Saturday, October 15, 2011

Japan - Day 14 - Last Day in Japan

Aww... today is our last full day here.

Again we decided to wake up late and just enjoy the day.  The weather was supposed to be pretty bad today so we were looking forward to empty parks.  Looking out the window, sure enough, the wind was really whipping.  All the palm trees leaves were pointed in the same direction, and the water in the bay all had whitecaps on it.  We didn’t eat breakfast and figured we’d find something in the park.  We threw on our rain gear and headed out to the monorail.  Getting on, we knew something was wrong.  This had to have been the most crowded monorail we’d seen since we had been here.  The very next stop was Disney Sea, and sure enough almost the entire monorail emptied to go.  As soon as we got in, we stopped by guest services to change some dollars into yen.  We were down to about 600 yen for the whole day and next.  I’m glad we only had to do that once because it ended up taking 10 minutes with all the paperwork that had to be filled out and copying our passports.  All this for $50? 

The park was pretty crowded.  We stopped by the bakery and got a cream cheese bun and a sausage croissant.  

We put them on a tray and got them to go.  We figured they'd be a tasty compliment to the pork gyoza we liked so much.

Once we got there, it turned out the place didn’t open until 11:00am and we were 15 minutes early.  Luckily we got a table right by the edge of the water.  

About 5 minutes til, I saw a line start forming at the window and jumped in it.  Good thing too, because the line got huge!  Turns out there were a bunch of people hanging out just waiting for it to open.  Probably 50 people I’m guessing, but luckily I was in the first 5.  I got our order of gyoza along with some soy sauce that has a spicy tangy taste that really made them taste even better.  We enjoyed our pastries and gyoza by the water.  

 The line was really long for the pork steam buns.  We didn't like these nearly as much as the gyoza.

We decided to check on Indiana Jones next just to see if it was something we’d wait for.  Um, no.  Not with an 80 minute wait.  Then we walked over to watch the Little Mermaid show again.  And again it was good.  I wish they’d let you record or take photos in here.  The Ursula is huge and impressive. 

I like the theming of this store.

We then headed back to Arabian Coast.  I had read about some excellent coconut soft serve ice cream and had been looking for it all around the parks.  I eventually googled it and it turns out it’s a winter flavor at the Sultan’s Oasis.  We went by there just in case but they had strawberry soft serve.  It was alright, but not great.  Coconut is one of my favorites, so I'm sure that would have been better.  Also, it is normal here to keep the ice cream just below freezing?  My cone was already melting by the time they handed it to me, and 30 seconds later it was already dripping on my hand.   

I finished my cone in front of Sindbad’s and then we walked onto the ride.  And just for good measure, we went on it one more time since the line was so short.

We decided to make that our last ride at Tokyo Disney Sea and headed out.  These plants caught my eye.

We stopped by the hotel Mira Costa to grab some gifts for stocking stuffers that we hadn’t seen in other stores.  This store is decorated like Michelangelo's Studio.

We jumped on the monorail to Disneyland.  By this point, the rain had really let up.  We both took off our rain jackets and now it was just the wind we had to deal with. 

I saw Robin Hood out walking around and figured I should go get a photo with him.  You have to grab photos with the rare characters whenever you get a chance!

Checking over the information board, everything had a long wait and all the fast passes were gone.  Pirates showed a 30 minute wait, but we decided we’d do it anyway.  Turns out the wait was only about 20 minutes, which we were happy about.  

Lunch was hot dogs at Casey’s Corner.  I had the footlong and fries, while Theresa had the special black pepper and cheese dog with fries.  Hers tasted quite a bit like pepper and not so much like cheese.  I preferred my regular dog over hers and I think she liked mine better too.

Theresa had been wanting to find some fresh fruit for days now.  We’d looked in Kyoto and all we saw were multipacks with 4 apples or persimmons or something, and she’d only wanted one.  We even looked at Disney Sea a couple days before, but the stand had already closed by the time we went over there.  Well finally in Adventureland Theresa found an apple.  That made her happy and it even turned out to be a crisp apple. 

Also fun to see the monkeys from The Jungle Book.

The Tiki room was calling our name.  This time we asked for the English translation devices to help us out.  The girl who got them for us asked where we were from.  We told her California, and she got excited because she was going to be going to CA in four days to visit Disneyland in Anaheim, and also heading out to Las Vegas.

We got to spend a little longer waiting in line this time, so I noticed all the blue footprints Stitch had left all over the place.  I would say, I hope it comes off easy when they decide to change the ride back, but everyone I've seen here seems to love Stitchee so I’m sure he’ll be around for a good long while.  Anything is better than the "Under New Management" Tiki Room that WDW just replaced.

The translation devices really helped.  You can see the Glee Club are all wearing Stitchee ears.  He's the Big Kahuna!

Overall I think the show was fun and worth a visit.  

Back over to the information board to get wait times.  150 minutes for Monsters, 120 for Splash Mountain.  And why in the world does Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters have a longer 70 minute wait than Space Mountain's 50 minute wait?  Instead we walk over to It’s a small world and walked right on.  

I love seeing places in here where we've visited before.  Disneyland Paris, check.

 Now Tokyo Disneyland, check.

Hong Kong Disneyland, not yet, but we're hoping soon.

We took a quick ride on Pinocchio.

Walking by Pooh, we were sad to see it closed.  I looked online and saw it was down for refurbishment until Dec 22nd.  I’m glad it was open the first time we were here.  The honey popcorn was smelling really good so I got a box of that.  The honey smell just pervades the area and smells wonderful.

The Monsters Inc ride looks really cool.  

It was my turn to pick a ride, so I chose the classic Star Tours.  Again, we walked right on to this ride.  Surprisingly Theresa didn’t have any problems with the ride like she does back home.  Those behind the ear motion sickness patches must really work well.  

The parade was starting soon, so we grabbed a caramel popcorn and tried to find a decent viewing spot.  

Haha, yeah right!  The parade was only a few minutes away and look at all the people waiting for it.  Normally right in front of the partners statue, the parade floats would stop and the performers would get off and do a dance routine.  Unfortunately, the rain started to come down just as the parades got there so instead of stopping, they just continued on.  I kind of felt bad for the people who had obviously camped out for such a long time to get a good viewing spot.

We still hadn’t ridden Jungle Cruise and it was only a 30 minute wait, so we figured why not give it a try.  I’d heard the warnings that it was all going to be in Japanese, so you should skip it but we went anyhow.  It was cool to see the differences in their version and the US versions.  

The Schweitzer Falls joke is pretty universal.  

As well as the Backside of Water.

For dinner we decided we’d head out to Ikspiari.  And since it was so close, we walked instead of riding the monorail all the way around the parks.

Theresa in front of a giant Disneyland passport.  We can now say we crossed all these off our list.

And I love the photos in the giant luggage showing Disney characters enjoying the rides in the parks.

Iago and Zazu can visit the Tiki Room, but they certainly shouldn't stay.

Off to see the rest of the stores.

We visited the Disney store there (not Bon Voyage) and found they do have some different items than the park, and I thought their prices were a lot better on a few things compared to the parks.  There was even a Ludwig Von Drake plush toy.  Definitely some place to check out for some unique merchandise. 

Umm, it's only October 14th.  Why are there Christmas plushes out?

Theresa loving Lotso.  And every time we see a Lotso plush, I just have to pick him up and smell.  He really does smell like strawberries.

Ludwig Von Drake, not Scrooge McDuck.

We meandered through a few levels.  Saw a sign for a pita place that looked good, but it had a line out the door 10 parties deep just to sit down.  We wanted to get back into the parks and weren’t interested in spending that kind of time waiting.  Eventually we decided we’d eat down in the Ikspiari Kitchen that had a wide selection.  

The California Diner menu looked good, promising a handmade hamburger.  Theresa got a California burger with avocado and I got the double cheeseburger.  After taking a few bites, hmm, I don’t know what this meat is, but it definitely doesn’t taste like hamburger.  It has some weird filler in it and the texture is just awful.  We both gave up after eating half, and just threw the rest away.

We walked back over to Disneyland and grabbed a spot near the end of the parade route for the Tokyo Electric Parade Dreamlights.  We had 30 minutes to wait, but we lucked out and were only the 2nd row back from the rope.  Not too shabby.  

Theresa asked if we could just put the camera down and watch the parade together, so I have no more photos to show of the parade.
With about 5 minutes to go before the parade reached us, it started spitting rain.  I was glad the parade was already on its way, so they couldn’t cancel it now.  I just wasn’t sure if we’d be watching the parade in normal speed or in fast forward as they rushed to get backstage again.  Turns out it was just a little rain and we got to see the whole parade in normal speed.  All the floats are really well done here, but the one that absolutely stands out is the Genie float.  It’s just awesome how it changes into all those characters.  It's definitely not something to be missed!

We were still trying to figure out gifts to bring home to our friends and family, and the only thing we could think of for some of them happened to be sold only at Disney Sea.  After the parade ended around 8:05 in our location, we walked out of the park and over to the monorail to head back to Disney Sea.  A quick stop in the shops there and we got what we had come for.  I was debating ending my night here or heading back to Disneyland.  We decided Disneyland would be better.  Back to the monorail and back into Disneyland and it was now 9pm.   

The last ride we really wanted to do was Haunted Mansion Holiday.  We got back there and the ride board showed a 45 minute wait.  We jumped in line and 20 minutes later we were in our Doom Buggy.  Hmm, I wonder if they’ve been hyper inflating their numbers all day to encourage people to go on other rides.  When the ride was over, we jumped back in line again and rode it a 2nd time.  When we were done that time, we only had 15 minutes to go before the park closed.  We considered trying to get to Monsters, but we weren’t sure if they’d cut off the line or not.  Instead we went on Mansion for a 3rd time and Theresa noticed for the first time that Zero has a pumpkin for a nose.  It’s always fun to find something new.

These paintings line the hallway on the ride.

We exited Haunted Mansion right at 10:02 and were wondering if maybe they hadn’t closed the line for Monsters Inc.  Nope.  There were trash cans in front of the doors and the lines were chained off.  We slowly made our way out of the park.  We slowly walked around and then through the castle one last time then turned to look at it once we were through, just taking it all in.  Then it was a slow meander around the hub looking at everything one last time.

All the stores on Main Street were closed by now, so there’s not really any more shopping to do.  We make our way out of the world bazaar and out the main gates.  We boarded the monorail and got off one stop later at our hotel.  A quick stop by the convenience store to grab food for breakfast tomorrow morning and then up to our room. 

Our Disney vacation is done.  We all had was a great time and it was great to share the experience with friends.  Theresa and I were at Disneyland for 7 days total.  We were able to do some many cool things, see just about every show I think, and go on some great rides and make some great memories.  Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I still talk about it and all the fun memories we had while we were there.

One thing I wanted to note about the hotel room.  I noticed earlier when we left I had to pull on the door to shut it and to make it lock, otherwise you could just push the door open.  I tried it when we got back, and sure enough, the door just pushed open.  Must have been when they came to clean it they didn’t pull it shut and just assumed it was closed and locked.  Nothing out of place though when we went inside. 

A couple of quick showers and then we watched a few more minutes watching Aladdin before Theresa couldn’t keep her eyes open.  Tomorrow we’re waking up and packing, eating breakfast, then catching a ride to the airport.  Hopefully we can pack all this stuff into our carry-on bags.  Not too bad doing 15 days in Japan with only a carry-on bag.

Only a 10 hour flight back, though the time change is going to make it difficult.  I've got one more update after this.  It'll have a few more photos that I just didn't know where to include them.

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