Trip Report April 2007 for Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland Resorts
When: 1-10 April 2007 (Easter)
Where Tokyo Disneyland Resort & Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Who: Just me in Tokyo (21 year old male), Me and Parents (mid 40s) in Hong Kong
Hotels: Tokyo DisneySea Hotel Miracosta & Hong Kong Disneyland Hotels
Experience: First time to these Disney resorts but Frequent visitor to WDW and Disneyland Paris (+1 trip to Disneyland)
The Trip went as follows:
Day 1: Travel
Day 2: Travel
Day 3: Tokyo Disney
Day 4: Tokyo Disney
Day 5: Tokyo Disney
Day 6: Tokyo Disney
Day 7: Travel / Hong Kong Disney
Day 8: Hong Kong Disney
Day 9: Hong Kong Disney
Day 10: Hong Kong Disney / Travel
When I was planning this trip I quickly ran into a few problems. Firstly our usual travel agents (who we always use for all our holidays couldnt book the hotels. Secondly I was going on my own to a country/countries where I do not speak the language and so did not want anything left to chance. The result weeks and months surfing the internet and gleaming information from a number of sources. I found some of the best sources of information were trip reports from fellow Disney enthusiasts who had done this (or parts of it) before. At the end of the report is a list of websites I used which I hope will help others who are planning trips. Because there is so little information available and what there is, is spread out across many sites I will try to give an account of the practical side of planning, booking and preparing my trip along with a report of what I did.
The Trip Report its self is split into 2, Days 1-6 relate to my visit to Tokyo Disneyland Resort and is followed by a few conclusions on the resort. Days 7-10 is from my visit to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is again followed by my conclusions on the resort and the trip as a whole. I have not given detailed descriptions of most attractions as there are many other trip reports which I read before I went which do the job brilliantly, instead I concentrated this report on the practicality of the trip.
Step 1 Duration
I am a Disney nut and to be honest I was only going to Tokyo and Hong Kong to go to the Disney resorts. My parents were out in China on a tour for their 25th wedding anniversary and had suggested that I meet up with them in Hong Kong for a couple of days at the end of their tour and fly back together. Sounded like a good plan to me as it meant I had some company in Hong Kong. After plenty of research I settled on 4 nights at Tokyo and 3 nights at Hong Kong. The idea being to spend all the time in Tokyo in the parks as there was a lot more to do and spend some time with my parents going round the city of Hong Kong as well as Disneyland.
Step 2 Flights
I knew I wanted to fly back to the UK on the Virgin Atlantic flight which left Hong Kong International Airport at 11:25PM on the 10th April 2007 as this was the flight my parents were on. So after a lot of research and realising that I could not book a package, I asked my travel agents to quote for the cost of the flights. It turned out that getting flights from London to Tokyo was no problem, as was Hong Kong to London. The connecting flight between Tokyo and Hong Kong was slightly trickier, as many airlines did not take bookings unless I lived at either destination. Eventually my travel agent sorted my flight (though they were very expensive) I had the option of direct flights for 1600 or a stop-over in Singapore for slightly less. I opted for the direct flights as I was short on time off from work and felt that a 15 hour flight was long enough without making it longer with a stop-over. In the end I had a Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow to Narita, Cathy Pacific flight from Narita to Hong Kong International, and a Virgin Atlantic flight from Hong Kong International back to Heathrow.
Step 3 Accommodation
Because I only really wanted to go to the Disney parks my hotel location had to be close by. My first choice of hotel was therefore (obviously) an official Disney hotel. In Tokyo I looked at both the Ambassador and the Miracosta hotels. Whilst the Ambassador hotel was slightly cheaper and the good neighbour hotels even cheaper still I was simply blown away with the design and more specifically the location of the Miracosta. Its technically inside a Disney theme park! Having decided on the hotel I was then shocked at the cost. Over 220 per night for the cheapest room! The budget for this holiday was beginning to spiral but I agreed, if I could get the cheapest room available then I could just about afford it. I had been warned that the hotel regularly gets fully booked. You cannot book the room over the internet unless you are in Japan (which is slightly annoying) similarly my travel agents (nor any travel agents outside Japan apparently) can book a room, the only way international guests can book is to phone up. They start taking reservations for rooms 6 months in advance. I have no landline phone in my house at the moment and didnt face the prospect of phoning Japan from my mobile, so persuaded my Mum to do it for me! There were 2 types of rooms available at 220 per night, one was a partial view of the park, the over was a Tuscany side room. My first choice was the partial view as I had seen photos of the view online and a partial view could simply mean having a tree near the window or not being able to look left because theres a wall there. However when we phoned they were all fully booked so I settled on a Tuscany side room.
Next was the room for Hong Kong. My parents (who will be sharing my room) requested the Hong Kong Disneyland hotel, and who was I to argue with their choice. A couple of weeks after booking the room at Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland were still not accepting booking online, so I emailed them to ask how far in advance of my trip could I book a room. A very kind cast member emailed me back saying that they were not yet accepting bookings for those dates, however she been given permission from her manager to accept the booking based on this years prices! Got to love the Disney service here.
Step 4 Transfers
From reading a lot of trip reports online I decided to take the Limousine bus from the airport to the Tokyo Disney resort. According to their website it costs 2400 yen (about 12) each way and takes about 90 minutes. The ticket counter is located opposite the customs counters and the buses run about once an hour (except a 3 hour break for lunch) from just outside the doors.
As for Hong Kong I did not really fancy taking all my luggage on the train, and then changing trains and then a shuttle bus to get to the Disney hotel so instead opted for a taxi with m parents, who I arranged to meet at the airport. The taxi cost about 10.
Step 5 Tours
My parents insisted they wanted to see the real Hong Kong and not just Disney. So I contacted the Disneyland hotel and asked them to recommend a tour company. They did Splendid tours, and they also offered to book it all for us, all we had to do was say what tour we wanted and on what day we wanted to go. We would then just confirm it when we checked in to the hotel. We decided on a all day land and sea tour with Dim Sum lunch for the Sunday (first full day we were at the resort.)
Step 6 Tickets
Entrance tickets for Tokyo are unlike any other Disney tickets I have known (sort of) I opted for a 4 day pass. For these passes you must specify what park you want to visit on the first 2 days, and for the remaining 2 days you can park hop. I opted for day 1 Tokyo Disneyland, day 2 DisneySea, day 3&4 parkhop.
For Hong Kong we were there during a special promotion whereby if you stayed at a Disney hotel and bought a 1 day entrance ticket to the theme park you got a second day free. We took full advantage of this offer getting 4 days tickets each for the price of 2 days.
this actually has quite a lot of practical information for an official disney website.
Not the best source of information but gives you info on the hotels etc and also you can book the hotels online via this website (well via email anyway)
Very useful info on NRT. it tells you which terminal you come into, how the airport is laid out, what services / shops etc are there. there is also a link to the airport limousine bus website which is useful for finding times and costs etc.
Not as usful as the Tokyo one but is still fairly good.
Useful info and great photos to get you excited for your trip.
Again loads of info and by far the best source on info i've found on HongKong Disneyland. These guys have also been really kind and answered my daft emails questions.
These Trip reports are where i got a lot of my information from. Other people's experiances are invaluable source of information.
a lot of good articles on Tokyo Disneyland.
there are discussion boards for both Tokyo and Hongkong with some good info.
Day 1 - Sunday
I decided to take advantage of the online check-in service offered by Virgin Atlantic which was available 24 hours in advance of my flight. After checking-in and printing my boarding card I finished off my last minute packing and took a slow stroll through town to the coach station and at 3:20 boarded the coach to Heathrow. The bus arrived at the central bus station at Heathrow at about 5:30. I decided to find out where I needed to drop off my bags in the morning and also to get some dinner so set off in search of terminal 3. It was very easy to find my way to the terminal and the entrance to terminal 3 ended up being directly opposite the Virgin check-in desks (handy). Seeing as I couldnt actually drop off my holdall till the morning (that and I needed it that night) I had to keep it with me as I went off in search of a restaurant. I wasnt particularly hungry and did not want a big meal, but surprised by the lack of restaurants (especially fast food style ones). In the end I settled on a pizza from an Italian style restaurant on the floor above the check-in. was actually really nice.
The next task was to get to my hotel. I had booked a room at the Premier Travel Inn and knew there was a shuttle bus I could catch from the hotel to the airport. I went back to the central bus station to try to find where the bus went from. After a little confusion I ended up getting the bus from outside terminal 2. The bus cost 4 each way but was quick and convenient. After checking in to the hotel I had a quick shower and settled down to watch top gear. If I didnt know better Id swear I had timed this day around top gear. After a bit more TV I went to sleep as I had a busy few days coming up.
Day 2 Monday
I woke early and got dressed whilst watching the news (checking nothing had happened that I needed to be aware of before heading to the terminal. As it turned out there had been no new security alerts so I packed up my holdall and headed to the terminal. I got the hopper bus back to terminal 2 and then walked the same route as the previous evening to the check-in. I had been warned to expect long queues at the baggage drop off but it turned out there were only 4-5 people in front of me. After checking though there was a much longer queue (9-10), I guess I arrived about the right time. (8:45AM). As I headed through the security check points the same situation occurred, small queue in front of me and a large queue behind, if this keeps up Ill have a great holiday. After a quick tour of the duty free shops and deciding that there was nothing I wanted to buy I settled down to wait for my boarding gate to be listed. Having not had any breakfast I decided to have some brunch about 11:00 but once again could not find any fast food style restaurants and instead decided on a beef and caramelised onion roll with cheese from a sandwich shop, which was actually really good. Finally my boarding gate was listed and I headed out. I was surprised that when I reached the gate they allowed me to get straight on the plane, makes a change from the pointless waiting around we usually encounter when flying to Florida. The aircraft was a Airbus A340-600 and was very new. I settled in my seat, which was a window seat in the rear of the plane. This meant I got a great view especially during take off, as the wing was not obstructing my view. We had a short 30 minute delay which was announced by the captain, apparently 3 people had failed to show up and so they were offloading their bags. True to his word the captain not only made up this time in the air, we also arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected. I dont really want to bore you with all the specifics but just to say that the food was some of the best Ive had on an aircraft and the entertainment system which lets you choose and start your film or TV show when you like was brilliant. I tried to get a little sleep on the flight but this was easier said than done, I never have been able to sleep very well on planes.
Day 3 Tuesday
The aircraft landed at 8:45AM on Tuesday in a cold and rainy Narita airport in Tokyo. The weather was actually worse than the UK which surprised me a little but I had seen the weather forecasts which had been predicting rain, it was a little colder than I expected though (only 7oC). It took a long time for the aircraft to taxi to its stand and it also took a while for everyone to get off the plane (guess thats what you get for sitting at the back of the aircraft, oh well.) still the captain left on the air-conditioning so at least it didnt get too stuffy on board. After leaving the plane I followed everyone else on a long trek to baggage reclaim and customs, whilst being a fairly long route it was one of the more straight forward airports to traverse that I have been to. After picking up my holdall and passing through customs and passport control (no problems) I ended up in the arrivals hall. This was considerably smaller than other airports I have visited, but was not very busy probably due to the time of the morning (now about 9:30AM). Between the 2 doors leading to the outside world were a series of little counters (about 4), along the back wall behind the staff were hundreds of flyers (reminded me of the ticket counters on the streets of London selling theatre tickets), above the counters were lit signs saying what the counter was selling. I headed for the airport limousine counter which had a orange and white sign (like easy jet) which I believe was the 2nd counter from the right. The man behind the counter was very smart and dressed in a suit and spoke perfect English, I was very impressed. It took him 2 attempts to figure out which hotel I wanted to go to though. The ticket cost Y2400 (about 11) each way, unfortunately I had missed the bus a few minutes ago and so had to wait until 10:20 for the next, still not too bad it could have been worse. My bus went from stand 2 which was out the doors and on the right, and just like other people have said before me was on time (makes such a change from England) whilst waiting outside for the bus it was fascinating to watch the couple of staff who work checking peoples tickets and loading their bags onto the bus, they also bow as the coach leaves. Just before my bus arrived they put a label on my bag and gave me a sort of claim check for my holdall. It was literally as though I was checking in my holdall for a flight. When the bus arrived there was no one on it and only myself and one other person got on. The bus then left for Disney with the 2 people who had loaded my bag onto the bus bowing as the bus pulled away.
This was my first ever visit to Japan and I was fascinated by the architecture of the traditional buildings that I saw as we drove to Disney. Just after the bus left the airport an information video started playing on the TV screen at the front of the bus. It was in Japanese so I could not understand any of it, but luckily it was repeated in English afterwards. It contained the usual information, please fasten your seatbelt, dont use mobile phones etc. I was getting so excited and after about 30 minutes I began to see signposts for the Disney resort, it was at this point that I started to see the top space mountain, the castle and mount Prometheus peeking out about the surroundings. After just 50 minutes we had arrived at the black and gold fountain entrance to the Tokyo Disney resort and then at our first stop, Tokyo Disneyland, where the other passenger got off. The bus then continued and did not stop at other hotels on the route, presumably as I was the only person on the bus he knew which stop he had to go to.
The bus pulled up to the security gate at the entrance to the Miracosta and was waved inside by the security guard. The bus then drove up a long ramped drive and slowly the front entrance to the hotel was revealed. I have to admit despite staying at a number of other Disney hotels including the Grand Californian and the Disneyland hotel in Paris, my jaw hit the floor when I saw the Miracosta for the first time. The bus circled the ornate fountain and was waved in to a stop under the front porch by one of the bellhops. As the bus stopped and the driver opened the door 2 more bellhops came running, one pushing a baggage trolley. I was escorted into the hotel and taken to the left luggage desk. After receiving another claim check for my luggage I asked the bellhop where to get my park passes and monorail tickets from and she pointed to the check-in desks. At the check-in I was told that I could not check-in until 3PM but that that I could receive my monorail passes. To be honest this system seems strange, every other hotel I have been to will allow you to check-in early but not get into your room until 3PM, this would also relieve the long queues that check-in always gets at 3. Still never mind. I was then told that I needed to go to a third desk on the other side of the lobby to purchase my park passes, talk about a long winded system. Still it is a pretty impressive lobby which I admired on my way to the ticket counter. The girl I spoke to asked for my name but was a little confused and asked me for my passport, she then thought my name was Craig David (because the surname on my passport is written on the line above, David is my middle name) after a little confusion she a colleague from the back came out to help who could speak perfect English. She explained that they could not find any record of my reservation on the system, Im now getting worried and handed over my letter confirming my reservation and she realised the mistake and quickly corrected it, Phew! Crisis over. After choosing a 4 day pass I then had to decide how I wanted to allocate the days. In Tokyo the first 2 days you can only enter one park on each day, and you must specify each when you buy your ticket. I decided on the DisneySea today and Disneyland tomorrow.
I then headed down the stairs with large glass windows on one side facing the park. These stairs lead to the entrance of the DisneySea which is just for the use of hotel guests. I arrived in the bright sunlight facing the main lagoon and mount Prometheus smoking in the background. I was given park maps when I brought my tickets but seeing as it was midday I decided to check the wait times on the tip board. As expected all the big rides had long queues (well it was a school holiday) but the was a performance of Big Band Beat starting in about 30 minutes, so I headed off to American Waterfront to catch the show. I was first struck as I walked down the New York style street at the detailing that had been put everywhere, there were manhole covers in the street with steam coming from them (nice touch) I joined the queue for the show and it wasnt long before I was walking into a large beautiful lobby with marble floors. Inside the theatre it was also very beautiful with very comfortable chairs; there was even a balcony where more guests can sit. It was amazing to think that this was inside a themepark because it could easily rival a west end theatre. I have to say that the show started out well, the middle was good and the end was great, so all in all I thought it was a great show. The finale with Mickey playing the drums with the other drummer was amazing. The show lasted about 30 minutes and was all in English. After the show I took the electric railway to port discovery and the rode storm rider. Storm rider was good I personally would have preferred more movement of the simulator but overall the effects (inside the cabin) made up for this. My only real criticism of this attraction was that there was no indoor queue so I was getting a little damp in the light haze of rain that had been falling all day. Next I headed over to the Mermaids Lagoon to see the Under the Sea show. I think I was a little spoilt by the length of the Big Band Beat show as at just 15 minutes long I was a little disappointed with the little mermaid show. The way that everything (apart from Sebastian) was suspended from the ceiling making you feel as though you were underwater was a nice touch though and did make it different. Next I decided to ride the recently redone attraction on Sinbad. This attraction was basically narrated in Japanese but the pictures in the queue had set the scene nicely, the music was quite nice as well, not as catchy as Its a small world or pirates but still not too bad. I was feeling really tiered and drained at this point (I had been up for about 24 hours at this point) so decided to head back to the hotel to check-in, have a rest and then come back into the park to watch the fireworks.
There was a queue of about 6-7 people waiting to check-in but the line moved fairly quickly. There was also a castmember wandering round with a tray of drinks for guests, it looked like neat lemon squash and seeing as I wasnt thirsty I didnt try any. After checking-in I was asked to wait in the main lobby whilst a bellhop brought my bags and showed me to my room. Whilst waiting it gave me time to examine the amazing lobby in more detail, I have to say the dome in the roof was beautiful. When the bellhop came out with my bag there was another girl with her, I was initially a little confused but it turns out she was there because she spoke English. The bellhop carried by holdall whilst the other girl pointed out the Pinocchio in the wallpaper, and explained what the 2 shops sell. (Mickey Angelo sells gifts and stuff whilst Minnie Lisa Sundries sells stuff guests may wish to use during their stay such as snacks and toiletries). My guide also explained what Mickey was saying in the lifts, it turns out he says mind the doors and welcome to the 4th floor (or words to that effect). Once inside my room I was shown how to open and close the window (actually to close the window you had to push a button on the bottom) but it was great to be able to open the window and hear the background music playing. The 2 girls then left and I could really start to take in the splendour of the room. I had booked the cheapest room in the hotel, (the partial view rooms were fully booked so I had a Tuscany side room). My room overlooked the Aquasphere, which is the large rotating earth fountain just inside the turnstiles. Kind of like the floral Mickey by the train station at the magic kingdom. The Miracosta itself then acts as the train station in blocking the view of the park and creating a dramatic reveal as you pass beneath it. The ground floor of the Miracosta are also the shops. So basically Im staying in the upstairs of main street looking towards the train station, but still inside the park. I had a double bed and a trundle bed, writing desk and chair along with an armchair and side table. I spent about 30 minutes just resting in the armchair with the window open listening to the background music of the Aquasphere it was wonderful.
After my rest I headed back into the park to catch the Mystic Rhythms show. This show only lasted about 15 minutes and to be honest I was a little disappointed with the music but the stunts were quite impressive. There was a lot going on, on such a small stage. Next I headed over to Port Discover and rode Aquatopia. There was no option of a dry or wet course. This was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be, I was very impressed. It was like dodgems in the look but they drove themselves and swerved and span and crossed paths with each other. Whilst you could see the track on the floor there were so many and you kept switching tracks you could never tell where you were going. The rain had been getting light as the day wore on and by now it had stopped so I hoped that BraviSEAmo would still be on, the wind had also died down so there was a possibility it would not be the reduced version. On the way to go and watch it I stopped by a cart selling hot dogs in American Waterfront and bought one, wasnt bad but wasnt the best Ive ever had. I decided to watch close to the entrance to the hotel as I was really tiered and did not feel like a long trek after the fireworks to my room. It turns out this is not the best place to see the show from as the water spirit obscures the view of the fire dragon for most of it. Despite this I have to say that I was very impressed with the show and made a point to catch it again with a better view. It was about 20 minutes long and had a good musical score, it was the same show that I saw every time so I dont think I ever saw the reduced version as there was never any announcements.
After BraviSEAmo I went up to my room just as the fireworks from Disneyland started I had forgotten that you can see them clearly from the DisneySea and as such they dim the lights and play the music, oh well Ill just have to catch them tomorrow. However when I got back to my room I realised I could see them off to the left from the window, and with the window open I could hear the music score as well. What a wonderful way to round off my first day at Tokyo Disney.
Day 4 Wednesday
This day is my Tokyo Disneyland day. I opted to do the parks this way round as I felt that I could easily spend the entire day in Tokyo Disneyland as there was so much to do. I knew in advance the mad rush for Poohs Hunny Hunt and knew that this was one of the few attractions in the park which I MUST do. I got the monorail to the Disneyland station (2 stops) and arrived at the park gates about 45 minutes before the park opened. There was security checking your bags, though as soon as you opened them they waved you through, they didnt really look in the bags. I was very surprised by the queues waiting to get into the park, they were really quite long. When the gates opened it took me 30 minutes just to get through the turnstiles. I went straight round to Pooh and found a huge queue for the fastpass. I was expecting a queue, but this was taking the Mickey. I decided I didnt really have much option other than to just queue. The queue was roped off with and there was a castmember at the end of the queue holding a sign on a stick which said Poohs Hunny Hunt fastpass. These sticks were actually a good idea as we were so far away from the attraction that you wouldnt really know what you were queuing for. They used the same stick idea for other attractions in both parks. To be honest it seems like a bit of a boring job holding a stick and following the end of the queue as it grows or shrinks but the system does work well. After 45 minutes in the queue I finally got my fastpass for 11:20-12:20. So its now over an hour after the park opened and all Ive got to show for it is a fastpass for Whinnie the pooh, oh well! With a queue over 3 hours long I was glad I had a fastpass for the attraction. I decided to make the first ride of the day (the classic) Its a Small World and was somewhat surprised that large parts of the song were in Japanese (well I am in Japan so what should I expect). As I headed towards Big Thunder Mountain to see what the queue was like I passed the Haunted Mansion (which is located in Fantasyland) which had over 60 minute wait time. I was beginning to think I would spend all day in queues and only ride a handful of rides, when I saw the queue of over 2 hours for Big Thunder I decided to do the Country Bears Jamboree which as in America was a walk on. It was an enjoyable attraction, most of the spoken dialogue was in Japanese yet most of the songs were in English. With the crowds increasing all the time and my sporadic approach to riding attractions only going to mean that Id miss something important I decided to be more systematic and start at Adventureland and work my way around the park and see how far I could get. I went on Jungle cruise (I had to make up my own joke as I couldnt really understand what the guide was saying) which was still an enjoyable experience. Next was the Western River Railroad which is the steam train which instead of running around the entire park only runs around Adventureland, Frontierland and Critter Country. In case you were wondering I was told this is because any transport over a certain length has to be controlled / pay taxes to the government, therefore the train track had to be much smaller. This is also the reason why you have to pay to use the monorail although if you stay at a Disney hotel you do get a free monorail pass. Next attraction in Adventureland was the Tiki Room now playing get the fever, this was a fun variation of another classic Disney attraction but I have to say there choice of music was urmmm..interesting. It was not time for my fastpass for pooh and I have to say that this attraction was definitely worth the 45 minute wait this morning. It is certainly the next generation of dark ride where the vehicles spins and roams around the rooms and crosses over the tracks of other vehicles. The hallucination scene is also really well done and makes full use of the technology.
I was now starting to get hungry and so decided to get some lunch, I had been told about a bacon and pineapple pizza in Tommorwland and decided to go and find one. However I got tempted by a roast beef wrap meal from a restaurant in Tommorwland. After a quick lunch I headed back to Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. This had a long queue but I could not visit Tokyo Disneyland without visiting Pirates, especially as this is the last time the attraction will be this way as ext month it is having the Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones features added just as the American parks have. After riding the attraction I headed back to Tomorrowland to see the One Mans Dream 2 show. This was about 30 minutes long and was a very good show with lots of scenes from various Disney films. Next on my timetable was the parade which I caught from Tomorrowland. Ill be honest I normally love the parade music but am never normally fussed on the parades themselves this one though, was quite nice. I tried to rush over to Adventureland to see Minnie O Minnie but they had shut the seating area due to capacity (it was pretty small), however I was able to stand at the back and have a good view. I actually liked this show, which has a lot of latin music and dancing. During the show I noticed it starting to get very overcast and colder but thought never mind. I decided to take a walk through the Swiss Family Robinsons Tree house to get some good views of the park, however it was at this time when it decided to start raining and get very windy. When I was at the top of the tree I could feel the platform swaying in the wind, so decided to make a quick exit just in case. I headed towards main street (World Bazzar as they call it) looking for shelter and got soaked along the way. I decided to head back to the hotel to get changed and to pick up my coat. When I was walking along the raised walkway over the entrance turnstiles of the DisneySea towards the hotel entrance I looked at my shoulders and could see snow which was landing on them. Yes it was SNOWING! Well sort of sleet, but you can appreciate how cold it was. I was surprisingly tiered by the time I got back to the hotel (probably the jetlag) and decided to have a half house nap, I set my alarm which for the first time ever I slept through and by the time I awoke I had to rush back to the park in-order to catch the main street electrical parade Dream Lights. I did get a good spot at the hub to watch the parade from as the park had emptied considerably since the thunder storm this afternoon. I was so impressed by the length of the parade; it has to be the longest parade (certainly night parade) I have ever seen. I then grabbed a Mickey shaped cheeseburger and got a good spot in the hub to watch the fireworks from. Unlike all the other parks the fireworks are not launched from behind the castle instead they are launched from the left (behind Frontierland) which explains why you can see them so clearly from the DisneySea, which is also located behind Frontierland. Sorry should have mentioned this before Frontierland is actually called Westernland. After the fireworks I tried to do the haunted mansion but it was closed as was most of fantasyland (something to do with the fireworks I believe) so instead decided to do a couple of attractions in Tomorrowland. Before heading back to the hotel for the night I had done Buzz Lightyears Lazer Blast, Honey I shrunk the Audience and Star Tours, all of which were walk ons.
Day 5 Thursday
I can now park hop the same as the other Disney resorts around the world and decided to take full advantage of this. I started my day in the Disneyland park. Where I arrived 90 minutes before the park opened and headed straight for a fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain. I then rode Splash Mountain and by now it was only 9:20. Before my time came round for Big Thunder I rode Haunted Mansion and the Mickey Mouse revue. The Mickey Mouse Revue is a very old animatronics show built for WDW and then shipped to Tokyo when that first opened in 1983. So you can appreciate that this is now a little old and dated but still an enjoyable attraction. After riding Big Thunder I stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the waterfront which was nice. I had a meal of battered chicken legs and wedges as the mark twain moved slowly around the river. Very relaxing. The only real attraction I had left to do was Roger Rabbits Car Too Spin. I realised I had probably not picked the best time to ride this attraction but never mind. I ended up waiting about 45 minutes (the longest waited for any attraction all holiday!) still a fun ride though. After taking a few photos of the park I headed across to the DisneySea.
After picking up a map and show schedule from guest relations I headed to the tip board to see what the wait times were like. I was pleased to see that Journey to the Centre of the Earth still had fastpasses available, so headed off to pick one up immediately. After picking up my fastpass I decided to utilise the single rider lines for both Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits. In both cases I was able to cut down a 2 hour queue to just 2 minutes. Raging Spirits is basically the same as the Indiana Jones roller coaster from Paris but with softer cushions. Next I decided to get a good spot to see the Legend of Mythica. This is a day time lagoon show, basically the equivalent of the daily parade but on water. This was truly amazing and in my opinion the best show I saw at Tokyo Disney. The music was brilliant as were all the floats. I was watching from one of the windows in the raised walkway to the left of the lagoon (as you look at mount Prometheus) and had a great aerial view of the whole lagoon. After the lagoon show I went to the Magic Lamp Theatre to watch a live show with some 3D effects from the Genie. When I went into the pre-show and was handed my 3D glasses the castmember on the entrance asked me if I wanted translation subtitles. I of course said yes please and she came back with a sort of page which displayed subtitles for all the voices both of the pre-show and the main show its self. Whilst a good idea it I did find myself looking down at the words more than what was going-on on stage. After the magic lamp theatre I watched the show Primavera which was added for the Spring Carnival. This show involved lots of dancers at a few points around the lagoon and characters arrived by boat to join in. After a short rest and dinner of a goyza sausage bun I rode Journey to the centre of the earth. The goyza sausage bun was basically sausage meat with a lot of onions (or something similar) in a very thin sausage skin, this is placed inside white dough and steamed. It looks weird because it is brilliant white, soft and floppy, but does taste quite nice. Journey to the Centre of the Earth is by far the best attraction in the entire park. The bit at the end of the ride where it gets fast and blasts out the side of the volcano was so impressive. I then decided to go and get a good spot to watch BraviSEAmo. I watched it from the seating area on the waterfront (where meet and smile is performed) which game me some great views of the show, especially when the dragon comes out of the water. After BraviSEAmo I went on 20,000 leagues under the sea. This attraction (at this time of night) was a walk on and as such I had an entire sub to myself. It was an ok attraction but I felt it was lacking a wow factor like journey. Finally as I started making my way back towards the hotel I walked through the Fortress explorations which was very peaceful, and the views across the lagoon towards the Miracosta was beautiful. Finally before retiring for the night I took a ride on the Venetian gondolas. Despite visiting Venice 3 times before I have never actually ridden in a gondola so it was nice to finally do so. The Venetian area was really pretty at night.
Day 6 Good Friday
Friday 6th was a free giveaway day where every guest who entered the park on that day was given a free character clip. It turns out the character clip was a metal diamond with spring carnival and a picture of Minnie Mouse on it. My whole aim for the day was the one (big) attraction which I had not yet done (as the queue was always so long and that was the Tower of Terror. I went down to the park entrance inside the hotel about an hour before the gates opened. After booking my coach tickets back to the airport for the next morning I joined the small queue waiting to enter the park. About 30 minutes before the park opened we were allowed down the stairs so we were queue near the turnstiles rather than in the hotel lobby. Then after a quick bag check we were allowed into the park 15 minutes before the park opened. In Tokyo this is a big thing as the turnstiles do not open until the park opens and then everyone runs to their first attraction. Whilst they let us into the park early we were met at the entrance to American Waterfront and queued up behind a stick (like the ones I mentioned earlier for Whinnie the Pooh). They then slowly walked us to the attraction entrance and by the time the gates opened at 9AM I was walking through the entrance to the ride. This version of the tower of terror does not have a Twilightzone theme but still has a haunted hotel elevator in the pre-show the voodoo statue on the left disappears which is very impressive, I still dont know how they did it. It was really nice going on a scary ride like this knowing nothing about the layout or route of the ride, added a little extra fear to the attraction. After riding the tower of terror I then went and watched the show meet and smile which was a cute 30 minute character show on the waterfront. I then took the transit steamliner to the Lost River Delta to take some photos and ride raging spirits again. On the way back to American Waterfront I stopped by Donalds Boat Builders and had a herb chicken roll meal (very nice) and accidentally caught the show Cape Cod Step out, which is basically Irish dancing and live music for 30 minutes and I really enjoyed it. I then went and watched the stage show over the waves which a story driven show with lots of music and dancing but quite good with an easy to follow story.
After this I popped over to the Disneyland park to take a few photos and ride the Mark Twain. I also caught the One Mans Dream 2 show before returning to the DisneySea. I arrived back at the DisneySea and caught the end of the Legend of Mythica before picking up a fastpass for Journey to the Centre of the Earth for later in the evening. I then saw the Big Band Beat again before having tea at Donalds Boat Builders (cod roll and chips very tasty). I then saw the Cape Cod Step Out again before riding Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I then got a good spot to watch both BraviSEAmo and the Disney in the Stars firework shows. A lovely way to end my time at Tokyo Disney.
The first thing to say is that I have never seen so many castmembers all who whom seemed to have inexhaustible amounts of energy and a real sense of pride and enjoyment in their work. It was really nice to see all the cast members enjoying the parks as much as the guests.
From the moment the coach pulled up to the entrance of the Miracosta I was in awe of the majesty of the hotel. I have stayed at a number of Disney resorts around the world and this one puts them all to shame in terms of luxury. I have truly never seen quite so much marble. And the room was stunning and so comfortable.
This park is the typical magic kingdom style park and has large similarities with the Magic Kingdom in Florida and yet still has a large number of differences. The most noticeable is the look of the entrance and more specifically World Bazaar (Main Street USA) the front acts as the train station in blocking the view but the roof also causes an obstruction until you exit World Bazzar. The roof also gives it the feeling of being indoors and the echo also gives the impression more of a shopping mall than a Disney Themepark. I truly understand why they did it but personally, Id rather they didnt. The park its self if huge its bigger than Florida and noticeably too. Everywhere is very open there are no transitions from land to land and no land is really hidden from the other. At one point I stopped and did a 360o and I could see Big Thunder Mountain, Mark Twain riverboat, Country Bear Jamboree, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo and a few other fantasyland rides. There are very few trees and greenery in islands in the public walkways creating vast open areas. They help to cope with the large numbers of guest, but it does give a very open and (dare I say it) cheap feel with large expanses of coloured concrete on the floor. This is not to say that I did not like the park, because I did. The Castle was beautiful (more so than WDW because of the colours used to paint Tokyo). Poohs Hunny Hunt was an amazing dark ride and the first of many more I hope. Tomorrowland appeared very dated but having said that a large portion was closed due to the refurb work going on with Space Mountain so this may be addressed when it opens. All in all a nice park, glad Ive been but not worth the trip half way round the world to visit. If it were as close as Paris is to me, then it would be different.
This park is a stark contrast to the very open Disneyland park next door. This park has a number of smaller paths and walkways around the park which allow you immerse yourself in the land (or port) that you are in. in my opinion this is what Disney is famous for and it is what they do very well in other Disney parks around the world and they really showcased their (Imagineers) talents in the DisneySea. Whilst the park has considerably fewer rides then the Disneyland there are more shows. Also the rides that the park has are great. Most are unique to the DisneySea, others are altered from the originals and it comes together really well. The park must have cost billions to build but you can see where all the money went. Rather than building a park (like six flags) where all the money is spent on the attractions Disney spent so much money in making you enjoy the experience when your walking around the park. I didnt mind waiting 30 minutes or an hour for a show because I could just gaze in wonder at the beauty of the park, made even nicer by all the flowers from the spring carnival.
Day 7 Saturday
I packed my bags the night before and woke early. When booking my ticket on the coach the cast member said that I needed to leave at least 3 hours before my flight was due to depart, presumably to allow time to get to the airport and to check in etc. there was no coach at 8AM so I had to get the first coach of the day which arrived at 7:02. I woke early and at about 6:15 I headed down to the reception to check out and wait for my bus. I was surprised that I saw one or 2 families queuing for the DisneySea despite the fact that it didnt open until 9AM. After checking out I sat in the lobby reading a book until the coach left. Whilst waiting, a bellhop asked me if I would like her to take my bag, I explained I was waiting for the bus and a few minutes later another bellhop arrived and explained that I should make sure I was out the front 10 minutes before the bus is due to arrive. I headed out front in plenty of time and sat on a bench waiting for the coach to arrive. It was while I was waiting outside that I heard the background music and Aquasphere start up as did the fountain outside the Miracosta. I always assumed that they would run 24 hours a day, but apparently not. The bus arrived and was again waved to the front porch for me to board, and I was also given a claim check for my luggage in the hold. The coach was a little busier than when I arrived but there were a few spaces. The coach left and stopped at a few of the official partner hotels (like the Sheraton) before making its way to the airport. I was a little sad to be leaving but I knew my vacation was not yet over. When we approached a security check outside the airport security guards (police?) boarded the coach and checked everyones passports, they were checking every vehicle that was entering the airport. Even with this short delay the trip only took just over an hour. I was a little confused about which terminal I needed to get off at, as my ticket said terminal 1 whilst the coach driver said Cathy Pacific were based at terminal 2. I was not the only one who was confused as there were another couple who were flying with Cathy Pacific and were also having the same debate. I decided to get off at terminal 2 (first stop) and walk to terminal 1 if I needed to. It turned out the coach driver was right and Cathy Pacific was based at terminal 2 and I checked in with no problems. I was relieved that the check-in assistant spoke perfect English.
After checking in I headed out to the departure gate to wait for my flight and was soon allowed onto the aircraft to fly to Hong Kong. The aircraft was an Airbus A330 which was slightly older than the Virgin plane I arrived on but was very comfortable. I again had a window seat and enjoyed watching the sights as we flew to Hong Kong. Having departed at 11:00 I arrived at about 2:30 (4 hours with time change). after clearing passport control and customs etc I reached the arrivals hall about 3:30. I then had about 2 hours to wait until my parents arrived from mainland china. We decided to take a taxi to Hong Kong Disney as my parents had a lot of luggage and we didnt fancy changing trains 3 times carrying a lot of suitcases. We arrived at the taxi ranks and there were 3 rows of taxis, one red, one blue and one green. I knew from research that all would take us to the Disney resort but that for some reason the red taxi was more expensive. We went to the green and said Disney to the driver and pointed to a flyer about the resort I had picked up earlier and he shook his head and pointed to the blue taxi. The blue taxi driver spoke English and said no problem. I cant remember the exact price but it was about 12 including 5 suitcases (you pay 5 HKD per suitcase). In about 15 minutes we arrived at the Hong Kong Disneyland hotel. When we checked in we also bought park passes for that evening (not sure why my dad was insisting on going into the park tonight as the park shut in just over an hour and a half but never mind). There was a special deal going on whereby if you stayed at a Disney hotel and bought a park ticket you got a second day free. We were also given a free upgrade to a sea view room which was nice. We dropped off our bags in the room and then made our way to the bus stop to the park. As we got off the bus and arrived at the entrance turnstiles we turned to each other and said this is Disney it was a warm evening, there were the lights in the trees and ragtime piano music being played. In front of us was the train station and Mickey floral arrangement. After walking through the turnstiles and picking up a map from guest relations we headed to get some food from the star liner caf in Tomorrowland. By the time we finished eating we were all pretty tiered so decided to take in some of the atmosphere and get a good spot for the fireworks. Whilst waiting for the fireworks, there was a sort of pre-show where the castle lights did a show in time with the music. It was the music from sleeping beauty where the 2 fairies are fighting over the colour of the dress (pink and blue), the castle started off changing from pink to blue and back with a strobe light twinkling effect between changes. Later in the show the effects get more advanced with parts of the turrets changing colours. I was very impressed by this show, and I can see why it is said that this castle has the most complex lighting scheme of any castle around the world.
The fireworks themselves were quite good but in my opinion I would prefer a signature music score rather than a collection of movie songs, but the flame throwers from the side walls and Catherine wheels on the castle were new and novel. As we left the park we decided to walk back to the hotel as the street looked so peaceful with the lights, background music and fountains. It was surprising that there were no other people there, every one else, it seems, takes the bus, but its a pleasant 7 minute stroll.
Day 8 Easter Sunday
We were supposed to be doing a tour of Hong Kong today but my dad was not feeling very well and had been up most of the night so my Mum went down to the bell desk about 7AM and asked if it was possible to postpone our tour until the next day. They castmembers were very helpful and changed the said they would contact the tour company when they opened at 8. We decided to have breakfast in the hotel; it was a continental breakfast in the lobby overlooking the gardens and was very pleasant. We headed to the park ready for when it opened at 10 and decided to walk as it was a pleasant warm day. We decided to take things a little slowly because my dad wasnt feeling brilliant although he was feeling much better by now. The weather was overcast and misty but still fairly warm. Our first stop was Space Mountain, which I was excellent. Unlike Paris which has a high speed launch and loops etc this version was more like the American versions only better. The stars projected on the walls were clearer and the whole ride was darker so (even when we were at the front) we could not see where the track was going to go. It was unusual in roller coaster design in that it started out slowly and built up faster and faster towards the end, which made the ride very enjoyable, even my Mum who doesnt really like roller coasters enjoyed this one. Next we went on Buzz Lightyear which was identical to Tokyo and certainly similar to all the others but still good fun. The ride stopped a couple of times (probably to let disabled people enter the ride) it seemed that I had a perfect position to be stopped and racked up a score of over 600,000 my best score ever. Our next stop was Autopia which was much longer than I expected but just as all other versions useless at steering. Our next stop was the Festival of the Lion King. This version is based on the version from Disneys Animal Kingdom in WDW but has much more emphasis put on the story of the lion king. There are no tumble monkeys which were always my favourite part of the show in WDW but I have to say I was very impressed with the show in Hong Kong. Having an actual story makes the show work very well and the rotating stage is utilised very well, all in all a very well choreographed and put together show, very enjoyable. We decided to stop for lunch and opted for a Chinese/BBQ restaurant next door to the theatre. We all had the BBQ pork with rice which was very nice and really filling. My only criticism was that there were no forks, and consequently I had a few problems in eating the food, until my dad gave me some chopsticks he had brought from home which were joined at the top, this made it slightly easier to eat. In other restaurants plastic knives and forks are provided with the napkins etc or given to us when we order our food (presumably because we are westerners). After lunch we went on the Jungle Cruise, it is a very efficient system they have for catering for the different languages, where by the skipper of the boat will speak only in one language. As far as Jungle Cruise attractions goes this is really nice and obviously different to the others around the world, most noticeably are the fire and water effects at the end, but going around the Rivers of Adventure and Tarzans Tree house makes a nice change and good atmosphere. Next it was time for Stitch Encounter. On the electronic sign outside the attraction it tells you what the time slots the various languages are. While we were in Hong Kong English was between 2 and 4:30. The attraction utilises the same technology as Turtle talk with Crush and the show its self was quite humorous in places. After Stitch encounter we went to watch the parade which was a good length and with a catchy song. We then went and saw the golden Mickeys show and was very impressed by the show. It was kind like a variety performance with scenes from various Disney films and the theme of an awards ceremony kept the show together and gave a good overlying story to the show. All spoken words were in Cantonese or mandarin (sorry dont know which) but there were screens to the left and right of the stage one with English subtitles and the other with Cantonese or Mandarin. All songs though were sung in English.
Next we decided to get a do some of the fantasyland attractions including the carousel, Whinnie the Pooh and Mickeys Philharmagic. All of which are the same as those in the Magic Kingdom at WDW. Whilst it was still daylight we decided to get the rafts across to Tarzans Tree house to get good views across the park. This walk through is the same as that in California, but making guests get the rafts to and from the tree house makes it into more of an enjoyable attraction. We decided to head back down Main Street USA and to ride the train to Fantasyland. The train terminates at Fantasyland and then reverses (with no passengers on board) back to Main Street. This is because some of the track on the Tommorwland side of Fantasyland has been removed due to the construction of the Its a Small World attraction. Whilst walking through Fantasyland we stopped at the royal banquet (or something like that) for dinner. We all had a steak which was ok but nothing special (but at least the gave us a knife and fork). Finally it was time to get a good spot to view the fireworks and pre-show before walking back to the hotel.
Day 9 - Monday
We went down to the entrance of the hotel and the bellhop called a taxi to come forward to take us into Kauloon. We had to go to the Sheraton hotel and on the third floor were the Splendid Tours offices. After signing in and paying we were given some yellow stickers and asked to wear them and meat at the clock tower (she explained where it was and how to get there) in about an hour. It turned out to be a pleasant 5 minute stroll to the clock tower which was on the waterfront. We decided to grab a quick breakfast in Mc Donalds and stop at the pharmacy next door to buy some flu tablets for my Dad. After arriving at the clock tower (in before we were asked to be there) a guide spotted us and escorted us to the dock to join the boat and other members of the tour. The boat ride lasted about 2 hours and our guide pointed out a couple of things about the buildings we passed. We also went to see the midday gun which was a cannon outside the ground floor of the bank and was very loud. I would hate to be driving past (as some motorists were) when the gun went off. When the boat docked we were taken to a restaurant on the 3rd floor of a nearby (fancy looking) building for lunch. The lunch was Dim Sum and was included in the cost of the tour. To be honest it was ok, some of it was nice but I wasnt overly impressed. The views from the restaurant overlooking downtown Hong Kong were very impressive. After lunch we were given new stickers (dependant on what option you had picked for the afternoon) and asked to meet in the lobby of the YMCA. Another tour guide met us there and escorted us to the coach. We then picked up our tour guide for the afternoon, who spoke brilliant English and was very informative. First we went to Victoria Peak for panoramic views of the City. Next we went to the harbour and went on a sampan boat ride which was interesting. (you did have to pay extra for this ride though (55HKD each). Next was a jewellery factory tour which was boring and in my opinion we stayed there too long as it was mostly just a showroom/shop for expensive jewellery. But according to my parents who had been doing tours round China these visits to factories/showrooms is normal for tours. The final stop was a fishing towns market which was mostly tourist style market stuff. I have to say I found the time on the bus more entertaining as the tour guide would point things out as we drove past and explain them. She also spoke of the various customs etc in Hong Kong. After finishing the tour we got a Taxi back to the hotel. The bellhop had given us a card with the hotels name and address on in Chinese and whilst the taxi took us to Disney ok he had obviously not been there before as he tried to go through the coach entrance and we had to direct him to the correct gate.
After freshening up we went to look around the Hollywood Hotel, or so my Mum thought. In fact we were going there for dinner which was my belated mothers day gift which she had forgotten about. I had booked a table at Chef Mickeys for the second sitting which was at 8:30 so whilst looking round the hotel and grounds we stopped outside the front to watch the fireworks. It was strange watching them from the side. The meal its self was a buffet with Chinese, Japanese and western foods (and a few other as wells). I particularly liked the rib eye and the lamb shanks (very tasty). The only surprise was despite the large amounts of western food there were no potatoes, no chips, roast potatoes or mash, very odd given the western selection of meats. Still very nice food although it was a little pricey it was very nice and the first large meal Id had since leaving the UK. We then took a slow walk back to the hotel and stopped by the hotel shop to do some last minute shopping before retiring for the last time in Hong Kong.
Day 10 - Tuesday
Our flight was due to depart at 11:25PM so we had most of the day to spend in the park. After packing our bags and dropping them off at the left luggage desk and checking out, we had a look around the grounds of the hotel and navigated our way through the maze to the centre and back. We then took a slow stroll to the park taking some photos along the way. After a quick trip on Space Mountain and Astrorbitor we then rode Buzz Lightyear again, not my best score. We then had a quick lunch before riding the jungle cruise again before seeing the Golden Mickeys show. After the show we saw Mickeys Philharmagic and then the Festival of the Lion King. As our day drew to a close we saw the parade and the Stitch Encounter one more time before one final ride on Buzz Lightyear. On the way out of the park we stopped by the Disneyland Story (on town square) and found it really interesting especially the stop motion films of the construction of the park. After our last minute shopping we got the bus back to the hotel (we were pretty tiered by now) and picked up our bags from the bellhop who kindly took them out to the front of the hotel for us and helped put them in the taxi for the short taxi ride to the airport. After checking in for the flight (it was now about 7PM we had a quick meal before heading out to the gate to wait for the plane.
The flight was longer than coming out and was nearly 14 hours but with the time differences we ended up arriving in London at about 5:30 Wednesday morning. To say I was impressed at the efficiency of Heathrow would be an understatement. I appreciate that there were probably not too many people at that time of the morning but even so. In under an hour we had picked up our bags, gone through passport control and customs, got the bus back to the car park (about a 15 minute trip and found our car. Considering this usually takes us about 2 hours when we fly back from Florida impressed us all greatly. A really nice end to a perfect holiday.
Considerably smaller than its Floridian counterpart but its small charm is very nice. The whole resort is very well finished and very luxurious. Whilst the only food we ate here was the breakfast it was quite good and if the dinner was as good as that in the Hollywood next door (which I believe it would be) it would be great. The free first use of the minibar was a nice touch, we got 2 bottles of coke and 2 bottles of water. A small minibar but it was free. Our room was very large and the bathroom one of the largest Ive had at a Disney hotel. My only criticism would be the view; whilst we were upgraded to a sea view room (and the view of the sea/mountains was beautiful) a large white construction wall to the right was a little off putting for such an expensive hotel. On our last morning my dad and I decided to find out what was going on, it turns out it is screening the deliveries and refuse area. In my opinion its a shame that this was not screened by way of a false wall, but at least they did screen it in some way I suppose. One other thing to mention is that I love the location of the hotels. They felt isolated from the parks (in their own little worlds) like those at WDW yet unlike WDW they were close enough to walk to the park, thereby making the best of both worlds.
Small but beautiful. There is no denying the fact that the park is small, we were able to do the entire park comfortably in a day. Having said this, the attractions and shows they have are all good and in some cases the best versions in any Disney park. Prime examples are Space Mountain and Festival of the Lion King. I was a little disappointed by the musical score of the fireworks but the display its self was quite good. The natural landscape surrounding the park (especially the mountain/hill behind the castle) really emphasises that this park is different to the others and not a just another copy.
The resort is planned for much more there than there is at the moment. The infrastructure is in place so that expansion can be quick and cause minimal disruption to the existing infrastructure. For example between the 2 hotels is a plot of land slightly larger than either of the plots for the 2 existing hotels. As we walked from the Disneyland hotel to the Hollywood we noticed the entrances to this plot have already been put in place (kerb lines) thereby meaning that when a third hotel is built they will not have to dig up the road and cause leave an unsightly scar in the road to add access to the hotel. This is good planning on Disneys part as I doubt it would have cost much to put in but will make things much better in the future. The walkway between the hotels (and pier) to the park is lined by hedges with periodic gaps in the hedges with gates/railings which have been conceal whats going on behind them. It is my firm belief that this will be the location of a Downtown Disney style development as there is a lot of lighting, sound system and landscaping along this area which seams too elaborate just to be a pathway to the hotels. Finally the reclaimed land opposite the park and the way the entrance is (with the fountain and its orientation) would suggest a second park facing the original is to come in the future. In short I am very impressed in the future planning of this resort and I have no doubt that in the not to distant future this will become a truly magical Disney Destination.
This was a very expensive trip (nearly 3000 in total) but was definitely worth every penny. The weather in Tokyo was random, going from snow one day to hot sunlight (and getting sun burnt) the next. Hong Kongs weather was more like Florida; hot and humid. Both hotels were typical Disney design and quality however the Miracosta took the Disney quality and service to the next level (and then some). The parks I visited were amazing and truly a good ambassador for the Disney brand.