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The Happiest Place in Japan: Tokyo disneyland

This ticket is mine. All mine! 
The trip to Disneyland finally happened today!!!!  I hate to use a cliche, but it was definitely a magical experience! Initially I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to Disneyland or DisneySea, but after today I know I made the right decision. I'll just have to come back to visit Sea another time!

Inside Disney Station! 
The entire CIEE group met at school and took the train to Disney Station together. That was where we received our tickets and split into Team Land and Team Sea for our monorail destinations, and then split up into our groups for the day. The monorail was adorable, even the little hand rails hanging from the ceiling were mickey shaped!  The ride wasn't very long and we very quickly arrived at the gates. Of course we all ran in and started the awesomeness immediately. Our first mission was to pick up fast passes for Space Mountain. Even though we arrived decently early, it was so popular that our assigned return time was past 3pm! Since there was plenty of wait time, we moved on and went on our first ride: It's a Small World!  I took a video of a short portion of it; in case you're interested in hearing what it's like in Japanese.
We also were given a handy tip about nearby Splash Mountain. No matter how large your group is (at that point we were 7) always say you're a single rider. They let you go in the fast pass line and you turn an 80 minute wait time into an 8 minute wait time. You won't be sitting with your friends, but it's totally worth it for not having to wait in that awful line!

I'm such a card! Did end up eating
dinner inside here later.
We explored every one of the souvenir shops and eventually three of us bought various forms of head ornamentation. I say it that way because we went beyond the typical mickey ears (which EVERYBODY was wearing!) for something a little more unique. My personal choice was Stitch nom noming my head. I definitely tried on quite a few before choosing, but this one seemed the most me.

Once our fastpass time arrived, I took a quick picture of us rushing through the line at Space Mountain. I couldn't believe how fast we got through everywhere! I think Tokyo Disney has a better understanding of the phrase "maximum capacity" than the US counterparts. Though perhaps it could be because (fun fact) they aren't actually owned by the Disney Corporation. They pay for the right to everything so they can have different rules! For example, if as an adult you show up to Tokyo Disney in costume, nobody cares. If you pull that in the states you'll be kicked out faster than you can say "Security".
 Cinderella's castle not only served as the main focal point of the park, but also the main event stage for their Natsu Matsuri event shows. You have to participate in a lottery to get tickets to the seated area, so we only saw part of the afternoon show, but we definitely snagged tickets to the night time main event!
Disney food was also sort of different, and yet sort of the same. Instead of Mickey shaped ice creams, they had Mickey shaped fruit pops and frozen mango. And don't hate, it's so hot and humid that ice cream would probably make most people sick while conversely the fruit based items cool you down enjoyably. There were still ice creams available, just not on the carts. Even the lunches and dinners had their own Japan twists. My lunch at pizza port was definitely a slice of Mozzerella and Crab pizza. Now THAT is unique, yet delicious!
Even though we're way too old to ride most things there, we took a detour into ToonTown. We wanted to see the Mickey Mouse fountain!

Even though this park is smaller than the Disney in California, it was the perfect size for a one day adventure.

Just past 7 it was time to go watch 'Soryo Kobu The Final'. That's the name of part 2 of the big Natsu Matsuri show up on the main stage. At this point it was just me and Lauren. Our lottery spot secured us some pretty great seats, second block center. What we didn't realize was that this show gets you WET. Not just little sprinkles of water. I mean massive cannons spread throughout the castle and stage. At one point I was trying to film a part of the performance when the cannons went off, all you can see at the end of the video is the camera dropping as you hear me scream. It was kind of hilarious. The show was really fun! The characters danced and there was a lot of audience participation! Also the water cannons felt amazing in the heat.

After that show, we met up with Liza and Andrew near the front of the park. The four of us got a spot to watch the 'Tokyo Disney Electrical Parade'. It was about a 25 minute show which I filmed all of but am not able to upload here today due to internet constraints.  That was probably the best Disney parade I've ever seen. It was just so entertaining and fun!!

When all was said and done, we left the park smiling and feeling like little kids again. I took SO MANY PICTURES! This has been the best day of the entire trip! All in all, I think I'm going to have to come back to DisneyTokyo. Though my next trip may have to be to explore the park next door; DisneySea!



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