Haha… I knew I was going to end up leaving something out of the other post and that I should review the photos before hitting the publish button.
As I began to look at the pictures I was reminded of our visit to Tokyo Disney Land! This was our second trip, but we weren’t graced with good timing on this trip. We went on a Sunday with a forecast of light rain. We made the decision to go with a few pieces of information. First, Saturday had a similar forecast and the rain was never much of anything, with long periods of dryness as well. Second, Susan had been watching a website that published ride times on it and all day long things looked great.
There was some discussion of going on Saturday but I was in a pretty foul mood which I later determined with associated with caffeine withdrawal. If you know me, you know I don’t drink a lot of caffeine, but in the three or four days leading up to that day I was drinking three or four cups of really strong black tea. That Saturday I had none and ended up sleeping for the vast majority of day and acting super cranky when I wasn’t asleep. Sunday wasn’t a banner day for me either, but it was an improvement.
We arrived at the park right at one hour after they opened. It was misting and there was a bit of a cool breeze blowing – to the point where I sort of questioned having worn shorts that day. We got in the park and headed toward Space Mountain. Along the way we passed the Monsters Inc ride that we haven’t done yet and found the Fast Pass distribution was for 6:30p. It was 9am. The standby wait time was 150 minutes. Something was different from yesterday it seemed.
We turned the corner to Space Mountain and found a similar scene – 110 minute standby. There was nothing to do except suck it up and get in line, so that’s what we did. We stood in the sometimes covered queue for an hour and a half, raising and lowering the one umbrella we’d thought to bring… and it wasn’t even one of the big ones we own. Olivia did well and the line moved pretty steadily. At least it wasn’t hot. In the middle of waiting through this massive queue, we decided to pull up that web site Susan had been monitoring the day before to see how the rest of the park looked. That’s when we found our mistake.
It said it was a 10 minute wait.
Apparently this website isn’t really trying very hard to provide even the smallest degree of accurate data. There was no way that a weekend morning could really have a 10 minute wait on one of the most popular rides in the park. So, I thought I’d do them a favor and use their crowd-sourcing ‘submit a time’ feature. No impact. The displayed ride time didn’t change in the least. So even if this site was popular and people were submitting times, it still wouldn’t be helpful.
Oh well. We’re here, let’s make the best of it.
Space Mountain was excellent. It’s set up more like Disney Land in California where the cars are a little more like traditional roller coaster cars – two people sitting side-by-side instead of the three in a row design of Florida. We were lucky enough to get the front car for Susan and Olivia, so they got a full view. The initial climb doesn’t feature the astronauts and mission control stuff like it does in Florida, either. The ride was super dark with great star light and music. It, like always, felt fast and had plenty of turns and drops. It also felt like it lasted a little longer, but that may be because I was too worried about Olivia enjoying it. Turns out that worry wasn’t required – she was giggling the whole way through.
For days after the visit to the park she was talking about Space Mountain – it even featured prominently in a dream! We’ve explained that Disney World in Florida has a Space Mountain ride so she’s gotten even more insistent that we go visit. She’s picked out her guest list and is ready to go.
After Space Mountain we did Gadget’s Go Coaster which is the doppelganger to Goofy’s Barnstormer in WDW. We rode the Tea Cups, Small World and Pirates. We ate lunch – pizza – at some point in the day. Olivia couldn’t stay still long enough to take her nap, so we weren’t able to stay quite as late as we might have liked. That said, when we did finally start to leave around 3 or 4, the rain took a turn for the worse, changing from a mist to full on rain droplets. I’m not sure how long that lasted, but it didn’t quite matter as we were already on the train home.
The trip was still fun and taught us a few lessons. Take the umbrella, it’ll be okay. Don’t trust the queue time website we found. Don’t go on weekends. From this we know to plan our next trip (when Christine comes over) on a weekday.
Another thing that I was reminded of from reviewing the pictures is that Olivia has somehow, at some point, learned the ubiquitous peace-sign gesture when having a photo taken. I have no idea where she picked this up, but it’s a testament to it’s pervasiveness in the culture. My favorite example of this is from Kamakura where she’s turned it into more of a protest statement rather than a cute gesture. There is the added bonus of the handkerchief over her head turning her into an eastern European peasant girl.
Oh, Olivia has also taken an interest in photography and a number of the photos from both Kamakura and the harbor brewery were framed by Olivia. I would hold the camera, she’d look through the viewfinder and press the button.