Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll be celebrating Halloween by taking a look back at a parade that called Tokyo home and celebrating the holiday.
With Halloween this Monday, the Halloween festivities at Disney Parks around will finally be coming to a close. Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World have been in holiday mode since August, but fans at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort didn’t see their celebration begin until September 15th.
Tokyo Disneyland takes its celebration as seriously as its American counterparts, with it being the only other park that transforms Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday. There is almost always a specific Halloween parade at the resort as well, with the theme of it often changing from year to year. But for today, let’s jump back to September 12, 2007, when the Disney Halloween Happy Haunted Parade debuted at Tokyo Disneyland.
This parade was pretty fascinating because it was completely centered around one attraction, fittingly for the season, the Haunted Mansion. What made it particularly wild in this case was that The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay had already been a part of the park for three years by this point, so this parade was focused on a version of the ride that was slightly different than what they could experience if they walked just a bit over to ride it in Fantasyland.
The other surprising choice that they made was not using a spooky song, instead opting for a more upbeat tune that focused a lot on the fact that there were 999 ghosts by having the chorus repeat “one more ghost to reach a thousand.” That being said, I still thought that the song was super catchy and fit the parade super well, plus it just appealed a bit more to a general audience.
The show featured a really nice array of characters, all dressed up in their best ghostly attire. The whole Sensational Six was there, with about two per float, but that wasn’t all. We also had Stitch and Pleakey, who was really cleverly taking the place of Madam Leota. Chip and Dale also popped up playing a bat-themed organ where ghosts would pop out of the organ whenever they played. They’d played for the lovely Clarice, their love interest who I barely knew existed, who seemed to be actually up to no good since she was dressed up as the Bride. Finally, the Three Little Pigs appeared, and I’ve only ever seen them in two other parades in all the years I’ve been doing this. You just need to love the dedication these characters that the Tokyo parks have.
You could tell this show was from the mid 2000s because it featured the staple of the time, a show stop for an extended dance number. I definitely wasn’t complaining though because the number that they did there was super fun and silly and had some really cool dance moves throughout it. The entire song was in Japanese, so I can’t say I understood it, but it was a really nice rock beat to it and helped tie a lot of the show together.
What really stood out about the show was how cool the floats were in terms of representing the Haunted Mansion. They took direct elements of the attraction and included them such as most of the characters, but more impressively they made some of the physical elements into floats, with the most impressive being the float of the chair that looks like Donald Duck’s face having its very own float. They did such an amazing job helping the Haunted Mansion come to live in parade form. I had never seen a parade like it and as always Tokyo Disney simply ruled the day.
As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!