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.

Tokyo Disneyland balloons

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

Tokyo Disneyland

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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Baking Magic – Mickey Steamed Buns

With looking forward to my trips to Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneylands, it seems a little crazy that its almost been a year since I visited Tokyo!

Tokyo Disneyland was the most unique experience, and I would thoroughly recommend a trip if you get the chance – I’m dying to go back already! – and one of the many unique features of the parks was definitely the food. Forget corn dogs and fries, the cuisine is almost entirely suited to the Japanese culture, and we didn’t have a single bad meal there!

While you may not be in the Western parks, there are a couple of burger options for you, but before you go searching for a cheeseburger, even these have an adorable Japanese twist: steamed buns, and a touch of Disney magic! Today, I’m re-creating the most internet famous of these..


These buns are available at Tomorrowland Terrace in Tokyo Disneyland park, but other variations include a Donald equivalent in Toon Town, and a seashell bun in Calypso Kitchen in Tokyo DisneySea, and now I’m so excited that I can make my own!

Being totally clueless on where to even start, I stuck pretty close to the steamed bao bun recipe on BBC Good Food:

  • Mix 525g plain flour with 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl
  • Dissolve 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp warm water, then add to the dry mix with 50 ml milk, 200 ml water, 1 tbsp sunflower (I used olive) oil and 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and mix into a dough, using either your hands or a dough hook attachment on a food mixer < so much easier than your hands! Knead for 10-15 minutes
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled dough and cover with a damp cloth, then leave for 2 hours to rise. It should double in size, but don’t worry too much if it doesn’t!
  • Tip it out onto a floured work surface and flatten it out, then sprinkle 1 tsp baking powder over it and knead for 5 minutes.

This is where I deviated a little from the method of the recipe.

  • Roll out the dough until its about 1cm thick. I found this easier by cutting the dough in half and doing one half at a time!

Mickey steamed buns

  • Using a big flower shaped cutter, preferably a five petal design, cut out shapes from the dough. Using your hands, stretch these out slightly, dab with a bit of oil and fold them over a chopstick so that three of the petals are on top (see that Mickey hand shape?) and repeat with all the dough.
  • Cover the buns with a clean tea towel or oiled cling film, then leave somewhere warm to prove for 1 hr 30 mins.
  • The buns should double in size, but again, don’t worry about this too much – mine didn’t!

Mickey steamed buns

  • Before cooking, use black food colouring and a paintbrush or toothpick to add Mickey’s glove markings!
  • Cook the buns in a steamer for 8 minutes, then unfold, fill and close back up!

Mickey Steamed Buns

The buns are best served still warm, but still delicious once cooled! I personally recommend filling with pulled pork or teryaki chicken!

Love the look of these? Have a look at my favourite crazy Tokyo foods!

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The ‘I Just Can’t Wait to go to Disney’ Tag

Its now 20 days til Dad and I leave for our Disney trip, so it was perfect timing when the lovely Lizi tagged me to do the ‘I Just Can’t Wait to go to Disney’ tag!

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1. How do you get extra excited for your Disney trips?

To be honest, counting down to my next Disney trip is always the most exciting thing, but what really make a countdown extra special is having so many supportive friends and followers who always seem just as excited for my upcoming trip as I am! I also love planning, so spending ages sorting out the details of my trip is actually so much fun for me!

2. How do you feel the few days before your trip?

Oh my gosh, I can’t even describe. There’s a lot of squealing and jumping around, and also a little bit of worrying about things I might have forgotten about, ha! Before my last WDW trip, I actually made myself physically sick with excitement, and the same thing happened when I arrived in Tokyo Disneyland, but I never let it hold me back for too long!

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3. What are the things you are most excited about?

Oh where to start! The magic always starts when you see the first road sign, then when you see the parks for the first time, then laying eyes on the castle and knowing that you’re back; that’s pretty much the best feeling! I also get so excited for parades and character meets, and for Disney park food!

4. When you see the park for the first time of your trip, how do you react?

Its a combination of butterflies and pure excitement, and there’s a lot of failing to fight back tears!

5. What do you like to do while travelling to Disney?

Depends on how I’m travelling. I drove to Disneyland Paris back in October, so I was busy concentrating on the road, but whenever I fly to Orlando or California, I pack out long flights with plenty of films, reading, writing and daydreaming!

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6. What do you pack when you go to Disney?

I have my special Disney backpack, which at all times contains my planning notebook, camera, autograph book, sunglasses, phone, purse etc, and usually a few changes of Mickey ears just to be on the safe side! My outfits are always carefully planned (and I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed to admit that), and sensible shoes are a must, along with all the relevant accessories. I also like to try and pack efficiently so I can maximise space for souvenirs to bring home!

7. Do you count down the days until your next Disney trip, and how?

Always, that’s what iPhone apps are for, right?! Since I upgraded to an iPhone 5S, my new app counts down to the second, which is super exciting!

If you’ve got a Disney trip coming up, I TAG YOU!

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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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Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

Tokyo Disney has three Disney hotels, as well as six ‘official’ hotels, five partner hotels and a load of Good Neighbour hotels, so finding somewhere to stay nearby is not a difficult thing to do, but the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel takes the cake if you ask me! Ok, this was the only place we stayed and we didn’t get any of the other hotels, but just look at it:

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If the exterior doesn’t drop your jaw to the floor, then the lobby definitely will!

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During our stay, we actually stayed in two different rooms: a standard room for the first night, then we moved into a family room for the rest. Both rooms had the same decor, a gorgeous classic design, with elements of Beauty and the Beast throughout, so the only difference between the two was the size. The standard room had two double beds (although double is a generous term, these beds were so narrow my parents ended up sleeping separately!), but had a roll-out and a sofa bed as well, whereas the family room had three doubles and a roll-out, and also a sitting room area with a sofa and another tv, and both rooms had a sink area, a toilet, and a wet room with a shower and bath.

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As well as the beautiful lobby, the hotel also has several gift shops, restaurants and a swimming pool (which is pretty small, just to warn you!). It also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for your little princesses, and some really pretty gardens to stroll around.

The hotel is literally on the doorstep of Tokyo Disneyland, and less than 100 metres from the monorail station, so there’s no worry about transport to and between the parks, and guests staying at Disney hotels get early access to the parks – only 15 minutes but its worth it – as well as all the extra Disney magic that staying on site provides!

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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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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.

Tokyo DisneySea

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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