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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


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.


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 Exploration.

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 Hotel...

...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 the designers.

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.

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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