Visiting Tokyo Disneyland is like visiting the best of Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom – at the same time.
There’s Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, and Disney World’s Haunted Mansion. There’s the immense Cinderella’s Castle, just like at Disney World, but there’s an attraction inside it, too, just like at Disneyland.
But Tokyo Disneyland takes it U.S. counterparts one better, preserving elements long gone from the American Magic Kingdoms. Want to see the Country Bear Christmas show? Or visit Fort Sam Clemens on Tom Sawyer Island?
Better catch a flight to Tokyo, because this is the only place where those attractions still exist. In terms of size, Tokyo Disneyland is larger than the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, too.
All this week, we’ll be covering the lands of Tokyo Disneyland. So let’s start with the beginning: Main Street USA.
Whoops, I meant World Bazaar.
The Main Street USA name isn’t the only thing missing from Tokyo Disney’s entry land. There’s no railroad station, either. Tokyo Disneyland’s railroad is called the Western River Railroad, and circles just Adventureland. With no train station to go around, you simply pass under a small arch, and you’re there
The glass roof that spans World Bazaar provides shelter from Japan‘s occasionally inclement weather, though the rest of the park remains exposed to the elements. World Bazaar’s also unique among Disney entrance plazas in other ways, too.
With no railroad of Main Street vehicles, there are no attractions in Tokyo Disneyland’s World Bazaar. But there are six restaurants.
Eastside Cafe, a table service restaurant serving Italian pastas, grilled sirloin and fish. Priority seating reservations are available and highly recommended.
Restaurant Hokusai, a table service restaurant featuring Japanese fare, including tempura, chicken teriyaki and udon. Priority seating reservations are available.
Center Street Coffeehouse, a table service restaurant serving soup, salad and mid-prices entrees, including a seafood rice au gratin, fried shrimp and a chicken curry.
Refreshment Corner, a quick service location serving hot dogs, footlongs, fries, Cokes and cupcakes for dessert.
Great American Waffle Co, a counter service location serving Mickey waffles with four sauce or topping options.
Sweetheart Cafe, a counter service bakery offering several varieties of breads and sweet desserts, including muffins and Mickey-shaped pastries.
Many small and simple machines can be found here. These machines are designed to be reminiscent of the 20th century American era.
Disney calls them the Penny Arcade, I call them “old-skool”.
Whichever way you choose to call it, these “old-skool” arcade games and they’re really fun to play!
Classic games galore!
Enter this beautifully illuminated building to find a slew of classic coin-operated, mechanical arcade games: old-fashioned pinball machines, baseball games, and more. It’s like you’ve gone back in time!
The designs, the games – it’s all so much fun
Penny arcade favorites from the turn of the 20th century are here, with their antique designs and fun little quirks. All of the games were actually used in American arcades decades ago. Come on in and try!
It’s kinda difficult to find these around elsewhere anymore!
The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha E Komo Mai
When the birds start singing…
The Enchanted Tiki Room is where the Polynesian gods gather.
Four songbirds from Hawaii have come to sing their favorite songs for you, but no sooner do they start singing, strange things start happening…
Are the gods angry? Or could it be that…?
What do the blue footprints lead to…?
The Enchanted Tiki Room plays host to a musical show of enchanting Hawaiian birds and flowers. But there are posters all around the place looking for the “missing” Stitch, and some suspicious looking blue footprints… Where on earth could that Stitch have gone?
Tokyo Disneyland doesn’t have the same old Tiki Room show you’re used to from Disneyland, and now, Walt Disney World. It’s a new show, which stars a popular Disney animated movie character who takes over the classic Tiki show.
While I continue to prefer Disneyland’s original version of the Tiki Room, if Disney’s going to add a cartoon character to the mix, let it be Stitch, whose Hawaiian backstory actually fits the Tiki Room theme.
In this version, Stitch is trying to force his way into the Tiki Room show, like Lucy trying to weasel her way into one of Ricky’s Tropicana Club shows. But the birds think it’s the Big Kahuna that’s interrupting their show.
They ultimately discover that it’s Stitch, whom they let in the show if he agrees to behave. Which he does… just before he spits on the audience.
Tokyo Disneyland’s Adventureland feels to me like two lands mashed together. On the upper side of the land stands the Tiki Room, with the Swiss Family Treehouse to the right and the Western River Railroad and Jungle Cruise to the left.
From here, if you walk back toward the park’s entrance and you enter what will look identical to New Orleans Square, though Tokyo Disneyland doesn’t call it that.
Here’s where you will find Pirates of the Caribbean, the Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Ahoy! Pirates ahead!
Set sail into the sleepy bayou, and get pulled into the rollicking world of plundering pirates! You’re in their lawless world now, where bullets fly, waters rise, and pirates laugh in the face of danger and death. How will it all end? Remember, dead men tell no tales.
A thrill ride of fun
Pirates can be frightening, but they’re also pretty funny. Captain Jack Sparrow from Disney’s live action film, Pirates of the Caribbean, and other unique pirates make an appearance in this adventure, bringing plenty of laughs on this thrill ride.
Pirates of the Caribbean here is much the same ride as the one over in Anaheim, with a few tweaks.
First, the ride’s queue is almost entirely inside Laffite’s Manor. And there’s only one drop into the grotto after you leave the Blue Bayou.
But the biggest difference is at the end. Instead of riding the lift back up to the loading area, as you do in Anaheim, you disembark immediately after the final treasure scene.
After which, you ride a speedramp back up to the street level instead.
That allows Pirates to end with a bang, rather than the slow return of the original version.
As I mentioned earlier, Tokyo Disneyland doesn’t have a railroad chugging around the park, as the other Magic Kingdoms do. Its railroad travels only around the Adventureland and Westernland sections of the park.
But the Western River Railroad offers some wonderful views of Tokyo’s Rivers of America and Big Thunder Mountain & includes the Primeval World dinosaur scenes so popular at Disneyland.
Tokyo Disneyland’s Adventureland also offers more food options than any other land in the park.
The Scallop Chowder here is exceptionally good excellent – creamy, with moist bits of scallop and a salty sea flavor, accompanied by a very tasty slice of bread. Adventureland also offers other options:
Blue Bayou Restaurant, a table-service restaurant serving steak, seafood and gumbo.
Boiler Room Bites, a counter-service stand with savory and sweet Mickey- and Minnie-shaped steamed buns.
Cafe Orleans, a counter-service restaurant.
China Voyager, a counter-service restaurant serving soup noodles.
Crystal Palace Restaurant, a character breakfast and afternoon buffet.
Polynesian Terrace Restaurant, a reservation-only musical show, with performances at lunch and at dinner.
Westernland & Critter Country
Now, we’ll take a look at Tokyo Disneyland’s: Westernland & Critter Country.
Westernland is just Tokyo Disney’s name for what American Disney theme park fans know as Frontierland. Critter Country was a later addition to the park, debuting in 1992 as the new home for Splash Mountain.
Keeping with the theme that Tokyo is a blend of California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Walt Disney World, Critter Country is the name of the land where Splash Mountain is found at Disneyland, but Tokyo’s version of the ride is essentially identical to Disney World’s.
One element of the park that I can’t show you here is the smell, which is amazing. Every few yards in the park, you’ll pass a popcorn wagon.
But unlike in the U.S. theme parks, where Disney serves only traditional buttered popcorn with an occasional caramel corn sometimes, Tokyo Disney Resort raises popcorn to an art form, serving at least six different flavors in Tokyo Disneyland alone.
For a mere 300yen you can get yourself a box of popcorn.
Among the unique flavors available, a few such as the curry flavored & soy sauce flavored popcorn are worth a mention.
For the curry flavored popcorn, yeah, it’s got a spicy kick as you’d expect from curry. There’s no chemical aftertaste, just the warmth of the curry on your tongue.
As for the soy sauce popcorn, which had the salty flavor of traditional buttered popcorn, but with an almost “umami” savoriness to it that standard popcorn lacks.
Excited from riding the Western River Railroad earlier, we couldn’t wait to get over to Tom Sawyer Island.
Other then little one, we spent waaaaay too much time on the island for someone over the age of 12, but as we waited for our return raft to the mainland, we couldn’t help but watching the ducks paddle by. A thought just hit me suddenly.
It occurred to me, as we munch on a popcorn kernel, that these ducks aren’t just munching on regular old popcorn. They’re eating curry popcorn. Or soy sauce popcorn. Could these ducks be flavoring themselves with all this savory popcorn? What a deliciously evil thought.
If you’re looking for a less intense trip around the river, there’s always the Mark Twain Riverboat.
Not only has Tokyo Disneyland kept all the show elements working on its version of Tom Sawyer Island, it’s kept all the seasonal versions of the Country Bear show running, too. So we headed over to the Country Bear Theater to watch the performance, I forgot what it was called though.
Don’t worry, roller coaster fans, we haven’t forgotten about Big Thunder Mountain.
We saved my ride on Thunder for later, when the park had gotten dark, perfect atmosphere for a spin.
Tokyo’s version is essentially the same as Orlando’s, except that the ghost town is replaced by a longer tunnel and there’s another tunnel and a U-turn after the final drop and run past the dinosaur bones.
Fantasyland is coming up next, which is the home of Tokyo’s Haunted Mansion.
We’re continuing Tokyo Disneyland week with an in-depth look at the heart of any Magic Kingdom park: Fantasyland.
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
A highlight of our this section of the park: Pooh’s Hunny Hunt!
Hunting for hunny in the Hundred Acre Wood
Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh and his friends set out to find his favorite food, yummy hunny.
But things are not as simple as it sounds…
The hunny pot you ride on is impulsive and whimsical.
Where will it take you next?
Your hunny pot’s got a mind of its own
The hunny pot you ride on is big enough for five, and apparently, it’s got a mind of its own.
That’s a very big pot indeed!
It rides the wind, bounces around, and sweeps you away on a sticky sweet adventure!
But something’s missing though…
Where’s the hunny?
Travel through the warm and friendly world of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, and you just might find it!
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt uses an innovative “trackless” ride system where vehicles are sent on unique ride paths in real time.
The “hunny pot” you’re on is technically floating, in a sense, you can think of it as two magnets repelling each other.
And on a side note, we thought much attention was given to detail in “Poo’s Hunny Hunt” – up down to the very alluring scent of hunny honey.
We thought we might have been hungry & high (or maybe our minds were playing tricks on us), or they had a new “smell effect” (5D anyone?) until…
…We realised the honey popcorn stand was open!!
(And now we know where the smell came from.)
On top of my favorite things to do whenever I come to Tokyo Disneyland’s Fantasyland, is to have a meal at Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall.
Queen of Hearts is an elaborately themed buffeteria featuring the characters from the animated film: Alice in Wonderland.
The real appeal of the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall are the desserts.
On my way over to the Banquet Hall from Westernland, you’ll see the Haunted Mansion.
While this Mansion looks like its Florida sibling, it’s got California’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” holiday overlay:
So if you ever wanted to know what Florida’s Mansion would look like with the Haunted Mansion Holiday treatment, all you have to do is hop a flight to Tokyo to find out.
There’s one other restaurant in Fantasyland and that would be Captain Hook’s Galley, which you might miss since it’s hiding around the corner. Nearby from Peter Pan, facing Westernland.
The Galley features a popular option I repeatedly found again and again in Tokyo and Singapore: Seafood pizza. Honestly, it seems disgusting and the thought of it makes me sick.
Meals at Captain Hook’s are available in “sets”, with a beverage and cup of mini cream puffs.
The rest of Fantasyland includes the line-up of attractions that will be familiar to any Disney theme park.
Alice’s Tea Party
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
It’s a Small World
Mickey’s PhilharMagic (which just this year replaced the Mickey Mouse Revue)
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Snow White’s Adventure
The one difference? Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall, a walk-through attraction in the castle, featuring art and artifacts telling the story of Cinderella.
Tokyo Disneyland’s Tommorowland retains many of the classic attractions familiar to fans of the other Disney theme parks. The most famous of them all? Space Mountain.
Cutting-edge rocket faster than the speed of light!?
What’s that gleaming white mountain, bathed in mysterious lights at night?
That’s the state-of-the-art space station, Space Mountain, where you can board a rocket ship and blast off into outer space.
Hold on tight for a thrilling ride through galaxies and meteor showers!
Experience an exciting journey into space on this roller coaster, as you shoot up, down, and all around. The sleek spaceships have all just been re-charged with an explosive ball of energy. Strap in tight because all that power is about to launch you straight into the thrill of your life!
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Grand Circuit Raceway
Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek
The one attraction in Tomorrowland that’s unique to Tokyo Disneyland is Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek.
Both the building exterior and interior queue are faithfully recreations of the Monsters Inc. headquarters from the Pixar film.
Let the game begin!
Tonight there’s a special game of hide-and-go-seek at Monsters, Inc.
Everyone’s playing, even Sulley, Mike, and the human child Boo. As soon as the lights go out, the game begins! How many monsters can you spot with your flashlight?
The world of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. has finally been made into an attraction!
Board a security tram for a ride through the Monsters, Inc. factory and Monstropolis, and look for the hiding monsters. When you find one, shine your flashlight on their helmet. Try to find them all!
The ride is similar in concept and structure to California Adventure’s Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, with a major twist. Instead of passively riding through Monstropolis, this time you’re playing a massive game of “Flashlight tag” while you try to find just where Boo has run off to.
Randall’s back, too, trying to catch Boo first to make her scream. But Mike, through more of his characteristic bumbling than actual skill, manages to… errr… take care of Randall and save the day.
Many riders don’t notice the plot, though, as they shine their handheld flashlights at Monsters Inc. logos throughout the ride. Each “hit” triggers an animation element in the ride, usually a character popping up or turning around.
Unlike Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, there’s no score kept here, so there’s no competitive element. Just the gentle fun of trying to make the ride react to your “tags”.
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
The ultimate battle in the world of toys
It’s Buzz Lightyear from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story films!
And now, you’re one of his proud Space Rangers!!
Board a space cruiser and get ready for a great adventure.
Work together with your friends to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg, and save the universe!
Astro blast the targets!
With this shooting-style attraction, use the Astro Blasters on your space cruiser to target and hit the robots and secret weapons as they launch attacks against you on this perilous mission.
The more targets you hit, the higher your score, and the higher your rank!
Is your aim precise enough to bag yourself a prize!?
If you’re getting hungry while in Tomorrowland, your most whimsical restaurant option in Tomorrowland has to be the Pan Galactic Pizza Port, serving the ubiquitous seafood pizzas – snow crab and a shrimp and mushroom – along with a double-sausage pizza.
Other restaurant options include
Plaza Restaurant, serving a seafood and rice au gratin, pork curry over rice, beef and vegetables over rice, chicken and scrambled eggs over rice, and fried chicken on a Chinese bun.
Tomorrowland Terrace, which offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, a bacon double burger, chicken teriyaki sandwiches and shrimp cutlet sandwiches.
Lastly, we take a look at Toontown!
Toon gags for sale!?
A huge gag machine takes up the whole of the Gag Factory shop.
And you’ll have no problems finding the Toontown Five & Dime; it’s got a nickel and dime above its entrance.
This is where the Toontown residents get all the equipment to produce their crazy gags and jokes, so you’ll be sure to find something wacky!
Don’t miss the “Wacky Gag-O-Matic” machine that drops toy-filled capsules.
What will come out next!?
Toontown delivery service
The Toons in Toontown always use the prompt and reliable Toontown Delivery Company for all their delivery needs.
Today, the delivery guys have been hired to sell all the fun Toontown items they’ve stuffed their truck full of. Come see for yourselves, their service is always prompt and reliable!
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
A wild and wacky cab ride
Roger Rabbit’s beautiful wife Jessica’s been kidnapped!
And the villainous weasels with their dreaded “dip” are out to get Roger Rabbit… and you!
So quick, jump into a cartoony taxi cab named Lenny and try to shake them on this wild ride through the back alleys of Toontown!
Take the cab for a spin!
Be careful driving through the wacky streets of Toontown, the “dip” has gotten all over the wheels. When you turn the steering wheel you just might send your cab into a spin.
Can you avoid the “dip” and get out of there in one piece?
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is very similar to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, espicially in terms of visuals.
Both are neon, trippy & wacky, both also spin you around endlessly.
It’s like taking a trip into someones mind and it’s obvious that that “someone” is a colorful hippy!
Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
Welcome to Mickey’s House!
Let’s go to Mickey’s house!
What’s that playing in the living room? It’s the local radio station, “WACKY Radio Toontown”!
And also, in here; you’ll see all of Mickey’s movie trailers are playing in his converted movie studio, the Movie Barn!
There’s a movie studio in the backyard
Mickey’s rooms are rigged with fun, and you’re welcome to look around. Walk straight through the house and you’ll reach the backyard barn, better known as the Movie Barn. You’ll meet Mickey as he films a scene for a movie!
Chip ‘n Dale’s Treehouse
A treehouse in a big oak tree
Those two prankster chipmunk pals, Chip and Dale live here, in this big oak tree, which guarantees them a constant supply of their favorite acorns. They’re happy to welcome you up to the “nutty” treehouse they call home.
Visit their backyard!
Climb up the oak tree and into the treehouse and you’ll feel like a chipmunk in no time. There’s an acorn butter maker in the backyard, and Chip ‘n Dale could use your help!
Gadget’s Go Coaster
This acorn coaster is super fast!
Recycling is Gadget’s passion, and this inventor’s put together a clever Toon-size roller coaster out of “found” objects. Sit inside a hallowed out acorn for a thrilling ride. Don’t forget to look around! Can you tell that you’ve been shrunk down to “Toon” size?
Small ride, big impact!
This roller coaster may be small, but it’s big in excitement. Gadget’s put her heart and soul into this invention, so you’re in for some thrills. You’ll graze a rock face, careen around, and splash through Toon Lake. What a ride!
Donald’s floating home
Floating on Toon Lake is the boat Donald lives on, the Miss Daisy. It’s open to everyone, so come aboard and try out the bells and whistles.
Explore the inside of the boat and feel like a captain!
Explore the fun-filled boat!
The boat is full of fun. Look through the telescope, and what is Donald doing? Make sure you try out the control panel to honk the horn and turn on the lamps.
There’s lots to discover on Donald’s Boat!
Goofy’s Paint ‘n’ Play House
Have fun redecorating Goofy’s living room with unique paint applicators
Using the Toontone Splat Master paint applicators, you can help Goofy redecorate his room. These tools are really easy to use! Just point your Splat Master at the wall or furniture you want to paint, and activate! Everyone’s efforts together are sure to result in a truly “toony” room!
A unique redecoration
Beach, jungle, and other themes are used for redecorating Goofy’s living room. The Toontone Splat Masters also come in a variety of models, so you can have a different fun experience every time you visit.
Check out these links if you’re interested to see past Disney related entries or want to read more on: Tokyo Disneyland/Tokyo Disneysea & Disneyland Park/Walt Disney Studios Park!
+1’s would be much appreciated too.