I've been having a hard time motivating myself to sit and write long LJ entries, so we're trying to make it better by listening to one of the CDs we bought in Japan. We always said we wanted to take a picture of the music at DisneySea...well they actually have an album for the Mermaid Lagoon music! So at least we can have one land. And now we can listen to it while we write, and so far it is not disappointing.
Anyway, let's get back to our Japan report, shall we?
I think we were about to watch the Electrical Parade, which we've already reported on several times. But there's always something to say! First, I have to talk about waiting. This is the first time we didn't watch it right after One Man's Dream (because we caught an earlier showing of that), so we thought maybe we should check it out from a different spot...but we stayed on the main hub. Just on the
While we waited, because of the whole "Halloween" thing going on, they were playing Halloween music for the ambient music, and it happened to be the exact same playlist that they play at Mickey's Halloween Party here! Or possibly an older version of it. The point is, it was very familiar. There was one track that was kind of dance-y, so a little girl nearby got up and started dancing. We started grooving to the music, too, so we caught her attention and she started talking to us. This is the best part, for values of "best" that are certainly debatable. The little girl said, "Obaachan-tachi wa Chip to Dale de kita n da ne!" which translates roughly to, "You grandmas came as Chip and Dale!"
I admit I was more intrigued that this little girl had no problem just talking to us in Japanese, while adult cast members would sometimes cower in fear as we came up, and we can only assume it's because they didn't want to have to speak English. That's little kids for you. So at the time, the grandma thing didn't bother me too much, but later I was like, "Wait, do we really look that old?" There is some reassurance, though, because her father said to her, roughly, "Come on, they're not grandmas
." So we're just going to say it's because of our glasses. She was about five, so if one of us had had a child at, like, fifteen, and she had a kid at about the same age, we could potentially be her grandmother's age, but man.
Anyway, we might have sounded kind of curt when reacting to her at the time, but it was more for the same reason adult cast members sometimes seem afraid of us. We just weren't sure what to say, even in English, much less how to talk to her in Japanese. Eventually her dad decided she was bothering us too much, so he said, "Come on, come sit with me and your mom." We felt a little bad about that, but mostly we were relieved that we didn't have to worry about it anymore.
And then the parade started! And it was beautiful! ...until. There was a Tinkerbell float. We didn't recognize it; we were pretty sure the only Tinkerbell in Dreamlights before now was the one on the Jolly Roger float. And it annoyed us, because it so closely resembled the new Tinkerbell float that got added to the classic Main Street Electrical Parade, and that
float bothered us because instead of being covered in all twinkling lights, it has annoying (to us) neon flowers that have a piece of solid plastic that's lit up from underneath. I think the Dreamlights version probably looked better because I'm biased, but we were still like "hrm."
The "hrm" continued as the Aladdin float came along and we were like, "...I think it's smaller than it used to be." We have clear memories of Aladdin recognizing us and waving to us from higher up. I took a picture so we could compare, eventually when we get to scrutinizing pictures. ...And that's assuming I managed to get a picture of the other one, but I think I did.
More hrms came along when the new Cinderella float showed up. Some of you may remember how much we loved the old Cinderella float, that actually had her transform from rags into her ball gown. Well, that float is gone. Now she's in her pumpkin coach, which could be nice, too, except we feel like the horses again missed the whole point of the Electrical Parade. They're like carousel horses that are decorated with lights, as opposed to horses made of lights. To be fair, maybe that's how the pegasuses that follow the Blue Fairy at the beginning of the parade are... I can't take it anymore; I'm going to check.
Okay, it's a good thing I checked. I should have checked sooner. It looks like the Aladdin float was exaggerated in our memories, and the Cinderella horses are done in the same style as the pegasuses from the beginning. But I'm looking back and forth at the Aladdin float, and I'm like, "No...it looks like the same float...but the more recent one still looks smaller somehow..." Maybe it was the angle. I'm so confused.
Anyway. They also added the Beauty and the Beast float back, which was nice, because it's a beautiful float. But my camera totally died so I didn't get a picture. And it was followed by a brand new Frozen float, so even if our hrms had been assuaged by then, they would have been starting right back up. But they still concluded with the Small World finale, and that's the important thing. Maybe next time we watch it, we can be a little more relaxed about it...but I'm still annoyed at that Tinkerbell float... Stop it! Being annoyed does NOT make you morally superior!
Anyway, the parade was over and the little girl was right back to bugging us again, so we felt better about seeming so cold with her before. This time we made an effort to be conversational, and she said our smocks were cute, so it's all good. She was dressed as Minnie Mouse, by the way. And her mom was dressed as Dale. Let's take a minute to mention some of the costumes we saw! There was kind of an even split of Belles--some from the good version and some from Emma and the Beast. That pocket will never cease to drive me nuts (until I become a better person). The week we were there, the main theme that they told guests about was princesses, so there were a lot of Belles, Ariels, Rapunzels... There were a ton of dalmatians, and a bunch of Toy Story. A lot of Boo from Monsters, Inc. We saw! a Tiana and a Charlotte! I think I would have run up and complimented them on their costumes, but they were talking to another cast member. And the very very very best was a couple of guys (yes, guys) dressed as Eric (wedding best) and the Beast (Athena thinks it was Something There version, because he had a cloak and white shirt which was not ripped up). It all kind of makes me wish we weren't too intimidated to ask people for pictures. I think we were afraid of breaking some cultural taboo, even though the day started with people asking us for a picture. (Also, it's a rule here at California's Mickey's Halloween Party that you're not supposed to ask for pictures, so that probably affected everything.)
After the parade we weren't ready to go home, so we went back to Fantasyland to hit the rides there that we hadn't done yet. I should probably point out that It's A Small World and Jungle Cruise were both closed, which is why there has been no mention of them in this report before this point. I understand maintenance, but I happen to know they're adding movie characters to Small World, and that bums me out. But anyway, we went on Hunny Hunt and vented our frustration about the parade changes, and we also went on Dumbo because we'd never actually been on the Tokyo Disneyland version of Dumbo before! It's pretty much the same experience, but it's just a thing you have to do, you know? Besides, it's where we had the best conversation about our costumes!
One of the cast members saw us and said, "Kingdom Hearts Chip and Dale, right?" I was so excited, because he was the first person to acknowledge the Kingdom Hearts aspect of the costumes, so I was like, "Yes!!" Then he asked, "So did you come here by Gummi Ship?" and that's as far as our wit went. Athena was like, "No, we came by plane." I did manage to think to say, "The Gummi Ship's broken." Because in Union Cross/Unchained Key, the Gummi Ship is always
broken. Their obvious response (there were two cast members in on it now) was, "Well, fix it!" Because what I did not think far enough to remember is that it's Chip and Dale who are always fixing it. That's their job. All I could do was laugh and say, "Nah, we're on vacation." I did wish later that I'd thought to say we were looking for new forms of transportation, hence the flying elephant business. But it was still the best all around.
Next we went on Peter Pan's Flight and as we got on that one, we recognized the cast member there because apparently he had just
rotated over from Dumbo. He wasn't there for the Kingdom Hearts conversation, but we recognized him because his face reminded us of Ash from H2O: Just Add Water. He had pantomimed the seatbelt instructions, we assume because he assumed that we didn't know Japanese. Let me tell you, the microaggressions that constantly assaulted us at these parks...
But anyway, when we saw him we were feeling silly I guess, so we said, "We meet again!" (in Japanese of course), and then he commented on how we have really good Japanese. We were like (but not out loud), "How do you know? We said three words to you." And one of them wasn't technically a word, it was a particle (it was "Mata atta na"). So that was amusing.
We ended our day by going to Philharmagic. I wasn't sure about it, because it's just a three-dee movie, but it turns out it was the right choice, because it just feels nice. And we were off our feet for fifteen, twenty minutes, so that was a definite bonus.
We did look around in the shops a little before we headed back to our hotel, but by then we were too tired to think about choosing things to buy. I do want to mention that of course we stopped by the Danny shop earlier and were very sad to learn that they had moved the Danny statue from his little display outside to a small window display. And the section with Danny merchandise was smaller, too! So we made it a point to buy a few more things than we normally would have, because we wanted to give Danny some support. If only we weren't dying of overwork, we might translate the movie into Japanese and then they could release it and maybe give it a popularity boost.
So then we went back to our hotel and crashed before going to DisneySea the next day. This time, since the DisneySea Halloween theme is villains, we were planning to wear our villain costumes--Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp. We were a little worried about it, though, because we had such a good time with everyone smiling and recognizing us as Chip and Dale, and we were sure that people wouldn't recognize these costumes nearly as easily. We did have hope that more Disney fans in Japan are familiar with Lady and the Tramp, but we really had no idea what to expect.
We didn't have a whole lot of time to worry about that on the way there, though, because! as we were waiting for one of our trains, we noticed the people waiting behind us were not from Japan, and one of them was wearing a Powerline (Goof Troop) shirt, so we were 99% sure they were going the same way we were. So we started talking to them and sure enough! But they had never been before, so we offered to help make sure they went to the right place. And we had some train buddies, so that was nice.
But once we got to DisneySea, we had to go get changed into our costumes before the gates opened, so we dropped them off in the ticket line and went to find the changing area. And then we had our very first Japanese cosplay changing area experience. It's a good thing we had translated Complex Age, because it prepared us for the complete lack of privacy in the changing area. It's also a good thing we got there early, because it was less crowded and we were able to kind of find a corner to hide in.
And we got our costumes on and I was feeling pretty cute, but maybe a little scandalous, because I admit I am one of the people who thinks that leggings are not pants. And I think they look super cute with, like, a tunic or something over them, but I was wearing leggings under a dress that was slit almost up to my waist (designed by ourselves, but that's not the point). This really wouldn't have been a concern at all, except that we had looked up the cosplay guidelines at the official Tokyo Disney Resort website, and they were like, "Cover up! This is a family park!" Okay, so they weren't that
mean about it. It was more like, "To maintain the wholesome atmosphere, we would appreciate it if you would not bare your midriff, wear strapless clothing, etc. etc."
So I was just a liiiittle bit worried about that, and then! when we got out of the changing room, one of the cast members asked who we were dressed as! We're pretty sure it was a matter of, "I know
I should recognize those characters! I'm gonna kick myself when I find out!", but we were like, "Oh no! They're not Disney enough and they're too scandalous! We're gonna get kicked out!" We told her we were from Lady and the Tramp, and that was the end of that, but now we were Nervous.
Nevertheless, we soldiered on! And finally the gates opened and we got to go see Mickey and Minnie with the marching band! And oh my goodness, they're always so cute. There was a part where the band was playing, and Minnie blew Mickey a kiss from the other side of the performance area...and Mickey dropped it. So Minnie stomped her foot in annoyance and Mickey very sheepishly picked up all the pieces and put them back together. It was adorable. We also have a special fondness for this Mickey, because he saw us in the audience and got really excited. He pointed to us and indicated our cat ear headbands. We like to think it's because he got the concept of our costumes, but it could just be that
the person in the suit
he's a cat person. Kind of odd coming from Mickey, though. We know Mickey is a dog person; he has a dog. (Athena says he's probably bi-petual. Minnie has a cat.)
The band finished playing, so we went into the park, and after taking in the scene for a minute, we decided that even though we always go to Mysterious Island first, we were going to do it again because, as usual, fewer people were going that direction. So we headed toward Mt. Prometheus and then noticed a water fountain, so we stopped to fill up our water bottles. It was at that point that a woman dressed as Anna came running up to us, and as she tried to catch her breath, she asked, "Can I please get a picture? I love Si and Am!", thus putting all our fears to rest about nobody getting the concept. We helped make her day, and she certainly helped make ours.
And just to doubly eliminate our fears, when we got to the loading area for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the cast member said, "You're the cats, right?" "Right!" "From Lady and the Tramp?" "Right!" After that, we didn't worry about it so much, but we didn't get a whole lot more recognition. There was one other instance, but I will save that for another day, because our CD has ended, which means we've been typing long enough.
Today I'm thankful for this really great Mermaid Lagoon album (oh my gosh, the Galleon Graveyard music is so cool!), the little girl who talked to us before the Electrical Parade, her father telling her not to call us obaa-chan even if she ignored him, getting to see all the neat cosplay at Tokyo Disneyland, and the Anna cosplayer who ran into us at DisneySea.