Several members of the AllEars team spent most of March visiting Disney destinations far from home. We visited Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, and Aulani in Hawaii. Along for all or part or this journey were AllEars' Deb Wills, Laura Gilbreath, Lee Zimmerman, Jeanine Yamanaka, Linda Eckwerth, and Deb Koma, and friends Jack and Pete.
Tokyo Disney Resort - Day 6, Tokyo DisneySea
We were up about 7:00, and had our usual yogurt/pastry breakfast. The storm was over but it was an overcast day. The temperature was in the high 40s. Downright balmy. :-)
After breakfast it was time to start packing in earnest. I had plenty of room in my suitcase still, but I knew the weight was going to be an issue. I gave a few things to Lee (some of it was for his family and co-workers anyway) and packed the heavy stuff in my new shopping bag. Good thing it was a heavy-duty bag, since it weighed 15-20 pounds.
I'd asked the front desk about luggage storage, and they told us to call Bell Services and someone would come up to the room to get it - but it sounded like one of us had to be there when they came. So I went down to the lobby to check out (no express check-out), while Lee waited for the bellhop.
It was all fairly painless (other than the hotel bill). I've never paid hundreds of thousands for anything before. But somehow it doesn't seem so bad in foreign currency... :-)
By 8:55 we were on the monorail headed to Tokyo DisneySea - Lee had purchased our one-day tickets the night before. The monorail goes by a big parking lot, which was empty. When we'd ridden it the day before I'd noticed that someone had set up the orange cones to read: "30", so I was looking for that, and this time I was able to get a photo of it.
Because the park had been open for an hour there were NO lines at the turnstiles and we walked right in. The Tokyo DisneySea marching band was performing just beyond that, and we enjoyed watching them finish their set. There were a couple of women in their band, and that was nice to see. Lots of choreography and good band music.
We went to the lobby of the Miracosta where we met up with Deb, Linda and Jack - it was the first time Lee and I had been in the Miracosta. It doesn't have nearly as grand a lobby as the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. And it's more of a Venetian theme, so it has a much different look. However, it does have an entrance right into TDS...
Jack and Pete were leaving late that morning so they had been busy packing, but Jack took us up to their room so we could see what it looked like. Their room looked over one of the Venetian "canals", so we could see gondolas.
The room was very nice, but I liked ours at the Disneyland Hotel better - it seemed like ours was larger. I was glad we'd chosen to stay where we did (it saved us money, too - the Miracosta was significantly more).
We said our good byes to Jack and Pete...that was hard. We'd had such a great 10 days! They were headed to Disneyland in California, and then back to their respective homes in New York.
Lee and I went back into TDS and just wandered around the Mediterranean Harbor and American Waterfront areas.
When we went through Cape Cod (home town of Duffy the Disney Bear!), Lee saw a sign for a hot berry tea beverage and he wanted to try it. When he got it, I pointed out that the cup had a picture of Duffy on it...he had been Duffy-ilated! Resistance is futile!
Even though it was Friday the park didn't seem as crowded as it had the rest of the week - but that only meant that standby lines were 90 minutes instead of 120+. :-)
It was about 10:30 and we were ready for our early lunch. I'd seen the Horizons restaurant in Port Discovery and thought it looked interesting. Their menu featured shrimp tempura and pork cutlets - it looked good. We got the "set" which included rice and choice of soup, as well as dessert and beverage. Kirin apple tea was available, so we were able to have that one last time! They didn't seem to be big on vegetables in Japan - both our entrees were accompanied by one floret of broccoli and one of cauliflower.
Deb and Linda joined us partway through...it turned out that Deb and Lee both had the pork cutlet (above) and Linda and I both had the shrimp tempura (below). We were all happy with our meals, I think, and we enjoyed spending some time together.
We said goodbye to Deb and Linda for now - but we'd see them at Aulani in a couple of days. We continued wandering around the park, and visited the Lost River Delta again. The standby line for Raging Spirits was "only" 110 minutes, and Indy was 90. Practically walk-ons. :-) Really, the park was noticeably less crowded than it had been on our previous two visits. Though the lines at the snack kiosks were still quite long.
We took a last voyage with Sindbad and Chandu - by far my favorite attraction at TDS.
Next we took the Disney Transit Steamer from the Mediterranean Harbor to the Lost River Delta. There are waterways that connect the various ports in the park, and small steamers that travel between three different ports. But all passengers must disembark at each stop, so you can't stay on board for a round trip. On the day we were there they were only running steamers between the Mediterranean Harbor and Lost River Delta - there's also a port at the American Waterfront.
While we were on board we saw the volcano erupt. It does that multiple times a day, but there didn't seem to be any particular schedule that we could find. Lots of fire and flames and smoke.
We watched Mythica again, this time from a spot closer to the water. The volcano was in the background, and that's probably the best viewing point we had for seeing the floats, but we weren't next to one of the docking areas where we could see the characters and dancers...though that wasn't a big deal to us.
It was a cloudy day, so we didn't have the nice blue sky in the background and the pictures aren't as pretty. But the winds were calmer so we saw the kites, which we hadn't seen the previous two times. It's a pretty impressive spectacle - it was probably Lee's favorite thing in Tokyo.
We were keeping an eye on the time since we had to get back to the hotel to catch our bus to the airport - we didn't have enough time to do any attractions, and we weren't really interested in shopping. Besides, if we'd bought something we'd have to find a way to carry it home! :-) But we still had sad faces when it was time to leave. :-(
Getting back to the hotel on the monorail was very fast. We still had plenty of time before the bus. Deb had told me about the Cinderella-themed convention areas in the Disneyland Hotel so we checked that out. Lots of beautiful paintings of Cinderella and her prince.
And there was a large china cabinet, where several of Cinderella's mice peeked out of the cups. It was a lovely area.
Our bus was supposed to leave at 5:00, and we went outside to the bus stop. The bellhops came out with our luggage on a cart, and told us the bus would be late - it was about 30 minutes late. But we had plenty of time, so it wasn't a problem. We hadn't actually looked around at the front of the hotel at all, so we had a chance to do that - there's a large fountain at the entrance.
I think it was closer to 6:00 by the time we left. On a Friday afternoon heading towards Tokyo I thought there might be traffic, but it took less time than it had on Sunday.
I'd used frequent flyer miles to book business class from Tokyo to San Diego, so getting checked in was really easy - though even if we'd been traveling coach there weren't any lines at check in! We got through Immigration and Security with no problems - the airport actually seemed pretty empty.
On the other side we found a noodle place and enjoyed one final Japanese meal, before going to the KAL lounge to hang out while we waited for our flight.
We were flying to San Diego via Honolulu. I was surprised to see that most of the people waiting for our flight were Americans and not Japanese - it was more Americans than I'd seen since we left San Francisco 10 days before!
The plane was a 747, and we were on the upper deck - I'd never flown on a 747 before, so that was pretty exciting. The seats reclined almost flat - enough that I could sleep on my side. They served dinner after we took off, but I was more interested in sleeping. Lee had dinner, though. I was actually pretty comfortable and slept for several hours, though I woke up once it started getting light outside - which was about five hours into our seven hour flight. I watched a movie and they fed us a small breakfast.
We left Tokyo at 9:20 p.m. on Friday, and landed in Honolulu at 9:20 a.m. on Friday. So March 14 was like Groundhog Day for us - we got to live it twice. :-)
Coming Next: Aulani!
The previous post in this blog was Tokyo Disney Resort Part 7.
The next post in this blog is The Pacific NorthWest Mouse Meet: Disney Time in the Emerald City.