Part 3 of our Tokyo Disneyland Winter Trip Report picks up at the start of our first day at Tokyo Disneyland. The park didn’t open until 9 a.m., but we all once again woke up by like 5 a.m., so we made it to the park far in advance of park opening. First, though, we made a detour over to Disney’s Ambassador Hotel, where we were hoping for breakfast at Tick Tock Diner.
Ikspiari was not open when we arrived, meaning we had to walk along the road to get over to Tick Tock Diner. This took us a few minutes to figure out how to accomplish, but ultimately was not too difficult. The real problem was that Tick Tock Diner did not open until 11:30 a.m. So much for having kawaii Mickey body parts for breakfast.
Instead, I continued my glorious tradition of pizza potato chips for breakfast. (The other cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.) After grabbing chips and a few other things from the Ambassador Hotel’s gift shop, we took the bus to Tokyo Disneyland. We arrived maybe 30 minutes before opening…
I’m always interested in trying new strategies to improve our 1-Day Tokyo Disneyland Itinerary, and this particular morning I thought it might make sense to skip the Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek FastPass line (which can be ~10 minutes long on even moderately crowded days) in favor of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt FastPasses.
My hope here was that we could get ahead of the ‘wave’ of the crowd by grabbing the Hunny Hunt FastPass, potentially doing Hunny Hunt via standby, and then going to Peter Pan’s Flight. This experiment turned out so-so.
We were able to grab the Hunny Hunt FastPass with zero wait and do Hunny Hunt as a walk-on, but by the time we got to Peter Pan’s Flight, the actual wait was 15 minutes. The good news is that I now have a strong idea of how a 2-Day Tokyo Disneyland Itinerary should look.
With those two attractions down, we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We could have done that with minimal wait but we noticed that Camp Woodchuck Kitchen was opening soon. Of course, we “had” to rope drop that.
Camp Woodchuck replaced Lucky Nugget Cafe, which was really nothing noteworthy: just ordering windows and a covered seating area off to the side. Camp Woodchuck Kitchen uses the same ordering windows, but replaced the seating area with a multi-story structure including seating and a meet & greet.
The interior of the restaurant’s seating area was already open, so I started out by going inside to take photos of it. I was blown away. I’ll do a full review of the restaurant in the near future, but for now, here are a few photos showing off the highlights.
Camp Woodchuck Kitchen is definitely not the best-themed restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland, nor does it have the best food. In fact, it might not crack the top 5 in either regard. Where it excels is that it offers a great place to just be.
The best Tokyo Disneyland restaurants are also the most popular (as you’d expect), and aren’t exactly places you’d go as a respite from the crowds or to unwind after a long day. Camp Woodchuck Kitchen is exactly that.
From the fireplace inside to a faux fire pit outside (I soooo wish it produced actual heat during this winter trip) to just random tables tucked away in corners, Camp Woodchuck Kitchen is a great place to be.
This is furthered by two excellent background music loops. The exterior loop can be found here, and features folksy instrumental versions of Disney (and other) songs you’ll recognize. The interior loop features music of the same nature, but with lyrics and without a Disney connection. Both loops are tremendous and made me want to hang around for a while.
After lunch, we headed to the merchandise kiosk where Camp Woodchuck items were being sold. Since this is new, it has location-specific items. It’s rare for Tokyo Disneyland to do park specific merchandise, and attraction/restaurant/etc-specific merchandise is unheard of outside of an attraction opening or closing. As such, we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.
We were pretty excited about all of the options, and toyed with the idea of purchasing all of the merit badges, hats, and scarves so we could attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party as Junior Woodchucks. We actually debated this all afternoon, until the reality that these costumes would cost $150+ set in. (I still think it would be a great costume idea, but spending so much money was out of the question for us.)
From there, we spent some time wandering Frontierland and Adventureland, strolling through gift shops and soaking up the ambiance.
We also noticed that several ‘streetmosphere’ acts were out that we had never seen before. This struck us as sort of odd; given the costumes of the Adventureland band, they did not look new; we’ve been to the park on far busier days, and yet have never seen an act like this.
Perhaps we’ve just been unlucky? Maybe this is an act that used to perform, and had been cut and reinstated? Something else? I don’t really know what the explanation, but I’m all for more streetmosphere entertainment!
Following that, we headed over to the Coral Landing subland in Adventureland for some serious snacking at Squeezers and Boiler Room Bites.
I know what you’re thinking: “Tom, that is one stylish sweater! How can you justify wearing such fancy couture to the parks knowing it might get damaged?!”
It thus might surprise you to learn that this hella fly Olaf sweater was on sale for only $9. I know, right?! You never see Gucci, Burberry, Saint Laurent, or the other heavy hitters in fashion this cheap. Had to have been a price mistake.
We were so hyped on the Snowgie bao that we recorded this video about them…
A video posted by Sarah Bricker (@sarahbricker) on
…And now you’ve wasted time you’ll never get back and still know absolutely nothing new about how this snack tasted. 😉
They were good, albeit with an odd mix of flavors: purple potato, strawberry, salmon, and “meat.” I know my motto is “meat” goes with everything, but purple potato, strawberry, and (air quotes) meat is not what I had in mind. The salmon was the best flavor here and deserving of its own bao. (In fact, these were each individually good, but the sweet cream flavors were a sharp, non-complementary clash to the savory meats.)
After that freight train ride through Flavortown (in fairness, it’s probably better than whatever Guy Fieri has spewed forth from the depths of Flavortown for the Planet Hollywood Observatory menu), it was time to test our stomaches with a ride aboard the wildest ride in the wilderness! Click here to continue reading on Page 2…