Well, this isn't how I expected to be at Tokyo Disney today. But it is what it is, so here we go.
Today is the anniversary of the Tokyo Disney Resort, which opened with Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1983. The park was to celebrate its birthday by opening its largest expansion, including a new Beauty and the Beast-themed trackless dark ride and Broadway-style theater. I was making plans to be in Tokyo for the opening, but a microscopic piece of RNA changed the world, so our visit to Tokyo Disney now must be virtual.
Tokyo Disneyland was Disney's first theme park outside the United States and feels like a "best of" mash-up of the original Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Want to ride Disneyland's Pirates and Disney World's Haunted Mansion in the same day? Wonder what Disneyland's "Nightmare Before Christmas" overlay would be like on Disney World's Mansion? That's all here, in Tokyo.
But the top-rated ride in the park is Disney's first big "trackless" dark ride, Pooh's Hunny Hunt.
Another Tokyo original is the delightful interactive ride in Tomorrowland, Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek.
Tokyo Disneyland's railroad does not circle the park, just the Jungle Cruise and Rivers of America on the western side of the park. Let's ride on the Western River Railroad.
Disney World's attempt to put Iago and Zazu in charge of The Enchanted Tiki Room was a disaster, so in Tokyo, the job falls to Stitch to bring some Disney IP to the show with Enchanted Tiki Room: 'Aloha E Komo Mai'.
Tokyo Disneyland's Country Bear Theatre also plays the Country Bear Christmas Special that's long gone from the Magic Kingdom.
Tokyo Disney's second gate is a multi-time winner of our Theme Park Insider Award for world's best theme park, Tokyo DisneySea.
For this park, Disney's Imagineers created one of their great original IPs, the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (SEA). Learn more about this "secret society" in our video, Secrets of SEA.
Frankly, DisneySea is a park that video simply does not do justice. Some of its best attractions — Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tower of Terror, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (neither of which are like the US installations with the same name) — just don't translate at all in an on-ride video. So I'll stick with some of the unique attractions where you can enjoy a virtual visit, starting with one of Disney's great family boat rides, Sindbad's Storybook Voyage.
Here's Nemo and Friends SeaRider.
From there, get a bird's-eye view of three lands on the DisneySea Electric Railway.
And we will complete our virtual visit with a performance of Fantasmic!, which will not be reopening with the parks, as it was scheduled to close last month.
Thank you for joining me for this online trip around the world. I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing about some of your favorite theme parks and attractions and have enjoyed discovering some new destinations that you might get to visit one day. Please visit our global theme park rankings page to rate and review the parks you've visited, as well as to buy discounted tickets to those you're planning to visit once the parks reopen.
Theme Park Insider's Virtual Roadtrip:
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