Tokyo Disneyland, located in Chiba, Japan, opened in 1983 as the first Disney Park built outside the United States. In September 2001, the resort expanded with Tokyo DisneySea.
Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands: Step through the entrance and you’ll be greeted with the ‘World Bazaar’ collection of shops and restaurants, which leads to the iconic Cinderella Castle at the centre. The arcade is styled as an old American town and is very popular with visitors, especially the Japanese who are fond of Disney apparel.
Popular rides such as ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ (above), ‘Space Mountain’ and ‘It’s A Small World’ all feature, however, it’s ‘Pooh’s Hunny Hunt’ (below) in ‘Fantasyland’ that is unique for Tokyo. Board a hunny pot and join the loveable bear in a trackless, immersive search for honey. The experience is very cool and a definite must ride.
It should be noted that queues in the Tokyo parks are especially long, but thankfully orderly and efficient – in true Japanese fashion.
The food is also exceptional. Expect to queue for around 20 minutes in ‘Toontown’ for the finest roasted chicken in a Chinese bun perfectly shaped as Mickey’s hands (above). With fries and a drink, the set costs a reasonable ¥930 (US$42).
Meet and greet Mickey or Minnie in their respective houses, and there are plenty of other characters roaming freely for more photo opportunities as well; we strolled past Elsa from Frozen and some of the Toy Story cast.
Based on myths and stories of the sea, Tokyo DisneySea is located next to Disneyland, facing Tokyo Bay. It is the more grown up of the two parks and also comprises seven themed areas.
The ‘Mediterranean Harbour’ (above) is the entrance port and designed like an Italian port city, complete with Venetian Gondolas that are perfect for couples to ride. This is also where the boat shows and fireworks happen in the evening, so make sure to check the timetable and schedule that into your plans.
Popular attractions include the ‘Tower of Terror’ and ‘Indiana Jones Adventure’, but fans of ‘The Little Mermaid’ will be delighted with ‘Mermaid Lagoon’ (above) which transports you into a world under the sea. There is also a meet-and-greet opportunity with Ariel herself.
Look out for the unveiling of a brand new ride in May 2017, ‘Nemo & Friends SeaRider’, inspired by the movies Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
Many of the restaurants serve grown-up drinks too; we enjoyed a glass of wine in between rides. In ‘American Waterfront’ there is a huge steam liner (above) which houses a swanky restaurant and lounge for those after a classy nautical evening.
For tickets, hours and directions, visit: www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED, INSTAGRAM
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.