Disneyland Japan was the first international Disney theme park. The park features many of the attractions, restaurants, and hotel accommodations that visitors love about both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. However, these features have been blended with Asian, and more specifically Japanese, culture.
Also, because it wouldn't be as much fun if Disneyland Japan was just a copy of other parks, just in a different location, there are rides, foods, and souvenirs that are completely unique to this theme park.
While we are focused on Disneyland Japan for this list of things that are unique, also be sure to check out DisneySea while you're there. You won't want to miss a Venetian gondola ride right next door to a Disney Pirates show, all while in the Bay of Japan.
Disneyland, located in southern California, was the first Disney theme park and when it opened in 1955, it seemed as if it was headed for disaster. However, over 60 years later, there are parks all around the world.
It's not hard to understand why Disneyland is famous for it's Main Street that leads from the entrance gates right up to the iconic bronze statue of Disney and the beloved Mickey Mouse. Think about the times and the culture of the 1950s in America.
Now, think of the way in which our lives and the way we both do business or spend our leisure time. Our world has become much more global. That's why, when Disneyland Japan opened in 1983, visitors were treated to a World Bazaar instead of Main Street, USA. The bazaar is sheltered so it can be a great place to get out of one of the frequent rainstorms and is a unique feature of Disneyland Japan.
Even if you've never actually been on the It's A Small World ride at either of the 2 US Disney theme parks, you've most likely heard the song of the same name. It is a tune that can quickly get stuck in your head. However, it's the message of the song as well as the ride that is so meaningful. Want to learn more about the original Disneyland ride?
We truly do live in a small world and what better way to prove that than to open a Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan. This park also features the ride and the same song, but it's sung in Japanese. That means that instead of having "It's A Small World" stuck in your head, this time you will have "sore wa chisana sekaidesu" on repeat.
Pooh's Hunny Hunt is a ride unique to the Disneyland Japan park but that's not the only way in which it's unique. Walt Disney Imagineering has come up with some great rides utilizing all the newest technology over the years. Pooh's Hunny Hunt is a trackless ride meaning you are riding in Pooh's hunny pot without a track to guide your movements. Instead, sensors are used to keep each hunny pot on track... no pun intended.
This ride is designed for both kids and kids-at-heart. The wonderful settings and animations bring you right into the Hundred Acre Woods to relive some of Pooh's most memorable adventures. You'll even get to bounce along with Tigger, and feel like you're interacting with other characters as well.
While the Haunted Mansion ride was a no-brainer when designers and architects were creating the layout for the new Disneyland Japan park, they had decided against including other attractions it was housed with it so they needed to give it a new, and appropriate, place. They decided on it being a feature of Fantasyland.
The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland Japan is much like the original which was first debuted at the opening of Magic Kingdom. However, there are a few differences, such as a few extra scenes during the ride. Can you spot them?
Another trackless ride was designed for the Hong Kong Disney Park, Mystic Manor.
No Disney park would be complete without our favorite characters roaming around in costume, ready to sign a brand new autograph book or pose for a photo. While Disneyland Japan has all our favorites, like Mickey and the gang, you'll also see characters that aren't typically found at other Disney parks.
Prince Eric of The Little Mermaid can usually be found quite close to Ariel. Think you know everything about The Little Mermaid? Check this out. From the Humpback of Notre Dame movie, you'll also be able to take a photo with Esmerelda. While many of those who work at the park don't speak English or not very well, all of the characters in "face" costume, meaning you can see their face, usually speak English.
When Disneyland Japan first opened, visitors from all over the world could treat themselves to the famous Mickey Waffle at its own dedicated restaurant, but they could also enjoy some foods that are uniquely Asian. Previous to this, there had been a few Japanese food items offered at Epcot. One of the most popular is the Japanese Kakigori desert of finely shaved ice and wonderful flavors.
A Disney theme park in Japan would need to blend the traditional Disney with the traditional foods of Japan and they did a fantastic job. A baked crab stuffed lobster is a great way to enjoy Japan's fresh seafood, for example.
Sometimes the nephews don't get enough credit for all the mischief they cause. At Disneyland Japan, they have their very own restaurant where you can relive their crazy adventures with them.
At the restaurant, there are many souvenirs available dedicated to Huey, Dewey, and Louie. These are quite unique and some aren't available at any other Disney theme park. Be sure to take pictures with the nephews if they happen to show up. There are many areas inside the restaurant that make for ideal photo ops.
As we mentioned above, DisneySea is separate from Disneyland Japan but it's a unique added park. This is much like Walt Disney World in Florida is comprised of several different parks. DisneySea is a park not to miss although instead of featuring many attractions, such as rides, it's the environment, shows, food, and other features that make DisneySea stand out.