The Story of TDRExplorer
My name is Chris Nilghe (pronounced nell-gay) aka TDRExplorer and I started this as a place to share my theme park adventures. Over the years, TDRExplorer has evolved into a resource for passionate theme park fans who are looking to make the best of their trips to Asia.
We all have a story that shaped us into who we are. Here’s mine.
Growing Up In Northern Canada
I grew up in Northern Canada with a diverse background of both Indigenous (Chipewyan) and European descent. My father taught me the importance of spirituality while my mother showed me how to be resilient (and make delicious perogies).
Growing up bi-racial my childhood was full of challenges, however, that taught me to see things from both sides. I’m immensely proud of my Denésoliné (Chipewyan) and European heritage.
From an early age, it was rare to see me idle. I’d always be off on another adventure. From venturing into the forests behind our isolated northern home to exploring the ends of the world (or Bag End).
Exploration has always been a part of my DNA. My first international trip to Europe in 2003 ignited my passion to experience the world around me.
I was born to be an Explorer.
My late partner, John Himpe, and I met in 2009. John encouraged, nurtured, and loved me unconditionally. Over 10 transformative years, we grew together as queer men both professionally and personally.
In 2010, John surprised me with a graduation gift to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. Neither of us knew this simple gift would change the course of our lives.
Without John's love, none of what you see would have been possible. I miss you each day and I'll never stop loving you.
I began this website under the name “Fat Hobbit” in 2009 as a place to chronicle my travels. The intention wasn’t for only theme parks but documenting the places I’ve been, so I could relive fond memories.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to explore more theme parks around the globe. It wasn’t until 2013 when I made the move to Japan that I changed the name to “TDRExplorer.” This is when I began focusing on theme parks in Asia, which included Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan.
Then in 2016, I was unexpectedly fired from my job in Tokyo. This pivotal moment in my career, I decided to go all in with TDRExplorer. Making this my full-time endeavour.
Where We're Going
What started out as a simple pixels on the internet has evolved into a beautiful resource for a community passionate about travel and theme parks. Our team has exploded into diverse talent from around the globe.
I want to continue this momentum to inspire others to discover their own creative journeys.
Not only do I want to show everyone they can travel. I want to show my Indigenous brothers and sisters that you too can travel, succeed, and make a difference in the world in your unique way.
That your voice does matter.
The team behind TDRExplorer is passionate about theme parks and travel within Asia. We're dedicated to helping everyone plan a trip of a lifetime.
Founder & Chief Content Editor
Photography & Video
UX & Explorer Support
Hong Kong Explorer
Want to reach an engaged audience interested in theme parks, pop culture, and travel in Japan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China?
Our talented and creative team will assist in bringing your brand to TDR Explorer. We can also work with you to craft unique products.