The Aquasphere is the entry icon
for the new park - note the level of detailing in the Hotel MiraCosta
buildings surrounding it.
While Disney has been building and opening
the California Adventure park in Anaheim, the Oriental Land Company has
been working on a new Disney park clear on the other side of the world,
Like it's new California cousin,
Tokyo DisneySea park resides next door to the existing Disneyland park.
The similarity ends there however, because Tokyo DisneySea is not like
any park in California, or even the world. The Oriental Land Company has
broken the mold with a theme park full of detailing so incredible it can
easily be compared to -- if not surpass -- some of the most expensive
and richly themed hotels in Las Vegas, such as the Venetian and Bellagio.
MousePlanet is extremely pleased to
offer you the following photos, taken by Todd Meigan*, over a recent
weekend during a soft opening of the park. Todd is a regular contributor
to our MousePad discussion boards, and is our very own Tokyo insider. We
hope Todd's photos will give you an idea of the sheer wonderment and
amazement of the new park.
I'd heard wonderful things were
going on in Tokyo, but I was truly not prepared at the quality of work
done there that so clearly evident in these wonderful photos. (Thank you
Todd for providing them to MousePlanet!)
It is painfully obvious looking at
the work here that the Walt Disney Company's Imagineering division is
still fully capable of creating some of the most creatively themed
environments in the world. But these same shots also very sadly
illustrate the company's absolute refusal to create projects of this
quality for the American market. This is due in large part to a current
management team that has clearly misunderstood what the public wants and
expects of the Disney brand name.
We keep hearing all sorts of
excuses about why the new California Adventure park is failing to excite
the public - "We opened in a recession," Rober Iger says,
"We always have trouble with our new parks," Paul Pressler
announces. But as I understand it the Japanese consumer is much worse
off financially than his United States counterpart is, and from what
I've been told the Oriental Land Company has been getting record advance
reservations for this new resort (something that the Disneyland Resort /
California Adventure never achieved).
I can assure you that after taking
a look at this preview you also will be wondering what went so very
wrong here in Anaheim. It should be abundantly clear that the Disney
signature quality the public pays a premium price for is only evident in
one of the two parks the company opened this year.
- Al Lutz
Part One: The Hotel MiraCosta
Text by Al Lutz
Above, and below - approaching the Hotel
MiraCosta, which is placed at the entrance of DisneySea. Note the
Italian style nautically themed fountain out front, a rich, expensive,
and luxurious touch befitting a top class resort hotel.