PHOTO REPORT: Tokyo Disneyland 12/10/20 (OLC Reduces Social Distancing, Characters Out & About, Curry Popcorn Returns, & More!)
With all the excitement surrounding Tokyo Disneyland the past few months, particularly around the exciting new Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast attraction, it was only a matter of time before we found ourselves back at the Kingdom of Dreams and Magic! It was our last chance to take advantage of the Annual Passport lottery before the AP program is reset entirely, and there was quite a bit to check in on, so let’s not waste a moment!
When Bon Voyage reopened on June 25th, a system was set up that required Guests to make reservations online prior to visiting. Starting December 7th, reservations have been eliminated in favor of walk-ins with limited capacity.
Temperatures are still checked and masks are required, but Guests can walk up to Bon Voyage and either walk right in or wait a few minutes depending on the time of day. Even at park close, the line to enter the shop wasn’t particularly long.
Outside the Park
The bicycle lot has been temporarily repurposed as an extended security queue for when long lines of Guests are waiting to enter the park. These are far more likely to be used for the earliest entry times of the day rather than the later 12:00pm slot. Bikes are now also parked in a small walkway behind the lot, visible in the background.
As of last week, the entry lineup procedure in the plaza has also changed to straight, single-file lines rather than a winding path full of switchbacks. Entry now feels faster, rather than going through a couple dozen back and forth turns while slowly making way to the turnstiles.
Inside the Park
This afternoon, TV crews were present in the entrance plaza shooting for a program. The Cast Member was unable to tell me exactly which program they were shooting for.
The Baymax balloons are gone now, replaced with the good old Mickey Mouse face balloons.
But at least Steven the Bicycling Pianist was out spreading holiday cheer to the few Guests in World Bazaar this afternoon!
Last week, the Penny Arcade reopened to the public, with one small caveat—all of the old-fashioned game machines are temporarily gone except for the fortuneteller. Since they’re all manually operated and high contact points, it’s probably the safer choice for now. Guests can only get a fortune or get souvenir medallions at the Penny Arcade right now.
Across the way at House of Greetings, CD soundtracks for both Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beastand The Happy Ride with Baymax are now on sale. The former includes a full ride-through mix as well as queue loop excerpts, while the Baymax CD includes all six songs used in the attraction, both with and without dialogue from Hiro and Baymax, and also instrumental versions. The Happy Ride with Baymax soundtrack is currently streaming on Apple Music and Spotify in the US as well.
Over in Adventureland, Jungle Cruise is currently closed for its annual refurbishment through December 18th.
Fortunately, there were some Cast Members in the area to brighten up the mood with some bubble wands!
At many attractions around the park, including Pirates of the Caribbean, tape markers have been set on the ground to help improve stroller parking.
In Westernland, the situation with attraction queuing is not great, to say the least.
The line for Big Thunder Mountain stretches from Country Bear Jamboree to the Rivers of America, around to Camp Woodchuck, and then back into these switchbacks, for a grand total of 45 minute waits.
At this particular moment, it was so bad that the queue for the Haunted Mansion in nearby Fantasyland was close to the end of the queue for Big Thunder Mountain as well.
In Fantasyland, Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall walk-through attraction has finally reopened to Guests!
As of late November, Guests are no longer required to make reservations to enjoy the incredible food at La Taverne de Gaston in the New Fantasyland expansion. Now, there’s a standby line, but Guests without reservations must either eat outside at these standing tables or on the outdoor patio. Indoor seating is exclusively reserved for Guests with prior reservations.
The line often reaches waits of 40-60 minutes though, so think carefully on whether you want that French Toast Sandwich that bad. Let’s be honest, you probably do!
The Village Shops are the last stores to require reservations, but they’ve transitioned from being a showcase for merchandise to buy on the Tokyo Disney Resort App to an actual store with merchandise Guests can buy.
Guests who want to take a picture in front of Beast’s Castle may only do so with a Cast Member photographer and wait in this ~30 minute line to do so. Any Guest attempting to take any picture with the castle and gates in the shot are promptly redirected to the line.
Over in Toontown, the Toon Park playground has also reopened to little tots looking to climb around on fiberglass animals and let out some extra energy.
Also, Goofy’s Paint ‘n Play House, a Toy Story Mania-like minigame with projection mapping, has also reopened to Guests willing to play.
In Tomorrowland, the extended queues for Stitch Encounter and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, the latter of which is often so long that it stretches well into World Bazaar, create such a bottleneck that Guests are forced into close contact with each other if they want to get further into Tomorrowland.
Tomorrowland Hall, usually home to show lotteries when there’s actual entertainment in the parks, will be transformed into the Happy Fair Lab meet and greet spot for The Happy Fair with Baymax, a special event at Tokyo Disneyland coming January 13th.
Characters are out and about greeting Guests in full force, albeit from socially distanced positions. Suzy and Perla from Cinderella were out on the walkway between World Bazaar and Tomorrowland/Fantasyland!
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum were also out creating mischief and a few laughs!
At Theater Orleans in Adventureland, we spotted Donald and Daisy Duck greeting Guests who won spots in the Entry Request lottery system in their Let’s Party Gras! outfits.
Two monkeys from The Jungle Book were out creating chaos in Adventureland, even boarding in the first row of the Western River Railroad!
And of course, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee from Peter Pan were out saying “Ahoy!” to Guests in the entrance plaza.
Reduced Social Distancing
Just like at Tokyo DisneySea and in spite of Tokyo now reaching case numbers as high as 621 new cases, the highest number ever reported since the pandemic began, the Oriental Land Company has deliberately chosen to decrease and loosen social distancing restrictions. At Mickey’s PhilharMagic, taped boxes on the lfoor have been removed and Guests are encouraged to stand at least 1 meter (3 feet) apart, with no enforcement.
Also, every row is now seated for the film, where previously only every other row was seated.
At Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, both rows are also loaded once again. The difference here is that there are no vinyl or plexiglass dividers.
Boat attractions are also seeing every row loaded. Fortunately, every party gets its own row, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe yet.
Just like we saw at Toy Story Mania last week, every section of queue is now filled on It’s a Small World.
Aboard the Western River Railroad, every single row is divided by vinyl curtains that allow reasonable amounts of ventilation.
And that’s everything from Tokyo Disneyland, all the latest up to date news! What was your favorite party of our journey this week? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and stay tuned to WDWNT!
Are you considering or planning a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort? Visit TDRPlans for every detail (and more) that you’ll need to make your trip the best it can be! Did I mention it’s 100% free?