Tokyo

Do You Believe in Magic?: Tokyo Disneyland

As a kid, I was pretty much raised on Disney. I loved all the movies, could sing all the songs and had all the merchandise. When I moved to California, it was practically a dream come true to live so close to the infamous Disneyland. Of course I was not alone in this. While my dad was never really drawn into the magical allure, my mom and two younger sisters all joined me on the Disney bandwagon.Tokyo DisneylandWalt & MinnieCastle & Carousel A few years ago I ventured to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea with the boyfriend. Although we had been to Disneyland in Anaheim a million times before, nothing had quite prepared us for the shock and awe we would experience in Tokyo. It was kind of like Déjà vu; there were so many things that seemed familiar, yet were completely different. So when my mom and youngest sister (who is the biggest Disney fangirl of all time) decided to visit me in Korea, I knew the trip wouldn’t be complete without a pitstop in Japan so they could experience the magic firsthand.1st TimeBlue FairySleeping Beauty If you’ve been to Disneyland in California, then the one in Tokyo will have a very familiar feel. From the moment you enter there is no doubt that you have entered the Magical Kingdom. However, if you take a moment to take in what seems like Main Street USA, you will find the World Bazaar. Still very much constructed in a turn-of-the-century America style, the World Bazaar did away with street curbs and built a glass and metal canopy that engulfs the entire area. Not only does the impressive roof create a shelter from the elements, but also acts as a frame for the iconic Cinderella castle which lies in the not too far off distance. World Bazaar Cinderella's Castle I would have to say that Cinderella’s castle was by far my favorite attraction. It’s combination of gothic and french architecture is absolutely breathtaking.  Inside the castle’s archway, there are a series of five glittering mosaic murals that tell the story of Cinderella. The columns that are in the walkway of the castle are decorated with the familiar mice and birds from the animated film. Inside you can see grand paintings, sculptures and colorful stained-glass windows. You can even enter the throne room and take a picture seated on the enchanted throne. The castle is so incredibly life-like and immersive that for a second you forget that Cinderella is only a fairy-tale character.Cinderella Mural Cinderella's FountainFairy Tale HallStained GlassGus & JackCinderella Statue Some other noticeable differences are the layout and cleanliness. Although the park is quite large, at about 114 acres, it is very easy to navigate through all the different “lands,” starting from the World Bazaar which leads to Tomorrowland to the right, Adventureland to the left and Fantasyland straight ahead. It has a very nice flow to it, as it is practically circular and there plenty of restrooms strategically placed throughout the park. I rarely had to ever wait in a line to use the restroom.Tom Sawyer IslandMary Poppins Tokyo Disneyland opened its gates on April 15, 1983. So it by no means is the newest of the Disney theme parks, but it is definitely one of the most impressively maintained. Although disney parks are generally very well taken care of, I feel like Tokyo’s takes it to a higher level. Not only was the park free from garbage, but incredibly well maintained. Most rides and places seemed practically brand new with little to no fading, chipping or scratches. I think this a result of not only the cast members efforts, but also the respect that the visitors have for the park. Enchanted Tiki Room StitchQueen of Hearts Banquet Hall As for the shows, unfortunately everything is in Japanese. They are still fun to watch, but not being able to understand the dialog did take away from the experience a bit. Luckily their parades make up for it. They feature a lot of characters that you don’t usually see at Disneyland like Mowgli, The Incredibles and Elliott the Dragon. They costumes of the dancers are elaborate and vibrant. Plus participation and interaction with the guests is highly encouraged, which I found to be incredibly cool. If you could only see one parade, then I recommend the “Electrical Parade.” They used to have this at Disneyland when I was a little kid, and it’s just as beautiful as I remember. It’s a definite must see!GenieBlue FairySnow WhiteAlice Overall, I have to admit my favorite thing about Tokyo Disneyland was the food. Food and snacks in the park are cute, delicious and incredibly reasonably priced! The various flavors of popcorn will blow your mind. So, purchasing a souvenir bucket and paying for the refills it totally worth it. Some restaurants like the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall give you souvenir s with certain dishes, like desserts. I could go on and on about the food, so I’ll save that for a later post.PopcornMochi There’s so much to do and see, one day is hardly enough. Taking photos, trying as many snacks as possible while attempting to ride everything is a tough challenge to take on. My only advice would be to make sure you don’t  forget to indulge in the moment. Put your camera down and take a moment in-between snacks to really take in the beauty and magic of where you are and make lots of memories.Midnight

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