Tokyo Disneyland is spook central for all things Halloween from the first week of September right through October 31st. The decorations, parades, souvenirs, sweets and treats have made this one of the most popular (and profitable) times of the year for the Tokyo Disney Parks. But there's more to it than that.
Mickey and Minnie ghost toys.
During the two-month long Halloween event, adults are allowed to walk around the park in full-on Cosplay costumes -- as long as they are Disney themed and not too revealing.
Alice in Wonderland and March Hare CosPlay.
And come they do.
Belle CosPlay from Beauty and the Beast, perfectly posed!
Every day the park is full of visitors in jaw-dropping costumes most of which are homemade. Princesses, heroes, villains, animals, monsters, both famous and obscure. I met three girls dressed perfectly, right down to the hair, as the village maidens in love with bad-guy Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Gaston's girls CosPlay.
CosPlay, dressing up in painstakingly-crafted costumes as imaginary characters from movies, games, manga, books and anime, has spread from Japan to become a global phenomenon. This used to be something you had to travel to the Tokyo Game Show to see. Now events are held all over Japan and the world.
Racers and King Candy CosPlay from Wreck It Ralph. Notice they even made the gold coins the racers need in the movie!
Japanese higher education and society in general traditionally praise and encourage conformity and obedience. Imagination is not exactly seen as a cultural imperative in adults.
Wall-e CosPlayer is one man who has held onto his imagination!
But of course, people want something more. The wild devotion to all things Disney is one expression of the need to dream.
Awesome ghost CosPlay by the Haunted Mansion.
The biggest percentage of Tokyo Disneyland visitors are repeaters who come several times a year from Tokyo and nearby prefectures.
When you combine CosPlay and Disney, it's an event to remember.
Decorations in the central square.
Of course Halloween here at the Park isn't just about costumes. Every year there is an all new Halloween parade with elaborate floats for the Disney characters.
Minne Mouse on her float in the 2013 Happy Halloween Harvest Parade.
Toontown and Westernland (that's what Frontierland is called here) have the most Halloween decorations.
Night is the best time to see the decorations around the different lands.
Fantasyland is especially pretty at night when the elaborately carved pumpkins are lit. Also, Just like California Disneyland, Tokyo's Haunted Mansion transforms into its 'Nightmare Before Christmas' version and the lines are just as long.
The scarecrow in front of Mickey's house, Toontown.
Oh, in Toontown. Be sure to check out the scarecrows at Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy's houses and all the other only-at-Disney happy haunting touches.
Watch for the little Halloween touches around the park. This is a garbage can in Toontown.
Halloween installations in the central plaza between main street and the castle are everyone's favorite photo spot. Particularly the one in the center framing the castle.
Until March, visitors get two celebrations for the price of one.
Right now the Park is also holding its 30th anniversary celebration: The Happiness Year. That fun will continue right into March. The anniversary parade with thirty new floats and all sorts of souvenir collectibles is held daily and that doesn't change whether the park is decked out for Halloween, Christmas, Japanese New Years or a Spring fling.
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