in my head. Which is so much better than small world.
Wait, now I have that in my head. Off to YouTube for Sinbad videos!
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
Now I have the Sinbad dong in my head.
Yeah... Not really selling Disney Tokyo Sea there...
But then again, what do I know?
Now I have the Sinbad dong in my head.
Yeah... Not really selling Disney Tokyo Sea there...
Speak for yourself. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I really, really, really want to do my traditional picture making light of a typo, but this is a family site.
I *did* like the original Soarin, but am not a huge fan of the around-the-world version. Looking forward to this. Tokyo has been on my agenda for a while now. Time to start planning it for real.
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