Sunday, October 28, 2012

CHIBA: 01- How to Disneyland Tokyo Edition

My Tokyo Disneyland experience was a three-hour rushed walking tour of the place characterized by repeated drizzles, overpriced black pizza, and never ending lines of refugee camp proportions that would put Fuji-Q's queues to shame. Having said that, I suggest you just read the other Disneyland entry, Hong Kong edition if you want an in depth report. Besides, these theme parks just share the same template. To share my rants, however, you are free to read on.

Last day in Tokyo. Checked out at 11 AM. Did not leave the guesthouse until around 1 PM as the stupid rain would not stop behaving like an insufferable attention whore. A quick lunch at Matsuya followed and then I was ready to go. The good thing about Tokyo Disneyland is that it is well connected to Tokyo's intricate web of subway systems that going there is neither as costly nor as dragging as going to Fuji-Q. Around a thousand yen would suffice to get there and back, in terms of transportation costs.

The Starlight Passport is available during weekends, but not always. It would be better for you to check in advance before deciding on it. It allows the holder to come in at 3 PM onwards. The discount versus buying a one-day ticket will already afford you some overpriced snacks inside. Otherwise, you could use it to offset your transportation costs. Several other passes are available such as two-day and annual passports, with significant discounts already deducted.

Disney Tokyo is bigger than Disney HK because Tokyo built it in tandem with Disney Sea, which is a water park next to Disneyland. The entrance fee is not combined, and gaining admission to one does not automatically mean gaining free entrance to the other. A theme park that operates the same way and uses a similar system would be Gyeonggi's Everland and Caribbean Bay. Both Disneyland and Disney Sea are quite huge, so dedicate one whole day if you are planning to access both. Hotels are available within the vicinity. Good luck with the overnight rates.

Disney has its own monorail connecting the two parks to the hotels. There is a day-ticket that could be purchased which guarantees unlimited rides. Come to think of it, this might be the best way to actually ride something in this theme park without suffering from the curse of the wicked long lines. Since the monorail does not seem to be that popular given the justifiable walking distance between the stations, you could have it all to yourself. Oh joy! There is also a mall and a souvenir shop accessible even without buying an admission ticket, as they are located right outside JR Maihama station and placed strategically on the footbridges leading to the parks.

What you see inside the park is what you might also see in other Disney parks. As I always say, they share the same template. The main attraction at the middle would be Cinderella's castle, or is that Sleeping Beauty's? Either way, it is where all the camwhores congregate because it is also where access to all other areas of the park converge. A statue of Mickey and Walt Disney is also present in the front area next to the bazaar mainly comprised of souvenir stores by the entrance.

You have Tomorrowland to your right at the front, the main attraction of which is Space Mountain, an indoor roller coaster that I no longer bothered to try because the wait time was two hours. Like, seriously? Toontown comes next. As the title suggests, it caters to kids. If you are a thirty something balding adult and you get excited over this, I suggest seeing a psychiatrist. You then have Critterland which features a log splash ride that is a bit vertically challenged for my taste. Hey, do not quote me on the names, okay? I used the map as shield from the rain and I had no Google access when I wrote this.

It rained again as I reached the middle part of the northern section of the park. Hooray rain! I love you, damn it. Time to take a nap! After the rain got tired of raining, it was already getting dark, which meant a mad dash to snap as many photos as I could before my cheapo flash-less camera phone became useless. There is a steam powered ship and train that you can ride, which is inspired by Mark Twain's novels.

Going south back to the entrance, you go through the jungle inspired area, which has a roller coaster but I think it is meant for kids. As it was already dark, it was time for my phone camera to rest. I headed to the locker area where I deposited my backpack in exchange for 300 yen coins (500 for bigger ones) and prepared for my trip to the airport, except that it began to rain again and I got delayed by half an hour or so. In any case, I arrived at the airport conveniently with just three or four transfers by subway.

I enjoyed Tokyo so much that I want to relocate there, if only it did not make me feel so poor. Tokyo, why you so expensive? I rab you nonetheless! I will definitely be back.

CHIBA: 01 - How to Disneyland Tokyo Edition

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