A Trip to Tokyo Disneyland - Introduction
AllEars® reader JeanineY is part of the NFFC trip to Tokyo Disneyland. She will be filing reports along the way. Here is the Introduction:
Ohayo Mickey! - The Departure
Many people plan out trips years in advance, carefully checking for bargains and making upgrade requests in a timely fashion so that every value is maximized, and no time is wasted. I am not any of those people. On the other hand, have you ever seen people run shrieking down the airport as the gate is paging them and saying the door is closing? I'm sorry I was too busy to wave hello to you.
My advance planning for this trip consisted of making a hotel reservation about 2 years ago, when the NFFC announced they were going to have a group program at Tokyo Disneyland for its 25th anniversary celebration.
The hotels around the Tokyo Disneyland resort are, as a rule, fairly expensive, and the rate they had found at that time was pretty good and didn't require a credit card deposit to hold it. As the date approached, the airfare dipped down enough to justify it, so we (my Mother and I) were off.
Of course, conveniently enough, the week before we were to leave turned out to be the airline equivalent of Chernobyl, as 4 carriers went out of business, and the week we actually were to leave, American canceled hundreds of flights due to mechanical inspections.
You know a trip is auspicious when your main hope is to just get off the ground in the first place. Nevertheless, in defiance of probability we had no problems with our flights that an upgrade wouldn't have cured. On a 12+ hour flight in coach, the evolution of attitude goes like this:
Hour 1: Well this isn't bad! We left on time and everything! The grand adventure has begun!
Hour 2: There isn't much space in these seats, is there? Well at least the meal was...included.
Hour 6: If this guy in back of me shakes my chair one more time, I am turning my vent full blast towards him. Also, I can't feel my feet anymore.
Hour 10: We will grow old and die on this plane.
Unfortunately, despite scheduling a flight that was supposed to land 1.5 hrs before the last bus to the hotel left the airport, we were foiled by the plane landing 40 minutes late, and then by getting stuck in the disembarkation line for around 45 more minutes. After some initial panic, we got tickets for the next bus to the next closest stop and then took a cab the rest of the way.
The Tokyo Bay Hilton is probably the nicest Hilton I've stayed at, and definitely the cutest. The level of service is always astounding and the decor is wonderful. Not only do they have a small area for children to play in while adults register for their room, but they also have a lego area and a small mock up of the hotel counter, along with a rack of tiny hotel uniforms so kids can create their own photo ops.
We are given a room on one of their refurbished rooms, the Happy Magic Rooms! It is so cute, it makes Sanrio stores blush. There is a Happy Magic mirror that plays music and shows a strange girl's picture when you push a button, and an enormous Happy Magic key that causes music and lights to issue out of a large Happy Magic lock.
Some in the NFFC party decide to monorail over to the Ikspiari to do some shopping. IKSPIARI is made up of nine themed zones containing a total of 120 shops and restaurants, as well as the 16-screen "AMC Ikspiari 16" cinema complex and Camp Nepos, a children's play and care center.
We are tired enough so we satisfied ourselves by buying our park tickets for the week and some shrimp pitas from the Starbucks in the lobby.