Tokyo Kawaii Club Magic Mailer Haul

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tokyo Disney has the best merchandise. I’m sorry, but you just can’t compete with the Japanese on this sort of thing.

When I visited Tokyo Disney in 2015 (wow, was my trip almost 3 years ago now?), I wanted to bring home absolutely everything, and if you’ve read my haul post from that trip, you’ll know that I did bring back a lot, but not a day goes by that I don’t see something new and adorable on Instagram and have to fight the urge to jump on a plane to Japan and blow my credit card balance in that happy place.

So when I discovered that Tokyo Kawaii Club make amazing little packages of magical merchandise and ship them to all over the world, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a little taster to tide me over until I can get out there again. I ordered the Magic Mailer back in early January, and my package arrived last weekend, although I did have to collect it from the sorting office because I had to pay a customs charge on it, and I was so excited that I ripped it open as soon as I got home. So what did it contain?

Firstly, I got this AMAZING Donald Duck diary. I love Donald and I’m a sucker for a cute notebook and this is just perfect for me. Its got a double-page calendar spread for each month, and then pages at the back for notes and doodles, and each page has a little Donald sketch in the corner.

I also got a cute little Pluto keyring, which having just had Lunar New Year and bringing in the Year of the Dog, which is also my year of the Chinese zodiac, it was perfect timing, plus I got this sweet little heart-shaped Donald and Daisy button.

Speaking of heart-shaped, how sweet is this little tin? Its full of individually wrapped chocolates with a little Mickey imprint. I also got a set of Tiana notelets which fold up into little paper princesses!

Finally, the biggest item in the mailer was this Belle tsum tsum. I’m not sure what its official size is called because its much bigger than a mini tsum tsum but about half the size of the medium tsums that I have, but its still super cute!

Tokyo Kawaii Club offers a few different mailer options, and you can even set up a repeat order and have it as a monthly subscription! Michael did a really great job of personalising my mailer with my favourite characters, so I’d love to see what he would conjure up another time for me!

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Tokyo Disney Throwback

Exactly one year ago to the day, I stepped foot in Tokyo Disneyland for the first time. You can read my trip diary here, but today I thought it would be fun to share some of my unseen photos!

Tokyo Disneyland Station

There’s a slight upset among some Disney fans because Tokyo Disneyland doesn’t have a classic Main Street USA when you enter the park, replaced instead with the World Bazaar. The World Bazaar is a lot like Main Street in a lot of ways, just covered with a kind of greenhouse roof, and decorated with lanterns and flags.

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Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar

It does make the walk down towards the castle feel a little longer, and take a little bit of the focus away from the beautiful Cinderella castle, but its so interesting to walk through something a little different from Main Street USA

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First thing in the morning, you’ll get to meet quite the collection of characters at the end of the World Bazaar. My favourites by far were Bernard and Bianca from The Rescuers – so tiny and adorable! I’ve never liked Gideon and Honest John that much, but they seemed to like my camera!

Tokyo Disneyland Partner Statue

I just love statues in Disney parks, don’t you?

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo DisneySea is a park like no other – quite possibly one of my favourite Disney parks of all time! It is totally unique and packed with amazing attractions and the most perfect tiny details, and I could walk around there all day without going on a single ride and still feel amazed by everything.

Tokyo DisneySea Tower of Terror

Unlike its Western cousins, the Tower of Terror in DisneySea isn’t sponsored by The Twilight Zone, and therefore has its own unique design and the story behind the ride is different – no spoilers, but its still as scary!

Tokyo DisneySea

There’s also a full-sized cruise ship docked in the park!

Tokyo DisneySea

If you’re a little mermaid fan, you HAVE to visit DisneySea just for Mermaid Lagoon. From the outside, you see the beautiful underwater city of Atlantica, just as it appears in the movie, but once you enter and journey under the sea (yes, you really go down!) you can play among the fishes til your heart’s content! Its a great place to avoid summer heat!

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You should also watch out for street rats in Arabian Coast – a practically perfect replica of Agrabah!

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Hmm.. I wonder where the imagineers got inspiration for this one..

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

And I’ll just leave you with this absolutely stunning sunset over the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel!

I’ve got all sorts of Tokyo Disney posts, from trip tips to dining reviews, be sure to check them out here °o°

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Friday Favourite Five – Crazy Tokyo Disney Food

Yes, I’m still reeling about my Tokyo Disney trip even though it was months ago..

Something I was really excited for when preparing for our visit was the food, photos of which I’d seen all over Pinterest and Instagram, and I couldn’t wait to try some of the delicacies in store for us during our stay. Truly, we couldn’t fault any of the food during our entire visit; it was pretty, delicious and reasonably priced – happy family!

A few, though, really stood out as memorable, and here’s my top five:

1. Mickey Burger

2. Little Green Men Mochi

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3. Clam Burger

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4. Mickey Churros

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5. Queen of Hearts Roll Cake

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Don’t you just love it?! I do!

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Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall

This was by far my favourite restaurant in Tokyo Disney. I had seen pictures online, and I knew I wanted to eat here!

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QoH is right in the centre of Fantasyland, next to ‘Its a Small World’, and you can’t miss it! Its surrounded by statues of the Alice in Wonderland characters, as well as the iconic teapot vending machines, and perfectly pruned shrubbery.

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Once you step inside, you’re transported into the Queen’s gardens; mazes, red roses, Playing Cards, even a Cheshire Cat! The restaurant is a ‘buffeteria’, a cross between serve yourself and being served (grab your own dessert, choose your main, be seated by a cast member). The scenery is phenomenal, everything from stained glass scenes to giant flowers!

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And as for the food.. Unbelievable! I had a seafood selection and a chocolate fudge cake, both totally faultless! All of the choices had something Alice in Wonderland themed about them, and some of the dessert selections had souvenir bowls or plates (my sister had the cake, I got the plate!).

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Sweet, right?! There was loads of seating, so we didn’t feel at all crowded, and entirely indoors which was perfect for the heat. It really was a totally unique dining experience, even the toilets were keeping with the theme! The Queen herself would be most impressed, and if you don’t eat here, then off with your heads!

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Friday Favourite Five – Rides at Tokyo Disney

I can’t believe its been over a month since I was in Tokyo Disneyland already! This year is flying by, but I can’t complain because every day that goes by, I’m a day closer to my next Disney trip, so I can’t lose!

Today’s FFF are the rides I loved most during my time in Tokyo, so here they are!

1. Splash Mountain

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Yes, Splash Mountain is in every Disney park, I know, I know! BUT there was something about this one, I can’t really put my finger on what exactly, but it just seemed better than all the others! I love it, and I rode it more than all the other rides, k.

2. Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek!

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While its not as exciting as Buzz’s Astro Blasters, and there’s no scoring involved (which bothered my super competitive mum!), this was really fun, and the setting was perfect!

3. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

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Another ‘non-unique’ ride, but again, this ride blew me away! We had a Fastpass so we got to skip the enormous queue (always makes rides better), but it would’ve been worth the wait!

4. Journey to the Center of the Earth

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The ride inside the volcano! Totally different from anything at any other Disney park, and the perfect combination of gentle ride and rollercoaster!

5. Caravan Carousel

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A double decker carousel of fun! Ride an elephant, a camel, or even Genie himself!

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Unique Rides at Tokyo Disney

As I’ve touched upon in my diary posts, Tokyo Disneyland Resort is packed with totally unique experiences, and probably the biggest aspect of any Disney park is the rides! And while maintaining some true Disney classics, Tokyo manages to throw guests into the unknown with some wacky twists to the traditional line up..

Tokyo Disneyland

The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents ‘Aloha E Komo Mai!’

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Yes, you can go to The Enchanted Tiki Room in other Disney parks, but those shows don’t get hijacked by a ukelele playing Stitch, do they? (PS. you can check out short clip of the show on my Instagram!)

Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes

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Quite possibly more of a workout than a ride, you and your group can paddle around Tom Sawyer Island, working as a team and taking in the sights, but watch out for the Riverboat!

Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek!

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I LOVED this ride! Set inside Monsters Inc itself, the queue runs through the lobby of headquarters before you board your cart and your mission begins! Similar to Buzz Astro Blasters, you’re equipped with a torch to find the hidden monsters as you zoom through Monstropolis.

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Tower of Terror

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I can hear you, I know there’s a Tower of Terror in every Disney park.. But this one is unique, promise!

Unlike the others, Tokyo’s ToT isn’t sponsored by The Twilight Zone, and therefore has a totally different design (as you can see!) and a different storyline; a historian, a cursed statue, we all know where it goes from there!

Aquatopia

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Fun and totally bizarre at the same time, hop aboard a buggy that follows a totally random path through the water, spinning and swirling, with the occasional splash or spray!

StormRider

We didn’t actually get to ride this on our trip; the queue was huge and Mum doesn’t do well on these sorts of rides so we decided to pass. It’s a simulator, where guests board a mission to defeat a powerful storm, but not everything goes smoothly!

Raging Spirits

Another ride we didn’t try! Raging Spirits is a more hardcore rollercoaster, with a 360° loop as you travel through an excavation site of an ancient temple.

Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage

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A ‘Small World’ style boat ride through the stories of Sindbad’s adventures. Great for little ones, or just a bit of air con on a warm day, and it normally boasts a super low wait time.

Caravan Carousel

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Yes, a double decker carousel! Choose to ride upstairs or downstairs, and then take your pick of noble steeds, from horses to camels, elephants, and you can even ride Genie!

Mermaid Lagoon

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An underwater wonderland full of unique rides, from Blowfish Balloon Race to Jumping Jellyfish and more! My favourite ride here was Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster, which is just outside the main underwater area; it was just a mini coaster, but super fun to ride when its dark out!

Journey to the Center of the Earth

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That glorious volcano in the centre of the park? Yep, this is the ride inside it, and its awesome!

Travel down through the earth to discover new lifeforms and ecosystems, but not all the inhabitants are friendly, so be prepared for a quick getaway!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Another journey of discovery, head underwater to discover what’s lurking in the depths of the ocean underneath the volcano.

Fortress Explorations

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Explore the Mediterranean fortress, and search for clues as part of The Leonardo Challenge (in Japanese though, just to warn you!)

These rides truly add to Tokyo Disney’s unique quality, and I haven’t gone into too much detail so as not to spoil too much, so now you just need to go and try them yourself!

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Top Tokyo Disney Tips

Being in Tokyo Disneyland is a totally unique experience, and expecting a regular Disney park experience could leave you a little out of your comfort zone, so here are some of my top tips for doing Disney Tokyo-style!

Language and Culture

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– Do not expect English – I’m serious! While there may be the occasional announcement in English or clip of English singing, all of the shows, parades and attractions are in Japanese, and most of the cast members speak very limited English, if any, so be prepared to mime, signal and act out your conversations, and embrace it – everyone has a laugh over it! Also don’t stress over not knowing the language, all you really need is hello and thank you, and you’re pretty much set.

– Everyone is really friendly – cast members are literally everywhere, and their job is basically to wave and say hi. Smile and wave back, and you make their day!

– Generally, the Japanese are pretty small – if you’re short (like me!) its ideal, say goodbye to watching parades on tip-toes! If you’re fairly tall, however, you may be asked to move at times, purely to be considerate to other guests. Similarly, the seats on rides tend to be a little smaller than on their American counterparts.

– Personal space isn’t a big deal – you know when you’re waiting for a lift and its a little crowded so you decide to wait for the next one? Yeah that doesn’t happen so much in Japan, so be prepared to be a little out of your comfort zone if you like your space.

Park Life

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– Tokyo Disneyland utilises the classic Fastpass system – going to the machine, getting your pass, and only holding one at a time. Be sure to make good use of these, Fastpasses are taken pretty seriously and you get to skip a lot of the line, and it could save you some major waits.

– Characters randomly appear around the parks throughout the day, rather than at specific places and times, and they tend to have a slightly more eclectic range: The Rescuers, Wolfgang Puck, Jiminy Cricket etc, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a princess! They’re also not big on autographs, so although they’ll sign them, you won’t find anywhere to buy an autograph book.

– There’s no running, but expect a stampede – at park opening, cast members are everywhere to remind guests not to run, but that doesn’t stop it! Expect stampedes heading to the most popular rides: Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror etc

– Do not be afraid to dress up – people in Tokyo Disney go all out, from matching outfits to Disneybounds, and everyone has at least one thing Disney in their outfit

– Don’t expect wifi – unlike Disney World where you get free wifi everywhere, there’s no wifi connections available in the parks.

– There’s no Photopass option – with the exception of a few meet and greets, there are no dedicated photographers in the parks, and no Photopass option. You can buy your ride photos, or order prints from your character meets, but that’s pretty much it.

Shows and Parades

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– You can reserve your spot for a show or parade up to an hour before, and bringing a plastic mat to put down will save you burning on the hot concrete

– Some shows have priority seating – you can take part in a lottery to win these priority spots once per show each day, so be sure to pick up a show guide to find out where these lotteries are held

– Be prepared to be asked to remove hats and Mickey ears – if you’re standing to watch a parade or show, or even in attractions like Country Bear Jamboree and Philharmagic, you’ll be asked to remove any hats or ears so as not to block the view of those behind you.

– Take the ‘get wet’ signs seriously – if you’re in one of these zones, its not a maybe, its a promise. We watched crowds get seriously soaked in these areas!

Hotel, Tickets and Travel

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– If you’re staying in a Disneyland resort, you get access to the parks 15 minutes early – don’t turn your nose up, it can mean the difference between a 20 minute wait and a 90 minute wait!

– The easiest way to get to your hotel or the parks is by train – the Japanese train system is flawless, and the JR line has a train station at Ikspiari, from which its less than 5 minutes walk to the Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland hotel, or you can transfer onto the monorail.

– Like in the parks, don’t expect wifi, but ask just in case – we asked about the wifi, and were told there wasn’t any, but they provided us a little router for our room

– Parkhopper tickets are only available to guests staying at Disneyland resorts – otherwise its one park per day

– The monorail isn’t complimentary – you’ll need to buy a pass!

– All of the partner hotels are right near a monorail stop, and there are also resort buses to take you to the parks

– The swimming pool at Tokyo Disneyland hotel is pretty small – don’t expect Floridian flamboyance!

– There’s a Bibbity-Bobbity Boutique in Tokyo Disneyland hotel for your little princesses

– Don’t forget your handstamp – if you’re leaving the park for a while, to parkhop or popping back to your hotel, don’t forget to get your hand stamped as you leave so you can get back in! Its a UV stamp, so don’t worry if you don’t see anything on your skin, and its pretty tough so washing hands/swimming won’t rub it off

Food and Drink

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– Don’t expect Western food everywhere – while there are some Western options, most of the food is very much oriental based, and the Western options are a little odd: pizza with seafood etc. Portion sizes are also smaller than in American parks, but still very filling!

– There’s no dining reservations, but there is priority seating – similar to Fastpass, head to the restaurant first thing, and you’ll be given a ticket with an allocated time to return

– There are water fountains everywhere, and its the norm for people to bring in their own bottles to fill up

– Beware of the coffee – I’m not a drinker, but my mum and sister both hated the Japanese coffee, apparently its crazy bitter. Also, some bottled drinks in the vending machines look like fruit teas, but are actually iced coffees.

– On the subject, you won’t find a lot of milk or milk-based products – around 90% of Asians are lactose intolerant, so milk for tea and coffee, ice-cream etc is fairly limited.

– Also beware of the popcorn – there are popcorn stands everywhere, but you’ll only find salted in a few locations. Flavours include honey, curry and soy sauce!

– People save tables, and its taken pretty seriously – if you see a bottle or a jumper left on a table, don’t move it and sit there. Everyone does it, and everyone respects it, so find somewhere else.

Shopping

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– The same merchandise is everywhere – don’t stress that you might have missed an opportunity to buy something, chances are it’ll be in the next shop you go into!

– There’s a Disney Store at Ikspiari, which is the shopping centre on the monorail loop – it has different products to what’s available in the parks

– There are biscuits everywhere – souvenir biscuits are a big deal in Japan. They come in millions of shapes, sizes, fancy tins etc, and there are entire shops dedicated to them, so don’t resist!

Weather

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– Be prepared for all conditions, and possibly all at the same time – it can be burning hot and bucketing down with rain and blowing a gale simultaneously!

– Because of how extreme the weather can be, shows and parades can be cancelled with little notice, or modified for the safety of the cast members and guests

– Carry an umbrella – not only will it keep you dry during those mega downpours, but it will also provide great sun protection, and don’t worry about looking silly, loads of people do it

– Don’t expect air-con – while most buildings are cooled during the summer months, its not always that instant super-cool feeling you might expect; more like a comfortable temperature once you’ve adapted to it

Tokyo Disney is a totally unique experience, and the most important piece of advice I can give is this:

Just do it. Go, experience it all for yourself, and you’ll have an incredible time, I promise!

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