USJ, Nagashima Spaland, DisneySea
Here's the first part of my trip to 3 parks in Japan in Spring 2016. I have a lot of pictures to add so I'll just be doing this a little bit at a time.

The first park is Universal Studios Japan.

This is the second time I've visited this park, the last time was in 2010. Last time it cost about $45, this time it was around $60 plus $60 more for a fast-pass package that I probably didn't need because of the rain later in the day. I went with some friends who are living in Japan. We went during Golden Week which is a week long holiday and probably the busiest time to visit.

We went to Harry Potter land first since they apparently only let in so many people at a time.



Then we had to rush for the new ride which we had a specific time to ride. This is the longest flying roller coaster in the world, and the first one I've been on. It was really fun, but I felt more like I was sitting in a seat at a weird angle than really flying. If your legs and knees were straight it might feel like flying, but they're bent just like any sit-down roller coaster. You go from being on your stomach to being on your back during inversions which doesn't give you the same upside-down feeling.







We also rode Jurassic Park, which I rode last time as well. Still a great ride. I've never been to another Universal Park so I don't know how it really compares to the ones here.

Twirling Ribbons 
Next was the ride with the greatest name ever: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu XR Ride. This is a spinning indoor roller coaster that was previously known as Space Fantasy before having VR headsets and Japanese pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu added to it. The cars are laid out the same as Spider at Lagoon. As I suspected, the normally spinning cars are prevented from spinning and only the forward facing seats are loaded so that the VR works right. This cuts the capacity to half, and the line took forever.





They gave me some instructions on using the VR, the important point is to look directly forward when you put the headset on. It calibrates when you put it on, so if you're looking the wrong direction everything will be in the wrong place. They chained the headset to the side of the car before the ride started.


The 3d and head tracking with the VR worked perfectly. I was surprised by how good it was. It was better than the video effects (but not the props) on Back to the Future, Spiderman and Harry Potter, pretty good for something running off a cell phone. I didn't get a chance to ride this when it was Space Fantasy, so I can't compare. I did briefly peek out of my headset and it appeared the Space Fantasy props were still in place and lit up.


For a park like Universal, which likes to show you a lot of film, VR seems like it has a very big potential. I really enjoyed it.
Twirling Ribbons 
We spent some time in the Snoopy/Hello Kitty/Sesame Street themed kids area.

This reminded me a lot of OdySea at Lagoon. 

This is so cool.

This would have been my favorite ride ever when I was little. I wish I could have ridden it.

I did ride this and it was like teacups in the sky.

Too much Elmo for me.
Twirling Ribbons 
We went back to Harry Potter land later and it was much less crowded due to rainy weather.


One of my friends is afraid of roller coasters, but we managed to get her on this one. She was terrified and I was underwhelmed. Nothing bad about it though.


I don't even like Harry Potter, but I have to say this (below) is the single best ride I've ever been on. I rode it three times. It is amazing. The only problem is the 3D glasses that they give you for the movie bits interfere with the view of the props. I figured out it was better not to wear them after the first ride. This thing is a dark ride with the seats on a robotic arm with wheels on it going around a track. It is the best ride system on earth IMO.


As with my first visit to this park, I spent a good portion of the day being confused by the "America" themed areas. I constantly had to check to see if cars were coming when I'd enter the (fake) streets and so on.

Twirling Ribbons 

Just before the park closed I managed to get one ride on Hollywood Dream (B&M Hypercoaster). I rode it a few times on my previous trip to the park, but I think I enjoyed it much more at night when the lights of Osaka were visible. It was a really great ride to go out on. Sorry I didn't get a picture.

At the end of the night everybody meets up at the Globe just outside the gates.


Then they move on to slightly overpriced American-style restaurants and bars on the USJ "Citywalk".


The end.

Coming Soon-ish:

The next trip was to Nagashima Spaland. It was the strangest amusement park visit that I've ever had. Unfortunately my camera died early on in the day, but I've still got some good pictures to upload. It will probably take me a little white to get it posted.
Twirling Ribbons 
Thanks for the report and the photos so far. Lots of fun stuff to look at.
Looks interesting. Thanks for sharing the report. I rode Stealth - a flying coaster - when it was at Great America in California. It was one of the major reasons we decided to go to that park and we were all really disappointed. It was a lot like you described this one. It didn't feel like anything special. It seemed like most of the time we were on our backs, or at least there wasn't enough time we spent inverted to feel like we were flying. Suspended coasters feel more like flying than that one did.

Looking forward to hearing about the other parks.
Awesome! Can't wait for the rest Luke!!!!

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DISCLAIMER: This post contains my own personal views and opinions and do not reflect the views and opinions of any Company or Organization. Furthermore, I do not purport to speak on behalf of any Company or Organization and it's views or opinions.
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