Tokyo Disneyland often refers to itself as “The Kingdom of Dreams.” But while all those costumed performers, parades, and fireworks might seem like something out of a dreamlike fantasy, Disney fans in Japan are having to deal with a stark economic reality, as this spring admission at both Tokyo Disneyland and its sister park Disney Sea are set to jump for the second year in a row.
It was revealed in December 2013 that the Captain EO ride at Tokyo Disneyland will be replaced by the interactive attraction Stitch Encounter. The wait is now over as the Oriental Land Company which owns Tokyo Disneyland announced that the much-awaited new attraction will open in July 2015, right in time for the summer vacation this year!
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Oct 7, 2014
Tokyo Disneyland is just as magical as its American counterpart, but with the addition of adult cosplay and some seriously delicious food. It also has notoriously long lines – it’s not unheard of to wait over two hours to get on Pirates of the Caribbean or over three hours just to ride Space Mountain during holiday weekends.
We’ve already revealed the eight least crowded weekends and holidays at Tokyo Disneyland and found out that scorching hot temperatures are enough to keep the crowds at bay. Just this past weekend we discovered another day of short lines at Tokyo Disneyland for those who don’t mind being a little uncomfortable if it means not having to stand around all day.
Sep 20, 2014
Japan has gotten into Halloween in a big way in the last few years. By mid-September, stores start putting up decorations and offering seasonal treats, even if the practice of trick-or-treating hasn’t really caught on here yet.
So it’s only natural that Halloween gets special treatment from another popular import, Tokyo’s Disney theme parks, as Disney Sea is offering up some spooky Halloween menu items, including a pitch black sausage.
Jul 16, 2014
Despite having lived in Japan for eight years now, I’ve never actually been to Tokyo Disneyland. I was lucky enough to be taken to Walt Disney World, Florida when I was a kid, but now that I’m older and infinitely more cynical, I don’t think I have the stomach for an entire day of cheery music and giant mice.
One thing people often ask me (after whether McDonald’s is any different here) when they learn that Japan has its own Disneyland, though, is whether the park is anywhere near as good as those in Florida or California. In the past, I’ve only been able to shrug and tell them that “the kids here go nuts over it, so probably,” but now, with this time-lapse video made by the folks at Tokyo Disneyland, I can safely say that it’s pretty much exactly the same.
Jun 26, 2014
Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea can both make pretty strong claims for the “Happiest Place on Earth” title. Combining the cast of the animation pioneer’s collected works with Japanese sensibilities results in some of the most unbridled and deep-rooted enthusiasm for cartoon characters you’re likely to find anywhere. Adding to the experience is the attention to detail and hospitality that comes from the world’s preeminent amusement park operator and the country with the highest customer service standards on the planet.
But while all those things go a long way towards helping visitors enjoy their stay, the excitement they bring just might pale in comparison to the joy guests feel when they realize there’s something Japan’s Disney theme parks don’t have: mosquitos.
Scott R Dixon
Mar 5, 2014
Between the exciting rides, fun mascots and surprisingly progressive policies, millions of Japanese and foreign tourists have their “dreams come true” at Tokyo Disneyland every year. But for every dream fulfilled, there are always a few little hearts broken when a child realizes they are too short to experience the thrilling ride that has everyone else screaming for joy.
Some 16 years ago, one such girl was turned away at one of the rides and given a “Future Passenger Certificate,” a seemingly primitive version of Disney’s Fastpass, which entitled her to skip to the front of the line when she came back as an older and taller Tokyo Disneyland guest.
Feb 1, 2014
On 27 January, Tokyo Disneyland held a little-known annual event to express gratitude for their legions of employees. Called “Thanks Day” it’s the one times of the year where those who work hard offering us visitors their cordial hospitality get to cut loose and have free rein over the park. Meanwhile, their managers give themselves a temporary demotion for the night to serve colas and operate Big Thunder Mountain.
Jan 17, 2014
From now until March 20, Tokyo DisneySea is offering some very cute snacks featuring Duffy, the Disney bear, and his lady friend, ShellieMay. Take a look after the jump, but be warned: the cuteness is off the charts!
Dec 22, 2013
There few pieces of cinematic brilliance that come close to matching Captain EO. The star power of Michael Jackson guided by the directing talents of Francis Ford Coppola in a George Lucas Production all come together in a space-operatic masterpiece that taught us all to dream again.
However, the film was taken from us after a fleeting 11-year run at Disney theme parks around the world. Then in a bittersweet moment it was reopened in tribute to the king of pop’s passing in 2010. And now again we in Japan will have to mourn the 17-minute film’s closing in 2014.
Tokyo Disneyland is a magical place, what with all the joyous rides, concerts utilizing incredible animatronics and performers who seemingly never tire, mostly not-terrifying mascots available for photo ops, and children mysteriously vanishing from the park every year, never to be seen again.
Okay, so the last one may or may not be an urban legend. Like any public place that gets massive amounts of traffic and a lot of media attention, Tokyo Disneyland attracts its fair share of urban legends. Some of these legends apply to Disneyland locations worldwide, while others are exclusive to TDL. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting/frightening ones:
As you may have heard, Disney’s movies and theme parks are incredibly popular in Japan. While Hello Kitty is the reigning queen of cute, she can never rest easy knowing that Minnie is just one step behind, ready to take the throne. And with the immense popularity of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, it’s hardly any wonder that one of the most popular destinations for Japanese folks traveling abroad is Alcázar of Segovia, a Spanish castle which served as the inspiration for the nearly universally-known Cinderella castle.
And when you see the pictures we’ve found of the castle, you’ll want to visit it too!
Just like in many Western countries right now, in Japan ’tis the season to be spooky. Halls in Tokyo are decked with orange; cute pumpkins, witches and ghosts wink from shop windows; and you might even find a special seasonal pastry in your local bakery or supermarket.
Now firmly established in the annual Japanese calendar, not so long ago hardly anyone even knew that such a thing as Halloween existed. How could this day, which has become more like a month-long festival in Japan, go from zero to hero so quickly? What brought this on, and why is it so big in Japan? Japan’s Madame Riri looks at four different reasons.
At Tokyo Disneyland and every other embodiment of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the staff are all referred to as “cast members.” It may seem strange at first to refer to the people sweeping the sidewalks and answering phones the same way you would an actor in a play, but the fact is that all the theme park is a stage and the staff are but players, doing all they can to make the magic of Disney come alive. It’s their primary job to bring a sense of joy and wonder to every last visitor to the park, and yet the magic can manifest itself in some truly surprising ways! Here are a few of the first-person accounts given by people impressed by the Tokyo Disneyland cast.
Cosplay isn’t just for conventions or the Kyoto subway. Tokyo Disneyland during the Halloween season is a great place for Disney fans to show off their cosplay skills. Usually, anyone out of elementary school isn’t allowed to enter Tokyo Disneyland in full costume, but during the first and last week of the Disney Halloween event (September 9 to 15 and October 25 to 31), anyone is invited to cosplay at the park. Let’s take a look at some of the impressive costumes from the first week of the TDL Halloween season.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jul 23, 2013
Cinderella Castle is the most iconic attraction at the Disney theme parks in the United States and Japan. It often stands at the center of special holiday and seasonal fireworks displays, allowing guests some breathtaking views of the tiered beauty. This year, it looks like Tokyo Disneyland got a little carried away with their summer fireworks display, inspiring a flurry of excited Tweets with captions such as “A huge explosion at Cinderella Castle!” and “Cinderella Castle ablaze!”
Michelle Lynn Dinh
May 9, 2013
Three days after every other person on the internet was posting “May the fourth be with you,” Tokyo Disneyland was flooded with Star Wars fans celebrating the grand reopening of Star Tours: the Adventures Continues. The ride offers a 3-D Star Wars experience with over 50 possible randomly selected story combinations. There’s no greater thrill than feeling as if you are rocketing through space, interacting with familiar Star Wars characters in the third dimension.
But what impressed our reporter, Tashiro-kun, the most was the fanfare that day. With around 200 Disney cast members dressed in Star Wars costume and more Disney-Star Wars merchandise than you can shake a light saber at, Tokyo Disneyland on May 7 was the place to be for Star Wars fans.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), as of September 2012, numbers of foreign tourists visiting Japan reach 430,000, an increase of 32.7 percent. Japan’s tourist industry suffered as a result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, but it looks like tourism is on the rise in Japan once again.
When foreigners do find themselves in Japan, travel guidebook in hand, they are inundated with advice regarding must-see places. But the worst part about taking a trip is arriving to one of these “must-see” locations and realizing it isn’t all that great. That’s why we’ve gathered up a list of the top five most disappointing tourist spots in Japan as recommended (unrecommended?) by users on Reddit.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jan 5, 2013
For Christmas 2012, my husband and I headed off our island and spent Christmas in Tokyo. We set aside a few days to mill around Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, and a few other places, but the main event of our trip was going to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The only problem was that we chose to go during one of the busiest times of the year: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So what do you do when everyone in Tokyo came to Disneyland, all the Fast Passes are gone, and you have to wait at least an hour to ride a three-minute ride? Eat everything in sight, of course. Take a look at some of the awesome and unexpected food you can find in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 23, 2012
If you were lucky enough to take a trip to Disneyland as a child, you no doubt remember the bouquets of brightly colored balloons that towered over the crowds. And if you asked your mom really nicely and flashed your best set of puppy dog eyes, added in a few “please, oh please, oh please, I’ll be good all day!” you might have been granted an inflated Micky head to bob along with you while you made your way through the happiest place on earth.
If you’re a Japanese kid in November 2012, you will never have the chance to even covet a shiny Disney themed balloon because all traces of them have been wiped out of the park.
What the heck happened?!
- Disney’s Baymax appears in curry, hot pots, and more, thanks to cheesy food-based pun【Photos】1
- Japanese opera singer records an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”2
- Make your instant coffee 10 times yummier with this one simple trick3
- The internet can’t figure out why the snow melted in this pattern – Can you?4
- Pervy anime character mouse pads…butt for ladies! 【Photos】5
- In a country steeped in tradition, two prefectures are completely void of historical temples6
- Tuna born from mackerel: Japanese scientists develop surrogate tech to save threatened species7
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time8
- Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways9
- Blast your own Kamehameha at the “Let’s fire a Kamehamaha Martial Arts Tournament” event!10
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough1
- Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”2
- Japanese opera singer records an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”3
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out4
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time5
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”6
- Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it7
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck8
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public9
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen9
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】5
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”6
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing7
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises8
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make9
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message10
- In a country steeped in tradition, two prefectures are completely void of historical temples
- Tuna born from mackerel: Japanese scientists develop surrogate tech to save threatened species
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time
- Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways
- Blast your own Kamehameha at the “Let’s fire a Kamehamaha Martial Arts Tournament” event!
- Could this teen’s simple but genius idea help put an end to cyber bullying?
- “Underwater Knee-High Girls” goes to Taiwan! Exhibition including new “Yuri” photos to be held
- Around Japan in 47 rice balls: Mr. Sato buys each prefecture’s musubi all from one Tokyo shop
- Ariana Grande is learning hiragana and Japan can’t stop talking about it
- New garlic cola from Japan’s garlic capital is as surprising as its name proclaims
- Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”