Lily is already bouncing as we leave our airbnb apartment and take the difficult 3-change metro journey to Tokyo Disney where we will spend the next two days. She reminds us, nicely, that she hasn’t been to a disneyland resort since she was five, and that means “we’ve missed some of her best Disney years.”
It’s true that we went a lot when Emma was little, and less for Lily. I think, it’s one of the reasons Emma was SOOOOO into Disney princesses for a few years, we went almost annually until she was six or seven.
Tokyo Disney is the only theme park that is not owned or partially owned by Disney itself. They licensed the content years ago to a local company that maintains the rides, and give everything a Japanese flair. It’s the most proitable of the Disney parks, and gets more visitors in a year than Japan has citizens.
There are two parks, Magic Kingdom and Disney Sea, the first of which is a near replica of US parks. Disney Sea we save for the second day as it’s the newer and more ‘adult’ of the two parks.
I’ve reserved the hotel for tonight but we can’t check in yet – it’s 10am, but to the left of the Maihama station that serves Disney parks are both lockers and a back check if you are staying at one of their hotels. Freed of our bags, we head straight to Disneyland, with Lily bubbling and chatting and hugging Emma and me the whole way.
Most of our trips I try to squeeze in something that the kids would like, a water park or a beach day or even a movie. They can’t easily stay focused on ancient shrines, foreign food and quiet museums for more than a few days at a time without burning out, and this is after all, a vacation not a death march. (Sometimes I forget that…)
The Magic Kingdom is recognizable in everyway to anyone that has spent time in Anaheim or Orlando (or Paris for that matter.) Lily opts for Space Mountain first and thereafter spends the whole day thanking me for the greatest day of her life. She is adorable when she’s excited.
And she navigates the park for us – telling us that “Space Mountain is in Tomorrowland where we can also do the racetrack”, which Emma and I already know but we enjoy her enthusiasm. A fair number of rides are closed for repair though, including Pirates, Jungle Cruise and a few in Disney Sea.
Eating is quite difficult. Even the pizza place only serves pizza with meat. I’m relegated to weird cheese-potato puffs, some french fries and ice cream for the day, which makes me a little queasy on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Oh great a menu with Tofu! Except it’s served with pork…
Japan Day Seven – More Disney
A fancy room-service breakfast is provded free with the room, and it occurs to me that I don’t remember getting any kind of special deal when I ordered the rooms. It did occur to me that for about $330 a night, this was aufully nice.
The first few rides are a small coaster, on which there is a 360 loop. Lily, emboldened by her 5-ride mega-success with Space Mountain decided shes ready for a coaster that takes you upside down. And she loves it, giggling and screaming like a Japanese schoolgirl.
Probaby the most well designed area in any Disney land I have seen is the Mysterious island, built after the writings of Jules Verne. It has a 20,000 leagues under the sea ride, and a journey to the center of the earth ride, both of which are great.
But the real winner is the Tower of Terror, a drop tower and haunted mansion. It has one of the best effects I’ve ever seen in a Disney ride- a statue that dissapears in front of you. Very cool.
Today the eatings are a little bit better. We spend $75 bucks to buy a buffet meal, at which are enough items for all three of us to eat well. I eat only fresh vegetables, as I haven’t had any since my first day or two in tokyo when I made my own salad at the apartment.
As the park closes, and we take that one final ride, Lily says ‘goodbye Disney’ wistfully and sleepily. They did 22 hours of walking and standing in line, and rode at least 30 rides. And I didn’t lose them once! Unlike our experience in Paris Disney a long time ago…
In the middle of the night, my phone goes off with a text. I grab it and wince. “Your credit card has been charged $3,400 Thank you!” I had a feeling this was too good to be true. This place isn’t $109 per person a night, it’s $1090!