Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Is This Adventureland?

Before us stood a whimsical dining location that not only had a cool theme, it was dry. The rain was steady during this time so it would be nice to sit and relax. And, because we would be eating slightly earlier than a typical lunch hour it wasn't very crowded. Sure there was a small queue, but nothing like I had seen in other blogs or YouTube videos. 

I really love the cast costumes here at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. They are a little over the top, but this is Wonderland! They all fit very well in this nonsense filled world. 

The queue moved past the food like any other "buffeteria" styled place. They had some decent selections, but Eric and I had already planned out our meal here. We wanted, what we called, "the heart shaped meat thingy". Isn't it cute? All the food at Tokyo Disney is so cute!

It more or less tasted like meatloaf you'd get at any restaurant. I think some bloggers thought this was the weirdest thing in the world because of the shape. When you think about it, all patties are shaped after being processed. It's all technically bad for you, but it sure was tasty! Each of us were also offered a bowl of rice, an extra charge. I think we were one of the few to turn this down. The dessert didn't disappoint either. Eric and I grabbed two different plates to share. 

Just as I ordered drinks and got ready to pay, a Cast Member walked up. She asked how many we had, then she whisked away my tray and our drinks. I was so busy counting coins I wasn't 100% sure where she was headed. After paying, with the preferred exact change, I searched around for this lady. Eric pointed her out down the checkered walkway, holding up her free hand. She walked us over to a table in a well lit area, while also carrying our food.  I wasn't expecting this service at all. I assumed we would find our own table and carry our own food, which I would've been fine with doing. We bowed and thanked her for the help. 

 I'm not sure why he deviated from the usual "Two Finger" pose. 

Believe it or not, we were done with being able to obtain a Fast Pass. My friend Jonny, the Fast Pass King, would have absolutely hated this fact, but it's true. The fast passes were gone for the day and it wasn't even noon. 

Eric and I still hadn't explored the other end of the park. Feeling confident about our time management, we took a leisurely stroll toward Pirates of the Carribean. It's clearly obvious by looking at the next photo that even in the rain no one was leaving anytime soon. 

The queue for Pirates was stretched out into the walkway. I wish we grabbed a photo of it. Picture Disneyland's version without that bridge. The walkway out front is level to the rest of the area. The queue flowed out to the left of the entrance and toward the World Bazaar area (Main St). It didn't look too long at all. It appeared we would enter, walk up the slope that runs along the flume, then board. When we walked into the building, this is what we saw.....

In regards to the ride experience, I'd say its queue was the biggest change. We had no clue that these sets of switchbacks even existed within the building! As mentioned, we expected to walk right up the ramp to the station, but we instead made a hard left into this full queue. Apparently we didn't do the proper amount of research. The little I had read was : If a guest didn't feel like waiting in a long queue, go ride Pirates. Eric and I are here to tell you that yes, there was definitely a wait. Even though this was a surprise, he and I are fine waiting in queues. As usual, the queue appeared much longer than it actually is. 

 It was interesting to see the difference in the queue interior. The outside facade here and in Anaheim are replicas. They give the impression you're entering a New Orleans regal home or a gallery. This interior definitely felt like the front area of a house, lined with family portraits, culminating with a staircase that leads to what might be the private living quarters. The attraction itself felt very much the same as the original. Different or not, as it poured rain outside it was a nice get away. 

Back out in the rain we had an uneasy feeling. We stood in what appeared to be New Orleans Square at "California Disneyland", but it was really Adventureland in Tokyo Disneyland. If that last sentence didn't make sense, I apologize. That's really the only way to describe the feeling of dissonance. Maybe I'm blocking the scenery too much.  Here's another photo Eric took without me in it. (Even Blue Bayou is there) I do believe in California we even have those exact potted plants. Anyway, pressing on....

We must not have been too impressed with Adventureland because we didn't take many photos of it. If we thought Fantasyland was just tossed together, to cram in as much as possible, Adventureland stole that title for sure! I recall food stands, an occasional restroom, trees, a few attractions all lumped into a confusing area. They even had a small portion themed to what maybe was the Carribean Islands hit by a typhoon. (It actually looked a lot like WDW's Typhoon Lagoon water park

Even after that description I gave, I wouldn't say I hated Adventuereland. This land or the odd layout of Fantasyland doesn't at all cause me to say that I dislike this park. All I'm doing is describing what we saw. Now we didn't visit this park with "rose colored lenses". There was something here we didn't care for very much, Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai!

If you don't speak Japanese well, I'd say to skip this attraction. I'm sure it is very entertaining to those that know what is going on, but it really was more than a mystery to Eric and myself. We thought, "Well, we have been to a few versions of this attraction, I'm sure we can follow along." We could not. I can still picture Eric and I looking over to each other and shrugging. It was really THE ONLY time in Japan where we felt completely lost. This was our epic "Lost in Translation" moment, not a bad place for ot to occur.

One of the snacks we had heard about during our research was this mochi dessert below. Each one has its own flavor and could be found in Tomorrowland. 

They are sold at Pan Galactic Pizza Port, right across from the Star Tours exit. Order on the first floor and grab a seat above. There's a small animatronic show to watch. It's a basic show where an alien appears to be making pizza dough. As we waited to order, I wondered if  there is  a Tomorrowland that doesn't sell pizza? I know even Paris' version has Pizza Planet. 

Anyway this snack we wanted comes as in threes. It has a strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate "dumpling" or mochi. They're very good and if you're ever there you have to seek this out. The Vanilla one tasted a little more like custard, so we loved that! It's a rite of passage for those visiting. I say this because every blog I've seen for this park seems to share their experience with this snack! Most people don't like the sticky feeling it has, but Eric and I enjoyed it.

The big moment for a decision had arrived. Should we continue on with visiting attractions.? Or, should se check if the "Happiness is Here Parade" would even happen. There was a break in the rain, but what a gloomy day for parade photos. Still, I had been anxious to see this parade ever since it premiered in 2013. We also had to keep in mind that we might get stuck with a plain "rainy day cavalcade". 

We all can find out the outcome next time!! But first, let's see one last shot as Eric poses the question, "Why is the Star Tours exit, this bridge, more elaborate than the entrance to it?"

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