We actually have some time today! It's a miracle! Missions of Love is good to us as usual, even though there was almost no Akira in that volume (sad face). ...Okay, so come to think of it, in light of our being late for a deadline, we could get to work on it in an attempt to not be as
late... Now I'm worried that we'll be seen as slacking off. We did ask for more time, though...
Anyway, even though we usually save our pic spam Facebook posts for Sundays, we posted one today because we're kind of hoping to get to our Disneyland Halloween pics before Halloween is over. I mean, for us it's felt like Halloween has been over for about a month or so, but it's not, and we want to be a little
timely. Also, Tokyo Disneyland is doing a hashtag thing, and we're hoping to post our pictures when they're still relevant. But I also feel like LiveJournal should get precedence when it comes to updating about Japan, so now, since we still have time, let's get back to the report!
So last time we updated about Japan, we were just getting ready to go to Tokyo Disneyland. We've been a little panicked lately because the American Disney Parks Blog keeps posting things about Tokyo Disneyland, and we're like, "No! Stop telling people! We want it to be our secret!" But in all fairness, if they hadn't, we might not have known that for the first time ever, Tokyo Disneyland was encouraging people of all ages to come in costume for Halloween! And of course we wanted a piece of that action.
As usual, we were planning to go to Disneyland and
DisneySea, and since we already had the costumes made, we brought one set for each park. (Gaston was surprised about this. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because we where the same costumes at our Disneyland every Halloween... Also, he didn't know us in our big con days.) It was kind of funny, because when you go to the official website, they have a list of all the Disney...everything that you can cosplay from--movies, TV shows, video games, etc. And they had things even we
hadn't heard of. But the point was, they listed Kingdom Hearts...and frankly I think we would have done this anyway, but we brought our Kingdom Hearts Chip and Dale costumes for Land.
We were a little worried, though, because after translating Complex Age, we knew (as we had suspected from some other things) that it's not generally a thing people do to dress up in costume and then hop on the train to go somewhere. The website told us there would be a changing area, but we weren't sure we wanted to chance it and
buy tickets. We wanted to make sure we had our bearings first. Fortunately, the Chip and Dale costumes are designed such that we can just wear ordinary clothes, and then put the smocks and hats on over them, and that's exactly what we did.
But before we got our tickets, we were waiting in line, in plain clothes, and looking around...and not actually seeing that many people in costume. But when we did
see some, it made us wish we had costumes. Then we got our tickets and put our costumes on, and then I was like, "Why isn't anyone liking our costumes!?" Because I was being unreasonable like that. I mean, it's not like we were going up to the people we
saw in cute costumes...but that might be because before we got into the park, most of the people we saw were cosplaying Frozen and Toy Story. Or they were bounding dalmatians. There were a ton of dalmatians. I'd be willing to say there probably were at least 101.
After what felt like an eternity, we finally got into the park (this is the problem with arriving early; but we wanted to get in at opening! (and also we wanted to beat rush hour on the train, which reminds me, there was a guy on the train carrying what looked like maybe a trombone case? he got off at Maihama at just about the right time to put on a band costume and be performing at opening)), and were oohing and aahing over the decorations. As I was distractedly trying to get a good angle for a picture, a group of girls ran up and very excitedly asked to take a picture with us! So we got to be in a selfie with some Japanese JK, and that was fun. (We don't know if they were actually JK, but they definitely had a JK vibe.) And we were satisfied that cosplay would indeed make it a little extra fun.
Our first order of business was to go on the ride that had eluded us not once but twice in the more recent times we had visited Japan: Monsters, Inc. Ride and Go Seek. The first time we missed it was because they ran out of fastpasses, so this time we figured we'd just go on it first thing, when the line is shortest, and then we wouldn't have to worry about it. The ride building was designed to look like the title company. There's a pretty big waiting area outside, where they have screens that not only have the instructions on how the ride works, but also the type of broadcast you might see in Monstropolis. I seem to remember something about dating advice from Mike Wazowski or something along those lines...
Anyway, it's been too long since I've seen the movie, so I couldn't say for sure if the building's lobby looks just like the one in the movie, but I'm willing to bet it looks similar (but not much money, because betting is stupid). Eventually we got to the loading area, and we saw the vehicles which were kind of crazy. I'm not sure how to describe them. All I can say clearly is that they don't have a lot of leg room. And they have weird roof things that look like monster teeth made out of trashcans. See? You have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't remember if I have a picture.
The ride itself...oh, did I mention that some of the broadcasts on the video outside were interrupted by breaking news about Randall being on the loose? The ride is kind of like a sequel to the movie, because Randall's escaped and he's out for revenge against Boo. That dude needs help; she's just a little girl, man. But at the same time, we really are being treated like tourists or something who are visiting Monstropolis. Our vehicles are equipped with special flashlights, each with a different color that projects a different character, and while you're going through the city, the lights will go out, and then you shine your flashlight on the hardhats that have the Monsters, Inc. logo, and a monster will come out of hiding (hence "Ride and Go Seek"). Or if the monster is too big, he'll do something else to let you know you found him. It's a pretty neat concept, but it felt a little chaotic. The lights would be on for maybe two seconds, then off for a few seconds, it was almost like a really really slow strobe light.
Anyway, we went to all the places, like the residential area, and the restaurant, and through the power plant, and Randall kept getting closer and closer to Boo, and I don't remember exactly how, but he ended up in a rather painful position by the end, and Boo was safe and everyone was happy. The end.
We wanted to stay in Tomorrowland, because there were at least two other rides we knew we'd never been on, and we wanted to go on them. The first was the Tomorrowland Raceway, which we always assumed was like their version of Autopia, but now we won't know, because it was gone. We're guessing they did away with it to make room for the rumored Big Hero 6 area that's in the works. The other was their version of the Astro Orbiter. We realized we'd never been on it when JAL (its sponsor) posted on Facebook that it, too, would be going away. It was still there, but I guess everybody else got the memo that it was going away, too, because the line was super long. We decided it wasn't a priority, so we kept going on to Toontown. Why? Because we were dressed as Chip and Dale, so naturally we had to go on Gadget's Go Coaster (which I keep forgetting has a much different track than the one here) and visit Chip and Dale's treehouse. So that's exactly what we did! And everywhere we went, people got a kick out of our costumes.
As we walked through Toontown we discovered that, who should be out to meet guests but Chip and Dale themselves! Well, of course we had to get a picture with them! So we went and joined the mob. They don't have guests line up for pictures in Japan like they do in the States, and while it does force you to be more aggressive, I like it better, because I think it lets the characters be freer to interact. More on that a little later.
First, we got Dale's attention, and he seemed especially excited to see us. Our neighbor who took care of Page thinks he was a fan of Kingdom Hearts. We're happy to go with that theory. It was really hard to get a picture with Chip, though, for some reason. So we were just hovering around Chip, waiting for our chance to get a picture, when Athena felt somebody jump on her from behind! It was Dale! He looked at her and put a finger to his lips to signal for her to be quiet as he sneaked up on Chip. And right when a mother and baby were posing for a picture, he bombed it! Bwa ha ha ha! It really seems like the silliest kind of prank, but I get a big kick out of photo bombing. I have a behind-the-scenes picture of it. Then Dale pointed us out to Chip and we were finally able to get a picture. It was pretty awesome.
After that, we realized we needed to keep ourselves fed so we hopped on over to Huey, Dewey & Louie's diner to get some fries. (Potatoes are a very good source of carbohydrates for people who don't eat anything else.) And then it was getting close to parade time, so we figured we might as well sit down somewhere and wait for it to show up. We decided not to wait in the viewing area, though, because we're tall enough that we can just stand in the back and see everything just fine. And yet we were cosplaying Chip and Dale. We called ourselves the Towering Chipmunks.
While we were waiting, a cast member came up and admired our costumes. And then! she asked if she could take a picture! And we were like sure, so I started to get out my camera, and she was like, "No, I'll take it on my camera!" And she actually pulled out a Polaroid camera and took a picture right there! And when the picture developed...she just gave it to us! What! This kind of thing is unheard of in California Disneyland. A picture like that would cost five bucks at least! AT LEAST! And it was to remember our visit by, and it was so sweet. And it even had a Goofy border! One of these days, we'll take a picture of it to show everybody.
The parade took a while to get to us because we were at the opposite end of the parade route, but eventually it did! And it was great! But my pictures are the opposite of great! Because we were standing behind a big tree! And now that I think of it, since we were standing in the back, why didn't we think to move somewhere else!? Because by the time the parade started, more people had come up behind us, that's why! And I actually felt a little bad, because we were still among the tallest. If there were any little kids, we'd offer to let them go in front of us. Most of them sat on their dads' shoulders.
This parade, you guys. It was kind of brilliant. It was called Mickey's Halloween Poppin' Live, and the idea was that Mickey and all of his friends had formed music groups, and they were competing for...the best, or something. I don't know, that wasn't really the point. I guess Goofy didn't want to be in a group, though, because he was more like the MC. His job was to go along the parade ahead of everybody else and explain how to do all the dance moves, because every show at Tokyo Disneyland involves audience participation. (This is not entirely true, but there's a much higher percentage of them that do. We're willing to say 70 or 80.) Of course, this was the Halloween show, so most of the moves involved pretending to be a ghost, and there was some screaming, which was awesome.
Then the floats started coming along, all in groups of three. The first set was Mickey's group (I don't remember the names), which had Mickey and Max Goof. I think Mickey's backup dancers were werewolves this year... And that's another thing! We already knew that the Halloween theme this year was going to be the same as last year, but what we didn't know was that despite that, they still had all new decorations! You guys, Tokyo Disneyland knows how to go the extra mile. So I think last year, Mickey had bat dancers... Okay, so we checked the pictures, and it looks like Mickey's dancers were vampires. (Sorry; our memories latched on to a few details and let go of the rest.) His float was a bat, and its wings were covered with speakers, like a boom...bat? I don't know. It was cool looking.
Anyway, the next float I think was the Three Little Pigs, and their float amused us greatly, because we had just learned about yami-kawaii from Phosphophyllite, and this float matched the image perfectly. And we're like, "That's the difference between America and Japan. America can't make anything cute to save its life (they seem to be afraid of cuteness), and Japan can make anything cute." So yami-kawaii might sound like "dark cute," if you know manga Japanese, but it actually means more like "sickly cute," or "sick in the head cute." The float was a mummy hand in a pastel puke green. Their theme was mummies and candy or something. And they had mummy candy girl dancers. (The bandages are what make it yami-kawaii.) It was great.
Next came Chip and Dale with Pluto. Their float was a giant saxophone, and they had skeleton dancers. And when all three floats made it into the area, they stopped and did the little show where we got to show off our moves. And at the end of it! Oh my goodness, you guys, this was so cool. This is where the name of the show comes from, I think. They sent out bubbles! But they weren't just regular bubbles--these bubbles were filled with fog, so they looked that much more ghostly. And the best part! is that when you popped them, there was a little puff of smoke! Oh man, it was soooooooo cooooooool!!!! So cool.
After a bubble poppin' fest, those floats moved on and we got the next set, and these were even better. Oh my gosh, you guys, it was awesome. First there was Donald and his nephews! We were so excited to see that, because you never get to see Huey, Dewey, & Louie here in CD. Their band is the Kabo-cha-cha-cha, so they're dressed as Latin pumpkins, and their dancers are in Latin-style dance clothes. It's super cute.
But the best. The very best ever. Was Stitch and his band of heavy metal black cats. Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. They were all wearing neon colors and black cat ears and tails. And one of the dancers had such a punk attitude, it was great.
And finally, the finale was Minnie, Daisy, and Clarice and their witch dancers. They looked very nice in their spiderweb witch costumes. And at the end of their set, they sent out a bunch of fog! I think the floats just alternated between fog and bubbles, because before the parade got to us, we watched the first set from a distance, and we saw it shoot out fog, but then when it got to us, they shot out bubbles. Maybe they couldn't decide which one they liked better, so they decided to alternate. I agree, because the bubbles are definitely way more fun, but the fog seem more Halloween.
And that concludes our report of the parade, and now it's time for dinner. So more on this trip next time!
Today I'm thankful for Missions of Love and its usual kindness to our brains, the super suspenseful storyline (kind of eager to get to the next volume), fond memories of super awesome parades, getting to play with Chip and Dale in Toontown, and it being almost time to watch more Miraculous.