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May 2, 2010

A Trip to Tokyo Disney Resort

It was the longest plane flight I'd ever experienced: 14 hours in the air from Newark, NJ to Tokyo, Japan (specifically, the New Tokyo Narita International Airport east of Tokyo). As Tokyo Disney Resort is located between Narita Airport and Tokyo, Vickie and I boarded a convenient bus that transported us straight to our destination. One of our first impressions of Japan was that the buses were right on schedule, and they didn't stick around long at their stops!

We were lucky to meet Jeff and Melissa before boarding the bus; they're with the Air Force stationed at Okinawa and answered many of my questions about Japan. Such as: is there really no tipping in Japan? Answer: Correct, the Japanese accept no tips; they feel they're well paid for rendering service and accept no extra money. We tested this practice later and it's true! Our servers and hotel staff actually refused our tips! (One exception: the taxi drivers did take our tips, but they seemed genuinely surprised that we offered!)

I was at Tokyo Disney to find and verify Hidden Mickeys. One of my first visions was of the magnificent domed ceiling over the lobby of the Hotel MiraCosta. Seven of the eight murals in the dome have subtle Hidden Mickeys. Here's one:

Tokyo Disney Resort

The next morning, when I was served my cappuccino, I knew I'd feel right at home at Tokyo Disney!

Tokyo Disney Resort

Later the first morning, we met up with Disney friends Masayo, Mamoru, and Nozomi and her 10 month old daughter. In the photo from left to right are Masayo, me and Mamoru in Fantasyland, Tokyo Disneyland.

Tokyo Disney Resort

Vickie and I were lucky that Masayo and Mamoru could join us for the first two days of our park visits. Masayo was incredibly helpful as a translator for our Hidden Mickeys research. She taught me how to say "Hidden Mickey" ("Kakure Mickey") for my last three days there, so I could continue to interact with the Cast Members, although many of them understood the term "Hidden Mickey" well enough! I found many amazing Hidden Mickeys at Tokyo Disney, like this side profile Mickey on the snake along the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, Tokyo Disneyland:

Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney was a wonderful experience for Vickie and me, and I have more to report later. The Japanese really enjoy the Disney parks and the Disney characters. I'm told the parks here are crowded almost every day of the year. Two more impressions of Japan: it's clean! The Japanese seem compulsive about keeping their surroundings presentable. Also, when you press the "doors close" button on the elevators (at least in our hotel), they really close, and right away!

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Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on AllEars.net

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

NEW! Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line's Best Kept Secrets is available on Amazom.com Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line's Best Kept Secrets


The FOURTH Edition of Steve's Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book is available on Amazon.com. Hidden Mickeys, 4th Edition: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best-Kept Secrets

His SECOND Edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys is also available on Amazon.com Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort's Best-Kept Secrets

May 17, 2010

More from Tokyo Disney Resort

My wife Vickie and I were lucky to spend a recent week at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Jack Spence of allears.net fame helped prepare us for our stay; he's visited this resort a number of times.

The two theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, are kept clean and well-maintained. Tokyo DisneySea is a unique park, unlike any theme park anywhere, with lands such as "Mysterious Island" and "Arabian Coast." Tokyo Disneyland is similar to Disneyland, California and Florida's Magic Kingdom, but there are some obvious differences. For example, Main Street here is called "World Bazaar," which is larger with more shops and restaurants than the Main Streets in American parks. Furthermore, World Bazaar is completely covered to protect guests from the rain!

As I entered World Bazaar, I was greeted with a familiar image: Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse sitting on a bench!

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Pooh's Hunny Hunt ride in Fantasyland is different from other similar dark ride attractions: each vehicle takes a unique "trackless" route through the various rooms and scenes. A master computer uses a local positioning system to guide your "honey pot" vehicle, and each trip through the attraction is unique. Very cool experience! I saw an imaginative classic Hidden Mickey made of roses along the right side of the exit walk from the ride.

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The Tower of Terror attraction in the American Waterfront section of Tokyo DisneySea has a different theme (since the Japanese evidently don't know The Twilight Zone theme very well): Harrison Hightower III was a wealthy explorer and collector. He brought back a strange, evil statue named Shiriki Utundu, recovered on an expedition to a remote region of Africa. As Mr. Hightower was taking his statue to the hotel's penthouse apartment, the elevator inexplicably came crashing down to the ground! The statue was the only thing found in the elevator; Mr. Hightower mysteriously disappeared without a trace. A Cast Member showed me a Hidden Mickey on a wall outside the exit from the Tower of Terror.

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Another friendly Cast Member pointed out possibly the smallest Hidden Mickey at Tokyo Disney Resort. On a wall near the DisneySea Electric Railway station in the Port Discovery section is an "Aquatopia" poster with a tiny classic Mickey atop a water spout.

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One of my many pleasant discoveries here was the plethora of food and snack opportunities throughout the Tokyo parks. For example, the Japanese love popcorn, but not always plain popcorn. Their popcorn is flavored, like strawberry and curry popcorn and many other interesting flavors. You'll encounter a popcorn wagon every time you turn a corner it seems!

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I was elated to discover that the Japanese enjoy Disney as much as I do. I hope to return someday to this magical place on the other side of our earth. However, the jet lag on the return to Florida is painful and not soon forgotten!

blue line

Read more about Steve's Hidden Mickey finds on AllEars.net

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

NEW! Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line's Best Kept Secrets is available on Amazom.com Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line's Best Kept Secrets


The FOURTH Edition of Steve's Walt Disney World Hidden Mickeys book is available on Amazon.com. Hidden Mickeys, 4th Edition: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best-Kept Secrets

His SECOND Edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys is also available on Amazon.com Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort's Best-Kept Secrets

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This page contains all entries posted to Searching Disney with Steve in May 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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