Extinct Attractions – Christmas Town Fantasy

Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll start getting into the Christmas spirit and look at how one of the international parks celebrates. (Well, how they celebrated in 1999.)

A few weeks ago, the Walt Disney Company announced that Bob Iger would be returning as CEO, taking over for Bob Chapek, after nearly three years at the helm. To say Chapek was not very liked is a bit of an understatement, but the suden move to go back to Iger, basically decided over a weekend, still took many in the industry by surprise, though a pleasant surprise for most people. In fact, Iger’s return was seen as an early Christmas gift by many people, and if there’s one thing the Disney Parks love, it’s a good holiday celebration.

All the parks around the world enjoy celebrating the holidays, with the parks at Tokyo Disney Resort usually getting particularly involved in the fun.

Via TDR Explorer 

Tokyo Disneyland has gotten into the holiday spirit since it first opened in 1983, even dubbing it the Christmas Fantasy celebration, a name that stuck until 2017. Each year, there would be parades and castle shows to celebrate Christmas,with  new shows every couple of years to keep guests engaged and excited for each year.

I love Disneyland’s Christmas Fantasy Parade, but it would be very cool to see a new Christmas show every few years, with a fun one like Christmas Town Fantasy that opened in Tokyo Disneyland in winter 1999 serving as a great template of a simple show that gives guests the Christmas experience they were looking for.

Christmas Town Fantasy really took the town aspect of the show seriously, with a town constructed in front of the castle. To help things feel a bit more lifelike, there were townspeople made up of dancers and singers as well as the Fab Five and Chip and Dale. The characters really helped the entire place come to life, with snowflakes and a snowman even popping up as residents at a certain point. The town had a certain lived-in feeling to it, which was pretty impressive considering that it was just some random placards that they put on the stage in front of the castle and would not have felt very appropriate otherwise.

Via YouTube

What was really interesting about this show was that outside of the characters, there really wasn’t much of a Disney flair to it. The show was pretty much just Christmas caroling, with no Disney songs included at all. There was some fun with Pluto popping up in a Santa beard and a few costume changes for characters in the show. Plus, the choreography was a lot of fun, with the characters meshing very well with the rest of the gang.

Honestly, the biggest issue with the show was just that it was a bit too long. 25 minutes of Christmas carols is quite a lot, especially when there really wasn’t too much story going on outside of the songs, though it was fun because the songs were sung in both English and Japanese.

Via YouTube

The finale of the show was pretty interesting because every single performer had a costume change, with all of the Disney characters coming out in golden outfits and Goofy even playing the violin. To go with that, about half of the other dancers came out in red and white, Santa-like, outfits to close out the show, with the real highlight being the green-dressed dancers. They all came together on stage to form a Christmas tree, giving off the vibes of the Candlelight Processional. It was a beautiful and touching end to the show that helped it feel worth it.

On the whole, Christmas Town Fantasy was a fine show, but its biggest flaw was that it was basically just glorified Christmas caroling. Compared to many of the other Tokyo Disney shows, I had higher expectations that we’d have a bit of a story at least, but I’ll take what we got. The show ran for two seasons before being replaced by Christmas for You.

That said, Christmas Town Fantasy certainly did its job of getting me excited for the Christmas season, and really that’s all one could ask for.

Via Comic Book and Beyond 

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!