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.
Part Two: The Mediterranean Harbor
Text by Al Lutz
The press release
says: Mediterranean Harbor is the gateway to Tokyo DisneySea, It will
offer the old- world charm of a romantic southern European seaport and
features enticing restaurants, shops and picturesque canals. There is
also an interactive discovery area celebrating the Golden Age of
So, in so many words, this is the DisneySea
equivalent of Disneyland's Main Street - but this isn't just a mall, it
also houses a hotel complex.
Just to give you an idea of how well this
all works (compared to the design problems seen in California Adventure)
we'll start with a shot looking from inside the California Adventure
park (in the Paradise Pier area) out towards the Grand Californian
...and then we'll show you what you see
looking from within DisneySea (from the Explorer's Landing /
Fortress area) out to the MiraCosta Hotel.
And the above shot is the back of the
hotel! As you can see it is fully integrated into the environment -
elegantly dealing with the issues of both placing a hotel and shopping
area at the park entrance. It's in areas such as this that we can see
how much of a failure the new Anaheim park is at dealing with these same
issues - most likely due to the severe budget restraints imposed upon
One of the virtues of Disney parks (at least
in the past here in the states) was a wealth of detailing - so much it
seems - that it ensures a visitor, even a frequent one, doesn't take it
all in at once. The Mediterranean Harbor area of DisneySea is so very
rich in detail, that not only does it entice you to explore the area
even more, but it encourages a future visit to see it yet again.
Again, thanks to
the high resolution of these photos, we can take a more detailed look at
the panorama above - following are three crops showing the incredible
level of detail achieved in this area.
Keep in mind you are actually looking at a
hotel and shopping area. Note how beautifully the hotel themes right in
- the sign is even perfect. (The tents you see are for an event.)
The gold trimmed red building at the left in
the shot below houses the entry to the park - you come in via the arches
at its base.
Just so you have a frame of reference - the
shot below is taken from behind the buildings shown above - and it shows
the entry to the park, and the Aquasphere icon. Look at the tower in
both shots to orient yourself.
Returning to our previous vista, we offer
another look into the area above, this time from water level.
In this detail from the above shot, you can
see the distressed paint jobs - and even the beached boats on the
shoreline. Again folks, you are looking at a hotel.