(source: WDW HUB)
I had to ‘borrow’ the pic, just because I love it so much. 27 years ago, The Oriental Land Company opened a new ‘Magic Kingdom’ with licensing rights from the Walt Disney Company. Many people do not realize that the Tokyo park is not owned by Disney, but…it’s the truth! And though I am a cast member at Walt Disney World, I do, and always will, place TDL as my most favorite Disney resort in the world.
My TOP FIVE Reasons?
1. It’s the place I grew up with.
As most of you reading this know, I spent more than 14 years of my life in Japan…and for four years, I lived in South Korea – and during that time, my grandparents lived in Japan, so of course, we visited. My childhood memories are peppered with fun-filled visits to the place I referred to as “Mouse House Land,” thanks to my late grandpa. Over the years, we continued annual trips, which turned into bi-annual trips and more, all the way through my high school graduation…and visits back home since. Me and my sister visited as often as we could once we were old enough to go together and still a share a love for our ‘happiest place on earth.’
This is somewhat connected to the first point, but yes – I am one of ‘those people’ that just cannot get enough of it’s a small world. I was a pretty ‘fraidy cat kid (heck, I still am!) and was comforted by the happy song, cute dolls and gorgeous surroundings of this simple boat ride…I enjoy this attraction’s counterparts in the other corners of the world, but still favor this one the best.
In 2001, Tokyo Disney Resort welcomed a brand-new park, Tokyo Disney Sea, a theme park with the unique distinction of 7 themed lands, like TDL, but based each one on a watermass. In lieu of a castle, the ‘weenie’ of TDS is Mount Prometheus, which houses the popular attraction, Journey to the Center of the Earth…and since the opening of TDS, it has just gone on, including Ikspiari (basically, TDL Resort’s answer to Downtown Disney, which includes AMC Theaters, Rainforest Cafe, restaurants, shopping and more) plus some gorgeous resorts and their very own monorail.
Simply put, I think the image can speak for itself…above, is the Main Entrance Complex…as in, you’re not even in the park yet, really, but this is how great it looks. Moving inside, your TDS adventure transports you through Venetian Canals, under the sea with Ariel, to the Arabian Coast and even digging to the core of the planet with Jules Vernes classics. It’s an experience!
5. It’s in Japan.
…and anyone knows, that’s been to Japan, that that is a pretty darn good reason. Sure, I might be biased, but Japan is such a great destination that I sometimes wonder if the Disney Company has kicked itself for ‘missing’ this opportunity of full-out owning TDL Resort, but in the end, its a win for all because I feel that it really suits this ‘different breed’ of Disney park. I have yet to visit our friends at Hong Kong Disneyland, but TDL Resort still stakes its claim as the most visited theme park in the Eastern hemisphere and I think it will hold that title for a long time to come.
Definitely visit the official site to learn more, and join me in wishing Tokyo Disneyland a very Happy Birthday!