Tag Archives: Disney

Disney World: The Road Less Traveled

By Rohan:

I just got back from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando with my high school as part of our Senior Class Trip. While checking out our favorite rides and taking in some magical shows, the little things of Disney World can sometimes be the most memorable parts of the vacation. While any ordinary guidebook would recommend you meet Mickey Mouse, enjoy a wild safari at Animal Kingdom, or scream your lungs out on Tower of Terror, we recommend you also check out stores, restaurants, and attractions that are glossed over in the parks.
1. The Peoplemover (Magic Kingdom – Tomorrowland) 
 
The Peoplemover looks like a smaller version of the Walt Disney World monorail. From a first glance, it appears to just circle around Tomorrowland. But like all Disney attractions, this humble little ride has a story to tell. It discusses Walt Disney’s visions of the park’s future after the opening of the Magic Kingdom in 1971. Although Disney did not live to see his “Florida Project” open to the public, many artifacts are presented on the Tomorrowland Peoplemover that show how accurately the end result matched his original vision. One of the highlights of the ride is seeing Walt Disney’s model for a utopian city, an experimental prototype community of tomorrow, that later evolved into the Epcot Theme Park.
The Peoplemover transporting guests over Tomorrowland Speedway
The Peoplemover transporting guests over Tomorrowland Speedway
2. Mitsukoshi (Epcot – Japan Pavilion) 
 
If you’re a fan of Japanese culture, whether it be manga, anime, video games, or comic books, or if you’re just taking a peaceful stroll through Epcot’s World Showcase, Mitsukoshi should not be missed. This Japanese store sells everything from authentic clocks and home goods to the latest in electronic entertainment. The kids will have a blast checking out their enormous Nintendo section, which contains merchandise ranging from Super Mario to Pokemon. Looking for a romantic gift for that special someone? For fifty dollars, you can search for pearls in oysters and create a beautiful necklace.
Mitsukoshi at Epcot's Japan Pavilion (source: http://i1.disneyfoodblog.com/)
Mitsukoshi at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion (Source: http://i1.disneyfoodblog.com)
3. Club Cool (Epcot – Future World) 
 
Club Cool is an attraction/dining experience that is sponsored by Coca Cola. It allows guests to sample soft drinks from around the world for no charge. Club Cool is generally overlooked so you rarely see lines going out the door, an unusual sight in a place as crowded as Disney World. Try Watermelon soda from China, Orange flavored Coca Cola from Germany, or if your mouth can handle it, the bitter Strawberry Fanta from Costa Rica. Other than the Coke Factory in Atlanta, these drinks are nearly impossible to find in the United States. We recommend checking this attraction out and introducing your taste buds to a new pallet of flavor.
A medley of sodas at Club Cool in Epcot (Source: http://i1.disneyfoodblog.com)
A medley of sodas at Club Cool in Epcot (Source: http://i1.disneyfoodblog.com)
4. Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom – New Fantasyland)
 
With the opening of the first part of the New Fantasyland came the immensely popular Be Our Guest restaurant, a majestic eatery that has a wait list that spans months. Next to Be Our Guest however is a charming tavern themed to Gaston’s pub in Beauty and the Beast. The featured drink is a frozen apple cider with a hint of toasted marshmallow that is topped with a mango-passionfruit cream. Just the description made our mouths water. Although the drink is pricey at five dollars for a small glass, its incredibly thick, and the five of us couldn’t finish one serving. We highly recommend checking it out. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, put down a little extra money for a mug that resembles Gaston’s mugs in the film.
Frozen goodness at Gaston's Tavern in Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland (Source: http://parksandresorts.wdpromedia.com/)
Frozen goodness at Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland (Source: http://parksandresorts.wdpromedia.com/)

A Photo Journey Through Tokyo’s Disney Parks

Tokyo has two Disney parks – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.  Both live up to Disneyland’s claim of “Being the Happiest Place on Earth”  While it was awesome to see yet another Disneyland after Florida, California and Hong Kong, DisneySea simply blew us away.  You can read more about our adventures at Tokyo DisneySea at http://pauperswithouttravel.com/2012/10/28/tokyo-disneysea-a-sea-of-fun-and-happiness/

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Tokyo DisneySea – A Sea of Fun and Happiness

By Lakshmi: (Updated September 22, 2014)

Who?  Anyone who is a Disney fan, loves amusement parks/rides, wants to experience the magic of Disney in a foreign locale, is traveling with kids, wants to have fun or simply wants to observe how organized things are in Japan will appreciate this experience.

What? Tokyo DisneySea is one of two Disney amusement parks located in Tokyo, Japan.

How? Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are both conveniently accessible by trains and buses from many points in Tokyo.  We took the train to Tokyo station from Shimbashi and transferred over to the Keiyo line and got off at the Disney stop which is Maihama.  More details on getting there can be found at

http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/access/train_bus/index.html

Tickets can be purchased on site or for greater convenience many of the local convenience stores have vending machines that sell tickets.  We intended to go to Tokyo DisneySea, got our tickets at the vending machine and then decided to upgrade at the park to go to Tokyo Disneyland as well.

Why? “Mrs. Sundar, you have got to go to Disney Sea….It is one of the largest Disney parks in the world.”  This is what Siddhi’s friend Evan said to me when we declared we were headed to Tokyo for winter break.  As collective fans of Disney parks, we knew we would make it to Tokyo Disney.  However, when Evan started rattling off all the things that were so much better at DisneySea, we were convinced that we had to dedicate a significant chunk of time to this place

To sum it up in one word, Tokyo DisneySea was “fantabulous”.  The park is huge and the rides all appear larger than life.  We started with the Tower of Terror and used the single rider benefit to not just bypass the long lines, but also to go back on a couple of our favorite ones.  And speaking of favorites, we loved Journey to the Center of the Universe, riding in a mysterious vessel designed by Captain Nemo that took us through a world of shaking volcanos!  We went on Raging Spirits (steam, fire, rollercoaster, a 360 degree loop…are you tempted yet?), Indiana Jones Adventure, A Stormrider flight and more!

The park was so clean and well maintained that we literally did not see one speck of dirt or garbage anywhere.  The Japanese people are so orderly, that even in queues they were on their best behavior.   For example, when we stopped to watch the show, The Legend of Mythica, there was no screaming, no jostling, just an orderly march up to get into viewing spots.  When we stopped to ask directions, we would have someone escort us to our destination.  Not just an amazing park but incredible service as well.  The only flip side to all this?  We had to be extra careful that we were on our best behavior as well!

We were happy the whole time we were there.  There was not one moment where we were not smiling and looking forward to the next thing and if we had a month to spend in Tokyo, I am sure we would have made it there multiple times.  But given that we only had eight days in Tokyo, we did make it back the next day to Tokyo Disneyland.

To get tempted to visit the Disney parks in Tokyo, click here:

http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/tds/index.html