2019 - Japan - Day 13
Todays forecast was for rain all day and we couldn’t decide if that would be a good thing or not as we got up early to go into Disneyland. We hope that it would reduce the crowds and wait times but we also knew that we would not see the park at its best. At 7.15pm we knocked on Neil’s door and went down for the Hotel breakfast. It was quite spartan but the scrambled eggs were good. We then took advantage of the free shuttle bus to the park.
The drop off point for buses was still a fair distance from the entrance and it was raining heavily as we walked to the gate. 30 minutes we stood with a quite small crowd waiting for the gates to open. In Florida the gates quite often open earlier than published but here in Japan they are a stickler for rules so it was bang on 9am that the first people were let in. For some reason Disney are still celebrating Easter. People were wishing us a Happy Easter as we walked in, which we couldn’t quite get our heads around.
By now we were already very wet. The version of Main Street here is called World Bazaar and rather welcomely had a massive roof over it which gave us some relief. They also operate the old Fastpass system which meant we had to go each ride to get them. Neil had the day planned out so we headed to Monsters Inc to get the first Fastpass. Then we splashed our way through some very deep puddles to Winnie the Pooh, which was not yet open. Despite the fact that already my shoes and socks were saturated I kept good cheer as we headed back to Space Mountain to ride that instead. My patience was tried even further when that wasn’t working either and Karen needed a toilet stop despite the fact we hadn’t actually been on anything yet, but I did keep smiling.
Then despite the rain it all started to work out for us. As Karen came out of the toilet, Space Mountain opened and we were almost the first on. We really enjoyed it as it seemed different to the other ones we had done. We then walked back to Winnie the Pooh just as that opened as well and walked straight on. This was a terrific ride and one we hadn't done before. It had me laughing out loud for much of it, especially the Tigger room where everything bounced including the trackless cars we were on. It was very well done.
We were on a roll now and our thoughts about the at times driving rain keeping people away was proving right. Some rides like Pirates, it seemed they were waiting for us to set the boat off rather than the other way round. At one point late morning we were lulled into a sense of false optimism as the rain seemed to ease up somewhat , but then it came down even harder. By lunchtime I was soaked through. My showerproof jacket was no protection against the rain and my T shirt was wet through underneath. Neil had a waterproof jacket on and was coping well, whilst Karen had opted for a jacket with a poncho over the top.
Some of the rides were somewhat different in Japanese. We went on Jungle Cruise and really had little idea what they were saying but everyone else on the board thought it to be hilarious. The Tiki Rooms (as taken over by Stitch or ’Stitchy’ as they called him) was also interesting with nothing in English. Fortunately Country Bear Jamboree had a couple of English songs for us to tap along with. They performed a special Vacation show which we had never seen before.
Over a lunch stop in Tomorrowland I took my jacket off and dried out a bit. With a cup of tea inside me I was ready to go again. Every single ride we wanted to ride we managed to with no wait longer than 10 minutes, and this included the headliner ones. Even Thunder Mountain, which had been down most of the day and so we were expecting that to be a challenge to get on, happened to reopen just as we were waiting outside. The rain did not relent all day but it didn’t change our enjoyment. At 6pm Karen & I were whacked and Neil went off to ride some of his favourites for the second time whilst we had some drinks. We then bought some souvenirs before standing and watching the Fireworks over the castle. Neil bought some Monsters Inc little cakes which were rice with various flavoured cream inside.
There were many interesting things we observed today. Firstly despite the rain how polite and well mannered all the other guests were. We also reckon that about a third of the other guests were schoolchildren. They were round in groups and there was never and shouting or pushing or shoving. They were all in their school uniforms and looked very smart. The only personalisation was their choice of trainers. They also seem to be buying up anything and everything Disney related as they all seemed to have loads of bags of goodies from the shops. We couldn't work out why there were so many school children there though.
Many other guests rather strangely were either dressed in the favourite character clothes and carrying a version of the character with them. There were also lots groups of lads who were wearing all the Disney paraphernalia that you would normally associate with girls. Nearly all the boys or lads or even men, had Disney headbands on and many proudly wore Disney purses. When I suggested that Neil & I should do the same to blend in, he was not impressed. It just seems the normal thing to do here when you visit Disney.
As for the Disney staff who did seem to be mainly young girls, well they were amazing. Their faces must ache as they have a constant large smile on their face whatever they are doing. Even the ones positioned in the pouring rain to point the way or in some cases just wave. There were also so many of them. The number of attendants operating a ride was a bit extreme but it did mean the loading and unloading was very efficient. We never knew what they were telling us but got the gist of it. They were unfailingly helpful and polite. Every time we seemed to have to speak to someone they wanted to know where we were from, and they were so excited when we told them. Many then said they hoped one day to visit London. The funniest was in one shop when we told the lad serving us ‘England’ he replied with ‘ah - Harry Kane’. We said not our team and he wanted to know who was and said that he knew of Norwich which pleased us.
My other annoyance today apart from the rain was that for such a technologically advanced country, the lack of Wifi in Disney was disappointing but that maybe as Neil suggested that everyone here is now using 5G.
However this was a really good, tiring but wet day and we had a really good time.