Warning... lots of photos ahead!!
I recently came back from a week in Japan, and I had never been less ready for a vacation to end. I did not quite eat all the things nor did I quite buy all the things, but I certainly tried!
My friends Becky and Chris coincidentally had a trip to Tokyo planned for the same time I was going, so I got to spend a Disney day with them! Here we are with Hamm hats.
I had no real game plan for my day at the parks. Outside of a few areas I wanted to see and some food items I needed to eat, I really just wanted to explore and see what popped up! They say there is no other theme park in the world like DisneySea, and that is apparent as soon as you walk in. Seriously, a volcano!?
If you know me, you know that I'm not into scary (read: remotely fast/dark/thrilling) rides, and I had been going back and forth for weeks on whether or not I would go on Journey to the Center of the Earth, DisneySea's signature ride. I was finally convinced after realizing 1. it is beautiful, 2. it is short- like two minutes!, and 3. it doesn't get really fast until the end and only has one drop. We headed straight for it, before I had time to change my mind. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long at all- maybe 10 minutes- and before I knew what was happening, it was all over. I'm glad I did it! Unlike Guardians, I would totally ride this one again.
We continued onto Nemo & Friends SeaRider, which was only a five minute wait. I was expecting it to be like Star Tours and it was more like Soarin', but it was very cute and I enjoyed it a lot. It made me want to watch Disney movies in Japanese.
From there, we headed to the home of Duffy, the Cape Cod Cook-off on the American Waterfront. It was time for our first Disney Treat of the day: a nice, refreshing, iced caramel milk tea! I only wished it came in a larger size, in the spirit of being American. There were so many cute Duffy add-ons available to purchase, but this early in the day, I limited myself to a cup cozy and picked Duffy's adorable feline pal, Gelatoni.
Next, we watched a stage show called Out of Shadowland, a Nutcracker-esque story about a girl who got split up from her group while hiking and learned to find self-confidence. It was a beautiful show (but be warned it's completely in Japanese!).
Then we were off to the Mermaid Lagoon!
The Mermaid Lagoon is absolutely stunning. Photos don't do it justice. This "underwater" world included a couple of kid-centric rides, a theater, a restaurant and a big shopping area. We caught King Triton's concert in the theater (AMAZING) and then headed to Sebastian's Calypso Kitchen for some more eats.
Melon cream soda is one of my favorite Japanese treats, and I was so excited that there was a special version as part of the Halloween menu. This one came with pineapple syrup and some tapioca-like pearls. I loved it! And the cup is so cute. I absolutely love this ghost Mickey & Minnie design.
I couldn't help myself and totally got the mango yogurt mousse just for the Flounder cup. There was also a Sebastian cup, which was blood orange passion fruit flavored. The strawberry chocolate cake was so pretty, it needed to be eaten too. There were also a few other cute menu options that I probably should have taken a better look at, but I got too excited about Flounder and the pretty cake.
We had some curry flavored popcorn (yum!) on our way to the two-story carousel, which we rode because it was a two-story carousel, then went on another DisneySea must-ride: Sindbad's Storybook Voyage. The ride itself is similar to Small World, but takes you on the adventures of a boy named Sindbad and his sidekick, the little tiger cub named Chandu. Animatronics galore!
The only proper way to complete this 11-minute ride is with the chicken curry Chandu bun afterwards, which seem to have replaced the popular Chandu Tails that were once found at the Sultan's Oasis. The bun was delicious!
Finally, it was time for my most anticipated area of DisneySea... Toyville Trolley Park!!! I'm just going to let these photos show you why I love it so much. So much joy in this area (and you bet I cleaned out that gift shop).
Toy Story Mania is THE most popular ride at DisneySea, which means we did not get the chance to ride it. Everyone heads straight to it and a crazy line immediately forms for both the ride and just to pick up fast passes! With only one day (or less) at DisneySea, and the ride itself being exactly the same, the wait just isn't worth it- despite the superior queuing area. Maybe next time!
We stopped for another round of treats, this time settling on the pumpkin pudding (tasted like candied yams) and castella cake (tasted like strawberries)... before we stumbled upon my #1 goal for the day: Little Green Men Mochi!!!
I was prepared for this to be my favorite item on an aesthetic level, but it ended up being my favorite item all around. The mochi was perfect. Each one is a different flavor: strawberry, chocolate (like pudding), and - in my opinion, the best one - vanilla custard. We had to head back to Toyville with our mochi in hand for photos before we could eat them, of course.
After enjoying our mochi, we caught the Villains show on the water- I was excited to see Hercules get some love- and did some shopping before we decided it was time to head over to Tokyo Disneyland.
My #2 goal for the day had been to find the Mike Wazowski melon bread (being another of my favorite Japanese treats), and we found this - along with other delicious looking baked goods - at the Sweetheart Cafe. I bought two to take home (yes, I had a plastic container in my backpack for this purpose!) and enjoyed one for breakfast the next morning. Pro tip: zap your melon bread for about 20 seconds in the microwave for extra tastiness!
The last thing I ate - besides the caramel popcorn I had stowed away for my way home - was the Mickey fried chicken bun from Plazma Ray's. I don't know if I was just super hungry, but this tasted EXTRA delicious to me! The fried chicken was the right combination of crispy and juicy, the bun was to die for, and it just blew my mind with my how good it was.
We caught a glimpse of the electrical parade, then were able to walk right onto both Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise, before catching the end of the fireworks show- absolutely the perfect way to end our long day!
I didn't document all the times we stopped to shop, so you can use your imagination there... we did some damage! My self-control was pretty good though- I probably should have let myself get slightly more out of control. I did buy one of these amazing soaps, though.
To close out this long post, I wanted to share a few food-related regrets:
I didn't get a churro!?
Apparently there was Star Wars mochi on the Disneyland side.
I didn't buy a popcorn bucket. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I couldn't decide which one I wanted, and then left without one. FAIL! I probably should have gotten Duffy.
I had such an incredible day - thanks so much to Becky & Chris - and this really just means I need to go back again soon! Who wants to plan a trip to Tokyo with me!?