Without doubt, the amusement park Disneyland is the most highly desired holiday destination for children worldwide as the park has so many rides and attractions to offer.
It is not a surprise that the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which was created by brothers Roy and Walt Disney in 1955, was once named “the happiest place on earth.” Situated at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; the Tokyo Disneyland can be given much credit as well.
With its four classic Disney lands – Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland – and two mini lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown; Tokyo Disneyland is enchantingly designed with the combination style of both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida.
Being the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, it is no wonder to find many express their opinion saying that going to Tokyo Disneyland is not so much different from visiting the original one. First opened in April 1983, the presence of Disneyland in world’s most populous city of Tokyo has thus far been an alternative to experiencing the Californian Disneyland, particularly for visitors from Asian countries owing to distance proximity.
In spite of many similarity attractions and identical Disney characters to its counterpart in the US, nevertheless, the Tokyo one has its very own version.
The World Bazaar
Unlike the one in California where old-fashioned buildings in open area of Main Street USA has become the icon depicting the town of Marceline, Missouri, of which the Disneyland founders Walt and Roy Disney grew up in the early 1900s; Tokyo Disneyland has the World Bazaar that has its own distinctive feature.
As visitors pass through the main entrance, they will find themselves in another world beyond what Tokyo offers. It is the World Bazaar where an array of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Snow White, Donald Duck and Goofy are set to welcome visitors worldwide. Truly, the visitors, children in particular, will find themselves pampered in avuncular indulgent atmosphere of the World Bazaar.
Just like the one in California, the World Bazaar features facilities such as shops, restaurants, a cinema and a bank that are designed to portray an old small American town. With an entertainer playing ragtime melody on his bicycle piano while Disney costume folks and clowns give out balloons to kids, visitors are taken to the realm where east meets west. The most noticeable about the World Bazaar is that the area is enclosed under a glass canopy, so visitors can enjoyably stroll along the streets in World Bazaar even during rainy weather.
A Distinctive Scene
Different from other Disney parks, Tokyo Disneyland does not have a railroad encircling the park. But there is the Western River Railroad, monorail that goes in one direction with only four stops. At least visitors can make a sight-seeing round-trip excursion in Adventureland that accommodates the combination view of New Orleans Square and Adventureland of the one in California.
Tokyo Disney Sea
Aside from enjoying all the rides and attractions at Tokyo Disneyland park, also situated at Tokyo Disney Resort, children can savor more delight by visiting the companion park, Tokyo Disney Sea. Opened in September 2001, Tokyo Disney Sea offers three themes: nautical, exploration and adventure.
Still of great interest to children, parents are likely to find Tokyo Disney Sea attractive. As visitors come across the park, they can jump into epic rides such as Indiana Jones Adventure and Arabian Coast.
While the Indian Jones ride will take you into exploring everything about the adventure of Indiana Jones, kids or parents experiencing the stories of Aladdin and/or Sinbad during their childhood may find Arabian Coast magnetic. Visitors can also take a ride on Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. With the doll singing various songs along with the respective chapters of the story, Arabian Coast is indeed a one-of-a-kind ride that takes visitors to the story of Sinbad in the eyes of Disney.
Unquestionably, one needs to spend more than a day to explore both Tokyo Disneyland park and Tokyo Disney Sea. For a family willing to spend as much time as possible indulging all that the two have to offer, staying overnight at one of the hotels at Tokyo Disney Resort should be of consideration.
By Aulia R. Sungkar, published in Tatler Bambini, special edition, January 2009.
Photos courtesy of japan-guide.com and japandisneyresort.co.jp