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Photo TR: Divv's Japanese Adventure


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As Larry pointed out, this Trip Report is not quite over yet!

 

After we left Nagashima it was onto a bullet train and thanks to copious amounts of beer a few of us were beginning to get a bit giddy! Not just because of the beer however, because we were on our way to the most anticipated place of the whole trip - Tokyo Disney Resort!

 

Now, I'd heard all the hype about DisneySea beforehand, so I was expecting big things. Really big things. But after only a couple of hours in the park on this first evening I was able to say without reservation:

 

TOKYO DISNEYSEA IS MY FAVOURITE PARK I'VE EVER BEEN TO. Hands down, no contest. It's absolutely incredible. I five years of doing TPR trips in various locations on the globe, never have I been so blown away by a theme park.

 

The theming is incredible. You can see that from the photos, but what's amazing is that it looks even better in person! Not only is the theming great, DisneySea has a fantastic ride selection to back it up! And the place has only been open ten years!

 

On this first evening we only had a couple of hours but managed to hit the big three attractions:

 

- Journey to the Centre of the Earth: It's a fantastic and fascinating use of the Test Track technology which is just an incredible experience from start to finish. LAVA MONSTER! What an animatronic!

- Tower of Terror: The ride system itself is the same as Paris/California so it's not quite as good as Florida but the Pre-show, theming and back story is second to none! The pre-show "vanishing effect" that they do with the Shiriki character is awesome!

- Indiana Jones: Wow. I knew of this rides existence but having never been to California I was completely expecting something on the level of Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom. How wrong was I. I absolutely loved this thing, I'd probably even say that it's my favourite theme park ride in the world. It was just so much fun!

 

Okay, okay, I could wax lyrical about Tokyo DisneySea for ages (and I will, there's more updates to come from here!) but since this was only our first night I'll move onto some photos...

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The theme for our final Bullet Train journey was BEER! And lots of it!

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For what may be the last time in Japan Erik enjoys the trademark giant ice cream!

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Some of us are a bit merry already and are about to get even merrier!

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Steve is so excited that The Rug cannot be contained!!!

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Never has a gigantic wet ball excited me so much in my entire life – WE’RE AT TOKYO DISNEYSEA!!!

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Where better to start an evening at DisneySea than at Journey to the Centre of the Earth?!

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Woohoo, we’re about to get on a lift!

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Woohoo, we’re ON a lift!!!

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And now we’re ON journey itself! Normally I wouldn’t post this photo, but check out Larry, how could I not???

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As if you needed any more proof we were on Journey – LAVA MONSTER!!! I LOVED Journey to the Centre of the Earth!

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Speaking of rides that I loved… this is just part of the queue for Indiana Jones, unbelievable a theming!

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Indy’s single rider line was awesome! We really got in a load of rides during our time on the resort. Good thing to because Indy is amazing!

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Larry decides that the best way to have an ever improving popcorn experience is to start with the Duffy related stuff and move up. Can’t say I blame him!

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Quick, get the Milk Tea stuff eaten so we can move onto Black Pepper and Curry!

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As if getting on Journey and Indy wasn’t enough we even had enough time to get on Japan’s very own Tower of Terror!

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No single rider for this one, but that’s okay because this queue looked amazing and moved pretty fast!

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TDS really like incorporated lifts into their rides wherever they can.

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Everyone is either waving at me or Larry just said something REALLY funny!

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So that was our first night at DisneySea. We had only spent a couple of hours there but we’d already got on the three big attractions and I was totally in awe of the place!

 

LOADS more DisneySea to come but next up is our day in Tokyo Disneyland itself!

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^And the best part is that it worked! I still don't know if we were laughing because with it we realized what was said was a joke, or if just the hand motion itself made us laugh.

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I (like most other people) LOVE TDS!!!

 

I have to admit Divv - That is probably the best picture I've ever seen taken of Lava Monster!!

 

Keep up the good work, and hurry up and finish!!

 

 

JJ

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I really hope there is going to be some sort of disney add on or something for the 2013 japan trip because after seeing yet another amazing looking series of pictures from disneysea, I feel my life is not complete unless I see if for myself.

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^I find it unlikely that a TPR trip to Japan would not include an add-on option to Disney before of after the TPR trip. And if an official add-on is not offered, Elissa will help any participants with the logistics of doing it themselves.

Edited by larrygator
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^I find it unlikely that a TPR trip to Japan would not include an add-on option to Disney before of after the TPR trip. And if an official add-on is not offered, Elissa will help any participants with the logistics of doing it themselves.

 

I second that. In fact, I would go so far as to say that any Japan trip w/o a Tokyo Disney option would probably never happen.

 

(I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.)

 

 

JJ

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And those who've been there will know why!

 

I mean, it's mainly because of Tokyo Disney that I'm even doing Japan this year. When I first started planning the trip for TPR China, and looking for flights on British Airways partners for award travel, I discovered that there were large fuel surcharges, but not if I took American Airlines, which would mean a Tokyo layover each way. And with the new way they calculate award travel, it was far more miles to book it as one journey on two airlines than to book it as separate legs. Which got me thinking. If I'm going to have to stop in Tokyo and allow time to get my bags and check back in, how could I sit there at the airport so close to Tokyo Disney and not go to the parks? Especially since they would be separate flights anyways, so I could make it a full stop with no penalties. (In fact, quite the opposite.) But that set the ball rolling for what is turning out to be 12 days in Japan both before and after the China trip! In fact, I'm going everywhere on this leg of the TPR Japan trip that Fivv has recounted here.

 

And it's all because of Disney! I'm very much looking forward to going back. In fact, they will very likely be my last parks of the year. And I'll get to see the whole Halloween lighting and theming package this time, too!

 

The irony, though, is that I ended up taking so long planning everything with all of the Japan extensions that the flights home on AA booked up for award travel, and I'm now taking Japan Airlines, with a nearly $300 fuel surcharge! At least it's a direct flight, though!

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After a fun evening at Tokyo DisneySea it was time to spend a day at the older neighbour - Tokyo Disneyland!

 

Being a big fan of Disney's Magic Kingdom style parks I really loved this park a lot. It has great versions all the Magic Kingdom staples as well as a few unique rides thrown in. And then there's one ride which kind of exists in the other parks but really is nothing like the version in Japan...

 

Pooh's Hunny Hunt is one of the best dark rides in the world. Seriously, it's insane. The trackless system and sheer random fun of the ride just make you laugh and smile from start to finish, it's absolutely incredible!

 

The new Monsters Inc ride is also good and an interested variation of the shooting dark ride. It certainly attracts a lot of guests!

 

Seeing as this was a Saturday the park did get very crowded in the afternoon but a few of us took some special steps to avoid getting caught up in the huge lines. Read on...

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It’s an early start but it doesn’t get better in the morning than getting on these monrails!

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Playing the role of Colin today – Paul.

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Despite it being late June, for some reason Tokyo Disney’s Easter event was still going on. Works for me!

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Unlike the other Magic Kingdom’s around the world, instead of Main Street we have World Bazaar here in Tokyo. It’s like Main Street except with the added Japaneseness of a cover!

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First stop today – the unbelievably amazing POOH!!!

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TPDave usually has to visit his own special websites to see pictures of a donkey getting nailed in the behind.

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Haunted Mansion next? Don’t mind if we do!

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Randomly, Fantasyland is the location for Haunted Mansion in Tokyo! Doesn’t make the ride any less good!

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Unfortunately TPDave did not chase any bears into any caves.

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Umm, maybe we better wait until Fast Pass time before trying to get on Big Thunder.

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With the line at Big Thunder in such a gihugic state I finally got to pop my Country Bears cherry!

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Strawberry and Lime Pseudo-Dole Whip? You betcha!

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This is where we managed to valley a boat right before a drop. Well done TPR!

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The pirates animatronics are getting more lifelike by the year!

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Mmm… Waffles…

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I think this ought to cover a waffle or two?

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There’s a different range of waffles to choose from… They’re waffly versatile.

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Never has Mickey’s face tasted so good!!

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Light-o-speed-o!!!

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We got lucky on Japanese Star Tours and got the Death Star ending.

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All over the park there would be these random egg shaped versions of Disney characters. It is Easter after all!

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The big attraction now in Tomrrowland is Monsters Inc. Looks awesome from the outside!

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And the queue looks great too. Being a big fan of the movie it was really cool to walk through the building.

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The ride itself is kind of a shooting dark ride but instead of scores and lasers you shine a torch on things to make them move! It’s good fun, especially for people like me who tend to suck at the usual shooting dark rides.

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OMG, look at that beastly monster! Check out Roz too!

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About halfway through the day we took a little break from Disney to ride an inverted monorail and go on a quick credit run to a little park not too far away...

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Here it is.. Chiba Zoo!

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Yes, we’re awesome!

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It’s more than just a Vekoma – it’s a rare and exclusive Vekoma, like no one’s ever rode before!!

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Cha-ching!

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It's just a Vekoma POV!

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Electronic animal takeover!

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If only Erik were here to tell us exactly what this ride was called…

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OMG, a Big Wheel!

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I see we’re not the only coaster enthusiasts in town…

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Thanks Chiba Zoo! It was a nice break from the crowds at Disney and another chance to experience Tokyo’s awesome public transport system!

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Back to business though and there’s some more Disneyland action to be had!

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Splash Mountain seemed exactly the same as Florida to me. Which meant it was great! Plus we managed to skip a horrendously long standby line by using the little-utilised single rider option.

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How about Japanese Jungle Cruise? Okay!

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TPJungleboy.

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Does anyone have any soldeirs to go with this Pluto egg?? No?

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Paul and Jim do their best to blend in with the locals ahead of the parade.

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Here we go! I think we’re in for a treat!

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Ooh la la! I like this parade! Although it was literally five floats long which was a bit weird. But nevermind because it then meant we had time to head over to…

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Car Toon Spin! I really love the Roger Rabbit movie and having never been to California before I really was quite excited for this!

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Quick, run while they’re still inside!

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Not content with riding the one rollerskater today we were more than happy to double down!

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“Hello, I’m TPDave, trolley, trolley, trolley!”

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OMG, Curry Popcorn tasted fantastic, probably my second favourite flavour in the resort!

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As you can tell, Larry absolutely LOVED Pinocchio!

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And we finish our day at Tokyo Disneyland just as we begun – on Pooh! Seriously it’s incredible. Right up there with the likes of Spider-man when it comes to dark rides.

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Well that was another amazing day at Tokyo Disneyland! But wait! There’s more!

 

After our second day on the resort our tickets became Park Hopper tickets which means there’s a lot more Tokyo Disney fun to come!

Edited by Divv3k
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I can't wait to get back to Tokey Disney. Which rides have single rider lines? I don't recall if we noticed any of them when I was there!

 

Also, I wonder why they only let you park hop on the third day and onward. Probably to entice you to splurge on extra days?

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I can't wait to get back to Tokey Disney. Which rides have single rider lines? I don't recall if we noticed any of them when I was there!

 

Also, I wonder why they only let you park hop on the third day and onward. Probably to entice you to splurge on extra days?

 

The following rides are currently listed on the TDL Resort website as having Single Rider Lines

Splash Mountain

Raging Spirits

Tower of Terror (SR line was closed during our visit last year)

Indiana Jones

 

The Indy Single Rider line is very efficient.

 

With Japan being such a conservative society, for rides with two abreast seating (Splash Mountain and Raging Spirits) the person with the empty seat next to them has to agree the have a single rider sit next to them. So if there is a group of 3 or 5 the ride operator will ask them if a single rider can sit next to them. We also encountered this same practice at Universal on Space Fantasy. Generally Japanese guys would have no problem with a stranger sitting next to them but women (especially school age) were not always so welcoming of Westerners.

Edited by larrygator
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The park tickets at Tokyo Disney work a little bit different from other Disney resorts. Instead of being able to buy a straight up park hopper we had spend the first day of our four day stint in DisneySea and the second day at Disneyland. Not until day three can you start park hopping until your little heart is content!

 

And that's what we did. The majority of our time was spent in DisneySea though seeing as this was our first chance to see the park in daylight and get to really explore the place. As I said, it's awesome, the whole resort is fantastic and we were fortunate to have another day to spend there!

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Yes! We’re still at Disney!

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Larry was quite happy upon entering the monorail station this morning. Why? Because unlike the previous evening he used his monorail ticket to get through the turnstile rather than his hotel key!

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MONORAIL! MONORAIL! MONORAIL!

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Guess who was on Fast Pass duty first thing this morning?

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With our Monsters Inc Fast Passes in hand I joined the crowds waiting to get into DisneySea which opened an hour after Disneyland.

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First stop – more Tower!

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Yeah, DisneySea looks amazing!

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Even if there were no rides and just things to look at the place would still be amazing!

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There’s no getting away from it – that’s one big arse volcano!

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Here’s an attraction unique to DisneySea – Aquatopia! Totally random and pointless but a lot of fun!

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Inside joke there for some of the geeks!

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Yeah, still in DisneySea!

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Raging Spirits even looks awesome! Why? Because it has fire!

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Placeholder photo!

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The Arabian section of the park also looks incredible. No surprise there!

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We hadn’t gotten enough of rollerskaters in the last few days so we checked out Flounder.

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Understood!

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Mysterious Island looks unbelievable when you’re stood right next to it!

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These words actually came out of Stefan’s mouth: “What’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth about?”

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Rocking THREE Tokyo Disney Fast Passes!

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This stuff is VERY important if you’re journeying to the centre of the Earth!

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Yeah, that’s me. Still in DisneySea!

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The Center For Weather Control is the home of StormRiders. Stefan wasn’t happy we only rode once because he was desperate to experience all six endings.

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Today’s lunch - Japanese Mexican Food!

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This was today’s lunch venue! Not too shabby!

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We’re on a bridge! Oh yeah!

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Indy lives in this pyramid! It’s funny how similar this pyramid looks the Mexican Pavilion at Epcot!

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Rocking FOUR Fast Passes now!

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Time to cash one in now on Raging Spirits!

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Like the version in Paris, it’s a bit shaky but not too bad to be honest. But better yet, we’re still in DisneySea!

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Man, the Japanese REALLY love their Disney shows!

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This is DisneySea’s version of an afternoon parade. It’s probably better than parades in a lot of ways, seeing as paths don’t get blocked by it!

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I love standing beneath big wet balls.

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Seeing as it’s Easter, lets HOP on over to Tokyo Disneyland!

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That’s a Monsters Inc Fast Pass well used!

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Emma models the Erik Penders Hotel Inspection action figure. Only available in Japan.

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Two days in and a great deal of popcorn later and I finally realise that it might make sense to buy a bucket!

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TPDave loves it when I show him my “Popcorn Trick”

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Anyway, time to get back to the awesomeness that is DisneySea!!!

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Wouldn’t mind staying in one of those hotel rooms!

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OMG, this is the most unbelievably awesome popcorn in the world!

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Woohoo! Fiery volcano eruption!

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The Strawberry Popcorn wasn’t half bad either!

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Popcorn POV!

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Trolley takeover!

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The trolley gives yet more awesome views of an incredible park!

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Coming your way in 2012 – Toy Story Mania! I look forward to finding out how TDS makes this version even better than the other ones!

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Dave Fudge, if you’re reading this – I miss you.

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If you’re hungry you can just ask these guys to whip up whatever you want to eat.

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This one skull is enough to put the whole of Dinoland USA to shame.

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YES!!!! BEER!!!

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Stefan had beer too. However he wasn’t important enough to get into this photo.

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TPDave doesn’t quite get how the Popcorn Trick works.

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Not far from Journey is another Jules Verne themed contraption – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

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The submarine ride is of particular excitement to TPDave. That’s because it’s fully enclosed and there’s no opportunity for him to drop his wallet out the side.

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Tokyo DisneySea pays homage to Disney’s animated history with an entire land dedicated to The Little Mermaid!

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This indoor section of the park has a load of well themed flat rides for younger riders. This park caters to all audiences!

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It’s getting late, but that doesn’t mean there’s no time to get on Indy through single rider!

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Aquatopia looks amazing at night!

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As does Larry.

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Today’s huge Disney day ends with yet another ride on Journey to the Centre of the Earth! Just don’t ask Stefan what it’s about!

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Another day at the unbelievable Tokyo Disney Resort is over but fret not, we have another day to go!!!

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Incredible fail by our group not having someone purchase the refillable popcorn bucket until the middle of the third day.

Edited by larrygator
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These days were the highlights of the entire trip!

 

Although I seem to remember this being the day where my feet started taking a punishment. Awesome parks, but not small by any means.

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DisneySea is the best theme park in the world. I've said it, and I stand by it. It is the one park that not only lives up to its concept art, but surpasses it.

 

Is it time to go back to Japan yet?

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From the bottom of my heart, it just didn't dawn on me what a ride named "Journey to the Center of the Earth" could possibly be about.

 

If I had to pick just one day as the highlight of the entire trip, it'd either be Nagashima or this third day at Disney. Any chance you could post a full resolution version of that group shot in front of the lagoon?

 

And I still don't know why you guys didn't want to ride StormRiders more, we got the lame ending. I mean there's one where you get shot in the face!

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And I still don't know why you guys didn't want to ride StormRiders more, we got the lame ending. I mean there's one where you get shot in the face!

 

 

Duh! I'll catch the other endings when we return. Sometimes I need a break from power walking through the Indy single rider line over and over again.

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