December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

As lovely as the concierge was at the Grand Hyatt, all she was able to deliver to us was bad news: first that the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku was closed and then that pretty much all of Tokyo is dead during the week surrounding New Years Eve. I had scheduled my trip to be in Japan for the new year, assuming it would be a wild and crazy event to remember, but I was beginning to feel like it would just be a late night of cards.

But in true Richard fashion, some skimming through pamphlets in the hotel lobby lead him to the most obvious and best choice for our New Years celebration: Let's go to Disneyland!
New Years Eve at the Happiest Place in Japan
To ring in the new year, both Disneyland and Disneysea stayed open until 7am on January 1st, allowing guests lucky enough to hold special tickets to start their 2013 in the Magic Kingdom. But because these tickets had been sold out for weeks, it was looking like our only option was to cancel  our last two nights in Tokyo and move ourselves to Disneyland. So I said a farewell to the city as we took a cab from Roppongi to Disneyland and vowed to return to finish off my list of goals.
Richard in Wonderland
A post-dinner pastry party

The parks closed for two hours to allow normal guests to vacate before letting in those privileged few with the New Years tickets. During that time Richard and I wandered around the Downtown Disney-esque shopping plaza here at the park while swarms of shoppers took advantage of the Time Sales, which are held spontaneously by different stores for only short amounts of time and are usually announced by cute young girls yelling and holding signs. We found a delicious Korean Barbecue restaurant and fueled up for what was sure to be a long night.


Duffy has quickly become the most beloved Disney character in Japan

We set out to Disneysea around 8pm on a mission to wander. We'd been to the 6 billion dollar park many times before so we decided to take the night to poke our heads into every shop we came across and explore the alleys and culs-de-sac that were so carefully designed and beautifully constructed. All Disney parks look better at night, but Disneysea is truly a magical site when it's all lit up.

Venice
Tigga

Toy Story ride entrance





We avoided all rides as the wait times were upwards of two hours, but we did manage to catch a few shows, including one called "Your Table is Waiting". The theme of these show was food and incorporated "hip" versions of songs such as "Spice Up Your Life" by the Spice Girls, "Hot, Hot, Hot" by Arrow, and some sort of battle-cry song about sushi, as performed by Goofy. The audience was captivated by this outdoor show, "ooing" and "aahing" at even the most basic dance move. The highlight of the show was the Americans food number. Dancers dressed as different parts of a hamburger (buns, lettuce, patty, cheese) performed a choreographed routine which ended with them one by one jumping over a giant bottle of catsup and then landing on top of one another to create a burger. It was easily one of the most inadvertently sexual things I have ever seen.

As if that wasn't enough, every musical number had elaborate costumes depicting the food mentioned in that song, resulting in something that looked like it was straight out of Springtime For Hitler. There were dancers dressed as meat, women in lettuce dresses, parachute pants that resembled hot chili peppers, and of course the burger people.

Hard to believe this is a Disney park
There are no less than a dozen flavors of popcorn at the Disney parks
Midnight fireworks
2013

New Years lovers

A well placed shoulder can make all the difference

They say how your spend your New Years Eve will be indicative of how the rest of your year is, so here's hoping that 2013 is as "Hot, hot hot" as Chip and Dale's rendition of that song, as "Spicy" as Daisy Duck's dance moves, and as sexual as the burger people.

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