Going back through these photos and editing them gave me some serious nostalgia and brought back all the lovely memories. Day 4: Tokyo Disneyland. A proper whirlwind in its own right, filled with magic, walking (in sneakers), and loads of fun. We did have a loose plan this day to make sure we experienced our “must do” items while we were in the parks, but the rest of the day was spent zig-zagging around and taking in all the sights, sounds, and ridiculously cute food Tokyo Disneyland had to offer. (There was a lot of cute food, y’all.)
Our alarms chimed into our dreams around 5:30am and we got ready for the day. After donning outfits with jean jackets and packing our bags with snacks, portable chargers, and the wi-fi hot spot, we stepped into the cool morning and began the 20 minute walk from our hotel to the gates of Tokyo Disneyland. The park opened at 8:00am that day, and guests at Tokyo Disneyland take rope dropping rather seriously, which is why we were up so early. Sunrise was at 4:48am, so it was fully light outside. There were already small lines formed in front of the turnstiles to the park- thankfully, we had already purchased our park tickets at the Shibuya Disney Store two days prior- and we sat down, obviously foreigners without our leisure sheets, which are small, plastic mats made solely for the purpose of not sitting directly on the ground. With about 30 or so people ahead of us, I used the hour and a half until opening to make a list on my phone of to-do items and eat a potato-onion pastry I picked up the day prior.
Finally, it was time. After running over to the outside-the-gates guest relations window to pick up park maps in English, I rejoined Hope in the line and we scanned our tickets, went through the turnstiles, and entered the park. This Magic Kingdom park is different than the rest, with a covered Main Street area, so when we entered the turnstiles it was into an open courtyard, with the entrance to the World Bazaar just ahead. In full disclosure, I got a little teary eyed as we entered the World Bazaar and caught a glimpse of the castle. I never really thought I would have the opportunity to travel to Tokyo Disneyland, and realizing I was actually there after years of dreaming was a happy moment indeed. Both overwhelmed by the sights, we turned down a side street into Tomorrowland to wait in line to get a FastPass for the Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek ride, watching people pass by in fashionable wear, complete with cute and over-the-top Disney accessories.
FastPasses in hand, we agreed we needed to complete our looks with pass pouches- worn around the neck and in the appearance of various Disney characters, these Tokyo Disneyland accessories were both cute and surprisingly practical- so we made our way into their Emporium and I decided on Oswald, Hope on a Dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians. We snapped pictures down Main Street and into the wide open Hub area, went down to the castle to marvel at it, and then back to a pastry shop on the corner of Main Street to get breakfast. The Sweetheart Cafe is legendary in its own right, with Mickey shaped pastries and Mike Wazowski melon bread. Offering both savory and sweet treats, we purchased our breakfast and ate outside under a covered area, with Tomorrowland to our right, the castle ahead, and Adventureland/Westernland to the distant left. We wandered around Tomorrowland for a bit around this time and purchased what we thought were water bottles, but instead were a minty/powerade concoction. Different, but good.
Taking each moment as it came, we embarked on an omnibus and rode around the hub area, waving to the enthusiastic guests and Cast Members, reveling in a bright and sunny day- a far cry from the weather two days prior- enjoying the views, still in shock we were actually there. Come to think of it, we might have eaten at the Cafe after the omnibus, but it’s all become a happy blur of events and the order doesn’t matter all that much. After all of that, it was time for our Ride and Go Seek FastPass. It was a cute ride, with an awkwardly placed photo op at the end (if you go, be prepared! It’s a bit after the ride ends) which resulted in an equally awkward photo. After that, we decided to wait for the new daytime parade- Dreaming Up!- which is now my favorite daytime parade and boasts a ridiculously catchy soundtrack. Parade viewing in Tokyo Disneyland was 10000x more civil and enjoyable than the stateside parks- everyone sat down, took off their ears/tall headgear, and didn’t raise their phones/cameras over head level. It was beautiful. From there, we attempted to catch a showing of One Man’s Dream II (stage show), but it was full, so we found an ice cream stand and purchased Mickey and Minnie tropical and raspberry/peach flavored ice pops and ate them on a bridge to Tomorrowland with a beautiful view of the castle.
Some things after this point might be mashed up and out of order. If my photo-documentation serves me correctly, we ventured into Westernland (like our Frontierland, but the term “western” translated better than “frontier,” thus the switch), checked out the line to the Hungry Bear Restaurant, which was way too long, and instead rode the Jungle Cruise (obviously all in Japanese, but still enjoyable) and then experienced the Country Bear Jamboree. Back to Hungry Bear we went, and we were happily greeted by a shorter line. We waited, purchased our non-spicy curry (it was REALLY good, 10/10), rested for a bit, and ventured onward. We went back to their railroad, found in Adventureland, which went around Adventureland, Frontierland, caught a glimpse of Fantasyland, and then returned again. We took photos in front of the World Bazaar during golden hour, rode Peter Pan, and then sat down a few rows back in front of the hub parade route to wait for Tokyo DreamLights.
My absolute favorite thing at Disney, ever, is the Main Street Electrical Parade. I also enjoy other night parades, and seeing Tokyo DreamLights- with the same tune as MSEP but updated and technologically advanced- has been high on my bucket list for a while. Needless to say, it was mesmerizing and even better than I expected, as I had avoided watching videos of it as to be surprised when I finally did see it in person. The fireworks were cancelled because of wind, so from there we hopped over and rode Big Thunder Mountain, to which we had FastPasses, and skipped over to ride Pooh’s Hunny Hunt: a trackless ride and one of my favorites. I believe we rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures that night (truly scary) and maybe the Haunted Mansion. If I realize we rode those on another day, I’ll come back and correct the facts. Four days can blur together easily!
We opened the park, we closed the park. Main Street glittered with magical projections and countless string lights, and we exited fully exhausted but filled with happiness and memories. After the 20 minute walk back to the hotel, we collapsed, set our alarms again, and fell asleep on the rock-hard beds, ready for Tokyo DisneySea the next day.
Enjoy the images.
One of their monorails was 35th anniversary themed!
The World Bazaar, decked out for the 35th anniversary.
Photos with our newly purchased pouches.
Yellow backpack squad.
Their Tomorrowland was SO COOL. It only needed a PeopleMover!
Sweetheart Cafe treats.
If you told the Cast Member who collected the FastPasses, “souvenir,” they would punch a hole in it and allow you to keep it! I’ll be putting mine in an album.
The yummiest (and cutest) ice pops.
Their Country Bear Jamboree, half in English and half Japanese.
Do not brush the Hippos’ teeth.
So so so good.
Golden hour photos commenced.
Featuring an in-character super long line.
Waiting for the fireworks, which did not happen.
A bright exit.
Whew! A whirlwind, indeed. I’m so happy to finally bring these memories to the blog and hope you’ve enjoyed following along. I’ll be back with day 5 of our trip, Tokyo DisneySea, soon! Have a wonderful weekend.
Quote of the day: “The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart.”
-Mencius, Book IV