I just booked! Going to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo-update Disneyland Shanghai day 5 - 01/06

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by Karin1984, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my goodness... this was a long day, and it only was 10 hours of Disney! We basically did the entire park in one day, so on our second day we can repeat favourites! :D

    The park didn't open till 10:30, but as we didn't know how long it would take to get there we left at 8:30. And even though Google Maps said that it would take about 50 minutes, it only took 35 minutes to get from Jordan Station to the resort. Around 9 the security opened and at 9:45 the park opened with a welcome ceremony with Mickey and Minnie. I say the park, but what I mean is Main Street opened, we were stopped about 30-50 meters before the castle. Very smart as this gave people a chance to get a castle picture with no one in the background and the guests in Hong Kong love to shop. There is currently a limit of max. 5 Stella Lou items per guest.

    After a second welcome ceremony with a different family and Pluto the park opened and of course, we speed walked towards Grizzly/Mystic Manor... only to find it open at 11. So we did Jungle Cruise first, in English with Skipper Wendy. I was a bit hesitant about Jungle Cruise in Hong Kong as joking in a language that's not your native language is hard. And i must say, Wendy wasn't as funny as the ones in the US, but she did okay, she had some jokes, good sense of timing was difficult, but she was a bit of an actress, she was really telling a story. So pleasantly surprised by our first ride.

    Then at 10:45 when we exited, we decided to wait at the entrance to Grizzly Gulch and at 11 were walked up to the country, where some guests ran towards the ride. We walked and were in the second car of the day. Absolutely love this ride, it was so smooth and I knew there was a piece going backwards, but not when. It also went faster than I thought it would go. It had more thrill than BTM in Paris and a lot more thrill than her US counter parts.

    Mystic Manor! :D Today after years of looking at youtube vids, I finally got to see it for real and it didn't disappoint. Easily in my top 5 of best Disney rides ever!

    What else did we do? We saw Mickey in Western Outfit. Hong Kong guests love their characters and before opening there were already long lines for the characters on Main Street. We also saw Snow White, Elsa, Belle and Tinkerbell. There was a good variety of characters and very happy all their sets were in the app and lines were orderly. Only one with Photopass (Belle), but the handlers were all pretty good with taking pictures. One going really crazy and kept snapping. They were all pretty good, only Belle was a bit rushed as she started her set late and she had to get ready for the parade. It was our turn 10 minutes before the parade started and by then there were still 15 people in line! But it was okay, good interaction and she was very pretty. Liked Elsa and Tink best, I think, Elsa made us a snow flake :) which in 30 degrees weather and humidity was so nice :D

    We also rode Small World (Like the Disney characters, it's a nice addition, although I had expected Mulan in China), Winnie the Pooh (FP), Space Mountain (FP), Iron Man (FP), saw both parades, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, Philharmagic, Festival of the Lion King, Disney in the Stars!

    It was a full day. A very full day, but a fun day. :)

    -----------------
    Some impressions:
    It is a small park, especially compared after Shanghai, but I liked it. It had something cute and cosy. Like we say in Dutch (and doesn't really translate to English) 'gezellig'. @Flossbolna you're from Germany, right? I think Gemütlichkeit comes close to describe it? The park has some particularly good rides like Mystic Manor and Grizzly, some great shows like Mickey and the Wondrous book, but nothing really extreme. It's just perfect the way it is and definitely worth visiting. For Disney fans I would recommend 2 days, but you could do all the big rides and shows at least once in high season on one day.

    It was 'busy' with queues up to 50 minutes for Buzz Lightyear and 45 for Grizzly (when Mystic Manor next door was out of order). Which was a breeze after the 3-4 hour queues we saw in Shanghai.

    Food-wise, I'm not impressed yet. We had meal vouchers, limiting our options a bit. We had lunch at Clopin's and dinner at the Royal Banquet Hall, portions were large and it was tasteful, but I enjoyed Shanghai's food better. For value for the meal vouchers, I was able to make a little bit of profit, but only by a few euro/dollar. The voucher had cost me 225 HKD, Clopin's was 110, Royal Banquet Hall was 145 and one snack was included as well, about 38 HKD for a Stitch ice cream. Eventhough I didn't save a huge amount of money, it was very convenient to use.

    CMs, like in Shanghai they were all friendly, but in Shanghai it felt more like what I experienced in WDW. The CMs in Hong Kong today were more business-like, I guess. As mentioned in my previous post, I am really impressed that HDL employs people with Down syndrome as so many companies who work with guests don't do this, while these people can be good employees. I think I saw 3, 2 working as cleaners in RBH and Clopin's and also at one of the stations of RBH I think I spotted a third.

    Characters, there is a lot of variety in characters, however, sets are short. We counted the guests in line at some point and figured a 20 minute set processes about 50 guests. So get there 10-15 minutes before a set starts to make sure you get to greet the character, lines are closed when 50 guests are in line.

    Shows, I love Mickey and the Wondrous Book, but think Mickey and the Magician in Paris is better, as it doesn't rely so much on projections like Wondrous Book. But... here they have the wonderful princess trio with Ariel, Rapunzel and Merida and Tiana's part was amazing. Also Festival of the Lion King is a nice addition to this park, I enjoyed this one more than the one in Animal Kingdom. Mainly because in Orlando it's too much for me. The pre-show with assigning the animals, audience participation, I am not a fan of the monkeys. The stunts they do are nice, but it makes the show unnecessarily long. This show was shorter and more compact.

    Parades: Loved Festival of Fantasy, biggest downside is that the stop is too long. The floats look nice, the costumes of the dancers are great, I only have the feeling something was missing. I only don't know yet what. Must give this some more thought. Maybe it was a good finale float. It ended a bit abruptly with Toy Story.

    I also liked Paint the Night, I am not a big fan of nighttime parades as you not always can see the faces/expressions from the dancers/face characters because only their customes are lit. But all in all, this was a nice parade. For such a 'small' park and then to have 2 parades... well done, Hong Kong!

    That was it for now, going to sleep as tomorrow The Peak awaits!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  2. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Yes, I think gemütlich could be the perfect word! My BF once worked in HK for some time and this was his local park and he really loves it for exactly that atmosphere! I know that I need to go there sometime in the near future!

    Sounds like you had a great day! I hope the second day will be equally good!

    And parade wise I think you kept the best for last with Tokyo!

    Thanks for all the live updates, it is so much fun to follow along!
     
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  4. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Good to hear there are people out there enjoying this :) I enjoy to share my impressions and get my thoughts to paper so when I make my real trip report I remember a lot of details. If I wait till the trip is over, lots of little details (like how Nikki almost broke Tinkerbell's wings yesterday...) will be gone!

    It's a pity English doesn't have a word to describe the feeling this park has, it's a relaxed atmosphere, laid back and just enjoyable :)


    ----
    Today we have a rest day, we slept in till 9(!) and took our time for breakfast. We then decided to go to the Man Mo Temple in the morning, hoping the weather would get better in the afternoon for the Peak. Man Mo temple was really small, warm and crowded. But as most temples here, just beautiful. I love it how here in Asia people visit their temples between their daily business. Say their prayers and then move on. We saw a tourist-family where the mom was trying to teach her 5 year old son how to use the incense, how to pray etc. which for another tourist was just convenient to pick up a few things. Also saw a school boy, about 10 years old, I guess? He was on his own, he went from one prayer-place to the next, making a full round through the temple, banged the bell and the drum and then left. Also a man whose phone rang while he was praying. He answered the phone, and then went back to pray. It's much more integrated in lives here than in Europe.

    After this The Peak, there were hardly any queues, so we did decide to take the Tram instead of a taxi (on our arrival day queues were over 1 hour long, and some locals advised to take a taxi instead). The view is just beautiful, it was a bit hazy, but good enough.

    We then went back to our hotel in a leisurely pace, taking the ferry and walked down Nathan Road to the hotel. As we are half way through our trip it is now really time to do laundry. So we are waiting for this to dry and then go out for some dim sum.

    But now that I have time, I finally uploaded some pictures of Disneyland Shanghai!
    (a little too big, I guess, but I'll fix that when I get home :P )

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  5. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Today was the first of September which means: Schools in Hong Kong have started again and the park was empty! Meaning we had lots of time to play :)
    We saw before opening Mickey & Minnie and Chip & Dale, Aurora, rode Grizzly Mountain, saw Western Mickey, rode Grizzly again, saw Western Chip & Dale, rode Mystic Manor, lunch at Explorer's Club, saw Mickey and the Wondrous Book again. Walked through Fairytale Forest, had plans to see Tarzan's Treehouse, but decided to get ready for the parade.

    And was this an interesting parade. We stood again where were stood 2 days ago, in front of the stop of the Princess float. And when the stop was done, it started to rain. And not a little bit of rain. It was raining like you see in Florida in August/September. In the beginning it was not too bad, but those princesses looked uncomfortable. When the parade went on it started to pour, the sky opened and it kept coming down. The dancers between the float could only smile and wave, as a choreography on those slippery tiles... not a good idea. Fur characters were having fun, but the face characters... poor girls! Belle kept looking up at Cinderella thinking "Can we please go? Say we can go!"
    I don't know if they made it to the end of Main Street ;-) We got some great footage :P
    Whoever was in charge of the parade that day didn't make a good decision. I can't imagine that there wasn't a weather app or website that hadn't predicted this downfall.

    As soon as the last float was past us, we ran into Space Mountain, which only had a 5 minute wait. But by the time we came out, it was still raining. The shop got overcrowded and even a flood came in. Part of the store was cornered off as the floor was just covered in water. The sky cleared, but all outdoor rides were closed and we wandered around for a while. We wanted to meet Cinderella, but her set got cancelled. We assume because her make up got ruined in the parade? :P I made an extra round on MYstic Manor, while Nikki went for some coffee and shopping. We saw Aurora's last set and we made our way to Mystic Manor, but by then the wait was 30 minutes and that was too much on a quiet day like this :P so we decided to have dinner again at the Explorer's Club (Did you know Chef Goofy has 3 sets in this restaurant, and one in Royal Banquet Hall? He just walks around in the food area, takes a few pictures and then leaves) After dinner the rain started again. We made one last round on Space Mountain and made some pictures, sorted out our photopass pictures and we were in the shop when Paint the Night got cancelled. So we decided around 8 PM we weren't going to wait to find out if the fireworks would be on or not.

    It was a fun, but long day. Tomorrow we have one more day to explore some spots outside of Hong Kong and on Sunday we will go to Tokyo for the final part of our trip !
    This morning was exciting, by the way, the news about the typhoon nearing Hong Kong popped up on our phones and we decided to check if it was possible to change our flights to Saturday and if the Sheraton had a room available. The room wasn't the problem. The flights were. Saturday's flights were all full. So we decided to take a risk and leave everything the way it is (not much you can do abbout it anyway). When we returned tonight to the hotel we chatted with the receptionist and she said the chances of a typhoon were lowered to 40% , so fingers crossed! It's still looking good!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  6. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    For those of you who are curious to see how a rainy parade, without it being an official Rainy Day Parade, looks like: here's the last float and the corner of the floor of the shop of Space Mountain. (unedited :P )



     
  7. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my God! We just checked in into the Sheraton and we have a park view room!!!
     
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  8. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Okay, where was I? Oh, on Monday. This was our last full day in Hong Kong, but as we had to get up early on Tuesday, we took it slow. We first went to the Sik Sik Wong Tai Sin temple, which was beautiful, but also very very very crowded and the Good Wish Gardens, which were largely closed for renovation. After this we went to the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens, which was much more relaxing. It was very quiet and soothing and in the nunnery it self no pictures allowed, so there was a serene atmosphere. No one (except some obnoxious tourists who kept taking pictures, even after being told not to) was trying to get the best shot or making selfies. Just enjoying the nunnery. :)

    We went back to the hotel, also because it started raining again in the afternoon, and worked on our pictures. Also went to the night market for half an hour, which was just around the corner from our hotel. Lots of junk, but also some good stuff. They had some nice Disney luggage tags. Including one of Albert from Mystic Manor.

    Today on Tuesday we had to get up at 4:45 in the morning to catch the first shuttle bus to the airport. Hong Kong airport is a maze when you have to leave from terminal 2. Not a lot of signage about restaurants as we still needed to get breakfast. At first we only thought there was some weird looking Chinese restaurant, where Nikki decided to get eggs and toast. Which didn't taste that well, I skipped and thought about the meal I had ordered for the flight. But then we discovered a Starbucks! I bought a box with some chicken wraps and had the meal on the flight. So when we got off, I wasn't hungry. Nikki was :P We had a bumpy flight, but no problems with typhoons or tropical depressions.

    No problems at Customs. The Limousine Bus counter was easy enough to find and the bus would depart within 10 minutes! We first had to go by Disneyland, Ambassador Hotel, Disney Sea and the Disneyland Hotel before we went to the Sheraton, where Jenna was already waiting. Jenna arrived yesterday from the US and went to the Ramen museum today.

    As mentioned we got a room with a nice view :) we can see the entire Disneyland Park and Disney Sea :) I was so excited! Tonight we went to Ikspiari for something to eat (there was a beer tasting in one of the restaurants, where we sat for a while enjoying drinks and snacks. We checked out the Disney Store, which was just filled with stuff we had never seen before. Also many promotions going on. Especially Beauty and the Beast stuff was on sale.

    We wanted to see the fireworks from our balcony, however the current nighttime show isn't very big on fireworks, which meant we stared at a castle with some vague projections... Too far away to see what was going on, although we think we recognized Tangled. We will see it on Tuesday from the right side of the castle! Tomorrow we will go into town, I think the Imperial Gardens, Shibuya Crossing, etc are on the list of things to see.

    The view from our room, we can also see the monorail go by!

    Right in front of us the castle.

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    And to the right Disney Sea with the Little Mermaid Castle and Mount Prometheus
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  9. Simba001

    Simba001 Mouseketeer

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    If you don't mind me asking:
    - What airline did you fly from Hong Kong to Tokyo?
    - How did you like the flight (other than being bumpy)?
    - Which Tokyo airport did you fly into?
    Thank you
     
  10. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Of course not! That is what trip reports are for. We flew HK Express into Narita, which is a low cost carrier. So your ticket can be extremely cheap. But then you have additions like baggage and meals. They have 3 fares and in the end we bought the highest fare as that included everything a 'normal' airline would include. But it also came with priority check in and priority boarding, free seat selection etc.

    I was happy with their services, staff was friendly, meal was tasteful. I was surprised that they have Dining on Demand. When the crew checked the list of who pre-ordered meals and drinks she asked me when I wanted my meal.

    The only time I noticed it was a low cost carrier was with my meal and I wanted to change something. At booking I selected a meal and the only drinks they offered was bottled water. Which is fine. But on board when they were going round selling drinks I saw that they also have sodas. When I asked to swap my water for something else, that wasn't possible. But that was the only very minor thing about this flight.

    I would definitely recommend this airline to others.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  11. Simba001

    Simba001 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the information.
    I am enjoying following along on your adventure.
     
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  12. YensiD2017

    YensiD2017 Earning My Ears

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    What a wonderful, informative report. The pictures/videos are great too
    Thank you very much for being so descriptive. Enjoying it all very much!
     
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  13. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Today... was not our day ;-) Well, we did okay, but we made many mistakes with the trains.

    We wake up to see it's raining. Not like in Hong Kong, but plenty of rain that you need an umbrella/protection.
    We left the hotel little after 8, thinking we will have breakfast at Ikspiari. We arrive: Ikspiari doesn't open till 10.
    We go to Tokyo station, trying to find Starbucks (I have coffee addicts with me). Can't find the starbucks.
    Try a French bakery, besides that we can't get an English menu, we just pick stuff. They put corn in everything and they have a cd with Disney music :) We listen to Dumbo (Crow song), Cruella de Vil and Mary Poppins.
    As it is still raining we decide not to go to the Meiji Shrine immediately but have a look at the Imperial gardens. Walk in the wrong direction. Gardens closed on Monday.
    We then do go to Shibuya Crossing, but finding the right subway/train line isn't easy... We do arrive at the station, can't find the exit.
    We make it outside, make pictures at the Hachiko statue, and then turn to the crossing. It's now 10:30, so rush hour is over and the crossing is kinda lame :P
    Disney Store. This is something we can do and can understand and we spend at least an hour there.
    We want to find lunch somehwere, but that's not easy as a lot of places looked like they didn't have English menus. Others didn't accept cards. Finding an ATM was also challenging. On our quest for the ATM wedid come across an interesting Arcade where adults were trying to catch stuffed toys with the CLAW!
    We get some cash and then of course, the first place we find accepts credit cards ;-) Most remarkable is that this restaurant has a sticket on the door saying 'smoking is allowed', that was clear from the smell. We are led into a little cubicle with a table and half-curtains instead of a door, or just an opening. We order things that looks interesting/nice and it didn't disappoint. :)
    The weather is getting better, after lunch we do go to the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi park. Thank God for Google Maps and portable wifi, otherwise we would have never found it!How did people do that before Google?
    The park is nice, the Shrine (except in refurbishment partially) beautiful. We get some fortunes, write a prayer and then go to Harajuku.
    Quite a busy street, we find a Daiso (Dollar /100 yen store) and buy some essentials, like sun glasses, hairclips and stuff. While Jenna gets a waffle cone somewhere, we hear more Disney music. But first it's Be Our Guest from the movie (1992) and then ride music, Pirates of the Caribbean. Weird selection.
    We walk back in the direction of Shibuya and pass a Lush store, and as the conversion rate is good, I buy several things :) After this, we get some things in a 7-11 (besides my companions love coffee, they do like a glass. So they got some sake to smuggle into the park. I do not drink, and do not understand, but I'll let them)
    We are back at the crossing when the rush hour starts and watch it from the Starbucks on the 2nd floor opposite the crossing. I manage to get a seat at the window and we switch places to all get our videos and pictures.
    By now it's about 5:30 when we are done, but the night is still young. We take the train (after a lot of walking in the wrong direction in the station) to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which has a nice viewing point over the city and we are there to see all the lights go on. Pretty nice.

    We debated what to do next, and exploring the neighbourhood of Shinjuku is an option, but we are tired, the Sheraton is far away and we still need to have dinner. So instead we go back to Ikspiari, which takes about 1,5 hours.Again, could have been shorter if we didn't make so many mistakes with the trains. I really don't think it's the easiest system to use for foreigners. Shanghai and Hong Kong were much clearer. Also more English signs than in Tokyo.
    We eat at a little Japanese place (4th floor, hidden in a corner, can't remember the name) where they sold mainly fried pork dishes. But all very good.

    When we got back it's about 9pm and we relax, shower, write reports :) and call it a night, as tomorrow we have to go to Disney!
     
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  14. shelemm

    shelemm DIS Veteran

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    Train stations can be confusing - but that is not limited to Asia. The larger the station, the more confusing. Subway stops (where there is no train station) are small and very easy to navigate.
     
  15. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    It is almost 7 o'clock here in Tokyo and we are waiting for Dream Lights. We woke up early, got ready, Nikki and me bought our Disney tickets (Jenna had bought hers online) and off we were. About an hour before opening, just as adviseadvised we arrived at the gates. We had a nice spot and we wait. So far no problems.

    The gates open, I am thinking : I AM IN DISNEY TOKYO!! Then I turn back and realize: where are the others. Jenna is stuck!!! She bought the tickets for the wrong date! Omg... how did this happen??
    Her ticket started on the 4th of September, but here you have to choose with a 3 or 4 day pass, which park do you want to do on the first two days? And then you can hop for the last day or days. The plan was today 5t Disneyland, tomorrow 6th Disney Sea, 7th hop, 8th hop. Jenna's ticket had the right order only starting on the wrong day :(

    She had to go back in line! And lines for the registers were wrong. Nikki and I were in. We couldn't go far because Jenna had the wifi device! So all we could do was take a few pictures and wait. Luckily it didnt take long. A CM helped Jenna, she had to pay a 200 yen change fee, but then about 20 minutes past opening we were all in! :)

    Minor set back but we stuck to the plan: FP Monsters Inc, and then run to Winnie the Pooh, which already had a queue of 45 minutes. It was a nice ride to start with.

    We ran into some characters in fantasyland: charrming & fairy godmother (weird combination) and met Peter Pan. We tried to are Hatter and Alice but they just left.

    We did Splash as a solo rides and then went into Haunted Mansion which has already the Halloween overlay (done very well, love the Sally animatronic). We wanted to lunch at Queen of Hearts but there was a 35 minute waiting time. We then returned to the beginning to get some cash, as there is only one ATM place in Disneyland. But then ran into more characters. We met Aurora and wanted to meet others (Belle, Alice and Peter and Wendy were meeting). But it was time for our FP for Monsters Inc. Love this ride!
    We walked around for a bit, Tiki room was about to start. Fun show with Stitch (they have English translator devices for this show), walked around Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse, saw part of a little garden show, shopped, took out statue pictures.

    It was an hour before the parade when we took our spots. I walked around to get green alien mochi (Nice!) And ran into is green army men and Elastigirl. While I took my picture with her we got joined by Mr. Incredible.

    Saw the parade, it was so long! And the costumes of the dancers!

    After this we wanted to meet Mickey, but the queue was 1 hour so we did Gadget's coaster (fun) and saw Chip 'n Dale's treehouse. More waking around and shopping, trying to find shirts and pins but they don't really do shirts or pins here. The selections were limited.

    Our FP for Space Mountain were valid now (We got them before getting on Monsters Inc), we saw a cute little show of 5 singers who sang Disney songs but also other things, two of them were beat boxing and they were really good! If we didn't have a FP we would have stayed longer.

    And that is if for now! So far, pretty pleased with the park. Love the CMs and the guests they both look so amazing. I have started to take pictures of them to make a collage. (yes, I did ask permission to take pictures)

    Popcorn score: 3 flavours, honey, soy and butter sauce, and caramel. Honey won.
     
  16. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    True, but even when we had 1 smaller station where we had to change lines we somehow got lost we were not good at it.
     
  17. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    We are in Disney Sea now and let me tell you getting FP for Tot Story Mania... that is intense. The queue is enormous! And we are here in slow season!
     
  18. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    We skipped Toy Story - and were very happy that it attracted the masses!! It is very cute, but we have done it so many times in Florida and California. Hope you had fun! I hope you enjoy TDS as much as I did. What an amazing park!!
     
  19. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    It is an amazing park, but we had rain today and yesterday, which doesn't help with the experience. Today is press day for Halloween and we saw a preview for the Halloween parade and saw many guests all dressed up. We also saw the preview for the Halloween show in Disney Sea, but due to the rain it was a modified version, so we will try again tomorrow. Almost time for fantasmic. Will update again later. Bye!!!
     
  20. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Okay a few minutes before the Villains Show in Disney Sea. It is dry no more rain!! Last night they had a preview of the Halloween fireworks but it was so clouded and foggy you couldn't are a thing.

    No, what I wanted to say, Disney is a great park to leisurely spend your time, stroll around, have a few snacks And enjoy the beauty of the park. It was made to be captured on pictures.

    It is not a good park for thrill rides, we all there thought Tower of Terror and Raging Spirits are beautifully themed but lack the speed and just overall thrill to be called thrill rides.

    Also the lay out is confusing, that there is no short cut to Arabian Coast from Meditterean Harbour is a short coming.

    They do have Chandu Tails which are the best snacks :) I need a Chandu Tail.

    Oh today is another press day and so many dressed up guests! Best costume was won by the guest dressed up as the Partners Statue!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  21. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    Last Disney day! We went to Disney Sea for opening and rode Raging Spirits, Indiana Jones and Journey to the Center of the Earth saw the Villans Show (loved it!) and then went to Disneyland for Character Hunting. We ended the day with watching Dreamlights, the Halloween Fireworks and Once Upon A Time. Tomorrow is our real last day with a bit of Tokyo and then back to the airport.

    Did we have a great time? Yes, it was fun. Will I go back to Tokyo soon? Probably not. If I would rank the three Asian Parks, Tokyo would come in third. Not because of the parks, shops, rides, merchandise, shows, or snacks. For those I would go back in a heartbeat.

    However, we had some difficulties with Cast Members, there were incidents. Also not at shops or restaurants, it was mainly the ones at rides and crowd control. Not with all, but with the majority of the CMs at rides or when waiting for parades, they decided to pretend we weren't there. It wasn't downright ignoring, but it came close. And to be honest, I have the feeling it's because we were not Japanese/Asian and/or didn't speak Japanese. Not sure this is true, but as we were the only Western people around when there were problems. I know there are cultural differences but not acknowledging a person when he's standing in front of you, I'm sorry, I just didn't feel as welcome in Tokyo as I felt in the other parks.

    For example, there were many times when CMs were giving extra instructions (besides the announcements at rides), like for shows where to sit/stand/walk etc. or extra safety instructions or reminders at rides. What happened several times is that they presented themselves, like before a parade started, looked around at the rowd and started saying their routine. They scan the crowd, look at the people on our left, skipped us and then looked at the people on our right. Like we weren't there. Only one or two decided to come up to us and explain in one or two words, or sign language what was going on or what was expected from us. It came to mind, that with safety at rides, it could even be dangerous to exclude certain guests from your instructions. Of course the important things like 'keep your hands and arms inside the boat'etc. were done over the speakers in English. Some only decided to acknowledge our presence when it was time to ask how many peopple where in our group.

    I prepared with some generals, 'yes', 'no', 'thank you', 'good bye' etc. but more than that we didn't manage to prepare. I know some people take Japanese lessons before visiting Japan, but to get at a conversational level with a language as different from English, that takes a lot of time and effort. Which I unfortunately didn't have. I would like to one day, but now was not the time. In Shanghai and Hong Kong the CMs took the effort to at least try to explain things to us, not always with success, but they tried. The CMs in Tokyo we had problems with didn't. It was similar to "We Western people, we think everyone understands English as long as you speak slowly", of course this isn't true. But it's the same, the other way around.

    At Shanghai and Hong Kong the CMs were happy to see us, they seemed honoured we came, as foreigners, to visit their land/city/park as we were honoured too. I had the feeling there were CMs in Tokyo who weren't too fond of guests who don't speak their language. Again, most of the CMs in general were friendly and waived and smiled as if their lives depended on it, helped us find our way, took pictures of us when we needed. But overall, there were incidents that leave me with some coloured memories of Tokyo, and don't make me put Tokyo high on my list of places to re-visit.

    I hope this doesn't make me sound spoiled Western brat, and please don't take it the wrong way, it was difficult to write this opinion. I never assumed to understand everything that's going on in a different language or culture, or that I assume everyone should speak English and should adjust to me. I am just a bit shocked that I thought once or twice 'if you don't want people from outside of Japan to come to your park, then just say it' or 'do you want us to leave?'.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017

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