A world apart – just an hour away

Travel - May 2nd, 2003
tokyoweekender_Disneyland

by Matt Cox

For Tokyo-ites looking for a western-style vacation amidst all the dreadful international headlines, Tokyo Disney is often overlooked as a frustrating day-trip, too close to Tokyo to warrant an overnight stay. However, staying at Disney gives you a comfortable base from where you can leisurely explore the parks, see the night shows, keep the kids, leave your bags, escape the crowds, take a swim, or even have a nap.

Been there – Haven’t done that

If you haven’t been out to Disney in the past couple years, you should have a look at the brand new Disney Sea. It is not just a water park but a whole new amusement park the same size as Disneyland, and it features a new stock of high-tech rides and shows that are available only in Tokyo.

The new Indy Jones Adventure makes Space Mountain look like a dinosaur. The Stormrider is a fascinating example of light and sound manipulation that will have you grabbing for your armrests, though you are sitting perfectly still! Kids and adults alike will marvel at the Mermaid Lagoon and especially Triton’s Kingdom. Apart from the rides, new shows such as “Under the Sea” and “Encore” are themselves worth the price of admission to the whole park.

Celebrating 20 years in Japan

Tokyo Disneyland is now in the throes of its 20th anniversary and has many new events to give the park a whole new feel. “Dreams on Parade” is a new event that circles Disneyland stopping here and there to throw massive spontaneous dance par­ties amongst the guests. Blazing rhythms is a similar dance festival with wild drumbeats intended to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

One night makes all the difference

There are two Disney-owned hotels and five more official Disney hotels on the property. Any of these luxury western-style resorts can transform your Disney vacation from a high-pressure day trip into a satisfying vacation. Of the five official hotels on the property, Sheraton, Hilton, Okura, Sun Route and Tokyu, all offer extensive amenities and services that will put you at ease from the moment you check in, including indoor/outdoor pools, poolside bars, child care, comfort­able western-style rooms, large varieties of restaurants and a gen­erally festive atmosphere.

The two Disney-owned hotels, the Ambassador and the Miracosta, offer even more. The Ambassador is on the monorail line near the Ikspiari mall com­plex, which has an excellent Disney-style childcare facility. The new Miracosta at Disney Sea takes it one step further. This European-style hotel was built right into the park’s Mediterranean Harbor area with its own park entrance, monorail exit and encompassing views of die park. Try staying in a Harbor view room and enjoy the nightly fireworks celebration from the comfort of your own patio!

Too expensive? Not so!

You may auto­matically assume Disney is “too expensive,” but you may be surprised at the value. The restau­rants are cheaper than Tokyo joints and offer interest­ing menu items that you “can’t get” in Japan.

The hotels range from ¥14,000 to ¥60,000 per person per night which is not cheap but, con­sidering the transportation will cost you less than ¥1,000 per per­son and the two-day Passport is only ¥9,800, the overall cost of your vacation is really quite rea­sonable, especially when you com­pare it to a trip overseas.

So you have been looking for a convenient western-style resort with fun activities, resort hotels and poolside bars for your vaca­tions, and it was right under your twitching whiskers the whole time? It is a small world, after all! All Disney puns aside, before you plan an elaborate overseas vaca­tion, give the fascinating world of Tokyo Disney a try.

DISNEY HOTEL INFO

DISNEY HOTELS
Disney Ambassador Hotel Tel. 045-683-3333
Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta Tel. 045-683-3333

OFFICIAL HOTELS OF TOKYO DISNEY RESORT
Hilton Tokyo Bay Tel. 047-355-5000
Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay Tel. 047-355-3333
Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel Tel. 047-355-5555
Sunroute Plaza Tokyo Tel.047-355-1111
Tokyo Bay Hotel Tokyu Tel. 047-355-2411