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^Thanks Matt! I try to apply equal flatter to all....lol

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 5 - Nagashima Spaland

 

Day 5 of the trip brought us by taxis to a place that I was really looking forward to visit ever since I read in 2002 that some roller coaster in Japan took the title of world's tallest from Millennium Force just a few months after it was built. It also is home to what I thought, by videos and pictures, is the most beautiful wooden coaster out there, White Cyclone. I still feel that way after seeing this Intamin beast in person. This.......is Nagashima Spaland. The park with two of everything!

 

Travel Channel was also with us filming our escapades and capturing love at first coaster to add some normalcy to our geeked-out hobby, thanks to Lauren and Matt.

 

New this year were the B&M trains built for Steel Dragon 2000. They weren't as comfortable as other B&M trains, primarily because of the seat belts, but they really weren't a deal breaker by any stretch. I found Steel Dragon to be a massive and great looking ride. It did ride a bit shaky/ rough however. As expected, the first drop does take your breath away with a fantastic view of the park. Overall, it is a super-sized Morgan layout, which isn't a bad thing.

 

The park also has a Togo Ultra-Twister, which by far were my favourite type of coaster on the trip. I'd never been on one and am now their biggest new fan. White Cyclone was simply an epic ride through one of the most beautiful roller coasters ever built, which I loved a lot. If that wasn't enough, the park also has a Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop. So many pleasing rides in one very pleasing place--Nagashima Spaland is like Japan's Cedar Point.

 

I lived on Ultra Twister, White Cyclone and Shuttle Loop all day and what a great day it was.

 

Enjoy the pics!

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Arriving by Taxi and what a welcome.

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Oh, we will.

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It's always interesting arriving before a park opens.

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The first of many Intamin first gen drop towers that was closed.

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Since Travel Channel could technically capture us on video at some point, our agents had to have us sign all of the proper release waivers and paperwork.

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They rejected our Glamour Shots head pics so we all had to have them re-done by this van down by the river.

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Stars were obviously born.

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The majority of the Travel Channel shoot was done at Steel Dragon

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New train!

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We walked into the queue, "WITH GUSTO". I don't think I could be a director.

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Setting up for an HD POV of Steel Dragon.

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Steel Dragon is without a doubt, very tall and doesn't hide it.

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All the extra bracing for earthquake safety made this ride look insanely massive.

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Moving on, Corkscrew was obviously closed today.

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A bit of White Cyclone

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Heading back to give Steel Dragon to give it another go before voting in Insane Coaster Wars

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Who did you vote for?

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So awesome.

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They also had a powered bobsled ride.

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This must be the biggest viking boat in the world. Yes, since this park has two of everything....

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...it's a double wide.

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...it'

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A Shuttle loop is always a great way to end a day!

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A train station Bento Box meal for the train ride back.

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Beer is everywhere. Again, Japan is awesome.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Great update! Love the pics, even the unflattering ones. Lol.

 

So many unflattering ones (like every one with me in).

 

Damn I loved that Shuttle Loop. I think I went on that thing 10 times And totally forgot about you accidentally getting all those tokens from the change machine. This trip was so much fun. I miss Japan.

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Thanks for the comments all, appreciate it.

 

^That shuttle loop was so awesome. I remember after all the jet coasters how amazing it was to see an Arrow or a Schwarzkopf in real life. The first Schwarzkopf shuttle I was ever on was at Knott's during West Coast Bash and honestly, we had ERT on a few rides at night but I parked myself on Montezooma's Revenge and was more than happy for the night. Definitely a tie between the shuttle loop and ultra twister for me.

 

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 6 - HOKKAIDO GREENLAND AND SAPPORO BEER GARDEN

 

After Nagashima, we had one of the smoothest flights ever to Sapporo. Our first day would bring us to one "traditional" park, Hokkaido Greenland, and two other "non-traditional parks", being Sapporo Beer Garden and the Sapporo Station Beer Garden.

 

Hokkaido Greenland was one of the more bizarre family parks that we visited, in a good way. It had a standard line up of jet coaster, loops crew coaster and family coaster. It also had some really interesting walk through and old school interactive stuff. When you check out the loopscrew picture, you'll notice how Japanese Jet Coaster transitions are all parking garage ramps, including the first drops. It looks odd but rides cool?

 

Sapporo is a beautiful city. I'm really happy that our trip had a chance to make it up there.

 

Oh and Sapporo beer is good. You'll see that below. Enjoy and as always, please post your comments and questions!

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Welcome to Greenland.

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Jetcoaster stuff!

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Loopscrew! Oh boy, that first ramp is coming up! ;)

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They had so many ways of getting around....like this

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....and this

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....or this.

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Or dessert?

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After a long park day, who couldn't use some noodles?

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Our Taxis await--back to Sapporo!

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Sapporo Train Station is a really nice building, which hosted a Sapporo festival site outside offering cool good and Sapporo beer.

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The radio tower was our meeting spot before heading to the brewery.

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One of the beer gardens that Sapporo set up in the city.

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So where do we find this place of wonder, offering unlimited food in drink within a very reasonable time allotment?

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The Sapporo Brewery beer garden, without a doubt.

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I'm not sure what the point of asking what the bibs were for, especially since I was sitting downdraft from the grill...

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Bring it on.

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May I have some more genghis kahn please?

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Thanks bibs.

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We were all very happy.

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Even the locals were happy with us!

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You'd think we're done but you'd be wrong.

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We met up with the more TPR folk at the Sapporo station beer garden.

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A happy night just made you wanna hug your neighbour. Up next: Rasutsu Resort--It's more than skiing in a great way!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Thanks Jason, some awesome pictures to bring back good memories there! I absolutely loved this city, it was basically Tokyo without the crowds, the festival thing by the station was a lot of fun and obviously 80 minutes of free beer (or however long it was??) was rather fun.

 

Can't wait for the next instalment

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JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 7 - RUSUTSU RESORT

 

The 1972 Olympics were held in and around Sapporo for good reason. For one, there is no shortage of great skiing opportunities. We made our way back to Hokkaido to its largest ski resort, Rusutsu Resort. Skiing in June, you may ask? Not so much. Like a true all season resort, there are a lot of other things to do, including golf, shopping and Rusutsu Resorts' own amusement park.

 

On the park side, they have the only dive loop Ultra Twister in the world. It made an already insane experience even more so. Easily one of the top rides on the trip and a personal favourite. A gondola was also operating and it actually takes you to a spectacular view worth seeing.

 

This resort is very picturesque and I hope that the pictures will do it justice. I think the group had a lot of fun here while taking in some great views. You couldn't help but "Be Happy!".

 

Enjoy the pics.

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The scenery of Hokkaido.

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We're a bit early for check in so might as well explore.

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The resort hotel has a shopping promenade that backs onto the ski area.

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These guys are fantastic and are always there.

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It's reat to see a model but

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...it's much better to check it out for real.

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After our guide arrived, we headed to the amusement park.

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They have a real life SLC here!

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Can you feel it? Can you?

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Well, you can just leave me here all day.

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The turntable is honestly just a nerve-wracking as the rest of the ride as it violently shakes when taking that dive loop. It's quite amazing, actually.

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Shuttle loop line.

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This was actually really intense. I can't remember if this is Senyo's?

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Oh yah. They had this Togo standup. I completely forgot about it and I'm glad I did. This is coming from a huge Skyrider fan.

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The director of Blackfish is on this.

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The theme of this ride is shooting safari animals. No really. The more you shoot precisely dead, the higher your score.

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Well, that was the most memorable shooting interactive ride ever.

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For anyone who's ever wanted to ride in a shoe, check this out!

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It's kind of like a Fiat 500 on a track.

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Either a climb up a steep walkway or magic carpet ski lift took us to the second level of the amusement park, a bit higher up the mountain.

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There are some cool flat rides up here.

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Yet another Intamin first gen tower not working. It was really looking like I'd have to get to Dorney to finally try one of these.

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Although they do have a duck race track, these guys were on break.

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They did have this bizarre maze that no one was willing to try.

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At the lowest level of the park, a few cool flat rides were waiting.

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This dark walk through was actually really creepy.

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This next set of pics are of the view from the top of the mountain. This is actually the first thing you see when stepping off of the gondola.

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It was extremely peaceful and tranquil up there.

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A fantastic day at the park. Remember to "be happy!"

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Checking out some shops on the way back to the lobby. This dessert sounds dramatic.

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It's always Christmas at a ski resort!

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The games room was open and they had a Desperados. My first one and it was an experience for sure.

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No, this isn't deja vu. It was our last night in Sapporo and what better way to say thanks and good bye than spending a bit more time at Sapporo's festival at the train station.

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Wow, things look different at the train station during the day. The next morning, we were on our way to catch a flight back to Tokyo. Next up is Joypolis.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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I would loved to have seen that maze, all lit up at night. There were literally

thousands of lights all over it.

 

Awesome TR, Jason! And I want to suggest, we go back to Sapporo on all

future TPR Japan tours! I loved Hokkaido and the parks, the mountains, the...

 

Sapporo Bier Garten Restaurant.

Mmmmmmmm.

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That maze from the SkyWheel. Can you figure it out, from up here? (o;

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Thanks for the comments all!

 

^That maze is definitely larger than I thought.

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 8 - JOYPOLIS AND TOKYO TELEPORT

 

Our plane landed in Tokyo on time and we headed directly to the Tokyo Teleport area along the waterfront, which is one of the coolest places in Tokyo for sure. Tokyo Teleport is home to The Decks, Aqua City, Tokyo Joypolis and a lot of other very cool things to see and do along Tokyo Beach, including some of the best views of the city. We even found an elusive cat cafe.

 

Joypolis is quite simply the best interactive and digital playground/ game centre that I've ever been to. It's definitely worth a visit. Veil of Dark is the new spinning + shooting + looping interactive coaster. As someone who doesn't like shooters, this ride is the best of both worlds and makes the interactive section actually worthwhile. The shooting dark ride section was extremely well done and the coaster portion was truly an added bonus. I really enjoyed it and rode it a few times. Unfortunately, given its location, pictures are difficult to grab. If Cedar Fair's new gen interactive rides, such as Wonder Mountain's Guardian are anything like this, we'll be in a for a great experience.

 

After spending the day at Tokyo Teleport, we headed to Tokyo Disney Resort to check into our last hotel of the trip, which gave us access to our last three parks of the official trip.

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Tokyo Teleport area

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Spinning, looping and shooting all in one? It really does work well.

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Loved this game. I just wish I was better at it.

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Very strange stuff going on in the Halfpipe queue.

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There were a few interactive simulators and live shows, not unlike the different show sections of London Dungeon.

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The shopping and restaurant promenade of the Joypolis building.

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Dumplings and a view of Tokyo? Yes, please.

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Tokyo Sky Tree in the background

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After lunch, we headed to The Decks and found a Cat Cafe. Why not?

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I think it was up to an hour per ticket?

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The number of people visiting the cats at one time is well controlled, which definitely gave us ample time with each cat that didn't try to run away.

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Including the hairless one.

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Not so much into this type of cat. I'd put petting this up there with one of the more strange of life experiences.

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The arcade had more sushi

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These photo booths are the funniest thing ever. Caroline and Nick by far had the best photo booth shots that I've ever seen.

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A few of us gave them a go.

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So pretty?

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They literally have everything for sale.

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Next up we headed over to Aqua City

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It's always cool seeing a Japanese take on Americana.

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Some prefer a fountain, but this is so much better.

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This robot is at the entrance of Aqua City.

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Caroline spotting this great floor covering

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A great day at Tokyo Teleport! Off to our next hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort!

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Tokyo's rail system connects directly to Tokyo Disney Resorts's monorail system.

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One Disney in a lifetime is awesome. I still can't believe that this is my third next to Disney World and Disney Land.

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On our way to the resort hotel station stop.

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Hidden Mickey?

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We've arrived. Oh, Ben lost his TPR bag with some important documents inside. Not to worry since, well, this is Japan.

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It was turned into the monorail lost and found after the Hilton concierge called a few potential leads. Sure enough, it was waiting there for pickup safe and sound. You'd think Disney is next but you'd be wrong. We'd be driving past Disney and heading to Fuji Q! Good thing or bad thing? Comment below!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Thanks for the comments all!

 

This weekend marked one of the worst ice storms in the area since 1998. Power is back up so why let the weather ruin a perfectly good look back at Fuji-Q? Have to take this opportunity since it's always a gamble if the weather doesn't cooperate or a volcano erupts. Just like at Fuji-Q.

 

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 9 - FUJI-Q HIGHLAND

 

You know, it's often said that there are so many ways to have a day at Fuji Q completely ruined, with most of it being due to Fuji Q. If you've ever visited, you'll notice essentially right away that the potential for a really bad day is everywhere. I can't describe it more clearly other then to say that it's as if the real Japan of efficiency and precision only exists outside of the boundaries of the park. Mercifully, this was the first TPR Japan tour in history to have a very decent day, in fact really great day, at Fuji Q. I think I speak for everyone when I say how thankful we were for being able to accomplish all that we did.

 

As Nagashima seemed close to a Cedar Fair North American experience, I would say that Fuji Q is the closest to a Six Flags North American experience on account of its ride collection and overall look and feel. I can totally get why I've heard Fuji Q often compared to Six Flags Magic Mountain. A great ride line up with a ton of potential but the park can somehow suck your soul away at the worst of times or always leave you puzzled and scratching your head at the best of times. If you haven't been to either park, you'll know what this means if and when you visit.

 

All the background and pep talks that we received prior to our visit truly mitigated any potential for a bad day. A huge shout out to Robb and Elissa for directing traffic at the fast pass booth and honestly giving each group a customized plan of attack to get as much done as possible throughout the day. The end result? I'm happy to report that everyone made it on every ride at Fuji Q, at least once! This alone, made it one of the best days ever. The fact that the rides were good and that the park is actually quite nice was a bonus. I was really looking forward to visiting primarily because of the ride line up and am glad that it worked out for everyone.

 

Since this park has the closest to a North American coaster line-up, I thought I'd give a quick impression of the steel monsters at the park.

 

Dodonpa. The most intense launch ever, period. Sure, it may not do a lot after the launch but it really doesn't have to. This ride is all about the fastest acceleration in the world at the time and since it already does way more than Hypersonic ever did, it's a win win. Dodonpa is terrifying, loud at launch and almost stealthy quiet during the rest of the ride. It is still one of the best, if not the best thrill at Fuji Q.

 

Fujiyama. One to the coolest hyper coaster layouts that I've ever seen or been on. Part out and back, part twister and a great overall ride. Togo to me had most of the best coasters of the trip.

 

Takabisha. The tallest Eurofighter and steepest roller coaster in the world to date. It is also new for 2013. I'm not sure how I felt about this one other than it being a launched Eurofighter on steroids. The first drop really looks fantastic and is terrifying. Overall, it was a fun ride and the least painful Eurofighter that I've been on, compared to Untamed and Saw at the other end of the scale. This was also the first ride of the day and the first time I was left scratching my head at Fuji Q--it didn't take long at all. I hope that nobody forgot their dangerous park maps and tickets in the storage container wall with lockable front doors, also known here as ride lockers.

 

Eejanaika. Great theming and a great ride. If you've been on X or X2, you'll know what this is like. Aside from being a bit bouncy, I don't think a lot of coasters can still come close to the thrill of a 4D. I personally love them and having a chance to ride one of these again was something that I took as much advantage of as I could. If I remember correctly, the only difference from X/ X2 is that the trains are a bit shorter and the ride itself is a bit longer.

 

Great Fluffy Sky Adventure. Simply known as the "hamster ride". One of the best rides at the park. I'll say no more.

 

Overall things were going as smoothly as possible! I was even given a Takabisha fast pass with two hours left in the operating day for another ride. Thing is, when I got to the entrance, the lines were closed for the day to make sure they were empty by closing time or earlier. A different take on closing time I guess? In any case, everything at that point was a true bonus so really, it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. It sure was a great way to collect the last head scratcher of the day though. The rest of the day gave everyone a great chance to check out the views of the incredible Mount Fuji.

 

Enjoy the pics and have a Fuji Q day! I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. Have a great day! That's better.

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Being at a Disney resort and getting ready to leave Disney can make for a tough start to day.

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With breakfast in hand, we were off to...

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....drive past Tokyo Disney Sea for

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and head to the Mount Fuji area.

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The majesty of Mount Fuji is a site to behold.

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To many, so are S&S 4D coasters--the the lava best stay in Fuji.

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Fuji Q welcomes its guests with Fujiyama, perhaps one of Togo's finest.

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A bit Togo for the soul.

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Park is open and despite the slight drizzle, Fujiyama, Dodonpa and Takabisha were testing/ open.

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A few special rules that make Fuji Q so special.

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Up first, Fujiyama!

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Terminator 2 trains?

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New for 2013 is Takabisha.

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This ride looks great and the first drop is honestly terrifying. Mount Fuji as your view is never a bad thing, so long as there is no lava.

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Now, I only want to give sneak peak of one of the most intense rides ever--Great Fluffy Sky Adventure

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A few shots of Dodonpa.

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Time to give it a try.

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It looks cute and cuddly, doesn't it?

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Don't let that fool you.

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We're ready for the fastest launch.....in the world.

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It didn't disappoint.

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Up next, lunch with Eejanaika.

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The ride area looked great.

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A walk through Thomas Land, which is the nicest one around.

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Well, it's a credit, so..

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Chuck! The ride op wasn't that bad... Oh wait, we're in line for the Haunted Hospital

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This is one of the best haunted attractions around. Even if you don't come across an actor, the props and sets are enough to creep you right out.

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The day ended with a bit of time checking out Mount Fuji. What a backdrop to any park.

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A fun day at the park all things considered.

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Nevertheless, a drink after a day at Fuji-Q I've heard is mandatory. We obliged at the Resort Gateway area.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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  • 1 month later...

^I can totally understand that, I loved the coasters there and being able to walk around with Mount Fuji just happening to be in the background was something truly "awesome". I mean, if that doesn't inspire awe, what does?

 

As great as coasters are, Japan has a lot of other stuff. This section is about two really interesting spots near Kyoto--the Fushimi Inari shrine and Arashiyama.

 

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 2 CULTURE - FUSHIMI INARI AND ARASHIYAMA

 

Fushimi Inari is the most popular Inari shrine in Japan. You can easily spot these shrines by all of the orange traditional Japanese gates, or torii, which represent the gateways to sacred areas. Inari are the Shinto religion's spirits, or kami, which are thought to resemble foxes. They are worshipped to maintain fertility, rice, tea and sake--the staples of ensuring prosperity and success in agriculture and industry. Foxes, called kitsune, are believed to act as advocates of success to the Inari on behalf of their worshippers. This is why you'll see a lot of fox statues at Inari shrines, often in male/ female pairs. The statues hold a symbolic item of prosperity that they are protecting on behalf of their worshippers, such as keys or rice, in their mouths or under their paw. It's believed that the whole advocacy process may work out better if you make offerings to the kitsune. These are traditionally of rice, sushi rolls or tofu, but you'll see plenty of places to donate your change and money as another option to help with your own prosperity and success. The torri are also generally sponsored by companies, families or individuals. The larger the gift, the larger your gate.

 

Arashiyama is a smaller touristy area west of Kyoto with a traditional central area leading to the Togetsukyo Bridge and mountain area. It looks like it would be a great place to visit in the fall or spring. The lake is full of cool traditional boats and touristy "pleasure boats", where yes, sometimes people "make pleasure". Further down the path are the Arashiyama bamboo groves.

 

For the animal lovers, this area is also home to the Iwatayama Monkey Park on top of Mount Arashiyama, a conservatory of over 170 wild Japanese macaque monkeys, who have kinda sorta become used to us humans being around. It's only a "short" climb up a mountain, but worth it. Although in geography like this it isn't uncommon to encounter monkeys in the wild, this is a cool way at bringing them closer to us and really is something to experience, as frightening as these monkeys can be up close...

 

After a long day, we ended up having burnt ramen for dinner at Gogyo and checking out the Shinkyogoku arcade on the walk back to the hotel.

 

Enjoy the pics!

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Let's start at Fushimi Inari Shrine

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A good cleanse is needed before moving on to sacred realms.

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I have forgot what these are, but definitely one of the more interesting displays along the shops area.

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Worshipping at the main Inari shrine.

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One of many kitsune.

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The start of the torii pathways leading to the shrines.

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These donated by families and companies. The more you donate, the larger they are.

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Some of the smaller Inari shrines around the grounds.

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The Inari are not amused.

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Throw some money at this one and you'll guarantee success and prosperity....just not yours ;)

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Main shopping area and these carts were cooking up some great local eats--octopus in this case.

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After leaving the shrine, other traditional figures were everywhere. Time for lunch.

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After a day of tradition and worship, it was time to get cultured with that other staple of Japanese culture, Shaka Shaka Chicken. Next up, Arashiyama.

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We made it to the Arashiyama tourist area and man, it was a hot day!

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Definitely serene with no clue about the extent of a mountain climb we were about to take part in.

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The Togetsukyo bridge, leading to Mount Arashiyama.

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Time for...

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Monkey Park!

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These stairs were just the beginning.

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Ok so getting there wasn't easy as pie but it was worth it.

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Great views of Kyoto from the park.

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What a life.

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The sounds these monkeys make when fighting is pretty vicious and a good reminder that you're in the middle of wild habitat.

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A monkey in a tree..who knew?

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I'm actually not sure if this was for the monkeys or us. It was fun regardless ;)

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After Monkey Park we headed to the Arashiyama bamboo groves.

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I don't think there are many things that are more peaceful.

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First geisha sighting of the trip.

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Back to Tokyo train station

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We decided to check out the pathway across the train station's atrium for some great views of the city.

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It was definitely of a decent height.

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My very first burnt ramen at Gogyo Kyoto restaurant.

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The fact that they still served us after taking off our shoes on this day in particular was exceptionally impressive.

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The Shinkyogoku shopping arcade was on the way back to the hotel.

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Thanks for checking out the pics!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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  • 2 weeks later...

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 10 - TOKYO DISNEYLAND

 

As much as I've tried to say that I'm not really a huge Disney guy, there's just something about actually arriving at a Disney Park that makes even the "kinda sorta" fans into excited kids again. It's as close a definition of "Disney Magic" that I can think of. Being an easily accessible and popular city park means that it's usually quite busy at Tokyo Disney parks. We were lucky on our first day as crowds were moderate.

 

I feel so lucky to have been to three Disney "Magic Kingdom" parks. It's hard to choose a favourite and I can honestly say I really like the all, with a very slight edge to Magic Kingdom at WDW. The Winnie the Pooh ride? The easiest way to describe it quite honestly is...magical. An honourable mention to Jungle Boat Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room in Japanese.....what a trip.

 

I've heard the Japenese being described as impossibly friendly in some travel guides. It's true and even more so inside the gates of Tokyo Disneyland. It's an incredible place to to be.

 

Enjoy the pics!

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Good morning Tokyo Disneyland!

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A great "good morning" view.

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We definitely lucked out with the hotel rooms

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This....is Bayside station...

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Disneyland hotel

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We got there early to make sure that we got our Fast Pass strategy all organized

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We are now officially Disneyfied

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I am the princess now.

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Tokyo Disneyland has the full size castle!

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Our first Fast Pass stop was Monsters Inc. It was closed but we were told we could use them whenever the ride reopened, even if expired--that is service!

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Still a lot of fun.

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The best ride at the park by far.

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This always deserves a courtesy ride.

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This was such a bizarre experience.

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My fourth time seeing this at three parks. It's still uhm....surreal?

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Love Toon Town!

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Such a great day.

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Time for Doma Doma! All you can eat and drink is a great thing....

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So who's brave enough to try these?

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That's much better. Up next, DisneySea!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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We move one of the most beautiful theme park ever built, DisneySea. It's like a modern version of Epcot, which means it's more of a concept for those pushing the strollers. I really think that this park defines what a theme park is on what definitely looks like a spare no expenses budget. The details are incredible, almost unheard of for a theme park. The Italian section was phenomenal along with another of my personal favourite areas, New York.

 

If you really think about it, there aren't a lot of "rides" per say at DisneySea, but each one is an incredible attraction. Quantity doesn't really matter here as you could ride nothing and still have an incredible day at the park.

 

Highlights were for sure the gyozos coupled with a truly refreshing glass of frozen Kirin beer, debating whether or not the Neptune submarines actually go under water, being schooled on whether the lave monster was male or female and coming up with the meaning of life--why Aquatopia exists and why it is so much fun. Riding Indiana Jones a few times here and in California, I'm wondering why it's not at Disney World. Journey to Centre of the Earth was a fantastic ride for the moment you enter the queue right to the end.

 

This was my third Tower of Terror ride. I'd give it a first place finish for the overall theming, concept and pre-show but the short height and seat belts put it slightly behind the Florida version. I love the extra stuff that the Florida version has.

 

I know there are a ton of phenomenal pictures from DisneySea so I'll keep this set a bit brief. Just a bit. I mean, who gets tired of DisneySea?

 

Enjoy the pics!

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It was great being there during an anniversary year.

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A little Europe to welcome you?

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Yes, please.

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It really is mind blowing.

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Good morning!

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Even on a rainy day, we were having a blast.

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A few attempts at trying to catch Journey

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An unexpected part of the ride for sure.

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The details here are incredible.

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It's bizarre seeing a relative's family name in Japan.

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I really liked this area as well

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Hotel Hightower! We'll be checking in there soon.

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We've heard so much of the Shiriki Utundu piece that we just had to check in and see it for ourselves.

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About to head to the pre-show. I know the effect is simple but it's done so well that it amazes me each time we saw it.

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For me, even thought I'm afraid of drop rides, I think the Tower of Terror rides are the most re-ridable rides at every Disney.

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Checking out some other ares while heading to the "under the sea" area.

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Time to ride Indy!

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After a long day, nothing like gyozo by the volcano.

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Fantasmic!

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Mmmm, really nice coverage on the Disney parks, Jason.

I am still not happy about not being able to go back

this March (doing the Scandi tour, can't afford both).

Hopefully, in 2015....maybe? Or 2016 with the China Tour!

 

Looking forward to more great photos and commentary, Jason.

 

And you got a better shot of BAYSIDE STATION than I did!

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