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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 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, 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 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 (below).

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 the area.

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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