On Friday night, I climbed aboard the night bus for another adventure in Tokyo - but this time, a magic one - a trip to the wonderful world of Disney Sea!
The park opened at 9am, and you can probably guess that I was planning on being in line before 9. I met up with Matt and we took the Disney train to meet Alex and Robert just outside the gate; we got our tickets, and stood in line waiting. Matt is a coop student who has been working in Kyoto for 9 or 10 months. Alex and Robert just got to Japan a couple weeks ago - Alex was in my second year class. We hung out and chatted about Japan while we waited - and I made a plan, so we would be ready to take DisneySea by storm. There were few opinions as to what to do first, but Alex suggested we head to Mystery Island - so I picked our route.
When they finally opened the gates, we shuffled our way with the crowd into the big open courtyard. At the center of the courtyard was a huge spinning globe, surrounded by statues of Disney characters. I was so excited, even just in the courtyard! (I'm sure you were, too, after the sneak peak at the courtyard in the last post!) The street and the buildings already gave the day a magical feel. The sky was threatening to rain, but it was still quite warm out. There were lots of people, but it wasn't overly crowded.
Me, excited to be there?! Naw...
As I tend to do when excited, I was off and running - map in hand, chattering non-stop. I dragged the guys to a ride, which we discovered was closed. Matt had mentioned he might want some breakfast, so I verbally bounced back and forth between rides and food possibilities - all the while speed walking around. If you know me at all, you can probably picture it ... me, in my super excited state, dragging my guy friends back and forth and around in circles. But, I was having tons of fun already, and they didn't seem too tortured by my insanity.
The first magical experience of the day was meeting the characters of Pinocchio! Jimmny Cricket and Geppetto were, of course very popular. So I went for a picture with the Cat. Which turned out to be a good choice! He was a very gentlemanly cat; took my arm in his, and posed for a picture before kissing my hand and giving me a little bow. I like the Cat.
The first ride we did was 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Then we visited the Port of Discovery to get a FastPass for the Storm ride. We stopped by the Mermaid Lagoon and visited King Triton's Palace for some lunch. Lunch was very successful. My Sea-themed sandwich was soo delicious! And - I got a birthday present! Hehe...well, sort of. Alex's lunch came with a bright yellow soft Disney lunchbag - which he gave to me! (Again - if you know me, you'll know how thrilled I was about this.) While we waited for Keith, I led the guys into line. They were mostly talking and just following me... I'm not sure how excited they were when they saw we were in line for the Blowfish Balloon Race! But I was. :) Actually, the ride was surprisingly fun.
We also went to a short production by Ariel and her friends. It was very well done! Ariel floated up out of an old treasure chest on the sea, and swam around the auditorium, singing. She was attached at the waist by cables, but they were attached in such a way that she could spin and dip and dive and do circles as she 'swam'. All kinds and sorts of other sea creatures came to dance with her - starfish, jellyfish...all people in beautiful costumes, dancing in the air and around the stage. After some joyful singing, Ariel had an encounter with Ursula - also incredibly displayed! A huge mask of Ursula's face appeared in the air, and the auditorium was surrounded by long waving tentacles. It's impossible to describe! I tried to take pictures...but I got the 'X'.* At first I thought it was because my flash was on...but, alas, I just wasn't supposed to take pictures. So I got the X a second time.
*When Japanese people don't want you to do something, or are cancelling something, or deleting something, saying no, or...anything negative - they'll put their arms up in front of them in a big X. I got the 'X' several times throughout the day, for taking pictures when I wasn't supposed to. At least 6 times. Oops. :)
We wandered around the park, and did several rides including: StormRider, Raging Spirits, Tower of Terror, Sinbad's Adventure, Caravan Carousel.
After Sinbad's Adventure, we also saw some Aladdin characters! The monkey, Aladdin, and Jasmine were surrounded by people, but Jafar had a bit lesser a crowd, so me and Keith attempted a picture with him. Well, I have to say - Jafar moved way up on my list of favorite Disney characters. Not only did he kiss my hand as well, with a little bow, but - he did it again for a picture, and he actually gently pushed Keith to the side and stood in front of him to get a picture with just me! Hehe. He was quite charming (although he was rude to Keith). But charming to me!
We also got to meet Indiana Jones. I love the Indiana Jones movies. I love Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones movies. I did not love the Indiana Jones character. I'll admit I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw him - good looking? That's the understatement of the year. So I was excited to get a picture with him. He was running around the bridge, posing with children and shouting in a big, deep, fake voice, "HI! I'M INDIANA JONES!" When I finally got to him for a picture, I said, "Hi, Indiana Jones!" And he said, "HI! I'M INDIANA JONES!". So I said, "Do you speak Japanese, Indy?" (Thinking...you should really speak Japanese. We are in Japan.) He replied, "WELL, YES, ACTUALLY, I SPEAK 25 LANGUAGES!" Me - "Well could I get a picture with your multilingual self?" Between yelling that he was "INDIANA JONES!", the fact that he was too self absorbed to actually notice me, and the super dark fake-looking tan... his 'kekko ii' (hot) status was quickly crushed by other factors. Disappointing, to say the least. Especially since he was so darn good looking!
We got a FastPass for Indiana Jones, but it wasn't valid until later in the evening. So we spent a while waiting in line for other big rides... we waited for just over an hour and a half for the Tower of Terror. Time passed quickly, though. With 6 people, conversation was constant. Alex updated me as to the status of our classmates, and we reminisced about Mech2 and I got some useful info about my third year. We talked about profs, elective courses, and speculated how many people in our class would be married by the end of our degree.
(As a side note, I cannot believe how many people I know are getting married and having babies! Apparently I've hit that magic age where everyone starts getting married. If life had gone as it was planned (planned at the time, that is), I would be engaged now, and probably married within a year and a half. As it stands...I'm perfectly happy (well, most of the time at least) living the single life, and right now have no desire to be in a serious relationship, let alone getting married and having kids! Wow - how times, thoughts, and desires change. Hehe - I'm a 21 year old single woman living and working halfway across the world, learning, growing, meeting new people, and having tons of adventures! Love it.)
The Tower of Terror was fun - I love the adrenaline and the way my stomach crunches up when we dropped from the top of the tower. I love heights for those reasons - the adrenaline and the twisting stomach. Awesome feeling. We stopped for periodic snacks - I had some yummy Sea Salt ice cream, and a greasy, oily chicken leg. Mmm but it was so good! I dripped grease on my shirt which will probably never come out, but it was so worth it.
We also had to wait in line for the Journey To The Center of the Earth...it was near the end of the day, and we were all getting tired, I think. I was. I was still super excited to be in DisneySea, but my feet were telling me that they had had enough walking for a while. We were probably in line for an hour and a half, but it seemed longer. Although - the second half flew by once the conversation picked up. Come to think of it, my energy did too. I'm always amazed at how a good conversation makes the time fly by. The Journey To the Center of the Earth was a fun ride - very well done, but too short as always.
As the day wrapped up, we went to the BraviSEAmo show.It was lightly raining, we picked up some Strawberry Popcorn (yum), and watched the show. Aside from Mickey coming out with Japanese excitement and greetings at the beginning, there were no words; it was just set to music. It was mesmerizing and I found myself completely absorbed by the lights and the sparking water. The show was a depiction of the love story between the "Spirit of Water" and the "Spirit of Fire". The fireworks after the show were cancelled due to the wind, which was disappointing...but I was still too enthralled with BraviSEAmo to mind too much. After hitting up the Indiana Jones ride (which fortunately was much better than it's character), we headed out of the park.
We sat for a bit in the big entrance courtyard while Matt got his stuff from a locker...I didn't want to leave. The air was filled with magic as only Disney air could be...the night was cool and fresh, and as the lit-up globe spun in front of me, I enjoyed the peaceful and magical moment - noting to myself that I was in Japan. Which still amazes me, sometimes.
We took the 45 minute train ride back to Tokyo, and went to Izikaya for some long-awaited dinner and drinks. It was the perfect ending to the day! I may have been a little bit grumpy by that point (okay, I was grumpy), but once we got some food and some kiwi sours, I was good to go! Alex and I led the drinking train, quickly leaving everyone else behind. The food was good, the drinks were good. It was good.
The next morning, we did a little bit of shopping around Shibuya. We had some lunch at an Italian place, and then some delicious gelato! Individual gelatos were ridiculously expensive, so 4 or 5 of us bought a half a liter of it. The packed it all up for us, sealed, dry ice, and all. We promptly walked to the table, undid it all, and ate it. I caught them watching us a bit - I'm sure we provided a source of amusement or at least --. It wasn't really a Japanese thing to do. The Japanese would never A) open a half a liter of gelato in the shop, B) sit down and finish off a whole half a liter in one sitting, from the container, with spoons. But, we're not Japanese. And it was sooo delicious. Due to the downpour of rain, we called it a day after lunch, and went our seperate ways home.
I couldn't have asked for a better weekend... good conversation and friends, delicious food and yummy treats, fast falls and quick drops, and a little bit of Magic.