Overview of Japan posts:
Japan 1: Welcome to Tokyo! (and a killer okonomiyaki)
Japan 2: Yokohama and Omuraisu
Japan 3: What Makes Japan One Of A Kind
Japan 4: Special Japanese Neighborhoods + Those Famous Food Floors
Japan 5: A Gourmet Japanese Lunch + Roppongi Hills
Japan 6: Kyoto (1st installment, 2nd installment)
Japan 7: Disneyland and DisneySea
Japan 8: Tsukiji Fish Market & Tsukiji neighborhood
After the global warming that is Disneyland, DisneySea already feels like (and proves to be) paradise. The DisneySea AquaSphere (photo above) at the entrance to the park makes a magnificent first impression and sets the tone for the entire DisneySea experience. There’s a feeling of cool in the park since almost all seven ports of call are surrounded by bodies of water.
Of course it’s still blazing out but I’m already feeling better as we take a ride in the Venetian Gondolas. Coursing through the waterways of the Mediterranean Harbor, the beauty surrounding us is breathtaking. With Italian-named streets and signs visible everywhere, I almost feel like I’m back in Venice again, save for our Japanese gondolier, who’s cracking jokes and making funny faces. I laugh along with the others though I don’t understand a word he’s saying. From the gondola, we see the Fortress Explorations attraction, a recreation of a Spanish galleon and an interactive play area that includes scientific instruments. The volcano behind it, which I later find out is part of Mysterious Island is a foreboding presence in the background.
Walking farther on into the park, we pass by the American Waterfront where the colossal Transit Steamer Line sits. To its right is the Tower of Terror, an apt name for the fearful looking structure whose ride drops its passengers several storeys once they hit the top. I know, because I go on the ride. Leaving after the “harrowing” experience, I feel that I’ve left my stomach somewhere up there. I can still hear the other riders’ screams in my ears (though a majority of those screams were mine, I think!)
My Bin, Boo and I ride on “bumper cars,” watercrafts that spin, twirl, and whirl through fountains, rock formations, and whirlpools. My little girl surprises me with how adventurous she is on rides like these. Thank goodness she doesn’t seem to have inherited my Bin’s tendency for motion sickness.
We pass through Mysterious Island, a port of call whose attractions are based on explorations into the depths of the Earth. It’s more for adults and it looks really cool, but since we have five-year-old Boo in tow, we move on.
We browse through some shops at the Arabian Coast, a themed park a la Aladdin. Boo is intent on looking for a Jasmine doll but doesn’t find one. I, however, fall in love with a Jasmine mug and genie-lamp that’s actually a teapot so I’m the one who walks away with a few purchases.
It’s at the Mermaid Lagoon where we spend hours upon hours. Boo’s ultimate favorite Disney Princess is Ariel, and to be here in Triton’s Kingdom is a dream come true for her. Inside, the Lagoon itself is a kaleidoscope of deep cerulean blue, jellyfish lamplights, and a glittering “sky” which is actually the ocean’s surface. As I take photos of Boo scampering about the playground, riding on the Jumpin’ Jellyfish, and eating her shrimp fry sandwich on a shell-shaped bun, I once again remember what it’s like to be a kid: to have few cares and to embrace every moment as it comes. Even adults feel like kids again in Disneyland. And especially at DisneySea.