(Read the full post and see more photographs at brown.exposure.co)
DAY 8: TOKYO
It is our last night here in Japan and our feet hurt. Hurt a lot.
Mainly, it came from standing for two hours and twenty minutes for the Tower of Terror ride at Tokyo DisneySea.
But we are home now. Home as in our apartment in Tokyo. And I just drank some Calpis and Isaac ate his fave Family Mart spicy fried chicken cutlet. So all is well.
We started today not knowing where to go. As usual. But Isaac whispered into my ear in the morning, "Disneeeeeey… Disneeeeeey… Papa… Disneeeeeey…".
I had grand visions of taking a Shinkansen to Hakone or Nikko to show him the beauty of the Japanese countryside. But all I heard in the my ear was "Disneeeeeey…"
It is amazing what gentle persuasion will get you, compared to whining. The boy learns fast.
So off to Tokyo Disneyland we went. Or rather DisneySea. I decided that since he had already seen Disneyland in France, it was no point repeating the experience in Japan except with another foreign language.
DisneySea is pretty neat, I told him. He looked skeptical. "Trust Papa. Papa knows his theme parks."
His first ride was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He liked the undersea ride a lot.
I regaled him with tales of Jules Verne and all the cool books he has written, with the suggestion that he should read his science fiction and maybe also check out the 1954 Disney movie.
"Is there a reboot?" he asked.
No, I told him, laughing. Though I'm sure one is in the works.
This reminded me that our kids live in an age of reboots. The good old stuff is made new again. Or made worse again.
We also took the Journey to the Centre of the Earth ride. It was very popular and wait time was 150 minutes, with Fast Pass tickets already all given out. So we moved on.
Later in the afternoon, we found out it was closed for maintenance indefinitely. That was an even bigger bummer. It looked like we would miss this ride completely.
But a few hours after that, as we walked by on the way to another ride, we saw a few extra staff at the closed Journey to the Centre of the Earth ride.
"Let's stay and see if they reopen the ride," I said.
"Are you sure?"
"Trust Papa. I have a good instinct for these things. You hear that? The rumblings of the ride being tested."
Sure enough, a few minutes later, a manager walked around the area inspecting things. The extra staff was for crowd control as there were other hopeful lingerers like us. And then one of the staff announced the ride was open again.
The boy and I moved fast and were the second in line of the regular queue. 30 minutes later, we got our ride. Little victories.
Some of the "lands" in DisneySea were a little kiddy but we didn't care. As long as the line wasn't too long, we joined it. So we ended up on the Sinbad Storybook Voyage ride (kind of like the It's A Small World ride in Disneyland), the Flounder's coaster ride (a milder roller coaster for kids), and even bigger ones like Stormrider and Indiana Jones.
We just focused on the rides. Ain't got no time for any shows. The Tower of Terror was the most challenging queue. 150 minutes, it said. And it was one of the scarier rides in DisneySea.
For two hours, we queued. We activated the deepest Singaporean Queuing Gene in our body and went the distance.
Isaac kept himself entertained by reading the backstory of the Tower of Terror's fictional founder, Harrison Hightower III and retelling it to me, with fan fiction he added himself. He just rattled on for two hours, and in a bizarre way, time flew by.
Only our sore feet reminded us how long the wait was. It was worth the wait though. We enjoyed the drop tower experience.
We bought extra drinks and sandwiches from the convenience store near our place before going to Tokyo DisneySea. So we managed to avoid eating in the park till about 5pm. As I tucked into my scallop burger in Mermaid Lagoon, land of Ariel the Little Mermaid, Isaac quipped, "I wonder what Ariel feels about us eating her friends."
When we took our Indiana Jones ride, I told Isaac some trivia about Indy.
"Did you know the actor who plays Indiana Jones is the same guy who plays Han Solo?"
"No way!" Isaac exclaimed.
We managed to squeeze in a second round at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Sinbad Storybook Voyage rides. Isaac seemed to like those two rides a lot.
I enjoyed watching him take the Sinbad Storybook Voyage ride. He sat there, staring at the singing animatronic characters in wonder. A sense of wonder is a beautiful thing to have and to behold. We lose that so quickly as we grow up.
Throughout the day, sometimes I would explain how some of the rides work. And other times, I would just leave out the technical explanations.
It is good to let some experiences remain a little magical.
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