Wednesday, June 6, 2012

[Tourist] [Disney] Day 20: A little bit of everything

Powered through writing this one in one sitting. Today's update is brought to you by the number 6 and the letter Q and such 90's light rock bands as the Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket. That is all.

Day 20 promised to be an interesting one. I woke up completely knackered from the 15 hours of open-to-close touring the day before. I planned on starting the day at Tokyo DisneySea and going from there.

While waiting for my ham-and-cheese croissant to be double bagged, tied with a bow and then probably sealed with a kiss (seriously - you can't get through any sales interaction in Japan in under two minutes), I saw this:

The drink of choice for 90's teens everywhere. Well, except for me. I was drinking Fresca.
Holy crap! They still make Zima! And there's a pink version! Oh god how can I steal one so I can drink it in my private shame without anyone knowing?

Because I had done all of the main attractions the day before I was able to slow down and take some photos on my way into the park:

I wish every day started with a Japanese band playing brass instruments for me

So many places yet to visit

I promise not to keep pointing these things out, but this theming is just fanastic

And just like that my day is ruined. Why do you torment me even in Japan, Brett Favre?

A hint of what is to come as you clear the entryway

I really wish I could ride the thing inside of that volcano...ah well, next trip
I headed over to Tower of Terror to get a Fastpass for later so that I could walk through the queue and see the story.

Never did get to walk that queue
I then hopped on the electric railway, which is this elevated train that goes from American Waterfront (a combined smalltown New England/1920's NYC land) to Port Discovery. Somehow the transition just works for it, which is odd because the two lands are different in both place and historical time.

Seriously want to be the guy who designs these signs

Everyone hustling to Tower of Terror

That'll help little Timmy stop playing with himself. For those who have no clue what I'm talking about see #4 here (probably NSFW)

This stuff exists solely for people riding the train. That's a hefty investment for only a few people every day.

Not sure I want to know how to make quick cash at Paul's Gym

Nice enough to live in

White people!
I hopped on board Stormrider just because. The best part of the ride was the little kid sitting next to me who thought it was the absolute greatest thing he'd ever experienced.

I gave Aquatopia another ride. I really wanted to get the ride through that brings you into this cave since Kevin wanted to check it out and we never ended up going in. This time was also a failure on that front. As was the next time I rode it immediately after (they didn't even make me get off)! Boo.

What is in the Cave of Wonders?

You know what makes everything better? Maple churro. Fucking awesome.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Don't mind if I do!

These ride vehicles are really cool. Possibly my favorite Disney ride vehicle. It'd be up there with Jungle Cruise boat .

Kevin and Jay couldn't stop raving about this pork gyoza which I believe Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler would refer to as sausage innabun. It was quite tasty!

Mildly disturbed that this looks like part of someone's weave

And yet it's filled with unkosher goodness. L'chaim!
I had yet to actually experience anything in Triton's Kingdom other than the sea salt ice cream. The Little Mermaid show was reputed to be quite good and Kevin had encouraged me to try it out despite my not being a show person. I'm glad I did. It's really hard to explain. The show took place mostly up in the air as many of the performers were hanging from the ceiling or from other ledges. It was very cool although, without the English translation, I was thoroughly confused as to what the hell was going on. Turns out it's a prequel to the movie The Little Mermaid, which would have made the whole thing make more sense.

This theater was completely massive. It's probably the only place in Tokyo that I didn't feel like a giant.

Sinbad? Twist my arm!

I decided to get lunch in Vulcania, a buffeteria with light steam punk stylings.

This was an entire wall. It was also really cool. Hmm, maybe I should redo the guest bedroom in steampunk?

Daikon and jellyfish - really good!

Dim sum sampler - not as good!

By the time I was done with lunch I was flagging really, really badly. I had hoped to make it to Legends of Mythica but there was just no way that was happening. I downed a Coke Zero for minimal energy and then headed to the room. On the way I saw a Japanese guy with a shirt on that said "Laundry Machine" on it. That one I did not even come close to understanding. I also saw one of the spring shows, based around Duffy and his girlfriend (Duffette as Jay calls her). I don't get the Japanese love of all things Duffy. I don't get it at all.

On the cap of a Coke Zero bottle? Really?

I really just wanted to caption this "Mickey Muffler" but I'm pretty sure that's a sexual maneuver.
At this point I had a decision to make. I rested for about 45 minutes in the room but it was clear to me that a nap would be a bad idea for keeping to a consistent sleep schedule, I could go back into the parks, though that would likely drain me quickly. I could work on the trip report, but I felt like that would be wasting the precious daylight hours that I like to do things during. I made the call to head back into Tokyo. I didn't have anything too exciting planned but there were a few presents I still had to buy. What can I say? I like doing things for others. So I caught the train back to Tokyo Station and from there to Harajuku.

This was the coolest vending machine I saw in Tokyo. The ones at Disney were better themed, but this was touch screen. Plus there's a surprise at the end of your transaction.

Does it taste like Gene Rayburn's career? Holy crap I just set a personal record for obscure references!

Yes, let's!
It's possible I didn't mention this before, but the walk from the main part of Tokyo Station to the part where the JR Keiyo line (the Disney line) drops you off is fantastically long. I finally pulled out a map and figure out why. The Tokyo Station proper is located, as you'd expect, in Tokyo. The Keiyo Line part of the station, however, is located in Cleveland. Ohio. That's a lot of walking across the Pacific. I'm pretty sure on the walk I saw a side room where Tupac, Biggie, Elvis and Michael Jackson were playing Wist.

It took a bit but I got to Harajuku. I took a stroll down Takeshita Dori to head back to Daiso and to have a delicious snack.

I absolutely love the model foodstuffs in Tokyo. I later went to the street where they sell these plastic models and they cost about half of my mortgage to buy.

This looks very promising. I'll take one. 

This is not at all what I was expecting, but it is exactly like the model so that's really my fault.
I then repeated my walk from earlier in the trip to Oriental Bazaar.

So that line in Harajuku from Sunday? Yeah, still there. Everyone was lined up for this place. Turns out it's very popular. 

There is only one thing I could think of that would make someone prefer this freakish Mickey to more normal ones, and frankly that's just Fucked Up, Tokyo.

Line out the door for Ben & Jerrys? Did Schweddy Balls finally make its way over here?
Turns out they were closed. Dang. So I walked to a new train station that I'd not been to before but that was on the Ginza line and I took it into Ginza. My first goal was to acquire some FFXIII-2 stuff for a friend at the Toy Park. I then needed to find the Apple Store to return something I'd bought five days earlier but wouldn't need.

This is a picture of a cat sleeping on a street sign while scores of Japanese take photos of it. Bear in mind that this was like the equivalent to the intersection of 5th Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan. Coolest cat ever? Quite possibly!

What? I'm a cat.
I walked back and forth on the main thoroughfare looking for that stupid Apple store. I stopped and asked people and they'd always point me back in whatever direction I had come from. Years of mocking Apple products must have given me a -5 to my Apple Store spot checks. When I finally found it, it was this tiny store down a dark alleyway.

No wait, that's not right at all. It was a massive store with a huge front display and this giant emblem:

How the hell did I miss that? Gah. I'd tell you how much I hate Apple, but since I am now completely relying on Apple products for the rest of the trip, it'd be best not to anger the ghost of Steve Jobs.

You'll be shocked to know that I was too early for dinner - dear God I'm too early for everything - and so I stopped in a cafe and had some iced coffee.

I then headed back to Andy's Shin-Hinomoto. Unfortunately Andy was not in today but the sashimi was still fresh and delicious. I ordered a Coke Zero and then I noticed that the waittress had actually gone down the street to but me two of them from the vending machine. Wow - I totally could have had water but now I kinda feel obligated to buy a second Coke Zero so it doesn't go to waste. Also, thanks!

I really loved the interior of this place. I could see myself coming here every week if I lived in Tokyo.

One thing I'd been keeping an eye out for was various flavors of Kit Kats, which Japan is known for. I finally got my hands on some Green Tea Kit Kat. It was refreshing. Then again, since I am not thrilled about chocolate, anything that replaces the chocolate part of a Kit Kat is okay in my book!

Then it was back to trek through Cleveland to get to my hotel room.

The circle of life, moves us all....sorry.

Elton John and Tim Rice? Pass. Elton John and Ann Rice? I'm in.

Cool vending machine from before. Here's what you see after your purchase:

You know what, it is refresh time isn't it?
I made a quick stop at Bon Voyage just to see if I could find anything at all with Tokyo Disney written on it.

On the monorail back to the hotel I noticed that it wasn't too far from Dream Lights, the evening parade at Tokyo Disneyland. Given how amazing everything had been so far, I thought I could sacrifice a little relaxing in the hotel to check it out. Back into the park I went! It was so empty that I even got to ride a few things.

Let me guess, my princess is in another castle?
About 30 minutes before the parade I found a seat on the ground to watch it. Have I mentioned how much I love that everyone in Japan sits for parades. Why the hell don't we do that in the US? I killed time until the parade started by reading American Gods for the third time. Excellent book! Here's the parade in photos:

I had a friend who really wanted photos of some Sailor Moon stuff, which I couldn't find at anywhere in Tokyo. So instead here's a photo of some random Japanese person who looks vaguely Sailor Moon-ish. I'm sure she has super powers.

Have I mentioned yet how much I love that the Japanese sit for shows and parades? Such a good idea.

Unlike most of the floats in American parks, every float had at least two if not four or five different things going on.

I couldn't get a good shot but every so often the Cheshire Cat would go all black except for it's smile. Very awesome!

The dragon breathes smoke. Impressed!

This was the coolest parade float I've ever seen. Genie would change colors and would often turn into other Disney characters. To wit:

If I had one complaint, it's that Eeyore looked to happy to be there. Come on man, get into character.

I found Nemo. Also, I may never sleep again OHGODHEKNOWSMYSECRETS.

The technology on the eyes was both lifelike and a bit scary. This float is also HUGE.

I have long believed that Donald has gotten a royal screw job by Disney. He's this angry duck that always loses at everything but if you watch the early Silly Symphony cartoons he actually started out as a decent fellow who was basically ignored by the rest of the cast until he became the angry shell of a duck we know today. And he's still getting screwed. Don't believe me?

They gave Donald a float with It's a Small World playing as the theme music. Can't get much more screwed than that unless you were being spooned by Kenny G while listening to it.

I did think the last float with the sponsor's name was a tad tacky
After the parade ended I got to employ one of my absolute greatest skills. Everyone has one or two things that they are amazing at but that rarely get used in the world. One of my skills, perhaps my second greatest behind my unlimited capacity for drinking diet soda, is my ability to get out of a park quickly after fireworks/a parade/a nighttime show. I am not a coordinated person most of the time, but for some reason when it's time to haul ass I'm Barry Freaking Sanders. Despite watching the parade from fairly close to the hub I was on the second monorail out of the park. There have been times where I've watched Wishes at Disney World from right in front of the castle and still been the third or fourth person on the ferry. I'm unreasonably proud of this and I can't believe that of all the things I'm bragging about on the internet, it's this. My life just hit a new low right there. I'm glad you all could share that with me.

Here's what it looked like as I was leaving. I felt sorry for the poor tiny people walking into the park who saw this massive giant striding purposefully towards them. I must have looked like Godzilla come back to finish the job. Oh well, I was sleepy and wanted to get to a bed as soon as possible. And I did, thus ending another fun day.


  1. LOVE YOUR TRIP REPORT, I am wishing I was a on flight to Tokyo right now. Well, at least I can read about it, lol


  2. Glad you are enjoying it! I wish I had a flight booked back to Tokyo sometime soon. It'd be very welcome!