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Why Tokyo Disneyland is so similar to California's...


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I read comments in the trip photo album on this site that parts of Tokyo Disneyland looked very similar to the one in California. I actually researched the subject of Japanese parks for a paper I wrote in a Japanese culture class that I took in college, and I know the reason why it's so similar. And no, this has nothing to do with cost or laziness.

 

See, when the Japanese visit a park, they want to feel as if they've gone to another country. The japanese love to travel, and when they can't leave the country for whatever reason, they want to simulate the experience as much as possible. In the case of Tokyo Disneyland, they wanted the park to resemble the original disneyland as much as humanly possible, because they wanted their guests to feel like they've actually traveled to Anaheim, CA. This is why so many sections of Disneysea try to simulate the feel of being in another country as much as possible, from what I've seen on the videos and photos anyway.

 

It's the same case for Parque Espana, which seems to simulate a trip to spain, though a somewhat fictionalized version. There are other parks out there too, which recreate nations from Holland all the way to Turkey, and even Canada.

 

Just thought I'd share some knowledge with you on the subject.

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The interesting thing about that (and I do understand the theory behind it) is that there were only a couple parts of Tokyo Disneyland that looked like Disneyland is Anaheim. The Space Mountain area and the "New Orleans" area come to mind. Other than that, the park looks more like Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World than anything else.

 

--Robb

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Well, maybe they wanted to give the thing a Magic kingdom feel as well as a disneyland feel. Anyway, it opened back in the early 1980's and I don't think they've changed it too much since then (Other than adding DisneySea of course), so there's bound to be some descrepancies I guess.

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Having just returned, I would say that Tokyo Disneyland is a lot more like an 80's version of the Magic Kingdom in WDW, and very unspoilt. Obviously there are LOTS of small similarities between Tokyo and ALL the other Disney parks, but I think Tokyo has some very individual and unique characterstics centered mostly on the cultural context - where else would you queue for 30 mins for cappucino popcorn? Or experience being around POLITE and COURTEOUS people in a Disney park who know how to organise themselves, queue properly and watch a parade without standing infront of people?

 

In a way I just hope airfare and hotel prices get more expensive to keep people away from this unspoilt piece of Disney! I remember when WDW used to be like a little like this... but not to Japanese standards.

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