With one week left of this year's Easter celebrations at Tokyo Disneyland, I want to take a look at their special Easter programmes. The little seasonal side quests you can opt to do if the crowds are too much.
I'll use spoilers as a convenient excuse for why this post is a billion years late. If you are still planning on doing the Easter programmes, consider this your one and only warning. The rest of this post gives it all away.
I feel I have to preface this entire thing by mentioning last year's Easter Egg Hunt. Last year's hunt was an attraction in its own right. You had to buy the maps separately (they were ¥500 each, as far as I remember, the Master one might have been ¥700. Don't quote me on that.), but afterwards you could easily kill several hours completing the maps, and it was a ton of fun! I completed both the Expert and Master courses on the same day (together with a friend), THIS TOOK US SIX HOURS. AND IT WAS AMAZINGLY FRUSTRATING AND WONDERFUL.
And thus I was more than a little surprised by what was offered this year. It just doesn't compare to last year's spectacle. At all.
This year, there were two options, both free. The Today guide came with a separate Easter themed pamphlet with two maps. One was a complete map showing you where to look for the different character eggs that are placed around the park for Easter. Some of them were part of last year's Beginner course, which was basically a stroll around the park identifying different eggs, no actual hunting or riddle solving involved. The eggs were placed in more or less the same locations this year. I like that they included the map, it gave me the opportunity to take pictures of all the character eggs. This was entertaining to me, but I doubt anyone with a one day passport would bother doing this. It took me a couple of hours at a leisurely pace. Most were easy to spot (with one exception).
The other option to escape the crowds this year, was an Usatama chase. In addition to character eggs, there were a bunch of different Usatama characters hidden around the park this year. They tie in with this year's Easter parade, they are eggs with bunny ears who have escaped from the Easter egg factory. One of them has stolen a key, and that's the one you want to find.
The map guides you to different Usatama, you then look for a letter in the vicinity of the Usatama and make a note of the letters. These letters spell out a word that will help you locate the final Usatama with the key.
Unfortunately, I had already found the Usatama with the key before reading through the pamphlet thoroughly. And that in itself spoiled the fun of the hunt. I was so clueless about what the Usatama chase was about, I even tweeted out a spoilerific picture (TWICE) before reading through the pamphlet (SORRY).
I still went through the motions of the chase, it was a nice time killer, but more aimed at kids than last year's version. I found the chase too easy.
The chase consisted of a total of five clues. It didn't take me a lot of time to complete them.
It's worth mentioning that there was also a hard version, but it involved buying merchandise and even specific food items, THAT STILL JUST LEAD TO THE SAME CLUES.... so I didn't go through with the hard version. I also discovered that it would have been impossible at the time, because the resort had run out of Easter themed shopping bags, and those were needed for one of the clues in the hard version of the Usatama chase.
My disappointment was real. So real, I forgot to ask for the prize at the goal. You're supposed to tell a cast member where the Usatama with the key is, and they'll give you a special USATAMA CHASERS sticker as a prize. I appreciate that the programme (and prize) is free, but I would rather pay ¥500-¥700 for a proper riddle-solving experience.
The Usatama chase might have been a disappointment to me, but I did thoroughly enjoy walking around the park photographing all 50 character eggs. I'm looking forward to next year's Easter events already, let's hope they bring the challenging egg hunts back!