Japan 2012 Travel Diary, Day 14

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Monday was Wifey’s day on the trip, though to be honest it was a pretty amazing day for me too! We had the day singled out for a trip to Disneyland, a short monorail trip from the hotel, and the day was awesome. The weather held up well, and the whole experience was amazing, especially for my other half.

We started off by calming down from the overwhelming awesome of the whole thing and tucking into amazing chocolate churos, and from there we hit the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

After the ride, which hosted all sorts of cool animatronics and voice samples from the movies (well, the first three – still haven’t seen the fourth entry), we had worked up an appetite by… standing in a line for 15 minutes and then sitting down for another 5-10 minutes while on the ride. Thus to celebrate, we headed next door-ish to eat more food, this time sharing a Mickey Mouse waffle head.

Next up we headed over to the Stitch show, passing a show in the amphitheater with colourful dancers and Mickey and Minnie playing to an army of parents and kids. Probably the most impressive part was the wall of prams just sitting unsupervised near the entrance, valuables and all hanging off everything. Gotta love Japan – back home I suspect this wouldn’t happen for fear of theft, or the gear would be under constant supervision. Mind, we noticed that around the traps as well – when we hit the Universal City Walk in Osaka we saw plenty of instances where prams were left outside store entrances with purses and shopping bags hanging off them unattended while the parent(s) shopped in the store. Maybe it’s a bit sad I found this so surprising. Go Japan 🙂

Anywho, we continued to check out the Stitch show, which was an animatronic thingo with parrots trying to coax Stitch out to sing a song… or something. It was good fun (I’m a big fan of the original Lilo and Stitch movie), and it was nice that the guide also provided a pair of screens that had subtitles of the show in English for us.

Once again, we needed to take a stop on the way to our next destination to get more food. This time we opted for a yummy steamed pork bun, which looks entirely unappetising in this photo but was actually full of yum porky goodness.

From there it was off to see the greatest movie ever dedicated to celluloid, Captain EO (starring Michael Jackson as the titular Captain), and for all my childhood 80s dreams come true in a single movie experience. I think for anyone else in the world (including Wifey) it was a glorified music video with elaborate costumes and a daft storyline courtesy of the creative team behind the tech-demo experiment (George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Jackson), including 3D visuals (as in, the kind where you wear silly glasses and are a waste of time and effort outside kitschy stuff like this) and other dimension-breaking tidbits (the chairs vibrated and blew air at you during key scenes in the movie for the sake of immersion). For me, this was 80s gold wrapped up in a delightful package of equal parts cheese and awesome.

My life complete, off we went to line up for over an hour to check out Splash Mountain (impressive for me since I usually wuss out when it comes to rides), and happened to be on the same cart as a group of high school boys who reminded me of my brother Tank and his mates Jyasutin-kun and Buu Adam if they were Japanese and still in high school (as opposed to being Australian and now in their mid-late 20s :P).

After Splash Mountain we manoeuvred through the crowd enjoying the end of the day parade to the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall for a Japanese take on Western food – a heart-shaped burger patty with a heart-shaped slice of salami on top, some steamed veggies and a tomato-based sauce, along with some layered cheesecake for desert. Oh, and some yummy Kirin Apple-based soft drink thingie too. Kirin makes everything tasty. I miss Kirin beer on tap. It was not only cheap, but delicious.

Beer aside, with bellies sorted, we headed off to the Nightmare Before Christmas-themed haunted house which was all kinds of awesome (only a 45 minute wait for that one), which was actually a lot of fun (not sure I used “actually” in there, as the whole theme park was absolutely brilliant). You walked along through a haunted house which I had a bit of trouble following since it was all in Japanese (I was trying to translate what I could as we went along to Wifey, but probably did an arse job of it), but after that you hopped onto these cool seats on a monorail that swiveled and zoomed around this awesome representation of scenes from Nightmare Before Christmas, and being a big fan of anything Tim Burton does, this was great fun, especially for Wifey as she absolutely adores that movie!

After finishing up we strolled across to the Tea Cup ride, where we only had a 15-minute wait! We found a cup for the two of us and found out when we jumped on that you twist the wheel in the center of the cup to make it spin faster or slower. I started off being sensible, but then I got carried away and made it spin fast enough to make Wifey feel a bit blergy. Go me.

After taking a moment to let Wifey’s stomach settle, we picked up some popcorn and headed over to Toon Town! Aside from wandering around we headed over to the Who Framed Roger Rabbit ride (which was all sorts of awesome after an hour wait). The line for this ride was really great, as you wound through all these set pieces from the movie, and everything was in English which was handy for us, but probably not as much for everyone else!

After we finished up we wandered around Toon Town a bit more (by this point it was getting really dark), including stopping at Minnie’s House, hanging out in Goofy’s car and walked around to try and work out what to do next as the night parade was starting to get closer, so lining up for an hour, jumping on a ride, then scrambling madly to find somewhere to check out the parade was far from an ideal scenario as we really wanted a good spot to enjoy the night festivities.

I’m pretty sure we grabbed some popcorn after enjoying a little bucket of fries and decided to take in Cinderella’s castle and take a moment to enjoy the views from up high of the park rolling into the evening. After that I proceeded to drag us around the park for at least 15 minutes trying to work out search for something for dinner, eventually settling on some pizza from the Galactic Pizza joint, themed after Buzz Lightyear. Despite the dodgy photo, it was actually really nice!

We took our dinner back to the main strip to find a seat in the middle of the route and right at the front to enjoy the parade which was going to start in about 45 minutes, then the night spectacular hit in full swing. Lots of shinies everywhere, it was really awesome. I ended up giving our point and shoot a bit of a workout and loaded up the SD card with some 1080p footage which was pretty fun, as the show was absolutely spectacular.

After the parade it was time to grab something else to eat and drink and take a seat to enjoy the fireworks in one of the eateries close to the main entrance, then we were off to do some souvenir shopping to help out Uncle Walt’s legacy before taking a short monorail and shuttle bus back to the hotel.

Overall, the day was amazing and spectacular. The only issue is that there’s just too much to see and do for one day, so if we were to do things again, we’d definitely allocate two days to check the place out and get a chance to go on all the rides and eat more theme park food. All in all, it was a spectacular way to finish up the trip!

To view all posts on the Japan 2012 Travel Diary, just use the 2012 Japan Trip tag, as the whole series will be added to it over time.

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