Culture · Disney · Japanese Pop Culture · Living in Japan · Pictures

Halloween! Lots of Fun, Lots of Screaming.

welcome to Halloween
welcome to Halloween

Can you think of a better way to celebrate everyone’s favorite rumbling-in-the-tummy-honey-loving-bear and his friends’ birthday than going to Disney Land? I didn’t think so.

Now, for a warning. This post is going to be extremely graphic heavy, but all of the pictures are great so you should feel happy about waiting for the page to load

Yesterday I took the day off to go, once again, to Tokyo Disney Land to check out their Halloween theme. As many times as I have been there, I always happened to go to Disney Sea when Land was doing Halloween, so I was really glad to finally get to see all the decorations and parades. This year, Disney Sea is also, for the first time, doing Halloween but, I think I am going to have to check that out next year.

Anyway, I had my alarm set for 6 am, but I ended up waking up at 5 am because I was too excited. Instead of trying to go back to sleep, I decided not to fight the urge to wake up, and decided to take advantage of the situation . I took my time getting ready and actually made a decent breakfast and a nice big cup of coffee. After all prep was done and I made sure to bring our Disney Sea Spring Carnival popcorn holder for cheap refills of crazy popcorn flavors, Jun and I biked to the station and started the hour train ride to Maihama Station. This station is not “Disney Land” station, but it does play “It’s a Small World” whenever a train stops. It really gets you in the Disney mood.

Thinking that going on a week day as opposed to a weekend, we were pretty surprised to see the masses of people swarming the gates into the park. Our spirits ridiculously high (Jun and I are both Disney fanatics) we decided to sprint to the gates to get our tickets as quickly as possible. Tickets in hand, we entered the park and started our 9 am to 10 pm Disney-filled day.

outside of Cinderella's caste
outside of Cinderella's caste

We started the day by snagging fast passes to Splash Mountain. I am not sure if the same system is installed in America or not (it has been a long time since I went to Disney Land in LA), but a “fast pass” is essentially a ticket to get you on a ride faster. You insert your park ticket into a special machine and get another ticket with a start and end time on it. This start time signifies when you can use the pass to get on a certain ride. You are only allowed to use your face pass once every two hours or so, but it is extremely useful. For example, the wait for Splash Mountain was around 90 minutes when we were able to use our fast passes, and we only waited about 10 minutes to ride. Despite the park being more crowded than we expected, we were still able to get fast passes for all the attractions. On really crowded days, rides like Splash Mountain are out of fast passes for the entire day in the first 30 minutes of the park’s opening

After getting our first fast passes of the day, we decided to head over to Western Land (known to everyone else as Frontier Land) and over to the Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes for some exercise. Our canoe guide was really funny and energetic, but I think he spent most of his time laughing at the group’s rowing skills. The woman sitting in front of me could not find the rhythm and was throwing off everyone else. Thankfully, I don’t think it really matters if people row or not though. If it did, we might still be out there rowing.

After canoeing around, we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain was one of my favorite rides when I was younger, but I have not been able to ride it very often because the wait is always so long. Thankfully, 30 minutes was all it was (it it typically around 90 easily), so we road that and then went back to Splash Mountain to ride that as well. We then headed over to the Haunted Mansion which was decked out in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” décor. The ride itself was also all Nightmare Before Christmas related and, to be totally honest, was a lot more Christmasy than it was Halloween. I was glad that we were able to grab a fast pass for this ride as opposed to waiting in the long line.

Walt Dinsey and Mickey with a lot of pumpkins
Walt Dinsey and Mickey with a lot of pumpkins

Next, we grabbed our first batch of curry popcorn of the day and wandered around to check out the decorations. All of Disney Land was covered in jack-o-lanterns of all shapes and sizes including some that had Disney character’s faces carved on them. My personally favorite was the Winnie the Pooh pumpkin. After I took a few pictures and we finished our popcorn, we decided to watch the Country Bear show that was vacation themed and super ridiculous. When the show finished, we grabbed spots outside the theater to watch Disney’s “Re-Villains” parade. This parade was awesome and had some of the best costumes and musical track – I still have the song stuck in my head.

Pictures and videos do more justice than me trying to explain everything, so I will post a few pictures and videos now for you to enjoy. To start things off, I will post two videos that I found on Youtube that user jasonpan took of the entire parade. They were located by Minnie’s float (jealous!), so you can see her senerio in detail. I was too busy taking pictures of Mickey as our seats were located right where his float stopped.

The general premise of the parade is that the Disney Characters are throwing a Christmas party and inviting everyone. The Disney villains try to crash and take over the party by casting a spell on everyone and making them their minions (including the audience) but the Disney Characters encourage us to fight off the evil and end up defeating the villains.

Diney’s Re-Villains Parade

Now, for some pictures from the parade. I seriously took 20 pictures of Mickey and I swear that he waved at me and that he struck a Sailor Moon pose while dancing.

Minnie!
Minnie!
Ursula makes her appearance!
Ursula makes her appearance!
she was attached to Mickey's ocean themed float
she was attached to Mickey's ocean themed float
the most awesome costume in the parade. She is a jellyfish
the most awesome costume in the parade. She is a jellyfish
Mickey waved at me!
Mickey waved at me!

After the parade we decided to get something light to eat before heading over to watch another show. This show was called “Minnie O Minnie” and featured…well…Minnie. Maybe it is a sign that I have been in Japan too long, but I have rediscovered a small obsession with Minnie and everything cute about her (hence why I wore a Minnie ribbon in my hair all day). The show took place in New Orleans Theatre and started out with Minnie being a muse dancing in an opera-like fashion with the fairies of comedy, dance, song, and music. Minnie suddenly stops and tells the fairies that she appreciates everything they have done, but that they are too old fashioned . The music then takes a big turn and switches tempo to Mexican and salsa based music complete with resident foreigner singing in Spanish. The costumes in this show were also amazing, but I have to say that the dance they tried to teach the audience was a little too much hip movement for the small amount of space we were given.

from the Minnie O Minnie show
from the Minnie O Minnie show

After the show, we thought that we should actually sit down and get some lunch, so we went to our traditional lunch spot over in Tomorrow Land and got some pizza. We had grabbed fast passes for Space Mountain earlier, so after eating lunch and taking a little break, we road it and avoided the close to two hour line.

Wall-e and Eve
Wall-e and Eve

We jumped around the park looking for rides that did not have long waits and checked out a few of the gift shops to see what sorts of things were being sold. Japan sells a ridiculous amount of goods at Disney Land and there are certainly things that I am sure few people in America would buy and wear around Disney Land. These include giant fluffy hats and Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s hand shaped ear muffs.

modeling some of the hats sold
modeling some of the hats sold
I think I over did it on the Minnie merchandise...
I think I over did it on the Minnie merchandise...

We then wandered around Toon Town and played around in Donald’s home for awhile. A few of the real little kids took a real interest in me and my popcorn container. This one little boy kept “talking” to me and playing with my container. I was quizzing him on who the characters were and asked him who his favorite character was. He was really cute and his parents seemed pleased that he had made a “friend.” I really wanted to wait and see Mickey, but Jun insisted that waiting an hour for a picture was not the best use of our time. Rain check on that I guess.

We went on a few more rides and by the time we road Pirates of the Caribbean it was already dark. The entire park had an orange and purple glow from the decorations and the pumpkins were totally amazing to look at and very difficult to take pictures of. At night, another parade was scheduled, but it ended up being pretty much the same parade that we had seen earlier only this time it was the Disney characters who made and appearance to teach the villains that Halloween is a holiday for everyone to celebrate. For this parade, Jun and I were located by Chip and Dale and their paired villains Claude Frollo (Hunchback of Norte Dame) and Hades (Hercules). Hades…look a little ridiculous and I had a hard time getting past his hair.

Cinderella's Castle at night
Cinderella's Castle at night

We spent our remaining hours at the park watching the fireworks display and catching any rides we could that did not have a long wait. We ended up spinning way too fast on Alice’s Tea Cups to the point where we had to sit down for several minutes to stop our heads from spinning – it was awesome. We grabbed one last batch of soy sauce and butter flavored popcorn before ending our day with one more ride on Pirates of the Caribbean – a tradition of ours. We headed to the station just as the announcement was made that the park was closing and were lucky enough to get seats on the train ride back. We both instantly passed out and woke up one stop before our stop. By the time we arrived back at the apartment, we were exhausted and almost fell asleep before we even hit the bed.

Disney Land, thank you for being so awesome.

As always, all my pictures from the day can be found at my Dotphoto page.

8 thoughts on “Halloween! Lots of Fun, Lots of Screaming.

  1. You two really know how to get the most out of a day at Disneyland. Back in the day I think it was Bear Town that your dad went up on stage and sang with the bears. I know he got picked out of the audience to do something.

    Like the picture of you and Jun and all the Minnie stuff.

    Dawn’s daughter will have to go and see the Haunted Castle–she is really into the Nightmare Before Christmas–even had it as the theme for her wedding.

    1. Wow, I wish that I remembered Dad going up on stage and singing with the bears! When we road Big Thunder Mountain, I distinctly remembered Dad making all sorts of noises on the last up hill area where there is an earthquake in the mine. Also him singing along to Zip-a-dee-do-da when we road Splash Mountain.

      Sadly, I did not buy all the Minnie stuff. I think that would be a little too much. The mittens were really comfortable though.

      Not so sure about a Nightmare Before Christmas themed wedding…the movie is a little too creepy for my tastes…

  2. I love Tokyo Disney so much. Annie, Alex and I went last year in October and it was great. Looks like you and Jun had an awesome time!

  3. Love the pictures!

    I was just in Disney World in Florida a few weeks ago. They had the fast pass system there too. We didn’t have to use it much because September is “off season” and though the park was a bit crowded, there were times we could just walk right on Splash Mountain–once it was just my hubby and I and one woman in the boat that normally holds 8.

    Didn’t get to see any Halloween parades though–we were a week or two too early for that.

    1. See, I don’t think the fast pass system was installed the last time I went to Disney Land/World…

      Japan tends to start their holidays really early. Next month they are already going to have the Christmas decorations up…

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