Not traditionally celebrated in Japan, Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort is a ghoulishly delightful experience for local (and visiting) Disney fans alike. Join us as we continue our Halloween experiences at Tokyo DisneySea in part two of this article.
In part one we shared the cheerful Halloween festivities at Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo DisneySea harbored a darker (yet, not scary) Villain’s theme for the season.
Love Halloween? You’ll find many delightful Disney details, but also some fascinating differences at Tokyo DisneySea.
Halloween Decorations at Tokyo DisneySea
Monorails don’t escape the magic at Tokyo Disney resort. It was festively Halloween from the time you set foot on the resort line monorail. Each Mickey-shaped monorail hand-grip was charmed with a colorful witch’s hat.
Banners along top advertised ‘Disney’s Halloween 2016.’ Each banner showcased pictures of the iconic Disneyland castle, as well as Mount Prometheus, the symbol for Tokyo DisneySea.
Tokyo DisneySea’s entry arch was draped in festive orange, purple, and black banners for Halloween. Jewel-toned pumpkin lanterns completed the look.
These decorations continued throughout the Portofino-inspired buildings of Mediterranean Harbor. Claude Frollo’s hat adorns this Halloween banner above the Il Postino Stationery store.
This year’s Halloween theme, “Welcome to the Villain’s World: Wishes and Desires,” complemented Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th Anniversary “Year of Wishes” celebrations.
This “Villains Haven” arch led to a food cart selling seasonal Halloween cocktails. Yes, alcohol is served at Tokyo DisneySea.
A large Villain’s display near the Tower of Terror featured notorious Disney baddies in stained-glass style. We see familiar villains often used stateside (Maleficent, Hook, Ursula, Jafar, Chernabog, and Facilier).
Tokyo seemed to showcase other Disney villains as well (Lady Tremaine, Shan Yu, Claude Frollo, Governor Ratcliffe, and Shere Khan).
Here is the display lit at night, with jeweled Villain-pumpkins on top. The SS Columbia’s red smokestacks are visible behind. (Not the sailing ship Columbia at Disneyland Anaheim, the SS Columbia represents a 20th-century ocean liner on the ‘American Waterfront.’)
Cape Cod was home to these Jack-o-lantern scarecrows, adding to the fall theme.
While Duffy and Shellie Mae are only mildly popular stateside, they have a huge fan base in Japan. We consistently saw more Duffy and Shellie Mae plush carried around by guests throughout the Tokyo Disney parks than Mickey or Minnie plush friends.
Here was a large store display with Duffy and Shellie Mae dressed for Trick-or-Treating.
Halloween festivities were included in your day-ticket price.
At Tokyo Disney Resort, there was no extra charge for Halloween entertainment. This included both Disneyland and DisneySea. While there was no free candy or Trick-or-Treating (Disneyland Paris does gives out candy with character meet-and-greets), we didn’t miss it.
The main show-parades at Tokyo DisneySea (such as Fantasmic) take place around ‘Mediterranean Harbor.’ There are three stages along the waterfront, and parade floats are elaborately-built ships individually themed to each parade.
Performers circle the entire waterfront during shows, and Disney characters embark and disembark each parade ship to dance on the waterfront stages.
Welcome to “The Villain’s World”
Tokyo DisneySea’s Halloween entertainment featured “The Villain’s World” daytime water parade. Because these parades are so popular, DisneySea regularly has multiple showings to accommodate all guests around the waterfront. We saw “Villain’s World” both times on Halloween.
Here’s the story behind the parade. The Disney Villains take over Tokyo DisneySea and host a grand Halloween party. They invite Mickey and his friends. Curious about the party, they accept the invitation. As “a sign of respect for their hosts,” Mickey and friends dress in costumes inspired by the Villains.
An armada of five ships sail with precision choreography to a dastardly-delectable English soundtrack. Maleficent opens the party, and the Villains each get a turn to show off their powers (speaking in Japanese). Here are the floats…
Mickey was ship-mates with Captain Hook and Smee. Hook’s ship had an impressive silver hook best viewed from the side. Hook’s hat formed the front of the ship.
Goofy (pictured later) rode on Jafar’s cobra-draped ship. The front of the ship highlights Jafar’s hat.
Hades, accompanied by Pain and Panic, lit up his ship with blue flames.
The Evil Queen’s ship featured her crown and a double ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.’
Minnie rode out on the Evil Queen’s ship.
Maleficent shared a ship with Ursula. Maleficent’s horns feature prominently, as well as Ursula’s tentacles. Daisy and Clarice tagged along for a ride.
If you could get a spot near the main stage (or two side stages), you would see Disney characters and dancers perform along the waterfront. The show cast (120-members strong) was as impressive as the details in their costuming. Here, Goofy is on stage as bubbles rise with Ursula-themed performers.
Minnie interacts with Ursula-themed dancers.
Evil Queen-themed cast perform along the waterfront. Note the guest seated in front has multiple plush character ‘dangles.’ Carrying large collections of these dangles around Tokyo Disney is very popular. Priced at about $18 a piece, we saw people with bags and jackets completely lined with them.
Flexible pirates joined in the creative choreography of the Villains show.
Donald, Chip, and Dale were dressed Greek-style, riding on Hades’ ship.
Disney characters got on and off the ships, and switched between stages, so everyone had a great view along Mediterranean Harbor. Here’s a closer look at Ursula, and Maleficent’s dragon wings on their ship.
Where else would jet skis be part of a Disney parade? Only at Tokyo DisneySea. The Evil Queen’s ship is framed against the sunset behind the Citadel.
Villains sail choreographed ships. Jet skis tow kites with tails. Fireworks fill the skies. Even Mount Prometheus participates, with a Mickey-shaped ball of flame. Welcome to “The Villain’s World.”
One last wave from Mickey, Minnie, and friends.
Having seen parades and spectaculars from all six Disney castles, “The Villain’s World” ranks as one of the top Disney productions overall.
Want to hear some of the soundtrack and see these ships in action? Here’s our video:
Tokyo Disney parks have designated ‘costume days’ when guests are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Disney characters. Think Comic-Con level cosplay, only with all-Disney characters.
It was interesting which Disney characters were represented here…some very different from favorites stateside. We saw Honest John and Gideon (villains from Pinocchio), a good number of Cruella de Vils, and many Toy Story green aliens.
Friends would coordinate and cosplay as the same character. It was common to see four red-headed Ariels, dressed exactly the same, walking through the park together.
Or, friends would cosplay as the same character in different outfits. (Think Belle in yellow gown, and Belle in blue dress/white apron).
There were some Anna and Elsa cosplays, but we loved this Belle and Beast cosplay. Females felt comfortable dressing as male characters (many of Tokyo Disney’s park attendees are female). This Beast costume was especially noteworthy.
When was the last time you saw Giselle from Enchanted?
Or Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dame? She is friends with Jasmine, photographed here on the Arabian Coast.
Hercules is enchanted by Megara… this couple found the perfect backdrop for their cosplay photos.
Gelatoni, the painter cat, is Duffy and Shellie Mae’s newest friend. We saw many people coordinating costumes with their Duffy pals. The golden ship is part of Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th Anniversary “Year of Wishes” celebration.
Twin Iracebeths caught up on last-minute shopping at the end of the day. These Red Queens had full face make-up too.
Of course, Tokyo Disney has exclusive season-specific merchandise. Some of the most popular were plush dangles of Disney characters in their Halloween costumes. These are collectible, as guests carry many of their favorite character dressed in different seasonal outfits.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy plush dangles are dressed for the “Villain’s World” parade. About $18 USD each.
Remember the large Halloween Duffy and Shellie Mae Trick-or-Treaters in Cape Cod? Of course, they sold matching costumes for your Duffy and Shellie Mae, as well as appropriately dressed plush dangles to accessorize your bags with. About $18 each.
Vending machines are an essential part of the Japanese culture. These were lenticular Halloween dangles, packaged in a clear ball, and distributed randomly from a vending machine. About $4 each.
Holiday seasons at Tokyo Disney resort always mean special food menus, complete with collectible cups, plates, and lunch totes. Duffy had his own set of Halloween food collectibles.
This is the Halloween 2016 Villain’s mug that came with a special dessert, pictured against Harrison Hightower’s “Tower of Terror.”
Of course, we had the difficult job of sampling these desserts… and we are happy to report that they were all absolutely delicious.
What do you find most fascinating about Tokyo DisneySea’s Halloween? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Gloria Hasler is a freelance travel writer and photographer. She is a professional travel consultant, owner of Chrysalis Travel, and – together with her husband – co-founder of the Six Castles Club.