Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tokyo Disneyland!

Jim here filling in for Irish.

When we were planning this trip last June we knew that  taking the kids to Disneyland would be a big part of it. There is a proud tradition of people coming from Korea to Japan for just this reason.

Transportation in Tokyo is a little tricky, taxis are far more expensive than in Seoul and the trains have several overlapping companies.  So we planned to take the train up to Shinjuku where I had read that there was a bus straight to the gates of the park. From what I read it seemed like we couldn't miss it, but I was wrong.

Getting on the train at rush hour involved pushers shoving the last people in as the door squeezed shut around us. After a transfer we got to Shinjuku, and then spent a long time walking around, eventually finding the bus terminal, then learned that there are multiple bus terminals. It was incredibly frustrating and while I did not fall to the ground in a tantrum I started feeling like it. Eventually we got a cab to take us to the correct terminal and we were on our way.

Arriving at Disney we saw that Halloween was already being celebrated, which meant grown ups were allowed to dress up as Disney characters and a lot of people took them up on this offer.

The kids were all surprisingly low key at the start of the day. None of the screaming with joy and gratitude that I had expected and kind of looked forward to. They just went in like going to Disneyland was an every day kind of thing.  Fortunately they grew to enjoy it more as the day went on. And now a week later I am still reminding them how lucky they are to have such great parents. 
"Thanks mom and dad you're the greatest!"

We started the day on the Star Wars 3D movie ride. 

From there we figured out how the fast passes worked, got our times for Space Mountain and some of the other big rides. With August's staggering rate of growth he is tall enough to go on all of the rides, including Space Mountain. While we waited for our fast pass time to come up we went on some of the smaller rides. like the teacups
From there to "It's a Small World" where a little girl turned around and stared at me for the entire ride. Something about me seems to be interesting to very little kids, maybe the bald head? For whatever reason it happens pretty often. Then with the song stuck in our heads for the rest of the day we got lunch and watched the first of several parades.  Disneyland loves to put on parades, and my kids loved watching them.

When it got a little hot in the afternoon I pushed for a show in a theater just because the air conditioning sounded nice. It was animatronic bears singing about a road trip across America sung mostly in Japanese with some English mixed in. I remember hearing a strange version of "On the Road Again" right before I fell asleep. Irish said I wasn't the only one napping in the theater. Feeling refreshed we went out, bought some turkey legs to eat and kept on waiting in lines.
Bringing my kindle was a great decision

 August's assessment of Space Mountain "That was not good, I did not like that, it was not good" Later he rode Thunder Mountain and he liked that more. I think it was just the dark that bothered him in Space Mountain, not the roller coaster part. With 5 of us any rides that had two seats meant one of us had to go alone and to her credit Grace kept volunteering, she was incredibly brave.

Late in the day we got dinner, rode on Mark Twain's riverboat and then watched one more parade, This one I was impressed with as well.

August wearing his own Sully horns, watching Sully go by. 

Walking to the gate after the parade we saw Pirates of the Caribbean with no line at all so we jumped on one last ride. It was a lot different from how I remember it, influenced by the movies, but strangely they still have the creepy part where they are picking up and running off with women. 

From there we found our way to the train where everyone started falling asleep after a very long very fun day. 

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