Wednesday, February 4, 2015

For Us, Tokyo DisneySea Draws to a Close


It would seem that after we left Sinbad’s attraction, a little shopping and snacking was in order. Eric knew of the Chandu Tiger tails that were available near the attraction exit. Chandu is that cute, little tiger that joins Sinbad on his voyages. Did I mention how cute he is? The little snack is a chicken bun shaped into a tiger tail and is served again, in cute packaging! This might sound like an odd description, but the tail tasted like chicken noodle soup. Who doesn’t like that sort of soup? I feel all that enter this park needs to try a Chandu tail. (And, also buy a plush doll of him)

After wandering through the marketplace in Arabian Coast, we decided we needed to see the Magic Lamp 3D show. The theater is found inside a rather largely scaled structure. To be honest, all the buildings in this area are massive. The queue was a decent length, bearable. There are a few things I recall from our wait.

We were transferred to the queue within the courtyard. There was a Cast Member in there that seemed to be in charge of prepping guests with theater rules. Since the guests were spread out within the courtyard’s queue, she went to various spots to deliver an announcement. Each time she did this, she recited a well-rehearsed spiel. At the conclusion of this announcement she put her hands to her side and slowly bowed to the crowd. I saw her do this three times as we waited and was equally impressed each time. I love Japan!

The crowd was ushered into the lobby of the theater that also acted as the pre-show. Here an animated snake was filling in the crowd about the magical genie (all in Japanese, so this is an assumption). If my memory is correct, he of course added in references to Aladdin and his lamp. I assumed this was all preparation for the genie we would encounter once in the theater. Now during all of this, a baby/toddler was giving everyone the biggest headache ever. This baby was either not wanting to be in that building or was hungry because it was making the most high pitch noise I had heard from a kid. The Japanese are a considerate people, but clearly everyone was getting annoyed.

Eric and I were quite relieved when the theater entry doors opened. We made a beeline for the doors to get away from that kid! Everyone joined in that action. The show itself was also all in Japanese. From what we gathered, the assistant (a live actor) was there to get us ready to meet Genie himself from Aladdin. But, there was also another live actor present that tried to take over the show. He too had some sort of powers as he cast the Genie’s assistant away. While all this is taking place, the screen behind them interacted with them. The crowd was very excited as they enjoyed the mixture of live action and 3D screens. Somehow it all gets resolved. The Genie shows up to save the day. And, the assistant (in MC Hammer pants) assists the Genie to cast away the evil guy.

Generally that show gets a lot of bad reviews, but it was easier to follow than the Tiki Room at Disneyland. We didn’t know what was going in during that show. Maybe it was the over the top acting that helped us out in this show?

It was now just after 3:30 PM. We had mentioned to our other American travelers that if they were free, to meet us at the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge around 4 PM. Eric and I decided to head back to American Waterfront to maybe meet up with them. We took the path found across the water from the main Mermaid Lagoon structure. On that end of the water, it is still considered to be a part of Mermaid Lagoon.  Ariel’s meet and greet is found there. We weren’t going to be seeing Ariel, but found it interesting that this area was unified with that across the water. Suddenly, Eric grabbed my arm or shoulder and practically shouted for me to look down the walkway, past Ariel’s meet and greet entrance! I saw it! 

Eric had finally found the popcorn bucket that I wanted! I had put that on the “back burner”, as I figured the only place to find it would be the next day, at Disneyland’s AdventureLand. I don’t know if I can convey how excited I was to get this bucket. I had seen this bucket online prior to our visit and it was the one thing I knew that I had to have from Tokyo Disney. As you can see, the Cast Member that sold it to me was so cute and nice.

Just near that cart is a convenient path that cuts through Mysterious Island, so that we can get to American Waterfront. I tell you, we were so confused at the park layout on Day 1. Luckily, after a few wrong turns on that first day, we felt we had a better handle on the various paths.

Once onboard the ship Colombia, we didn’t see The Brickers or Selgas at the lounge’s entry queue. We went ahead and put ourselves down for a table for two. The wait wasn’t all that long. We were sat in the front area, the less interesting section in our opinion. But after we ordered out Manhattans we each wandered around to see the décor. 

I’ve had better Manhattan’s at California Adventures Carthay Circle lounge, but we still ordered two! As we “lounged’ in the lounge, I started to get that odd feeling that someone was staring at or watching us. There were two ladies right near us, appeared to be in their late 20s, that kept glancing over. It was an odd feeling and something that I had been warned about before we left home. Maybe I was just creating a story in my head, but this wasn’t the last time we encountered this while on the trip. If my Japanese was excellent, I am sure I could’ve corrected or confirmed my assumption.

Taking a few silly photos and wandering the decks of the Colombia was next on our agenda. As we were on the top deck I heard someone ask, “How were your drinks?” It was Sarah! They were running behind and a fast pass of theirs overlapped, so they didn’t make the lounge with us. I’m glad we ran into them on the ship. Apparently Tom was off photographing the park. We didn’t ask because I didn’t want to seem too nosey (lol). 

                 Yes, that is the real ocean. 

We recruited Sarah to take a few shots of us on the boat. The sunset was taking place, but unfortunately the clouds were making it a hazy one. They invited us to join them at the nearby show called “A Table is Waiting”. This was to be another one of the more popular shows at the park.

The five of us sat down in some pretty decent seats, but soon after it started to lightly drizzle. We were all prepared for the rain, but what deterred us from waiting was that there was still another 40 minutes until show time. Although we were definitely interested in the show, we had assumed the start was about 15 minutes away. 

There were a few other stops they wanted to make and we were getting a little hungry. Sarah suggested we have the curry found in Arabian Coast. We kept in touch with the group during the rest of our time at Disney, but didn’t see each other again until we were in Tokyo.

Eric and I decided to take the long way to Arabian Coast to shoot more photos. We of course visited American Waterfront, walked in the rain to Lost River Delta, and ended up in Arabian Coast. Someone might wonder why we didn’t ride the attractions over and over again. The truth is that DisneySea is an amazing spectacle that is screaming out to be admired. We had such a great time going down the various paths and taking in the grandeur of the park’s design. 

At one point a lovely couple took our photo near the Indiana Jones attraction. Eric thanked them in Japanese and bowed. The female in that couple then informed us that they were from Taiwan. Oops!

During a light rain, Eric and I reached the Royal Tandor restaurant to have the curry that Sarah was raving about. After eating there, I heard from a few people that this food wasn’t all that impressive. We enjoyed it and thought it “hit the spot”. This dish of rice, chicken, naan bread, and curry isn’t something we normally eat. It even being outside our comfort zone, we still savored every last bite.

The rain let up while we dined. This was great because we wanted to see the New York Halloween Follies show that would take place in American Waterfront. People were waiting hours for a spot to see this, but Eric hoped we could snag a spot along the side lines. This was another show we had heard great things about on the podcast. Would this show live up to the expectations set by that site? (So far that site had been a huge help, so I was confident it would)

                    Flapper Minnie and the back of Zoot Suit Mickey

From what I learned on that podcast, Follies showcases the current celebrities of park, the skeletons. The era is the 1920s and they’re all out for a Halloween party. The conflict in the show arises when Scrooge McDuck objects to the very existence of the skeletons. He even tried to get them taken away by Chip n Dale, dressed as gangsters. Through dance and music, Scrooge is shown how to get down and Charleston with the rest of the gang. In the end, Scrooge confesses he was not keen on the arrival of the skeletons because he was a little afraid of them. But, he was now happy and showed his happiness as he joined the skeleton friends in a large dancing finale that even included huge beach balls (because that fits the 1920s theme, right?). The cast of this show is huge! It was the one time we saw this many of the skeleton friends in one place at the same time! Our view was a little obstructed, but at times the performers came to our end, as well as driving past in a vehicle. When this ended, I may have wished we did get a chance to see this one more time.

But, this would be our last evening at Tokyo DisneySea. What does one do when you have an hour or two left at the number one theme park in the world? It was a tough decision, but we did head over and ride our favorite attraction there, Journey to the Center of the Earth. This was the one time that we actually waited in the standby queue. There we were reading every inscription and plaque that we found. We learned about the drilling machine that Nemo created and how it led him to the depths of the earth. It also allowed him to find a hidden passage of water that was of use to explore the ocean waters (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

A cool touch that people are catching onto is the lava, mentioned in the previous post, even made its way into the queue. Here we can see where the lava even overtook a drinking fountain!

After riding, Eric and I were dragging our feet back the park’s main entrance. We were mindful that we needed to catch our bus back to our apartment, but also sad to leave the park behind. Gee, I am even getting a little sentimental as I type this sentence (nearly four months later).

But, not all was lost at all. We still had another Disneyland day to look forward to! And, guess what? The next day it was forecasted to be so clear that there wouldn’t be a cloud in the sky. I’ll give you one hint about that, it made all the difference in what we saw there! Join us next time at Tokyo Disneyland when we finally see the parades as they were meant to be performed!

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