The title became not so live because blogging on the go is too tiring when you pack too many things on your itinerary that doesn’t involve sitting in a cafe for hours..
Today is the day we turn back time and become kids again! The sight of Tokyo Disney Resort will make our hearts race and hyperventilate with our tongues out, just short of wagging our tails because we’ve lost our tails since countless years ago.
Jokes aside, it was planned that we would wake up and take the 6am subway from Sugamo to Hibiya, change to Yurakucho Line to Shin Kiba station where we will change to the JR Keiyo line, pay extra 160 yen to travel to Maihama station, where we will pay another 260 per person to take the Disney Resorts Monorail to DisneySEA station. I tell you, travelling is really expensive in Tokyo…
Arrival at Tokyo DisneySEA
Well, some times, plans were made not to be followed… So instead of reaching the theme park at 7am+, we only arrived at 10.30am…
Once we enter the park, we were greeted by a huge globe ‘floating’ on a giant fountain. Somewhat ‘Universal Studios-like’ was what we thought, sans the ‘Universal Studios’ sign on the globe. Well who cares, we take photos with it nonetheless.
There was a show at the central piazza once we enter the park proper. Its like they were dancing around to welcome us. Showcasing all their characters. We saw a lot of people, young or old, regardless of gender, held DSLR with super long (and heavy) lenses trying to take photos of Mickey’s dance moves. I totally feel their passion. Then we just walked away looking at the other attractions. Not much interest in watching mascots dance.
We took a left from the piazza and saw the Gondola ride, after weighing the value of the ride vs the time we would have to spend waiting in a long line, we decided to skip it. We then stood in a corner doing some last minute research of the attractions available in DisneySEA, this shows how ill-prepared we were..
Why Queue before Opening Time?
Why I planned to reach the park 1 hour before its 8am opening time? It’s because of the ‘Fastpass’ system. They don’t sell VIP tickets for an additional fee. Instead, you have to queue early in the morning at the park gate with like-minded people, chiong to those popular attractions that offers fastpass tickets and grab them.
The Fastpass will be available on a first come first serve basis. It is basically an appointment ticket with your ‘appointment time’ range printed on it. So you will go join the Fastpass queue at your designated time and you will be allowed in FASTER than us lowly mortals who don’t have it.
I planned to just go in and get all the Fastpasses available, then decide what to ride, this must be the true Singaporean way, I think.
Reality, For Us..
So for Claire and I, by the time we arrived, all the fastpasses were gone. The ones that were still available were for ‘2105hrs to 2200hrs’, the last slot of the day. At that time we rather be back, sleeping in our hotel…
So it seems like, in order to fully enjoy DisneySEA in one day, you really need to wake up and be at their door really early. Then once they open their doors, rush in to all the rides with Fastpass and catch them all. Like Pokemon.
It’s really demoralizing to see those Fastpass holders zoom pass you while you look on from your ‘standby’ line, for hours… VIPs vs MMs (Mere Mortals). Claire and I only manage to queue for 2 rides before we gave up on the damn queuing. About 9 hours in DisneySEA: Exploring – 2 hours, Resting and Eating – 1 hour, Queuing for various things ~ 5 hours!! Enjoying the damn rides – 20mins… What the heck, we got so sick of queuing we avoided them like the plague. Ended up just exploring and fattening up with overpriced food.
Review of The 2x Rides we Took
See that ominous structure looming in the distant.
Well we at least took 2 rides, I wanted to take the Tower of Terror ride but Claire has a severe fear of falling so she begged me to not go there, she actually said I should go if I want to, but nope not gonna do that. How can I just go queue for hours and leave her there by herself? Besides, she said she was going to take the ride with me, but the estimated waiting time was 200 mins, that’s 3 hours and 20 mins, it’s mind-blowing.
So here we go
- Nemo and Friends SeaRider – It felt like a kiddy ride, but since its something new and it seems popular, we decided to queue for it. Well I can’t be telling you every detail, all I can say is that: you will be seated theater style, but everything else is beyond our expectations! It came as a surprise, I’m impressed with how a seemingly harmless kiddy ride can bring some realism and excitement to me. It’s still ultimately, a harmless kiddy ride.
- Indiana Jones® Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull – This ride is AWESOME!! We were queued for a long long time for this ride as well, but the atmosphere they created with all the ruins and lit-torches and overgrown vegetation. The effort in making us immerse in the situation is really really good. The Jumanji-like soundtrack added that sense of unease that’s attuned to the theme. As we enter the ‘temple’, the inner decor is so well-made, I think it might scare a child to tears. And the ride, wow, really gets your adrenaline pumping!! All in all, this is a must-ride!
After the two rides though, we were really exhausted by the queuing, so we settled for just exploring every corner of the park instead of subjecting ourselves to another queue..
Exploring the Theme Park
We walked through the park and I am impressed with how well-made every detail were, you can feel the effort to meticulously see to every single detail to provide us with an immersive environment. It’s really true that once you walk into the theme park, you are transported into another world. Please enjoy the following photos of the park grounds.
Alas, we didn’t wait for the finale because we were really really tired of dreaming the whole day, so its back to the real world for us.
Returning to the real world involves paying the 260 yen for the Disney Resort Line to Maihama station and 160 yen from JR Maihama station to Shin-Kiba station where we change to Yurakucho subway line…
We took the subway to Shibuya, I wanted to have another go at photographing the crossing. I took Claire to Mark City where there is a lift access to the 25th restaurant floor of Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu. I read somewhere that it gave us a bird’s eye view of the busy Shibuya Crossing and you can access it even if you’re not patronizing the restaurants. But we were rejected access to the observation area because ‘only hotel guests can enter’ Its basically just a small room with windows and I think they start to do this so this ‘view of Shibuya Crossing’ can be marketed as a selling point for staying at this hotel.
So we settle for the 2nd floor of the Starbucks overlooking the crossing, not before passing by a few places we’ve been to before in our previous trips that brings a sense of nostalgia. I had Claire booked an empty seat beside some enthusiastic tourists who took excessive time to photograph the scene below. I mean, I ask Claire to sit, went down and spent 5 mins queuing to order and another 5 mins waiting for our drinks. Then I came up and waited 5 mins for a chance to photograph the crossing, then when the chance came, I went in and spent about 9 mins to photograph 3 crossings. Then I left.
9 mins was all I took. And all the while from when I plant Claire onto that empty seat, that guy was sitting there with his phone to the window and telling her girl how much life there was in the crossing. By the time I was done, I think that guy is nearing Nirvana with his phone to the window, pondering about the amount of life on the road.
Think all he wants, we’re going back to the hotel and ponder about where are we going tomorrow.