Friday, December 17, 2010

Lost in a Disneyland dream

VISITING Tokyo would never be complete if you can’t make it to Disneyland, and a day is never enough to go around the vast place with its spectacular collection of different attractions and shows in several themed lands.
A day at Tokyo Disneyland starts with the long lines that stretch from the ticket booths to forever but once you get through the entrance, it felt like being let loose in a huge room filled with goodies you don’t know which one to pick up first.
The sun was getting high as I followed the Saipan Awaodori team toward the Big Thunder Mountain and fell in line with the thousands of others who didn’t mind the scorching heat of the sun in exchange for a few minutes of roller coaster ride that takes you into the belly of the mountain through improvised mining fields.
We cruised to Tom Sawyer’s Island where I got left by the group after I went exploring Indian settlement camp and caught up with them lining up at the Splash Mountain, a ride which is every child’s dream. The experience cruising through the cool fantasy tunnel being entertained by colorful characters we only see on TV brought out the kids in us and left us wanting for more. A final plunge had me frantically hugging my two cameras for protection as we approached a waterfall but we did not get wet at all.
It was hard to keep track of all the rides that we sampled until the Space Mountain ride which tested my guts almost beyond endurance.  As you go down the basement to ride the coaster that will take you into space, cubicles are available for those who change their minds but I was not about to change my mind. Until the time we were strapped on to our seats and the coaster just whirled out of nowhere into a dark abyss lighted only with dots that resemble galaxies and constellations.
The gut-wrenching, stomach-churning, and seemingly never-ending ride elicited screams which I was surprised to discover came from my own throat but it was over soon and I alighted pale and weak-kneed from the coaster, just like almost everybody else.
Visitors are drawn to an afternoon parade of the world’s favorite cartoon characters, followed by another more spectacular show at 8 p.m. where an electrical dream lights parade will transport you into a whole new world as your favorite cartoon characters parade before you adorned with over a million colorful blinking lights.
Dinner was forgotten as a magical fireworks show lighted the skies in front of the castle. The day passed by in a fantastic blur of memories to be sorted out and preserved later. We browsed the shops and bought souvenir items before going to the arranged meeting place to go home.
Tokyo Disneyland closes at 11 p.m. every day and we trooped out the gate with everybody else, tired but happy with the enchanting experience.
I left with one big regret—the Haunted Mansion which I was so looking forward to explore was closed for renovation but there’s always a next time.
For more information about the Tokyo Disneyland, visit