With all the major Tokyo guidebook-filling landmarks still to see in our last few days, we jumped on the subway and headed as far away from the city centre as we could by metro. After visiting Universal Studios in Osaka, we couldn’t leave Japan without also visiting Disneyland Tokyo.
Still suffering with a bit of vertigo exacerbated by last nights cruise, a theme park seemed like a good way to kill or cure all my issues. The entrance to the park was almost identical to Universal in that it has a covered replica of American streets – although somehow not quite as convincing. There were a lot more westerners in Disney and these stood out not just because they looked foreign, but also for the fact that they dressed individually within their groups.
The locals have mastered coordinated outfits and they were here to show off just how coordinated they could be. Coincidentally, Emma and I matched reasonably well by western standards – but today we may as well have been wearing opposing football team kits. Couples, school groups, families; all colour coordinated, themed and already head-to-toe in Disney Merchandise.
Agreeing to not buy anything until later in the day, so we didn’t have to haul it around, we probably looked like we were having a silent protest about Disney’s commercialism. Some people were so adorned with merchandise, it was hard to tell if they were selling stuff or just an über fan.
We activated our Fastpass (it basically just gives you a time to go on a ride without queuing) for the Star Tours ride and jumped into the shortest queue we could find nearby. We’d read about the Captain EO attraction, but we weren’t quite prepared for it. There was a short introduction to the attraction being played whilst we were queuing. They boasted about the fact it was produced by George Lucas, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starred Michael Jackson… It all looked very ’80s and so it should; this ride was first opened in 1987!
It was basically a longwinded 3D music video – not as good as Thriller. They should probably use that in their marketing so people don’t get their hopes up due to the big names involved. We sat one row back from the front and at the end of the aisle; this somewhat hampered the 3Dness of the film, but in no way detracted from the shiteness of the story, music or 3Dness of the movie. If you closed your right eye, the visuals would improve slightly. Closing both eyes and humming improved the experience greatly.
Moving on and onto Star Tours and this was essentially the same simulator ride as I went on at EuroDisney in 1992 (?) with a newer HD movie. It was still fun and we felt almost cleansed from the Captain EO disaster movie we’d previously visited.
Wandering around the park it was all very nice and Disney. It was busier than Universal and the people were way more into the characters – even knowing the dances to the parades. There was still a nice vibe and despite their estimated queue times being as accurate as the weather forecast, we were having a good time. By the afternoon I’d crashed out, joining the growing number of people asleep around the park, I felt ill and needed a rest whilst Emma continued to charge around like a loon.
The evening came and after another (and the best) 3D ride courtesy of Mickey Mouse and his orchestra, we lined up with pastries in hand (the food is amazing here) to watch the parade. With the biggest and best floats having passed us, we made a swift exit to beat the crowds and an hour later we were tucked up in bed.
Two days left and we need to rest to make the most of them.