Thursday, October 13, 2011

Japan - Day 12 - Leaving Ruston and Jacob and going back to Disneyland

Well it was a sad day.  After spending 11 days together, we're finally going to split up.  Theresa and I are going back to Disneyland while Ruston and Jacob are going to explore downtown Tokyo a little more.  

The day started around 8:15am.  After getting everything all packed up, we left the Citadines and went down to the subway.  We could have walked the 1 mile distance to Kyoto station, but decided that a 210 yen ticket was a better idea. Breakfast was another stop at Mister Donut. We had made our reservations for seats on the 9:56 train and went down to the track to wait.  There were a ton of high school kids from Australia with Jazz band collared shirts on and all sorts of instruments.  Of course Ruston was quick to strike up a conversation with them and their leader.  It turns out they were from Frankston, Australia and their sister city was in Japan, and they were up there to perform.  They even got their trip paid for for them to be there.  Kinda makes me wish my town had a sister city to visit.

The train arrived and started boarding and of course it was madness with them and all their instruments and luggage.  We had to walk a few cars down from where we were supposed to board because it was so crowded and the train was going to be leaving with or without us.  Eventually we got to our seats and lucked out that we were in the section with 3 seats, but no one sitting next to us.

Once we reached Shinjuku station, we said goodbye to Jacob and Ruston.  We got to Tokyo and took a long walk over to the rail line that would take us to Disneyland.  

We're back!!!

We got to Ikspiari and bought a 3 day monorail pass and went to our hotel.

Someone is happy to be back.

A couple days before, we got online and made reservations to stay at the Hilton Tokyo Bay again.  Theresa was able to find a deal for something like $250/night.  We had looked at staying in at the Disneyland Hotel, but the cheapest room was 45000 yen/night ($585) for the cheapest room.  The Sheraton which is right beside the Hilton Tokyo Bay was over 50000 yen/night ($650).  What were they thinking being so much more expensive than the Disneyland Hotel?

It was only 1:40 and check-in wasn’t until 3pm, but we went to the counter to see if they had anything available.  Theresa asked it they had any king beds available, since this whole trip we’ve been staying in rooms with either separate twin beds, or twin beds pushed together.  They said if we’d like to wait 20 minutes they would have one ready, or we could get a regular room right then.  I was ready to get to Disney Sea, but Theresa thought we should wait and get the king bed.  We passed the time buying our Disneyland 2 day tickets and making reservations for the airport limo on Sunday and also looking for gifts in the shop.  We went back to the main desk and the receptionist came around the counter with our keys and said to follow her to our room.  She escorted us all the way to the room and showed us some of the special amenities.  It turned out that they upgraded us for free.

This room looked much more modern than the room we had previously at this hotel.

And there was even a fridge with complimentary beverages that were restocked daily!  Sweet!  There was even complimentary high speed internet!  Great job Theresa for making us wait. 

We dropped off all our stuff and walked out to the monorail to head to Disney Sea.  Once there, we got a times guide and saw that one of those shows we’d missed the first time around would be starting soon. 

We grabbed a couple of hot dogs and some black pepper popcorn and sat down for the show.  Along the way, we could really smell that milk tea popcorn.  It definitely has a unique smell. 

The show was really fun!  Even though we had no idea what they were saying, it was high energy and the costumes were amazing!

First Mickey showed up on the boat.

Who better to host a show about food than Lumiere?

Chip and Dale brought Mexican Tacos.

Of course their nemesis Donald shows up.

But they trick him into eating a pepper that is really hot!

Daisy came to bring us an Indian Spicy Curry.  I love those guy's pants!  They look just like Nan bread.

Pluto brought us an American Cheeseburger

And finally Goofy brought us a Bento Box.

And then you have to have dessert!  Minnie comes out dressed like a Sundae and I think Mickey is some sort of chocolate.

Whew.  Good job Lumiere.

As we were leaving we saw a group of chefs pushing trashcans.  Knowing something must be going on, we followed them to see where they were going to set up their show, and it ended up being right in front of McDucks.  They were really good drummers.

And then later Donald in a Chinese costume showed up and also started drumming. 

We love the crowd interaction!

See ya later Donald!

We then walked back toward Indiana Jones.  Along the way, we saw Pocahontas and also stopped for some Strawberry popcorn.

It was a 50 minute wait for Indy, so we decided to wait on that one and look at some of the store.  There’s an Indy store not too far away.  $2200 for a real 8’ leather whip seemed a little expensive… 

After that, we went to Sindbad's.  It was only a 5 minute wait.  Theresa loves Rajah!

After Sindbad, we walked through Agrabah.  I love how all the characters just wander around 

In keeping with the whole Genie/Agrabah theme, we went to the double decker carousel. 

It wasn't all that busy so we even got to ride on the Genie!

Leaving there was the definite smell of Curry in the air, so Theresa grabbed a curry popcorn. 

We went back to Triton’s Kingdom just to look around.   

There's some cool hats and merchandise to buy in here.

I noticed the water spitting fish and Flounder that we had in our DCA Ariel ride is also here just above one of their display racks.

We went outside and right there was a Caramel popcorn.  That makes #4 today.  

I spent a little bit of time trying to get a good shot of the whole mermaid area since it looks so much better at night compared to the day. 

We walked through Mysterious Island

We stopped by a cart that had huge lines most of the time we were there and tried the pork bun.  It was a bit bland, but it was hot.  We then walked to the lower level and found some soy sauce.  That helped it some.

This place just looks amazing at night.

The restaurant downstairs had pork giyoza, so we had to try those as well.  Theresa said these were probably her favorite food that we’d had so far at the Disney Resort.  They were pretty tasty. 

After that, it was time to look around in the stores.  We were trying to find something good to bring back to family and friends, but it’s been difficult.  We ended up getting 2 white and 2 black plates to bring back home.  It's not a whole dinner set, but that would have been really expensive.

After wandering the stores for a while, we finally made it over to McDucks.  Ducktales was a big favorite of mine growing up so I was hoping to see some great decorations and merchandise.  The fountain out front looks cool.  

But the inside wasn’t as cool as I would have hoped.  The decoration in the place is all great, but the insides have been turned completely into a Duffy store.  Sigh...  I think Scrooge is posed like this wondering what exactly happened to this place.

Theresa had had enough walking around, so we sat down 45 minutes before the start of Fantasmic.  This is our second time watching it and this time we’re watching it from the front.  Everyone here is really serious about showing up early to see shows.  We were there 45 minutes ahead of time and were 4-5 deep from the front of people standing.  

The one thing we really liked about all the shows here in Japan was that the cast members made it a point to announce that you should remove large hats, and never hold up cameras above eye level.  We even saw a cast member asking some girls to take some large bows out of their hair.  I sure wish Disneyland back home would institute a policy like this.  It seems like it’s a running joke when you’re watching fireworks or a show that as soon as the first note plays, all the kids start going on top of shoulders.  The sort of thing is forbidden here, which I think is just great. 

Fantasmic itself was awesome once again.  Even better from the front.

It's awesome to see how they do a show without a main stage.  The main hat that has Mickey also has Stitch pop up.

And Cinderella.

The way they do the Magic Mirror is also really cool with a giant mirror frame and a stream of water flowing down and being projected onto.  

And then when the volcano gets into the action you just have to say Wow!

Look out Mickey!  It's a fire breathing dragon!

Mickey knows what to do though!  

We high tailed it to Indiana Jones, hoping to beat the rest of the crowd to the back of the park.  When we got there, it was only a 5 minute wait.  Sweet!  The ride was great, and of course the theming of the queue is just outstanding.  

We walked over to Sindbad and walked right onto the ride.  It was just us in the front and another couple in the very back seats in the whole boat.  After the ride was over, I asked Theresa if we could just ride it one more time, and she said yes.  Both the entry greeter and the loader recognized us and said “Two times” when they saw us.  This time we had the boat all to ourselves.  What a great ride!

Enjoy the video!  When I was working on the video, the song just got stuck in my head. It's titled "Compass of Your Heart" and was written by Alan Menken.  You've heard his other music in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, Hercules, Tangled and many others.

And then it was time to walk out.  We then took a quick monorail ride back to the hotel and grabbed some snacks for the next day.  

The room came with free internet access, but the welcome guide said we’d need to call down to the front desk for the password.  Instead of telling us over the phone, they sent someone up with a slip of paper with the username and password printed out, plus a network cable.  They were up to our room within minutes of us calling, and the girl who came was very cheerful and polite.  Just a quick bow after handing us the paper and then she was gone.  They really do have great service here.  

It's been a pretty long day and we've been going hard.  I’ve already told Theresa we don’t need to be there when the park opens tomorrow, so we should enjoy sleeping in a bit.  Tomorrow, Disneyland again!

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