The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Tokyo Disneyland

Rob and I both catch the two train lines that go pass Tokyo Disneyland everyday to and from work. Judging from the demographics of commuters that gets off and on at this particular train station, Disneyland (and the adjacent Disney Sea) is a very popular destination for young and old alike. Frankly, Disneyland holds no appeal to me - the place seems rather juvenile and the cutesy-ness seems overwhelming. However, it suits the kawaii (cute) culture of Japan very well, hence its popularity day in and day out. I've never felt the urge to visit Disneyland but when my friend Kim found out I'd never been there, she suggested we make a day trip there during her visit to Tokyo during the New Year's holiday.

So early Wednesday morning, we, like so many others on the train, got off at Maihama station and spent the day at Disneyland with Kim and her friend. Sure enough, everything at Disneyland was saturated with the cuteness of Disney "magic". However, we appreciated the fact that the attractions were really well done and the rides were well executed. Being a holiday period, it was packed with people, and the lines to the popular attractions and rides were of course very long. We were there from 10am until 8pm and we went on no more than 5 or 6 rides/attractions because of the long wait for each of them. Thanks to Kim's knowledge of Disney rides and attractions from previously working at Florida's Disney World, we went only for the best rides in Disneyland, which were unfortunately the most popular with the longest lines. After it got dark around 5pm, waiting in line for a couple of hours for just one ride was not so pleasant in the 6degC temperature.

Can you see Rob and me in the first photo? The shot on the right was taken whilst waiting in (the long) line to buy the tickets (l-r: Rob, Kim's friend, Kim).

One of Disney's many castles around the world. The one in Tokyo Disneyland is Cinderella's Castle:

A shot of the milling crowd below us while waiting in (the long) line for the Big Thunder Mountain ride

We went to a bakery and a waffle cafe, and most of the food were in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. It's supposed to be cute, but I must admit I felt a certain level of satisfaction dissecting and munching on Mickey Mouse's head by parts..

Baked goods included two Mickey-shaped muffins, a sweet potato pastry, an orange custard bun and a coffee jelly purin (pudding). The waffle was drizzled with berry sauce (tasted suspiciously like jam) and actually looked kinda scary with all the red:

The verdict? Well, it was quite fun, but it was a pretty expensive outing. Entrance tickets for adults cost 5800yen !~AU$60) each. Food and drinks were also quite pricey, and the time lost waiting in line cannot be measured. Great for kids who love anything Disney, not so great for their parents' wallets. At least the weather was great that day, and the company was good (I enjoyed Kim's tales about working behind-the-scenes for Disney World in Florida, the measures taken to ensure that the illusion of the "magic of Disney" was not broken).


  1. express ticket?
    hihi! i'm sorry for not replying ur email! changed computers, bought a house - so a lot happened in the last few months! will email u more abt it sooooon! as for disney land - when we went in 2004, we grabbed express like u can get the tickets eg 2-5hr ahead. so all u have to do then is just turn up, show ur ticket at the time of the ride and go straight in. I'm guessing you guys didn't do that? :( cos we didn't need to wait in line much if not at all. but you did go in peak i duno. we went in November. niwayz...i'm hardly on the comp reading blogs nowadays - so reply to my email :) hehe..take care! luv shona

  2. Re: express ticket?
    Yeah, we did get an express ticket (thankfully Kim knew all the tricks) but they were limited so we only managed to get one for Splash mountain. Even so the wait was still more than half an hour. The others were closer to 2 hours.