A few years back I was fortunate enough to explore all that Japan had to offer & while on this adventure, Tokyo Disneyland was on the top of my to-do list! What kind of Disney nut would I be if it wasn't?!?!
With my permanent residence being Orlando at the time, the folks I was trekking threw Japan with thought I was nuts. Disney was in my backyard, so why even bother with Disney in Tokyo? Japan was suppose to be my break from all things Mickey. Unfortunately for them, not only did I make it to the park, I also had the best time ever & came back to the states with new Disney knowledge to share!
Planning a trip to Tokyo? Are you like me & have a life goal of visiting all the Disney parks?!? Or just curious about all things Disney? Regardless of what brought you to this post, here are 5 totally neat facts about Tokyo Disneyland.
1. There is a Club 33, like the one at Disneyland California. I repeat there IS a Club 33!!!
Never heard of 33? Think secret society, Disney style. This secret dinning club is where the rich & famous, park investors, even politicians can go and rub elbows. You can call Disney yourself and ask for the nitty gritty & you will be told that they are prohibited from speaking of all things 33. Ask around the parks long enough however and you might just stumble upon a chatty cast member willing to spill the beans & in English. (I wonder who did this snooping ;-) )
Anyway, I can confirm that Club 33 is located in the World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland based on cast member info & enough google searches confirming this valuable info. Unfortunately however, I wasn't hip enough to gain an invite to see the inside of this exclusive club since I'm neither rich or famous. Maybe next time I will search the park for someone sipping an adult beverage & see where they head when there brewskie runs out since 33 is the only place that serves alcohol at Tokyo Disneyland. Demand they take me inside if they want me to keep their secret!
Have you heard of Duffy? Yeah Duffy, not Duff as in the beer from The Simpsons. Honestly I had no clue who Duffy was until I was strolling the parks of Tokyo. While on the hunt for a Mickey photo opt I was pretty much told by cast members that Duffy is the number one character in Tokyo & not to waste my time with Mickey. So random, right? Regardless of what us Americans think, the rest of the world adores him and his girlfriend, Shellie May, the blue eyed teddy bear with eyelashes & they wait in ridiculously long lines to meet them!
After returning stateside I found out Duffy had a meet & greet at the World Showcase at Epcot! Unfortunately for this teddy bear couple, there life in the states was short lived since I wasn't the only one saying Duffy who? People walked right by them enough for Disney to say peace out!
3.. A Japanesse Cinderella?!?!
When Tokyo Disney first opened there doors in 1983, the princesses & all other face cast members were Japanese rather than the ethnicity they might of had in the actual films. Could you imagine a photo opt with a Japanesse Cinderella or Tiana? I guess this could easily be explained to a little one the same way why all mall Santa's look different, but this is DISNEY with an outrageous admission cost. You would expect a tad bit more for your buck which is why I'm assuming they eventually did resolve this issue. Way to "ruin the magic" back in the day Disney, even if you truly don't "own" Tokyo Disneyland!
4. Tokyo Disney NOT owned by Disney! Say What?!?
Which brings me to my next kinda neat fact. Tokyo Disney is NOT owned by The Walt Disney Company. It's actually owned by The Oriental Land Company - a Japanese leisure and tourism corporation. The Oriental Land Company pays a very large sum of money each month to The Walt Disney Company for character and likeness licenses & Disney in turn has leased their Imagineers to the company to build the park
I guess if you can't be Walt Disney, just buy yourself a Disney Park instead!
5. Interested in riding something that's NOT at any of the other Disney Parks?!?
Located in Disney Sea's Arabian Coast, you will find Sinbad's Storybook Voyage! This relaxing boat voyage can be compared to the Fantasyland classic, It's a Small World, mixed with the darkness of Pirates of the Caribbean & tells the tale of Sinbad & his pet tiger Chandu. Unfortunately this ride is exactly that, relaxing & nothing but a breather from waking the park grounds if you don't speak a word of Japanese! It does however feature music by Disney composer Alan Menken, who scored Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. So you will have something other than the It's a Small World theme stuck in your head at the end of the ride! Those lyrics will just be in Japanese & you won't know the meaning to them!