The first thing you realize on arriving at Tokyo Disneyland is that there are almost no families there. 90% of the crowd is Japanese hipster teens. To be fair, if they were the equivalent American teen, they’d probably just be zitty virgins buying their clothes at Forever 21. But since I don’t speak Japanse, they seem cool to me. Most of the guys style themselves after various anime (Japanese cartoon) and manga (Japanese comic book) characters – spiked-up, David Bowie hair, long trenchcoats, sometimes giant swords on their backs. And the women…Japanese women look like they could be fifteen anyway. But to see actual fifteen year-olds in the midst of winter wearing heavy coats, scarves, and boots with short-shorts is enough to make me want to play Humbert Humbert. Tokyo Disneyland managed to do something the Disney parks here never did – make themselves relevant to someone other than toddlers and Disney fags. It was odd to see dozens of average male Japanese teens walking around with collectible Stitch-topped popcorn buckets around their necks, waiting in half-hour lines to fill them up with mocha-flavored popcorn.
Or stunningly attractive, weiner-teasing Japanese goth-Lolitas clutching $40-a-pop Disney teddy bears (apparently to open Tokyo Disneyseas, a park that’s as related to Tokyo Disneyland as California Adventure is to regular Disneyland, Minnie Mouse gave Mickey “Duffy,” a teddy bear to take on a cruise with him; for some reason, roughly 50% of the people there owned at least one Duffy and many bought him fancy outfits that started at $30 each). The other really strange thing about Tokyo Disneyland is that aside from the food – where alongside a burger, you’ll see katsu curry or they’ll take a perfectly good churro and ruin it by flavoring it with lemon and honey – everything else is the good old American Disney characters. So when you walk into an attraction like the Mickey Mouse Symphony (which used to be a featured show at Disney World in Florida), it’s a little unsettling to see Donald Duck suddenly start screaming at you in Japanese. But this is probably to be expected from a country where department store food courts sell $240 boxes of cherries, bagels come in the regular flavors plus green tea and vanilla chip and the women’s PBA features gorgeous, petite creatures instead of the normal dykey bowlers.
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