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A few years back I was fortunate enough to explore all that Japan had to offer & while on this adventure, Tokyo Disneyland was on the top of my to-do list! What kind of Disney nut would I be if it wasn't?!?!
With my permanent residence being Orlando at the time, the folks I was trekking threw Japan with thought I was nuts. Disney was in my backyard, so why even bother with Disney in Tokyo? Japan was suppose to be my break from all things Mickey. Unfortunately for them, not only did I make it to the park, I also had the best time ever & came back to the states with new Disney knowledge to share!
Planning a trip to Tokyo? Are you like me & have a life goal of visiting all the Disney parks?!? Or just curious about all things Disney? Regardless of what brought you to this post, here are 5 totally neat facts about Tokyo Disneyland.
1. There is a Club 33, like the one at Disneyland California. I repeat there IS a Club 33!!!
Never heard of 33? Think secret society, Disney style. This secret dinning club is where the rich & famous, park investors, even politicians can go and rub elbows. You can call Disney yourself and ask for the nitty gritty & you will be told that they are prohibited from speaking of all things 33. Ask around the parks long enough however and you might just stumble upon a chatty cast member willing to spill the beans & in English. (I wonder who did this snooping ;-) )
Anyway, I can confirm that Club 33 is located in the World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland based on cast member info & enough google searches confirming this valuable info. Unfortunately however, I wasn't hip enough to gain an invite to see the inside of this exclusive club since I'm neither rich or famous. Maybe next time I will search the park for someone sipping an adult beverage & see where they head when there brewskie runs out since 33 is the only place that serves alcohol at Tokyo Disneyland. Demand they take me inside if they want me to keep their secret!
Have you heard of Duffy? Yeah Duffy, not Duff as in the beer from The Simpsons. Honestly I had no clue who Duffy was until I was strolling the parks of Tokyo. While on the hunt for a Mickey photo opt I was pretty much told by cast members that Duffy is the number one character in Tokyo & not to waste my time with Mickey. So random, right? Regardless of what us Americans think, the rest of the world adores him and his girlfriend, Shellie May, the blue eyed teddy bear with eyelashes & they wait in ridiculously long lines to meet them!
After returning stateside I found out Duffy had a meet & greet at the World Showcase at Epcot! Unfortunately for this teddy bear couple, there life in the states was short lived since I wasn't the only one saying Duffy who? People walked right by them enough for Disney to say peace out!
3.. A Japanesse Cinderella?!?!
When Tokyo Disney first opened there doors in 1983, the princesses & all other face cast members were Japanese rather than the ethnicity they might of had in the actual films. Could you imagine a photo opt with a Japanesse Cinderella or Tiana? I guess this could easily be explained to a little one the same way why all mall Santa's look different, but this is DISNEY with an outrageous admission cost. You would expect a tad bit more for your buck which is why I'm assuming they eventually did resolve this issue. Way to "ruin the magic" back in the day Disney, even if you truly don't "own" Tokyo Disneyland!
4. Tokyo Disney NOT owned by Disney! Say What?!?
Which brings me to my next kinda neat fact. Tokyo Disney is NOT owned by The Walt Disney Company. It's actually owned by The Oriental Land Company - a Japanese leisure and tourism corporation. The Oriental Land Company pays a very large sum of money each month to The Walt Disney Company for character and likeness licenses & Disney in turn has leased their Imagineers to the company to build the park
I guess if you can't be Walt Disney, just buy yourself a Disney Park instead!
5. Interested in riding something that's NOT at any of the other Disney Parks?!?
Located in Disney Sea's Arabian Coast, you will find Sinbad's Storybook Voyage! This relaxing boat voyage can be compared to the Fantasyland classic, It's a Small World, mixed with the darkness of Pirates of the Caribbean & tells the tale of Sinbad & his pet tiger Chandu. Unfortunately this ride is exactly that, relaxing & nothing but a breather from waking the park grounds if you don't speak a word of Japanese! It does however feature music by Disney composer Alan Menken, who scored Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. So you will have something other than the It's a Small World theme stuck in your head at the end of the ride! Those lyrics will just be in Japanese & you won't know the meaning to them!
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6/9/2015 04:23:01 pm
I didn't know who Duffy was until I got my Disney passes. I see Duffy in Epcot now right when you get to the World Showcase and go left on the way to Mexico!
6/9/2015 04:28:06 pm
What?!?! Of course I move away from Orlando & Duffy moves in 😂😂 totally going to stalk him down next trip to Epcot!
6/10/2015 03:09:48 am
So intersting! I can't believe that Tokyo Disney isn't actually owned by Disney--that's nuts!
6/10/2015 03:11:51 am
I did not know that Tokyo Disney was not owned by Disney. That is interesting.
6/10/2015 10:11:59 am
Those are really cool facts! I wonder why Disney doesn't actually own the park?
Robin Masshole mommy
6/10/2015 10:28:09 am
I can almost guarantee that I will never be there in my lifetime, so it was cool to see your pictures. I am totally obsessed with Disney we go to Disney World every single year.
6/10/2015 11:52:42 am
awesome! It would be so neat to visit Disney Tokyo! Thanks for all the fun facts!
6/10/2015 12:07:26 pm
Those facts were so fun to read and reminded me of my trip to Disneyland Paris and even though I'm an adult I really want to go back.
6/10/2015 12:45:33 pm
Never been to Tokyo. I have been to Japan airport only but never got the chance to explore. Thanks for these beautiful pictures.
6/10/2015 12:58:36 pm
I sure do love all things Disney, but this sort of creeps me out lol! I can't imagine Disney not even owning this and the characters not looking "right." Which part were you trying out for? And I am pretty sure I thought Hong Kong was closer to Tokyo than Tokyo is to the states! Weird....I'll take the class with you!
6/10/2015 01:05:20 pm
We know nothing! haha how comes? Thank you for this interesting post :) made me laugh a lot... specially this paragraph "But everyone loves him and his girlfriend, Shellie May, the blue eyed teddy bear with eyelashes & wait in ridiculously long lines to meet them!" LOL
6/10/2015 01:30:29 pm
That sounds really interesting, who knew they'd send you all the way to Japan! I would personally have taken such an offer, sounds fun! :D
6/10/2015 01:49:18 pm
Oh wow, I had no idea about the face actors, and the ownership of the Tokyo Disney ... neat! It looks like you had a great time while you were there, too!
6/10/2015 03:32:07 pm
It looks like you had a great time. I am not really that big into Disney stuff but I know people who are who would have done the same thing you did. lol
6/10/2015 04:59:10 pm
Oh my gosh, I love that there is a secret society!
6/10/2015 05:40:48 pm
oh wow how neat, did not know their was a Disney world in the world that Walt Disney didn't own how bizaar.
6/10/2015 06:16:47 pm
I love everything to do with Disney, would love to hear the tale of Sinbad & his pet tiger Chandu!
6/10/2015 07:19:47 pm
We've been there a few times and during those times, most of the characters were Americans. There were a few Japanese, but they were not the main characters. I didn't know that Disney is not the owner.
6/10/2015 10:18:08 pm
I am THE BIGGEST Mickey Mouse fan and never get tired of seeing posts about Disney! I always love learning new facts too!
6/11/2015 01:59:20 am
All the while I thought Disney is the owner of all the Dineylands in the world. I have been to Tokyo Disneyland a few times and I liked it there.
6/11/2015 02:00:06 am
This was very interesting! I love all things Disney, and I am so surprised that they don't own Tokyo Disney. I can't believe that they have a Club 33 and still aren't owned by Disney. Mind blown!
6/11/2015 02:59:46 am
I'll have to tell my bro and sis-in-law about this, they are HUGE Disney fans.
6/11/2015 03:52:28 am
I wasn't aware of any Disney's outside of the U.S. looks like a fun place to visit. I am sure the kids would love it!
6/11/2015 06:37:56 am
Very interesting. I had no idea it was not owned by the Walt Disney Company.
6/11/2015 06:45:31 am
One of my goals in life is to visit every Disney park in the world. So far I've only been to Disney World and Disneyland. Can't wait to get to Tokyo Disney!
6/11/2015 07:39:36 am
I have never been out of this country or to Disney! This place would sound like a fun place to visit.
6/11/2015 10:04:20 am
Love that you went anyway. Wherever we go - if there is a Disney - we take a day and visit it! People thought we were crazy to "waste" a day at Disney when we were in Paris. HK Disney is just as awesome too!
6/11/2015 10:29:26 am
I had no clue that Disney was even in Japan. It looks like so much fun. I went to Disney in FL about 5 years ago and it was a blast.
6/11/2015 03:51:38 pm
I honestly had no clue this place even existed. I thought they were only in the states. I've been to the one in Florida.
6/11/2015 04:25:27 pm
I haven't been to Disney Land since I was a kid some 50 years ago. I can only imagine how great it is now. I know it was awesome then. Thanks for sharing.
6/11/2015 05:11:03 pm
How cool is it that your went to Tokyo Disney. We just had the Enchanted Traveler on our Podcast talking about all of the Disney locations.
6/11/2015 07:16:57 pm
Wow, I had no idea that it was not owned by Disney. I always knew it was there, but would have thought that Disney owned it. So interesting!
6/11/2015 09:58:54 pm
Japan is a very nice country to visit! Great thing that you made it at Tokyo Disney. For sure you enjoyed it!
6/12/2015 12:56:53 am
I've never been there but it looks like a great place to visit. We visit Walt Disney World since we live here in Florida. Love your pictures. You look so happy!
6/12/2015 09:05:46 am
I would love to be able to visit Tokyo Disney some day! Thanks for sharing these really cool facts with us!
6/12/2015 11:01:53 am
I love Disney and have only been to DIsney World. I would love to opportunity to visit Tokyo Disney. What a fabulous trip!
6/12/2015 01:26:27 pm
I live in South Florida and have annual passes and have no clue who's Duffy. I would have wanted to make the visit too even if I lived in Orlando.
6/12/2015 03:18:17 pm
wow, that's interesting to know that Tokyo Disney is not owned by Walt Disney. I would love to visit Tokyo Disney someday. I've been to Disneyland in CA and Disneyworld in FL.
6/12/2015 05:00:20 pm
I had no idea that Tokyo Disney wasn't owned by Disney! I also didn't know who Duffy was. I am a huge Mickey fan though,lol.
6/13/2015 05:32:47 am
I got my eyes on the resort. Looks like a great place to spend time for the kids.
6/14/2015 09:50:39 am
It looks like you had an amazing time anyway. I didn't even know they had a Disney in Tokyo. Thanks so much for sharing we learn something new every day.
6/15/2015 01:37:36 am
I have always wanted to visit a Disney overseas. I went to France when I was in high school, and we were supposed to go to Disneyland Paris, but it didn't pan out. I'm still bummed about that one!
6/19/2015 03:29:26 pm
Our family has visited Disneyworld and Disneyland. How fund to visit Disney in Japan! http://www.rebeccakrusee.com
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