Tokyo Disney Resort: Monorail back in operation … & more videos!

Continuing our coverage from Friday and Saturday we are glad to be able to report some good news as the non-Disney centered media such as Deadline Hollywood just picked up on the on-going closure of both theme parks as reported here already on Saturday. In fact those reports are also related to todays good news: the announced closure of the two theme parks is unchanged, i.e. the resort is still planning to make a decision about a re-opening only around 21st March when they are able to include the developments regarding the transportation and infrastructure outside the resort into their decision as well. However, despite this the resort’s Monorail has returned to service!

Earlier the fact that a lot of the liquefaction on the parking lot seemed to have occured close to the beams of the monorail track had resulted in speculation (also by us) that this may result in a prolonged closure of the Monorail. However, this turned out to be wrong. You want proof of that? Here it is … in the form of two videos:

The first short video by YouTube user “mikkyland” shows the walk up to the monorail station next to the official non-Disney operated hotels of the resort, after showing some of the damage to the ground here the monorail can be seen going by:

The second video, running an impressive 7:43 min shows a full circle ride on the monorail. Starting at the Tokyo DisneySea station. “mikkyland” filmed the view toward the two parks (i.e. to the interior of the circle formed by the track) so that we can see both parks as well as Ikspiari. Note the cast member waving up from the area in front of the gates toward the monorail when it returns to the Tokyo DisneySea station at the end of the movie There is no visible damage to any of the show building or backstage buildings seen on the whole tour, in fact the whole backstage areas visible seem undamaged. The only clearly visible more massive damage is a lot of liquefaction residue on the main parking lot of the two theme parks:

Both videos were filmed on Saturday. A third video provided by “mikkeyland” was filmed at the entrance to Tokyo Disneyland shortly after the massive earthquake (that has been upgraded to 9.0 on the Richter scala in the meantime according to some press reports) hit initially. While there are no spectacular visuals in this third video one can hear the English language version of the pre-recorded “earthquake”-announcement played throughout both parks. To watch the video follow this link to YouTube.

Below the jump you can find more videos filmed at the resort in the aftermath of the earthquake (adding to the selection provided in our original two posts) …

Maybe one of the most interesting new videos that surfaced on the second day after the earthquake was provided by “bloisyjenkins”. With live English commentary and subtitles regarding the time line and current happenings in the park it chronicles the sitation in Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland from the initial earthquake till 5 hours later when at least a small number of guests were allowed to leave the theme park (even so transportation means outside the resort were extremly limited at this time) – thanks to The Disney Blog (unofficial) for fiunding this video on YouTube! The video shows how the cast members and guests react calmly and wait out the earthquake as well as aftershocks seated on the ground. When rain sets in and it gets colder cast members hand out plastic garbage bags as temporary rain covers (and against the cold). Once the security checks are done and the number of aftershocks decreases guests are then allowed to take shelters in the restaurants in the area:

Just as interesting is the following video chronicling the aftermath of the earthquake throughout Friday in Tokyo DisneySea by JoeInJpon. Also providing English subtitles it starts in Cape Cod right after the earthquake hits before it moves on to the Mideterranean Harbor and later on the Aquasphere Plaza. It also shows that at 4:34 pm an English announcement was made regarding a check of the buildings for safety and the interruption of all metro lines as well as the closure of all highways. Later during the evening around 7:24 pm it shows that guests were allowed into building (in this case the Zambini Brothers Restaurant). The resort continued making announcement concerning the transportation situation in Japanese and English, e.g. as the one recorded at 7:31 pm. Around minute 9 of the 12 minute video (including various still photos in the final minutes) the camera also shows the nearly toppled over loud-speaker pole at the amphi theater at the main lagoon that can be seen starting to lean over in one of the videos in our original posts covering the earthquake’s impact.

The next two videos of this selection are provided by YouTube user “keiproj”. Both are very short. One shows the liquefaction effect on the bus parking lot, while the other shows one of the results as a part of the ground has separated and moves back and forth on the normally massive earth beneath it like on water:

The next video by “hirokin0830″ was filmed in the Cape Cod area of Tokyo DisneySea and starts only seconds into the initial earthquake tremors. While most other videos showing guests showed them very calm here some screaming can be heard in the background. Nevertheless, the guests react calm and move to the ground immediately while cast members can be seen running onto the scene and into action. Take note of the person holding on to the steel cable usually tighlty holding the tree to the ground and how he (and the tree as well as the cable) start swinging due to the earthquake:

YouTube user “ally010162″ on his/her YouTube channel is providing four videos that might be interesting as well. There is two short videos of calm guests sitting on the ground around the lagoon of TDS after the earthquake has hit, one of damage to the walkways outside the theme parks in the resort and then a short fourth video taken inside the Sinbad ride -however, there are (lacking any understanding of Japanese) we can not confirm whether this video is related to the earthquake (if anyone of our readers may understand Japanese and can deduct anything from the audio of the video: please let us all know in the comments to this post!).

There are other videos, however, which clearly show the earthquake hitting and impacting the operation of attractions. For example “ucchi5000″ was seated on board of one of boats of “it’s a small world” still inside the loading station when the earthquake hit. The video shows how the boat suddenly starts moving and the water slashing from the left to the right being put in motion by the remors of the earthquake:

YouTube user “kakenori” shows in a lengthy 10 minute video the seconds from the initial impact when his group is seated in one of the boats in the station of the Jungle Cruise at Tokyo Disneyland, with cast members holding the boat at the loding dock, until they are asked to disembark minutes later, then sitting on the ground in the covered queue line until that one is evacuated as well and guests are asked to move out into the open for their own protection.

YouTube user “takimakiunko” has uploaded a series of 9 videos. They start with the earthquake hitting while “takimakiunko” was at the World Bazar. Interestingly the video shows that guests were allowed to stay in teh shops for a while, even as the lamps suspended from the ceiling start swinging. Only after a while they are asked to leave from inside the shop and the covered street of World Bazar. The following videos were filmed on the entrance plaza during one of the immediate aftershocks and then with “takimakiunko” walking around the grounds of the resort outside the park. These last 5 videos might be os special interest here, as the not only show some of the damage to the ground but also give a first look at the grounds surrounding the Disneyland Hotel – no visible damage here.

As reported in our Saturday coverage guests who had to stay overnight in the two theme parks from Friday to Saturday due to the shut down of transportation in the area around the resort were moved indoors, some of them into indoor-queue areas (such as at Space Mountain) others into restaurants. David Landsel, the Travel Editor of The New York Post, who had tweeted live from inside the parks as he was stranded there ovenright now added a photo from this phase on twitpic showing guests seated inside the Cafe Portofinio (in TDS) on the tables waiting out the night.

Those interested how life is for the cast members of the resort with the current closure might want to check out the latest video upload from “TheNateShaw” on YouTube, an entertainment cast member of the resort from the UK, who allows viewers a look into his room at E-Village (where international cast members live) and provides an update on the water and food situation.

The prayers and best wishes of all of us here at the Mousekingdom Blog remain with everyone impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan as well as be the nuclear emergency that has occured in their aftermath. Please post in the comments and / or contact us if you have any further news regarding the developing situation in TDR!

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