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Konnichiwa! A look at Disney in Japan


We decided to use our first day to check out Tokyo Disney Resorts newest park, which opened September 4, 2001. The general public begins lining up at the entry gates nearly 2 hours before the park opens, filling the huge plaza leading up to the turnstiles. Hotel MiraCosta guests have their own entrance to the park; but even then, guests begin lining up inside the hotel an hour or so prior to park opening. This creates a long line through the lobby and down one of the hotelís corridors (shown below).


Add to this the crush of guests checking out in the morning and the lobby becomes and extremely busy and noisy place to be! Patience is definitely needed, but we found the hotel entry line moved fairly quickly once it began moving.


We entered the line 15 or 20 minutes before park opening, and it took only 5 minutes or so for us to travel to the front of the line and into the park. Once inside, we saw most of the younger Japanese guests sprinting as fast as they could to reach their favorite attractions (below).




Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six


Written by Lisa Edwards, all photos by Tom & Lisa Edwards (scarlett1214@

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The DisneySea resort is located right on Tokyo Bay, which makes it a generally windy place all the time. A light jacket in warmer months, and a heavier jacket, hat, scarf, and mittens in winter, is a good idea (during our January visit, the weather was spectacular Ė clear and sunny Ė but always windy and thus always numbingly cold).


The entrance to the park from the hotel leads you into the Mediterranean Harbor and American Waterfront "lands". These both serve as Main Street-type areas with shops and restaurants.


The walkways that travel directly to the left and right of Mediterranean Harbor take you to Mysterious Island, the central area of the park where the Mount Prometheus volcano looms overhead.


If you enter the park from the gated entrance plaza (i.e., not from the hotel), donít miss the bronze sculpture of the Explorer Mickey just outside the gate (above).


Once youíre inside the main gate, you canít avoid the huge Aquasphere world globe/fountain that rotates slowly Ė itís very impressive!


From here youíll walk into a tunnel passage that goes underneath the Hotel MiraCosta and takes you into the Mediterranean Harbor area.

Our first ride of the day was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in Mysterious Island.


We quickly wound our way down through the spiral queue area, past areas displaying Captain Nemoís study full of maps and artifacts (all meticulously detailed), to the front of the line.


This is a dark ride that is reminiscent of Disneylandís Submarine Voyage. However, instead of large submarines, guests board smaller vehicles suspended from an overhead track that hold 6 people. These are richly themed in the Victorian style with detailed seating and metal work. There are several dials for oxygen, depth, and pressure that mimic what is actually happening during the ride: the oxygen level slowly goes down as it is presumably used up during the course of the ride, the depth is indicated as the submarine rises and falls in the water, and the pressure increases as we submerge deeper into the ocean.

After a few minutes we realized that the entire ride takes place in open rooms that are not underwater at all. The illusion takes place by water effects created between the two panes of glass in our viewing windows. Itís a very convincing and ingenious effect that is typical of the creativity and detail that exists throughout the park. The narration for the ride is entirely in Japanese, but sounded as though it basically recreates the narration from the Submarine Voyage attractions in the U.S.


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