I’m going to preface this post by saying that my Tokyo Disney Halloween experience was in 2008. However, they do roughly the same thing every year, so if you go to Tokyo Disneyland in October you will get to enjoy some version of this.
First, some Tokyo Disney facts! Tokyo Disney Resort isn’t actually in Tokyo at all. It’s in a town called Urayasu, in Chiba. The park opened in April 1983, was the first Disney park outside of the United States, and is modeled on Disneyland in California. It has eight areas: Fantasyland, Adventureland, Westernland, Tomorrowland, the World Bazaar (basically Main Street, U.S.A. under a glass roof), Mickey’s Toontown, and Critter Country.
Every year, for the entire month of October, the park is made over in a Halloween theme. Probably the most famous change is the Haunted Mansion, which is turned into The Nightmare Before Christmas. While I do prefer the traditional ride, it’s actually really fun. Something different to mix it up. If you don’t speak Japanese you won’t get the full experience of the dialogue because there’s almost no English, but that’s the case throughout the park. I kind of dig hearing all the familiar songs in another language, myself.
Most rides stay the same, but the park is filled with jack-o-lanterns, orange and black banners, ghosts, and other Halloween decorations. The parades and shows are Halloween-themed, of course, and there’s usually some kind of activity (like a scavenger hunt) that will win you a treat or prize if you complete it. Kitschy-cute with just a touch of being a Japanese interpretation of a holiday they don’t really celebrate.
Tokyo Disneyland is a lot of fun, no matter when you go, but there’s something special about going near a holiday, when the park has been transformed. It really sets it apart from the experience you’d have at any other park.
Cost: Varies. A one-day pass will cost ¥5,200 for adults (18+), ¥4,590 for juniors (12-17), and ¥3,570 for children (4-11). Children 3 and under are admitted free.
Hours: Seven days a week, usually 8:30-22:00.
Access: Take the Keiyo Line from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station (about 15 minutes). The resort is right there.