Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tokyo Disneyland Part II: Disney Sea (Where Adventure and Imagination Set Sail)

Despite the name, there isn't much sea in Disney Sea. It's more of a controlled maze of waterways that is right next to the sea. In fact, there's a wall so high that you can only see the Pacific Ocean if you ride the fake 1920s-style Electric Railway from the American Waterfront (1920s NY) to Port Discovery. Besides being a little disappointed by the name, Disney Sea was a lot of fun. My host mom, my host sister and I woke up leisurely in our hot and rather small yukatas, brushed our teeth and hair with hotel materials, and had a nice breakfast in the hotel before boarding a bus for Disney Sea.

My mom, my host sister and me in front of Disney Sea. And don't you dare laugh at me for my peace sign, it's what the Japanese do.

Again, the first thing that happened when we got there was a show, since Disney Sea doesn't have parades. We got some gelato, and then went to sit in the sea of umbrellas (because it was sunny, not rainy) on Disney Sea maps so that we didn't get dirty. That's also what the Japanese do.
This show was Fairies Primavera, a special Spring Carnival show (even though it is summer) in the Mediterranean Harbor. It featured Tinkerbell, her fairy friends, and Terence, her man-fairy friend. Disney prefers the term 'sparrow-man' though, so as not to call him a fairy. To give you an idea of what Terence is like, Jesse McCartney was the voice actor for Terence in the films.

The fairies came out in their boat first waving handkerchiefs, and since the Japanese always carry handkerchiefs to elegantly dab their sweat, everyone waved back.

A really cute cat and a slightly creepier cat, both dancing.

And then this boat came up and let out the women in the petal dresses

and Mickey and Minnie!

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This show actually reminded me of Grease. It was fun.

And there were also these crazy tall green things.
As all of the boats left everyone waved their handkerchiefs again in the routine that we were taught before the show. I wish I had gotten a video.

After that we got our fast passes for the Indiana "Indy" Jones ride and the Tower of Terror and took a little Sinbad adventure (a really cute ride), it was lunch time. My host mom and sister were determined to let me eat Mexican food, so we went to Miguel's El Dorado Cantina in the Lost River Delta. As cynical as I am concerning Disney's adherence to reality, they did a pretty good job with the Mexican restaurant. If everything weren't made of plaster or whatever it is they use to make theme park scenery, I might have actually believed I was somewhere near Mexico. The atmosphere was ruined by all of the Japanese I heard. It was also ruined it when there was an 'l' sound in their pronunciation of 'paella.'
After our 'Mexican' meal, we went off in the Lost River Delta where I think the humidity was pretty accurate to reality in search of the Indy (as the Japanese say) Jones ride.
It was a fun ride. I wouldn't call it a roller coaster, but the effects and the ride were entertaining. At one point you think you're about to get run over by a huge stone, but suddenly the floor falls away in front of you and the tracks go beneath the Temple of Doom boulder. At this point, there's flash of light and your expression is forever recorded in the form of a digital photo. If you're my host sister, that's great! Since she works there, she knows where all of the cameras are and poses for everyone of them. But sitting next to her in all of the photos there was this redhead making weird faces. How unfortunate.

But the terrible image left in my head after seeing the photo monitor was erased by the noon-ish show Mystica. And this T-shirt I saw in front of me while waiting for the show to start: They can't have nay idea what their shirts say! But the still wear them! Let this be a warning; the next time you buy a shirt that has something written in a foreign language, think twice before you buy it It might say something like
"It is the moment of Jockstrap
time you courage is Public
In the shape of love
everyone becomes mama."
That doesn't even make sense!!

But back to Mythica. It started with one boat in the center with water jets shooting everywhere, and then out came more boats in the shape of all different animals. This one is an eagle and everyone is flying kites around on it, there was a turtle, a dragon, a frog, and one more that I can't remember.

Then, after a twenty or thirty foot column rose out of the boat in the center and Mickey Mouse starting walking around on a platform at the top, all sorts of creatures came out of the boats. There were people dressed as lizards, phoenixes, weird fish things, and really intricate birds. After THAT Minnie Mouse came out of the boat nearest to us and guys on jet skis that were made to look like dragons started flying five kites from each jet ski.

Just when I thought the show was winding down, out comes a unicorn
a dragon with a glowy zappy orb that looked like one of those static electricity balls where the electricity is attracted to your fingers
a serpent with a giant fountain on it
and a phoenix shooting fire everywhere.

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There were also fireworks periodically, but I didn't catch any on film or in a photo. This show was definitely the best.

After escaping the room with all of the photos in it, I let slip that Ariel was my favorite Disney princess as a child. Since it was still not our Fast Pass time at the Tower of Terror, we went to Ariel's Mermaid Lagoon and it was surreal. From the outside, it's intriguing. There are swirls and corals and fish all covered with mosaic glass so it shines in the sunlight. When you enter, it looks like a room filled with blue light and a fountain with a bronze Triton figurine in it. Then, you see past the figurine over the balcony. Lights of all different colors glowing and fading, the sound of splashing water and kids shrieking with delight. Then, you realize you can actually go down there and it all gets about ten times better.



You could even ride in these bouncing jellyfish!

I told my host sister that I didn't have meet Ariel because I'd already met her when I was little, so instead she took me to a show. It was a weird hybrid between English songs and Japanese dialogue, but it was a good show. It wasn't very long, but the squeezed everything in without i seeming forced. The characters sang 'Part of Your World,' 'Under the Sea,' (of course) and 'Poor Unfortunate Souls.' The only creature who touched the ground was Sebastian; all of the others were in harnesses or were mechanized or both. Ursula was a hug puppet that came out of the wall and had strobe lights in it to make her seem especially evil when she was doing her witchcraft. But in the end, Ariel realized she had friends under the sea and she didn't want to have legs or be part of their world.
After the show was over my host sister and I hurried over to the Tower of Terror while my host mom found a cafe to sit in. We got through the line quickly and I chatted with two girls in front of us after one of them stared at me and then told the other one to look. Very subtle. Then they were both standing sideways and throwing glances at the ginger, so I decided to catch one of their glances, let them say 'hello' awkwardly, and then let them flip out like everyone does when they realize I speak Japanese. It never gets old.
Once again, my host sister made a cute face right before we fell from the top of the ride and I looked like I was about to puke up my tacos from lunch. The ride ended up not even being that scary. We barely had time to scream while we were falling.
After that I got some caramel popcorn because I couldn't find any of the curry popcorn I wanted to try and we went to find my host mom.
From there we went to eat at a traditional Kyoto restaurant in 'Ikspiari,'* a shopping center in the Disney complex. I ate potato soup that looked like snot, soba, and tofu ice cream. I was sitting like I had been told to sit, with your legs beneath you and your feet, in pain, under you butt. About halfway through the meal, and after each of my legs had fallen asleep at least once, my host sister and my mom noticed that I was fidgeting around a lot. They then enlightened me to the fact that there was a giant well beneath the table that you could put your feet in just so that you didn't have to sit like had been sitting.

After I regained feeling in my feet, my host mom and I got on the Shinkansen, sped back to Nagoya, and promptly fell asleep as soon as we got home. Two days well spent.

*Ikspiari is pronounced like the 'experi' in experience. It's spelled like that because of the way the Japanese katakana alphabet works.

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