Our visit to Disney Sea didn’t make us feel like it was our ‘happiest day on Earth.’ At least, for the first half of the day. It was our 16th day in Japan, so tension was running a bit high due to exhaustion and my sciatic pain, which I had no idea how I got it. Anyone who is thinking of visiting Disneyland or sea or any other theme park during the winter months, make sure to check the weather report before embarking. It was already a very cloudy day, and the weather gradually got much chilly as the day went by.
I’m much more the introverted significant other compared to Stan. However, when it comes to asking for photographs with mascots or cosplayers at conventions, I got to say, I’m more shameless than Stan. Right after we entered the theme park, we saw Chip and Dale surrounded by a gaggle of giggling teenagers and parents with toddlers. From the way Stan looked at the mascots, I knew his inner child wanted to take a picture them. So, I encouraged him to give it shot. I noticed there were 3 staff members; 2 of them were entertaining the parents and their baby, whereas another one was standing at a short distance, checking her watch, looking rather annoyed. We thought the staff members were there to make sure everyone gets a chance to have their photo taken. However, the parents couldn’t stop hogging the mascots and like the teenagers, were taking the photos non-stop, ignoring that there were other people waiting as well. After waiting for about 10 minutes, I asked the staff member checking her watch, whether she could help us take a picture with Chip and Dale. This was the very first time I encountered a very unfriendly staff during my trip. She made a ‘tsk’ noise, with an irritated look, she told me that I had to say ‘hi’ to the mascots first. I was rather taken aback by her response, so I stood there for a moment, hoping the parents and teenagers would get the hint and let others take their photos. Unfortunately, the baby was rather overwhelmed by the lifesize mascots looming over him, that he started wailing. Instead of leaving, the parents thought it was a perfect opportunity to take more pictures!
My patience was running thin, so I grabbed Stan and told him there was no point in waiting when there were other things to see and watch. Also, I much prefer waiting in line to take a photo with the mascots, as that gives everyone an equal opportunity. As the name of the theme park suggested, Disney Sea is made up of a combination of 7 themed ports. The first port any visitor would come across when entering the theme park, would be the Mediterranean Harbour, which featured an Italian style port town and Venice style canals and gondolas.
Stan and I managed to catch the Disney parade, which is held daily in the large harbour. Unlike the parades in Disneyland, the ones in sea do not have a route that encircles the theme park. Stan did not enjoy the boat show parade as much as the one in Disneyland, as he found it a bit lacklustre and he did not like the designs of the mythical creatures. Though I do agree that it was not as exciting, but I quite liked the show and Minnie’s griffin could breathe fire, so that was pretty cool.
As you could tell from the designs of the theme park, Disney Sea is catered more towards adults. Most of the restaurants here serve alcohol and the rides are more ‘extreme’. When I say ‘extreme’, I mean ‘extreme’ by Disney’s standard, such as more simulated, adventure rides like Indiana Jones and Storm Rider, which might be overwhelming for little kids but just the right amount of ‘extreme’ for someone like me, who’s afraid of roller coaster rides or anything that turns 360 degrees in mid air.
It started to rain when Stan and I arrived at the Toy Story themed ride. As we noticed it was going to be close to a 3 hour wait, we decided to explore the park a bit more as standing in line wasn’t an attractive option since we were shivering in the cold. We headed to the S.S. Columbia steam liner, which is also a Nemo themed attraction in disguise. Since there was a bit of shade and the sign read, ‘talking turtle’, we decided to queue up. Little did I know it was actually an interactive show targeted for young kids. So for those who do not have kids, be warned! The show featured the turtle, Crush, generally picking on anyone in the audience, especially children and asking them simple questions and cracking some jokes.
After the show, the wind and rain started to pick up and instead of having a nice walk, Stan and I were basically heading from one shelter to the next, a hot snack in hand. Due to the rain and wind, it was rather difficult for us to snap any food pictures. From what I could recall, we had some different flavoured popcorn, such as soy butter and strawberry milk; hot chocolate, smoked turkey leg and Chinese steamed buns throughout our walk around the harbours.
We took a rather tame Sinbad themed ride at the Arabian Coast and also watched a very entertaining magic show hosted by Aladdin’s Genie. The show was somewhat semi-simulated as the seats sort of jerked a little when Genie moved away from the screen, sort of breaking the fourth wall. I really loved the surreal vibe that the Arabian Coast gave, especially the giant dome’s iridescent light. At the Lost River Delta Port, Stan and I saw a sign indicating that there would be a photo session with Minnie. Without any hesitation, we joined the long queue and it was worth the wait. Minnie was dressed in a jungle explorer themed costume, sort of like Jane from Tarzan. It was an amazing experience and sort of compensated for the Chip and Dale photo we wanted to take. Before we made our way out, we took the Indiana Jones ride followed by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Indiana Jones ride was exhilarating and the giant boulder rolling after our ride was an incredible touch to the end of the ride, right before a photo was taken. The 20,000 Leagues ride was just as fun and the effects gave an illusion that you are actually underwater and they were spectacular.
Despite a rough start and a gloomy weather, our day got significantly better when we started to take the rides and did more exploring around the park. Stan and I wanted to take the Toy Story themed ride just before we leave but it was rather late, so the ride was closed. However, we still had a great time at the end of the day and we learnt our lesson that we should definitely check the weather report before embarking on our journey.