Tokyo DisneySea – Part 2

During our 6 days at Tokyo Disney Resort…
Click the link above to find out more!
For the first half, we visited Tokyo Disneyland and now…It was time for Disneysea!
Anyway, I realized I actually did another entry on Tokyo Disneysea way back!
The link to it can be found here, above.
Since it’s been covered previously, this entry will be similar to the one before.
And since I’ve recently upgraded my camera and we’ve now better & clearer pictures…
This entry will be a similar one, infused with different pictures!
We’ll be doing this in 2 Parts. This is Part 2!
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Port Discovery
Port Discovery is a “port of call” – themed land; at Tokyo DisneySea in Japan.
It is hailed as “the marina of the future”.
It is sometimes called the “Tomorrowland” of Tokyo DisneySea and is somewhat of a cross between the never-built Discovery Bay concept for Disneyland and Discoveryland in Disneyland Park (Paris).
Home to the fictional ‘Center for Weather Control’, Port Discovery is also home to three attractions:
These three attractions are as follows: StormRider, a large-scale simulator ride; Aquatopia, a boat ride that uses LPS tracking (the ‘trackless’ technology also used in Tokyo Disneyland’s Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) to move and spin through a lagoon amid waterfalls and whirlpools.
And finally, the DisneySea Electric Railway, an overhead electric ‘trolley’ that transports riders to and from the American Waterfront.
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Aquatopia
Aquatopia is an attraction at Tokyo DisneySea theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba, Japan.
Located in the Port Discovery area of the park, it is notable as being the second of only two attractions in the world (the other being Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at neighboring park Tokyo Disneyland) to use a new trackless ride system designed by Walt Disney Imagineering.
It is considered to be the successor attraction to both Disneyland’s Motor Boat Cruise and the Autopia, which in turn Aquatopia received its name as homage. The ride consists of around three dozen vehicles (designed to look like personal hovercrafts) which move independently from each other at quick speeds through a large water lagoon.
The water in the lagoon is only around 5cm deep, as the vehicles actually roll along the shallow floor on wheels. The water is kept moving to create the illusion of depth, and occasional funnel drains give the appearance of foreboding whirlpools.
Like the older attractions it’s inspired by, Aquatopia is self-guided. Due to the ride technology, there are no visible tracks, so the sensation of spontaneous and surprise in your path is unique with every ride, giving a repeatability and dramatic visual kinetics to the new attraction.
There are two sides to the lagoon, which you board from a central boarding platform. In Summer, one side becomes a ‘wet course’ while the other is the ‘dry course’.
The ‘wet course’ adds the possibility of getting soaked by hidden water jets along the ride while the ‘dry course’ is jet free.
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StormRider
StormRider is a large-scale motion simulator attraction at Tokyo DisneySea in Japan.
It opened on September 4, 2001 together with the park. The attraction is similar to Star Tours at the sister park of Tokyo Disneyland.
In the attraction, guests fly into the center of a storm aboard a StormRider, a flying weather laboratory. But a storm diffuser gets hit by a thunderbolt and flies out of control.
 
Pre-Ride
A cast member briefs you on your mission. There is a big storm and you are to deploy a Fuse-a storm dissipater-into the eye of the storm in a StormRider.
The cast member gives a brief demonstration of the Fuse, and says that you will be safe from the Fuse, as you will be miles away by the time it goes off. You are then ushered into a flight simulator similar to that of Star Tours.
 
Ride
You take off, following another StormRider, but go off course, seeing dolphins, boats and Zeppelins. You meet up with the other StormRider and go into the eye of the storm, but the other StormRider is struck by lightning and forced to land.
Shortly after, you deploy the Fuse, which is also struck by lightning and goes off course, impaling itself in the launcher located overhead. This effect is achieved by having a segment of the launcher rotate to reveal a large hole with the Fuse inside.
You manage to dislodge it from the as it explodes, damaging the StormRider and causing it to fall, but it manages to fly again before in finally crashes into the ocean as the ride ends.
This segment of the ride features such effects as panels partially falling off and embers on other panels.
Disney’s Fastpass is also available for the ride.
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American Waterfront
American Waterfront is a “port-of-call” (themed land) at Tokyo DisneySea in the Tokyo Disney Resort, the northeastern seaboard of the United States in the early 20th century.
It features two themed areas, an “Old Cape Cod” section, and a “New York Harbor” section with an elaborate backstory.
Theming
The American Waterfront is themed to resemble a New York enlivened by new immigrants, and the New England fishing village of Cape Cod.
New York is depicted as a bustling city at the end of the Industrial Age, complete with an elevated railway.
Also, a classic American Theater and a harbor displaying a large range of boats, including the massive S.S. Columbia.
This city’s backstory revolves around the wealthy Harrison Hightower III, whose power grew stronger amid New York, as one can guess seeing his S.S. Columbia and his Hightower Hotel, symbols of his might, until he mysteriously disappeared after retrieving a cursed African idol.
As such, New York Harbor features the main attractions:
The Tower of Terror, inside the Hightower Hotel, where guests investigate Hightower’s disappearance and face the curse of the idol known as Shiriki Utundu.
Turtle Talk, inside the S.S. Columbia, where guests meet Crush, from the Disney.Pixar movie Finding Nemo, as they look through an underwater window.
Toy Story Mania!, the popular ride from Disney California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, based on the Toy Story movies, which opened on July 9, 2012, probably shaped in a Coney Island-inspired way.
The attraction is located in a sub-area of American Waterfront, called Toyville Trolley Park.
Cape Cod offers a slower pace and the opportunity to stroll leisurely along its quaint streets.
This is a past version of what New York is now.
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Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Midway Mania! (marketed as Toy Story Mania!) is an interactive theme park attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure theme parks.
Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and inspired by the Disney/Pixar films Toy Story and Toy Story 2, the attraction was first unveiled during a press conference at Walt Disney World in January 2007.
The Florida version opened officially on May 31, 2008 while the California version officially opened on June 17, 2008.
A new version of the attraction was constructed at Tokyo DisneySea and opened on July 9, 2012 and is located at American Waterfront.
Premise
Step inside Andy’s room and wind your way through a toy treasure chest of classic playthings.
Pass a Candyland® game box, Viewmaster® discs, crayon drawings and a Scrabble board before picking up a pair of special 3D glasses for the fun to come.
Inside the vibrant toy box, meet Mr. Potato Head®, decked out in a 1920s barker outfit as he introduces you to the attraction.
Climb aboard an early 20th-century-inspired Carnival Ride Tram and grab your spring-action shooter.
With 3D glasses on, glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at stationary and moving 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games.
Toy Story Mania! invites you to play 5 unique, virtual carnival games in 3D alongside the loveable cast of characters from the Disney•Pixar Toy Story films.
 
These games are:
Hamm & Eggs – Hamm and Buttercup invite you to knock down both moving and stationary barnyard animal targets using hardboiled eggs.
Rex & Trixie’s Dino Darts – Launch darts and pop balloons in front of a bubbling volcano in this game starring Rex and Trixie.
Green Army Men Shoot Camp – Toss baseballs to break plates at a green army men firing range.
Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers – Buzz Lightyear urges you to toss rings and make them land atop the Little Green Men.
Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery – Shoot suction-cup-tipped darts at a variety of mine-cart targets in this game inspired by the “Woody’s Roundup” television show.
Compete with friends for the highest score or try to achieve a new personal best! But remember, whether you’re an expert or a beginner, everyone’s a winner!
 
Story
In the two American versions, the attraction is presented as taking place in Andy’s Bedroom in a large Midway Mania playset that the toys decided to set up to play themselves.
Tokyo DisneySea’s version, located in American Waterfront, is set in a new subarea of the land: Toyville Trolley Park, a Coney Island inspired setting housing some mini-games in the shops in addition to the attraction itself.
 
Concept
Park guests wear 3-D glasses (Carnival Games Goggles) aboard spinning vehicles that travel through virtual environments based on classic carnival midway games.
Ride vehicles seat up to four in back-to-back pairs.
Mini-games
The attraction features five mini-games after a practice round, each of which includes at least one “Easter egg” that can trigger additional targets or gameplay changes.
These games include:
Pie Throw Practice Booth (pie toss target practice game, a no points introduction)
Hamm & Eggs (egg throw game)
Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts (dart throw game)
Green Army Men Shoot Camp (baseball throw / plate breaking game)
Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers (ring toss game)
Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery (suction cup shooting game)
Each guest’s score is recorded by an onboard display screen as points are acquired with individual toy cannons firing simulated projectiles at virtual targets. Toy Story characters including Woody, Hamm, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep appear during the attraction’s different games.
Similar technology has been used in Disney attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest and several Buzz Lightyear attractions. According to Disney, it is the first attraction created simultaneously by Walt Disney Imagineering for two theme parks.
The line at all the three parks features a large Mr. Potato Head Audio-Animatronics figure that interacts with guests through pre-recorded snippets of dialogue performed by comedian Don Rickles & Kazunaga Tsuji in the Japanese version, who voiced the character in the Toy Story films.
The sophisticated figure identifies people in the audience, sings and tells jokes. He is one of the only AAs in the world to remove and replace his own working parts.
Former Mini-Games
Only five mini-games can be used at a time at Toy Story Mania.
The Following games have been featured as part of Toy Story Mania in the past, but have been since replaced:
Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop (dart throw game) Replaced May 21, 2010 with “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts”
Toy Story Mania!, guest get to experience what life is like from a toys perspective by coming into contact with the ViewMaster reels nearly four feet in diameter and the Tinkertoy connectors that are two feet across. Andy’s Romm will make a 5’6″ person feel about 14 inches tall.
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Tower of Terror
“Despite all my investigations, I’ve never been able to prove anything, but I’ve come to this conclusion: the hotel is cursed!; there is no other explanation.”
―Manfred Strang, 1912.
Tower of Terror is an attraction at Tokyo DisneySea in the American Waterfront area that opened on September 22, 2006.
Unlike its American counterpart, the attraction isn’t themed after The Twilight Zone as Japanese audiences aren’t as familiar with the show and the company that owns the park didn’t want to pay both CBS and Disney in royalties.
Instead, it features an original storyline taking place at Hotel Hightower, utilizing the Society of Explorers and Adventurers storyline that already exists within the park.
Backstory
From a 2006 Press Release:
Anyone who visits American Waterfront will soon find their gaze irresistibly drawn to the unique form of the lofty Hotel Hightower. The building’s unusual design and extraordinary proportions were symbols of the wealth and power of its notorious creator, antiquities collector Harrison Hightower III, and indeed the stories of the man and the hotel are inextricably linked.
After inheriting his father’s mansion, Harrison Hightower III decided to renovate his home, adding gardens, a pool and spa, the five-story “Caliph’s Tower” the eight-story “Indian Tower” with its many guestrooms and a ballroom, and finally the 14-story “Great Tower” in which Hightower kept his personal apartments in the penthouse suite. Although the overall style of the hotel is Gothic, to a certain extent there are elements of other architectural styles from all over the world. Also, as a further testament to his greatness, Hightower installed many artifacts he had acquired during his globe-spanning expeditions in various places around the hotel.
Harrison Hightower III was a collector of cultural antiquities. Accompanied by his valet, Mr. Smelding, he traveled to every continent to collect his curiosities, including Asia, Europe, South America and Oceania. Once he found an artifact he wanted, he would use any method available to acquire it, including on occasion outright plunder.
In 1899, Hightower embarked on the most hazardous expedition of his life, heading up the Congo River and into the dangerous parts of uncharted Africa. Though his intention was to collect the art and craftwork of the region, Hightower soon found himself the object of attacks by hostile local tribes, and many members of his team lost their lives.
Then one day, Hightower’s severely reduced party was chased into the area of the dreaded Mtundu tribe. Though greatly feared by neighboring tribes, the Mtundu welcomed Harrison Hightower’s ill-fated expedition quite cordially, and actually invited the adventurers to eat with them.
During the meal, Hightower learned of the existence of the tribe’s protective idol. The statue was called “Shiriki Utundu” and Harrison Hightower wanted it for his own. He tried to persuade the village headman to sell him the idol, but was refused, which only served to increase his desire. He then told his men to prepare for battle, and grabbing Shiriki Utundu from its altar, stole the idol and escaped the village.
The expedition was nervous and afraid that the many warriors of the Mtundu tribe would pursue and attack them, but strangely they only stood by and watched expressionlessly as Hightower took their idol. Some thought they may even have been slightly smiling…
On December 31, 1899, Harrison Hightower III was back in New York and held a press conference in his private office at Hotel Hightower to unveil his latest “find”. Manfred Strang, a reporter from the New York Globe-Telegraph, asked if Shiriki Utundu wasn’t really cursed, but was then thrown out of the building. After that, Hightower was his usual bombastic self, giving a heroic description of his adventure and allowing no real questions. That evening, he gave a spectacular New Year’s Eve party to celebrate his return from Africa.
Though the party was a success, Hightower left early to find a place for Shiriki Utundu in his penthouse apartment. As Hightower boarded the elevator, Mr. Smelding warned him to give proper respect to the idol. Hightower refused to pay heed, and, sneering in defiance, even put out his cigar on Shiriki Utundu’s head!
As the clock struck midnight, all lights in the hotel went out and the party was plunged into darkness. People outside witnessed a dazzling green light bursting out from Harrison Hightower’s rooms at the top of the hotel. From the top floors to the bottom, the benighted hotel was pierced by hundreds of thousands of volts of electricity. The arched windows in front shattered with a loud crash, causing broken glass and other debris to rain down on the onlookers below. Small fires had broken out, and panicked party guests scrambled to escape, with many injured in the rush.
However, the most astonishing thing of all was that Harrison Hightower III, who should have been in his rooms at the top of the hotel, abruptly disappeared without a trace.
With the explosion on the top floors, the cables of the hotel elevator were also cut, and Harrison Hightower III was heard screaming in fright. The only thing that was found in the remains of the shattered elevator, though, was Shiriki Utundu. Harrison Hightower was gone. Had Hightower somehow escaped from the elevator unharmed, or was he not even riding it when it crashed? Could he have been transported away somewhere? No one knows the truth.
After Mr. Hightower’s mysterious disappearance the hotel was closed down. People in New York began calling it the “Tower of Terror”. For 13 years no one dared to enter the hotel until the New York City Preservation Society, led by its president and founder, Miss Beatrice Rose Endicott, began a plan to offer tours of the building to the public. The Society hopes that through its efforts people will again appreciate the architectural beauty of the hotel and the cultural value of the treasures in Harrison Hightower’s collection.
Still, dark rumors persist amongst the people of New York. Some say how they saw the “strange, green lights” on that fateful night, while others recall hearing “a terrible scream” The passage of time seems only to have increased the mystery surrounding Hotel Hightower.
Attraction Walkthrough
The line starts outside the Hotel Hightower, where guests can see the windows are almost completely shattered, and winds through the gardens filled with many statues from many different countries. Signs are posted all over the front advertising the tour.
Guests then enter the lobby, a very elaborate and well-decorated room filled with lush furniture and beautiful art. Across each arch near the ceiling is a mural of Hightower on one of his adventures.
If one looks closely, they will notice that he is actually escaping the native people in some way with a valuable artifact or item in his possession. At the end of the lobby are the elevator doors, left open in its destroyed state with only a single plank of wood holding it together.
The broken cable is visible inside. Guests are then ushered into a room filled with many pictures of Hightower, his expeditions, and his hotel.
Guests enter one of two rooms, either his office or the library, and in each room a large stained glass window depicts a confident Hightower with Shiriki Utundu sitting on a pedestal nearby. A tour guide talks about Hightower a little, then winds up an old gramophone that plays a recording of Hightower’s last interview.
At this point, the lights dim. The stained glass window changes to show a now frightened Hightower holding the idol before showing him entering the elevator on that fateful night.
It then shows the outside of the hotel as the elevator ascends. Suddenly, all the lights in the hotel turn off, and there is a big blast of green lightning.
n an instant, the blast drops, shattering the bottom of the glass upon impact. At this point, Shiriki Utundu comes to life, looks around, laughs mischievously at the guests, and then it vanishes into a star-field, and a coal-colored fog covered the window, which remains the same when the fog is lifted. Guests are then ushered into an enormous storage room where Hightower kept his treasures.
There are multiple loading rooms on the second floor, each themed to a different type of item. One has swords, another has tapestries, the third has stone tablets and other valuable artifacts.
The mechanics of the Tower are physically identical to the Californian and Parisian towers, with dual loading floors, a horizontal “push” away from the doors and into the drop tower, a “hallway” scene, and a mirror scene, but with thematic changes. The order of both mirror and hallway scenes is also reverse compared to the US counterparts.
The lights of the elevator turn off as Hightower’s voice explains the significance of the idol. The elevator is pulled backwards, away from the still-visible service elevator doors as the walls of the basement disappear and turn into a star-field. The glowing green eyes of the idol appear in the darkness as the elevator enters the drop shaft. The elevator begins its ascent, first stopping at the hallway scene.
The guests stop at the hallway, the idol sitting on a table halfway down. Hightower’s ghost, glowing blue, appears beside it and reaches out to touch it. At once, the idol zaps him with a bolt of green electricity, blasting him backwards into an open elevator at the opposite end of the hall, where he drops down the shaft. As the hallway becomes a star-field, the idol turns toward the guests’ elevator and laughs before the doors close..
The elevator ascends another level. The doors open, revealing a large, ornate mirror. As they wave goodbye to the real world, the lighting of the hotel is replaced with an eerie green glow as a glowing force of green magic turns the reflections of the guests ghostly similar to the DCA and DLRP Towers.
The electrified reflection of the riders disappears and leaves the idol alone in the empty elevator. The idol laughs menacingly and suddenly shoots forward at the elevator.
The elevator vibrates and shakes and begins the drop sequence. The sequence is identical to the US version except the first two drops are missing (the ascent comes first) and the final drop takes place from the bottom set of doors rather than the top of the shaft.
At the end of the drop sequence, the elevator returns to the loading level, where the idol’s green eyes glare from a star-field. Both elements disappear and are again replaced by the service doors through which guests entered.
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Symbols
The park’s two symbols are the DisneySea AquaSphere – a water fountain with a large model of the earth – in the entrance plaza, and the gigantic volcano, Mount Prometheus, located in the center of the park.
The volcano and Cinderella Castle in Tokyo Disneyland, the other park in the resort, are exactly the same height.
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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!
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About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

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