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Tokyo Disney Resort Halloween 2016 Guide
DisneyDan  Friday, October 7, 2016 7:40:41 PM
Hello everyone,

This year we were fortunate enough to be at the opening of Tokyo Disney Resort's Halloween season, even seeing the brand new Halloween Pop'n LIVE parade a day early, because of a preview.

I thought it would be fun to put together a short guide of the things you can find at the resort this year for Halloween.

Let's start with the main thing - character entertainment.   [ Read More... ]
Throwback Thursday - Jubilation!
DisneyDan  Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:09:15 AM
Hello everyone,

This week's Throwback Thursday is to the former day parade, Jubilation!, at Tokyo Disneyland park.

Jubilation! ran for five years, from April 2008 until April 2013, when it was replaced by Happiness is Here. Jubilation! was one of our favourite parades of all time, along with Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade at Disneyland Paris. Jubilation! featured some really neat characters, including Mowgli, the CDA workers, the Ringmaster from Dumbo, the Three Pigs and Clarice.

For those of you who don't know, after the parade ended, the princess and Pinocchio floats were sent to the Magic Kingdom in Florida, and are now part of Festival of Fantasy!

Let's take a look at some of our photos from   [ Read More... ]
Happy 32nd Anniversary Tokyo Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8:21:35 AM
Today is the 32nd anniversary of the grand opening of Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.

As always, I thought I would share with you some photos from our trips to the park over the years.

Happy 32nd anniversary Tokyo Disneyland!

Exploring World Bazaar

Cinderella Castle

Exploring Tom Sawyer Island

Tomorrowland

Riding Big Thunder Mountain

The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha E Komo Mai!

"it's a small world"

Exploring Toon Town

Exploring Westernland

Tomorrowland

Exploring Adventureland

Once Upon a Time

Wandering around World Bazaar

Exploring Tomorrowland

Once Upon a Time

Dan.
A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 4 - The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:02:20 PM
Hello everyone,

Welcome to part four of my grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the world. In this part we will take an in-depth look at Fantasyland. In case you missed the previous three parts of this tour, you can find them here:


This article features many photos, so be prepared if you are on a slower internet connection. This is going to be the longest of any of the parts in this tour, since Fantasyland at all the parks contains the highest number of attractions and other experiences, compared to any other land.
  [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort announce 500 billion Yen expansion - my thoughts
DisneyDan  Thursday, October 30, 2014 8:56:31 AM
Hello everyone,

Today Tokyo Disney Resort's operating company, Oriental Land, announced through an official press release that they are investing 500 billion Yen (US$4.5bn approx) in the resort over the next 3 years, which will include a huge expansion to both theme parks, amongst other things. I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at these plans, and offer some of my own thoughts.

The key elements that are outlined in the plan are the development of a brand new themed port next to the Lost River Delta in Tokyo DisneySea, and the doubling in size of their Fantasyland, plus massive upgrades to the existing areas. In the process of expanding Fantasyland it appears that the Raceway and the StarJets will be removed. I have inserted the images from the release, below.







While I imagine for an extended period of time the parks will be even more chaotic than usual, with less attractions open and vast areas of walkway closed off, ultimately it can only be a good thing. Tokyo Disneyland has long suffered from having the worst designed Fantasyland, still stuck in the pre-mid-1980s format, with the renaissance tents and the 8-arm Dumbo. While I admit WDW's New Fantasyland is an improvement, they did nothing for the existing area which is also still stuck with the medieval tents, let's hope Tokyo does a better job, which is implied with the concept art and "Fantasyland Redevelopment" piece (above). The new concept art shows that the location of Dumbo will move, and if you scrutinize it closely, it will be the newer style as seen at the all the other parks around the world. The concept art also appears to include what looks like Beast's Castle AKA Be Our Guest Restaurant from the "new" Fantasyland at Walt Disney World. All other details are sketchy, besides saying "new restaurants and attractions", and we probably won't know more for some time to come yet, but it is exciting nonetheless, and definitely interesting to speculate what may come.

Before looking at DisneySea, let's take a look at the current Tokyo Disneyland Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in pictures, and I think you'll agree that they really need this new project.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Wandering through Fantasyland

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Exploring Fantasyland

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Wandering through Fantasyland

Wandering thru Tomorrowland

Exploring Tomorrowland

View over Tomorrowland from Space Mountain while waiting to ride

Here are some photos of Be Our Guest at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, and Dumbo at Disneyland Paris, to give some idea of how vastly different things could look (with a strong emphasis on the could!)

WDW Spring 2013 - Wandering through New Fantasyland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Fantasyland

Tokyo Disneyland, as you saw above, had a piece of concept art released with the announcement today, but sadly Tokyo DisneySea did not. However, and although this is pure speculation, it would not surprise me one bit if we saw the installation of an Arctic themed port - not too dissimilar to the "polar land" rumored a number of years ago for the other parks. Could they be resurrecting those plans? If they are, could Anna and Elsa finally be getting a permanent Arendelle style retreat in exotic Japan? Afterall, Arendelle is a port in the movie! I guess we'll find out in a couple of years! The vague circular shading over the photo of the new development appears to encompass an area which currently houses the Lost River Delta meet 'n' greet area. Although it may remain, the crude image does seem to imply this space will be swallowed with the new development.

This photo of ours shows the current Indiana Jones attraction, the trees to the left are the start of what would be the new area.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Exploring Lost River Delta

The press release also talks about "easing of congestion" (improving crowd control and guest flow) across the parks, which again is something that desperately needs to be addressed. We have been going to Tokyo Disney Resort for a number of years now, and it has only gotten worse. Let's take a look at some of our insane crowd photos.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Huge crowds waiting for Disneyland to open

The crowds waiting to get into Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo May 2014 - The INSANE crowds waiting for the premiere of Once Upon a Time

So, those are my thoughts. Of course, anything can change at any time, and we won't know exact plans pretty much until they are in full construction, but it's fun to speculate on this exciting news.
It's definitely great news to wake up, and I am very excited for the future of Tokyo Disney Resort, as I am sure countless others are too!

Dan.

Editor's Note: Lots of people on the internet, social media, etc are saying that a Frozen land is coming for sure, but I just want to clarify that the actual press release does not mention this at all. I myself even speculated above that this is likely, but at this point that is all it is - speculation. Dan.

Concept images are copyright the Oriental Land Company, Tokyo Disney Resort and The Walt Disney Company, and were taken from their press release, here.
News and Rumours - Tokyo's Tanabata Star Festival, Summer and Halloween, Unleash the Villains at WDW and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 20, 2014 7:47:41 AM
Hello everyone,

Sorry for the lack of news updates lately. I, as always, have been quite busy with normal life. Anyway, there are a number of things I want to talk about that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

We'll start with Tokyo Disney Resort, and work our way around the world.

From 24th June until 7th July at Tokyo Disney Resort, you can celebrate the magic of Disney Tanabata Days, also known as the Star Festival. At Tokyo DisneySea you can meet ShellieMay and Duffy in their special Disney Tanabata Days costumes at Cape Cod's Village Greeting Place in American Waterfront. You can also see Mickey and friends in a very special show on Mediterranean Harbor, three times per day (10.45am, 1pm and 4.30pm) wearing their special Star Festival costumes.
At Tokyo Disneyland there is a special parade each day at 11.20am and 4.15pm, featuring your favourite Disney friends wearing yet more beautifully crafted costumes.
At both parks guests will be given the opportunity to make a wish on special cards, and tie them to specially dedicated "Wishing Places" in the parks.

After the Disney Tanabata Days end, summer season arrives at the resort, and so does the water! Jon and I have been to Tokyo Disney Resort in the summer before, and I must warn you - prepare to get wet!
At Tokyo DisneySea's Summer Festival, Minnie's Tropical Splash is described as being a "carnival celebrating the bountiful harvest of fruit" and where "hot Latin rhythms begin to throb as colourful fruit themed barges appear on the Harbor". The TDR website then goes on to describe the "torrent of water" that then sprays from the barges and the shore! Characters appearing in the show - and in new costumes this year too - are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Clarice. The show will be presented three times daily and lasts about 20 minutes.
At Tokyo Disneyland's Natsu Matsuri event, "hot and lively dances" are the thing at the Castle Stage, during Garyo Gunbu. Team Miyabi Kenran starring Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Max and Pluto compete against Team Ryobu Shippu's Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Clarice in a water filled dance battle! We've seen these water canons in action, and trust me when I say, if you don't want to get wet, avoid Central Plaza during your visit! The show will be presented three times per day and lasts about 13 minutes.
The other show at Castle Stage will be Ondo-Ko-Don! which will be presented once per day, morning only, lasting 11 minutes. It will feature Mickey, Minnie, Donald and "others" in a special performance of a Japanese dance called the "ondo".
At both Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland there will be special merchandise, decorations and menu items to accompany these events.
Summer season at both parks runs from 8th July through 31st August inclusive.

We have a discussion topic about the summer fun, here on our forum.

A week later on the 7th September, the long running Legend of Mythica will end. If you're visiting before then, be sure to see this jaw dropping show before it goes away forever!

After the summer, we come to Halloween. At Tokyo DisneySea, the park will be filled with Disney Skeletons! In American Waterfront you can join the skeletons as well as the Disney characters in special costumes for their brand new show "New York's Halloween Follies". At Mediterranean Harbor you can join skeletons for "Welcome Skeleton Friends" in a participation show as they try to make new friends. In the Lost River Delta you can watch Chip 'n' Dale's Skeleton Fiesta, and finally "Street Party of the Skeleton" will be carried out in multiple areas of the park, where skeletons will dance and play around, interacting with guests and greeting them.
At Tokyo Disneyland, from what I can make out from the Japanese release, the Happy Halloween Harvest parade will return with the theme of a Halloween fair.
As with every event in Japan, there will be decorations, merchandise and food involved, too! Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort runs from 8th September until 31st October inclusive.

Don't forget that throughout the year you can enjoy the brand new nightly spectacular at Cinderella Castle, Once Upon a Time. You can read my review of it from opening week, last month, here.

Additionally, remember that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit made his Disney Parks debut just about 8 weeks ago at Tokyo DisneySea's American Waterfront! He is super cute and gives you yet another reason to visit this summer - as if you needed ay more excuses, right?! You can check out my blog post about meeting Oswald for the first time, here, and our dedicated Oswald page, here.

Finally for Tokyo, member Ryo on our forum posted that OLC have announced some new changes to Dreamlights in 2015, including the addition of Rapunzel and an update to Peter Pan's float! I can't seem to find the actual OLC release for this, as it's probably entirely in Japanese, but if I do, I'll link it here.

Ok, moving on to Walt Disney World now, and the Disney Parks Blog released a short list of some of the characters we can expect at the Unleash the Villains event on 23rd August this year. This is the only official list posted so far, but rumours have been flying around the internet of all sorts of rare appearances! None of the characters on the current list come as any great surprise, so it'll be interesting to see who else they put into the mix. We have a discussion topic about the event here on our forum, so join us in the speculation!

The new Harambe Theater District opened in Animal Kingdom just recently, and is now the new home to the Festival of the Lion King, after a short hiatus when it closed in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Not too much to report here, but people seem to like the new location and the show remains as popular as ever. I'm glad that Timon and friends have now moved back to their native Africa after spending the past ten years in an American Summer Camp!

Finally for WDW, our friends on our forum noticed that when visiting the Magic Kingdom recently, Winnie the Pooh has decided to sport a slightly different expression! Check out this discussion thread to see how he looks now when greeting at the Crystal Palace.

Jumping across the continent to Disneyland in California, and summer has kicked off with a special Frozen pre-parade at Disneyland Park. You can check out this video of it from Inside the Magic here, and discuss it here on our forum.

Also at Disneyland, Merida has now stopped meeting at her location near "it's a small world", and has been moved to inside the Royal Hall, where I guess her appearances will be more random (switching with her royal friends). In other princess news, Anna and Elsa's greeting times have apparently been extended, and they now meet until 8pm daily.

Flying across the Atlantic to Disneyland Paris, the press preview of the brand new Ratatouille attraction and restaurant happens this weekend. The restaurant is believed to be character dining (based on concept art and even one lady on the reservation line at Disneyland Paris), but is yet to actually be confirmed - we shall find out in the next day or two for sure! Rumours have been circulating for quite some time now, and have additionally strongly suggested that Linguini will appear in the new area (not inside the restaurant)! I'll let you know of any developments on those rumours as the weekend progresses. Jon and I have reservations for Chez Remy in August, and cannot wait to see the new land! You can join our discussion topic about Chez Remy (the new restaurant), here on our forum.

Staying in France, and DisneylandBerry on Twitter (who is often very reliable) has suggested that long running show Animagique will close at some point in 2015. As much as I love this show, it would be great if they put in a brand new show, since this once has been here for over 10 years now! Disneyland Paris are notoriously bad at announcing anything, so we won't know if this is actually true for quite some time yet, I would imagine. Our members are discussing this topic here on our forum.

Finally for Disneyland Paris, InsideDLParis revealed that from 5th July this year Disney's Stars 'n' Cars parade would end. The meet 'n' greets that currently take place using the same characters and cars would be extended to include more set times, and 4 of the current cars would be used to transport the characters on and off set from the greetings. InsideDLParis also revealed that the Incredibles would return to the park for the summer near the new Spider-Man location.

To our final topic today, Iron Man. Our good friend DisneyMart discovered something interesting yesterday, while randomly poking around the Disney Consumer Products website. The recent Disney Consumer Products at Licensing Expo 2014 featured Iron Man as a character, alongside Mickey Mouse, Stormtroopers and Buzz Lightyear! What's interesting is that his appearance has been kept so quiet. He did appear at D23 last year, but since then fans have discovered that the Marvel characters at the event were not wearing their official Disney outfits, meaning that Iron Man and Spider-Man were not appearing as they will at the Disney Parks. I have no idea if this is the case for this most recent appearance, and it could be why Disney have kept hush about it, not wanting people to believe they have already developed Tony Stark's new outfit for him, but instead using an older outside design of his!

Finally, although it was a couple of weeks ago now, why not check out my previous news post to read about the Frozen Disney On Ice show and Hong Kong Disneyland's new nighttime parade!

Ok, that is everything for today! Have a great weekend everyone,

Dan.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Crystal Palace Character Dining, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Company Dinner Show, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise Dinner Show, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disney Resort's Chef Mickey Character Dining, click here.

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise - A Review
DisneyDan  Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:38:21 AM
Hello everyone,

On our most recent trip to Tokyo Disney Resort we had the pleasure of dining at the Polynesian Terrace for Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise dinner show. The Polynesian Terrace is a table service dinner show venue that offers two different shows daily (the other being Lilo's Luau and Fun at lunchtime).

Lilo's Luau and Fun at Polynesian Terrace

Reservations are always required, but sadly can only be made on the Japanese Tokyo Disney Resort website or by calling their reservation line, both of which are in Japanese language only. Fortunately we have some very good Japanese friends who are able to make the reservations for us. If you are able to get someone to make reservations for you, or you can read Japanese (which if you're reading this report is unlikely), then you should ensure that you do it well in advance of the date and time you want. In our experience, reservations for table service and buffet dining at Tokyo Disney Resort sell out virtually instantly, unfortunately.
On the plus side, the respectful and thoughtful nature of the Japanese means that if they cannot make their reservation they usually call to cancel it, which means times can show up at any moment. We have actually gotten several reservations this way in the past, so it's definitely worth checking back everyday before your trip to see if the venue you want has any availability.

On the day of your reservation you will need to go to collect a ticket for the meal at the will call window at the side of the restaurant. This must be done at least half hour before show time, I believe, but it might be more than that. You will not be allowed to enter later on without the ticket. Once you have the reservation ticket you simply come back later at the time specified (printed on the ticket). The Japanese are very particular about details, and so once you have your reservation there is no need to show up any more than about 5 or 10 minutes before the specified time. There will be a line outside the restaurant, but once the doors open everyone is let in very quickly, and your table is preassigned which means that you do not stand any better chance of a better table than if you were in line half hour before opening.

There are three categories of seating available for the shows, "A", "B" and "S", which all increase in price the closer you are to the stage (with "S" being the closest to the stage). The most expensive category was just short of US$50 per person. Prepayment is required and is non-refundable.
The restaurant is located at the back of Adventureland near the Western River Railroad and Enchanted Tiki Room.

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Once you have entered the restaurant and taken your seat dinner is served and the show begins shortly after.
The food is a set menu and is very difficult to change, however, being the awkward westerners that we are, we are vegetarian, which is non-existent in Japan. We had a Japanese friend with us who was able to call over the manager, and after some discussion they said that they could prepare something just for us! We have to say that we were exceptionally impressed with their willingness to accommodate us and the fact that we actually got something fairly decent to eat, despite their restaurant not being equipped for vegetarian diners.
For starter on the regular menu, there is ham, salad, cheese and various mixtures of seafood cocktails. The regular set main item is a pork steak with rice.
For dessert the regular menu was yellow and soft, but honestly, I don't know what it was! It was served with fruit, sauce and a cracker of some sort. It's probably best you see the photo below! Drinks are included, and are refillable.

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

For our vegetarian selection they prepared us some rice, carrot, broccoli and potatoes, with fresh salad. For dessert we had mixed fruit. The vegetarian option was a bit lacking, but honestly, this is a country where everything has some sort of meat product in it, so by all accounts we were grateful for their efforts! Next time I think we would make sure to have something else in the park beforehand, as the food we received was not substantial enough. Otherwise it tasted good, and it's not their fault we are vegetarians in a country that doesn't know that means!

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

The show doesn't really have a story, but is more a wonderful showcase of Polynesian style dancing and music, which is beautifully presented. The show features Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale who all dance and play along with the performers and musicians. There are several costume changes for the characters and performers, which include some really amazing ones for Mickey and Minnie. The entire show from start to finish is a delight to watch and really adds something enchanting and magical to their Adventureland.

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

During the show there is an audience participation section. The hula dancers will come to tables and invite the men in your party up onto the stage for what appeared to be a dance off competition! I have to say, without any disrespect to the men who were brave enough to do it, it was an odd sequence, and almost fascinating to see how competitive Japanese men are when presented with a hula dancing competition at a Disney dinner show!

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Overall we really enjoyed the show and the food, even if it was a little limiting for us. The cast members were amazing and went out of their way to help us with our needs and our food was very nice.

If you can make a reservation then I'd definitely recommend it, just remember that to do so will require someone who reads or speaks Japanese.

Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise

Dan.
Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe - A Review
DisneyDan  Tuesday, June 10, 2014 2:05:23 PM
Hello everyone,

On our most recent trip to Tokyo Disney Resort we had the pleasure of dining at the Diamond Horseshoe for the Mickey and Company dinner show. The Diamond Horseshoe is a table service dinner show venue that offers two different shows daily (the other being the Horseshoe Roundup at lunchtime).

The Diamond Horseshoe

Reservations are always required, but sadly can only be made on the Japanese Tokyo Disney Resort website or by calling their reservation line, both of which are in Japanese language only. Fortunately we have some very good Japanese friends who are able to make the reservations for us. If you are able to get someone to make reservations for you, or you can read Japanese (which if you're reading this report is unlikely), then you should ensure that you do it well in advance of the date and time you want. In our experience, reservations for table service and buffet dining at Tokyo Disney Resort sell out virtually instantly, unfortunately.
On the plus side, the respectful and thoughtful nature of the Japanese means that if they cannot make their reservation they usually call to cancel it, which means times can show up at any moment. We have actually gotten several reservations this way in the past, so it's definitely worth checking back everyday before your trip to see if the venue you want has any availability.

On the day of your reservation you will need to go to collect a ticket for the meal at the will call window at the side of the restaurant. This must be done at least half hour before show time, I believe, but it might be more than that. You will not be allowed to enter later on without the ticket. Once you have the reservation ticket you simply come back later at the time specified (printed on the ticket). The Japanese are very particular about details, and so once you have your reservation there is no need to show up any more than about 5 or 10 minutes before the specified time. There will be a line outside the restaurant, but once the doors open everyone is let in very quickly, and your table is preassigned which means that you do not stand any better chance of a better table than if you were in line half hour before opening.

There are three categories of seating available for the shows, "A", "B" and "S", which all increase in price the closer you are to the stage (with "S" being the closest to the stage). The most expensive category was just short of US$50 per person. Prepayment is required and is non-refundable.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Looking around Westernland

The restaurant is located on the left hand side of the entrance area to Westernland (Tokyo's equivalent of Frontierland), and looks very similar to its sister restaurants in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom (both inside and out).

Once you have entered the restaurant and taken your seat, the show will begin very promptly. There is a warm up part which introduces some of the characters (not Mickey and friends, they come later!) and dinner service begins soon after.
The food is a set menu and is very difficult to change, however, being the awkward westerners that we are, we are vegetarian, which is non-existent in Japan. We had a Japanese friend with us who was able to call over the manager, and after some discussion they said that they could prepare something just for us! We have to say that we were exceptionally impressed with their willingness to accommodate us and the fact that we actually got something fairly decent to eat, despite their restaurant not being equipped for vegetarian diners.
The regular set items are potato wedges, sausage, grilled vegetables, pumpkin, chicken, corn on the cob and I think shrimp, but since I didn't eat it I can't remember exactly (the picture below shows the food, but I can't make out what is on the back of the plate).
For dessert the regular menu consisted of a fun cake that looks like Donald Duck's bottom! Drinks are included, and are refillable. Bread is in a basket on the table and can be refilled upon request. There is a bowl of salad on the table also, which is prepared and has salmon and eggs in it.

Mickey and Company

Mickey and Company

Mickey and Company

Mickey and Company

For our vegetarian selection we had basically the same, except we were given rice, and potatoes shaped like stars! For dessert sadly we only got strawberries, but it's nice that they made the effort to find out that the dessert had gelatine in it. Strawberries aren't even on the menu, so they must have put some effort in to obtain them, which we appreciate.

Mickey and Company

Mickey and Company

The show involves Mickey and his friends helping a hapless young romantic gain the affections of Slue Foot Sue. There are some really great scenes, including Mickey playing the drums! It's a great show and has a nice happy feel to it. It's something which I really wish that the other parks would bring back to their Horseshoe venues. It adds a life and vibrance to Westernland that sadly the other Frontierland's lack.

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Overall we really enjoyed the show and the food. The cast members were amazing and went out of their way to help us with our needs and our food was very nice.

If you can make a reservation then I'd definitely recommend it, just remember that to do so will require someone who reads or speaks Japanese.

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe

Dan.

Mickey and Company at the Diamond Horseshoe
The Crystal Palace Character Breakfast at Tokyo Disneyland - A Review
DisneyDan  Thursday, June 5, 2014 4:05:18 AM
Hello everyone,

The Crystal Palace is a restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland that for some reason is technically listed as being in Adventureland. However, the only way to access the restaurant is from the front entrance on Central Plaza, just the same way the Crystal Palace is located in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Wandering past Adventureland

First thing in the morning the restaurant offers character dining with the 100 Acre Wood friends. There are no reservations for the Crystal Palace, and it is only offered on a stand and wait basis. Although it doesn't get immediately full, if you wish to dine here them you should definitely get here right after park open to ensure you actually get in. When we were here this past trip we were in line right after park open at 8am, and it still took us 20 minutes to get seated, and by the time we were eventually at a table, the line I think was closed and guests were being turned away. The restaurant only offers the characters for 90 minutes, and only on days that the park opens before 10am. No character dining is available if the park opens at 10am, as this would conflict with their preparations for lunch (which does not feature characters).

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Their setup is interesting, and is not a system which I've seem anywhere else before.
Once you enter the restaurant you will have to pay right away. Once you have paid you enter a line to collect your food - you cannot get a table as this has to be assigned by a cast member.
When you get to the serving area you are personally attended to by a cast member for your group. The odd thing is that there are no options. Everything is a set menu item, and while it's prepared in front of you, everybody gets the same things.
Pancakes, fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes, orange juice, salad and a hot drink.
We are vegetarian and asked our cast member to tell the person preparing the plates to leave the sausage off, which they did with no problem.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Once the cast member has your tray in hand (yes, they carry it all for you), then they show you to a table. From here you are left to dine in peace (as much as one can have peace at a character meal!). If you want water there are taps with cups in the corners of the dining rooms where you can help yourself.

The seating arrangement is odd though, and I can't seem to fathom why this system is in place. You don't chose your own food, it's a set menu, so why have your entire party stand in a long line with all their bags while the characters bypass empty tables? Surely it'd be easier to seat you, then while they are getting the food for you, you could at least be settling in (taking jackets off etc), and possibly saving time by meeting a character who may be passing by.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Anyway, odd setups aside, the food is pretty good, though the eggs were a little runny (which seems to be the case in Japan in general, to be honest), and the overall service was friendly and efficient. The cast had no problem in accommodating our "no sausage" request, and there was plenty else on the plate so we weren't completely wasting our time or money.

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Characters in attendance are always the same. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit will make their way around to you with the usual Tokyo speed and efficiently. It should be noted though that they seem to rotate through entire dining rooms all at once, and it you just miss the rotation then all five will move to the other room, and you'll have to wait for all of them to finish on that side before they all come back to your side (by which time you'll probably be sitting with an empty plate, but the cast know you're there for characters, so don't panic - it just feels odd!).

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

The meal costs 1850 Yen per adult, which is about US$19 (making it one of the cheapest character meals we've ever had anywhere!), and this is the only time you will need money as tips are not accepted in Japan. As I mentioned above, you pay upon entering the restaurant and should not leave a tip at your table as this is not Japanese custom - you wouldn't want to offend them.

Overall we had a pleasant experience at the Crystal Palace, and because there are no reservations it is one of the easier character dining experiences to get into at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Dan.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant
Once Upon a Time - A review of Tokyo Disneyland's new nighttime spectacular
DisneyDan  Tuesday, June 3, 2014 6:55:30 AM
Hello everyone,

While we were in Japan last week, Jon and I got to see the premiere of Tokyo Disneyland's brand new nighttime castle projection show, Once Upon a Time.

The show uses the same technology as Disney Dreams! at Disneyland Paris, and follows Mrs Potts and Chip through some classic Disney stories. Unlike Disney Dreams! there are no fountains or water screens. There are also nowhere near as many pyrotechnic effects as Dreams.

Once Upon a Time

The show is currently being presented twice per night, which at time of writing is 8.50pm and 9.40pm. The show is visible from many places around Central Plaza and at the end of World Bazaar, however, there is a random lottery system in place for the best seats in the Central Viewing Area (that's its official name!).

Once Upon a Time

For anyone who hasn't been to Tokyo, the parks operate a ticketed system for their most popular shows, including One Man's Dream and Big Band Beat. The idea is that it prevents people from camping out all day in Central Plaza to get the best view. It means that those who are selected can wait until right before the show and take their seats with an excellent view.
This does of course present its own problems, with people waiting all day anyway in other areas to get the next best, non ticketed spots, often causing lots of crowding and congestion, which in Tokyo Disneyland is something that is a huge problem at the best of times.



For the first night we actually did win the lottery for the second showing, and so we decided to wait for the first show up at the end of World Bazaar, then head down to the entrance to the Central Viewing Area after, ready for the second show.
I can say with absolutely no doubt that it was the most insane scene I had ever seen. The number of people was mind boggling. The entire of Central Plaza and all the way down World Bazaar to the end of the street was wall to wall people. After the first show it took us around fifteen minutes to get from Refreshment Corner to just in front of the castle! 

Once Upon a Time

If you stand further away, you actually get a fairly good view. The music is played throughout World Bazaar, and even with the glass canopy the Castle is clearly visible. The only problem we found with standing at Refreshment Corner (and I know it would be just the same further back) is that the projections at the bottom of the Castle are lost, which actually, is a lot of them. For some reason much of the show takes place on the bottom half of the Castle, and while you can see the whole Castle from further back, the doorway is obstructed by the Partners statue and if you have anyone tall or holding up a camera, it can further obscure it.

Once Upon a Time

The following nights were no better with the crowds, and although we braved it one last time on our final night, in some ways I'm not sure it was worth the hassle.
Once Upon a Time is a good show, don't get me wrong, and I did like it, but having seen Disney Dreams! (on many, many occasions), Once Upon a Time does not compare. Disney outdid themselves with Dreams, and I don't think they'll be able to match it any time soon.

Once Upon a Time

I did enjoy it - I love the music - but I felt that there wasn't enough emotional attachment to it, and it simply didn't have the same impact. They tried to copy Dreams' finale, even down to using the Catherine wheels and flame throwers, but without Dreams' powerful score, projections right up until the last moment and the fountains, it loses something.
I want to point out though, that as well as loving the music the projections were really high quality. They were crystal clear, which is amazing given the uneven surface of the Castle. Disney did a really good job of the utilising the latest projection mapping technology.

Once Upon a Time

Although it is an enjoyable show, it's not worth the time commitment to get a good view, especially since people were waiting everyday for at least three hours for it! Having said all that, if you get the chance to go to Tokyo Disneyland and you win the lottery or crowds are light for some reason (unlikely), then definitely see it, as it is a good show - it's just that I couldn't help but compare it to Dreams, which will always be number one.
If you do want to stand and watch it, I would suggest skipping the first showing and holding back in the park somewhere, then heading to Central Plaza as people filter out, as many leave after the first show. There are still thousands of people in Central Plaza, but nowhere near as many as there are for the first. We did this on our last night and were surprised how much closer we could get than the first night (on Central Plaza itself, as opposed to squashed next to Refreshment Corner).

Once Upon a Time

I'll leave you with some more photos I took of those first two shows (I videoed the third one we watched).

Dan.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time
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