The themeing in this area (actually in the whole park) is truly incredible. There is steam that rises up off of the lava that is "flowing" down into the water. Huge jets of water also shoot up into the air every so often to give the effect of an underwater volcanic vent. And Mt. Prometheus itself, "erupts" with huge blasts of fire coming out of the top of it while a loud rumbling sound reverberates throughout Mysterious Island. The eruption takes place throughout the day and night, but I have never been able to figure out if it is on a timed schedule or if it is just random.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Just take a look at the detail on the exterior. The hotel sign is fiber optic and the part that reads "Tower of Terror" fades in every so often and then fades out. The view below is of the side of the building just after exiting the attraction.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The American Waterfront has it's own steamship, the S.S. Columbia. To me this ship more than just resembles the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. If you recall, in the early nineties, there was talk of Anaheim's "second gate" being built in Long Beach alongside the Queen Mary because at that time, Disney was leasing and operating the ship's hotel and attractions. This second gate was going to be called "Port Disney" and was going to feature different themed sea ports, a volcano, etc. Disney then decided that rather than build that park in Long Beach, they would build "Westcot" in the old Disneyland parking lot, but ultimately those plans were changed and they decided to build "Six Flags Over Anaheim" instead.
I must say that if Port Disney had been built in Long Beach, I have every confidence in Disney that they would have totally botched it up and that it would not have even come close to resembling Tokyo DisneySea. The Japanese spent 4 billion (in U.S. dollars) on Tokyo DisneySea. Disney spent less than 700 million on California Adventure. I think I have mentioned it before, but Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are NOT owned by Disney. They are owned by The Oriental Land Co., and I must say once again, that they have surpassed Disney in the quality, themeing, and maintenance departments, which is very sad.
Ahhh, but again I digress.......anyway, the S.S. Columbia steamship is not a real ship, but an incredible simulation (like Beatlemania). It is actually a "building" with water around it (sorry to destroy the illusion). In the photo below, that thin little horizontal strip of water visible just above the concrete wall on the right side of the ship, is actually Tokyo Bay. The illusion of this being a real ship is incredible. From inside the park, it appears that the ship could just back out into the bay at any moment. The ship has two themed restaurants on board as well as a dock that serves as a stage for a show entitled, "Over The Waves".
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tokyo DisneySea is divided into seven themed "ports" or "lands". The first "port" guests encounter after entering the park is Mediterranean Harbor. In the photo above, the Mira Costa Hotel can be seen in the distance. The archway in the middle of the hotel, is the same archway we saw in yesterday's post. It is the entrance into both the park and Mediterranean Harbor. The Spanish galleon in the foreground is a part of Fortress Explorations and the smaller boat out in the water is one of DisneySea's Transit Steamers. We will be visiting both of these attractions in future posts.
Another attraction in this area is the Venetian Gondolas. They are listed in the DisneySea guidebook along with the following description: "Enjoy a relaxing ride along the waterways of Mediterranean Harbor on an authentic gondola operated by gondoliers." The godolier's spiel is in Japanese, but also includes some basic Italian ("Arrivederci", "Ciao", etc.)
Pictured below, are some "ancient ruins." Hercules and Meg can often be seen posing for photos and signing autographs in this area.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is the entrance to the Tokyo Disney Resort's second theme park, Tokyo DisneySea. The buildings in the background are part of the Mira Costa Hotel which is actually inside the park. Guests walk through an archway below the hotel to enter the main area of the park.
Here is the view as you are walking underneath the hotel.
The park's main icon is Mt. Prometheus. An attraction called "Journey to the Center of the Earth" is located inside the volcano and at it's base is Fortress Explorations. The guide book describes the fortress as, "an interactive play area that includes plenty of wondrous scientific instruments and a recreation of a Spanish galleon. I am sometimes tempted to call it the "Tom Sawyer Island" of this park, but that really would not do it justice.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The photo above shows the Tokyo Disneyland monorail station. This station is located just outside the park entrance, across from the ticket booths. Part of the old parking lot is visible through the archway. This is where the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel now stands....it just opened in July of 2008. The photo below is a more recent shot and was taken from inside the monorail station looking out at the hotel which was still under construction at the time.
From the ground looking up, the monorail's windows look pretty small....almost like portholes, but these monorails are quite large (compare the size of the windows to the doors on the exterior shot above).
Friday, September 19, 2008
YES, in Tokyo, the Haunted Mansion is located in Fantasyland. In Japanese culture, ghost stories are considered to be a part of fables and fairy tales, so it fits in perfectly here. As an interesting side note, each of the four Haunted Mansions around the world are all in a different "land." In Anaheim, the attraction is in New Orleans Square, in Walt Disney World, Liberty Square and at Disneyland Paris, it's in Frontierland. Tokyo's sits more or less where Anaheim's old Fantasyland Skyway station sits today.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The sea serpent topiary above sits to the right of Cinderella's Castle, approximately in the same spot as Anaheim's Snow White Grotto. Tokyo does have a Snow White Grotto, but their's is located to the left of the castle, approximately in the same spot as Anaheim's Plaza Gardens.
It's difficult to tell from just looking at the photo above, but the grotto and wishing well sit between the castle and Westernland (Frontierland). As an interesting side note.....neither Tokyo Disneyland or Disneyland in Anaheim list their Snow White Grotto as attractions. Hong Kong Disneyland however, does list their grotto as an actual attraction. My guess is that they do this because they are SO lacking in real attractions (their only "E" ticket-type attractions are Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise and It's A Small World) that they have to really stretch to come up with some way of making people think there is actually more to do in that park than there really is. After all, Hong Kong Disneyland also lists their "island" attraction and their "rafts to the island" as two separate attractions. To me that just WREAKS of desperation. Poor Hong Kong Disneyland! As an additional side note....neither Disneyland Paris or Walt Disney World have a "Snow White Grotto."
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The courtyard is pretty large. The drinking fountains in the lower right corner of the above photo are located in front of a Cinderella statue/fountain. Similar versions of this fountain can be found in Walt Disney World's and Paris Disneyland's Fantasylands.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The photo below shows the lights in transition.....
And now, all white twinkling lights.....
The parade is sponsored by Unisys and they get their very own float at the end of the parade.
Following the sponsor's float, we have the obligatory rope carriers. In Tokyo however, the rope has been replaced with three separate bars that are carried by performers wearing light-up flower costumes.
Tokyo's new version of the Electrical Parade is a wonderful reworking of a long time beloved Disney classic. As metioned in an earlier post, some floats have already been retired and replaced in the six years since the parade was brought back. The parade runs nightly, year round and there is even a special Christmas version that was introduced two years ago. Perhaps in a future post, we will revisit the parade and take a look back at some of the floats that are no longer around. I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing Tokyo Disneyland's version of the Electrical Parade!
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is the last unit of the parade however, the sponsor of the parade actually gets it's very own float in the Tokyo version of the Electrical Parade and that float follows the Small World unit. Tomorrow, we will look at that float and the illumintated performers that carry the rope at the end of the parade, as well as take a look at a neat little effect that takes place during the parade for one brief "blink and you've missed it" moment. Then we will move on to other subjects and even other parks. We still have a whole second Disney park in Tokyo to look at....."Tokyo DisneySea!"
Friday, September 12, 2008
The "ball" float has some nice fiber optic effects as well. The dancers' dresses change colors at the same time as Cinderella's. The ladies are also on turntables and they rotate continuously. I wonder if they are dizzy by the end of the parade route?