Tokyo Disney Resort
As it celebrates it 35th anniversary, amber jacobs discovers what makes Tokyo Disney Resort such an enchanting destination for families seeking thrills, entertainment and fun.
We celebrate Tokyo Disney Resort’s 35th anniversary.
I am greeted by the distinct scent of caramel popcorn and the sight of the Cinderella Castle glimmering in the Tokyo spring sun. Excited kids and adults are wandering through the World Bazaar with Mickey-shaped candy, wearing Disney-themed costumes from shops in the surrounding 20th-century Americanstyle buildings. This is magic, right here.
Happiness is here
With everyone’s favourite rides, characters and worlds spread across 14 themed areas, there is no shortage of entertainment at Tokyo Disney Resort as it celebrates its 35th anniversary. The highlight, though, has to be the incredible ‘Dreaming Up!’ parade, which will remain at the park until March 2019. The parade is nothing short of magical. Kids jiggle with excitement when the first float arrives carrying an enthusiastic Mickey Mouse. This is followed by more lavish floats, including one covered in crystals and carrying four beloved princesses: Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The parade ends with Mary Poppins flying above a miniature town while Peter Pan and Wendy perform aerial acrobatics that leave us dazzled.
Disney dining delights
Tokyo Disney Resort’s food choices include everything from Western fast food to traditional Japanese cuisine at Restaurant Hokusai. We dine at the family-friendly Crystal Palace, where I pile my plate high at a buffet catering for even the fussiest little palates with everything from Japanese to Italian. For dessert, we pop into the Chocolate Crunch Shop, a new addition to the park. It’s all about Disney’s famous Duck family, and filled with Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey and Louie decorations and merchandise. But it is the irresistible chocolate crunch that is the real star. It comes in six flavours including caramel, chocolate and strawberry shortcake, and I can’t resist filling a box to take home.
It’s a Small World
‘It’s a Small World’ is a gentle, visually captivating introduction to Tokyo Disneyland’s larger-than-life rides. Ideal for little ones, even the adults are mesmerised as we glide through tunnels and hidden rooms, passing a dazzling display of animatronic characters in intricately detailed settings. The first European-themed room features Anna and Elsa from Frozen, who greet us with pirouettes as toy soldiers drum beside them. The ride has been revamped to celebrate the anniversary, and the frescoes and miniatures throughout are designed in homage to the witty and whimsical style of Mary Blair, one of the first prominent female artists to work for the Walt Disney Company.
Under the Sea
Fifteen years since its conception, Tokyo Disneysea remains the only of its kind in the world and is home to more extreme rides that older kids will love. It is dark by the time we reach Disneysea’s Venetian-style square and Mount Prometheus glows indigo at the park’s centre. The setting is almost indistinguishable from a Mediterranean port city, aside from the fuzzy cartoon characters wandering the streets. We are treated to the Fantasmic! show, where giant water screens, laser lights and reflections bring characters to life on water before making our way to Mermaid Lagoon.
Afterwards, I find myself bathed in dim blue light at the depths of Atlantica, where kids are climbing the ropes and coral, giggling at larger-than-life fish statues and exploring the secret passages of Ariel’s Playground.
Be Our Guest
Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel is the place for families who don’t want to leave the Disney fun at the park. Rooms sleep up to six, and children will love the themed decorations in both the ‘Wish’ and ‘Discover’ buildings.
Upon our arrival to the magical hotel, we are greeted by statues of Mickey and Minnie, as well as views of the courtyard with illuminated statues and hedges. Each room follows a theme, so after a day of Disneyland delights children can fall asleep with a head full of Disney dreams.
Tokyo Disney Resort Report Card
Info tokyodisneyresort.jp Getting there Japan Airlines flies daily between Sydney and Tokyo. Qantas flies from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne direct and Jetstar offers direct flights from Melbourne, Cairns and the Gold Coast, both with connecting flights from all capital cities.