The Transit Steamer Line crosses
the Mediterranean Harbor
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 Three: Explorer's Landing /
Fortress Explorations I
Text by Al Lutz
Before we continue,
and I forget to mention it, the Mediterranean Harbor area not only
houses the MiraCosta Hotel and park entrance, but it also hosts TWO
lagoon shows - both with fireworks! There's a daytime show called the Porto
Paradiso Water Carnival and a nighttime Fantasmic type of
extravaganza called DisneySea Symphony. Amazing isn't it? It
should be noted also that many DisneySea MiraCosta Hotel visitors will
have prime window views of these lagoon shows too - due to the careful
planning of this area.
In the new
California Adventure park they simply ignored that option until just a
few weeks ago when work started on a hurried lagoon show (with hardly
any kind of budget) for the holidays.
As we said last
time, keep in mind what the press release said about the Mediterranean
Harbor area: There is also an
interactive discovery area celebrating the Golden Age of Exploration. That
area is the Fortress Explorations and nearby is the docked
galleon named the Renaissance.
Before we start
with those new pictures, let's take a quick look for what passes for
kid's playgrounds in the new California Adventure park:
There's the small
S. S. rustworthy McDonalds water play area (above) which is nicely
detailed, the small Bountiful Valley Farm waterworks (below) which lacks
much of any detail...
...and the larger
(and very well detailed I must say) Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Of the three, the
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail stands out because of some of the
educational efforts made in it - plus they have worked hard to provide
simple, yet fun attractions for kids to climb around on. In a park with
a dearth of things to do for children, it stands out as a solid, really
well themed, but... (you knew there was a "but" coming didn't
you) ...a rather modest effort.
Now let's take a
tour through what Tokyo DisneySea considers a play area. What's really
important to note here is the a] scale and b] reach of
what they have done. There is a level of quality there in both its size
and the attempt to educate you that is simply astounding...
First we need to
get to the Fortress Explorations. You can either take the DisneySea Transit
Steamer Line (as shown in the intro graphic above) or you can walk over
and enter via one of two bridges, as shown below (the unseen bridge on
the left of the shot is the one shown in the last section of this tour -
the one with all the Mediterranean Housing built on it):
We'll enter from the right hand side (via
the bridge you can see above)...
As you can see above - the wealth of
detailing continues. Not only in the brick work, but even in the
banners, shown in close up below...
That's embroidery you are looking at there
(above) with extensive design work even in the walls and rockwork.
Below is a close-up of the entry way into
the Fortress. (Again, these shots cropped from the one larger photo are
all possible thanks to the high resolution camera they were taken with.)
No area or surface was left un-themed - even
down to the crests above the doorways and the lighting fixtures used in