Welcome back to Tokyo Disneyland! My first Disney visits of the year were at my favourite park: Tokyo Disney Resort! This is the second time I’ve been and I just fall in love with TDR a little more each time I go. I’ve blogged before about the park and I thought today I’d focus on some of the unique aspects as I know most of you reading are either UK or US based and likely to be more familiar with Paris/the American parks!
After visiting the Disney parks in Florida and Paris, I’m certain that Tokyo Disney Resort is my favourite of the Disney parks so far. I’ve got a soft spot for Japan anyway and I feel like as a location it’s uniquely well placed for a Disney park! I’ll be talking more about both parks next week but today, let’s focus on Tokyo Disneyland unique rides and attractions! I went to Tokyo Disneyland back in February and made a little vlog of the day over on IG! You can watch this (it’s about two minutes) for a bit more flavour here.
Firstly: the magical land that is TOONTOWN! One of two areas that are unique to TDR, Toontown is a bit like walking into a Disney cartoon from the early 90s. Which, obviously, I AM HERE FOR! This area features Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin as it’s most prominent ride, and there are also some walkthrough houses (including Mickey’s house, Donald’s Boat and Chip ‘n’ Dale’s treehouse!). The theming here is really incredible and I can’t think of anywhere that feels more like walking through a cartoon. I mean, check out the moving inventory line in the shop?! Outstanding.
This is the second unique land to Tokyo Disneyland. As land’s go: it’s very small! Essentially just Splash Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree and Hungry Bear Restaurant (which, by the way, is like an underground rabbit warren and well worth your time!). It’s so interesting that they decided to make a land based around Splash Mountain – Brer Rabbit and co aren’t exactly the most well-known of the Disney characters! One of the things I love about TDR is that there is such a strong focus on unique characters.
This isn’t unique to TDR but I definitely notice it more! You might find people Disneybounding in every park, but at Tokyo Disney there are groups of teenagers and young adults everywhere in matching costumes. I don’t just mean a pair of Minnie ears and a graphic print tee. The Japanese really take it to 11! We’re talking every other group in matching costumes and full-on co-ordinated outfits. It’s so fun and I can’t wait to move to Japan and find my own girl gang to do this with!
Tragically I couldn’t get any good photos of this ride as it was dark :(. This ride is another unique attraction to TDR. Located in Fantasyland, it is similar to the other dark rides in the area (Peter Pan, Snow White and Pinnochio), essentially telling the story of the featured character. What is unique is the ride system! You are in a trackless cart (a bit like the Ratatouille ride in Paris), and the carts move independently, in groups of 3, and in one major event near the end, co-ordinate with 15 other carts! The carts are also a little more… interactive. I don’t want to say much more in case any of you are planning a visit, but it’s definitely a must-do. There were quite a few unexpected moments on the ride that felt like real magic. (I’d advise NOT watching ride footage for the same reason!). The theming is also magical – you queue up in the pages of a book.
Tomorrowland in TDR is really funny to me. Japan is kind of the home of futuristic tech and robots, so even though most of the Tomorrowland’s/Discoveryland’s feel a little bit antiquated, the Japanese one feels really bizarre considering you’re just a stone’s throw away from the Miraikin (aka, Museum of Emerging Technologies). As in it’s other park counterparts, this area is home to the Star Wars, Space Mountains and Buzz Lightyear attractions. There’s also a Monsters Inc attraction!
Hide and Go Seek is one of the most popular rides in the park (alongside Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) and I’d recommend getting a fast pass. The ride is similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blast; you use a laser gun to hit targets and gain points. What makes this area outstanding in my opinion is the theming. The building looks EXACTLY like the Monsters Inc building in the film. I struggled to capture this on camera due to the trees/layout but it’s really incredible. Inside is also identical to the entrance hall in the film! The Japanese parks really do excel at this immersive kind of recreation of film sets. I shared a video of this in the vlog!
One of the absolute highlights for me was the Electrical Parade! A version of ICONIC Disney attraction, the Main Street Electrical Parade, the Tokyo version has been running since 1985. I tend to prefer shows to parades but the Electrical one is just completely magical! I’m not entirely sure how they sync the floats so that you can’t really see them approaching, but they have. Obviously! To just see a huge glittering pirate ship appear out of complete darkness is amazing. I think my favourite is the Peter Pan float, but I’ve got a lot of time for the Pete’s Dragon float as well (shout out to some serious Elliot representation there).
Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland, or would you like to go? I’d love to hear your thoughts!