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Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 4 - Tokyo Disneyland shows and parades
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:30:28 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I covered all the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari and other areas. In part two we explored World Bazaar and Adventureland. In part three we ventured into Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. Now, in this part, I'm going to share with you some of my thoughts and photos from our viewings of the Christmas parade, Dreamlights, Nightfall Glow and the fireworks.

Tokyo Disneyland (TDL) had a brand new Christmas parade for 2015, titled Disney Christmas Stories. Although this was the first Christmas season we had spent at the park, I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed by Disney Christmas Stories. I have seen many photos and videos of the previous parades at the park over the years, and I was always quite impressed (not to mention we have seen other seasonal parades at the park in the past). This one however just didn't feel the same. I felt the floats were not as detailed as we are used to with Tokyo parades, it was too princess heavy, and the characters were in strange positions. If you don't know how things usually work with parades at TDL, then let me explain. The seasonal parades always have show stops, and the Japanese have their favourite characters. They will wait for hours at a particular show stop place for Mickey, or Max Goof, etc. Nearly always the Mickey and friends characters are split up because they are so popular. However, this year, they were all lumped together - thirteen of them - on just two floats, and instead we get three princess floats. It was a little odd, and from what we gathered from various Japanese friends of ours, it wasn't a popular decision with them either. With that said, it was fun to watch, and we we did see it at least four times (I lost count after that!).

I want to make a special point about the parade during the rain. On our last morning it rained pretty hard first thing, but the first Christmas parade still went out. They did cut the ground characters and performers, and a few on the floats were cut, but overall, it was nearly the same parade. The funniest part about it was the characters wearing clear rain jackets! I thought it was interesting to see, and to get photos of the characters wearing rain coats.

Let's take a look at it all in pictures now anyway.

During the Christmas season, the fireworks were the Starbright Christmas version. Fireworks displays in Tokyo Disney Resort have a reputation for being very uninspired, and the Starbright Christmas ones were no exception, unfortunately.

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights, or Dreamlights for simplicity sake, is TDL's version of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Dreamlights has always been one of our favourite parades of all time, and since our last visit, some of the floats received some major upgrades, which of course just makes an already amazing parade indescribable. The colours, the lights, the detail - it's simply incredible, and no photo or video can truly capture its spirit. You must see it in person.

For Christmas there was a festive jingle added to the soundtrack, some of the floats had Christmas additions to them (such as garlands and wreaths), and Mickey, Minnie and Goofy had Christmas outfits. I often wonder why the US parks can't do something as simple but effective as this.

One evening it rained a little while we were there, not a lot, but enough for the park to cancel Dreamlights. When this happens, they run their rainy night parade instead - Nightfall Glow. I have to admit, I was actually pleased that it rained that night because we had never got to see Nightfall Glow in the past, and I have to say, I was quite impressed. For a "tough luck, it's bad weather" substitute, they do an excellent job with it. It has its own music, special rainy costumes for the characters, and the floats look really cool. Admittedly, it is a little short, but it's definitely a nice replacement in times of inclement weather.

We didn't watch the nighttime projection/laser show, Once Upon a Time, during this trip. To see that is an epic task, involving lottery tickets or staking out spaces for hours on a packed Central Plaza. We've seen it before, so this time it simply wasn't worth it, for us.

So, that's everything for Tokyo Disneyland park! In the next part of this report we'll be exploring the ports of Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront and Port Discovery, at Tokyo DisneySea! I will be writing that part in the next few days, so look out for that here on the blog.

In case you missed them, here are the links to my Hong Kong reports that I wrote recently, which were all part of this same trip.

Have a great week everyone,

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