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Taylor's Coaster (and Food) Adventures


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Great report! I think we went to ride Thunder Dolphin latter in the day and since it had a queue, they were assigning seats. Fortunately the sights are enjoyable in every row.

 

I'm now bummed I missed that Mario Kart tour!

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Thanks for all the great feedback, guys! I've most enjoyed recounting these free days, to be honest! Did lots of cool things.

 

^I have added that Gyoza place to my list of places to try next time! Thanks for that!

 

Remember next time you do the MariCar, you won't be able to dress up in Nintendo clothes but other random outfits instead.

 

Hmm, yeah after you commented this, I read some of the articles about the company. I think they're doing everything right. Just have some idiots as usual ruining a good thing. It was only a matter of time before the costume thing went away, I guess.

 

Great report! I think we went to ride Thunder Dolphin latter in the day and since it had a queue, they were assigning seats. Fortunately the sights are enjoyable in every row.

 

I'm now bummed I missed that Mario Kart tour!

 

Yeah, it was tricky, because you had to basically commit to it weeks before the trip to get your international drivers license. There's always next time!

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Great TR! Seeing your pics made me want to book another trip to Japan!

 

MariCar was a huge highlight of my Japan trip in 2017. Sooooo much fun, and it didn't feel unsafe at all. During our coffee break, we walked past a group of school kids and they cheered when we walked past. Some wanted to take pictures too!

We picked a 3 hour night ride and the time flew by so fast. There's nothing like flying down Rainbow Bridge, full speed in a Go Kart. I highly recommend doing this if anyone's planning a trip to Japan. Just make sure to make reservations with them on Facebook (well in advance), and get your International Driver's License. You have to have one in order to do this.

 

Best experience ever!!

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Day 15: Fuji Q and Disney After 6

 

Welcome back! Today was a bit different. Fuji Q Highland is a bit difficult to access. The best way Elissa figured was to charter a bus and it worked out quite well! This was a park I had been looking forward to for the coasters, but was a bit apprehensive about because of TPR's past experiences. I think this is how EVERY Fuji-Q report starts out.

 

One thing you will not find in the pictures is this: the area you walk through before the proper park entrance is quite nice! It's a little village with shops and food. I think it is new since TPR's last visit and it is a quality touch. Another thing... it should be pretty clear from the name of the park. But Fuji-Q is located about as close to Mt. Fuji as you can get. So I was anxiously waiting to see if we'd catch a glimpse of the peak. Read on to find out if we were lucky!

 

To give you a bit of an idea of our strategy... we were given three fast passes, one each for Eejanaika, Do-Dodonpa, and Takabisha (Fujiyama down for refurb). I cannot give you advice as to how they got it done. But Robb did manage to get through the gate before the park officially opened with a park rep to acquire them, which really helped. When the park did open, we were basically advised to run to whatever we cared about most. In my case, that was Do-Dodonpa. From there, the lines had accumulated to the point where it was necessary to begin using our fast passes.

 

Gonna do this one a bit differently and give a little ride by ride breakdown for the major coasters.

 

Eejanaika: Let me preface this by saying that my opinion is not shared by all. These 4D coasters are very polarizing. The loading for this was just a mess. Multiple restraint checks, no shoes allowed, etc. But we got on. Dunno whether the inside or outside is less rough. But whatever was supposedly better was where I sat. I don't think it is rough. It's just intense and a bit relentless. I like to know what's going on and this ride really doesn't do that. So that is why I say it is clearly personal preference. Felt about the same about X2. 3/10.

 

Do-Dodonpa: This was the one I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately, fast pass was restricted to the last two rows (of four). Regardless, the anticipation for the launch on my first ride was nothing short of harrowing. The music that plays in the station gets you pumped up. And then out of nowhere once your train leaves the station and heads to the launch area, a loud voice just yells, " LAUNCH TIME!" and then it counts down and you're off. I remember Elissa or someone describing the sensation of the launch as roughly equivalent to the feeling you might get when you're hit by a truck. Can't confirm or deny that, but wow. It is a hell of a launch. The rest of the ride is pretty smooth honestly, but it's a one trick pony. The loop was fun, but the entrance INTO the loop was a bit jarring for me. 9/10

 

Takabisha: I had also heard this was a ride with an identity crisis. One half being great, the other being pretty rough (a la Jekyll and Hyde). But honestly, I enjoyed all of it and it was definitely my favorite Euro-fighter. The launch was fun and the steep drop was a gimmick, but still fun! 8/10.

 

Fuji Airways: This was totally unexpected! Elissa mentioned they had a Soarin' ripoff, but I left this very impressed. The pre show was ridiculous as expected and centered around a character who had Mt. Fuji hair. Impossible for me to describe it any other way. But the actual simulator was quite fun! Super glad I did this. 7/10.

 

They had some other coasters, but these were the noteworthy ones.

 

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Welcome to hell. Or maybe heaven. Depends how the weather and the park treats us.

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Nice little entrance area.

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I will admit, it is a clever idea for a ride. And I loved making screwed up ridiculous versions in RCT2 (constantly slowly flipping you as you ascended the lift hill.

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They had a rather nice Thomas Town area (with absolutely the lamest, saddest excuse for a kiddie coaster of the trip. But I have no shame.

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Nice cute little dark ride in the back of this section, as well as a handful of other rides. They were renovating the area, as well!

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And they may not have had a full size log flume. But you better believe I rode this.

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Naw. I didn't. But I DID take advantage of this luxury. Twice actually, throughout the day. The pretzels were cheaper here than in malls back home and I had a maple flavored and a regular one.

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Sounds pretty harsh, really.

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So yeah, the launch is in a tunnel which definitely adds to the sensation of it all.

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They had a cute little suspended coaster. Horrible capacity as was the case with the rest of the park.

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I think off in the distance there was a rapids ride that looked pretty nuts. It was a kind of rainy day, so I did not partake.

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Meat Meet or Meet Meat was for lunch. And it was really tasty! Got a meatloaf type thing, a piece of sausage, and some bacon, plus a whole stewed tomato, some rice, and soup. A nice meal, especially for a park.

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PITTSBURGH! Hometown getting some representation.

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This is something I can get behind.

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They had this really nice little area of the park where you could walk up some trails and get to a little bit of high ground to try to see Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, no dice throughout the day.

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I got a better picture with Mt. Fuji at Legoland, to be honest.

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This loop is really, really big.

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The building on the left is the Soarin' ride. And Takabisha in the distance.

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Unfortunately, no Fujiyama this trip.

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No Fuji. Boooo.

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This drop is definitely a gimmick, but it is fun!

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Reppin' my black and gold.

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King of Coasters is a nice tagline.

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Sad go karts, not so sad coaster.

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Odd cotton candy, they also sold Ben and Jerry's ice cream I wanna say in some of the gift shops.

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Beer vending machine with no supervision. Wow. Only in Japan.

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Overall, we had a really nice day at the park. Were taken care of quite well and got on everything we were able to. They made some weird announcements throughout the day about wind and rain shutting down rides and how if you get in line before park close and then the park closes and you're not on the ride yet, that you're basically SOL. Other than that... great day!

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Still no luck on the bus. But yeah, we took a bit of an early exit from the park as we had completed everything folks wanted to do (another nice thing about the trip) and had a couple hour trip back to Disney property. I was hopeful we would return in a reasonable enough time to go to Disney for a bit.

 

Tokyo Disneyland:

 

I'd be crazy not to say Disney was what I was excited for most on this trip. Ever since seeing my first report on these parks from TPR, I knew I HAD to visit at some point. I cannot express how grateful I am to know that I got to do that before I even turned 25. Gives me more time to re visit down the line. This first day, I flew solo and actually punched in on my phone (as I did the other Disney days) what I did. So, here's a breakdown of how my quick 3.5 hours in the park went, according to my notes. P.S. I'll try to give my opinions on some of the rides in later reports, as I'll be re-riding all of these, I'm betting.

 

-Entered Disneyland and in line for Pirates of the Caribbean by 6:40, waited 5 minutes

-Got curry popcorn

-On Pinnochio by 7:20 (I can remember eating the popcorn in line)

-On haunted Mansion by 7:40

-On Splash Mountain at 8:05 (only 5 people in front of me for single rider)

-In line for Pooh at 8:25, on at 8:50

-In line for Buzz at 9:10

-In line for Space Mountain at 9:40

 

So, in 3.5 hours, I did 7 rides and got some popcorn. I would say, not too bad an evening. And for $38... a no brainer, for me.

 

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I think I ended up getting to Toyko Disneyland around 6:30 PM. They offer an after 6 ticket for about , which is a steal of a deal. I am SO happy I went in this night. Can never have enough Disney. Honestly, didn't take many pictures because I was in a bit of shock/tried to get as much done as possible in a short period of time.

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Main Street is covered and beautiful as ever.

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My first stop was this. What a lovely choice.

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These little turners were different at every machine and I appreciated that! The curry popcorn was lovely. I am a big popcorn guy and I can really appreciate the emphasis Tokyo Disney places on it. And why not? It sells!

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I got the first of three rides on Pooh and was absolutely blown away. It befuddles me how Disney hasn't just cloned this ride or re-purposed this system everywhere.

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Buzz was fun as usual, though I really think they could do better on these things. The scoring system always seemed wonky and I feel like for sheer gamesmanship, there were better shooting dark rides all over Japan. Obviously this ride has other stuff going for it. With that, though! Get ready, because tomorrow, we are heading to two parks that are VERY FAR away from Tokyo.

Edited by Taylor Finn
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"Eejanaika: Let me preface this by saying that my opinion is not shared by all. These 4D coasters are very polarizing."

 

A special thanks to those on the trip who hated Eejanaika enough to give up their fast passes. (I'm pretty sure Robb and Elissa are at the top of that list.) This afforded me two bonus rides on it.

 

I know I'm in the minority here, but I can definitively say that Eejanaika is the best coaster I rode in Japan. That thing was just bonkers from start to finish.

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Great report!

 

You hit the nail on the head with Eejanaika. I've never heard anyone come off that or X2 saying it was ok. Either you love it or hate it.

 

Like you, I'm super thankful Robb and Elissa got those fastpasses since it made an enjoyable day at Fuji-Q for everyone.

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Bummed we didn't get to really see Mt. Fuji on this trip, it usually at least clears for like 5 minutes!

 

Glad we all had a very tolerable visit though! I think it was one of our best ever if not the best.

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^I have added that Gyoza place to my list of places to try next time! Thanks for that!

 

Remember next time you do the MariCar, you won't be able to dress up in Nintendo clothes but other random outfits instead.

 

OMG same, that Gyoza place looks awesome. Pretty sure I could eat the entire menu!

 

Can confirm with MariCar...no Nintendo characters in sight this February. And for some reason, it just didn't seem as fun as when I did it in 2018. Glad I got to do it originally and as Donkey Kong, but think I'll pass on future Tokyo trips. The people are really nice though!

 

I have really enjoyed these reports Taylor, you do a good job taking us through the Japan experience. Almost feel like I am there with you! You have provided many more ideas of things to do...its endless in Japan! Looking forward to the rest of the updates.

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A special thanks to those on the trip who hated Eejanaika enough to give up their fast passes. (I'm pretty sure Robb and Elissa are at the top of that list.) This afforded me two bonus rides on it.

 

I know I'm in the minority here, but I can definitively say that Eejanaika is the best coaster I rode in Japan. That thing was just bonkers from start to finish.

 

Well, yeah. The fast pass thing worked out in that folks who didn't necessarily have an interest in a particular coaster could pass them off. I rode Do-dodondpa an extra time because of that!

 

Bummed we didn't get to really see Mt. Fuji on this trip, it usually at least clears for like 5 minutes!

 

Glad we all had a very tolerable visit though! I think it was one of our best ever if not the best.

 

Truly, nothing really happened bad that day. You gotta accept that the park is popular, so you're never going to just walk on these rides (especially given the capacity). But we did everything we wanted, some things twice, and yeah. Worth visiting!

 

OMG same, that Gyoza place looks awesome. Pretty sure I could eat the entire menu!

 

Can confirm with MariCar...no Nintendo characters in sight this February. And for some reason, it just didn't seem as fun as when I did it in 2018. Glad I got to do it originally and as Donkey Kong, but think I'll pass on future Tokyo trips. The people are really nice though!

 

I have really enjoyed these reports Taylor, you do a good job taking us through the Japan experience. Almost feel like I am there with you! You have provided many more ideas of things to do...its endless in Japan! Looking forward to the rest of the updates.

 

The Gyoza really was delicious. Loved that practically every place I saw to eat at was just a little nook. And I'm glad you're enjoying following along. I have really enjoyed posting these pictures and going into a bit more detail than when I showed friends them!

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Day 16: Benyland, Lina World (#300!), and Sega Joypolis

 

Today was a VERY busy day. Some of the trip participants added two days to our Tokyo Disney stay (a really nice option for those that love Disney, like me). With that in mind, some of the folks who had only two days on Disney property (and others who didn't want to wake up at 5:30) decided to stay back for the day and relax or do Disney for a third day. NOT TAYLOR, THOUGH. We would press on.

 

We took the resort subway to the gateway back to Tokyo, took one more local train to Tokyo Station, and then hopped on a bullet train that took us from Tokyo up to Sendai (230 miles, 4.5 hours by car) in 90 minutes. I cannot stress enough how much I LOVED getting around in Japan. I can honestly say it was the surprise highlight of the trip for me. Just relaxing on a bullet train watching the world fly by. So much less stressful than driving around yourself and obviously more efficient. Just a joy.

 

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Here is our ride for the morning.

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Thanks Elissa for clocking this! So, yeah, I mentioned before there are three tiers of Shinkansen. I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong), you can only take the two "slower" more frequent stop Shinkansen in most cases; however, the only way for us to get up to Sendai was via the fastest train, so that was allowed. Reservations for this tier train are REQUIRED, unlike the other two where it is recommended (guarantee a seat next to your group), but not required (they have reserved and un-reserved train cars).

 

We arrived in Sendai. If you didn't know, in 2011, the fourth strongest Earthquake recorded and the strongest ever recorded in Japan struck Sendai. The earthquake and subsequent Tsunami waves destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings and killed roughly 16,000 people. It was the costliest natural disaster in history. We didn't see too much of the coastal area that was affected, but it was still surreal and a bit overwhelming to imagine the damage that occurred here. If you're interested in a very interesting video about the impact of the earthquake and how some of the community has responded in powerful ways, you can check out this link:

 

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What do you see over there on the right?

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Oh, nothing. Just an organized, orderly line of taxis waiting patiently for their turn to pick up people.

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We took our cab to the park and arrived a bit before open. Had some time to spare, so I ran over to the 7-Eleven across the street to grab a little snack. This is onigiri and is a delicious cold rice ball. They have salted rice, fried rice, as well as more elaborate seafood versions stuffed with salmon, etc.

 

Benyland: Benyland ended up being a nice little surprise of a park. Two old Arrow coasters, lovely landscaping, and an empty park made for a nice couple hours.

 

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We have arrived!

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This park really surprised me. You look at the maps/websites for these parks and you don't get much of an impression. But, as was the case for the whole trip, really no park was a disappointment. This one had some unique stuff going for it!

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Your map.

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Little castle you walked under to get past the main entrance area where most of the flats were located. I probably rode less than a dozen flat rides the whole trip (not counting big wheels), and that's alright! Always so many dark rides and wonky things to check out.

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The little jet coaster thing they had was cute. Not much to it, but unique layout as usual and great landscaping!

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Employees often multi-tasked throughout their shift, landscaping while they were not operating (which was practically always, unless we were riding).

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They had this suspended Fiesta Express type ride. Was it fun? Eh. I guess.

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Here was cyclone, which was no doubt a one trick pony. The ejector airtime in the back seat on the first drop was remarkable and totally unexpected. The front of the train was basically at the bottom of the hill when you got pulled over the lift, so yeah... pretty wicked. The rest of the ride didn't do much of anything. But certainly a surprise hit.

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No shame.

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Obligatory (not so big) wheel. Probably because we weren't really right on the coast.

 

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The other credit here was Corkscrew. Which was nice enough. Nothing terribly unexpected. Nagashima's was smoother, but it was well taken care of in the paint department!

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A better view of that first drop on Cyclone.

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This was wonky. They had a train simulator. You had to stop at certain intersections for pedestrians/traffic. It scored you based on how effectively you stopped, etc. It was a cute idea for an interactive ride. Certainly the kind of thing that would be nice in the States (not super high capacity unfortunately).

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This flat ride looked promising but really didn't do much of anthing.

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Paid 300 yen for the upcharge walkthrough. I don't really remember there being any actors inside. Did get stuck in a circle one time, so I guess it succeeded there.

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From the wheel (why do I feel like this was a bigger ferris wheel that I didn't take a picture of)?

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An overview of Cyclone's layout.

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As I said before, the landscaping was really quite nice.

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I guess this is the same wheel from earlier. It's actually fairly big, I guess.

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Rode a little train through the park. Guy had to stop from trimming some bushes to operate the ride, so I felt a bit bad!

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They had this unique "Turnpike in the Sky" type ride that traveled around the front of the park and around all the flats.

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There we are!

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The main concourse was done quite well!

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The flats.

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I think you could read this NOT as Corkscrew.

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That big drop, though.

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And yeah, the jet coaster goes through the Corkscrew a bit.

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They had some unique retro games, which seemed a bit out of nowhere. But was cool!

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One last view of Benyland before we go! What a nice place.

 

Lina World: So, we hopped back in a cab, returned to Sendai Station, grabbed a quick lunch, and then took a local train INLAND. For the first time, really. It was a bizarre trip, as I kept imagining how difficult it would be to construct such a line. There were a few stops where I truly wondered where people lived given how remote the area seemed But was cool to get a bit of perspective on what Japan looks like away from the coast and larger towns. Lina World was actually a bit more crowded because a few school groups were there. But nothing too bad. The park had a couple credits, a decent log flume and a couple interesting walkthroughs. Overall, I liked Benyland more, but this was a nice stop, as well!

 

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Got myself #300! Could really be #302, or something totally different. But, for the sake of my own sanity, it is #300.

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These pictures are obviously questionable. But I figure they are better than nothing, for you guys who want to see a bit of our trip between the two parks.

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We have arrived. Took a quick cab ride over to Lina World.

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The map!

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They really had a thing for Hello Kitty. There was a dark ride, as well as whole little themed Kiddieland.

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Another beautiful setting.

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The main walkway up to the Ferris Wheel is actually quite scenic.

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Here is credit number one.

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Here would be "credit" number two. However, it was not open. Which was... fine.

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Looked really fun, though. Let me tell you!

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There was a weird "4D" theater they had. Not too much in the way of movement, but a couple jolts in the chair and whatnot. They were actually way more intense than they had any reason being. But alas.

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The flume had a clever little plastic screen you could put up. However, most of the water came in from the sides, so it didn't really fix anything.

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They had a music express that had a covered. It was like a homemade caterpillar type ride. It was pretty fun!

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Here we are. The big one. #300. Jetcorster Discovery. Couldn't have gotten much luckier than this. Part of me thought I wanted #300 at Disney. But, it is sort of poetic to get it at some random a** park in Japan.

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They had a mirror maze with some trippy effects.

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They had a little go kart ride. And honestly, if there were places that had single lane go karts that went real fast, I would be all about it. These didn't go too fast, but the idea was nice.

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Some more goofy stuff.

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Another walkthrough.

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The area had some random paths that took you throughout the park. Didn't really feel like you were in an amusement park at moments.

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OH!

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The view from the Wheel was good, as always.

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Some more flats.

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Not so flats.

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Here was the other credit. Neither were anything to write home about. But I loved riding them anyway, because they're all so different from America. It's not doing much of anything. But in a weird way.

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The little hedges were really well landscaped.

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I really don't have the slightest idea what this was. But here you are.

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Nor this.

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But it came from here.

 

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They had an ice house, so of course we went in.

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I really don't like shrimp.

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One last photo.

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Headed out and had some more nice views on the way back to Tokyo.

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Odaiba Decks and Sega Joypolis: That night, after we returned, a few of us went to Joypolis for a quick evening trip. We needed something to eat and found ourselves a burger joint that looked pretty good! It was Hawaiian themed, I guess. A few locations over in the US where it formed and then one here. But Joypolis turned out to be a lot of fun. We got a discounted rate with our passport and for showing up close to closing. But Gekion Live Coaster was certainly the highlight. Didn't know what to expect, really. But it was nice. We also did a crazy simulator that later made me throw up (that night, I felt fine after it), because we probably flipped 30 times in 3 minutes. Did a couple more simulators, as well as the Halfpipe and were on our way. Halfpipe was really fun and unique and is another reason to visit.

 

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A poor picture. But yeah, my burger had pineapple on it and I enjoyed it!

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We had a nice view of the city, Rainbow Bridge, and Lady Liberty.

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That's where we ate.

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Sega Joypolis!

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Here is the pricing.

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And the only picture I took from inside (sorry) was this car simulator. That was pretty cool! Thanks for bearing with me through ALL these pictures from this update. Next time, and from here on out, all Disney pictures!

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Days 17 and 18: Tokyo DisneySea/Disneyland

Hello again! It has been... too long. Need to finish this one up. Got loads of other reports in the wing here that I would love to also post.

 

By now, we are so, so close to the end of the trip which was sad. But! It was also time for Disney, which was what I had absolutely been most looking forward to. The trip included a day at each of the two parks with the option to add two more days in the parks/hotel. I love my Disney, so it was a no brainer for me. I ended up getting quite a few rides. Stay tuned in my next and final report for the grand tally.

 

I will try to include some of my general thoughts about the park as I go along. There are much better, more comprehensive reports of these parks out there. That wasn't really my goal when visiting, just was there to enjoy myself and eat lots of good food and ride my favorites as many times as I could. Also, I believe I used my work phone for pictures on these days a bit more and those may not have transferred over to the album I am pulling from on Google Photos. Enjoy!

 

Tokyo DisneySea

 

I really, really wanted to love this park. I really did. After seeing all the reports from Robb and Elissa, all the hype, etc. It seemed destiny that I would love this place. The anticipation had been building for well over two weeks of trip for this one park.

 

...and I did love it. I really did. The trip reports can never capture what this place is actually like to walk around. It was an absolute blast to experience a totally different Disney park for the first time. This park is unlike any other Disney park and I am so glad it ended up in Japan and not in California.

 

Our day started out pretty early with breakfast at the hotel. Which was my favorite hotel breakfast of the trip! Lots of yummy options and a delicious chocolate bread that I ate every morning. Hopped on the monorail and headed to the front gate about an hour ahead of park open. This is customary advice if you are going. It makes a huge difference. In fact, someone in our group split off to go to the bathroom before we lined up at the front gate and sat at a different entrance to the side and got in 3-5 minutes before us and was honestly hours ahead of us the rest of the day in getting things done.

 

Now, one more thing to talk about that happened. We were walking along with one box of popcorn shared amongst four or five of us. And then, a couple cast members approach us and explain that we have just won something. Not just any something. A popcorn pass that grants us literally unlimited popcorn for the rest of the day. At any of the MANY popcorn stalls selling any of the MANY different flavors (8 or 9). I can tell you right now my definitive ranking of what I had this day (some of these may have been exclusive to Disneyland but who cares?)

 

Curry, Milk Chocolate

Caramel

Black pepper

Blueberry

Tomato herb

Garlic Shrimp

 

Now, onto some ride reviews:

 

Toy Story: Yeah, it is great! Moving on. 8/10

 

Tower of Terror: Tower of Terror is a whole new animal here. It is probably better than Florida. But I dunno. I would say the pre show and story is better but the actual ride is a bit more tame. And the Tower itself is just stunning. And really fits into the area well. LOVE IT. 9.5/10

 

Indiana Jones: SINGLE RIDER IS MY LIFE. Truly, the single rider lines here are all unmarked and so I rode this 6 times at least in my three days at the park. I never waited more than 5 minutes and the wait was typically always 50-75 minutes. This is a lifesaver. Especially because it frees up a fast pass. You're in the dark the whole time. Why do you need to ride with others. I love how high capacity this thing is, too with the dual loading stations. 9.9999/10

 

Raging Spirits: This is a perfectly fun, enjoyable ride. Smooth, not too intense, the loop is good and the theming is solid. I totally understand why this ride needs to be here and I am glad they have it! It is difficult to make an outdoor coaster really fit the vibe of this park. And I think it does that. Ride it at night. And do single rider! 8/10.

 

Nemo & Friends Searider: This was just alright. Worth doing? Sure. Top of my list? Naw. No reason to think this wasn't an improvement over StormRider since it now has an IP associated with it. 6/10

 

Sinbad's Storybook Voyage: Every Disney park can benefit from a nice boat ride like this. Always a short line which is another great thing. Compass of Your Heart is a jam and I am listening to it as I write this review just to get me in the spirit of this ride again. IT IS SO CATCHY AND UPLIFTING. Sinbad for life. 12/10.

 

Journey to the Center of the Earth: NA/10. Tears. It was down for rehab. But honestly, it gives me a reason to be SUPER excited about re-visiting. I want to return to Toyko before 2022 when the huge expansion is due to be complete, but I cannot imagine myself returning to Tokyo and not spending time in these parks.

 

20,000 Leauges Under the Sea: Another ride I did enjoy, but didn't feel the need to re-ride (think I may have done it twice). FP seemed to always be available, but the line never really got above 20-30 minutes. It is done real well, no doubt! 7.5/10.

 

Aquatopia: Oh, this ride rocks. I got real unlucky the one day when they had the Get Wet mode on and we arrived just as it was transitioning back to normal (getting dark out). Just pointless and fun. In the best way. If this ride was <10 minute wait, I would ride every time I walked by it. Just why not?

 

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Yeah, here's Toy Story's line. This ride feels *slightly* out of place in the American Waterfront part of the park. But they did a really nice job of making it seem more organic, honestly.

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For lunch, we went to Vulcania. This was fabulous. We all got meal sets, which included like three different things plus a drink. I got a dim sum platter, a sweet and sour pork, and a cold noodle dish (delicoius and refreshing). Why I got milk on this hot, hot day... I will truly never know.

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One of my favorite things about this park was the shear number of boats everywhere! And the fact that you could ride around in them was super nice and relaxing. Something that will rarely have much of a line even on busy days. Makes the park feel more alive.

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Got some nice shots along the ride.

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I also saw a couple shows today. Big Band Beat is a lottery show but they do have a standby option. Two of us ran up to the rope and asked if we could still make it in (we were one of the last 10 or so) and we still had a few others trudging along a ways back. The cast member was like rooting for them to make it to the entrance in time, like she would've been personally devastated if we hadn't made it. This was a GREAT show. Lots of big band classics (Sing Sing and If it Ain't Got that Swing). And Mickey played drums at one point! Super worth checking out. And a beautiful theater.

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The Cape Cod area was well-done. No rides here, but a cute transition area between the American section and Port Discovery.

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Everywhere you look, Mount Prometheus is there.

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Tower and Titanic.

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The little nook in the back of Mediterranean Harbor where the Gondolas load up is super cute. I did end up getting on them my last day and was glad I did. Offers some more nice views and the singing is great, too.

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None of these pictures are especially great. I know.

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Every so often, Mount Prometheus erupts and yeah. It's greta.

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Despite what this picture shows... our first stop when the park opened was Toy Story Midway Mania to grab a fastpass. This is so highly sought after, it is crazy. If you have one day in the park, I would highly recommend just skipping this fiasco. It is an identical ride, albeit loads of fun. But, I was here for the thrill. Thousands of people rushed in that direction. If you are an early one, you can easily get your FP, ride Tower standby, get another FP to re-ride it, ride your Toy Story FP and be on your merry way within an hour of park opening. If you are further back, your Toy Story FP won't be until 1:00 or so and Tower Standby will have gotten reasonably long already. If you don't already know, the paper FP system lets you get a new FP two hours after your previous one OR as soon as your current FP's window opens. So, if you get a FP for 9:20 AM-10:20 AM, you can get another at 9:20. A huge advantage.

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I believe we got our Toy Story FP and then went up and rode Nemo and waited a good while. From there, we may have rushed back to get a Tower FP and do our Toy Story one. But I honestly don't remember. There is no bad way to attack this park. Just take it all in! This was a delightful Tiramisu cookie sandwich. All four days at the park were blistering hot and without rain (good!) so this was a wonderful treat. The first of many good food experiences here.

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Raging Spirits is way better at night. The sensation of going through the loop after entering a big cloud of fog is super well done and disorienting.

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And yeah, here is a shot of Aquatopia at night. I did see Fantasmic both nights I was in this park. But I'll talk about it next time.

 

Tokyo Disneyland

 

So, I am REAL glad I did four days at Disney and that I did an after 6 night a few days prior to this visit. Because it was CROWDED. So crowded. One of the wonderful things about Magic Kingdom, Disneyland CA and this Disneyland (the ones I've been to) is that there are so many viable things to do even when it IS crowded. Many of the rides still don't have horrible waits and if you use your fast passes wisely for the rides that do get crowded, you can accomplish quite a lot.

 

This is kind of how our day panned out based on what I typed into my notes:

 

Rope dropped an hour early. Ended up next to Robb and some others and went in with them. We rushed to ride Pooh and waited 10 minutes. While we did that, Robb acquired Monsters Inc. FP for us (THANK YOU). Went to Space Mountain and waited 35 minutes. I also typed in that they separated our group so there was not only Americans in the car (#weightprobs).

 

From there, I believe we went and rode Haunted Mansion while Robb got Big Thudner FP. We then used our Monsters FP, did Standby for Star Tours (30 minutes), Standby for Roger Rabbit, got a FP for Small World (yeah, this is very popular here), saw Country Bear, and Rode Pirates before leaving for lunch. That is a VERY productive morning.

 

Then we left the park because it was getting to be a bit much and had lunch at Ikspiari (their version of Downtown Disney). Came back in and explored Tom Sawyer's Island, single ridered Splash Mountain (12 people in front of me in Single Rider with a 100 minute standby wait). Then did Snow White, saw the Electrical Parade, rode Peter Pan, FP Small World, and waited WAY too long for Buzz (an hour plus) before leaving the park for the night. Somewhere after lunch I think I must've rode Big Thunder FP, too.

 

Really, really great day, despite the crowds.

 

I was going to review all the rides. But I don't think that is necessary. I'll just make a few pointers about some of them.

 

Pooh's Hunny Hunt: Luckily, rode this three times and got each of the three possible courses (you leave in groups of three). Truly, a marvel. Just a blast to ride and so much to see and it just doesn't feel like any other ride. It feels like you are a part of something. Is it the best straight up dark ride in Disney? Naw. I still love Mansion and Pirates so, so much. But, this ride is awesome and should 100% replace the other Pooh Rides, immediately. It would be a huge upgrade. 9/10

 

Big Thunder Mountain: Seems to be a bit slower than it's counterparts. Always a nice ride, just always my least favorite of the three mountains. 8.5/10

 

Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek: This was a blast! Basically, you shine flashlights on props to trigger different monsters to pop out. Yeah, there's a storyline that I don't remember off the top of my head...I wish there was some scoring component to the game since I am a competitive person at heart. But the sets are all physical and quite solid. And the ride vehicles kinda take you around in a similar vein to Midway Mania. 8.5/10

 

Jungle Cruise: Couldn't understand a thing they were saying for the most part. But was still funny. And the cave has some real nice projection mapping I hope they bring back to the States.

 

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Here we are on a Saturday in Tokyo Disneyland. SUPER crowded by all metrics. But we got a lot done!

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This electrical parade is on another level. It is a blast. Contemplated not watching it a second night. But reconsidered. It is worth it! The Genie float blew my mind. Just pull up a video of it because nothing I can show you here will capture that. I think I might have more pictures of the parade in my next report.

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Some new construction going on in between Tomorrowland and Toontown. Think Big Hero 6 is going here (and Beauty and the Beast?) or is that a different area? Either way, another reason to get excited about re visiting these parks. One of the things that I noticed was how large the walkways were everywhere. Definitely helped keep traffic moving and helped to allow folks to set up shop before parades.

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Like this. At like 9:00 AM for a 2:00 PM parade, I am sure. But parades are super important to them. I'll take it! The park had ropes all set up and would continue to expand the roped off sections as more and more people sat down. Smart.

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Dunno what this is of. Parade, ride, show? But one thing I will say I was disappointed in... lines for rides were not built out enough. Every day I was there, many of the rides had temporary ropes set up outside to house more people. The indoor portion of Pirates of the Caribbean only had about 15-20 minutes worth of line. That doesn't seem super smart. Just an observation.

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So yeah, we left and had lunch at an Australian based Mexican restaurant in Tokyo. Weird. But our timing turned out to be great. When we arrived, Happy Time (believe it was actually called this) for food was about to end. So we got some food at a discounted price. And then when that ended, Happy Time for drinks started. So we then went up and ordered 290 yen margaritas. We each had 3 or 4 of them and interacted with some Japanese people who were fascinated by our ever-growing tower of margarita cups. This was a much needed reprieve from the park.

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At some point in the day, we did the Tiki Room with Stich. He kind of just invades the whole operation. I remember finding it pretty funny. But the coolest part was that the cast members offered us translation devices which was super nice.

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Yeah, it is this crowded. Vending machines have lines.

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Here comes the ship. I bet it isn't too crowded?

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OH MY GOODNESS.

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Love these little touches. Like, who is actually looking to see these birds up there?

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Such a pretty park.

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A nice view on the way out. They were doing some work on the entrance area, so a bit obstructed. I do think there are quite a few more pictures next time around. So stay tuned. Hopefully get the final installment to you much quicker than it was to get you this one. Thanks for reading, as always!

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Great report, Taylor! I'm really missing TDR.

 

I believe that mystery midway queue was actually for Pooh fast passes AFTER we had already ridden the ride.

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We're not getting back to Tokyo Disney until (roughly) 2025?

 

So thank you for all the photos and TR of both parks! It gets us that more excited

to be eventually visiting there.

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