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Let's Get Carried Away, Dream Up! {Tokyo, Tokyo Disneyland, & Tokyo Disney Sea}

Out of everywhere in the world I have been fortunate to travel to, I have always said Tokyo is my favorite. Since Mike had never been, I knew before we headed back to America, we had to visit, and after my second visit to Tokyo, I can 100% officially say, Tokyo is absolutely my favorite place in the world. 

We departed Hong Kong for our last Asia Adventure on this contract pretty early in the day to arrive at Tokyo Bay around early evening. 

Since we were primarily visiting Tokyo to go to Disney, we stayed nearby the resort at the Tokyo Bay Hilton. We stayed here my last visit as well, and would highly recommend it. Not only is the hotel modern, clean, and themed, there are also plenty of transportation options from the airport, to the Disney resorts, and surrounding areas. 

Leaving Hong Kong, we had just finished celebrating our final day of Halloween at the park, and arriving in Tokyo just a few hours later, we were already thrown full swing into Christmas.

With a few hours of evening left, we took the hotel shuttle to Ikspiari, or Tokyo's Downtown Disney/ Disney Springs area for a little shopping, real Japanese Ramen from Ippudo Ramen for dinner, and a delicious dark cherry-almond pie from Pie Face. 

Our first full day in Japan, we took the train to one of the places I have dreamed of returning to, Harajuku to visit Takeshita Street, where you will find all the Kawaii things. 

The first stop was a Purikura, or Japanese photo booth, to take some sticky pics, followed by a little shopping. 
gotta love editing sticky photos when you can't read what you're doing, ha

What would a visit to Tokyo be without eating all the delicious, Kawaii food, including some of my favorites, Sakura crepes and a french fry corn dog stuffed with mozzarella cheese. 

This treat was so good, I actually got another one only a few hours later in Shibuya, ordering via vending machine!

Our final stop in Harajuku was to the Hedgehog Cafe, where we held and visited with a few prickly friends. 

say cheese!

The next stop in Tokyo was a quick train ride over to Shibuya to visit the world's largest cross walk.

Also in Shibuya is a giant, beautifully immersive Disney store

For dinner, we had one of the most delicious pork katsu burgers ever, from Tare Katsu before taking the train back to our hotel for the evening.

Our first full day in Japan started with our magical bus ride to the Disney monorail to get to the park.

{Pro Tip: Get to the park early. Even if you are an hour before park opening, you will still always find others have arrived earlier. Also keep in mind that Disney resort guests can enter the park for the Magical 15, 15 minutes prior to park opening.}

Our first Disneyland day was exceptionally rainy. It down poured the entire day, causing us to be soaked and cold the whole time, but nothing could bring us down in Tokyo!

Our first attraction of the day was Winnie the Pooh, which differs compared to the similarly named attraction at other Disney parks. The ride is on a different type of track and allows the guests to bounce along with Tigger, or dance with the Heffalumps. 

Usually I would recommend starting your Disney day in Fantasyland, covering all of the smaller attractions whose lines tend to get longer during the day, but since we had visited Tokyo before, we decided to prioritize the more one of a kind attractions, and not riding absolutely everything. One of these one of a kind attractions is Rodger Rabbits Car Toon Spin. This ride is nuts. It is incredibly loud, colorful, and constantly spinning.  

Tokyo Disneyland still uses the old fast pass system, where you bring your park ticket to a kiosk near the attraction, and get a fast pass to come back and use later. Our first fast pass of the day was for Monsters Inc Ride and Go Seek. Similar to Men In Black at Universal Studios, or Buzz Lightyear at Disney, you aim your flashlight at a target, and instead of points, monsters perform a small trick or surprise, and help you search for Boo. It's one of my favorite rides simply because how fun and cute it is.

My favorite attraction in Tokyo Disneyland this trip was clearly for nostalgic reasoning, Haunted Mansion, but it was redecorated for the holiday season as The Nightmare Before Christmas. Needless to say, I cried the entire time.

Out of all the Disney parks we have visited, and all the Space Mountains we have rode, I have to say, unfortunately, Tokyo Disney has my least favorite. The ride is more like a corkscrew, where you start at the top and just wind your way down to the bottom. (Disneyland Paris Hyper Space Mountain is hard to beat though....)

Another classic attraction with slight twist is The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo. Even though the attraction is in Japanese, the familiar Lilo & Stitch soundtrack reminded Mike and I of our Hawaiian Honeymoon.

Overall, one of my favorite attractions in Tokyo Disneyland is Small World, because the hidden Disney characters on the ride make it extra fun and super kawaii. It truly is a small world after all.

Tokyo Disneyland takes the cake as one of my favorite Disneyland parks, mostly because the one of a kind, kawaii snacks. (Be prepared for Mickey shaped food overload...)
Pizza Spring Roll
mini Mickey waffles!- My favorite on this trip

(double) Mike melon bread-another favorite

beef and rice gravy "ice cream" cone
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pork bao steamed bun 

Curry Popcorn

Mickey Cheeseburger

Mickey Chicken Nuggets

potato cheesy balls

Mickey Caramel Cake- this was actually not great. It was like a cold pancake filled with butterscotch pudding 

And of course, my favorite, the Star Wars mochi dumplings, in coffee, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.

When we weren't too full from our snacks, we ate a real meal at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. The raspberry beef patty, along with the super immersive decor makes for a super cute lunch spot. 
 {Pro Tip: The lines for lunch can get rather long, so try to eat lunch before 11:30am or after 2:00pm}

Another magical (non-edible) treat at Tokyo Disneyland is the Mickey soap dispensers in almost every bathroom.

{Pro Tip: If you are looking for the Mickey shaped soap, it is usually the soap dispenser connected to the child size sink inside the bathrooms, or located at the two hand washing stations around the outside of the park.}

Even though it was pouring, the Disney magic was still in full swing for the most beautiful parade of all time, Dreaming Up! (Check out the full, non-rainy version here).

my favorite Tokyo Disney character, Scary Godmother!

look at this perfect flower!

With it being Autumn in Japan, nighttime comes rather quickly. We were a little disappointed that with the rain, the regular nighttime parade and fireworks were both cancelled, however, Nightfall Glow (rainy day night parade) was still exceptionally beautiful, and a great way to end our night.

That night, I could barely sleep, because I was so incredibly excited to go to the best Disney park in all the world the next day, Tokyo Disney Sea. 

After visiting every Disney park world wide, there are only a few parks that stand at the top for us as far as exceptional customer service goes, and Tokyo Disney is one of them. The themed lands are also one of a kind and incredibly immersive, including an beautifully crafted volcano right in the middle of the park. 

The bay in the middle of the park is used for all the daily parades and even the evening show, Fantasmic. 

The attractions at Disney Sea are also one of a kind, including the one inside of the volcano, Journey to the Center of the Earth. The ride itself is similar to Test Track, where it starts out slower, then speeds up before going outside for a brief moment, all while showing what sort of creatures you may find at the center of the Earth, reminding me of Pandora.

Another unique attraction is Aquatopia. Your watercraft will twist, turn, backup, spin around in place, all while taking you on a seemingly random trip dodging jagged rocks, spinning whirlpools, and other watercraft.   

A classic attraction found at this resort is Tower of Terror, however, the storyline at this park is slightly varied than the others you will hear in the states (leaving you a bit fuzzy on the actual details since it is in Japanese). The attraction itself is significantly shorter than others, but this ride still makes my palms sweat.

how you feel after trying to figure out what the storyline of this ride actually is

Some other attraction highlights are as follows...
Electric Railway, to transport you through various lands

My favorite, Indiana Jone: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Raging Spirits Roller Coaster 

 Toy Story Mania, with the cutest decor including the photo of the door below, truly making you feel like you are a tiny toy.
 And it's even more beautiful at night...

The Magic Lamp Theater, a live show similar to Philharmagic 
One of my favorite themed lands in Disney Sea is the Arabian Coast, where not only is the decor outstanding, the Sinbad ride is located here, and it has the greatest soundtrack of all time (along with some really well done animation).

One of the best snacks in Arabian Coast, and Mike's new favorite, is shaped after this ride, the Chandu curry steamed bun.

One of the other beautifully immersive lands (during both daytime and night) is Mermaid Lagoon. There are so many cute ocean themed attractions for all ages found here, on both the outside and inside, underground.

Jumpin Jellyfish drop

King Triton's concert, Ariel the aerialist and friends 20 minute show, absolutely worth seeing

delicious raspberry sea salt ice cream sandwhich!

my voice?!
Disney Sea is no exception when it comes to delicious Disney treats, and home to some of my favorites...
Pizza Pocket 

Disney Sea classic, Donald Dinghy steamed shrimp bun

Potato Churro (sadly I did not like this one, which is crazy because I love all things potatoes)
 Another delicious mochi dumpling, but this time strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavored.

Both Tokyo Disney parks are known for their crazy popcorn flavors. After buying the cutest Nemo popcorn bucket of all time, we filled it with popcorn flavors like strawberry, milk chocolate, curry, soy sauce and butter, and salted popcorn.

{Pro Tip: If you want to buy one of the kawaii popcorn buckets, but not the flavor of popcorn the bucket comes with (like disgusting caramel), ask for the bucket with no popcorn. They will give you a voucher to get a free popcorn fill from one of the other flavored stands.} 

With full bellies, and daylight sinking quickly, we headed to one of the shows, Big Band Beat.
{Pro Tip: Tokyo Disney uses a lottery system for priority seating for it's shows. You are only allowed to enter the lottery once per day, and if everyone else around you is losing when they enter, wait to enter.}

We did not win the lottery, but waited for standby, balcony seating. Mickey Mouse is such a star during this show! He even tap dances and plays the drums, one right after the other! 

We finished the evening bumping into my stage manager from Hong Kong, and watching Fantasmic with him and his lovely friends.

Miss you already, Felix!

 I love Fantasmic at Disney Sea because it is different to other parks. With the 360 degree vantage point, they are forced to go all out with their beautiful floats, and my favorite, the giant dragon emerging from a giant mirror (jaw dropping).

On our way out of the park for the night, we were surprised with a few fireworks from Disneyland next door. Disney Sea also plays music since the fireworks are visible from their park as well, even if you can't see the castle projections (we also had a view of the park from our hotel room and could see the fireworks on the night we arrived from our window as well).

Our very final day in Tokyo had finally come, and when I finally stopped crying about it, we headed off to both parks one last time. 

During our visit, it was the 35th Anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland, and we had been waiting til our last day to catch the magical anniversary monorail (the last time we were here we rode the Duffy train, and it was the cutest thing of all time).


Our final Disney day was luckily not raining, so we ran about the park (mostly Toontown) to take some pictures we were unable to get the first day.

November 8 was the first official day of Christmas at Tokyo Disney Resort, which was exciting since Mike had never been to a Disney park during Christmas time. The Christmas parade, Disney's Christmas Stories, was exceptionally cute, and just what we needed to get into the holiday spirit.
Huey, Dewey, & Louie!!
Duck snowman!

the most beautiful float <3

Already in the Christmas spirit, we headed to the Country Bear Jamboree, which was all decked out for Christmas, and temporarily renamed as the Jingle Bell Jamboree.

We were really sad to say goodbye to Tokyo Disneyland, but we waved goodbye to Mike's final Disney castle, knowing we will absolutely be back one day.

Our final visit to Disney Sea, we bumped into a surprise visitor, the fabulous Clarice Chipmonk to send us off.

{Be sure to check out our character tips, for making the most of your meet and greet experiences.}

We finished our trip with a big goodbye to Tokyo Disney Sea, before heading to the airport. 

'Sea' you soon! It truly is a small world after all...

Check out our 1 day Tokyo Disneyland and 1 day Tokyo Disney Sea itineraries here!

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