I installed VMware Player 5.0.0 today and Ubuntu 12.04.1
Ubuntu cannot see the Windows drives or external drive. I am using Windows 7 64 bit - do I need to use Ubuntu 64 bit also?
That's rather the way virtualization works. When you define your virtual machine you define what it is and what data it can see. When you run that machine it can't do anything outside of what you have defined.
This is a reason virtualization is often used for testing or "sandboxing" -- it can control both innocent and malicious program errors from destroying important data.
I believe that one can define additional disk resources for vmplayer by defining and using .vmx files that point to additional file strorage for the virtual machine; and that there is a wizard for defining such additional hardware. I don't know about the availability of these features.
Ubuntu also has includes a virtual-manager and qemu-kvm which can be used to define virtual machines and what they contain.
If I understand you correctly, you have made a virtual machine using VMware player, and you are running Ubuntu 12.04.1 on this virtual machine.
I believe your VMware player does not see your windows drives, because as far as the virtual machine is concerned, the windows drives are running on another machine. You would have to access your windows drives as drives you access over the network, or follow the information in how-do-i-access-the-hosts-hard-drive-in-vmware.