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TPR's 2013 Japan Trip - Mini Updates!


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The ride-ops on this were world class, I'm glad to see one park still has it. Although as much as i'm glad they have a back to the future ride still just for the amazing gift-shop full of amazing BTTF crap the rides got even more anti-climactic when the date in the car jumps only 2 years into the future as you ride.

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Today TPR was at Universal Studios Japan, and a whole lot of AWESOME happened during our visit! I'll go through it mostly in pictures, but here's a few highlights...

 

- Jaws... I gotta be honest, I don't usually get nostalgic over closed rides as I'm all about parks moving forward, but riding Jaws again really did sort of piss me off about Orlando closing it! To be fair though, the ride really is MUCH better in Japanese for the sheer "WTF is going on???" insanity of the skippers! The ride is just really GOOD. It has no height restriction, it's fun, it's campy, and Universal Japan proved they can have BOTH Jaws AND Harry Potter. *sigh*

 

- Spider-Man... So Spider-Man was closed because it's getting the 4K digital projection make-over.... so instead of riding it, the park gave us an ENTIRE backstage tour of the ride, including a complete walk-through of the ride track INCLUDING all the projections ON so we can see what the movie will look like when it's all done. They gave us the 3D glasses and everything! It was a pretty amazing experience!

 

- Backdrop... For those of you who might not know, Hollywood Dream, the park's B&M coaster, has one train turned around BACKWARDS and it's called "Backdrop" - I was never the biggest fan of Hollywood Dream. I thought it was a "fun" ride, but nothing spectacular. Turning the trains around backwards seemed to have turned it into a decent ride! There was airtime I don't remember the ride having, and it was much more unpredictable. Had a lot of FUN on this!

 

- Space Fantasy... Still one of the best indoor coasters anywhere! I don't understand it. And it's VERY Japanese, but that's probably part of the reason why I like it so much! Anyway, onto the photos...

 

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For those of you who miss Jaws, check out this video of how crazy and awesome "Japanese Jaws" is!

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Today was our first bullet train! I love traveling around like this. For some reason, it's just so much better than the "bus"

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It was a bit "wet" today, but that actually kept away the crowds! The park was EMPTY!

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We were brought in early and given a really fascinating presentation on Universal Japan. They told us how they had originally marketed to "teens" and young adults, but their attendance was dropping. A shift in focus to families brought their attendance numbers back up and they have been doing very well!

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As soon as Universal School was over, they walked us to Space Fantasy before the park opened!

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Space Fantasy is one of those rides that I do not understand...AT ALL... but that's probably part of the reason why I like it so much!

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This princess comes out and tells you something...what it is...I have no idea! But I obey her wishes.

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The ride is just insanely cool!

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KidTums rode 4 times today! She said it was one of her favorites rides, ever!

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One of the highlights, at least for me, what getting to ride Jaws again!

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"Guided Harbor Tours - Open Today!" That's something Orlando certainly cannot say! ;)

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Awww, I really did miss this!

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It really almost an exact clone of the version that used to be in Florida.

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"Norm's" is still in business here in Japan!

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It was REALLY COOL getting to ride Jaws again!

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The Japanese skippers REALLY get into the ride! It's amazing to watch them go totally berserk! It honestly makes the ride better than the one that used to be in Orlando.

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C'mon! Who doesn't miss the boathouse?

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The Jaws merchandise was out of control!!!

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Yup, this dude was here in Amity.

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The version of Amity in Japan really reminded me a lot of Orlando.

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This looks *kind of* familiar, doesn't it?

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Why can't Orlando have an entire area themed to Hello Kitty! This section was seriously awesome!

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Love the indoor Snoopy section!

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Although Spider-Man may have been currently closed so the park can do the "4K Digital Overlay"...

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We got an amazing "Back of the House" tour of Spider-Man!

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We got to talk the entire ride track, they showed us the profile of the ride vehicles, and even us watch all the new projects in each scene complete with 3D glasses! It was fantastic!

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While I was never the biggest fan of this ride, we had to do it anyway for the nostalgia factor!

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GREAT SCOTT! THIS RIDE IS STILL OPEN!!!

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Does this bring back a few memories? =)

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If you're looking for cool Back To The Future merchandise, they had TONS of it at Universal Japan!

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They even had BTTF panties!

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Yet another Ex-USA Universal Attraction that still exists in Japan!

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Hollywood Dream "Backdrop" is the backwards version of this B&M coaster, and it was actually AWESOME!

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The smiles on our faces and those thumbs sticking up in the air means we LIKED it!

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That night we had an amazing "welcome to Japan" dinner at a traditional Yakitori restaurant.

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"We have beer and meat on sticks...do we need anything else?!??!"

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TPR had a fantastic visit to Universal Studios Japan! Can't want for more adventures tomorrow!

Edited by robbalvey
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Is there a separate line for the backwards train or do you decide once you get closer to the station? I just wondered how it works if only one train is backwards and all the others are forwards since i'd imagine the limited time backwards ride would be extremely popular

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This looks like tons of fun!

 

It seems like the Japanese versions of the major parks (Universal, Disney) still have a lot of attractions that we used to have here. Not saying that's a bad thing, I kinda like that these popular old attractions still exist somewhere. It looks like Universal Japan is a mix of the best old attractions from the Florida and California parks, as well as having some of their own unique stuff.

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^That sounds like an option from one of the love hotels!

 

Awesome update! That's really awesome that they let you do a walk through of Spiderman! I would have loved it. I've never gotten down to that park but definitely want to in the future!

Edited by jray21
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Wait... What is that thing in the bottom left?

It's my elbow. My god, can you please try NOT to ask such stupid questions??!??! Seriously...

 

And yes, the Stan Lee cameos will be in the film. It's the same film as Orlando.

Edited by robbalvey
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Great updates! One of these days (after I'm finished paying for college) I have to make it on a TPR trip, hopefully a Japan trip. The parks look amazing, especially Tokyo DisneySea, really hope to make on a trip soon. Thanks for the pictures!

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Man I miss the Japanese skippers, on one of my ride's we had a lady whose voice was so high pitched i thought she must have literally stepped out of a Japanese anime, right up until the shark showed up in which case she'd switch into the deepest terminator style voice i've ever heard. I badly wanted to get pictures or a video clip but when I visited they were really strict about no photos or videos on the ride, I wanted a picture of the most amazing skipper I had out of all my rides.

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Today is a slightly smaller update since we visited a slightly smaller park! We took a trip to Hirakata Park, just outside of Osaka. Nice little park, mainly geared to families and kids, but they do have five roller coasters, one of only four wooden coasters in Japan, and a fairly decent sized "Jet Coaster." On to the photos....

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TPR demonstrates the proper way to ride a bullet train!

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Although some of us had a bit of trouble waking up this morning! Too much Japanese tequila and raw horse meat, last night? Hmmm?

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It's Japanese law that every park must have a Ferris Wheel the size of a small moon.

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We are starting our morning off with Elf, one of only four wooden roller coasters in Japan!

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Elf is an "Intamin Junior Woodie", and while it may be a little bumpy in parts, it actually has some decent airtime for it's size!

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As you can see, the park was not busy today! =)

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"BIG Roller Coaster!" lol

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Red Falcon would be our first Japanese "Jet Coaster" of the trip!

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A Japanese Jet Coaster is usually a pretty big (100+ feet) coaster that does not have any inversions, often has very rampy drops, fairly wide turns, and goes on for quite a while. They don't have many exciting forces, but they certainly are "interesting" and fun.

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There was nothing "fantastic" about this coaster as it was mostly "rowdy!"

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This ride is MEAN!!!!

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Keeping the theme of "Strangely named coasters that sound like something out of a pedophiles dream", this ride is actually called "Peek-A-Boo Town!"

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Time for the shooting dark ride (in 3-D), where if you actually score enough points, you get a prize!

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I'm not exactly sure what all this whacked-out looking stuff is... but I want to SHOOT IT!!!

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I honestly couldn't even begin to tell you how this all ties in together!

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Which one is the monster and which one is the park mascot?

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LOVE JAPAN!!!!

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"Proud father" moment!

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Still a Frog Hopper Enthusiast after all these years.

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"Choose which weapon you would like your child to have as a prize..."

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The petting zoo had "Rodents of unusual size!"

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This tortoise seriously OWNED the petting zoo!

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This owl HATED me!!! (Watch our Vine video with sound on!)

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Looks like this pig just ate an ACE member!

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Hirakata was really a nice park! Glad we decided to make a return visit here, and it won't be our last!

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Japanese Bullet Trains really are BAD ASS!

Calico System.nltrack

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Edited by robbalvey
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