Japan Trip 2010
Today we had something special planned.
We’re heading to DisneySEA! Just a short 1 hour train ride from our hotel.
The magic begins even at the train station. Custom clocks.
JR Keiyo line to Maihama station.
On the way to the Disney’s own train service. Yes the place was that big.
According to Chad, Tokyo Disney Resort consists of the Disneyland, DisneySea, Ikspiari, 3 of the park’s own hotels and another 6 licensed hotels. This map does the actual size no justice.
The magic gets more apparent the deeper we venture into the place.
Train conductors with awesome Mickey uniforms.
Check out the Mickey shaped train windows.
Inside, even the handles are Mickey shaped!
Only 4 stops on this train. Disney Sea was on the last one.
As soon as we got off the train, some of the locals started to run in. We found out why later.
After some 40 minutes in the queue, we bought our tickets. Check out the counter details.
You could get a day pass, night pass or multi day pass that covers entrance into Disneyland and Sea.
We got the 1 Day Disney Sea pass at 5800yen (S$92). The good thing was you didn’t have to pay for any of the rides, so it was S$92 for the entire day, excluding food, drinks, and merchandise.
With our trusty Disney Sea Guide map in hand, we’ll now take you on a tour of this magical wonderland!
I remember feeling like we were teleported to a different world.
They had this grand epic music playing just after the entrance, and it made everything feel, grand. lol.
From this point on, everything was unique. You could see people taking photos with lampposts.
Entrance into the first area. I didn’t know what to expect, since I’ve never seen, heard or read anything about DisneySea.
Beyond the entrance was this massive lake with a volcano behind. According to the map, the volcano was called Mt. Prometheus. See the guy on the right taking photos? An official Disney photographer. Note the costume!
I thought this area was impressive, until the volcano started to erupt every once in a while, spewing flames hundreds of feet into the air. The eruptions could be heard throughout the park! I was OMG wow?
Even these people giving away balloons had their own costumes.
This snack counter was the only one without a queue.
Didn’t know where to go, so we made our way across the lake for the largest ride in sight, Mt. Prometheus!
Let’s see where we are on the map.
The area around here smelled particularly pleasant because of all the flowers. Seriously.
Our first encounter with these themed popcorn stations. Black pepper popcorn?
See the far away tall tower on the right? We found out what it was later in the evening, and nearly died. lol.
At the base of Mt. Prometheus.
Open walkways closed into large caverns.
It really felt like we were heading into some expedition site.
Our first ride, Journey to the Center of the Earth!
Which also happens to be a Hello! Morning Spot!
The queue was massive long. This was one of the main rides in Disney Sea.
If you were to wait in line, it would take 3 hours. Lucky they had this fast pass system that allowed you to book a slot and come back at a later time. So we did. We would return at around 4pm.
Stepped out the other side of Mt. Prometheus, we were greeted with yet another grand sight.
Even with my 16mm lens I couldn’t capture everything.
Equally amazed tourists trying to get shots of the entire place.
Each themed area in Disney Sea had their own themed souvenir shops. This themed area was called Mysterious Island!
How it looks like inside. Wilson bought a cool looking chain here, which he would later regret. xD
Found out this Mysterious Island was based on the writings of Jules Verne, the father of modern science fiction.
This entire area was actually Captain Nemo’s secret base! It’s here that you’ll become members of his crew for two thrilling adventures.
The first adventure was Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which we already fast-passed for. The second one was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. See that spear thing in the water?
Upon closer inspection, it was a mini version of the Nautilus!
How our first fast pass ticket looked like.
You could only fast pass at most 2 rides at any one time, and I think 2 hours apart, so we had to join the queue for this one. 100 minutes wasn’t so bad, compared to the other rides.
The queue loops…
All the way down.
Warning signs at the start of the queue. At this point I was wondering if they actually created an underwater cavern filled with stuff just for this experience? Like, wow?
Us 3 happily annoyed people waiting in line for no idea what. lol.
While waiting we were discussing about how they spared no expense in making everything look real and believable. Everywhere you look something interesting was going on, like this man made geyser that spewed water out at random times.
Realized after the circular loop, the queue snaked further in underground.
Chad had to be a spoiler and mentioned the water was actually dyed, and wasn’t natural.
I don’t think this was a wishing well, but people seemed to throw money everywhere here.
The incredible attention to detail in the queuing area made the wait tolerable. Look at the fans in the ceiling!
So much so they even have believable diver warning signs.
Captain Nemo’s office.
Screaming with details.
Authentic map of the area we were about to explore.
I couldn’t tell if it was painted or printed under the lighting.
More details as we got closer.
Close to 2 hours later, it was our turn to board the submarine!
Our ride arrives! Check out the costumes on the staff. Unique to this ride only!
This was how it looked like inside the sub. The ride only lasted 5 minutes, but the illusion of going underwater was awesome. Bubbles streamed up from our potholes, and we could control tiny outer searchlights from a joystick inside. I was way impressed with the lighting design. At some points they used shadows to show silhouettes of merfolk pushing our sub along. Fantastic.
After diving we went over to Mermaid Lagoon.
This under-the-sea playground area was built after the world of Ariel, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
At this point we were coming to grips with the size and scale of the place compared to the map. The previous 2 attractions were only 2 of the 7 themed areas!
We decided to skip pass Mermaid Lagoon and head straight for the 2nd most exciting ride to get our fast pass timing.
This 4th themed area was the Arabian Coast.
Arabian Coast recreates the exotic enchanted world from 1001 Arabian Nights and the Disney animated classic, Aladdin. I remember watching Aladdin until the video tape got stuck. lol.
Walking from area to area, we were bombarded with sights, sounds and even smell!
Yes they were selling curry popcorn here, and the smell of curry was all over the place. OMG hungry!
Didn’t stop to try any though. We were in a hurry to get our fast pass for this famous Indiana Jones ride.
Cute cafe next to the…
Arabian Coast! See the fence? Max attention to detail!
In our haste we went to fast pass for this ride. Which we thought was the Indiana Jones ride.
It was only later that we realized this ride was called Raging Spirits, and the real Indiana Jones ride was just beside it. Argh.
Here’s how the fast pass machine for this ride looked like. Each ride had a different themed fast pass machine.
What happens when you don’t wait long enough to before getting another fast pass. This was the 2nd and last ride we were allowed to fast pass for today.
With all our rides booked and stomachs growling, we went into this place where according to Chad, people were leaving with smiling faces. So the food must be good!
The excavation site outside the restaurant was a tad unsettling though. lol.
The menu was limited to 3 sets and a side dish. But they served it faster than any fast food restaurant I went to.
Here’s how Chad’s set looked like. I ordered something similar, although at this point I can’t remember what it was. Only thing I remember was being mad hungry and whatever I was gobbling was delicious. lol!
After leaving the restaurant we saw this, and realized it was the wrong ride we fast passed earlier. Toopid.
And the cast members here were so cute! Check out the costumes! I look sort of funny here. lol.
How could we have missed this zomg.
Anyways, what’s done is done. We had about 3 hours to kill before going back to sit Journey to the Center of the Earth. Yes that is a full sized crashed plane.
Decided to head back to the areas we skipped past earlier.
Not popcorn, but ice-cream!
Check out the staff. Matching themed costumes!
If you don’t feel like walking, you can get from one end of the Disney Sea to the other end by taking this Transit Steam Liner.
Wanted to sit, but it was closed for lunch. We’ll be back later!
Timings of all performances written in chalk, with authentic information guy beside. xD
This themed area we were in was called Lost River Delta. And the souvenirs they sold were jungle, Indiana Jones-ish.
Nearly bought a T-shirt here. Decided to save for Ginza. haha.
Back to the Arabian Coast!
You can’t convey Arabian without traditional Arabian architecture.
Lots of tiles and pastels.
Unfortunate that they were ending their show just when we arrived.
More Arabian architecture.
I don’t know if it’s naturally weathered or they intentionally made the walls look weathered and cracked. Nice touches.
Each themed area had their own restaurants.
This one was called Casbah, serving all sorts of Arabian spicy food.
Here’s how it looked inside.
Ordering area. Look at the roof, wow?
Dinning area. So grand!
Ventured around outside.
Details, details, details!
Walking through here we could here ambient chatting coming from the windows. Cooking sounds, Arabian music. Experience ++!
There were actually more locals here than tourists.
Even the toilets are themed. At Lost River Delta, the male toilet signs mention ‘Hombreo’, Spanish for Men. Awesome!
Half the people queuing were kids, but we decided to ride this anyways.
It was a massive 2 story carousel! lol!
We managed to get the top floor.
Chad living out his childhood dreams with glee. ( ^-^)\/
I’ve honestly don’t remember ever ridding a carousel this big before, ever, I think, until now. It was a new experience.
Dropped by Mermaid Lagoon next. Insanely detailed and elaborate exterior, just like in the cartoon.
Mermaid Lagoon was more for kids and sorts. Their rides were not as scary.
Bronze sculpture of Ariel outside.
Cute water coolers for different height kids!
This undersea themed mail box, was not decor, but an actual mailbox with mail in it.
Ariel’s father Triton!
Look down and you’ll be able to see the other play areas underground.
Welcome to Triton’s Kingdom.
The underground play areas were just a mess of detail and colors.
It took me some time to absorb everything. The colors! Argh the colors!
Everything looks so rich and vivid. Someone must have Photoshopped the place.
The other side of the play area lies the themed restaurants…
And this way awesome sleeping whale souvenir shop.
The eyes on the whale actually blinks once in a while. Amazing.
Wilson brought us to this Little Mermaid live play. No waiting time! Wow. So in we went!
Waiting around before the doors open for seating. I didn’t know what to expect, I thought it was some sort of tiny kids play.
The seats inside were circular, and the stage was… the air above us! Everything was done in the air, with performers controlling intricate puppets. There was a huge network of machinery and wires in the roof to move everyone all over the place through the air. Most impressive was this 2 story high Ursula head that came together with hands the size of dump trucks. It was actually very scary to have something so huge and evil looking towering over you. lol. Over all a very entertaining show. I remember thinking to myself, how they can afford to spend so much on props and setup for a show that never changes.
Another souvenir shop within Mermaid Lagoon. I bought several key chains and Gin’s earring from here :D
Even after the show we still had more time to kill, so decided to head to the other end of the park to check out the other themed areas.
Mickey ears were a standard in Disney Sea. Chad says Disney has it’s own set fashion rules.
This modern looking electrical city is called Port Discovery.
Another 2 rides reside here, but we didn’t have enough time. By now the fast pass timing went beyond the park’s closing time, so they stopped accepting fast passes altogether.
They have their own mini railway here to take you to the other end of the park, should you decide not to walk.
This ride was called Aquatopia, one of the few ‘trackless’ rides in existence.
Next up was this Medieval looking place at Mt. Prometheus.
I’ve seen my fair share of Styrofoam castles in Singapore. So seeing one built out of real rock and stone was impressive indeed.
More shows and restaurants inside.
Cast members here dressed in long Medieval robes.
Magellann Restaurant. Wanted to have dinner here, but went somewhere else instead xD
Castles won’t be complete without fountains.
Insanely detailed sign.
Nearly 4pm now. We had to get to Mt. Prometheus to claim our first fast pass ride…
Journey to the Center of the Earth fast pass!!
We breezed past the long queues, straight for the ride. Only stopping once or twice to check out the props inside.
According to Chad, this, and Tower of Terror was the 2 most scariest rides in Disney Sea. So there were warning signs all over the place.
This lift took us down to the loading bay, where we sat in these sort of drill cars
Didn’t manage to take pictures of the place below. No fear, Morning Musume agreed lend me some footage!
While I’m at it, Reina + Koharu, with Gaki-san at the back~
All time favorite AiChan + Eri!
After the ride. lol. I thought the ride visuals looked the same as ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, except this one had scarier looking monsters, and was way, way way faster. Towards the end we accelerated out the top of Mt. Prometheus into a big drop! I remember screaming more than the 2 girls seated behind me. Hahaha fails!
Went straight to our next fast pass ride after that, Raging Spirits!
Until now I’m still puzzled as to how they had fire on the waterfall steps. I could feel the heat from where I was standing.
This was the only ride in the park with a 360 loop in it. Means we were going upside down zomg! Felt a bit queasy before entering. lol.
We were still a bit sad that we fast passed for the wrong ride. But no matter! This ride was special because…
It was a Hello! Morning ride! Fujimoto Miki & Goto Maki sat this before! hahah~
Turns out it wasn’t as scary. The track was small and short. The big initial drop we were expecting never came, plus we were moving so fast, when we finally hit the small 360 loop it was over in a flash. And that was it really. After Thunder dolphin, nothing else feels as crazy anymore haha. Or so we thought. X_X
We headed back to the Transit Line Steamer near Lost River Delta.
It had a direct route all the way to the Mediterranean Habour, the main entrance area.
It was a slow, leisurely ride, and it gave us some time to see Disney Sea in a different light while the sun set slowly.
After 10 minutes or so, our ride ended…
And we arrived at Mediterranean Habour Dock.
More steamers coming and going.
The setting sun, cool weather, ambient music combined with the glowing street lights made for a truly authentic Mediterranean moment.
With 3 amazing rides behind us, we had some time to explore this area before the nightly show starts in the evening.
Decided to explore the Habour area we walked by during the day.
Rows upon rows of souvenir shops.
The thing with souvenir shops in Disney Sea, you can’t get the themed souvenirs anywhere else other than from the themed souvenir shop.
So even though this was the largest shop in Disney Sea, you can’t find everything here.
That’s a wall sundial. Authenticity ++.
Bought a couple super cute key chains here. Chad was considering whether or not to get himself a set of Disney bears we saw people carrying around throughout the place.
While Chad pondered over the bear purchases in the shop, we waited outside, done with our own shopping and cam whoring as usual. lol.
According to Chad you can sell the bears on ebay for a sizable profit, because you can’t get the bears anywhere else.
Eventually Chad got himself the 2 bears, with a skirt for one of them.
With bags of loot, we pushed on towards the left side of the park, towards American Waterfront, the only place we haven’t been to.
Welcome to old school American Waterfront!
Vintage American cars chugged along the rails here.
Super atas looking themed souvenir shop.
They had ‘coins’ running up the pillars!
Very, very nice fountain that actually followed the beat of the ambient music.
That ominous looking tower at the back was the Tower of Terror, the 4th, last, and scariest ball dropping ride that we would get on today.
Which other theme park has a full sized cruise ship parked, just for it’s restaurant? Which reminds me, we haven’t had dinner yet. Starving!
We walked around the area looking for something fast to eat. The night show was starting in an hour’s time. Didn’t want to miss that one.
Found this cozy little seafood restaurant. We waited for 15 minutes before they had a table for us.
The service was top notch! The waiter brought out ALL our dishes on this massive tray, and started to introduce each dish one by one as he carefully placed them on our table. The food was not bad, raw scallops were yummy!
As soon as we left the restaurant it started to drizzle. But that didn’t stop us and the thousands of other locals that flocked around the lake to witness what I would deem as the most awe inspiring stage show, ever.
The most incredible jaw dropping moment for me was when the entire lake caught fire, and this massive 3 storey high thing surfaced from the water. it was like a huge summoning ceremony.
They had dimmed ALL the surround street lights, so the flaming phoenix was the most awesome sight all around. At the show’s climax there were explosions all around, and even in the drizzle, freezing weather and over a hundred meters away I could feel the heat from all the flames.
Didn’t managed to get much photos as both my memory cards were full. Plus in one had I was munching on popcorn, while at the same time helping Chad hold his bears and umbrella so he could get some photos and videos of the amazing show. I remember thinking after the show was over, WOW THEY DO THIS EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, WITH FIREWORKS AT THE END?! Win.
Still full of glee after the show, Chad didn’t want to leave just yet, so we went back to American Waterfront to check out the Tower of Terror ride. Once again we had no idea what to expect, except that it was the ONLY ride that had the warnings repeated full time, in 3 different languages over the speakers while we queued.
While we waited, the words ‘free-fall type, high speed ascents and drops in darkness’ kept repeating over the speakers. Chad assured us that the sign says the age limit was 3 years old, so there was nothing to worry about if 3 year old kids could enter. We were 25!
The story of this place went like this: This wealthy Hightower guy went around the world obtaining all sorts of precious artifacts for this personal collection, until he came across this scary looking voodoo doll. While riding the lift in his tower with the doll, they both mysteriously disappeared, and we were going in to retrace his steps!
To summarize, this ride was seriously ‘free-fall type, high speed ascents and drops in darkness’. But they didn’t say from how high! We sat in this massive 22 seat lift with safety belts and handles we could grab on to, while the lift ascended and descended in complete darkness, stopping at certain normal looking floors, until suddenly the evil voodoo doll appeared and zapped us into oblivion!
From then on the lift went into crazy mode, moving up and down in the darkness! Because we couldn’t see anything, we couldn’t judge how high or low we were until we reached a massive balcony window… My thought train kind of went like this: “What the, we were, no that’s not a screen, that’s the volcano in the distance! Wait, how come we can see the…? OMGWTF WE’RE THIS HIGH?!?! *a catch releases, and the lift falls* AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH~~~~
We left the ride feeling like excited little kids again, sharing our thoughts and crazy reactions as we walked slowly towards the exit, somewhat reluctant to leave this wonderful place.
All manner of tiredness, negativity and fatigue built up over the past months vanished on this one day. It was a pity we only managed to catch 4 rides. We conspired to come back again during one of our free days to experience DisneySea and Land again! :D