Thursday, October 6, 2011

Japan - Day 4 - A Rainy Day at Tokyo Disneyland

Here in Redondo Beach California, we just got a ton of rain today.  Seems appropriate that I should write about our super rainy day at Tokyo Disneyland.

Rain, rain, rain.  The word of the day, is rain. Theresa woke up at 4:30am and couldn't fall back asleep.  I woke up at 6:30am.  The time change is going to take a few more days to get used to.  Breakfast was... can you guess... from the convenience store downstairs in the lobby.  They've got a good selection of foods though.  I decided on a warm Cup of Noodles and Theresa got kimchi and rice.  I opened the door at 8:15am just as Jacob was about to knock.  Pretty good timing.

We put on our rain jackets and took the monorail around the entire loop to reach the gates of Disneyland.  It was 8:40 by the time we got there, but the lines were much shorter than a couple days ago.  We were crossing our fingers that the rain would keep the crowd levels down today. 

At 9am, the gates opened and we all ran to Pooh's Hunny Hunt.  The Disneyland Band was serenading everyone as they walked/ran in.

It was only a 10 minute wait!  Looking good so far for the day.  Honey popcorn had a short line, so of course we grabbed some.
Pooh Hunny Hunt count - 1

After having gone on that great ride again, we walked towards Monsters Inc, hoping the line would still be short.  Along the way, we came across the Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn. Never one to pass up a short line and very curious about this peculiar flavor, we got a box.  Hmm, very strange flavor.  Jacob and Theresa tried a piece and then declined all future offers.  I think this was my least favorite of all flavors too.  Too bad.

Monsters only had a 30 minute wait.  It was nice going through the regular queue so we could spend just a little more time in the awesome lobby.  And thanks for the person who pointed out the hidden Mickey in the door mural.  I pointed it out to Theresa and it made her smile.

Celia was not manning reception, sadly.

Since this was the 2nd time on this ride, instead of focusing on shining the flashlight on things, we really just sat back and took in all the details.  So much attention was paid to getting all the little things right. 

We even get to see Roz.  She's talking to us just like the Anaheim version, only difference, it's all in Japanese.

The gift shop at the exit had lots of fun Monsters Inc stuff.  I'm really regretting not buying this hard hat.  Checking ebay, I'm still not finding any.  This is a full-size hat, compared to the ones on ebay that are from the Disney-On-Ice show.

 We felt like another snack and the bakery was pretty close.  Lots of cute pastries to buy, like "corn" bread, a rice bread bone filled with sweet bean paste, and a Mickey shaped lemon muffin.

And these Mike Wazowski melon breads.

So we ended up getting four different things and splitting them all between us.  Plus we had some cherry water.  Very tasty!

The rain was coming down quite hard now.  We were all glad to have our ponchos.  Our shoes on the other hand were not so dry.  The hotel hair dryer is going to be getting a workout tonight.  We walked over to Big Thunder Mountain and got fastpasses for later and then headed to Peter Pan.

Only a 30 minute wait, which isn't too bad for Peter Pan.  The ride from what I can remember is similar to the WDW version.

We had heard earlier the announcements  that the Halloween parade "Welcome to Spookyville" was going to be cancelled.  We were happy to see though that just because the main parade was cancelled there was still a small parade.  All the characters were wearing clear ponchos.  Mickey even has a special hood for his ears to fit into.  Very cute!

We were right by the Haunted Mansion, so of course, we'll be going on it again. 
We were the last ones off the "elevator".  Here Ruston is preparing to greet the next elevator as soon as the door opens. 

 The ride was great as usual.  We had a brief slowdown when passing Madam Leota but nothing else unusual.

I like how the tail of the snake is a Christmas tree with a star on top.

A very scary train.

And then the whole ride came to a stop.  A few second later all the lights came on all through the mansion.  A voice came on over the speakers saying something in Japanese.  None of us had a clue what they were saying and they never switched to English.  We were just enjoying being able to see all the details with the lights on. 

I don't know what's going on.  Do you?

We had been sitting in our Doom Buggy for about 10 minutes at this spot. It was enough time though for Theresa to find my name on the Naughty/Nice list.  It's at the very top of the list, about to be swallowed, and you could only see it when the snake tilts his head back.  I'm proud to say I have a "Nice" mark.

What followed next has to be one of my favorite memories on this trip.  Now I've been going to Disney parks for years and years.  Disneyland and California Adventure are my home park, so we go 15-20 times a year.  Walt Disney World is a not so quick 7 hour plane flight away, but we get there once or twice a year.  We've even been to Disneyland Paris twice.  But never, not even once, have I even been evacuated from a ride.  It's something I've always wanted to do.  Finally on the Haunted Mansion Holiday in Tokyo Disneyland, I finally get my wish.

Cast Members walked up beside our buggy and pushed the release.  We were going to get to walk though the Haunted Mansion with all the lights on.  The entire group was really excited.

Now since we were just about to exit the attic, I figured we'd end up going through the graveyard and be at the exit very soon.  Lots of fun stuff to see, but still not very long.  I was very happy though when the cast members pointed us back the other way!

We walked through the attic and then behind all the doom buggies facing the ballroom scene.  I've never really turned around when passing through the ballroom scene, so I was surprised when there was 12 feet of empty space between the back of the buggies and the wall.  Turn around and look next time you go through there.

Going down the hallway of all the doors was a little bit more scary when you're right beside them.  All the growling sounds, bulging doors, and everything is a lot closer than when you're riding.

At this point, the cast members must have crossed over to the other side of the track.  We ended up moving quite a bit slower now that we didn't have anyone trailing us.  We were moving just enough to not separate from the group, but we slowed way down to enjoy the details.

Scary Teddy never did stop playing for Sally in the conservatory.

I was surprised everyone here was still in their buggies.  I would have figured they'd be one of the first ones evacuated.  I got more than a few people just smiling and laughing at us and all the pictures we were taking.

And when we finally exited, all the cast member were apologetic and there was a lot of bowing going on.  For what, I don't know cause that was awesome!  They even gave us these passes for us to use for front of the line privileges on another ride.  

We grabbed fastpasses for Splash Mountain, because at this point, why not.  Then we walked over to Toontown and rode Roger Rabbit's Toontown Spin.  Ruston and Theresa rode together, driving their car a straight and non-spinny as possible.  Jacob and I however spun as much as we possibly could.  I'm glad I don't get motion sick.
All of us felt a little rubbly in our tumblies, so we went to look for lunch.  We grabbed a slice of ham and pineapple pizza and chicken teriyaki pizza then went over to Boiler Room Bites.

Theresa had been wanting to try the Mickey Steamed Pork Bun.  I was curious about the pork-rice roll.

Well that's not exactly what I was expecting.  Inside was white rice with nothing else, and it was all wrapped in bacon.  Based on the picture, I was expecting something different, but it was still tasty enough.

The steamed Mickey bun looked cute.  It was tasty and even the ears had filling, though there was a lot of steamed bun and not much pork.  

Ruston even found this seafood pizza.

At this point, we wanted to see some shows.  One Man's Dream II was in a covered stadium so we headed over there.  With only 20 minutes before showtime, we were still able to find some great seats. 

The show started out in black and white. 

Mickey, Minnie and the whole stage were only black, white and shades of gray.  Pretty cool to see.

Then everything turned to color.

The show was all in Japanese, so we didn't understand everything that was going on.

My favorite part of the show was seeing all the unique characters.  Here there was an entire segment with characters from A Bug's Life.

Flik stops by.

Tuck & Roll make an appearance.

And we see Slim.


And Manny

And Heimlich

PT Flea even makes an appearance

I guess that's supposed to be Tick-Tock

Judge Frollo.  I'm not sure who the people are surrounding him.  Maybe they're supposed to represent the Eyes of Notre Dame, but then I don't see any eyes. 


And here, all her goons!  I don't think I've seen them before in character form.

Prince Philip battles the forest of thorns

And makes his way to Aurora

I'm doubly impressed.  Riding a bicycle in a full character costume and a skirt as well.  

The rain was still coming down hard, and rolling off the sides of the theater.  After the show we were right next to Star Tours so we made our way, mostly under cover to the entrance.  At this point, they haven't converted to the Star Tours 2 - The Adventure Continues, so everything is still classic.  The queue here is fantastic.  When you walk in, you enter this huge hangar bay.

R2-D2 and C-3PO are still in the classic Starspeeder.

A droid similar to R2 and a screen with a Calamarian.  Maybe it's Admiral Ackbar.  I couldn't tell.

We enter the hangar bay and see 6 open loading docks.  I was curious if we'd have the same classic loading video with the lady in red and her hair in a mickey shaped bun.  Instead we got a blonde girl speaking Japanese, but all the cut scenes were the same.

After the ride, you exit and see everyone's favorite astromech droid.

And then pass through security where Sonny Eclipse's brother is working

We then walked back to Pooh and used our fastpasses from the beginning of the day.

You really are walking right into the book.

Pooh Hunny Hunt count - 2
As you exit, if you skip the gift shop, you walk through Christopher Robin's room.  You see all his favorite stuffed toys, including Pooh, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Owl, and Eeyore.

We walked through the Queen of Hearts banquet hall but didn't stop to eat.

After that, we left to go on Splash Mountain.  Good thing we had these rain jackets because we would have been soaked before we got there if we didn't.  Theresa decided to skip out on the fun and just went to read her Kindle in the warmth of the Hungry Bear restaurant.  
The three of us remaining continued on Splash Mountain.  Again, props to the queue.  Lots of tiny houses all through the mountain including an animatronic owl speaking Japanese to everyone saying who knows what.  We made it to the logs.  All the animatronics in this ride worked!  Fish were jumping everywhere, mouths were moving, bees were spinning, everything looked great.  The big drop came and no one really got that wet.  The big splashes must have been turned off.  Coming around the bend, even all the characters on the Zip-A-Dee Lady were moving and singing.  Really great to see.  Maple Churros were just outside the exit, so I tried one of those.  It was better than the cinnamon one I had a couple days earlier, but it was also must hotter and fresher.  It was good.  We then walked over to Big Thunder Mountain.  The ride differed from both versions I remember in WDW and DL. The two Japanese girls in front of us pretended to be cowboys the whole ride.  Holding their fingers up as guns the entire time and showing Yay Yay Yay.  

After getting off, we were soaked!  Much more so than riding Splash Mountain because we’d been inside most of the time on Splash, while here we were outside a lot.  We met up with Theresa and somehow I convinced her to go to the Country Bear Jamboree (she’s not a fan).  Most of the character spoke and sung in Japanese with a few exceptions made for some songs, including everyone’s favorite, “Blood on the saddle”.

We went over to Pirates from there and it was a walk-on!  That’s always great when you can just walk right up to a popular ride and get right on. 

It’s kind of cool to see the Dead Man’s Chest from the 2nd movie. 

This to me is one of the hardest things on the ride to take a photo of.  

Here we see the Aztec Gold from the first movie. 

The crepe place was right near the exit.  They had lots of tasty flavors.  We ordered Apple/Sweet potato, Strawberry, and Chocolate/Banana to split.  One surprise was that they were all cold crepes and had already been premade.  That was a little disappointing when we were hoping for something warm.  Unfortunately they had no fork or knives.  Ruston disappeared for a minute and came back with 4 forks he’s appropriated from another restaurant for us to use.  I thought all 3 crepes were tasty  and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  Ruston returned the forks to the other restaurant and then we headed to main street for some shopping.  

Back home we have Esmeralda, here they have Grandmother.

One of the things Theresa and I really wanted to find was some Disney dinner plates.  We wanted something that was subtle Disney.  We found these plates and bowls and were super excited!  They would go great with our black and white kitchen.  One problem.  $$$
A plate was something like $22 each.  Bowls were $35.  I guess we're not going to be buying a 8 sets.  In the end we settled for 4 plates.

We decided to eat outside the park in Ikspiari.  We walked by a few places and Jake and Ruston eventually decided on a curry stir fry, while T and I had beef steak and chicken steak (what I’d call just chicken).  Beef steak was alright, chicken was meh.

Ruston and Jake decided they’d had enough fun for the day and headed back to the hotel.  Theresa and I cinched up our rain jackets a little tighter and headed back to the park.  The park was really really empty now.  Being so rainy was definitely working in our favor. 

We walked straight back to Pooh and walked all the way to the loading zone with maybe 30 people in front of us.  Pooh Count – 3.  With such short lines, why not go again.  Pooh Count – 4.  And again… Pooh Count – 5.  5 times in one day isn’t a bad number for riding a super popular ride.  Also by the 5th time, cast members were giving each group their own cart and not making them share. 

T and I then went to Mansion and walked right into the stretching room.  Again it was great to have no line.  At one point the ride slowed down and stopped, but within seconds it was moving again.  After we exited, we figured why not just go on it once more, so we did. 

We then walked to the front of the park to get on Monsters.  Again, absolutely no wait.  When the rides dispatch, there are 3 sets of carts that travel together during the ride.  The lines were so short that the cast members were only putting people in carts 1 and 3.  We walked right out the exit and then right back on again.

Once that was done, we still had about 20 minutes before the park closed.  I looked at T and said, “Pooh?”  Of course she didn’t mind going on it again.  It’s her favorite ride back home too, and this one is even better.  The carts here also launch 3 at a time to go through the ride.  Now when we walked up, the cast member didn’t just put us in a cart by ourselves; she put us in a whole group of 3 carts by ourselves, and asked us which we wanted to ride in, since they all have a slightly different experience.  We also noticed that the giant book at the very end was opening and closing.  That surprised both of us, since all the rides we’d had before that, the book was closed and just showed the cover.  Pooh Count – 6.  I believe I’ve heard that 7 is a lucky number, so decided might as well be lucky.  Once again we got to the front and the cast member asked which cart we’d like to go on.  She also said something like “You ride many times”.  Yes, yes we do.  Pooh Count – 7.  

And with that, we ended our day.  The rain was still coming down pretty hard as we were walking out.  I stopped off in front of the castle, and the partners statue for some photos.  Glad my gear is weather sealed.  

And this is why Main Street is covered here. 

By 10:15, we were walking out to the monorail and headed back to the hotel.  A quick stop by the hotel shop to get some hot chocolate mix to warm ourselves back up, and we were in for the night.  Tomorrow we’ll be doing Disney Sea and likely heading back to Disneyland to hopefully watch the Electric Parade, since it and just about everything else was cancelled today.  We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Click here to go to Day 5 - The Last Day at Disneyland

Day 1 - Flight to Japan
Day 2 - First Day at Tokyo Disneyland
Day 3 - Tokyo Disney Sea
Day 4 - A Rainy Day at Tokyo Disneyland
Day 5 - The Last Day at Disneyland
Day 6 - Leaving Disneyland and the first day in Tokyo
Day 7 - Exploring Tokyo 
Day 8 - Off to Hakone
Day 9 - Off to Kyoto
Day 10 - Exploring Kyoto
Day 11 - Even more Kyoto
Day 12 - Leaving Jacob and Ruston and heading back to Tokyo Disney Sea
Day 13 - Hanging out at Tokyo Disneyland 
Day 14 - Last Day in Japan
Day 12 to14 - Ruston and Jacob's last few days in Japan
Day 15 - Leaving Japan


  1. That's CRAZY! I was looking up some Haunted Mansion related stuff when Google directed me to your blog. First of all, let me say that I'm a Cast Member at Disneyland (I'm currently training on Haunted Mansion!). Secondly, I also live in Redondo Beach! Third, it just started raining.
    I had to stop and read about your trip to Tokyo Disney as I've always wanted to go! One day... I love all your photos.

  2. I know this is an old post but I was laughing at "What does Grandma say?" xD Also, I've been stuck on Big Thunder Mountain in DL not once, but TWICE! First time was right in the beginning when the train is climbing the peak and you go through a waterfall, and yep right under the waterfall was where we stopped. We waited for 15 minutes until some CMs came and had us exit the ride on those slippery staircases to the right of the train. Pretty spooky! Second time was at the end as the train pulls into the station. We could've easily got up an dwalked off the train but they held us there in the hot July sun but after a few minutes they brought us umbrellas to shield us! So if you ever want to get evacuated from a ride again, that one is your best bet!

    1. Good to know! Hopefully you weren't getting soaked under that waterfall. We just rode Big Thunder Mountain today and Alli proclaimed it as "Her favorite ride!" Though getting stuck on it in the dark with kids might be a different kind of experience.