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Sunday, October 22

They Do Exist

I was handed my proof when Mickey indeed let me through the gates on Friday morning and didn’t just give me the finger like on our last visit with him. I swear he even waved hello this time.

I still deny the existence of whales but Mickey... I'll give you.

This trip wasn’t like that last. I slept peacefully through the night. I got up and ready and left in my own good time instead of all the rushing. I drove there without any excitement emanating from a single pore. I was solidly sure that we would only be turning around and heading back home so it seemed rather pointlessly. With a vague sense of nausea at the idea of the drive home, we managed to pass through the gates without recourse and found ourselves on the inside, on Disney soil. It took only a few steps for me to realize that I was finally having that childhood experience and nothing stood in my way this time. I grabbed Kimono Hubby’s hand and dragged him to the first ride I saw – Star Tours. Even the fact that the droid driving our vessel spoke only in Japanese did little to deter my excitement. (I don’t remember Japanese being spoken in Star Wars but C3P0 was fluent in over six million forms of communication… he just probably did it off screen.)

From there we got in line for Space Mountain. This gave me an opportunity to look around at the people in line. One thing to point out is that while I appreciate the women here in Japan always look beautiful and dressed in their Sunday best, is it really necessary to wear their kitten heels and skirts to a theme park?! We walked miles and miles throughout the day. How uncomfortable it would have been like that climbing in and out of rides in a mini and high-heeled boots. Ladies! Bring it down a notch when the occasion calls for it.

Very popular in Japan are hats and ears! Yes, ears, I said. Everyone had them. Mickey ears, Minnie ears, Dumbo ears, Stitch ears, Chipmunk ears, Cinderella crowns… all shapes, colors and sizes. I felt so left out. Of course, I bought Minnie ears. I clipped those ears on in fervor and raced out of Tomorrow Land and into Fantasyland. On my way there, and no more than two minutes of wearing my ears, a girl came up and tapped me on the shoulder. I didn’t get it at first until she pointed to my head and said “cute!” She made me blush. Off she ran as we entered Alice’s Teaparty Teacups, by far my favorite. I don’t think Alice ever meant for those cups to spin like that. At points, we honestly thought we would be sick from our own wicked actions. We never let up and had a hard time walking out of the ride. They may not serve alcohol in the park but you wouldn’t know it looking at us.

Then there was the Castle Carousel, Big Thunder Mountain, Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, the Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. As we went through these rides, one thing got a little old for us… all the Japanese speaking on the rides. Some of them would have been so much more interesting or funny if we could have just understood what was being said. And honestly, Pirates of the Caribbean… they definitely did not speak Japanese! Likely Spanish and possibly English but definitely not Japanese. If so many people speak English here, why not make the Disney rides which originated in America true to themselves and let those little characters speak our native tongue? Selfish, perhaps. But I can’t help it. I guess I see why they don’t though. I counted gaijin (‘not Japanese’ in Japanese) all day. At 5 pm, the count was a total of four – two women and two men. By the time we left at 9 pm, the count was at 16 – eleven women and five men. Several times I was close enough to and hear them speak and it wasn’t English anyway. So maybe I see why Japanese is the language of choice. Although I’m still protesting.

We had gotten Fast Passes earlier in the day for what was to be the highlight – the Haunted Mansion, modeled after the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” We got there right on time and were shuttled in a mass through the mansion entrance only to find, to my huge disappointment, that Jack spoke only Japanese the entire time. It lost all of its meaning and I gave up a bit on rides at this point only to focus on food.

What a disaster meal times were. We were really looking forward to some good old-fashioned burgers and fries at an American theme park in Tokyo. Can you imagine our disappointment at not finding a single burger in the entire park? We did find hotdogs wrapped in tortilla. Ew. Also, some taco like thing which we ate but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. We searched all the different lands several times over and found one American like restaurant with hotdogs in a bun and fries. What you can find aplenty is curry. It really is the Mickey D’s of Japan. We gave in and had it for dinner as we couldn’t stomach the thought of another semblance of a taco or curry popcorn which we seemed to find everywhere.

Another thing hard to find – good old-fashioned bottled water. Plenty of hot and cold tea, coffee and soda but not much water. We found a few stands that carried it and drenched ourselves every opportunity we could. There were lots of fountains but me and all my issues… not taking a chance on a fountain.

The day wound down as we waited for the Electric Parade to begin. We found ourselves a bench that had pretty decent viewing opportunity only to be moved by someone who couldn’t explain why to us but just kept crossing her hands in an “X” shape in our face. We were a bit tired and frustrated but we moved like she was nicely trying to ask us and stood instead, only to watch ten more people fill in the exact same bench we had just vacated. I know I shouldn’t take it personally but it gets so wearisome sometimes. Like only Japanese may sit on this bench and you wretched Americans must stand and watch and be Ms. Miserable Minnie Cranky Pants. I know that isn’t the case, but when you are beat on your feet and cantankerous and just want to watch the show in peace and can’t, this is where my mind wanders to.

This Disneyland is much smaller than that of Florida per Kimono Hubby as he also stated that I should not judge what the Disney name means by what I experienced that day. It was truly a magical Disney day with only a few minor irritations. I can now tell my father that Japan smells like fish and curry. The smell is seriously everywhere. I can say I’ve been to Disney but I didn’t wait in the line to meet Mickey and got shoved out of the way when I tried to meet Roger Rabbit. But I do now have Minnie ears (which I slept in along with my snazzy, new “Nightmare Before Christmas” sweatshirt) and still more importantly, another experience of a lifetime.


Anonymous said...

U look so damn cute in those Minnie Ears!

Alex said...

I told you that Mickey loves you girl:))))

Alex said...

I told you that Mickey loves you girl:))))