JTCEnt.com's TDR Nempa Blog

Hello everyone! Welcome to my Nempa Blog. Nempa is a phrase taken from the Japanese for "Annual Passport." Here you'll find my comments and views on various things from Tokyo Disney Resort. I hope you enjoy it and visit often. Thank you!

Friday, March 31, 2006

New "Dreams on Parade" Official Page!


nempa 3-30-06 ddop new The new version of Disney's Dreams on Parade begins tomorrow and the official site is online now! It features the new sequence of floats and the new soundtrack (I LOVE IT!) for the parade. No word yet for a commercial CD release. Apart from those changes, the parade will no longer feature show stops with audience participation. It will be run through the Park starting in Fantasyland and ending in Toontown.

We'll have video and photographs of this new parade by the weekend. Also, expect a big update on the site very soon! Lots of things to come, join our Mailing List for updates!

The Spring Break Crowds Continue


nempa 3-31-06 crowded The other day we reported that the standy queue waiting times for many attractions hovered around 60 minutes. Well, as of yesterday, Thursday, ticket sales at Tokyo Disneyland were temporarily stopped from 11am and re-starting around 4pm. The trend is expected to continue throughout this weekend and until April 4th when two special events end and one attraction closes. Tokyo DisneySea had a larger-than-average attendance but the gates have remained open.

An unpopular policy is enforced during these overcrowding closures. Two-park Annual Passport holders are not allowed to enter. Only re-entry guests, hotel guests, guests with tickets specially marked for that day and TDL-only AP holders are allowed in. Needless to say, that is freaken unfair!

Always a Warm Place to Relax


nempa 3-30-06 warm toiletIt may be the end of March and on the calendar, it may say that it's spring time. But in the Tokyo area, strong and cold winds have been keeping the temperatures around 10-degrees Celsius (50-degrees Fahrenheit). At times like these, when nature calls, I like to pay a visit to one of my favorite toilet stalls.

The one pictured here is from the Hotel MiraCosta. It features a warm toilet seat, shower for your tush, and a bidet for the ladies. One can relax in comfort here. You do have to get into the hotel and find it right off the lobby. Unforunately, there are no heated toilets inside the Parks. The only other public toilets of this type found in the Resort are located inside the TDR Welcome Center near Ikspiari.

The Show Must Go On?


nempa 3-30-06 performer cutsAs Tokyo DisneySea is approaching its fifth birthday, there are plenty of changes coming to the Park which hasn't quite reached expectations in terms guest attendance and spending. According to a few Disney-fan message boards, MiceChat.com / LaughingPlace.com, one of the consequences is a reported pruning of the "Entertainment" department.

Sail Away will face staff cuts as well as losing all of its non-Japanese cast. Encore! will end by early July. Most of the Atmosphere positions at TDS will be eliminated. The new show replacing Porto Paradiso Water Carnival, Legend of Mythica, will have 70 fewer dancers than its predecessor. Over at TDL, the Tokyo Disneyland Band is losing 75% of its members. This Park has lost most of its Atmosphere performers over the years anyway. And last but not least, most Japanese dancers will get re-worked contracts and will face pay cuts. All is not well at the Resort.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Official "Eterno" Showpage Online!


nempa 3-24-06 porto paradisoThe Official TDR Site has opened their showpage (in Japanese only) for Porto Paradiso Water Carnival Eterno (photo courtesy of Disney). This slightly-modified version will be performed twice a day, once during the day and once at night, for the final 4 weeks of the show. It is expected to have more pyrotechnic effects than the current regular daytime show.

Porto Paradiso Water Carnival premiered in September 2001 for the opening of Tokyo DisneySea. It has undergone various changes since then including deleting some segments, changing choreography, adding Japanese narration and converting song lyrics into mainly Japanese. The 25-minute show features the Magnificent Seven Disney characters and over 100 performers. This, by the way, is (was?) my favorite regular show at TDS.

The Voice from Above


One of the things I love when visiting TDR is hearing the public announcements before a parade or show begins. Call me crazy, but it is part of the park atmosphere that gets me excited. I can't explain very well. The "Voice of Disneyland" will always be Jack Wagner, but for the last few years, I've always considered this other voice the "Voice of Tokyo Disneyland."

Here in Tokyo, they are done in Japanese and English. The "oshirase" in Japanese are done by a former TDL Ambassador from 1986, Hiroko Igarashi. However, in English, they are done by American Kevin Common (photo courtesy of InterFM). He works as a DJ at a popular English-language radio station here, InterFM. He also has regular podcasts via the station's official site. So, for those of you that have visited TDL and want a nostalgic reminder, download and enjoy!

More Space for "Omiyage"


The walls came down at the intersection of Main Street and Center Street to reveal the renovation of the Park's biggest shop. Now called World Bazaar Confectionary, this store (click on picture for larger view) expanded over the previous locations of Camera Center, Movie Premiere Showcase and The Disney Collection. The shop features rows of sweets in tin cans and decorated boxes. You'll also get to see the new checkout counters, which makes it look like an airport check-in counter. According to reports, this is the store with the highest sales inside the Park. "Omiyage" (souvenirs) are extremely popular gift items for Park visitors.

In the last two-plus years, the left side and right side of Main Street have had two "supershops" created, but have lost four stores and one attraction, Main Street Cinema. Our showpage with lots more photos will be up later today.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

VIP Parking Re-opens


Another recent opening is not inside either Park, it is in the TDL Parking Lot. The new VIP and Handicapped parking area is now available in the Donald section. This area (click on picture for larger size) was moved from the old Mickey section in front of Tokyo Disneyland Station to what used to be the tour bus area. Busses now park further away. If I remember correctly, this is still the largest parking lot in Japan.

So why the move? Well, the Mickey section is now a big construction site. It's the future home of Tokyo Disneyland Hotel to open in sometime in 2008.

Where are the Mickey Burgers?


The Plaza Restaurant in Tomorrowland re-opened just over a week ago with a new menu and new remodeled interior. Instead of serving the popular Mickey-shaped burgers, the folks at OLC decided to offer a Japanese menu. As you can see by the menu signs (click on picture for larger size), the prices have also gone up for the "a la carte" and set options. A full set of photographs will be available tomorrow Japan time.

TDL now offers full menus of Japanese cuisine options at three locations, the other two are Boiler Room Bites and Restaurant Hokusai. Where are the Mickey Burgers? Check Tomorrowland Terrace.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Shattered Windows Are Up!


Taking a closer look at the Tower of Terror construction, we see that the shattered glass windows can be seen although not very clearly. Just about all the scaffolding has come down. In the exterior, they are still working in the queue areas. More pictures from the latest update coming up by tomorrow evening, Japan time.

Busy Days for Spring Break


Monday the 20th was a busy day at TDR. Both parks had tons of people. Any hopes of getting a few walk-throughs in the Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour were dashed when I saw the stand-by wait times.

Since the attraction is closing for good on the April 5th, I want to get at least two more decent recordings. I'll have my page up with video one of these days. Wish me luck!

Welcome!


Hello and welcome to my new posts called the TDR Nempa Blogs. It's a new thing for me and I'll try to post here daily. Ramblings about the Parks, quick news items or rumors, and short trip reports from my frequent visits. Please feel free to add any comments and questions here! Thanks!
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