Tokyo Disney celebrates Halloween. / 13 September 2014
I'm not a Disney person so I've never minded being the only person in my world who'd never tried a Disneyland, anywhere. Today that changed when we decided to check out this very popular Tokyo destination.
The weather forecast predicted rain, people muttered, 'typhoon season' but the day looked ok; the metro to Tokyo Disney takes about 15 minutes from the centre of Tokyo.
Actually it was a toss up between Disneyland and Disney-sea, Disneyland being the same the world over, but Disney-sea is unique to Tokyo.
My first Disney experience was to be the traditional one. Arriving at the Disney station I am met by a female ramp-person (and there is more than one), so much for tradition.
Of course it was crowded, but not impossibly so. If I was still counting wheelborne people I would have lost count of the number of little and large, children and adults rolling (being rolled) around the space having fun.
And Disney is well geared up to cope. A special pass guaranteeing me assistance (together with the three people I was with) was issued once we were inside and it worked a treat. The wheelchair spaces were plentiful and the four of us were always able to sit together when watching the special effects performances. And there was special access to accessible rides.
Queues for popular rides were long and, when the clouds melted away, uncomfortably hot. Queues for popcorn (soy sauce and butter, salt, caramel or Jalapeño and cheese) were also long. Ice lolly queues were shorter and food queues extremely long, but well managed, with plenty of help available and special assistance for wheelborne people. There were no queues for the loos.
It was a noisy day with non-stop Disney music, with announcements, and the sound of human voices playing havoc with my tinnitus. It was a fun day, with much Disney waving and cheerfulness and of course all the colourful costumes. Late in the day more long queues could be seen forming at the massive entranceway for evening passes and rows of cute dolls in polka dot miniskirts chatted, giggled and texted the wait.
At first sight, I had thought there were an awful lot of Disney cast, but soon realised that the wonderful princesses in blonde wigs and turquoise crystal gowns, the ducks with Donald heads and fat white bottoms with little tails, the ghostbusters, pirates, Snow whites and Minnie Mouses were all guests. While Mickey Mouse did indeed make appearances, the multitude of costumed guests quite outshone the staff and I felt distinctly underdressed for the occasion.
Towards evening a very dark cloud appeared to settle over Disneyland; we watched lightening bolts and heard thunder in the distance. Rain was descending on Tokyo Centre and the outbound train service was partly suspended, but our journey home was uneventful (apart from the female ramp-person) and rain-free.
A long queue of Disney characters snaked along the marked-out
line, ready to film, record, their session with the mouse;
chatter and laughter releasing the formality
of everyday life. Later, seated along the roadway
to await the parade, for an hour, in the heat, was a
fun thing, part of the day. Plastic popcorn container filled;
strawberry breadstick - lightsaber energy weapon - charged;
ducks and princesses, raccoons and mice await the parade.
A pumpkin parade: Halloween comes early - is
celebrated long, as a Mickey thing. Missing the point
but creating a whole new non sense; requiring only
faith in the mouse, the costume, timeout from reality.