While in Japan earlier this month, I finally made the journey to Tokyo DisneySea. I’ve been to Tokyo three times before and it’s so easy to get to, but not once did I visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea. Time to see what it’s about! As usual, critical thinking questions follow!
Disney Sea is for Adults
The first thing you’ll realize at Tokyo DisneySea is how popular it is with adults. Compared to Tokyo Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland, the ratio of adults to children is much higher here. The atmosphere of DisneySea seems more adult themed: less cartoon-y, fewer venues with overly-cheerful music (not It’s a Small World!), less emphasis on animated characters and princesses. Instead, the park is set up like a sailing adventure. The architecture create fantasy scenes from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and early 20th century New York waterfront. There are also make-believe locations such as Triton’s kingdom and the Mermaid Lagoon. In the background to the right, you can see the Islamic architecture of Aladdin and Jasmine’s kingdom.
Remember when you were a kid and called your friend in the morning to agree on matching outfits for school? In case you miss doing that, it’s still a thing in DisneySea! Couples and friends of all ages dress up in matching outfits. It just sounded fun to transport myself back to this part of childhood, so Justin and I wore matching shirts with a bit of a Beauty and the Beast theme. Cheap Forever 21 shirts that I diy-ed my shirt by cutting and tying the center-front and rolling up the sleeves. Pretty cute!
… But Tattoos are still banned.
You might wonder what’s on Justin’s arm in some of the photos. I diy-ed him a sleeve to cover up his tattoo. Tattoos could prevent you from being admitted to Tokyo DisneySea or Disneyland (and other places in Japan such as onsen). On some literature it explicitly states this, but on other literature the warning is absent.
Japan seems to have more rules than last time I was here. Realistically, it probably has the same rules but now it just seems like more because I’ve gotten a degree in philosophy. Philosophy makes you question rules! The funny thing is, Japanese people don’t always know the reason for the rule – it’s simply a case of “this is how we do things.” I also don’t understand a lot of the rules here, nor the logic behind when and where they are enforced. Sometimes tattoos are ok and sometimes they aren’t. Better to just be prepared!
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
Justin and I used our first Fast Pass for the Indiana Jones Temple of the Crystal Skull ride. You get strapped into this Jeep and drive through a haunted cave that is sometimes pitch-black. Fun but not scary at all!
The 1920’s American Waterfront
This part of DisneySea is reminiscent of the 1920’s American waterfront. The shows and songs in this area are in English. I’m pretty sure the singer was actually from North America since she had no accent at all.
Venice, Home of Gelatoni!
If you didn’t already know, Tokyo DisneySea has specific characters that aren’t found at other Disney parks. The crew is made up of Duffy (bear friend of Mickey), ShellieMae (Duffy’s girlfriend), Gelatoni (artist cat), and StellaLou (ballerina rabbit friend). They look nothing like any other Disney characters.
My inner 5 year old loves Gelatoni and I convinced Justin do a photo shoot of me with Gelatoni in Venice! Justin let me take a picture of him with Gelatoni by the gondolas!
Disney lets adults wear costumes in the park during October. We saw some serious cosplayers striking perfect poses:
Picture from inside Triton’s Kingdom (The Little Mermaid):
Critical Thinking Discussion & Questions:
Sometimes we all have to follow rules that don’t make sense to us. Japanese culture is full of procedures and regulations. One rule that seems odd to foreigners is that in the street you may not walk and drink, walk and eat, or walk and smoke. You need to do these things in designated areas only. (But you can drink a beer on the subway!)
The rules don’t seem to make sense but trying to bypass them will cause people to look uncomfortable and avoid you.
- How do you feel about obeying rules that seem arbitrary?
- Are you someone who obeys arbitrary rules or do you disobey them? Why?
Immanuel Kant was an 18th century German philosopher who tried to formulate ethics based on following rules. He proposed a special two step process for evaluating any act you want to do. First, you should imagine that everyone in the world does the thing you want to do, and second, ask yourself if you would still achieve the outcome you want. For example, imagine you want to take your neighbor’s car so that you don’t have to buy a car for yourself. It’s very easy to recognize that if EVERYONE stole a neighbor’s car so that NOBODY had to buy a car, then there wouldn’t be many cars available to you at all. Pretty clearly, your purpose is nullified, and that’s how you know that you should not do the act.
- Do you think this explains the purpose behind laws and social customs in your country?
- Since obviously NOT everyone will actually steal cars, should you care about this rule or just steal a car anyways? Should citizens just obey the rule because it’s intended for a common good?
- In Japan, if everyone walked and ate in the street, would that actually prevent you from achieving your outcome (walking and eating)? What do you think about the good and bad aspects of this rule?