Toastmasters Speech #4: How to Say It
Today I’m going to take you to my favorite theme park: Tokyo Disney Sea.
Disney Sea was originally slated for construction in southern California, but they decided to build Disney Adventureland there instead. It ended up being built next to the Disneyland just outside of Tokyo. It’s an easy ride by train from downtown Tokyo, so hop on, and come along with me (pantomime boarding a train, holding on to an overhead strap).
Everything about Disney Sea is related to water, and we’ll visit these ports of call: The Mediterranean Harbor, The Mysterious Island, and The Mermaid Lagoon. OK, here we are (pantomime getting off the train). We’re early, but ticket lines can be long, and I believe in entering a theme park right when it opens, since you can get a lot accomplished in the first hour, before the crowds roll in.
We walk briskly past balloon sellers. Nobody will buy a balloon now, but they want you and your kids to remember they’re there for when you’re about to leave the park.
Now in front of us is a lake, surrounded by Italian shops and Italian restaurants. It’s the Mediterranean Harbor. You can ride a Venetian gondola over here, or visit the spa at the Bella Vista hotel over there. We’ll come back this afternoon, because instead of a parade down Main Street like at Disneyland, Disney Sea has a boat show. We’ll see performers manipulating kites off the back of jet skis, and five fantastical ships. At the front, like figureheads, they each have a mythological creature, and at the back, an enormous egg.
I’ll describe one of them to you. Once it clears under a bridge to enter the lake, a winged dragon shifts from horizontal to vertical, and begins to breathe fire. The egg at the back opens up, revealing costumed actors who sing and dance. A platform atop a pole rises sixty feet in the air, and who do you think is up there? Mickey Mouse, of course.
Behind the lake looms an earthen-colored volcano. We enter the crater through a passageway, and we’re in a whole other world, The Mysterious Island, based on the books of Jules Verne. The crater’s partly filled with water for a ride called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We enter the volcano wall to board the ride Journey to the Center of the Earth. Our car first takes us down, where our eyes feast on sparkling gems and pink and purple minerals. But then we catch a lava flow and the ride becomes a fast-paced roller coaster that spirals us up and spits us out the top of the volcano.
Next to the volcano is the Mermaid Lagoon. Fresh popped popcorn is sold throughout the park in different flavors, like strawberry and chocolate, but here, take a whiff. Yes, the popcorn flavor is sea salt. We enter an underground area named Triton’s Kingdom, and suddenly it’s nighttime. The stars are twinkling above. It’s like we’re inside an aquatic version of It’s a Small World. We can ride on swirling, twirling kelp cups, or float up and down on friendly jellyfish.
We’re here for a live, 15-minute theatrical perfornance of “The Little Mermaid.” It’s Broadway quality! The air above us is the ocean. Ariel, with her long red hair and a green fish tail, is wired to a trapeze threaded through her costume. One minute, she’s sitting on a rock, examining the contents of her treasure box, like a fork and a tobacco pipe. The next, she’s soaring above us, singing, “I want to be where the people are, I want to see want to see them dancing.”
Floating puppeteers maneuver Flounder the fish and evil Ursula the sea witch. But ther’s a happy ending, with Sebastian the crab leading his finny friends in a rousing rendition of “Under the Sea.”
At night back at the Mediterranean Harbor, we watch a show with creatures that rise up out of the water and look like they were built from metallic erector sets, shooting fire. Fireworks light up the sky in starbursts of yellow and green. And doesn’t that firework up there look like Mickey Mouse?
The park’s closing now, and we trudge back to the train station, passing those balloon sellers, who are now doing a brisk business. I hope you enjoyed visiting the Mediterranean Harbor, the Mysterious Island and the Mermaid Lagoon with me at Tokyo Disney Sea, and that one day you’ll go there yourselves.