Thursday, October 6, 2011

Japan - Day 5 - The Last Day at Disneyland

Today was a sad day.  It is the last (planned) day to go to the Disney parks.  Since we get to go to both parks, we wanted to focus on the stuff we'd missed and things we really liked. 
Surprisingly we were both able to sleep until 7am.  A record so far for this trip.  After a quick breakfast of Cup of Noodles, we met Ruston and Jacob at 8:15 and walked over to the monorail.  Since we knew we were going to finish our day at Disneyland, we started at Disney Sea.  The skies today were so much clearer, so we were hoping for a beautiful day in the parks.

9:00am rolled around and Ruston sprinted to Journey to the Center of the Earth and grabbed fastpasses.  The rest of us meandered over that direction and then as a group we went to Indiana Jones.  Only a 10 minute wait this time, and most of that was spent walking through the extensive queue. 

After the ride, we could already get another fastpass, so I walked all the way to the other side of the park to the Tower of Terror while everyone else explored this area a little more.

Ruston also went crazy today taking a lot of 360 degree photos.  Check them out!  It's pretty cool to see everything around you.  This is at the Arabian Coast right by Sindbad.

After I finally made my way back, we all got in line for Sindbad.  There wasn't really any line to speak of.  We walked all the way to the front and just as we were about to load, the loading gates got stuck and the ride was closed.  Oh well.

Instead we decided to go to watch the Little Mermaid show again.  Along the way, we saw Pumpkin Churros.  They were hot and fresh and very tasty.  Out of all the churros we tried, I liked the Maple best, Pumpkin 2nd, and Cinnamon 3rd. 

I've seen Jafar a few times at Anaheim Disneyland, but seeing Iago was new to me.  And since it was so close, we went ahead and got more curry popcorn.

Along the way, we saw a custodian sweeping up trash.  When he got to a puddle that must have still been there from the rain the day before, he dipped the end of his broom in the water and started using it like a paint brush, and drew out a picture of Goofy with the water.  A small crowd gathered as he was drawing.  As soon as he was done, a quick nod of the head and he was off to continue sweeping somewhere else.

We continued into the Triton’s underwater kingdom.  The mermaid show we just closing up as we got down there, and we were able to walk in with no wait.  The show was just as good as the first time, and Ariel still decided she didn’t want to be human. 

I grabbed a few photos inside the theater before the show started, just to get a sense of what it all looks like.

The whole show building here looks amazing.  Again, Ruston got a great 360 view of the place.

From there, we continued exploring Ariel's underwater world.

Captaining a ship.

And even got to see Ariel's treasure room.  Um, that's enough Theresa.

That's enough Theresa!

What's a fire, and why does it... what's the word... burn?

We then continued exploring the rest of the area.  So much detail to be seen here and it all looks amazing.

Then we took a quick walk back to Sindbad's.  With no line, we walked right onto the boats.  Loving this ride more and more.

Next we headed over to use our Journey to the Center of the Earth fastpasses.  Again, Ruston grabbed a great 360 view from inside the volcano.

The theming inside this ride is great.  We were a little sorry we didn't get to walk through the regular queue to see even more detail.

From here, you take an elevator "down, down, down" to where they've started all the excavations.

It's super dark in here which really adds to the ambiance. 

After much debating, Theresa decided this ride was not for her and made her exit.

Again, great attention to detail in here.

Along the ride, we encountered lots of interesting plants.

At one point, something went terribly wrong and we were plunged into the depths of this volcano.  There we encountered a giant lava monster.

We then shot uphill and flew out of the volcano.  There was a speedy loop around the entire Mysterious Island with most of it being in the dark, and then the ride was over.  It was fun, but it's all over way too soon.

We then went to watch the Chip and Dale Fiesta Parade. 

It was fun, but very very short.  Only 3 Disney characters in the whole thing. 

But Clarice does happen to be one of those three. 

Now Theresa was on a purple sweet potato kick back home.  Imagine our surprise when we saw a purple sweet potato dessert.  Of course we had to get it. 

It had definite flavors of sweet potato and some whipped cream.  I thought it was pretty tasty.

One other thing we noticed right around the volcano was the insane amount of dragonflies around.  I'll have to see if someone else got a photo of them, but there had to be 50 of them just in our general area. 

We made our way over to Vulcania for lunch.  We all split some sweet and sour pork, fried rice, fried chicken teriyaki, spring rolls and egg drop soup.  Nothing really blew any of us away. 

Tower of Terror was next on our list, cause there's nothing better to do on a full belly than a free-fall ride. 

Thank Ruston again for another 360 view.

The backstory here is different than the other parks.  No longer is it Twilight Zone.  Now an explorer named Harrison Hightower III is showing off all his famous treasures he's found.  The most prized treasure of them all is this Shiriki Utundu idol.

The preshow for this is great.  Theresa was not going to be going on the ride, but I told her she had to come and watch this part.  Ruston got really close to the idol, but still couldn't see how they do it.

You then exit and see all these other amazing treasures that have been brought back.

Ruston wasn't feeling like riding either, so it was just Jacob and I.  I was placed in a perfect seat to see everything, with nothing blocking my view.

We're all trying to "Be Magical"

Afterwards, we wanted to make sure we got good seats for the Legend of Mythica water show.  After sitting for a few minutes, we figured we'd have a better view if we just stood up behind everyone who was seated.
The show itself was very active.  Lots of things going on all over the place.

The floats were super detailed.

And the costumes looked great.

But all in all, this one didn't really do it for us.  It was all in Japanese so maybe we just didn't get the story.  I would have liked to see more Disney characters in it too.  Between this and Be Magical, Be Magical wins hands down.

As a contrast to the day before when it was rainy, the sun was out today with a vengeance.  We were all sweating just standing around while the show was going on, so of course what better way to cool down than some gelato. 

Mmm, melon and caramel crunch.

The Transit Steamer Liner had been eluding us all day.  Since it uses the same stretch of water as all the shows and parades, this ride was closed a lot.  Seeing as how Legend of Mythica just ended we figured this would be our best shot at it.  Sure enough, they were boarding and we only waited maybe 15 minutes.

There were lots of cool views from the boat.

When we were passing by Indy’s temple, Indiana Jones just happened to be on the other side of the water.  He started yelling to the boat that he was trying to make his way over to the temple.  And that he was on an expedition to get to that temple and if we find a way to get over there, don’t touch anything.  We all got a smile out of that.

There's even water explosions as you pass through Mount Prometheus.

We made it back to the docks (after a round trip tour) and they had already closed the lines.

We also happened to see the line for Shellie May, Duffy’s girlfriend/friend. She had a huge line (seriously like 50 people) of all ages waiting to take a photo with her.  Lots of them had Shellie May bears that were also dressed up in matching Halloween outfits.  When Shellie May saw them she’d jump up and down and give the person a hug.  Positive re-enforcement?  We happened upon a store selling these bears and saw they were 3800 yen (~$48) for the smaller bears.  They had some pretty big bears too and some giant bears that sold for 50000 yen ($670).  We saw one lady walking around with 2 of them! One in each arm.  Amazing!

Ruston and I decided we wanted to explore Leonardo da Vinci's fortress while Jacob and Theresa were ready to sit down and take a break.  I had read about the Leonardo Da Vinci challenge maps, and how even though they were all in Japanese, you could kind of make your way through it without knowing how to read it.  I found a cast member and asked for a map and he asked if I could read Japanese.  Unfortunately I couldn’t but I still would like a map.  He then pulled out a map and showed me it was all Japanese.  I reached for it and tried to pull on it, showing I still wanted one, but he pulled it back and said that No, I couldn’t have one.  Bummer.  Well me and Ruston still explored the fortress anyhow.

We set off some cannons at passing boats, tried to achieve flight in a flying machine, used a camera obscura to view people outside a tower, and found a sundial and tried to tell the time.

We even achieved perfect planetary alignment in the planet room.  This was very short lived however as just as Ruston finished the last planet and got into position underneath for a photo, someone started turning the handles and moving them around again.

Inside the Hall of Explorers.

We did find a few places where we could have used that map.  We followed some schoolgirls who had a map into a room and saw the map activated a screen that told you that Mount Prometheus was about to erupt, and if you didn’t press these two pumps beside the map, the lava flow would surely cause mass destruction.  Luckily the schoolgirls were able to save the entire population of Disney Sea from a massive volcano due to their quick button pressing skills and as a reward for saving countless thousands, they got to emboss a stamp into their map showing they completed the challenge.  For being there and providing moral support and clapping when they saved the day, Ruston and I figured we deserved a reward as well, and went ahead and stamped our park map. 

It was time to meet up with Theresa and Jacob and head over to Disneyland.  Along the way, we saw a bunch of people looking at this wall and eventually found a hidden Mickey.

And we even passed Hercules, hanging out with all the ladies of course.

Farewell Disney Sea!  It's been fun!

Just a quick monorail ride and two stops later we were at Disneyland.

Should have switched lenses for this shot.  Bah...

Lots of cute character pumpkins surrounding the planter.

We continued into the park, but unfortunately the information booth showed long waits for all the rides we wanted to do.  Instead we grabbed a few photos in front of the castle just as it was turning dusk.

And Ruston is here to bring it all to you in 360.

We walked over to Pooh and instead of waiting in the 50 minute line, decided this would be a good time to use those passes we got for getting stuck on Mansion.  Pooh was great as usual.  Eventually I’ll have to figure out how many times we went on it this trip.  Everyone was trying to help Pooh out of Rabbit's house.  Christopher Robin and Kanga and Roo and Eeyore and Jacob.

We headed over to Toontown because Jacob wanted to try the Sweet Cream Cheese pretzel.  Just as we found the cart, they flipped down the hood and said sorry they were closed.  30 seconds earlier and we would have made it.  Oh bother.
We read about a Mickey shaped pizza and a Donald burger and were curious to check them out.  Unfortunately the plastic display mickey pizza didn’t look all that good, and the Donald Burger turned out to be a minced shrimp patty.  I don't do seafood, so yuck.

We went to Tomorrowland Terrace where they sell burgers and fries.  Sadly these burgers weren't all that good either.  I'm not sure what it was, but the hamburger just tasted funny.  Maybe like too much filler and not enough meat. 

When we got done with dinner, we noticed there were lots of bats out.  You particularly noticed them around the streetlights where the bugs liked to hang out.

The electric parade didn’t start until 7:30pm, and it was only 6:00pm, but since this was the main thing we were coming to see today we went ahead and sat down.  You’re allowed to sit down officially 1 hour before showtime, so everyone was just hanging out in the area and sitting on the ground.  When 6:30 rolled around, all the mats came out, the shoes came off and people got out their dinners.  We were excited!  Front row seats to the awesome parade.

Prepare for lots of photos of this parade.  It's just so long and there was so much to see.
This vantage point was so much better than what we had before.  None of us minded at all waiting 1.5 hours to see this.

Again, we were all blown away by the awesome Genie float.  I think in this instance I took photos of him as: Black with sparkles, a playing card, a deck of playing cards, a dalmatian, Donald Duck, blue Genie, red Genie, Mr. Incredible, covered in Mickey shapes, Cheshire Cat, Tigger, Peter Pan, and Mr. Smee.

Some cute bee costumes following Pooh.

The Toy Story float was very elaborate, with all the latest toys from Toy Story 3.

Mike and Sulley.

And even Boo getting a ride on the back.

Cinderella on a beautiful float.

Followed by Prince Charming and a glass slipper.

Tinker Bell's float changed as it went along to represent different seasons.  Here the Minister of Winter turned the flowers white.

As soon as the parade ended, we walked right on to Mansion.  Every little pause in the ride, we got our hopes up for a repeat of the day before, but no luck.  We walked out and decided we’d end our night going on Mickey’s Philharmagic.  The lobby area was cool, with some display cases showing characters from a few Disney films.  The entire show was the same as Florida (except we entered from the left) and the entire show including songs was all in Japanese.  It wasn’t too hard to figure out what was going on though. 

We then exited, and surprisingly it wasn’t directly into a gift show.  We decided to check out the gift shop, and unfortunately, no Donald poking out on this side.  There were some cute plushes though of Mickey in his tux and sorcerer hat, and Donald in the sorcerers hat. 

Hey look, Flowers.

We walked by Pooh just to make sure it wasn’t walk on.  It turned out to be a 20 minute wait, and having already been on it tons of times the group decided to skip it.  We walked out to main street, visited the Disney gallery where there was a lot of concept sketches for lots of movies.  Sadly photos were forbidden.

This might have been from the day before, but it's still a fun view of the covered Main Street.

The last thing we wanted to make sure we did was get a Mickey waffle before we left.  We tried the Strawberry Custard one and it was very tasty.  Splitting all this food 4 ways, we sure were able to taste a lot of stuff.

Our day just about over, we walked down the world bazaar, took one last look down Main Street at the castle and finally walked out the gates.  Our Disney portion of the trip was over and we were all just a little sad.  All of us had a fantastic experience with these parks and would highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in going.

We hopped on the monorail and went back to the hotel.  We made plans to meet up in the morning before we check out and head into Tokyo.  Stay tuned for more while we go out and explore the rest of what Japan has to offer!

Click here to go to Day 6 - Leaving Disneyland and the first day in Tokyo

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

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