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Konnichiwa! A look at Disney in Japan
Special: A look inside the new Tokyo DisneySea park!
TOUR AREAS: HOTEL MIRACOSTA | MEDITERRANEAN HARBOR | EXPLORER'S LANDING - FORTRESS EXPLORATIONS I | EXPLORER'S LANDING - FORTRESS EXPLORATIONS II | MERMAID'S LAGOON | ARABIAN COAST | LOST RIVER DELTA | PORT DISCOVERY I | PORT DISCOVERY II | AMERICAN WATERFRONT I | AMERICAN WATERFRONT II | CAPE COD | MYSTERIOUS ISLAND | VISTAS | OCEANO RESTAURANT

THIS SECTION: ONE | TWO



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, in Japan.

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.


Editor's Note:

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.

Unlike California Adventure, the detailing in the buildings here is more reminiscent of what Disneyland has on Main St. and in New Orleans Square. Note the total ability of this type of detail to whisk you away to another environment totally (even just in these photos!) - something the new Anaheim park is incapable of doing due to severe budgeting.

Below - the hotel lobby / check in counter - note the detailing on the ceiling and on the flooring. The marble used throughout is stunning.

Below is the entry rotunda - which apparently is six to seven stories high. The galleon sculpture in the middle of the room sets the nautical theme for the new park. Note the richness of detailing - the molding and cornice work is presented in deep relief.

Below is a look up into the rotunda - where each of the paintings in the arches above represents one of the areas of the DisneySea park. Don't worry - thanks to the high resolution of these photos, we follow this shot below with some close-ups of these amazing artworks.

Mysterious Island is depicted below...

CONTINUED


*"Todd Meigan" is our insider's pen name. Todd is a cast member currently working at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Want to send some comments to Todd? E-mail him at todd_meigan@hotmail.com

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