All I want for Christmas is... Pooh! This acclaimed wonder of the theme park world is solely located in Tokyo Disneyland, so how could I reject riding it?
I impatiently reload the unofficial wait time app as the hour reaches its end, and my Tokyo Disney Resort experience reaches its beginning! As I look at the locals in various matching cosplay outfits crowded around me, I realize that I wasn’t the only one attempting to visit Tokyo Disneyland on Christmas Eve.
6:00! The line moves quite quickly as our bags are checked. Oddly enough, there is no security at Tokyo Disneyland beyond a small bag check. A little bit different than the United States!
As we walked through World Bazaar, a Christmas projection show occurred. Gems like this make the experience Disney-fied! We took pictures at the Christmas decorations in the central hub, and they were quite fun.
We then hopped on Haunted Mansion: Holiday Nightmare. I was surprised by how remarkably enjoyable this overlay was! It was very different from the original story while borrowing some of the effects, making this a top notch standard dark ride that I enjoyed more than my rides on the original*.
We then took a cruise on Small World - I’m a sucker for Small World, and this was a very well done update. It contained detailed upgrades while maintaining the eternal adorableness and classic childhood charm of old Fantasyland.
This was followed by a spin on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, the expected highlight of the evening. As much as I wanted to treat Pooh like the fantastic feat of Imagineering it is claimed to be, it wasn’t as impressive as I wanted. It was wild and joyfully weird, which I knew from the on-ride POV (this was at a time I wasn’t expecting to have the opportunity to visit Tokyo so soon). Nonetheless, It was still fun, just not on the level of excellent theme park storytelling that is achieved in Radiator Springs Racers, the Harry Potter attractions, and even Haunted Mansion: Holiday Nightmare.
Then, we ventured onto Pinocchio’s Daring Journey for nostalgia’s sake. It wasn’t noticeably different from the California version, and while not spectacular, it was a nice walk-on dark ride.
Then, we scurried over to Tomorrowland in order to see Monsters Inc: Ride and Go Seek. It was a cute interactive Pixar overload, but it is, like Hunny Hunt, just a level up (and possibly left) on the standard Fantasyland dark ride, but adding a more experiential storyline that isn’t as unique as it looks on paper.
Then, we went on the most hilarious, obscure ride I’ve ever been on: Tokyo Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise. Although we couldn’t understand our skipper’s words (they were in Japanese), she was insanely animated and more entertaining than any skipper I’ve seen before - I think what she did might qualify for a cardio workout.
Afterwards, I single rode Splash Mountain, which was charming with a hint of family-friendly thrill, as it always is. I didn’t notice as much of a difference as I did with small world other than an extra drop, but the drops were less thrilling and the show scenes seemed less large scale and more “cute”.
Finally, I took a second whirl on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt to see what I was missing. Again, it was exhilarating and stylish, but not the marvel it is claimed to be.
In conclusion, Tokyo Disneyland is a fun way to spend an evening, but isn’t as overwhelmingly detailed or different from the US parks as it is claimed to be. A report on a full day at Tokyo DisneySea will be coming soon!
*Limit your harsh disagreeing comments please :)Tweet
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