And as we entered the Volcano erupted

After a very hot and tiring day yesterday at Mickey’s happiness place, Tokyo Disneyland, today’s journey took us to Venice Italy, Cape Cod, Agrabah, and the Center of the Earth.

It may seem a little odd to travel halfway across the world to go to a theme park, but anyone who knows us will not be terribly surprised at this choice. I am not entirely certain I can say we had fun yesterday, but we are smiling in several of the pictures so hopefully we will remember it as fun in the years to come. Mostly it was hot and we got up early so everyone was tired. Yesterday started with us traveling through Tokyo during peek rush hour. We told the kids we wanted them to get the full experience and this includes being sardined into a train on the Yamanote line during rush hour.

We knew we got on the right train out of Tokyo once we saw all of the people in their matching Disney outfits. When we got to the park it hadn’t opened yet so we and a million of our new happiest friends waited for about 15 minutes in the hot sun to get into the park. Once we got in the crowd dispersed quickly and for the first couple hours the park seemed very spacious. Oddly none of the restaurants opened until 9:45 or later so our plan to eat breakfast quickly changed to riding the Pirates of the Caribbean without a line. In case you are wondering, they Jack Sparrowed the ride here in Tokyo too.

Then breakfast.

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Many of the rides here are the same as the U.S. version, but the Enchanted Tiki room has been taken over by Sticth. We were able to follow the show with a handheld caption device. It was the only show we found that had this, which was too bad because the Country Bear Jamboree really loses something in the translation.

Before lunch we went on Splash mountain hoping to get wet, but despite the great picture we got (see yesterday’s post) we stayed very dry and very hot. Lunch was actually a bit of a challenge with some very different versions of fast food than we are accustomed to. Kira and I had egg and meat sandwiches. Which were sort of like hamburgers, but they had wasabi mayonnaise and some sort of orange cheese sauce. It was delicious, but I think Michael was really glad he decided to order the chicken nuggets instead.

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A lot of the time after lunch is lost to a haze of heat and exhaustion, but I do recall riding on Small World and going through Cinderella’s castle. The latter of these is not to be found in our version of Disneyland so it had to be done. It was a walk through the castle that starts with an elevator ride and then through a series of halls with pictures and dioramas telling the story of Cinderella. The dioramas were all done by different artists and in a different style of art; one was Origami, one was in bronze, one was ceramic, etc. at the end they had a room where you try on the glass slipper to see if it fit.

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We did one thing well yesterday and that was we got priority seating at the Blue Bayou restaurant. Everyone, except Michael who ate bread for dinner, had a very tasty Caribbean dish for dinner along with a few bites of the creme brûlée sampler that we shared for dessert. Before we had the creme brûlée we sang happy birthday to Kira. Our server must have heard us signing because when she came back she had a special Happiest Birthday sticker for her to wear.

(Note: I had a very zippy gumbo for dinner and it probably says something about me that this is the first meal on the trip I have thought I might try and make when we get back.)

After dinner we did a Monster’s Inc themed ride called hide and go seek, where you are given a flash ight to shine on the Monsters as you go though. Sort of like the Buzz Lightyear ride if you are familiar with that, but without any score at the end.

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We saw a little bit of the Electrical Light parade and unfortunately timed our park exit at the same time the parade ended. Half the park left with us. The train ride home was almost an hour and the only one who managed to score a seat was Michael.

It was a brutally hot day and I was dead tired when we got back to the hotel. Oddly though this was the first day that felt like a vacation.

In addition to Tokyo Disneyland there is a second Disney park here called Tokyo DisneySea. Today was our day to explore DisneySea and it is where we saw all of the places I mentioned at the beginning of the post. We started a little later today and took our time, stopping for breakfast along the way at a pastry shop.

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(Reviewing the pictures with Sarah yesterday, she commented that there are a lot of pictures of our food. Old habits die hard.)

The train ride over was still crowded, but not crushingly so like it was yesterday. I think I will have to wait until tomorrow to finish writing about DisneySea, but you should know that there is a large Volcano in the middle of the park and as we entered the volcano erupted.

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