Thursday, April 23, 2009

Roller Coaster!


Today, we will continue with this month's theme of non-Disney parks. This is also a follow-up to my April Fool's Day/Disneyland Trip Report post. I had a record number of hits with that post, but surprisingly, nobody asked me where those photos were taken, and at least one reader believed they were actually taken at Disneyland...and I apologize for that! I did go back and add "Happy April Fool's Day" at the end of the post to hopefully clear things up. Well, just in case anyone out there was wondering, the photos in that post were all taken at Hanayashiki Park in Tokyo Japan, with the exception of the Sleeping Beauty Castle construction photo.

Hanayashiki Park opened in 1853 as a flower park and in 1872, the first rides were installed. The oldest roller coaster in Japan can be found at Hanayashiki (seen below.) It was built in 1953 and was considered to be the most "modern" roller coaster at that time. What is the name of this historic attraction, did you ask? It's simply named, "Roller Coaster." I think I would have at least put an exclamation point after the name, but that's just me.

The oldest existing attraction in Hanayashiki is the "Surprising House," which was built in 1949. It was the Three Little Pigs themed structure seen in that April 1st post. The guide describes this attraction as "A mysterious house that spins around." I did not go inside at the time that photo was taken, but on a recent trip back to Tokyo and Hanayashiki Park, I did venture inside. Basically, you sit on a long suspended bench seat, which then begins to rock forward and back while the room you are sitting in does 360 degree flip flops around you. The room is "finished" with painted windows, hanging pictures, light fixtures and the real door that you entered through, so it really does a number on your head. It made me think of the 1951 Fred Astaire movie, "Royal Wedding," where he dances up the wall and onto the ceiling. (As a side note, that movie set was supposedly a real room that rotated along with the camera, as Mr. Astaire literally danced "around" the room.) This attraction was definitely not for people prone to motion sickness. I think it's kind of neat that the attraction still exists and continues to entertain people 60 years after it's debut at the park.

Below, is a view of the Sky Ships attraction boarding area. Gee, I wonder where they got the idea for flying pirate ships? If you look off in the distance and to the right, you will see a hellicopter on a track below the blue Sky Ships rail. That attraction follows the same route as the Sky Ships, but the helicopter vehicles ride on top of their track. The attraction is similar to the Sky Trip ride at Tokyo Dome City, but you don't have to pedal these vehicles yourself!

Here is a photo showing both a Sky Ship and a Hellicopter vehicle passing each other. In the background is the "Kiddy Ferris Wheel" and in the foreground is the park's Merry-go-round.

Last up for today is a full view of Hanayashiki's Merry-go-round.

I may do one more non-Disney park post just to finish out the month (perhaps another Knott's post) and then we will get back to Disney stuff. I did visit Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea during my recent Tokyo trip, so I will definitely be posting some current photos and items from those two parks!


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I want to go in the "Surprising House" besides the fact its a functioning antique, it just sounds fun!

How was Tokyo????? I saw a few photos of the Anniversary, its looks like it went great. Can't wait to hear all your details. How was MMR? Did you say goodbye for me.... Who do we have to convince at DCA to buy MMR????

TokyoMagic! said...

Hi VDT! The Surprising House was a hoot! Tokyo was great. They celebrated TDL's 26th Anniversary with the opening of their Monsters Inc. attraction, which I really liked.

I did say my goodbyes to the MM Revue. It was sad, but I'm glad that I got to see it one last time knowing that it was going to be taken out, rather than just going there one day and seeing it closed up. I hate admitting it, but I just don't think Disney is interested in bringing this show back to the U.S., otherwise I think we would have heard something about it. I have all sorts of ideas for updating it. They could keep Mickey and the orchestra and get rid of Alice, but put her and the Audio-animatronic flowers into our Alice ride. They could get rid of the Song of the South characters because we have Splash Mt. They could even take out the Snow White characters and maybe put her into our Snow White ride since our S.W. figure is motionless. Then they could replace these scenes with characters and songs from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and maybe even some Pixar films to make it more current. I would be okay with that as long as it still existed in some form and as long as it was still a QUALITY production. But I'm not delusional....I know it just isn't going to happen. :-(

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Brilliant ideas, YOU should be running the show! Talk about recycling, what a perfect plan. It makes way too much sense for Disney to actually do it. The question of what happens to this attraction is going to haunt me. There's a LOT of A.A.'s and computers and support infrastructure, where's it all gonna go? Bigger question, how do we find out?!?!?!?