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Alethea & Athena
Parades on parade 
8th-Feb-2016 05:19 pm
Work continues to be busy. Up this week: Livingstone and Noragami, both of which are due Monday. Noragami tends to take four or more days, so here's hoping both books go extra quickly!

In the meantime, back to the Japan report! After Winnie the Pooh's Hunny Hunt, there was one must-ride attraction on the to-do list. Cecille is a big Tinkerbell fan, so of course we had to go on Peter Pan's Flight. The line was a little more than half an hour long, and the queue area was right by the parade route, so although we weren't planning to watch the Frozen parade, we did end up seeing it because of timing.

The parade was actually really good, sparking more comments of, "Why can't they do stuff this cool with a good movie?" (Truth be told, I suspect Cecille has a fondness for the film which she hides because she also watches follows cinema theorists on the internet. Hopefully her ability to tease us with, "Oh look, it's your favorite movie again!" helped her vent some of the suppression. Or maybe there was no suppression.) So yeah, the floats all looked really good, and they did some cool stuff with the trolls, by which I mostly mean they'd have one person in a costume that looked like two trolls standing on top of each other. ...Well, only one of the trolls was standing on the other, but you know what I mean.

So there was the Anna and Kristoff float (because this movie is so progressive and non-romantic), the Olaf float, the trolls float, the Elsa float, and the Marshmallow float. I don't remember if there were any others, but that's enough. The weird thing is that the Marshmallow float came after the Elsa float. You'd think Elsa would be the grand finale. But I guess someone in the creative team likes to have a little "tag", so to speak, at the end. So the Marshmallow float has Prince Hans on it, and it's followed by dancers dressed like the royal guard (there were a bunch of dancers, of course (it's a parade), but we didn't see most of them because we were behind the parade-watching crowd), and every so often one of the guards would come up and do a body check on Hans to make sure he wasn't carrying any secret weapons. When he finished he would pat him on the shoulder like, "Okay, you pass," or whatever, and while he walked off the float, Hans would inevitably do something behind his back, like make faces and stuff. It was mildly amusing.

Once all the floats had come out of the parade hangar (or whatever it is backstage), they all stopped and did a miniature show thing. I don't remember what that entailed, but we seem to think it was mostly playing "Let It Go". It's possible the dancers pulled people up from the audience to dance around, since they were having a festival and all, but again, we couldn't see it.

More importantly, we went on Peter Pan's Flight, which is a lot like the one here, only better. I don't even remember exactly how it's better, except that Nana is in it, and the sparkle display for the Second Star to the Right was better; Athena tells me that the fight between Pan and Hook is better, because they're up in the rigging. For anyone who hasn't been on the ride, you get on a little pirate ship, which sails into the Darlings' nursery, then you follow Peter Pan (and his shadow) over London and off to Neverland. First, you fly over a model of the whole island (we will say that California's Neverland model is better) and then you get closer and fly over scenes of Pan and the pirates fighting, then Tink sprinkles the ship with pixie dust and you all fly home. The California version does have Tiger Lily, who is absent from the Tokyo version. ...And it's possible that Nana is in the nursery in the California version, but I forget. In the Tokyo version, she's outside the Darlings' house, floating with the pixie dust that Michael sprinkled on her.

Anyway, it's a lovely ride and I would recommend it for either park! (Although I must say, they recently "enhanced" the California version with more pixie dust, but it's all a kind of yucky greenish yellow, so I'd rather say no thank you to those enhancements.) We went on it twice, but not in a row, and I don't remember if it was the first or the second time that Athena felt a strange impact on her leg. The incident was followed immediately by a mother apologizing to her, then turning to a little girl and saying, "Dame dame dame! (No no no!)" Based on the location of the impact (about halfway up Athena's calf), her best guess is that the child kicked her. Her motive remains a mystery. Maybe she was tired of people being in front of her in line.

Peter Pan's Flight was right next to Captain Hook's Galley (naturally), which was a restaurant. I don't remember what they serve there as far as main courses (Athena says she thinks pizza, but seafood and Hawaiian, so that's a no thank you), but from our investigating the week before, we remembered that they had a dessert we very much wanted to try: a mille crepe. So we all ordered one! And they were delicious! Mmm...I miss them. They were so yummy.

And then we...did something I need to check my camera for. Ah, yes. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We had obtained fastpasses at some point when we were in Westernland, and it was about time we used them! Of course, after we tricked her into going on Journey to the Center of the Earth, Cecille had many reservations about going on this ride. We tried to assure her it would be fine, but we also understand not knowing if it will really be fine when you haven't been on it. It was really hard this time, though, because with Center of the Earth, we couldn't say anything because we hadn't been on it before, but with this one, we knew it was fine, because we'd been on it a million times...only we didn't know it would be fine, because we'd actually only ever been on this one once! And the only thing we remembered was that it wasn't the same! And most importantly, we're not Cecille and don't really know her tolerance levels.

It was also a pretty surreal experience, because usually we're the ones in line going, "I don't know... Maybe I won't go on it. I'm not sure I can take it. I just don't know..." And now the tables were turned! But only sort of, because Cecille's more the type to try to go with the crowd. But anyway, the queue area is different, too, and it looks really neat! And we had fastpasses, so the torture of anticipation wasn't so bad this time around (I hope). When we got to the front of the line, we were the first people in that particular train, and the cast member told us to sit in the back, but we asked if we could sit in the front because we know that thrill rides are tamer from the front. (Actually, there's a science to it that differs depending on the ride, but for Big Thunder that's how it works.)

So we went on it, and of course it was a lot of fun, and Cecille said she might actually want to go on it again. I don't know if she really meant it or not, but we were easily distracted so we never found out.

After that, we made our way over to Tomorrowland, because we wanted to watch One Man's Dream again, and there was only one show left for the day! In fact, it kind of went down exactly the way it went down last time we went to Tokyo Disneyland: we saw the last show of One Man's Dream, then raced out toward the World Bazaar to watch the Electrical Parade. And! the descriptions of both from last time can be found in this post. There were some differences, though. The most important difference, as far as One Man's Dream is concerned, is that this time I allowed myself to take pictures! So there should be lots to see on that later.

I did not, however, take pictures of the Electrical Parade, because my camera went on strike toward the end of One Man's Dream. I managed to coax a couple more pictures out of it before it refused to turn on, but I decided to give it a break for the parade (but I did snap a photo of Snow White's float). Anyway, the other difference about One Man's Dream is that the guy playing Frollo maybe didn't look exactly like him, and they didn't have a Jack Sparrow this time, but they had a couple of pirates with a similar look. Also, I want to mention Peter and Wendy's dance number, because it starts out on the ground, and they're not hooked up to harnesses at all, so I was like, "I remember them flying... Do they not fly anymore? Awww..." But then they went to the back of the ship and each leaned back against something, looking like they were thinking fondly of something (thinking a wonderful thought, perhaps?), and bam! flying. It was awesome.

As for the Electrical Parade, I was going to say there wasn't so much differences as I remembered more, but there was one very distinct difference, in that they traded the Beauty and the Beast stuff out for a Tangled float, which was very pretty. Before we watched it this time, we remembered that we loved it sooooo much more than our Electrical Parade, but of course I wondered if I'd trumped up my memories of it, and now we've seen Disneyland, CA's new nighttime spectacular parade, Paint the Night, so I wasn't sure if I could still say that it blows our nighttime parades out of the water...but it does. It totally does. Oh my gosh, it's so good. So, so good.

Now here's something that either I didn't remember from before or was added later (but it makes sense that I just didn't remember it, because Japan loves Aladdin): they had a big Aladdin section. The Genie was his own float, and it's covered in LED lights, right? Because it's the Electrical Parade, so all the floats are one big Lite-Brite. Only it's high-tech, so they change color! So, for example, when the parade opens with the Blue Fairy (as it should (Paint the Night opens with Tinkerbell)), she waves her magic wand and the lights on her wings start forming sparkling patterns. But with the Genie, what he does is that he changes costumes! So all the lights covering his float change colors to make it look like he has tiger stripes, or to make it look like he's dressed like Pinocchio, or Peter Pan, or Mr. Smee (he also changes his skin color from blue to the right color for those characters). And he's talking the audience through it the whole time, and then he starts switching from costume to costume at super speed, and he's like, "Waaaah, I'm out of control! Somebody stop this thing!" And it's made of awesome and win.

But that's not the best part of the Aladdin section. When we're watching a parade and it's super awesome, we get really excited and want to cheer and stuff, so when a beloved character like Aladdin ride by on a big float, of course we have to scream, "Aladdin!!!" Aladdin heard his name and turned to look at us...and both his arms shot out, pointing at us. In my imagination, I could have sworn I heard him shout, "It's you!" Instead, Athena thinks he just waited until his sound bite came on and then mouthed whatever it was Aladdin said. So maybe the shout was just in his body language. But the point is, he recognized us from when we saw him at DisneySea the week before! Aww, yay, we're friends with Aladdin! I wonder if they'll bring him back to be Aladdin in California and if he'd still recognize us...

The other thing we remembered was the finale. See, in the original Main Street Electrical Parade, Mickey Mouse shows up at the beginning, right after the Blue Fairy. But since Mickey is the star of the show, you can't have him appear at the beginning unless you have another big finale in mind. As mentioned in the other post, that finale was patriotic--there was a big light-up flag with dancers dressed in red, white, and blue, and a big bald eagle float. So when we saw Mickey and remembered that he's not the finale in this parade, Athena wondered how they could top Mickey Mouse. Well, let me tell you! They had a series of floats representing It's A Small World, with the & Friends part of Mickey & Friends riding them, and it was so sweet and so beautiful. Instead of having a patriotic celebration, they're celebrating the whole world! We loved it so much, and I'm really glad that it's still okay to like It's A Small World in Japan.

...I could probably go on for a little while, but the next thing we did will take a while to describe, so I think that's enough for today (especially if people want to go read the whole post about One Man's Dream).

Today I'm thankful for getting to go on Peter Pan's Flight (we actually didn't do that the first time we went to Tokyo Disneyland), getting to try another delicious dessert, getting to watch our beloved One Man's Dream (2), getting to see Tokyo Disneyland's Electrical Parade again (soooo good!), and making pretty good progress on work today.
9th-Feb-2016 02:34 am (UTC)
Your story about standing in line and debating about whether you should go on a ride reminded me of the last time we went to Disney World (which was in 1999). I am afraid of heights, and not a fan of thrill rides. My husband and daughter wanted to go on the Tower of Terror (which I see now is called Twilight Zone Tower of Terror). Well, at the time, I don't remember all the Twilight Zone-y things in the waiting area, so I don't think they were there; it seems to me that we just stood in a line and went directly onto the Tower ride. Anyhoo, we got there early in the morning, and stood in line, and the whole time, I had decided I was going to Be Brave, but when we got up to the actual entrance, I just couldn't. But THEN, after they went on, I decided I had to do it, just to conquer my fear, and they said it wasn't so bad, so I made them stand in line all over again! And this time, I did go on it, and it wasn't SO bad, but I'd never want to do it again. ;) I think we have a picture somewhere of when they take your picture during the ride; when we looked at it, I was screaming my head off, and my daughter and husband were laughing, so he had to buy it. Heh.
9th-Feb-2016 02:42 am (UTC)
Haha, yes, we've definitely been there before! Metaphorically speaking and almost literally speaking; we have a Tower of Terror in California, too, but from what I understand it's not exactly the same. I seem to remember reading or seeing somewhere that the Florida version takes you through the hotel a little bit, but the California version just takes you up and drops you. (Fun fact: It doesn't technically "drop" you; it more like hurls you downward, so you're going faster than just a free fall.) We agree; it wasn't SO bad, but we bought the photographic evidence and decided never to go on it again. (We almost did once, at Mickey's Halloween Party, because it would be fun to get the picture when we were in costume, but we chickened out at the last minute.) We were screaming in our picture, too! But somehow it looked like we were laughing; I assure you, we were not. We're sorry you had to go through that (the Tower of Terror, I mean), but at least it makes a good story.
9th-Feb-2016 01:29 pm (UTC)
What you're describing sounds like the Tower of Terror that we went on - you just got on, it took you up, opened up the door when you were at the top, and then hurtled you downward. It's okay; I felt rather brave after going on it, and I hope I didn't give the impression that I was pressured in any way, or that my family was laughing at me. They're actually very kind and very tolerant of all of my weirdnesses. My husband teases me more than my daughter does, but then, you know, he's a boy. ;)
10th-Feb-2016 12:26 am (UTC)
Huh. I wonder where this idea that the elevator moves horizontally through the hotel came from... Oh well.

Oh no, we didn't think you were pressured. We weren't, either, so we know very well how it feels. But that ride has a bad attitude. And of course, we have friends who tease, too, so we understand where your family is coming from as well. I'm sure they're nicer to you about that than Gaston was about us not liking Frozen. XD
9th-Feb-2016 11:43 pm (UTC)
It feels a little harder for me to imagine the sights and delights in this post (maybe because I'm kinda tired right now) but it sounds absolutely lovely and I hope to see it one day for myself :) I liked your thoughts in the 2008 post about Mickey being able to be multiple places at once. Also it inspired me to flip back through Noragami 11 again, and that was a good thing because lettering 13 today was rough. (for story-reasons, not work-reasons.) I hope v14 is kind to you, all-around!

Your Aladdin experience is great!! Awww♥
10th-Feb-2016 12:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I didn't describe things as well, partially because I was tired, too, and partially because I have a hard time remembering the details of both Peter Pan flights. And also because Peter Pan's Flight is very familiar to me from going on it so many times in the past, but also less familiar because the line is always so long that we rarely go on it anymore. So I think, "I need to describe it so people understand!" and then I'm like, "...What was it like again?" It's complicated.

Oh my gosh, volume thirteen. Yeah. Like...yeah.
10th-Feb-2016 12:52 am (UTC)
I'm so thankful to have friends who understand and share my Noragami feelings. It helps :)
10th-Feb-2016 02:57 am (UTC)
We're here for you! (And grateful you're here for us!)
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