Tonight after Ron finished work, I met up with him at Uniqlo and we went to Disneyland! The Disney excitement started the moment we jumped on the train, where the carriage windows and hand grips hanging from the roof were shaped like Mickey Mouse ears. Once we got there, the park didn’t disappoint. We had a great time!
We hurried from the train to the entrance of the park, knowing we only had limited time being the end of the day. They have a special night ticket though, so it’s not uncommon for people to go there just for the evening. Little did we know, a nighttime visit is quite special with the electric light parade!
The entrance of the park leads to a large covered area lined with shops. We didn’t want to waste time shopping, so we continued into the park for a ‘wow’ moment in front of the Disney castle.
We hadn’t eaten dinner, so our first stop was the cafeteria where various types of Disney themed food were on sale. Ron had a seafood salad and I had a Mickey Mouse chicken burger. How is a seafood salad Disney themed, you ask? Check out the yolk in Ron’s boiled egg!
And the bun of my chicken burger was in the shape of Mickey’s gloves.
While we ate we took a look at the schedule to see what time the various shows were on, trying to plan our evening. Deciding it was too hard, the only thing we really wanted to catch was the parade. The rest, we decided, we would see if we were there at the right time. Not wanting to miss anything, we made our way around the park in one direction, stopping off at rides and attractions along the way.
The park is broken into several lands – Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. We started off in Adventureland.
There’s a separate park in Tokyo called Disney Sea, which has bigger, faster rides aimed at older people. The general pace of the rides at Disneyland was quite slow and suited to anyone. The first ride we went on was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We sat in a row boat which floated down a river into a cavern where there were pirates, skeletons and treasures. We followed a storyline acted out by very lifelike robotic mannequins. They looked just like real people, talking, moving and shooting at each other. It was very impressive!
From there we stopped briefly to watch a performance with Goofy, Chip and Dale and exotic dancers on our way to Westernland. The show looked like fun, but was targeted more at young kids so we were quite happy to move on.
In Westernland we found a ride with a short queue (most of the rides had 45 minute queues and we only had limited time before the park would close). The ride was a steam train, that went through a Western town and a forest. There were animals and Indians camped by the side of the tracks. Being so dark, it was hard to see everything, so this probably wasn’t the best ride to go on at night. Possibly also the reason it had such a short queue!
As we continued on, the main road ahead was fenced off. It was time for the parade to start! We were a few minutes early, and managed to get a great position right against the rope fence. This was definitely the highlight of our visit and made it worth coming at night. The parade lasted almost 20 minutes, and included a great range of Disney characters from older movies such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to more recent films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
The lights looked awesome, twinkling and changing colours. The Genie changed colours, and Peter Pan and Captain Hook were sword fighting on the ship. It was a truly magical show.
On a high after the parade, we made our way to Critterland. Here we found a ride that look suspiciously like the Western train ride, but this one was a mine cart that went a lot quicker, over mountains, around bends and through tunnels. It was a lot of fun.
By now it was only an hour until closing time, and we had only seen half of the park! We walked through Fantasyland, dedicated to Disney princesses and fairies. There were a lot of rides there, but we had already decided we didn’t really have time to queue and still see the rest of the park, so we were quite content just taking in the sights. We stopped by Toontown, which is just like a life Roadrunner cartoon, and took a peek at Tomorrowland before making our way to the shops.
Even though we only had a few hours there, it was a lot of fun and we were exhausted. The electric parade was amazing, and I’d love to go back another time during the day and spend some more time checking out the rides and seeing it all in daylight. Well worth the visit, and an unexpected stop during my trip to Tokyo!