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Konnichiwa! A look at Disney in Japan

/29/01 - continued)


After lunch, we decided to make Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull our fifth ride of the day. Fastpass is available for this attraction, and I would recommend using that option or riding very early or very late in the day to avoid long lines. We rode just before park closing and waited in line only 10 minutes, versus 45 to 50 minutes in early afternoon.

We speculated that the short line late in the day was due to Lost River Delta’s location (about as far back from the entrance as you can get), the migration of the crowd throughout the day (starting on one side of the park and working around to the other, Lost River Delta would be in the middle and would be most crowded during the day), and/or the majority of the crowd viewing the nightly lagoon show.


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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DisneySea’s version of the Indy ride is almost exactly like Disneyland’s version, but with the Crystal Skull in place of Mara and the ride architecture and artifacts in the style of Aztec/Central American culture instead of South Asia like the Disneyland version. There is slightly different theming and details inside, but the ride layout and motion is virtually identical. The opening room in the queue area, just after entering the temple, is huge and spectacular—you really do feel like you’re inside a South American temple (shown above and below).


The main chamber inside the ride itself has a huge skull with an ‘electric’ eye and instead of flames everywhere there’s a very cool blue-lit fog tornado that goes from floor to ceiling. The funniest thing was hearing Indy speak in Japanese!

After our thrilling Indy ride we decided to keep up the excitement and ride our sixth ride, Journey to the Center of the Earth, inside Mount Prometheus in Mysterious Island (Tom’s favorite area, since he is such a big fan of the works of Jules Verne). Just walking from Lost River Delta toward Mysterious Island increased our appreciation of the clever design of Tokyo DisneySea.


It’s obvious how much planning was put into the layout of the park. The stacked perspective of buildings and the layers of vegetation help create a perceived distance between each individual land, making the park seem bigger than it actually is. The architecture and plants also serve to block views from one land to another, making you really feel immersed in the particular land you are in. This is compounded from the intense theming of every last item in every last corner of the park. The designers truly spared no expense in bringing out the details of each individual area. We could have easily spent the entire day just walking around investigating every detail within the park.


But, back to the adventures! Journey to the Center of the Earth is definitely the most popular ride in the park; again, I’d recommend using Fastpass, or making it your first or last ride of the day. The standby wait was 50-60 minutes in mid-afternoon. The queue enters the bowels of the mountain, snaking past paintings of Captain Nemo’s journeys, and highly-detailed scientific equipment, lava, and volcanic rock. Eventually, we board elevators complete with realistic sounds and dials indicating our depth into the earth that take us farther down into the mountain. After exiting the elevators, there is another short queue area before we board the vehicles that will take us through the passages dug by the tunneling machine from Jules Verne’s book.

The vehicles themselves are similar to Disneyland’s Rocket Rods, but they are completely covered and much more richly detailed, with 3 rows of padded seats that seat 6 passengers. Tall riders should note that the leg room is limited; at 6’4", Tom had to sit sort of sideways in the ride vehicle.

It starts out as a dark ride that travels slowly down through scenes of smoke and fire, bizarre plant life, and strange creatures. Then as you move into an area that seems to be erupting, you encounter a spectacular, huge animatronic lava creature that howls and screams at you. This is where the ride suddenly turns into a roller-coaster type ride, traveling very fast around some turns then up a steep hill and down the outside of Mount Prometheus.

This is a really fun and different ride, and for anyone who hasn’t ridden it before, it’s a real surprise when the ride turns fast to escape the lava creature. We thought it was a very original ride that rivals Indy or Tower of Terror in its detail and technological ingenuity.


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