For a special treat for Yuko and I suppose a pre-birthday treat for me, we made our way over to the newest branch of Disney here- Tokyo Disney sea. What did we make of it? A lot of fun and possessing some very inspiring moments, especially the shows. We were lucky to be able to go on a Friday, as we could go around and at the most only wait about 20 minutes for a ride. So we literally saw everything we wanted to.
Probably our favourite ride was the ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ which features the classic Disney trademark of cute and fantastic animatronics that can be slowly scene until you reach the terrifying (but cute) monster that heralds a sudden dive into oblivion. Such a laugh, it really gets your adrenalin pumping! They seem to have worked out just what kind of thing people enjoy the most- though I am sure others would find at all a bit too ‘kiddy’ for them. Alongside this was the Tower of Terror, with a lift (elevator) plunging floors through the darkness of a professor/explorer’s historical house in New York and also an Indiana Jones Temple of Doom, where crystal skulls come to life to menace you through the corridors. I have to admit- I screamed out loud on each and every one of them, but enjoyed every moment of it!
Some other goodies were the gondola ride, which does feel, if not really like Venice, at least like being inside a Disney version of the place, complete with a simple Italian lesson and also the chance to explore a fortress by the coast, along with mysterious artifacts, a flying machine and an alchemist’s laboratory. One area I enjoyed a lot was the Middle-Eastern one with it’s ‘It’s a small World’ type ride through Sinbad’s adventures (though very kiddy) and some convincing mosque and souk (Arabian market) replicas to wonder around. We weren’t too impressed by the mock-Indian food there (or any other of the food we tried), but I suppose it wasn’t too bad and it wasn’t as overpriced as we feared. Overall, the sense of being in another country was pretty overpowering, and though for a while you may fell like being in Italy or Arabia, it ultimately is what it is- a journey not to the center of the Earth or even another part of it, but one into your own fantastic imagination.
As for the aforementioned shows, the Little Mermaid one had the scale and production values of a miniature theatrical work, with amazing fish costumes and presence. The same can be said for the evening light show, with a beautiful fire-bird ship being doused by musical fountains in a kind of Disneyesque myth of the victory of good over evil. I’d never seen anything quite like it, feeling in the presence of something very beautiful, an impression helped by the sea-coast setting which gives the whole thing a liberating quality that quite a few adults would appreciate. Overall, a wonderful experience and a thumbs up- but just don’t expect any amazing eats (though our bread breakfast was very nice and there were a couple of semi-expensive restaurants on offer that we didn’t try out, which may be as good as they looked).