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Posts Tagged ‘disneyland’

its a small world: tokyo disneyland
in amongst all the shopping and eating we found ourselves with a ‘spare’ day towards the end of our trip – and disneyland just a short train ride away. what to do? we went to disneyland of course!! we got rained on, we queued for ages, we walked our feet to the bone (no seriously, i got the worst mega-blister ever – i think i could see bone).

i was interested to compare tokyo disneyland to the original disneyland in california, and it was largely the same – but different. it was bizarro world disneyland, where just about everything has a slight twist (the haunted mansion takes on a whole new threatening tone when the voice over is in intelligible japanese)! one of the best ‘twists’ though was the ‘small world’ ride. the ride itself was the same, but the exterior and the ‘load in’ were different – might i go so far as to say… better? take a virtual tour through the queuing area and admire the mary blair-inspired murals that set the tone for ‘the happiest cruise’ that ever sailed…

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

i did it! i survived disneyland, just me and the three year old son: mano-a-mano, us vs. the mouse. and you know what? it was a blast!

before leaving for the USA i read up on disneyland. i couldn’t get my head around it. i knew it was big. people were telling me to spend multiple days there. i read a guide book that suggested dressing your family in a uniform, preparing trail mix and water flasks, building up foot callouses over a 6 week walking regiment. what?! this is meant to be “the happiest place on earth” and they were making it sound like a nightmare vacation even for the grizwalds. so i did what i do anytime i get overwhelmed, i threw caution to the wind and just showed up.

main street square

i’ve never been into the disney thing, i’m not against any of it, but i got spoiled early on, being taken to animation festivals with the kind of quirky stuff that fired my imagination. the little mermaid left me unsatisfied when she didn’t end up in some fritz the cat-like escapades. however, something happened when i walked through the disneyland gates. firstly i welled up a bit and got kinda teary at how incredible it was that i was at disneyland. i thought of little cynical child pilgrim, repeatedly renting a VHS tape about disneyland just to see the bit about the haunted mansion but just assuming i’d never get to go anywhere like that. its overwhelming, and i think it would be hard not to get into the spirit of the place.

pretty pretzels in fantasyland

what i loved was the absolute commitment to everything. each ‘land’ is entirely unto itself and its hard to believe that the fun and cheesy ‘futurism’ of tomorrowland is just a short walk from the fairytale prettiness of fantasyland. i love that everything down to the rubbish bins and food carts are in theme with land they’re in. everything was so clean and well maintained, i even felt like pristine condition extended to visitors’ manners!

fab red vinyl wall in one of the refreshment shops

one of many vintage attraction posters, underneath main street station

we had loads of fun and spent two full days there, and i got to go back for one evening on my own. what did we do? well, given i was with a three year old, it was mostly very tame rides:

scene from the jungle cruise

mad tea party (the tea cups)

lanterns and leaves around the mad hatter’s tea party

in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room!

and our joint favorites, its a small world and the enchanted tiki room

it’s a small world, exterior

its a small world was amazing. the first impression is breathtaking: when you ’round the corner to be met with the great white and gold facade, with spires and minarettes, and the ticking clock tower, its a bit like wandering into a full sized toy town.

it’s a small world, by night

…and at night, its even more spectacular! you can see in the pictures that there are christmas wreaths and swags of baubles up. the ride was a christmas version, with the standard ‘its a small world song’ mixed with jingle bells and deck the halls.

inside it’s a small world

when i returned on my own for the evening i rode on:

the fireworks display was really charming, and was a tribute to disneyland’s iconic rides and characters. i was so glad i could go back to see it, and really pleased i didn’t have to miss out on the ‘scarier’ rides i couldn’t take the kid on. and just in case you were wondering if all species enjoy disneyland…

… some turkeys are big fans of disneyland too!

ps: 100th post! thanks to everyone for all your comments and patronage. here’s to 100×100 more!