Musings from Mt. Prometheus

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In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

posted 2018/01/24, by tofu

Disneyland! It's been a while. This was my second visit of the year, but first time experiencing the winter events! I realise I called the winter events "spring events" in my last post... I tend to think that it's time for spring once December is over... wishful thinking.

I went and saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently, so it felt like a good time to check out all the Star Wars stuff happening at the park currently.

My first stop was the Pan Galactic Pizza Port. I tend to forget about this place, and I'm always taken aback by the animatronic show over the counter. Not to mention the videos and endless singing.... I grabbed a seat outside, the sun was warm enough to not make it completely miserable.

The official name of this menu item is DARK SIDE CALZONE. It's a fun thing to order.

The details in this simple menu item, though... it's speckled with little gold flakes, which makes it sparkle to imitate a galaxy far, far away. (The dark side likes sparkly stuff, noted.) Biting into it revealed its golden center - a deliciously spicy chicken curry filling.

By the way, why does the dark side get all the fun food items? Dark side calzone, stormtrooper mochi... where are the Jedi snacks, hm? Or do Jedis not need food...? I guess the lightsaber churro is on the light side, since it's green? .......

Anyway, off to the main event

The Star Wars event is called Feel the Force, and it ends March 19th. During this time, Star Tours is running a special version where you're guaranteed the Jakku scene (chasing after Finn in the Millenium Falcon) from The Force Awakens and a new scene from The Last Jedi.
I guess I was feeling it, because I ended up riding this three times today. I got a different opening sequence (before the Jakku scene) on my last mission, so I guess the opening and ending is randomized somewhat.

I think this combination of scenes worked really well, but I'm glad I'd seen The Last Jedi before riding! The scene doesn't really contain any spoilers as such, but you get to see Crait and its creatures, and some of the action that happens there. If I'd walked into the film with this scene in mind, I would have been impatiently waiting for it...

I'd almost go so far as to say that I preferred the attraction version of this scene to the one that's in the film. It worked so well, and was amazingly fun, I wondered whether they originally wrote it with the attraction in mind.

I'm honestly very surprised, and I guess this is a sort of spoiler, but here I go anyway, THAT THERE WERE NO PORGS. Haaaahahahaha. How did they avoid that? Amazing. Considering their actual screentime in the film, I'm baffled they've become so popular. I guess it's because they were featured in the trailer...?

Did you know that the row in the very back of the Starspeeder 1000 has taller seats than the front rows? It makes sense, it would have been hard to see over the heads of people in front of you otherwise, but wow. My feet didn't touch the floor when I was sitting in the back row! That definitely made the attraction feel different. Floating through spaaaace.

Everyone riding Star Tours were handed a Tomorrow guide (pictured at the top of this post). A clever play on the regular Today guides that's handed out at Tokyo Disneyland. The Tomorrow guide includes information about the Starspeeder 1000, the craft you board on Star Tours. There's info about the films and characters, and even a papercraft! You can build your own Starspeeder 1000 (though you need to destroy the guide to do so). Unlike the regular Today guides, the Tomorrow guide is both in English and Japanese, so it can be enjoyed by everyone.

I love the look of these dorky photo spots.

There's still one thing left on my todo list for the Star Wars event, and that's their special Star Tours Recruiting challenge. It's like a Star Wars quiz that you do around the park, they estimate an average completion time of 2 hours. I saw a bunch of people scratching their heads and looking up stuff on their phones while filling out the quiz booklet, it looks hard! I've given the sample questions a go and was able to answer them correctly (with a little help).... maybe I'd do okay? There's only one way to find out. There's still plenty of time. I might want to pick up a name tag too.

Sneak Peek at Pixar Playtime and Heartwarming Days

posted 2018/01/09, by tofu

New Year's is over, kids are back in school, it's a great time to visit DisneySea. We're stuck between two events at the moment with nothing special going on but sneak peeks at the two spring events: Pixar Playtime and Duffy's Heartwarming Days. Both events start up on the 11th.

There were very mixed opinions online when the Pixar Playtime event was announced. I have to admit, I wasn't super thrilled, but then the pictures of the park decorations started ticking in, and I decided to reserve judgment until I'd seen it in person.

Since the event hasn't started yet, a lot of the decorations were still partially covered up today. Suggesting that they might end up adding in more playtime pieces before the event starts up proper.

Welcome banner above the entrance to Mediterranean Harbor.

Banners in different colours with the event logo all around the Mediterranean Harbor.

Making my way to American Waterfront, I noticed that New York Deli had been overtaken by Lightning McQueen. They'd even given him his own sandwich!

Lightning Sandwich, roasted pork and cheese. That's all the info the menu will give you. I can tell you, it was pretty delicious. It was topped with a sweet barbecue sauce complemented with a sour cream-like dressing, and crisp fried onions. Nice, nice.


American Waterfront has been turned into a gigantic board game with the Pixar ball (???) as a center piece. This looks a lot more jarring in pictures than it does in real life. I'm really excited to see how these decorations will be used once the event starts. The covered pieces have tickled my interest. I WANT TO PLAY SPELLING TOSS???

Love the oversized board game pieces. There are also pieces of the game board missing! The board tells you to look for the missing pieces in other parts of the park.

The food, though. I love themed food, and DisneySea has a huge menu of themed food for this event. I had to try the James P. Sullivan bun.

How could you not when it looks like this.

Peppery, chicken-y, corn-y... blue. Yup. It replaces the usual Chandu tail (which I have to admit I've never tried... hahaha). I am told this is similar in taste, but still a little different. I enjoyed it! This will most likely be my go-to snack throughout this event.

On to the next food item... that I shared with a friend, because honestly. There is TOO MUCH FOOD.

Mike dim sum, apricot Sully themed roll cake from Vulcania Restaurant

I'm pretty sure the dim sum is the exact same dim sum Vulcania served during Sea's 15th anniversary, though admittedly the Mike face suits the green focal piece better than the Goofy overlay did during the 15th. It has a nice visual impact in any case, but if I'm going back, it'll be for the roll cake.

I barely scratched the surface of the Pixar themed food this trip, I'll be working my way through it the next couple of months. The desserts all look adorable! The drinks! Oh my goshhhhh.

Cape Cod is spared the Pixar treatment, as this is home to the Heartwarming Days event. IT'S SO CUTE.


TIPPY BLUEEEE. I need to come back earlier in the day some time to get a better shot of him. This is what sneak peeks are all about. They're important for planning out the next couple of park trips.

I can't decide if these scarecrows are scary or cute.

I ended up riding Tower of Terror twice today. It's very easy to miss, because it's not really advertised or mentioned anywhere, but Tower of Terror is currently running a special version, called Level 13 . The pre-show has some additional effects, and the ride itself is more thrilling than usual. I have a love-hate relationship with this ride. I love the view, the atmosphere, the music, and the special effects (like, a lot). But I don't like being weightless between the drops. I do love this special version, though. I'll try to get some more rides in while it's still available. IF I DARE.

Hello 2018

posted 2018/01/04, by tofu

It's January 4th, and I have now officially made my first Disneyland and DisneySea visits of 2018! My main mission for the day was to watch the New Year's greeting parade at Disneyland, but I want to try to collect all the Today guides again this year, so I needed to visit both parks.

You'd think I'd know where to go to get good pictures of parades by now, but nope. I ended up by the entrance to Westernland, which was actually a really good location, super nice backdrop since the greeting parade went around the parade route in the opposite direction than usual. The sun set behind the castle literally seconds before the parade stopped in front of me. Perfect timing, extremely tricky lighting.

The parade was led by Goofy and Max. I love their outfits!

Donald and Daisy followed in a parade car. The parade music was played by the marching band.



Minnie's kimono is gorgeous.

Apparently this is the first time Clarice has appeared in this greeting?

Super cute.

I looped around the park, and then headed over to Sea. My first park meal of 2018 was the Donald shrimp burger at Huey, Dewey and Louie's Good Time Cafe. I'd never had it before, it was nice (though not as good as the crab croquette thing they served during Halloween last year!!).

Star Tours currently running a special version because of Last Jedi. The Standby line was at 60 minutes. The decorations look nice, though.

I miss StarJets.

New Year's decorations by the entrance at land.

New Year's decorations by the entrance at sea.

My first attraction of 2018 was Sindbad's Storybook Voyage. They seated me in the middle of a boat with no one behind me! I used the opportunity to snap some pictures.

I went to see Out of Shadowland and called it a day afterwards. For future reference, row 13 seats 8-15 are great seats for this show. Have they changed the sound production or music arrangement? Something felt different, but in a good way. They're still running with the new version of the script that no longer matches the CD version of the show, hahaha. But I still enjoy it. I caught the last performance of the day, and the Yuu performer in particular was amazing.

All in all, a successful trip to the parks. I would have gone on more attractions, but both parks were incredibly busy. At least I got my main mission for the day done!

Disney Stats for 2017

posted 2018/01/03, by tofu

Long time no post! It's a new year, and I wanted to start fresh. Let's dump all the stats.
Last year I kept track of all attractions I rode and shows I watched in a journal that I brought with me to the parks, I have a couple of ideas on how I can improve this process for this year, which makes me excited. In the meanwhile, let's look at the stats I collected in 2017!

I can't believe I rode Haunted Mansion 19 times (and that's not counting the Holiday version)!!

The spread between land and sea is also interesting, confirming that I still prefer Disneyland for solo visits. I often find DisneySea a little lonely when I'm by myself. The rides are also not as solo trip friendly, in my opinion, despite there being more single rider options than at land ....

This whole year is a bit of a blur. StarJets' last mission and Pirates Summer stand out to me as my favourite things that happened at the parks this year. StellaLou of course was also a welcome addition, though I only ever saw her greeting show once. Maybe I should make it a priority to see it a couple of times before it disappears in March.

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, partly due to lack of storage space, but that's been worked out now, so I'm ready to fill up my photo journal with new park impressions.

If any of you collect your own Disney stats I'm curious to know how you're keeping track! Keeping track during the year is easy enough, but compiling it all at the end was a mess. My journal needs some serious tweaking.
I've included the full list of stats below! How does your Disney year compare?

Disneyland Attraction Count:
Haunted Mansion: 19
Pirates of the Caribbean: 11
Space Mountain: 10
Haunted Mansion Holiday: 6
Big Thunder Mountain: 6
Country Bears: 4
Western River Railroad: 4
Snow White: 3
StarJets: 3
It's a Small World: 2
Gogo Coaster: 2
Philarmagic: 2
Roger Rabbit: 2
Splash Mountain: 2
Enchanted Tiki Room: 2
Pinocchio: 2
Peter Pan: 1
Fairy Tale Hall: 1
Castle Carousel: 1
Star Tours: 1
Winnie the Pooh: 1
Teacups: 1
Dumbo: 1 (first!)
Monsters Inc: 1

DisneySea Attraction Count:
Indiana Jones: 9
20.000 Leagues: 6
Sindbad's Storybook Voyage: 5
Journey to the Center of the Earth: 4
SeaRider: 4 (new!)
Venetian Gondolas: 3
Transit Steamer: 3
Tower of Terror: 2
Scuttle's Scooters: 2
Electric Railway: 2
Jumpin Jellyfish: 1
Toy Story Mania: 1

Shine On: 6
Usatama: 5
Electrical Parade: 5 (1 rainy day version)
Out of Shadowland: 4
Big Band Beat: 3
Fantasmic: 2
Happiness is Here: 2
Minnie Oh Minnie: 2

Other seasonal shows, seen about 1-2 times each.

Special events:
Magma Sanctum
Usatama Chase
Pirates Mystery

Donald - Woodchuck

Drinking My Way from Port to Port

posted 2017/11/05, by tofu

Second to last day of the Halloween celebrations, I grabbed a friend and some motivation by way of @disneydares to drink all the Halloween cocktails at Tokyo DisneySea. My park companion on this day had a one day pass, so we challenged ourselves to get through all of them in a single day (while still going about our regularly scheduled park shenanigans). Here's my report from the challenge!

We ended up going through 7 cocktails, this means we went through ALL the special cocktails on offer at Tokyo DisneySea in October, not just the Halloween ones. Oops?

We started off the challenge during lunch with the sparkling mix berry cocktail at Yucatan Base Camp Grill. My companion and I both found this dangerously sweet, it went down like lemonade. Absolutely delicious, Nice presentation, Dangerous.

The second drink was a grape cocktail at Zambini Brothers' Ristorante. I was very curious about this, wondering if it would taste like a wine cocktail, but trust Disney to throw surprises at you. It was a light, crisp-tasting cocktail with grape jelly. I really enjoyed this. Not too sweet, not too sour. The jelly added a fun texture to it, the colour was very appealing. We enjoyed this out on the outdoor terrace, battling the post-typhoon winds we were experiencing at the park that day.

2 down, 5 more to go.

We went about our regular park business during this challenge. We shopped souvenirs, played the carnival games, rode Indiana Jones (twice!), and watched both Out of Shadowland and Big Band Beat. It became apparent after a while that the challenge was slowly turning into a battle against time to get to all the drinks done before closing time.

Third cocktail was the first of two beer cocktails on the list. Both beer cocktails were special Halloween cocktails. My companion and I were dreading these, as neither of us drink beer usually. I can't stand the taste of beer personally, but was hopeful the fruity cocktail part would cancel out the beer taste. It didn't. And so I found both the beer cocktails pretty painful to get through, the green poison apple one more so than the blackcurrant one. The green apple was just incredibly bitter, and the beer taste was way too strong for my liking.

In between the two beer cocktails, we rushed off to Miguel's El Dorado Cantina to try their frozen tropical cocktail before closing time. Miguel's closes at 7:30PM or some other such ridiculous hour. It's definitely more of a lunch place than dinner and drinks place, which is a little bit of a shame in my opinion. The tropical cocktail was amazing. Adorned with a huge chunk of pineapple, it was exactly what my tastebuds needed after the bitter beer. The cocktail had a nice kick to it without being too sweet. Though probably best enjoyed in warm weather, at least we got to sit inside for this one.

We ran back to American Waterfront for the second beer cocktail (green apple). I admit, I nearly gave up halfway through this, but I soldiered on. I remembered Hudson River Harvest offered sparkling whisky and peach cocktails, so we rushed off over there to wash away the bitter poison.

6 down, 1 to go.

We decided to end the day at The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge, where we completed the challenge with their special villains inspired cocktail. Unfortunately, neither our waiter nor server explained what was in the drink.... but it was definitely the best balanced drink of the day. After spending the day sipping counter service cocktails, the difference in quality in the way this drink was prepared and presented was actually quite staggering. You could easily tell it was crafted by a bartender. Beautiful presentation, complex and interesting flavor combinations. The seasonal cocktails served around the park are delicious and cute (though usually a little on the sweet side), but there's a reason I keep going back to The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge for their special cocktails. The drinks are fun, but also quite sophisticated.

Overall verdict: This challenge was amazingly fun! We could (and should) have paced it out a little better, but honestly the race against time added to the fun for us. I find Disney park adventures are always better if you set yourself some goals or challenges for the day. This particular challenge was something I'd never thought of or attempted before. If you want to attempt this, drink responsibly and know your limits! Balance out the drinks with snacks and remember to hydrate! I would also recommend starting earlier in the day if you're planning on making it through all 7 drinks in a single day, just to avoid the evening crunch of visiting all the restaurants before they close for the day.

I'm already eyeing the Christmas drinks, looking forward to tasting them all (no beer cocktails! Huzzah!). But this time I'm going to try them one by one. I have a feeling that hot coffee cocktail will be an instant favourite. I hope it's as good as it looks!

I'll call this first Disney Dares a raging success. The challenge kept us occupied throughout the day, brought lots of laughs, but still gave us time to enjoy all the other things the park has to offer. I'm now wracking my brain trying to come up with something equally challenging and fun for Abi to try. Got any suggestions? Leave them in a comment below, and follow Disney Dares on twitter!