Friday, October 17, 2008

Disneyland in Japan

Yesterday, I rcvd a postcard from Brad. He had sent it from his trip to Disneyland in Japan-- during their last portcall.

Brad accompanied his BM1, the Capt and his wife. The card commented on the differences in the lands within the park and the differences in height between the Japanese and these coasties. The CO comes in at 6'6", Brad is 6'4", and the BM1 is somewhere around 6 feet tall, too. Needless to say, they, um, attracted attention, as noted the Capt's blog entry:

http://uscgalaska.com/go/doc/780/232369/

(Along with the other cutters, CGC Munro blogs on the D17 Public Affairs website.)

Tokyo Disney was definitely a different experience than either one of the parks I've been to in the U.S.

I think the biggest things that stood out were myself and Lieutenant Anderson, our Operations Officer, who came along with me for the day. We were probably the tallest people there and our height and physical appearance attracted a lot of attention. There were lots of park visitors who stopped to take our picture.

It was definitely one of the most unusual experiences I've ever had. There was a small child who bumped into LT Anderson and then just stared up at him. It was pretty obvious that he had never seen anyone so tall in his life. His family quickly scooped him up and they were talking to each other and making hand gestures about our height and size which was funny and a little awkward, but it was all good natured.

Everyone we met at the park, both employees and tourists alike, were very friendly and animated. Everyone seemed to move with a purpose almost as if they were on a schedule and had to get everything done before the end of the day.

The park was very clean and well tended and I noticed that although the layout was very similar to the Disney Land in California, it was a lot smaller than any other Disney theme park I had ever been to.

We went on just about every ride at the park, even the "kid" rides like Snow White and Peter Pan. My favorite ride was Space Mountain, which was very similar to the ride in the U.S.

The difference in food stood out as well. There was one store that actually sold Ratatoullie, like from the movie, on little rolls. There was curry popcorn, which was delicious but not something one would usually find in the States.

I also noticed that there was more of an emphasis on the cartoon characters like Winne the Pooh, Goofy and Mickey Mouse. I tried to find some Disney Princess things for my daughters but there wasn't any in the souvenir shops or toy stores.

The parades were amazing and they had very intricate floats. The park was having its Halloween celebration while we were there and some of the floats and characters were way scarier than anything they would have in the U.S. There was a float made to look like the head of the witch from Snow White and one was an animated dragon from Sleeping Beauty that moved around and snapped its jaws. I don't think my kids would have enjoyed the parades as much, but all the other people at the park were clearly having a good time and had no problem with the scarier floats.

We spent the entire day at the park and had a chance to ride all the rides we wanted to and took a lot of pictures for my family back home. I would definitely come back with my family.

The whole trip was definitely a unique experience and I'm glad I had a chance to get off the boat and have a little fun while we were in Japan.

P.S. From the Captain: I went to Disney along with my wife who thankfully came to visit. I'm fairly certain I was ACTUALLY the tallest person in the park as I beat BM1 and Ops by a couple of inches in the height department. We all experienced quite a few people with cameras who would obviously be talking about us then someone with a camera would move away, pretending to take a picture of the group but actually taking a picture with us in the background. Some were a little bolder and asked to pose with us. Guess they had never seen a 6'6" guy with Mouse ears...

1 comment:

Lance said...

Well, as a "vertically challenged" member of the human race, I can only agree with the 'awe' experienced when standing next to Brad. That is why I prefer to run, jump and hug him. It kind of evens the playing field. He is shocked by my compassion and I by his height!!!

Love to all...miss you guys.