First off! Sindbad! A couple of days after we got back from Japan, we looked him up at Wikipedia. Well, not Sindbad so much as the Sindbad attraction at Disneysea. From what we gather, it's all original. Apparently they even redid the whole ride recently, because, despite all the awesome work they put into the animatronics and all the allowances they made for long lines, they never had any long lines. They thought it would be huge, and even had merchandise and stuff. We think the location may have had a little to do with it (it's kind of out of the way; that whole "too much open space" thing really shouldn't be underestimated), but according to Wikipedia the original attraction had some scenes that parents thought were too dark for kids. This is especially ironic, because the pirates in Japan's Pirates of the Caribbean are still allowed to chase women for the women, while the women in the American version had to be given food to make it look like that's what the pirates were really after. Either Japan's parents have different ideas of what's too dark, more Americans visit Disneysea than Tokyo Disneyland (which would make sense, because it really is very very similar to our Disney parks, and Disneysea is the one with the thrill rides), or the scenes were really really dark.
Well, whatever the reason, the ride's different now. I kind of wish we could have seen the original. But the new version was totally our favorite ride in the park, so hopefully it's doing better these days. It's difficult to tell from our trip, because it was raining, so we don't know if the lack of line was from lack of interest, or from wanting to stay dry. And! as it turns out, the song that we became totally obsessed with was written by Alan Menken. We were pretty amazed to find that out, because the three Disney movies we were most obsessed with growing up were The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, and he wrote the music to all of those. We think it may have something to do with why we were so attracted to the attraction (Ha!). We totally need to write him a fan letter. And see if we can get a copy of that song somehow.
As for the ride being an original story, I really wish they would make some kind of anime or something, because, while it is easy to follow the story on the ride, it would be so much more awesome with details and backstory and stuff. But they can't make a movie because Dreamworks beat them to it, lame. Oh well.
Today I'm thankful for having chocolate chip muffins, having a copy of the Japanese version of The Emperor's New Groove (ordered after we got back from Japan; the copy they were selling at the Disney Store was a double feature with Kronk's New Groove, and we weren't sure we wanted both), time to breathe, our Chandu plushie, and fudge shop peanut butter sticks.