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A visit to Japan, Land of the Rising Sun is never complete without a visit to their Disney Theme Parks. In fact, the Japanese are so obsessed with anything Disney that they have two of them, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, the one and only Disney theme park with a sea theme in the world at present respectively. And henceforth in this article, we shall bring you on an exciting tour of DisneySea.

A Little History Lesson

Unlike the rest of the Disney theme parks, DisneySea (and Tokyo Disneyland) is not owned by the House of Mouse. Not a single cent, dime or share to be exact. You will be surprise it’s owned by The Oriental Land Company (OLC) instead, a major Japanese corporation that specializes in tourism and leisure. To engage the Mouse Imagineers to create, design and built the parks, huge amount of dollars including licensing the various Disney characters on merchandises and stuff are paid by OLC to the Walt Disney Company annually.

Ironically, the plan for DisneySea was originally meant for a second Disney theme park to be built in California. But the idea was deemed to be too costly by then CEO Michael Eisner thus the blueprints went to OLC who coincidentally approached Disney for another theme park to be built beside Tokyo Disneyland at that time. The final cost was rumoured to be US$4 billion dollars when the park was completed and opened to public for the first time on 4 September 2001.

Be Awed At First Sight

Get ready to be greeted by a gigantic globe once you stepped through the turnstiles into DisneySea for the first time. It's recommended to embark on your tour at 10 am (opening time) to maximise your hours. The desire to take a few photos here is strong but I would advise you to do that before you exit (anyway you need to exit the same way as well), this way you have more time to explore the park and also the crowd is lesser by night fall. Proceed straight to Mediterranean Harbor where the main merchandise shop, “Emporio”, “The Disney Gallery” and many restaurants reside. But hold your horses, do not rush straight to the plush Mickey and Stitch. Take a deep breath and admire the spectacular scenery of the park. You will see an artificial man-made ocean where the daily shows and parades are held and also the iconic volcano of Mysterious Island.

Fortress Explorations

Taking an anti-clockwise direction from Mediterranean Harbor, you should reach ‘Mysterious Island’. Before that on your left, get your camera ready and shoot some authentic details of ‘Fortress Explorations’, I had an impression that the Imagineers want us to believe that the great inventor, Leonardo da Vinci once lived here. One room contains a large solar model that is controlled by pulleys, plenty of stairways for the kids to get lost and a huge flying equipment to test out your leg muscles. And a docked ship for you to snap more photos. Strike a Captain Jack Sparrow pose if you want. Not a fortress to miss in my opinion.

Mysterious Island

Main attractions include the child-friendly ride, “20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea” where you embark on a journey in Captain Nemo’s personal submarine (not that Nemo from that Pixar animation). Adults might prefer something more stimulating, “Journey to the center of the Earth” is a good choice. A more thrilling and darker ride on drilling vehicles, on a whole less scary than other coaster rides. Fast pass is available for both. However, the queue move pretty fast so it’s optional to activate the passes. Remember to take some pictures of the beautiful rocky landscapes and volcano before you leave.

Mermaid Lagoon

Built in the form of “Underwater Kingdom” and obviously inspired by The Little Mermaid movie. This section is strictly for the young ones but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. This is Disney mind you. Rides such as “Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster”, “Ariel’s Greeting Grotto” and “Jumpin’ Jellyfish” will delight the kids. If the queue gets a bit longer, why not stop for a break at “Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen” and have a burger in the shape of a clam! Anyway it should be noon by the time you reached Mermaid Lagoon. A standard meal (example a burger/pizza with a drink) costs around SGD$10. To fully utilize your money, get as much stirrers in the form of Mickey’s shape for your friends for free although I wouldn’t recommend you do that.

The Magic continues on page 2


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