Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
The Tiki Room.
Hey, it's not what you think. Tokyo Disneyland doesn't have the same old Tiki Room show we know from Disneyland, and now, Walt Disney World. It's a new show, which stars a popular Disney animated movie character who takes over the classic Tiki show.
Uh, I'm not making things any better, am I?
My big goal for the day while visiting Tokyo Disneyland was to see the unique attractions in the park - the ones that either didn't exist in the United States or that were enough unlike their stateside counterparts to be interesting to a Disney veteran (like me, and, I suspect, many of you). So my to-do list included The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents 'Aloha E Komo Mai!'.
That's right. This version of the Tiki Room isn't the dreadful "Under New Management" version with Iago and crew. While I continue to prefer Disneyland's original version of the Tiki Room, if Disney's going to add a cartoon character to the mix, let it be Stitch, whose Hawaiian backstory actually fits the Tiki Room theme.
In this version, Stitch is trying to force his way into the Tiki Room show, like Lucy trying to weasel her way into one of Ricky's Tropicana Club shows. But the birds think it's the Big Kahuna that's interrupting their show. They ultimately discover that it's Stitch, whom they let in the show if he agrees to behave. Which he does... just before he spits on the audience. Here's a sample - though, as with all Tokyo Disneyland shows, the narration is in Japanese:
Tokyo Disneyland's Adventureland feels two me like two lands mashed together. On the upper (south) side of the land stands the Tiki Room, with the Swiss Family Treehouse to the right and the Western River Railroad and Jungle Cruise to the left.
Walk back toward the park's entrance (to the north) and you enter what will look to any Southern Californian like New Orleans Square, though Tokyo Disneyland doesn't call it that.
Here's where you will find Pirates of the Caribbean, the Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans. Pirates here is much the same ride as you'd find back in Anaheim, with a few tweaks. First, the ride's queue is almost entirely inside Laffite's Manor. And there's only one drop into the grotto after you leave the Blue Bayou. But the biggest difference is at the end. Instead of riding the lift back up to the loading area, as you do in Anaheim, you disembark immediately after the final treasure scene, as in Anaheim, and ride a speedramp back up to the street level.
That allows Pirates to end with a bang, rather than the slow return of the original version. My only quibble with this version of the ride was the sound mix. I started hearing X Atencio's "Yo Ho" theme from the Burning City as early as the dunk scene, muddling the audio for the middle scenes of the ride. Still, Pirates is Pirates, and I'm happy to check off one more version of this classic that I've had the good fortune to enjoy.
Since my knowledge of Japanese is limited to overhearing my wife teaching Suzuki violin lessons ("Konnichiwa," "Sayonara," "Arigato"), I decided to skip the Jungle Cruise, figuring the jokes would be lost on me. (Sorry, TH.) But I chose to hop aboard the Western River Railroad instead. And I'm glad I did.
As I mentioned yesterday, Tokyo Disneyland doesn't have a railroad chugging around the park, as the other Magic Kingdoms do. Its railroad travels only around the Adventureland and Westernland sections of the park. But the Western River Railroad offers some wonderful views of Tokyo's Rivers of America and Big Thunder Mountain, and includes the Primeval World dinosaur scenes so popular at Disneyland. Here's a video tour of the train ride:
(Keep your eyes open for the burning settler's cabin that's actually burning! I'll write more tomorrow about Tokyo Disneyland's superior maintenance and service, compared with Disney's US theme parks.)
Tokyo Disneyland's Adventureland offers more food options than any other land in the park. While I chose to have lunch at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall in Fantasyland (coming Thursday!), I did have a light dinner at The Gazebo in the "New Orleans Square" half of Adventureland.
The Scallop Chowder was excellent - creamy, with moist bits of scallop and a salty sea flavor, accompanied by what might have been the best piece of bread I've ever eaten. I'd never imagine Japan would have outstanding bread, but this qualified - a warm, airy, yeasty interior with a rich crust so crisp it crackled when I bit into it. But if bread and soup aren't what you're craving, Adventureland offers other options:
Tomorrow, we visit Critter Country and Westernland (aka Frontierland).Tweet
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