Three-twelve a.m. That’s when I got home from my school’s 2010 Halloween Party. Well, it was the karaoke after-party that was the real culprit. But it was a blast. Because I had so much fun, I had nearly forgotten, that I was supposed to meet my friend Kana at Maihama Station in Tokyo at 9:00 am. She had gotten a pair of free tickets to Tokyo Disney and invited me to come with her. I checked the trusty Jorudan Route Finder to find out how long it would take to get to the station. I found out it was going to take about an hour-and-a-half. To be safe, I was going to have to leave by no later than 7:20 to give myself a little wiggle room to meet Kana. I power-napped my way through 3 hours of sleep and three cell-phone alarms (no surprise there), but I was able to get up by 6:45am. I gave myself a lightning fast shower and shave and got dressed. I blasted out of the house at 7:10 am and made it to the Tsukuba Express just in time to catch the 7:27.
I got to Maihama earlier than expected, grabbed a bit to eat. I left the station only to find, much to my disappointment, that it was a gray, rainy day (the after-effects of yesterday’s typhoon). I was a bit unhappy because I really wanted to get some great pictures and videos but the weather didn’t seem to want to grant me permission. My day brightened when I looked immediately to my left. There was a petite, pretty woman with her dark hair tied in a ponytail standing right next to me. She had that unmistakable, brilliantly bright smile…it was Kana! I was really happy to see her, because it’s been over a year. We exchanged hugs and some small talk, and made our way to Disney Land.
Tokyo Disneyland Costumes and DecorationsThe first thing that caught my attention when I walked in was the sheer number of people that decided to wear Halloween costumes. I saw magenta-colored, Cheshire Cats, Jasmine the Princess, the cards from Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Buzz Light Year, Minnie, Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Lilo, Stitch, and so many others. It was so nice to sea the vibrant sea of costume colors: bright reds, sunny yellows, fall oranges and yellows, deep greens and blues. Although the overcast day dimmed the park setting a bit, people didn’t seem to notice. Everyone appeared to be having a genuinely good time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pictures being taken in one day. The Mickey Mouse Pumpkins, spooky carriages, ghosts, Jack Skelton & his friends, Disney charcters dressed in costumes (costumes on top of costumes) and a host of other colorful, theme-based decorations adorning the park, gave Tokyo Disneyland a chilling but charming Halloween feel.
Which Attractions Did We Ride?We had Fast Pass tickets which allow you to select up to three rides (I think) where you can bypass the main lines and ride your chosen rides much faster. The way it works is you take your ticket to this machine for Fast Pass owners, you put in your ticket, and the machine returns your entrance ticket and a second attraction ticket. This ticket tells you what time to return to the ride to bypass the line. We were like two secret agents on a mission. We got to ride quite a few things without feeling rushed whatsoever.
1. We kicked things off with Captain EO, which they re-released in Japan earlier this year. I hadn’t seen this since I was maybe 13 years old or so, so I was excited. Truth be told, though, it wasn’t as great as I remember. It’s kind of hard to believe though, because George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola were the directors! And this was back when they were still making awesome films. I think because Michael Jackson was so talented, everything he did in the 80s pretty much turned to gold (even if the project wasn’t the best).
2. After Captain EO it was on to Space Mountain, which is my favorite ride in Tokyo Disneyland. I like rides with unexpected scares, and because Space Mountain is a roller coaster in the dark it accomplishes just that.
3. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt- You know, I really didn’t think I was going to like this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Disney seemed to put more effort into the animatronics for this one. there was even a room that was honey scented…I actually liked it…but then again what grown man doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh (hehehe (nervous laughter)).
4. Next is was Big Thunder Mountain which had a slightly shorter wait than the two-hour one that I experienced last time I was there. I also like Big Thunder Mountain because it’s got a bit of thrill to it.
5. Splash Mountain was after Big Thunder Mountain and it was great. I really like this ride because it mixes the lightheartedness of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear, and Brear Fox, and the happiness of puppet work with a nice stomach-churning drop at the end.
6. The Haunted Mansion-It was okay, not really so scary of course. But one thing I can say is that I liked the Nightmare Before Christmas theme work that they did to this attraction. Visually, it was pretty stunning.
7. Montsters Inc. This was a cool little interactive game where you and your partner have to shine your flashlights on all the Monsters Inc. symbols you see. However this ride had the least leg-room of all the attractions. When the front of the car was closed, I had to sit sideways just to fit, but I still had fun.
8. Toy Story. This attraction was quite similar to Monster’s Inc. in that is was interactive. This time though, you had to use your laser gun to shoot targets all around you. You and your partner are actually in competition with each other. Kana kicked my butt…
Tokyo Disneyland Nighttime Parade & FireworksSo the day was winding down and it was getting dark. I was a bit bummed because I hadn’t gotten any memorable videos or pictures. But as we were leaving the Haunted Mansion to go to Monster’s Inc., we could see people lining the Disney Streets to see the Electric Parade. It was pure jubilee! I’m not usually into stuff like that, but for some reason I couldn’t help but watch. I broke out my camera to see what memories I could capture. It was a riveting show. After watching the parade for a little while, we headed to our last attraction of the evening, Toy Story. Before getting there, we got word that the fireworks display was still going to happen, despite the rain earlier in the day. I set up my camera, and watched the fireworks right next to the Tokyo Disney Caste. It was no Tsuchiura Fireworks display, but the show made use of some of that “Disney Magic” to things exciting.
This is officially the first time I’ve been to Disney on Halloween, and I would definitely go again. A huge thank you to Kana for making it a fun day for me. I really look forward to going again and doing even more.
Quick Tokyo Disneyland Fact:
Did you know Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983?
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