At Tokyo Disneyland, “Halloween Street” is back. If you’ve not heard about it, the themed parade takes you into the spooky world of ghosts and features some pretty amazing floats. Along with decorations, food and merchandise, there will be a new puzzle-solving program at the park called “Tricks & Treats on Halloween Street.” Guests will receive a challenge (in the form of a map) from ghosts and if they solve it, they’ll receive a “treat.”
Also new this year, Tokyo DisneySea will be hosting a Venetian carnival-style show called “A Halloween Daydream.” It’ll feature your favorite Disney friends joined by skeletons that were invited by Mickey Mouse. And we’re told that “Chip ‘n Dale’s Skeleton Fiesta” greeting program will be back this Halloween as well.
The event begins on September 7 and runs through October 31, 2012. And you bet, we’ll be sharing images later this year here on the Disney Parks Blog.
I recently visited California, where I had one of the most amazing experiences of my Disney career. Imagineer Vanessa Hunt gave me a tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library vault in Glendale. This place houses the original art of the most iconic images from Disney Parks’ history. Incredible! Vanessa shared that fellow Imagineer Danny Handke and she have written a book for Disney Editions called “Poster Art of the Disney Parks.” This hardcover book, with cover designed by Imagineer Glendon Lee, is coming to Disney Parks at the end of May. I asked Danny about the role that attraction posters have played.
“Attraction posters entice, excite and educate guests with a preview of the adventures and experiences inside the Disney Parks,” explained Danny.
“When Disneyland park opened in 1955, it was difficult for guests to understand what a ‘theme park’ was. The Disney Imagineers needed a solution to portray their attractions to a diverse audience. The idea to use posters at Disneyland’s Main Entrance was the perfect solution.”
The book was in development for four years! They conducted extensive research by interviewing close to 20 people, including current and former artists. Vanessa said that they put extra effort into making a beautiful book that all Disney fans could enjoy.
“We made an extra effort to ensure the posters in the book were printed as color accurate as possible,” continued Vanessa. “We even found a box containing several poster concepts that had never been published until now. The most challenge part was identifying artists. While many unidentified posters artists were later identified during our interviews, there are some that remain credited to ‘Unknown Artist.’”
I asked Danny about his favorite poster.
“I love the Tokyo DisneySea posters,” said Danny. “They are interesting because they reflect an overall cohesive design, but are stylistically individual to each land. Not many fans are familiar with the Tokyo DisneySea posters, so we hope everyone will appreciate this unique chapter in the book.”
“I love all of them, but the one that catches my eye every time I open the drawer is the Grand Canyon Diorama poster from Disneyland,” explained Vanessa. “The colors are absolutely beautiful and the train design is fantastic!”
If not, this summer may be the perfect time to visit, as plenty of special activities are planned for both parks.
Beginning July 1, the Tanabata Star Festival Program will return to the resort. This traditional festival involves Disney characters traveling down the parade route in rickshaws to offer a Tanabata greeting to park guests. World Bazaar will also be decorated with Mickey Mouse streamers and an area where guests can hang their wish cards.
Beginning July 9, Tokyo Disneyland will celebrate Disney’s Natsu Matsuri, a Japanese summer festival. During this time, the park will hold daily Soryo Kobu dance competitions, in which Disney characters lead eight different dance teams in showing off their moves to different styles of music. Each night, four winning teams will compete in the finals, in a competition event that features more music, spraying water and blazes of fire!
Also on July 9, Tokyo DisneySea will celebrate the grand opening of Toy Story Mania! in the American Waterfront section of the park. The Summer Oasis Splash water program also begins that day, with Genie magically transforming Mediterranean Harbor into an oasis of fun so Aladdin can enjoy a tropic vacation. Disney characters will join in on the fun when they appear on special water-spraying barges.
For more Tokyo Disney Resort updates, see the posts below:
The attraction will be located in Toyville Trolley Park, a new area themed after an old-fashioned amusement park. Toy Story Mania! will have a few differences from the attraction here at Walt Disney World Resort, including the fact that guests will initially enter through Woody’s mouth. From here, guests will find themselves in Andy’s room, which is strewn with larger-than-life board games, puzzles and other toys.
Guests later board a tram, put on 3-D glasses and roll under Andy’s bed where the toys have set up a carnival play set. Joining in the fun, guests play the carnival games with all their “Toy Story” friends.
The attraction also will be accompanied with Slinky Dog’s Gift Trolley merchandise shop.
Tokyo DisneySea, the second theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort, opened its doors Sept. 4, 2001. The park, “where adventure and imagination set sail,” is themed around the exciting adventures one can have when they explore the world by sea.
The park currently includes seven lands: Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, Mysterious Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta and Port Discovery. The park contains many attractions that domestic Disney fans would recognize, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tower of Terror, as well as attractions that are unique to this park, such as StormRider, Raging Spirits and Aquatopia.
Tokyo DisneySea has been celebrating this week’s 10th anniversary in a 20-month “Be Magical!” celebration that features special entertainment, themed décor, colorful character costumes, and more.
As a part of the celebration, the park has been decorated with colorful magic hats that belong to different Disney characters. For example, Minnie’s hat, which is pink and features large bows and heart-shaped ornaments, decorates the American Waterfront area of the park, while Ariel’s hat, which was created in the style of King Triton’s Castle, tops off Mermaid Lagoon. At each magic hat, guests can step into the role of sorcerer by placing their hands the hat, causing it to emit lights and sound. They can also purchase special magic wands that, when waved at the hat monuments, cause even more magic to come to life.
We’re thrilled to report that our newest attraction at Tokyo DisneySea, Jasmine’s Flying Carpets, has made its official debut and today we’re sharing a first look with Disney Parks Blog readers.
Themed to the Disney film “Aladdin,” Jasmine’s Flying Carpets is a ride attraction where guests soar over Jasmine’s garden on a flying carpet. You can maneuver your vehicle up and down and tilt the vehicle forward and backward, as if flying your own magical carpet.
Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Director Chuck Ballew says you’ll want to look for what he calls “the most beautiful part of the attraction” – a peacock fan effect on the top of the fountain. The attraction also looks amazing at night, where it comes to life with 15 different color sequences that animate as the carpets travel around the fountain.
Check the blog in upcoming months for more images from our friends in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris.
We have some news to share from Tokyo Disneyland following last month’s earthquake. The Tokyo Disneyland theme park, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Ambassador Hotel are all scheduled to reopen to guests this Friday, April 15. A portion of every ticket sold through May 14 will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross and the park will operate during daylight hours only in an effort to conserve power.
Tokyo DisneySea and Hotel MiraCosta will remain closed but officials with The Oriental Land Company (owners and operators of the Tokyo Disney Resort) are working to reopen both as soon as possible.
Please check back here on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates from Tokyo Disney Resort.
Tom Staggs has been on the move this month, touching ground in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Germany during his first “world tour” as chairman of Parks & Resorts. And at each stop, there’s been a recurring theme: people passionate about building the future.
That’s certainly happening in Germany where construction on the Disney Dream cruise ship has been moving right along. Tom arrived right as they were beginning to join the hull sections together to form a ship structure that will feature 14 decks and 1,250 staterooms with a capacity of 4,000 guests. It’s hard to imagine, but there will be approximately 66 million pounds of steel cut and welded together, some 37,000 pipes produced, and nearly 5,000 miles of cabling used by the time it is complete. The ship will sail from Germany to its new home in Port Canaveral, Florida later this year before embarking on its maiden voyage in January.
Tom also visited Disneyland Paris just in time for the launch of The New Generation Festival. The year-long celebration will highlight a new generation of heroes from Disney films such as “The Princess and the Frog” and “Lilo & Stitch,” as well as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles.”
Tom also got a status report on the new Toy Story Playland coming to life at Paris’ Walt Disney Studios this August.
Earlier in March, the team at Hong Kong Disneyland also welcomed Tom during his first visit to Asia as chairman. Tom met with Cast Members, dived into the operational details of the resort and was briefed on Hong Kong Disneyland’s celebration honoring the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Tom said one of the highlights of his visit was meeting with Hong Kong Disneyland’s very first Cast Member, Mariam Im, and presenting her with a 10-year service pin.
And during his visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, Tom managed to pack in more than even our most seasoned guests by touring both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. He met with several Cast Members and Imagineers – and tried all eight flavors of popcorn sold at the parks.
Tom summed up his recent travels this way: “When you spend time at all our properties, you appreciate how unique each one really is. Of course, there is a lot that is the same. Our properties share the same DNA. But at the end of the day, each has its own identity, its own heritage. And each has its own individual challenges. One thing stands out above all else though, and that is the quality, strength and passion of our Disney Cast members.”