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Korea & Japan #2 - Part 14: A Little Lotte

HeartlineCoaster

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Is everybody in?

Been over a month since you’ve had a trip report from me and I'm not even on page 1 any more, what a slacker.
So here we go, back to my favourite part of the world.

Flew into Seoul with Asiana, who from my previous short haul experience with them could have been world beaters but they were a bit underwhelming this time – the entertainment selection was miniscule and the default offering of beverages was a whole 2 times in 11 hours.

Had a Seoul bam in the old faithful hotel from last time with the heated floor that nearly killed me.
Then took the morning Train (not all the way) to Busan, no zombies included.

Daegu KTX station was a bit of a spite, having less big boy lockers than the nearby metro station, which managed to save the day.

Day 1 – E-World



Thought we were immediately screwed, as there was what looked like a closed ride sign at the ticket desk with pictures of a couple of creds. Too early for that crap, but what choice do we have.


Hmmm.


Magic Castle was a laugh. Always start strong on these trips. Something high quality. It actually was, as they were sticking to the tradition of female ops singing on kid’s rides.


Highlight: Clearance on the spiral lift
Lowlight: Somehow ended up with grease on me


The welded Boomerang was up next. Hiding well in the foliage makes it slightly less of an ugly sight.
The most unpleasant part I find on these is when they do that hideous stopping itself dead within the length of the station in reverse, which seems to be a more modern feature. The ones that overshoot again and come in forwards are fine, which this one did.


Highlight: Surprisingly smooth
Lowlight: Boomerang


Poor operators.

Some intense swearing in dance music was occurring in the queue for Camel Back, which was somewhat amusing. Where’s the K-Pop though?


I liked this thing. Jet coaster style but packed a bit more of a punch than usual, with some sharper than average dodgy transitions and a rather significant layout. Might have even been some air time in there.

Highlight: Somehow being run like Tivoli Rutschebanan, with crazy locals on their feet and leaving the train while it’s still coming into the station. Not something you’d usually see out here.
Lowlight: No singing


Final cred is Hurricane. False alarm on that sign out front it seems, everything running as expected.


The common Asian loop screw layout from an obscure manufacturer. Rode alright but it’s even more overgrown around here and I actually took a tree to the face.

Highlight: Tree to the face
Lowlight: Tree to the face


This isn’t usually my sort of thing, but for some strange reason we decided to give it a crack.
It was both hilarious and terrifying at the same time.


I don’t do well with being held upside down for long and on the odd swing it just hangs there for what seems like forever while I’m shouting 'please stop'. When it clears the top at a pace the result is quite intense and it’s a long old cycle. Sort of enjoyed it, could have been far worse.


Hit the log flume for some fun. The splashdown effect looked pathetically weak offride, but it had better theming than Tiger Rock.


Grabbed some food and headed up towards the big tower thing at the top of the hill. It’s situated outside the park as a separate attraction, where there’s a secondary entrance/exit gate, but they gave out a set of vouchers with the park tickets that can get you in for dirt cheap.


They like to stick an adjective in front of all their cities to give them a bit of a buzz.


This is ‘Colourful Daegu’, and that does actually make sense. Look at all those rooves.




There’s a 400-odd foot fall on your face in a harness thing up here but it costs like 50 quid and after watching one, managed to tell myself it looks a little overly controlled rather than freefall, like one of those shot and drop towers. Perhaps the most intense part is the fact you have to make the leap yourself, the moment of truth isn’t done for you.
So no. SCAD was enough for me.


Took the cable car back down over the park just as it started to rain. Bit of a lucky escape.


Not a bad little place for a cred run.

Pago Land?

Jumped back on the metro and headed to a reasonably nearby station before taking a leisurely half hour stroll in search of a powered dragon.



Some stuff on the way.

Wasted journey in the end though. Weird little place on the side of a road claiming to be part of a major tourist resort or something. Complete ghost town. Couple of staff milling around giving the China look of ‘wtf are you doing here?'
Walked up to the cred, money in hand. Guy sitting on a plastic chair with his feet up on a second plastic chair in the station indicated something along the lines of 'why should I bother getting off my arse to run the ride?'
And that was that.


Up next - more rain.
 

gavin

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E-World - or Woobang Tower World as it was called then - doesn't seem to have changed in the 12 years since I went, other than the trees growing.

Dump.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member

Day 2 – Tongdo Fantasia?

Having set up camp in Busan for the next couple of days, took one of their very efficient intercity buses up to this place. It rained on and off along the way, but upon arrival and following the 15 minute walk to the park entrance, the weather seemed pretty reasonable.

There was a lot of activity in the hotel car park but absolutely nothing in the main car park. All the ticket windows were closed, only a little guest services building to the side showed any signs of life. In we go.

What’s the situation? We were pointed to a piece of paper with today’s available attractions listed on it. It had around 4 or 5 items on it, a couple of kiddie things, carousel and a haunted walkthrough.
I see. Any chance of the rollercoasters running?
No. Not at all.
It was a weekend, it was opening time, they were open until 9pm that day, but because it had rained earlier that morning, they had already given up on life.
Sigh.
I should be used to this by now, but it never seems any less stupid.

Jumped on the next bus back to Busan to try our luck on something else.

Geumgang Park?

This place was another reasonable significant walk from a nearby metro station, which got quite hilly near the end. It reminded me of the Chinese city parks with their greenery + amusement section combo.

There was a help yourself insect spray dispenser near the entrance accompanied by a warning sign filled with all manner of awful looking creatures. Better be quick then.

Powered up to the powered dragon and found a man in a hut. Can we ride the cred? Nope, it rained earlier.
K.

Drowned our sorrows with shopping and food then found a nice observation deck on top of a mall for the evening



This is ‘Breathtaking Busan’. Not sure on that yet.




Up next – more rain.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
^Always a good time for me. And you know you enjoy my sufferances.

Another day another intercity bus. The weather remained as unpredictable as ever, which didn’t bode particularly well. Quick change to a local bus and then get off when you see the massive B&Ms.

Day 3 – Gyeongju World?

What’s the situation? Ticket windows are open, most people are going for the water park. Admissions staff whipped out one of those charts with all the rides on and umbrella symbols next to the things that will ‘run in the rain’ – not much.
Any chance of the rollercoasters running? In a far more endearing manner than the previous day: ‘mmmmmmmmmaybe, sorry sorry.’
K. We’ll stick around then.

There’s a Starbucks on the other side of the road opposite the entrance, with an upstairs seating area that provides a good view of both B&Ms.

We spent a total of 5 hours up there watching the rain come and go. It’s a much more significant park, they have to at least try right?

Halfway through their scheduled operating hours, we were about to give up.
Hold it. There’s a man climbing the stairs on the Dive. That must be a good sign. Never has watching a lift hill walk been so gripping. They climbed up and down, checking bits on the holding brake and the block sections.
Hold it. The invert just sent an empty train. We’re in.

Somewhat prematurely rushed back over to the ticket window, where the poor girl didn’t quite know what was going on yet and we were excitedly gesturing that they’ve started running things. Let’s wait for a bit more confirmation.


Walked back out to the car park and stood watching for another half an hour or so. No further signs of the invert.
Hold it. The dive just sent an empty train. The dive just did a block test. The dive just sent two trains. The dive just sent a train with people on it. We’re in.

"Tickets please".
"Rollercoaster OK"!
<3



Park was predictably ghost town-ish as there had been nothing to do all this time and we headed straight over to the new boy.



The area for Draken is rather impressive, you can walk under most of the layout and get a lot more intimate with the main drop than I’m used to.



There’s a new fancy castle and dragon for the queue and station, some back story taking place on tv screens. As far as I could tell, Peter Pan has the one true ring and a dragon wants to get it off him. The ensuing chase is the ride.


Had another near spite while standing at the air gates as they were having teething troubles with their new ride. People got kicked out of the station again while they sent a couple more tests round.


Ride itself is good, even if the ride type is getting rather dull in principle. Solid fun as always.


Couple of good interactions like the bridge at the base of the first drop.


I like the way they took the second train off immediately after testing.


I (think) I like the way they’ve kept the old restraints on this, but haven’t personally confirmed the vest complaint yet.


I like the way the splashdown hits the track above itself, making the track wet.
Wait, they don’t run when the track is wet.
Huh.


Grabbed Dragon 2 Loop on the way back out. About time someone bothered to run one for us.


Time to see if Phaethon is alive. It was. It had just been so quiet since that test train we saw long ago that nothing had been sent since. Managed to slither into the last couple of seats of the first train they waited so long to fill.


Another impressive queueline for this one. The famous entrance with the big horse thing is followed by lots of rockwork before heading indoors where there’s a couple of dark sections and some scenery. Think it’s themed to Chariots of Fire and Thor 2.


My second big boy invert in as many months. It’s large, fast, forceful and enjoyable. Just lacked the slightly wilder edge that Monster had. There’s no snap at all in the cobra, all the transitions seem more well refined but not necessarily in a good way. Maybe this is what people talk about with their old school B&M obsession. Never quite understood it.


You can get quite up close and personal with this one as well, so both coaster areas have some good interaction and theming.


Went back round for another go but it started raining a bit again and they decided to cease operation again, saying wait a while.


Did the rapids while waiting. Everyone else was ponchoed up but it was already wet, what’s the worst that can happen? Plus, rapids are more fun with a bit of threat involved, and this one was no exception.

Tried to get back into Phaethon, just as the queue was being evacuated. Ah.


Well Draken is still running at least. Back to that for another couple of goes.


They eventually gave up on that as well, as the rain got slightly worse again. Oh well, got the creds, good on you Gyeongju World for trying at least.


Did the Ferris Wheel on the way out for the sake of it/some views. Plenty more of these things on the horizon.


Quite liked the place in the end. Wouldn’t be a huge amount to do even on a good day, but what they do have for now is solid and well presented.


And that was ‘Golden Gyeongju’.

Up next – more rain, Japan style.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
So did you ride Draken that day? How was it???
Well yes. It was decent enough.


Flew from Busan to Nagoya the next morning and picked up a car from the airport.


Good advice.
After the hilarity of the expensive tolls last trip, we had pre-booked an auto toll card thing which gives you a discount and lets you pay it all off at the end, rather than eating into your fast dwindling cash funds.
Lets see how much we can rack up.


Bah.

Day 4 – Suzuka Circuit

Was immediately reminded of why I love this country as we pulled into the car park here to be greeted by the friendliest person in the world brandishing signs and maps about who wants the amusement park and who wants the race track. First one please.


It had just started to rain as we reached the ticket windows, where more sign brandishing occurred, in particular the one that said no refunds if things close for weather. Don’t get me started.


Headed straight for Rocky Coaster, which I didn’t know had 2 backwards facing cars out of 5. Bonus.
The rain got rather heavy but they continued sending a couple of trains in front of us before it died down for our lap.


Backwards! Jet coaster was rather fun, not knowing what was going on. There’s a classic ‘stick a straight line in’ section towards the end which was particularly amusing.

The other cred was in sight – Adventure Drive. Supposedly launched by people’s screams. It sure is a weird looking thing.

The rain got rather nasty again but we were welcomed into the queue. Again, they persisted for a while, but then it got too much and they ceased operation.
It might be that they have the power of some super accurate weather prediction technology in parks that rules all these cop out for the day places, but here we were told to wait 30 minutes and they’d give it another go. Yes, that’s more like it.

Sure enough, around 30 minutes later, while watching the water park evacuate themselves cos it was too wet, it died down again and they sent a couple of cars before starting to load again.


It rides as weird as it looks. Punchy little launches in between momentum killing moments. An unusually steep lift and drop combo chucked in the middle. Screams don’t seem to do much. Bit of a laugh.


On to the first of a million shooting dark rides for this trip. There’s a particular Japanese style of these rides, I believe made by Senyo, with continuously moving, sideways facing, 4 seater cars and fixed position swivelling guns that shoot at red LED circles and the occasional screen. Some of them have quite impressive animatronics inside, but it’s all a bit lost on you when you’re concentrating on shooting. Hirakata had my first, and it was quite novel, it now turns out they’re absolutely everywhere.


This one was about drilling for crystals I believe (don’t know where I got that from). The details might have faded on me.


Remaining thing of interest was the new Duel GP.
Nobody knows whether it’s a cred yet, but it’s great fun either way.


There’s 10 cars with amusing names and colours.


You pseudo-steer the car if you sit in the front, if you take any of the corners badly then you get a controlled spin while continuing forward before it points you in the right direction again. The more spins you rack up, the slower you are by the end, so losing can be more fun. This is all enhanced by on board audio of revving and screeching and 'YOU WIN'.


The straight section over the bridge and down the steepest slope cannot be influenced by riders and is completely ride controlled, with no steering required (not that it’s ever required). The slope itself has trims, implying a little fall under gravity and the track itself is what one would call coaster track. I’d be half tempted to count it, but it’s lumped in with the wrong crowd on coaster count for now. Would have done both sides ‘just in case’, but it was fun enough to want another lap anyway.
Each person in the winning car gets a little prize card at the end along with an excitable thumbs up from the staff.

Enjoyable little place this, well worth the stop off, but nothing spectacular to stick around for.

Due to the weather concerns at this point, we decided to phone ahead to the next park, but as lovely as they were, continuously trying to put someone on the line with a bit more English, they didn’t understand the questions.

So we risked it.

Parque Espana

The final portion of the drive is a rather fun mountain climb before descending back down to a lake, of which the park is on the far side. Massive B&M invert came into view, and it was rather distracting both driving and glancing over at it repeatedly to look for any signs of life.

Signs of life were confirmed upon arrival in the car park, as a train was despatched. We’ve done well.


Picked up a nice cheap evening ticket from the entrance and headed in. Straight to Pyrenees.


2 of these in 2 days. How does it fare?


Even better for me. Starts off stupidly intense like a Batman but twice the size, the brutally fun snap is back in the cobra, then the unconventional second half gives it a bit of extra charm, with some weird meandering and a sort of air time hill to finish. Great stuff.


Kiddy Montserrat was just over the way.


An inoffensive family coaster with salamander trains.


Followed by Gran Montserrat, the rare species that is the Mack mine train. The sight of the double lift makes me shudder having done a stupid amount of Vekoma and Golden Horse equivalents.


This was really good though, it picks up a ton of relentless speed out of almost nowhere on both the drops and gets rather intense in the low down tight banked curves, which are only enhanced by some good rockwork. Shame it was only 1 train, I believe they can duel it on the two lifts.
Potentially my favourite mine train outside of Disney.

There’s a Nutcracker dark ride around here was decent. I forget the story, but the tunes are all familiar and legit.

One more cred to find, but we got lost along the way. Its a pretty substantial park filled with a lot of other sorts of things to do with the ‘Spanish’ side of it.


There’s lots of buildings you can pop into and read about stuff, as well as a full blown castle. They do 2 day packages here and there’s a resort hotel, so it’s obviously enough to keep some people entertained.



Some nice views.

Another section of the park down the bottom of some escalators.


Peter Pan style dark ride, though the station reminded me more of the Liseberg one.


Quite impressive, but also forgettable, inside. Something about a quest with these blokes and riding seahorses.


Found the cred eventually. Had walked straight past it on the way in, huge building on the side of the entrance square. Steampunk Coaster Iron Bull. Great name.

The coaster section doesn’t do much, but it’s all indoors, which makes it kinda cool. There’s a big dramatic bit in the middle where the train stops, there’s steam effects going off and a screen counting up to something. Then nothing happens. Then the second lift. Then a second half that’s as laughably pointless as Novgorod. Then it ends.


Found the second shooter of the day, same style but with scary demons instead.



That was pretty much everything on the list. Enjoyed the rest of the time with rerides in the dark, which only enhanced the experience.


They had a parade going on at the end of the day, followed by fireworks as it was a late closing. Was impressed with the park overall. It’s got a bit of an aesthetic, which sets it apart from a lot of parks in Japan, just a shame none of these places are ever expanding their lineup.

A very successful day. Can the streak continue?
 

Hixee

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Sounds like a huge improvement over the previous day. Good stuff.
 

HeartlineCoaster

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Previously on my trip reports:
Today there was a slight drizzle in the air and umbrella signs on the roads as we trundled towards the park, not too concerned. Japan had been amazing to us, thus far.
Straight round to Steel Dragon with its permanent physical sign saying 90 minute wait in front of it. Joined the queue and killed time watching some painful operations up at the station. Moved a few feet in half an hour…
That sounds like a ride closure announcement.
Everything else was closed and remained that way.
Had some pizza for lunch and by the time that was done (around 2pm), it had stopped drizzling, but all the school trips had left the park, leaving us to wander around aimlessly in despair.
Staff were busying themselves around Steel Dragon, both in the queue and in the control box. We got as far as walking up the exit and standing on the platform looking at the train (could have sat in the seats if we wanted) but they all completely blanked us for the duration.
Lost for words, left the park and went to get ice cream. Japan immediately redeems itself as the staff ask: ‘Can I sing to you while I make it?’
Yes. Yes you can.
With big smiles back on our faces, we leave it all behind.
And now...

Day 5 – Nagashima Spa Land


Rocked up at opening to find a reasonably substantial queue for tickets. They seem to have improved on the old system of 'who knows what's going on' and have a screen up showing queue times and what's open. Everything but a couple of flats apparently. Sounds good.

Straight to Steel Dragon then, for a 45 minute lesson on how to redefine 2 train op.


Actually got on it though.


I like how long the lift goes on for, as well as the exposed feeling on the left side. Ride itself felt a bit underwhelming to be honest. First drop isn’t particularly special and makes 300ft seem like no big deal, the following hill didn’t do much, nor do the big ass corners. Gets a bit more interesting and weird as it transitions into the block section and then the second half is decent fun with its many many little hills.



Moved onto Acrobat, the other busy ride. Not sure what they’re getting at with the name and showing videos of people doing acrobatics in the station, but then keeping the manta on the front and doing the fancy splash bit. Quirky or lazy?



It’s a solid flyer. Love a good pretzel, and it stays interesting and varied throughout the rest of the layout unlike a certain superhero. Lacks the over the top crazy elements of its Asian cousins though.


Hey, it’s my ride.


Love it.


Did the one side of the Bobkart that was open and it sucked. They've managed to develop potholes on it so there was some unpleasant jarring involved. Didn’t think it was possible to not enjoy one of these.


Did the old school drop tower. The unnerving bit when it shunts forward over nothing but open air hasn’t got old yet, then no idea what it’s trying to doing to you at the end. Mad things.



Did my first Looping Star. Have to admire them. Lap bars and loops and ahead of their time.


Did the Shuttle Loop. Same trains twice in a row is very homely. Better than the obnoxious Walibi one.


Did the Tivoli medium. Well this is going well.




Had some lunch and hopped on the Ferris Wheel to mix things up a bit.



Bit of future RMC porn for you. Bit of a downer for me. Stupid Spite Cyclone.


I’ll start the rumour now – a guest was wearing a shirt that said ‘Thrift Whale’ that day. Name?


Only one side of the mouse was open, but I’ll take that as Nagashima complete. Wow.


I remember liking Arashi a lot before. It was the highlight of the day when nothing was open. It was also intense and messed up, but in a smooth, good way, right?


Not many rides get me nervous now, but giving this another go was up there with one of my most fearful moments. I don’t remember the restraint biting into my collar bone quite this much and... oh now it’s not even sitting upright on the lift and... oh <insert swearing here>.
It was 10x more intense than I even remember, as soon as it goes over the top the flips come out of nowhere, pounding you back and forth in your seat until you can’t stands no more. Ridiculous, stupid thing, but still endearing somehow and I ended up on it more than once even after declaring it a ‘once a day’ job.


Discount Monsoon was fun.


Oops. They broke it. Evacuated the queue and gave us free fastrack this time though, so fair play to them.


Cheers for ruining the shot lads.



Had a couple of re-rides on the ‘star attractions’ and managed to bring the day to a close with a smile on our faces. You’re alright Nagashima, you’re alright.


You’re better than alright. That’s made my day.

Went back over to have ice cream at the shop that cheered us up last year. It was even better than before, with many songs being sung and even an improvised light show from the staff. Too good.
 

Hixee

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Wow, the views from the Ferris Wheel are to die for!

I will get you one day Nagashima. One day. Every time I read about it (admittedly not THAT often, but here and there) I get such a longing to go.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
I will get you one day Nagashima. One day.
I'd say two ;)


Challenge time. There’s a lot of smaller parks around Nagoya with not a huge amount going for them, but it’s always fun to see what you can mop up. So starting furthest out…

Day 6 – Enakyo Wonderland



A completely empty car park greeted us. This doesn’t seem to be the most popular of places but we may also have got the times slightly wrong and nothing is running yet.


We were allowed to enter the park first and have a wander, so took the opportunity to scout the number of tickets required for each of the creds and spent some time faffing about with the machine trying to get the best deal.


Don’t actually know when things were meant to open, but the staff were ridiculously friendly and went out of their way to find the right people and get stuff fired up for us anyway.


First up was the Cycle Coaster. Thought it would be a bit of a stretch this one as it runs like a cycle railway, but 2 chain lifts and a couple of ups and downs with the cycling itself not affecting the outcome makes it good enough.



Jungle Coaster had a bit of weird outwards tipping towards the edge of a cliff to give it a bit of a thrill, otherwise your average, but sketchy, family coaster.



Camel Coaster is their signature jet coaster. Not much more to say on these medium sized ones, fun little sit downs at best.

On to the next one.

Japan Monkey Park


The weather was ridiculously hot on this day and that alone was slowing us down quite a bit.


Particularly as the only available parking spaces for this place were up on a hill, near the monkey sanctuary and not particularly near the amusement park (spot the ferris wheel), it was rather difficult to be overly into the cred ‘running’.

Arrived at the ticket windows, where the staff were nice enough to check whether we did want the rides and not the monkeys. Yup.

First ride here was yet another of the same shooting things, just to escape the sun for a bit. Back to generic looking weird creatures in this one, but at least they were all unique rides.


Highway coaster was next. A fairly substantial looking jet coaster with some terrainy bits.



Not quite as spectacular as I had imagined, highlight being going under a bridge with some cooling mist coming out of it (between these two shots).



Monkey coaster was a dull powered thing, on which I spent the time looking at another cycle railway thing and questioning the consistency of this counting malarkey.

Got lost finding the last cred and ended up back at the entrance, which didn’t help the heat situation. Over a bridge and round the corner somewhere they were even hosing the ground to cool things down.


Here it is. Go! Go! Banana Coaster. Enthusiastic operator got us involved in shouting go go before it went went, if only all places were this open to strange adults barely fitting into kids rides.

On to the next one.

Higashiyama Zoo etc.



This one was another supposedly massive walk to the amusement area, which we were dreading.


But somehow ended up at a car park on the nearer side.


Still far too much hill though.



Jet coaster has had a ‘retheme’ to Jaguars with a new paint job on the cars and a fact sign about big cats at the entrance. Cool.


Another dull powered coaster in the form of Bear coaster. How many animal named rides have we had today?



Time for the legendary Slope Shooter. Great fun with more enthusiastic staff, but nah, this ain’t no cred. I do like the fear of losing your arms on a wall if you naturally stick them up on the bars.

On to the next one.

Kariya-shi Kotsu Jido Yuen?


With the ‘bigger’ stuff out of the way, there was a few +1s to try and hit up. This was the first, but on arrival it seemed they had given up for the day, with a few locals hanging around just for somewhere to be, but no staff in sight.


Figured this may be a similar case for the other places and called it a day for creds, opting to go to a mall instead. No regrets.
 

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
Great report! I always love reading about Asian coasters. Your good pictures along with to the point writing always draws me back :D

Still fascinated by the number of vintage and eccentric coasters in Japan. Makes me want to go there almost as much as the awesome stuff. Glad you had a trouble-free day at Nagashima for once. Acrobat looks gorgeous in your pics - vibrant colour scheme and very decent scenery around. Good to hear it rides well too.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Still fascinated by the number of vintage and eccentric coasters in Japan. Makes me want to go there almost as much as the awesome stuff.
I know what you mean. If I could, I'd just spend a month out there doing absolutely every cred just because they've got that subtle bit of extra variety.


With the toll bill racking up nicely, we managed to beat the system on this particular day.
Sat nav always lets you opt for the 'free' option, but it's usually a couple of hours extra journey time.
Most of the routes on this leg were only 20-30 minutes longer to save 20-30 quid, the time was usually an overestimate and easy to make up and it was an easy going day anyway.

Day 7 - Lagunasia

First port of call was here. Japan's sexy waterpark featuring rides.


It was another blisteringly hot day and it appeared rather busy at opening time, but absolutely everyone was there to cool down, leaving the amusements to the fools.

While they all staked out a shady spot to dump their towels and stuff for the day, it was straight to the first cred of the day.


Aqua Wind is an ever so slightly custom Gerst Bobsled. Always a decent family ride - smooth and got some good forces chucked in, the lats of a wild mouse and at least one classic air time hill.


This one had a nice aesthetic as well with its half indoor, half outdoor layout, complete with scenery.


Legend of Labyrinth is a mostly indoor log flume with some fantastically impressive theming and a few surprises on the way out to an anticlimactic final drop, which I suppose is more for the benefit of offride viewing.



Pirates' Blast is next door. Opted for the non-VR version, no justification required.
Again there's some great theming in here, mostly skeletons and pirates shooting stuff at you, which you could skip for the pleasure of strapping screens to your eyeballs.


There's a whole indoor section of the layout first followed by a pause in front of a window to the outside world (which looks great from the outside). The big drop throws you into the darkness before taking the outdoor section which rides rather poorly and again is a bit of an anticlimax.


Final cred of the park in the form of Stellar Coaster. She hasn't yet had her revenge in this part of the world.


Had to camp out a while and take it easy due to staggered openings, but it was worth the wait.


The wait being for Magical Powder, which is a very 'out there' dark ride.


The factory makes different colour powders that have different effects on objects and some stuff goes down. Can't quite remember what.


Well worth a read.


The ride system was rather interesting, a much larger omnimover type rotating car but with the ability to put a curtain up to obscure the views and sets where necessary as it travels around.


Bit disappointed that the 4D cinema was all upcharge. Had some J-Pop thing that would have been great to stumble into.


They've got a refreshingly different shooting dark ride to all the others here, Fire Fire Next. Elevation is involved and it was pretty decent, though shooting generic monsters was getting old fast.





Seems like a good time for a Ferris Wheel. it was completely empty and there were warning signs everywhere about the temperature, but it had a fan inside. I've done worse.

Had more ice cream to balance things out, then moved on.

Hamanako Pal Pal


Similar to Parque Espana, the approach to this park had us spotting creds on the far side of a lake/the sea long before actually reaching it. Anxiety was also somewhat present again, as it looked like storm clouds were rolling in.


Straight in to grapple with another token machine then. Mega Coaster first.



Thought this thing looked rather good with it's funky dive loop and heartline inversion knock off.




I'm a defender of Togo but eh, it didn't ride particularly well. Interesting, but not great.


Passed through some tasty mist to find Mini Coaster. At least the +1s all have a bit of variety around here.


Over to the other nicer looking side of the park.


The storm clouds seemed to pass by, so went for yet another of the same shooting dark rides. Something about dragons.


Which left Jungle Mouse. Not nearly sketchy enough for my liking, and the 2 across seating is far too impersonal. China have made these their own.


So that all went well. Off to another mall where we managed to catch a perfectly timed showing of Ant Man & The Wasp, something we had been searching for all week. International cinema cred +1.
 

Hixee

Flojector
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Excellent looking parks there. First place looks really nice, and I'm jealous of the Togos - they might be lame but they're fairly unique!
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
I'm jealous of the Togos - they might be lame but they're fairly unique!
Better ones coming soon. ;)

Day 8 - Better than creds

This day was originally going to be our first attempt at Fuji-Q, and so we stayed at a hotel that claimed to have a view of Mount Fuji. Something came up though, and yes, it was more important than creds.


Didn't quite manage to see the mountain for the clouds, I think it's there somewhere.
Didn't have time to stick around for it either, as some lovely ladies were waiting for us in Tokyo.

So one of our favourite K-Pop groups were doing promotions in Japan, and this included a 'mini-live' session in a mall along with some meet and greet action.


Oh look another ferris wheel.


The mall in question was in the Odaiba area, a "high-tech entertainment hub on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay".


And is all rather posh inside. Themed to Venice apparently.


The industry knows exactly how to extract money from the defenseless fans, with which member of the group you get to meet being based on a random photocards inside the album and the manner in which you get to greet being based on how many copies of the album you buy. Ended up with 8 copies between two of us, which gave priority access to 2 rounds of live performances, as well as both getting a hearty handshake and a brief chat with our 2 respective favourite members, aided by a little crafty trading.

With all that lifechanging stuff going on, we ended up there most of the day and it was even more intense than Arashi.


Back to reality?

Tokyo Joypolis



There just so happens to be a cred nearby, the Gerst Spinner with an inversion.


But there's more to it than that.


It's currently themed to this anime thing. The restraints have buttons built into them and the first half of the ride is an interactive music game, like that old Tap Tap Revenge one. The car moves up to different screens with anime stuff going on and you compete with everyone else in the car to score points based on your timing.


When that's said and done, it launches into the rest of the layout, of which there isnt much. The inline(?) is taken surprisingly well, then there's a few spinny bits around a couple more screens and a bit of lighting and music.

Kinda liked it, if just for the novelty. I like the concept - I like music, I like rides, I like games, it just all feels a bit clunky as a package and I'm sure it could be done a lot better in the future.

Joypolis itself was a bit crap though. Had it in my mind that it was going to be the biggest of the lot and I'd be blown away by the sheer spectacle, but it's tiny and there's nothing much else to do, partcularly if you've already done another.

Suppose at least they had their cred working... https://rcdb.com/13804.htm

Up next - more rain.
 

gavin

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I f**king HATE Joypolis, but will have to go back for cred whenever I end up back in Tokyo. Even the Shanghai one is run better than Tokyo's.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
will have to go back for cred
You love it really.

The magnificence of yesterday had come at a price, with us dropping off the car earlier having a bit of an impact on proceedings.
Tokyo trains are a bit of a mess in that many different lines are run by different companies and there is little standardisation between their ticketing systems. We had originally planned a very full day and were going to start out at Sea Paradise, but it was raining, things were taking far too long through faff.
So we went straight to the 2nd park. Which wasn't open yet.


Passed this on the way to the station, made me think of Efteling for some reason.


Sums up the start of the day.


Orchestra playing the Incredibles theme in a mall. As you do.

Spent another hour in a Starbucks to pass the time and watch the weather, things are getting all too familiar now.

Day 9 - Yokohama Cosmo World?

One thing this place has going for it is that it's free to just walk in and wander around. It didn't look too promising. Only the log flume was running. No signs of life from Spiting Coaster Varnish, spinner was all tarped up.
Found an unmanned information desk which said go to the admin office. Went to the admin office, got the usual old crap about wet track mixed with a bunch of uncertainty.

Oh well, they've got another of the same shooting dark rides. That makes 5? Ugh.


There's also another section of the park on the other side of the river, with a bit of activity going on.


This was running, Family Banana Coaster. I guess that's one less thing to do in future.

Time was still pressing and couldn't be arsed to hang around any longer. so took the gamble and went straight to the next place.

Yomiuriland


Went to the station that kicks you out by the cable car over the park.



It was a nerve-wracking ride watching everything come into view and desperately looking for something running.
Almost simultaneously, every visible cred sprang to life. That's more like it.
Ended up with another afternoon discount, which was a welcome surprise. Wristbanded up, rain ever increasing, it was off to Bandit.

Not just any old Bandit. Wet Bandit.
This thing was ridiculously hilarious and unexpected. They run it absolutely abysmally, but I'll forgive them for the comedy. It took forever to get everyone seated and force them all to take their bags on, which you have to put inside a canvas bag for life that they give you to wrap it around your leg.


They dispatch it by playing the intro to the song advertised by the banners (bonus points for K-Pop) and by clapping and dancing. As it leaves the station, a Valhalla style geyser goes off and soaks the train, alongside a set of water guns that offride guests can operate.


The lift hill takes 6 years, and has that classic flat section at the top. Apparently some days they pause you up there for the view instead of this madness.

It takes it's 30 degree jet coaster drop and out of nowhere a MASSIVE water jet just shoots out of some trees, 200ft in the air and pelts everyone again. I completely lost it at this point. What is this madness?


The rest of the layout is pretty good for what it is. The entrance to the helix has a rather brutal snap that you have to properly brace for, but the other hills and transitions actually provide decent forces, including air time, way beyond your average jet coaster.


The sheer scale of the layout is fantastic, it just keeps going and going across valleys and through forests.
As it loses all momentum and trundles back up the end brakes, another water jet goes off just to wake you up again.
Wet Bandit. Pissing in the face of the previous park.


Took a while to process all that, but headed to the next cred. Wan Wan Coaster Wandit is their family coaster, pretty standard stuff other than the fact it has mist! Wet Wandit?

There was a life sized version of pop-up pirate opposite this ride, which for the entirety of our visit had a constant stream of customers. They would put one sword in and every, single, time, it would play a classic 'wah wah you've failed' tune and soak them with water. I already love this place.


On to Momonga Standing and Loop Coaster. Does what it says on the tin, runs 2 trains on a permanent transfer track style station. One side standing, one side sitting. One loop. One cred...
Did the sit down first. Basic stuff, no issues.

Went for the standing, forgot how good the Togo ones are. So much less faff in the restraint, proper sensation of standing and a very unnervingly exposed feeling. I never quite get used to the feeling that I'm riding a plate of metal on my feet and oh no here comes the inversion.


It shouldnt be good but it is. Instead of taking the force through your brain like you usually would, it goes straight through the knees and you kinda flex with the whole thing. Pathetic layout though.


Back up the hill to Spin Runway. Another indoor Gerst spinner, but elaborately themed to fashion and fabric and all that fun stuff. Wasn't very good, much like the one in Prater, it pretty much does nothing. The most mediocre spins, turns and drops that money can buy, but at least it has bags of character like the rest of the park.


Speaking of character, I already thought I was going to love the Cup Noodle rapids, but it totally blew me away.


There's a cup noodle super hero guy called Yakisoba-man (already sold) and an evil guy that wants to cook you(?) You've got buttons on the handle bits in the middle of the boat alongside vile looking things that could potentially shoot water in your face. The boat stops a few times under screens with the bad guy looking down at you in your pot and stuff happens, while you furiously mash the buttons to try and save your life.

But in between that, who made this thing? It's mental, like Hafema mental. Pitching down tubey helices, spinning violently and gaining ridiculous speed before plunging down unbelievably steep drops and terrifying rapids sections. Exactly what they should all be like. Absoutely loved it.


In the same building, you can make your own cup noodle, which we did for a laugh.
You pay a couple of quid, sit down and draw whatever you feel like on a custom lid, wash your hands, play some game on a touch screen to 'win' the number of ingredients you add. Then you get friendly girls on the other side of plexiglass taking you through an interactive version of a cut down production line.
Here comes the sauce. Pick your fillings like subway. Fancy lid machine. Fancy shrink wrap machine.
Then for whatever reason, you get to put it inside a balloon bag, which you manually inflate with a pump and wear around your neck for the rest of the trip like a pro.


Did probably the worst shooter of the trip. Was a different style for once, usual forwards facing tracked vehicle with crap guns and shooting poachers(?), and spiders(?), and then it ended.



Ferris Wheel cos views. They had a couple of K-Pop rethemed pods on here, including a Blackpink one that I wanted, but no luck.


Unfortunately we then had to leave while things were lighting up, to go pick up another car.


Up next - more rain. At that place.
This'll be good.
 
Last edited:

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
Bandit <3 This is my ultimate Togo to go for me, love the hilly terrain and long, unique layout. Glad you liked it :) Also did not expect such a fairly positive review on Yomiuriland's Stand-Up. Knew it wasn't so bad, but not to that point.
Too bad your spiting weather series continues. Hope you had better luck the following days.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
It rained pretty much all journey the next morning. This place has somewhat of a reputation right? I almost welcome it at this stage.
It had stopped on arrival, and the car park was dead. Promising.


Try not to crash the car on the way in.

Day 10 - Fuji-Q Highland



That's quite the entrance, even if it isn't the entrance. Didn't know they had a Disney village style thing to walk through first.


Some screens said everything bar some irrelevant crap will open. Promising.
Big queue for the entrance entrance, waiting for the flood gates to open. Where did they come from?
Their new ride entry system scans your face (after you awkwardly crouch to fit it in the screen) as you enter the park and remembers if you have a ride pass or not. it's kinda cool.

Now run. Which one, which one? That one?

Entered what was apparently already a 45 minute queue for Do-dodonpa. It was pumping out 8 people every couple of minutes on its 2 trains, moving alright. Then it started to rain. It carried on running for half an hour or so. Then they stopped, but Suzuka style, telling everyone to wait for it to get better again. So we wait.
An hour passes. They test another couple of trains. Think we're moving again? Oh, nope, they're evacuating the queue through the station and giving out exit passes, alright then.

Well that's 2 hours gone and we haven't done anything yet. Takabisha is directly opposite and we had watched that get evacuated too. Eejanaika had never moved at all.


So EVERYONE was at Fujiyama, and what choice do we have but to join them?
Joined the back of a 3-4 hour queue, cowering under shelters from the moderate rain (not pictured above). They tested both trains on it in the morning, but it's only on one now. And it's so slow. It's a long ride. It's a long train. It's a long loading procedure. Taron's queue record is about to be smashed.
The more depressing part was that no one really joined the queue behind us, so we weren't particularly gaining anything, just shunting the back of the queue forward endlessly, with nothing better to do.

Park-wide announcement: Ladies and Gentleman, we are pleased to announce that Takabisha is now open.
People had already been gathering over there as the rain eased off again, but I had a quick wander over to see that it was as bad as what we were currently in. Probably not worth bailing for.

Park-wide announcement: Ladies and Gentleman, we are pleased to announce that Eejanaika is now open.

What do we dooooooo? Run then. If we get there quickly, we'll be straight on it right?

Wrong. Ran straight into a 2 hour queue. This place baffles me.
They have fastrack machines outside the rides that show all available time slots for the day for 10 quid a pop. There were still some for right now and we had to get something done.

Walked straight on, putting the face recognition things to the test. It works well, maybe UK airports should invest in some.

This was on 2 trains and actually running quite well with its 4 pen system that lets everyone deal with their locker and shoe faff in their own time. Our time has come.

Forgot how terrifying the restraints are on these things. A jacket for your arms and nothing for your lap and legs which can just jump around as they please. They're shouting Eejanaika and playing dispatch music, oh no. And the seats just free tilt you almost on your head as you leave the station, that's a thing now? Oh no.


Second time in a week I've been proper scared on a ride, half dreading what's to come and holding on tighter than ever. I like that.


So the thing I said about Dinoconda doesn't really apply here, which is that it all felt designed around pointing you down the first drop and the rest was an unplanned mess.
This either rides better, or I was less physically wrecked.


The first drop itself felt a lot less sustained than I remember, but the remaining insanity was so much clearer and well defined, and I loved it.


There's almost nothing else out there that can do these things to you, holding you upside down and in all sorts of weird positions while you fly through inversions at ridiculous speed and height.


It does bounce your lower half around, but only through intense moments of change and not roughness, and on that final twist both my legs were clear above the lump in the middle of the seat, so I now fully understand the famous leg swap happening.


Back to Fujiyama then, the king of queues. This was still on 1 train and running terribly, with everyone ploughing through the train to the locker section and faffing with that forever.
Took another age, but we got there in the end.


Every major coaster at this place is so iconic, but they also come with the stigma of 'it could be absolutely terrible'. This made 2 for 2 though, I liked this a lot.


Its a stupid layout, namely the 250ft drop into a 200ft flat turnaround, but it's full of surprisingly good forces and having the lap bar only enhances that. There are no words to describe the last section, which was just hilarous, but it was never rough and never boring, unlike certain other things of this size.


Dodonpa was also back by this stage, we were watching it from the queue and the speed it leaves that tunnel just doesnt look real. Time to use those free fastracks.

Straight up the exit and straight on the ride, with a couple of bows and nods on the way.


The whole park is full of a bunch of anime girls at the moment, with them being mascots on various rides. All of them are on a giant screen in the station here. That was way too quick, I'm not ready for this ride. I'm scared again, this keeps happening.
Oh no, we're in the train, with those new offensively large restraints. I'm keeping myself sane by enthusiastically singing along to the tune it plays.
Dun dun, dudun dun! Oh no, we're on the launch track.
Dun dun, dudun dun! Oh no, the anime girls are shouting about launch time.
Dun dun, dudun dun! Oh no, they're counting down.
Dun dun, dudun dun! Oh... no?


Well I've officially broken myself when it comes to launches, because this was nothing special. For the most powerful in the world, it felt no more significant. It rides fine? Again we'd bigged it up to be this stupidly intense and rough ride, but it just kinda floats around the big ass corner on its silly tyres.


The only slightly questionable bit is the jolt in the entrance to the loop, where once it had a straight element, they now had to find a way to angle it for an entry and an exit, but its not bad.


Loop is alright I guess, I like the massive ones where the train takes up a tiny proportion of it, and you get that moment at the top to appreciate that. Woulda preferred to try the hill obviously.
Think the best bit was the little lurch downwards it does at the end of the launch section, which feels like oops, we'd better change the elevation a bit here. Otherwise meh.
3 for 3. We didn't dislike it at least.

Had enough of Qs by now and getting rather hungry. Bought the fast track for Takabisha and walked straight on it. I like that every major ride has its own little jingle with the name in it. Helps build character for the legends. Can't really comment on how this was being run. More 8 seater nonsense with lockers. Who knows how many trains, but they did seem to be doing some two-half duelling when we were watching earlier.


They've done something to these trains. It's a Eurofighter, but it's way less offensive somehow. It feels wider. It feels less bulky. I didn't instantly regret putting the restraint down.


Ugh, that start again? The drop out of the station into the slow roll. At least it doesn't lurch you downwards into the launch. Can't think of much to say about what follows, just a bunch of very large inversions that don't try to kill you.


Weird old drop though, it acts like a holding brake and then keeps inching and faffing you down towards it before releasing. Well that was a thing. More huge inversions. Brakes. 4 for 4. Have we just completed Fuji-Q without dieing?

We were pleased by the fact they had a Mos Burger on park, as it's something we quite often have in Japan, but they managed to ruin it here by having a reduced, overpriced menu. Bah.


Bit of fuel, then into the queue for the Mouse. Took far too long and was by far the roughest ride in the park. Felt like it was scraping something the whole way round and it hurt my brain. The Formula Rossa of Wild Mice.

Couldn't be arsed to queue for what was formerly known as the hamster coaster yet, so went round to Thomas Land.


Party parade is their fun little Thomas dark ride, which is really well done for what it is, and a welcome change from the feel of everything else in the park.


Rock'n'Roll Duncan. I like the fact it has a fake transfer track. +1.


For some reason, the queue had completely emptied by the time we got back, so got straight onto Voyage dans le Ciel.


Now based on their French dog mascot things, Lisa and Gaspard, who have their own shop and museum back in the village.


It's a bit of fun and punches you hard in the stomach on the brakes.


Fuji-Cat is better though.

So now we've actually completed Fuji-Q. With rain. Take that Nagashima.
I won't praise them for the queues, because they're just awful. There was no way around paying for 2 of the 4 big ones and in a way we had to get lucky with the exit pass. This was a quiet day and everything just default ends up on 2-3 hours, which gives you no opportunity to truely... enjoy? any of their offerings. It's an ordeal, or maybe even a ritual.
But facts are facts. It rained, it rained hard, they kept going, they stopped, they compensated. It stopped. They reopened everything. There's a lot of parks out there that just don't do that and are a lot worse in comparison, so well done lads.

Was a couple of hours left before close now, and we would have to leave a smidge early to stand a chance of getting the car back in time. Let's suck up one more fastrack and maybe one more big queue?
Fastracks are sold out now. Ah.

So we just went for Eejanaika, and while we were there, announcements were going off declaring the closures of other queues ensuring that they weren't running past midnight or something stupid. The queue was moving incredibly well for what it was, but it was tight, it was tense. It was so very worth it.


Night had fallen and it was just fantastic. Disorientating, intense, had me doing a quiet scared laugh to myself the whole way round, couldn't find the words.
By far the best ride of the trip and exactly what this hobby is all about.

And now we're running again. Gotta get that car back.

Hit a bunch of traffic on the way back and completely forgot to factor in a petrol stop as well. They're crafty in Japan and give you a list of 3 stations near to the drop off point which you have to use before returning, as well as provide a receipt to prove it. But we made it.

Oh, we still never saw Mount Fuji. There was always a cloud in the way.


Here's another famous thing instead.

Up next - typhoons.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Not even Fuji-Q can turn heads these days then. How about a Disney?

For the second time this trip, there was a lot of news and rumours going around about typhoons interrupting proceedings. Never knew what to believe, but figured do what the locals do. They were getting on with their daily business, and after excessively waterproofing ourselves up and picking the park with the least weather affected attractions, we did the same.

Day 11 – Tokyo Disneysea

Took me until arriving at this place to realise it’s Disneysea as in Disneyland, but with sea, and not just some arbitrary suffix. Weird how you read things.


Walked through the turnstyles to find the Universal globe without Universal on it. Alright, not what I expected.


Through the main street bit.


Ah, there it is. That volcano thing.
So many things I’ve heard about this place, let’s see what it’s really about. To clarify my position, I knew enough to be subject to a lot of hype and positive things, but knew little to nothing of the actual attractions in terms of what they are and what they do, so it was a spoiler free experience in that sense.


First thing that hits me is the sheer number of people they’ve paid to literally stand around all day and wave at you as go past. They’ll do other things like give you information, point you in the right direction and take photos for you, but it’s still crazy.


Headed up to the volcano first, without any sort of plan of action, which probably seems more crazy to some people. Walked straight onto our first attraction - 20,000 Leagues.

Don’t know the source material for this or know what was going on, but it pretty much fixes what I slag off the Legoland submarine thing for not doing and that’s having a sense of scale in the ‘underwater’. Lots of big impressive sets to go past, some cool effects with Krake getting electrocuted and such. The windows were pretty low compared to the seating and it was a bit uncomfortable looking for that long, but otherwise interesting and enjoyable.


Picked up a fastpass for Journey and, bad weather still in mind, headed off for an outdoor thing. Felt rather foolish in the queue as it was now about 35 degrees, sunny and everyone was sweating profusely. Time to crack out the sun cream.


So Raging Spirits - Indiana Jones with more mist and a slightly better aesthetic.


That hardware in this park though… why. +1


Actual Indiana Jones was next door, but in the form of his dark ride and far more amazing.


Everything in the queue and on the ride itself looked incredible.
Having only done Fantawild equivalents of the ride system, the way it chucked itself around was vastly better and a welcome surprise. Particular highlights were a big stone face aggressively shouting something in Japanese then shooting a smoke ring at us - couldn’t stop laughing at that one, and then the bit with the boulder – can’t even explain. Made me very happy.


So now we’re cooking, back to Journey. Fastpass takes you straight to some lifts which were fine, maybe could have done something. No, that’s a different ride.
The station area was in another league and I was completely mesmerized by this stage. Caves and crystals and bottomless pits, it was hard to walk and take it all in that the same time. That’s some funky looking ride vehicles rushing up to us.


Again don’t know the source material for this, but the ride itself had too high of a reputation that I’m not sure it lived up to. None of the sets made a lasting impression on me, some weird looking flowers underground and THE set was at best an ‘Ok, that’s cool‘ moment. The change in dynamic at the end was fun and unexpected, giving it a bit of a thrill at least, but that led to an underwhelming ending of mincing over a bridge back to the station.


Talking of lasting impressions, think I’ve skipped over the Nemo simulator from earlier. Bit of a long-winded batching procedure into the bays for the ride, which you then had to turn away from to watch a pre-show that contained a nice magic trick.
Actual thing was decent enough. Easy to follow, though I haven’t found Dory yet.


Tower of Terror next, something I already know and love. At least I thought I did.


I like the alternate story, all the paintings in the hotel lobby of the rich guy being a dick and stealing all these artifacts from locals. The pre-show is fantastic, while it doesn’t quite have the goofy charm of the Twilight Zone, it has a mind-blowingly good bit of Disney magic and a decently sinister undertone. The Japanese staff are far too lovely to keep that tone flowing into the loading areas and lifts, but I’ll let that slide.


It’s either like Dodonpa in that I’ve done far too much since the good old days and the ride just felt really weak, or it’s an actual recurring theme that we'll be seeing again on the next day – everything seems slightly tamer here.
We had already picked up a fastpass for it before going in, so got to reconfirm those feelings later on.


The weather did actually seem on the turn now, it got very, very windy, to the point that poor Japanese girls were being affected by it while walking around, staggering slightly against the force. Better go get that other cred then.


Flounder’s thing was great. I’d been worried about how much time would be lost at the crappy creds in these places, but they were hauling arse on 2 trains and it took no more than 10 minutes. A station fly by, complete with staff waving, made it particularly enjoyable.

The food options here were a lot better than I’ve had at other Disneys. Let’s look at the map. Pizza? Yes. Low budget? Yes. Done.


Longest queue of the day went to Toy Story Midway Mania. It flowed well enough and had plenty to look at.


Bit disappointed to be honest. I regularly slag off the Fantawild equivalents for having nothing going on between the screens, but this had exactly the same issue, though the actual games on the screens were far superior and a lot of fun.
Maus or that new Happy Valley one can beat this any day.


Time to head back to the other end of the park and find Sindbad.


This was ridiculously quaint and very much my kinda thing. Love the way he’s contently singing the same tune throughout the entire ride, no matter what the scene contains. Leaving home, beating up pirates, tigers mauling people, coming home, all with a smile on his face.


And that was Disneysea.


I kinda get the place. I can’t think of anything that rivals the aesthetic they’ve created with the visuals of the park and the blending of the areas, it all looks incredible and the pictures should speak for themselves. Using the Disney scale and budget to pull off a more refined, highly concentrated and compact theme is a great concept, and I’m already trying to take what I’ve learnt from it into my latest creations in the game world, so it’s certainly made an impact.


For me, it comes down to the attractions themselves just not being particularly outstanding. My favourite on this day was Indy, and unfortunately that’s not a Disneysea exclusive. The big issue is that we ran out of things to do quite early in the day (even with us being rather inefficient), and then struggled to think of much we wanted to do again.


We would have stayed for the show at the end (see events below), but it would have been ‘killing time’ until that happened.

We had completed everything that we wanted. Fancied another go on Indy while we were near, but it had broken itself for an indeterminate amount of time. Settled down on a bench outside it to reflect on the above. Anything else worth doing? Nah, not really. Just the park closing show? The wind was still blowing strong and announcements were being made throughout the park about a cancellation of some water parade thing. Then the sky darkened, and a different announcement played. Due to the weather conditions, the train service from the Disney Resort to Tokyo may be suspended later. Hmmm. Essay incoming.


This turned out to be the most unfortunate timing in the world. It was a ‘maybe later’, so a HUGE amount of people, including ourselves made the intelligent decision to leave at this point. We headed to the entrance via the Electric Railway ride (for the league obviously), which ended up being rather hilarious.


The station is up high and looking out over the sea so there really was quite a gust up. The staff were all excitedly shouting, losing hats, clutching onto railings and holding up wind speed measuring devices to see if they could keep going. They could. But other rides were closing around us.

Left the park. Took the monorail. All fine.
Walked to the station, bought a ticket, went to the platform. The trains aren’t on time?! That’s the end of the world in Japan surely.
The train arrived. Got on the train. Train didn’t move for half an hour. It was at this point that I really started to dislike the Tokyo train system.


No announcements were being made, no information was being given other than a screen on the train scrolling through other lines that had delays and cancellations due to typhoon. Locals were constantly second guessing and getting on and off, on and off, no one had a clue what was going on.
We were looking down below and there was a constant stream of buses leaving outside the station. The train kept filling up to the point that it got uncomfortable to stay on for too long, and we made the decision to abandon it and try something else. Staff were beyond useless, and manage to be the only rude people in the entirety of Japan (almost, wait for it). The first response we got was a plain ‘I don’t know’, the second was being completely ignored, so we left the station.

Couldn’t work out the buses directly outside the station, later discovering that they only went on very local routes within the ‘island’ that encompasses Disney itself and not getting you out to Tokyo.
There was also a taxi rank here, but with a queue that was both impossible to determine and never moving because there were virtually no taxis coming through it.

Went to the Disney ‘Welcome Centre’ towards the monorail station and asked if they could point us in the direction of a useful bus. ‘No, I don’t speak English, but I’ll find someone who can.’ Person who speaks English: ‘No, we CAN’T help.’ Then just stared.
Ok then.

Spoke to staff in the Disney ‘Ticket Office’ of the monorail station. More than happy to help, pull up a chair, jump on a PC. Phoned someone who could describe to us in a bit more detail what they were looking at on the screen. Bus 1. Done.

Went back outside to bus 1 in the area outside the station. Got some nervous glances from the locals queueing there, with one eventually checking where we were going and telling us this ain’t the bus you’re looking for. Move along.


Asked a guy who seemed to be directing people to buses, who told us to walk over to a separate bus station, nearer the entrance to the main park.

Walked over to the separate bus station to find queues stretching as far as the eye could see for certain stops. Did a quick walk past them all to see if we could find our number 1, but there was no number 1.

Asked a guy who seemed to be directing people to buses, who pointed us down to the other end, towards the other queue that was impossible to fathom. So we can’t even get to the other end of it to see what we’re queueing for. And these queues just weren’t moving. They potentially contained thousands of people, and all visible bus activity was at best half hourly.

Went to the ticket office of the main park to ask for a 14th opinion. They seemed completely out of touch here, first recommending a taxi and then being surprised by our response – huge queue, NO taxis. Can’t phone one because all of Tokyo is currently phoning for a taxi. Take bus 9.

Bus 9? Couldn’t find bus 9. Ended up methodically working out every stop in this bus station. All the quiet ones were going to nearby hotels, all of which were still on the same island, and not Tokyo. Buses with regular numbers didn’t exist at all. This leaves the final section, for which there are now 3 distinct, but massive queues.

Managed to squeeze our way to the front of this to actually find someone who had a vague idea of what was going on. He asks where we want to go and holds up a clipboard with a list of major stations in the Tokyo area. These aren’t buses, these are direct shuttle coaches, but I’m not fussy at this stage.
I pick a station that I know is near enough to us to get us off the damn island. He puts us in a specific queue.
And now we wait.

The train never moved. We could see the station from where we were queueing. It sat there, with people on it, just like we sat there. For 3 and a half hours.

Coaches would come and go, very sparingly. 90% of them were to stupid Yokohama, which kept us mildly entertained because no one was going there, so ourselves and locals around us would react with disgust to the arrival of each and every one. There was another taxi rank behind here, with another indeterminate queue and again, no taxis.

The wind was blowing, but it never rained. It was interesting to say the least, we even got to see the spotlights of the show in the main park go off.

Somehow, very slowly but surely, the queues began to dwindle, there was light at the end of the tunnel. It seemed like we had ended up making the worst decision, with almost no one left by the time we boarded our coach, but there was clearly no right decision either.

No more than 5 minutes before we boarded our coach, a man announced that the train line was back in operation and sure enough, we watched the very same train we had abandoned trundle over the bridge from the window of the coach. The coach was weird, your standard 2 seats on either side of the aisle, but with little fold out seats on every row that completely blocked the aisle by the time everyone was in and as such had to be assembled in a very specific order. Wouldn’t want, say, an emergency to occur with that going on.

Drifted in and out of consciousness for what seemed like far too long, with the coach spending 90% of its time in tunnels. Not the Tokyo I remember. But we got there. Had a midnight snack. Took the metro back to the hotel.

Bit of a long day that one. But don’t worry, only have to do it all again in 7 hours.
 
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