Tokyo DisneySea Resort Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 10/22/2009
Disney hotels are well known for their superb theming and amazing customer service. Let's face it, they're not known for their value, compared to off property hotels, but when you stay at a Disney hotel, you certainly know what you're paying the extra for. That doesn't just apply at the Walt Disney World resort or Disneyland in California, it's something that holds true for the other Disney resorts around the world. It's something we were able to experience first-hand during our stay at the Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta.
Located inside the Tokyo DisneySea theme park, this hotel was a wonderful experience from start to finish. To get there, we caught the monorail to the Tokyo DisneySea stop and, the second we got off the monorail, we felt like royalty, with signs pointing the way to our own personal exit to the hotel.
The entrance is literally just a couple of minutes walk from the monorail station and, as we headed that way, we could see the resort facades. Immediately we were transported back to our Mediterranean cruise and some of the stunning Italian villages we had seen then.
But better was to come. The MiraCosta, just like the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, has a water feature outside the main entrance - a sculpture of a variety of sea animals, in keeping with the Tokyo DisneySea theme. As soon as we entered the lobby, our mouths fell open and we struggled to take it all in.
The lobby's centerpiece is a beautiful sculpture of a sailing ship, with seating around. various corridors go off at angles, and facilities are located all around the lobby. As we walked around, we found the check-in area, a short corridor leading to the resort shop, which had some wonderfully unique MiraCosta souvenirs in it, and two restaurants, Oceano, and Silk Road Garden.
We sampled Oceano's breakfast buffet and it was so good that we went back for a second day running. The setting is beautiful, with views overlooking Tokyo DisneySea. An amazing selection of breakfast items is on offer, both traditional Japanese ones and the more usual Western selections that we would expect to see.
Off the lobby is also a set of steps which we would later learn leads down to the Tokyo DisneySea entrance. This entrance even opens a few minutes before the park opening time to give resort guests the jump on everyone else. Yes, you read that right. Just like the Grand Californian at Disneyland Resort, this hotel has its own entrance into the theme park. However, unlike any other Disney resort in the world, this hotel is actually inside a theme park. The facades we had admired on the way in were, in fact, part of the theme park and overlooked the turnstiles where everyone else enters with their tickets.
We checked in and were immediately seen and assigned to a female Cast Member, who quickly sought out our luggage, safely delivered, and showed us the way to our room. We had debated long and hard over which type of room we should go for during our stay. To give you an idea of the choice, you can pick from three sides at this hotel.
The Tuscany side overlooks the main entrance of the park, but doesn't give you the best theme park views, as all you can see is the globe at the entrance, which reminded us of the one at Universal Orlando! The Venice side overlooks the Palazzo canals, a beautiful part of Tokyo DisneySea, but is the furthest from the lobby and main amenities. Then there's the Porto Paradiso side, which overlooks the main area of the park, Mediterranean Harbour, home to BraviSEAmo!, a nightly show on the lagoon. That was the side we chose, but then we had to pick between a harbour, piazza, or partial view. We went for the latter, as it was the cheapest. To give you an idea, our room cost around $350 a night, so even that option wasn't cheap.
When we got to our room down a maze of what felt like never-ending corridors, we both instantly agreed it had been the right choice and worth every penny. The room was much bigger than I'd expected, having read a number of horror stories about how tiny Japanese hotel rooms were. You enter through a short corridor with the bathroom and toilet to one side, in two separate rooms, split by the vanity area and tea and coffee making facilities to the other side of the corridor. There were two large beds, plenty of floor space for suitcases, a beautiful sofa and a writing desk and two chairs by the window.
The window drew my attention first of all, as I wanted to get our first glimpse of Tokyo DisneySea. I was not disappointed by what I found! Despite the fact that we had opted for the cheaper view, it was still stunning. We were side on to the lagoon, but could still see it clearly and could also see the rest of the Hotel MiraCosta. It was probably only at this moment that I realized exactly how integral it is to the theme park.
People enter through the turnstiles, see the giant globe at the entrance to the park, and then literally pass underneath the hotel, an area filled with souvenir shops as you'd expect from any good Disney park! Once you emerge into the Mediterranean Harbour part of the park, the buildings you see that make up the stunning vista are in fact the Hotel MiraCosta. Later on in our stay, we were even able to pick out our room from the park and get our photo in front of it! But the best part is, if you weren't staying at the hotel and if you didn't know to look for it, you'd never have a notion that people were actually in all the rooms you can see. It looks exactly like a facade, in the same way Main Street USA does.
The Cast Member who showed us to our room took the time to point out hidden Mickeys and even hidden Pinocchios, all in perfect English. This went for every Cast Member we encountered at the hotel. You don't need to speak a word of Japanese to stay here, as they can all communicate beautifully in English.
The location of the Hotel MiraCosta was a joy throughout our all-too-short stay there, particularly on the occasion we found ourselves freezing in the Tokyo DisneySea theme park. It only took me a five minute power walk to get back to the room and pick up another layer of clothing and then, using our special theme park entrance, to make my way back again. The monorail gave us exceptionally easy access to the rest of the resort, including the Tokyo Disneyland park and the Ikispiari shopping and entertainment complex.
There's no prize for guessing where we'll be staying when we return to Tokyo Disney. With theming that's out of this world and a superb location, for us, no other hotel at this Disney park can better the Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta.
Updated 10/22/2009 - Article #304
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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