I know Christmas is technically supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for me it’s Fall. Don’t get me wrong…I love Christmas, but I really, REALLY love Fall. There is just something so magical about the drastic change of season and the anticipation of the wonderful holidays to come. I live for the warm clothes, perfect weather-not too hot or too cold, caramel apples, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and orange and red leaves crinkling beneath my feet on a crisp October day. There’s only one problem though…I’ve lived in Florida my whole life! We don’t really get much of a “Fall.” The leaves don’t change color and the weather rarely drops under sixty (which is pretty much freezing for us Floridians accustomed to 100-degree weather, so at least we still get our sweater fix!) It’s okay though, because there is one magical place in Florida where the whole world changes overnight into a perfect Fall wonderland complete with those beautiful orange and red leaves I so desperately crave, and that would be Disney!
Every year I wait in anticipation for Fall to arrive at the happiest place on earth; no one does seasons like Disney. In the blink of an eye the entire park is transformed and decorated in pumpkins galore! Orange and red leaves cover every surface and even the treats are perfectly themed to the new season that has just arrived. I live for it.
My First Halloween/Fall At Tokyo Disneyland
This year I’m living in Japan and working at Tokyo Disneyland and I have been anxiously waiting to see how Japan does Fall! Let. Me. Tell. You. It did NOT disappoint. Tokyo Disneyland is known for being one of the most unique and over the top Disney parks in the world. The attention to detail here is mind blowing and the decor, merchandise, and even the food is out of this world kawaii (cute)!! And the best part?! Halloween costumes are allowed in the park for the whole season, and the Japanese fans take dressing up to a whole new level. I could honestly go into the park just to people watch and look at all of the amazing costumes they’ve created, some of them work on their costumes all year long!
The first things you take in when you first step into the park are the adorable decorations. Some of them were familiar to home, but most were unique to Tokyo. My personal favorites were the decorations in World Bazaar (basically Main street if you are in any other Disney park, only it has a huge glass covering over it.) Walking in, the first thing my eyes went to was the big light up spider web that was strung across the entire ceiling hanging directly over a HUGE Mickey Mouse pumpkin that you could actually get inside of for pictures. The line for a picture was about 70-80 minutes long however and I wasn’t about that life, so I cheated and took some pictures from the outside.
All of the shop windows were intricately decorated with fall treats and banners and the characters were wearing adorable little costumes and fall outfits. There were also four large jack lanterns with characters carved into them and they lit up at night giving them a really magical and spooky feel! As impressive as this area was during the day, it was nothing compared to how it looked all lit up at night!
In the castle hub there are also two giant statues on the left and right. This year they were made to look like a stage for a rock concert, the right with Minnie and Daisy being divas of course, and the left you could see Mickey rocking out on an electric guitar!
Something else that I noticed and really loved were the subtle changes of detail for each ride. Even the Dumbo ride was given a little makeover with an orange and black elephant banner hung on the gate of the ride, and the tops of the lampposts were replaced with little orange elephant heads that lit up. It was so cool at night when it started getting dark and the elephant heads were lit up and the people on the actual elephants were silhouetted and flying in the sky! It’s these little details that really make me love this place!
Tokyo Disney Sea also had some really cute and unique decorations! My personal favorites were the Duffy and Shellie May fall wreaths!
One of my favorite things about celebrating holidays at Disney are all of the new seasonal treats they come up with each year. I was especially interested to see what TDL would be offering! Something very different about Disney here in Japan that made me really miss home is the fact that they actually don’t sell a lot of sweets. I’m not going to lie, I really missed the treats from WDW this year! The seasonal Mickey mouse Rice Krispy treats are my favorite, I always look forward to seeing how they are going to be decorated each year. At Tokyo Disneyland the food is more savory than sweet, so that means no cake pops, cupcakes, giant cookies, decorated caramel apples or rice krispies! It’s okay though, the food they had here was still really yummy! Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried the Jack Skellington curry bun and pumpkin cinnamon roll, sweet potato and beef cone (it’s better than it sounds haha,) the maple pumpkin churro, chicken and pumpkin pizza, spicy pork Ursula bun the and pumpkin and vanilla ice cream!
Special Shows and Parades
The shows and parades in Japan are RIDICULOUSLY amazing. They feature unique characters that you don’t usually see in other parks such as the three little pigs, Max from The Goofy Movie, The Aristocats, and so much more! The dancers are next level and the choreography is incredible. The costumes they wear are always so cute, and creative; I honestly never know where to look while I’m watching the parades here because there is SO much going on, it’s definitely a sensory overload! There is just a standard of excellence here that surpasses every other park I’ve ever been too.
At Disneyland, the Halloween parade this year was called “Halloween Pop N’ Live!” It was basically like a big Halloween themed rock concert with all of your favorite Disney characters, it doesn’t really get better than that! It starts with performers flying by on roller skates with giant flags and banners streaming behind them followed by the cutest little happy ghosts who are also on skates. It’s an awesome start and it just gets better from there.
There are two show stops during the parade where the entire parade stops and the dancers do some amazing numbers right in front of you. The dances are also interactive, and you can do some of the choreography with them, so much fun!!
The villains show at Disney Sea is also incredible! The whole thing happens out on the water of this huge harbor and it is villains themed. The boats, music, and choreography are insane. I saw this show multiple times and was honestly so blown away each time!
I’m so happy I had the chance to experience Halloween here in Japan this year, it was amazing to see all the different decorations, shows, and treats, now it’s time to get ready for CHRISTMAS!!!