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Eric's 2008 Theme Park Adventures Updated 4/5


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TPR Tokyo Trip 2008

 

In September I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the TPR Tokyo trip. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be able to go to Japan. Well dreams can come true. There is nothing I could say that hasn't already been said about Tokyo. It is an amazing, efficient and mind stimulating city!

 

After about 17 hours of traveling, I arrived in Tokyo with a fellow trip participant and new friend, Simon. No sooner after we checked into our hotel, Elissa and Kidtums wisked us off to LaQua at the Tokyo Dome City complex. Being kind of tired from all the traveling made the subway ride trip that much more surreal. It really felt like I was in a dream!

Once at LaQua, I to got to ride a few things like Thunder Dolphin. Since I love hypers, I thought this was a fun ride. This ride's main bonus is the location. The ride at night zipping around and onto of the roof tops in Tokyo was a pretty cool intro to our trip. Rode a few other credits and the parachute drop. Then it was off back to the hotel to crash and rest up for our first full park(s) day.

 

We started our first official day at Nasu Highland. We had ERT on quite a few of the coasters in the morning which was great. Big Boom had a crazy steep drop and the weirdest tire brakes I have ever seen. One of my favorite coasters of the day was the spinning coaster. Dave and I had that car spinning crazy! Rode a few interesting and fun flats. Saw a really weird and long, but funny 4D Pokemon movie.

 

Something I should mention, along with coasters I am a big dark ride/haunted house/walk through fan. Thanks to my good friend Chuck (cfc) he gave me the run down of a lot of really unique Japanese walk through attractions before the trip that helped a lot, so thanks again Chuck - you rock! We rode a few dark rides which were cool. We also did a walk through called Hell Ship which had a few good gags.

 

But one of the main highlights of Nasu Highland was the LEGO attraction. This was a lot more elaborate than most of us thought it would be. Overall Nasu Highland was a nice park and I think everyone enjoyed our time there.

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Our first full park on the trip was Nasu Highland.

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Unfortunately, this was the only photo I took at LaQua that sort of came out. The park was really cool at night!

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After arriving from our long flight, Tokyo at night was really dream like. So many lights!

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After my gazillion hour flight, we arrived at our hotel, The Shinagawa Prince. After checking in, it was off to LaQua. Our hotel had great views of the Tokyo skyline.

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We lucked out all day, the crowds were nonexistent.

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On our way to ERT on 3 of the park's coasters.

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Got to love the RCTish look of how the three coasters intertwine with each other.

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Dave and Simon demonstrate how to ride the coaster.

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Rich looks happy riding the Bat Flyer coaster.

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Other than the sudden and painful end, this was a fun coaster.

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So does Dave, too bad they are both going to get a painful surprise during the brakes at the end of the ride! =p

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Cheryl is all like "no hands!" she is going to wish she braced herself for that sudden stop!

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Nasu had one haunted walk through called Hell Ship which a had a few good gags.

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The centerpiece of the attraction were replicas of different famous Tokyo landmarks and city scenes.

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THe park also had a very cool LEGO attraction.

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The details were really cool.

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We actually spent quite a bit of time in here.

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The LEGO attraction had a cool dinosaur jungle.

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Nasu Cont.

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Cute.

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Ok, maybe kind of creepy!

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Lucky we all made it out alive!

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The "Dark Castle of Japan" had an eerie effect with faces appearing and disappearing out of the darkness which was kind of freaky.

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There was haunted dark ride that wasn't too bad.

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Everyone comes off this ride with a smile including Simon and Julie.

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Kristen is too cute.

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The carousel was elaborate.

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Cheryl, Lauren, Mike and Julie survived the Wild Mouse.

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But not as cute as us! =p

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After leaving Nasu Highland, we did a quick visit to Seibuen home to two credits. The steel coaster, "Loop Screw" was kind of rough. The park did have a nice little Hello Kitty themed section.

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Our first official day on the Tokyo Trip was great! Next up Aqua Stadium! Stay tuned!

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Cute themed kiddie ride.

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At Seibuen, one of many large ferris wheels we would see during our time in Tokyo.

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^^ What is that? I have never seen a flat like that before.

 

Before this trip I hadn't seen a ride like this before either. They seem to be a popular weird kiddie ferris wheel type ride at a lot of the Tokyo parks we visited. Not sure what the exact name for this ride is. Anyone know?

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^Thanks Dave!

 

Aqua Stadium:

 

After our day at Nasu Highlands and Seibuen, we checked out Aqua Stadium. A major cool part about staying at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel was that along with a nice hotel, the hotel had many restaurants, shops, a gigantic bowling allley and Aqua Stadium. Aqua Stadium consists of a very nice aquarium and small amusement complex. Inside the amusement complex included the indoor credit, Galaxy Express a uniquely and bizarre launched roller coaster. I was very surprised how nice the aquarium was. I have been told by someone I know that this aquarium has a very unique and rare fish called the Ocean Sunfish. So I took lots of pictures for him and when I returned home, he saw the photos, and it made is his life complete. The Ocean Sunfish is pretty dopey looking but cute at the same time. On to the photos!

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The aquarium was nice.

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The walkway in our hotel to Aqua Stadium.

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Loved the underwater tunnels.

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The aquarium had few different species of sharks.

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Everyone loves penguins!

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This was one of the biggest starfish I have ever seen!

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Crabs.

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He's pretty dopey looking but cute at the same time.

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Yep, he just floats on his side, and that's pretty much it.

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I now present, the rare Ocean Sunfish!

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If you are ever in the area, Aqua Stadium is worth checking out. Next up our day at Tobu Zoo!

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Tobu Zoo:

 

Tobu Zoo was one of my favorite parks on the trip because of one thing: Kawasemi! We had an amazing ERT on Kawasemi getting almost a dozen rides before the park opened. What an great smooth ride. This turned out to be my favorite coaster of the entire trip! This was also the first coaster I experienced 'greying out". I have always heard people talking about greying out but never quite understood. After riding 7 times in a row without getting off the ride I greyed out. I'll be honest it kind of freaked me out enough to get off the ride for a few cycles. But after a few minutes I was fine and jumped back on. What a fantastic ride!

 

We enjoyed the rest of the park's attractions including Regina, a rough wooden coaster, some flats and a fun but gory walk-through, Strange Street. The park also had an old-school madhouse which are always fun!

Onto the photos!

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I see you Kawasmi!

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When you go to Tobu Zoo, it is a requirement to take this photo.

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ERT on Kawasmi rocked!

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Kawasmi brought big smiles to Bob, Rich, Dave and my faces.

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So pretty.

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I think everyone liked the ride!

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Regina wasn't too bad of a woodie.

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Yep, they did!

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Dave and Bob liked Regina so much they rode it a few more times!

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Martin, Cheryl, Mike and Julie seemed to like Regina.

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The skyride-monorail was a scenic way to see the park.

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Simon, Dave and I thought Rainbow town was amazing!

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The Tokyo Trip participants rocked!

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The swing ride was neat looking.

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Sadly, no looping wild mouse credit today. =(

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Strange Street lived up to it's name as a strange but gory walk through.

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Lauren, Cheryl, Martin and Mike are up there somewhere.

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Did I mention gory?

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Good-bye Kawasemi, I'll will miss you forever!

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Toshimaen:

 

We actually visited Toshimaen twice on our tour. The first day the weather was rainy so all the coasters were down. This did give us a chance to check out the very cool and long mirror maze, a creepy haunted walk through and the cheezy but fun Mystery Zone dark ride.

 

Because Robb and Elissa are the best tour organizers in the world, they worked it out so we were able to re-visit the park later in the week when the weather was better. So everyone got the credits and even the log flume! Onto the photos!

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Taking in a little bit of Japanese culture.

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After getting off the subway, we walked a few blocks to Toshimaen.

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Our first park of the day, Toshimaen!

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Toshimaen is also home to a water park, which was closed during our visit.

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We were ready to experience the Mystery Zone.

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Yeah for a dark ride!

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Poor Dave doesn't have any friends to ride with.

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Kind of disturbing.

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Happy Dave now has friends!

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I actually enjoyed this coaster a lot.

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The Cyclone coaster was fun.

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The Mirror maze was a lot of fun!

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Julie is having the ride of her life!

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Adults on the kiddie rides, this park didn't know what hit them!

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These 2 were terrified from the haunted walk through!

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Scary I think.

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Dave prepares for the Condor ride.

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Julie is up to no good!

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Lauren, Cheryl and Martin cool off on the flume.

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On our way back to the train station, we hit 7-11.

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What should I eat?

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Or read?

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Lots of unique items that you won't find at a 7-11 in the states.

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Our second park of the day was Yomiurland. I'll be honest when we took the cable car to the park entrance, because of the rainy weather I didn't have much hope on going on any of the credits. But because Yomiurland is super awesome, they opened each coaster for us so everyone got all their credits. And of course I had to check out the park's 2 haunted walk throughs and jungle themed dark ride that had a fun surprise ending. Another plus about Yomiurland, their mascot is too cute! Onto the photos!

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Yomiuriland:

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One of the fun haunted walk throughs.

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The park's mascot and Dave are sad after riding the rough wooden coaster, White Canyon. I don't blame them, that ride banged the crap out of me!

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Cheryl and Martin on Bandit. I was so looking forward to riding Bandit. But I only rode it once, it actually seemed kind of rough.

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Luckily by the time we got to the park entrance, the rain let up and the park opened all the coasters. =)

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Not liking the rain. =(

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I see an amusement park in the distance!

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Mike, Julie and Robb are excited to get to Yomiurland.

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Lauren, Dave and myself on one of our many adventure trains of the day.

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One of the two haunted houses featured this scary bloody woman.

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Looks like Martin and Cheryl survived the erupting volcano!

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Whatever you do, don't look the statue in the eyes!

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The jungle themed dark ride.

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And this nasty alien creature attaching unsuspeting park guests.

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Hanayashiki:

 

We finished our 3 park day at Hanayashiki. Hanayashiki is Japan's oldest operating amusement park. Located in the heart of the city, Hanayashiki after Tokyo Disney and Cosmo World became one of my favorite parks on the trip. To get to Hanayashiki you travel down a few city streets and through the temple of Senso-ji and marketplace. Next time I go to Tokyo I'm going to make sure I have more time to spend here. I could of spent hours looking through the endless rows of the marketplace!

 

Hanayashiki isn't known for the most or record breaking thrills, it even only has one credit. But this park has charm! The manager of the park was so welcoming and nice to our group. He and the staff kept the park open later just for us. The park is very old school with lots of old walk through attractions and dark rides. The Madhouse was quite a memory, about a dozen of us squeezed into the small ride, it was great! I got to ride my first Rock & Roller flat ride, which I absolutely loved!

 

One of the main highlights of our time at Hanayashiki was a strange maze-like walk through. At one point there was "bar maze" where we had to find and squeeze through the bars that expanded. And the maze ended with a random peeing fairy. You'll understand when you see the pics. Thanks again to the entire Hanayashiki staff for making us feel so welcomed. This park was a highlight of my trip!

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The endless marketplace.

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Guardians of the temple.

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The temple was very cool.

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The entrance to the marketplace and temple of Senso-ji.

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More of the marketplace on our way to Hanayashiki.

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Reality check, I'm not in Epcot, I'm really in Japan!

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Gorgeous to think that this is right in the middle of the city surrounded by modern skyscrappers.

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The coaster had a brand new train.

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The only roller coaster credit, with the unique name, "Roller Coaster."

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The park entrance to Hanayashiki.

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Hanayashiki Cont.

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The scary dark ride.

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One of the many fun walk throughs.

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The fun bar maze! TPRers in Jail!

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Mike found the way through!

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Everybody squeeze!

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Ok maybe with Robb being in jail with him, he'll learn to like it!

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I don't think Dave likes being in jail.

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So fierce! Grrrrrrr...

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The famous random peeing fairy - enjoy!

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Hanayashiki cont.

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Had a Yumo Crepe!

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Exclusive behind the scenes TPR footage. The building in the background is the insane madhouse.

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One of my new favorite flat rides, the classic rock and roller.

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The park had a lot of charm.

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Time to head out.

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With our awesome tour guide, thanks again for making us feel so welcome in your park!

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Tokyo at night, awesome!

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Dave at the Senso-ji temple lite up at night.

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After a long but fun day at three parks!

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At the train station.

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Fuji Q:

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Fuji Q. If you didn't know anything about the way the park operates, you would think it looks like a theme park lover's dream! I'll be honest, I had heard all the terrible experiences people have had. When we went I was determined no matter what to walk away with a good experience. We'll I actually ran as fast as I could to get away from this place!

 

Before visiting the park I tried to plan out my attack. I am a coaster fan but as mentioned before I love dark rides and walk throughs equally. I had heard so many things about the giant haunted house, the Haunted Hospital, so I thought this would be a must. I also figured out from loosely translating, that the park also featured a few other unique attractions.

 

I will say that out of the 3 main coasters in the park I did get to ride the one important coaster to me, Eejanika. I actually love X, so I couldn't wait to ride this one. And to me, this was a fun and thrilling ride. If you read Robb's official Tokyo Trip update you know that it started to lightly rain and basically 90% of the parks attractions closed for most of the day.

 

During this time I did get to experience the Haunted Coffin Surround Sound Experience. Basically you enter a large theater, pick a coffin that you could fit in. Once the show started, the lights went out. Most of the time you were in complete darkness. The cool thing was inside the coffins were speakers that gave you a surround sound experience. Think the Sounds Dangerous show or the sound booths at Disney's Hollywood Studios or the Rainforest sound booths at Rafiki's Plant Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom meets horror! It was a pretty cool effect including the sound of your coffin being nailed shut and being buried. Kind of freaky to say the least. And to top it off the coffins would every once in awhile - make a sudden jerk or move, which scared the audience to death!

 

Rode the inside shooting coaster which was really rough and not fun. As Robb documented, a bunch of us stood in line for the hyper coaster forever. After 90 minutes I couldn't take it anymore. Since I didn't really eat breakfast and it was around 2 pm I knew I had to grab some lunch or I wasn't going to be very pleasant to be around. After lunch I checked out the line for the Haunted Hospital and it was up to 4 hours! By that time of the day I was so tired, I couldn't manage to wait in the line, even though I really wanted to see this particular haunted house. =( As someone pointed out in the official Tokyo trip tread, if I really wanted to see the Haunted Hospital I should have just gone straight there and skipped the coasters. But I'm glad I did get to do the 4D coaster which was a lot of fun. Oh and I did The Thomas The Train dark ride which was actually pretty good especially for this place. I didn't take to many pictures of the place cause I wasn't really inspired. One good thing I can recommend if you ever visit the place be sure to check out the Haunted Coffin Surround Show, it was the best thing I experienced the whole day!

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The bus ride up to Fuji Q was beautiful!

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A few of the many cool vending machines found in Japan.

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Actually I think the natural landscape was better than Fuji Q!

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Here we are, Fuji Q.

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No Bear fighting please!

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The awesome Surround Sound Haunted Coffin Experience.

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The indoor shooting coaster.

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The new Rapids Ride.

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The outside of the Thomas The Train dark ride.

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It was actually pretty well done.

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And it was a walk on!

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Joypolis:

 

On another day during the trip, we went to Joypolis. The only way I can describe Joypolis is it is like Disney Quest but cooler. Lots of high tech- virtual rides, attractions and simulators. Joypolis is also home to a credit, Spin Bullet. This was the worst coaster of the trip. All I can say if the restraints don't freak you out, the pain you feel from this coaster is will!

 

Luckily one of the best attractions I experienced on the entire Tokyo trip was found here. Upstairs Dave, Simon and I experienced an attraction called Room of the Living Dolls. Again I love haunted houses, I'm a big fan of HHN, I've been to 14 years worth of them. Nothing has scared me as much as this attraction. Basically you sit at a long table in a group of about 12 people. You wear headphones, the lights go out and your imagination kicks in! From the sound of an evil woman whispering in your ear with a terrifying voice to the sound of a plastic bag being put over you head and hearing yourself gasping for air in this bag, yeah this was kind of intense. Oh and did I mention the sound of blades near your ear or the sound of 50 demonic little doll's feet and giggling surrounding you in the dark, basically made the three of us crap ourselves! If you visit Joypolis, you must experience the Room of the Living Dolls!

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Whatever you do, if you ever visit Joypolis, you MUST experience Room of the Living Dolls - It will scare the crap out of you!

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A view of a few levels of the attraction.

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Entrance to Joypolis.

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On the way to Joypolis, I saw this cool building.

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The Room of Living Dolls is pretty freaky. Even the walk to the showroom is through pitch-black darkness. There was a pretty good 4D movie about a haunted chruch, too, back in 2007.

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