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Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 2 - World Bazaar and Adventureland
DisneyDan  Thursday, January 28, 2016 10:22:38 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this Tokyo Disney Resort trip report I covered the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari, and Bon Voyage. In this second part I am going to share our adventures within the magical lands of World Bazaar and Adventureland, at Tokyo Disneyland park.

Arriving at Tokyo Disneyland is an interesting experience. It is both one of pure joy and excitement, and one of sheer terror. Tokyo Disney Resort (TDR) has a very different feel to it, and really makes a Disney fan's emotions and senses go into over drive! Whether you arrive at the park via the monorail from the on site hotels, bus, or walking from Maihama (or any one of the other multitude of ways of arriving), you will ultimately find yourself on the vast concourse in front of Tokyo Disneyland park (TDL). You'll find a number of amenities, including a guest relations booth, picnic area (park left), coffee shop (park right), the TDL monorail station, and towering above everything, the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel (see part one for details of the monorail system and hotels).

There is a large, curved, entry system that contains the ticket booths and turnstiles beyond, which you will nearly always find completely packed with people at least an hour before park opening. I have never actually counted at how many turnstiles there are, but I would hazard a guess at it being somewhere between two and three times as many as either Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom have. The photo below shows the view form the monorail station one morning when we arrived - but realise that this photo only shows one small section of the turnstile entry area.



If you're lucky enough to be near the front of the lines before they let people into the park, then you might catch a glimpse of some magical happenings with the Disney characters. They'll sometimes come out to play on the empty World Bazaar entrance plaza and entertain guests for a few minutes before preparing for their daily greetings. I really love moments like this, where you can capture candid moments of the characters being cute with one another.



































The plaza beyond the turnstiles is the place to meet characters in World Bazaar. Over the years we have been visiting TDR, we have seen at least forty characters in World Bazaar, most of which, based on this trip, still come out regularly here (which by any standard, is quite incredible). This trip we managed to meet Max Goof, Peter Pan, Belle, Snow White, Robin Hood, Eeyore, Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Suzy, Perla, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket. Of course, there were many more out, but with everything else there is to do in the park, we couldn't spend our entire time in World Bazaar!



























There were various musical acts playing at various times during the day, including the man on the Bicycle Piano (who, by the way, is hilarious and has been at TDL for many years now. He's originally from Vancouver, Canada), the Tokyo Disneyland Band and a jazz band I had never seen before, but I assume were there for Christmas since they were in front of the Christmas tree, and played Christmas music.







I mentioned the Christmas band, and of course you probably noticed the Christmas overlays for the TDL Band and the Bicycle Piano man, so that now leads me to Christmas in World Bazaar. I think they did a pretty good job of the decorations around the land, with a large display at the front, lots of decorations up the "Main Street" part of World Bazaar, and then some other displays and banners around Central Plaza. The theme this past Christmas was Disney Christmas Stories, which was also the name of the parade. The decorations and parade were matched accordingly, to give a seamless flow of continuity.



























































There were various special treats on offer for the festive season, including at the booths on Central Plaza, and at the Sweetheart Cafe on the Tomorrowland corner of the main World Bazaar complex. The bakery photo below shows the special Stitch treats, but also some more regular offerings that we got for breakfast one day.











Being vegetarian is difficult in Japan, but there are at least two places in TDL that have really good vegetarian offerings. In Westernland, the Hungry Bear has an excellent vegetable curry, and in World Bazaar there is a special vegetarian set menu at the Eastside Cafe. Below you can see the main dish and the two of the desserts you can have there.







Before we move on to our next land, let's take a look at some more photos from around World Bazaar this trip, including the wait times board during a random point on our trip, which might be interesting for some people to see.











Facing onto Central Plaza is the Crystal Palace, which is very similar to the one in the Magic Kingdom - it's even in the same location. However, for whatever reason, TDL have always considered it a part of Adventureland. So, with it being really part of both lands, it's a good stepping stone for us to move into Adventureland.



We dined at Crystal Palace one morning during our trip, as we wanted to meet the Pooh friends there wearing their Christmas additions. The Crystal Palace is only a character meal for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner it is a regular buffet. Breakfast is not a buffet, but rather what I think the Japanese term a "buffeteria". You are given a selection of items, and shown to a table as though it were a cross between a table service and a buffet. It's a hard concept to explain, but it works fairly well. The problem we had was the fact that we are vegetarian. As I've said many times on this site over the years, the Japanese are a stickler for their rules. The breakfast comes with one meat item on it - a hot dog sausage. For some reason, asking to have this removed was akin to asking if the United Nations would be kind enough perform Mary Poppins the Musical on Central Plaza while wearing clown outfits. Eventually we got the sausage removed, and we ate, and met characters. Tigger and Eeyore had holly on their tails, Pooh had a broach, Rabbit a medallion and Piglet also a broach, though weirdly it was attached directly to his skin. Poor Piglet!

















It isn't a bad meal at all, despite the issue with not wanting something on your meal but paying the same price (we're surely saving them money, right?!), and it is very cheap too! I did keep the receipt, but of course now I need it for reference, I can't find it! But to my recollection it was somewhere around the equivalent of $15 per adult, which for a character breakfast is amazing value!

So, we venture now into Adventureland. We managed to experience Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. Pirates here is just a slight variation on the Disneyland version, with just a couple of things moved around. The Jungle Cruise here is more like the Florida version, except recently they updated it for the nighttime by adding in some new effects. The way it was advertised, I actually expected a lot more from it, and so for me personally, it was a little underwhelming. We rode it at night to get the "full" effect of the new version, and I wasn't that impressed, so during the day I only can guess that it really doesn't seem any different at all. The lines for it were pretty long most of the time, but we waited until late one night to do it. You can see from the picture below that the line one day was all the way out of the main Adventureland entrance, which is pretty wild.



We saw the Pirates Brass out one day (they are the resident band of Adventureland), and walked around taking pictures of the Christmas decorations, including the fun Santa Stitch Tiki idol.















Adventureland is home to the Polynesian Terrace, which is a dinner show venue hosting two different experiences. During lunch you can join Lilo and Stitch for Lilo's Luau and Fun, and for dinner Mickey and Minnie host Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise. The Polynesian Paradise show is actually being replaced this year with a new production, of which there are few details about yet. We were fortunate and did both meals this trip.



Let's stat with lunch.

Without sounding like I am on repeat, we once again had vegetarian issues with the Polynesian Terrace (at both meals). For some reason they didn't just take the meat out of the main meal and give us extra of whatever else, we actually instead got some minuscule rice, potatoes, carrot and broccoli combination that looked more like a side dish. There was also a side salad. Overall, the food here is pretty underwhelming, and we really just like to come here because of the atmosphere, entertainment and characters.





The lunch experience is a combination character meal and show, with the show really being very simple and more just for your general entertainment while you dine. The best part really is meeting the characters in their cute Polynesian outfits. My own personal judgements aside, it is fun and I recommend it if you have never done it before (although you'll need to be able to speak Japanese to book in advance, or try your luck at the box office on the day itself).

































Despite my enormous love for Stitch, I do think that the Polynesian Paradise dinner show is a better overall experience, and I hope that the show that replaces it will be just as good, if not better. The show stars Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, along with musicians and performers in a really beautiful show of traditional Polynesian dancing and music. My criticism of the food remains the same. The characters do not meet during this experience, and remain on stage at all times. Reservations, again, are in advance, in Japanese only.





















So, that's it for our travels through Adventureland - up next is Westernland! I will be writing the next part in the next few days, so look out for that here on the blog.

In case you missed them, here are the links to my Hong Kong reports that I wrote recently, which were all part of this same trip.


Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
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