Disney Gifts of Christmas is a projection mapping show onto Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland. It’s on for a limited time during the Christmas Fantasy event from November 8 until December 25, 2017.
Once Upon A Time was the nighttime show before Disney Gifts of Christmas and ended its 3-year run on November 6, 2017. Then on July 10, 2018, a brand new show “Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland” becomes the new nighttime projection mapping show as part of the 35th Anniversary of Tokyo Disney Resort.
Now that I have all the details out-of-the-way, how is the show and what’s the story? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s our review of Disney Gifts of Christmas at Tokyo Disneyland! If you’re at the parks for Christmas then you’ll want to read our guide to Christmas and don’t forget to always buy your tickets in advance!
The theme of the show is gift giving with Mickey and Friends. Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Chip ’n’ Dale (don’t worry Pluto is here too) all come bearing Christmas gifts. Each of the gifts is a different theme (romance, friendship, family, etc) with music and gorgeous visuals to match.
As mentioned, Disney Gifts of Christmas is a projection mapping show onto Cinderella Castle. It’s a mixture of projection, fireworks, fire, music, and even lasers to give a 3D effect over the audience (subtle but noticeable).
Mickey’s friends show up one by one bearing gifts, each with an accompanying scene. These scenes have its own theme that ties back to the holiday season and features characters from classic Disney animation and Disney Pixar films. A few scenes are heartwarming and tug at the heartstrings, while others are just plain fun and a spectacle.
You’ll see characters from Dumbo, Pinocchio, Big Hero Six, Zootopia, Toy Story, Up, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, and much more. The number of characters you see throughout the show is quite staggering.
Without giving too much of the show away, my favourite scene features Goofy that is a sensory overload that leaves you with a smile on your face (at least it did for me). The 3D laser effect gives a neat textured effect in the air that lingers after the show, which I think is beautiful. This effect was in the Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy projection show earlier this year.
It’s hard to go wrong with flames, fireworks, spotlights, and lasers flying in the air while Christmas music is blasting into the atmosphere. The show is visually appealing, and at points, over the top. The only downside is a few of the scenes are nothing but glorified character montages and the fireworks are nothing spectacular. But, with that said for a limited time show I can’t complain too much. The visuals are fun and entertaining with a few stand out scenes.
I am a huge fan of Christmas music (it gives me that warm fuzzy feeling) and the music in the show doesn’t disappoint. It did leave me with a few tears in my eyes by the end.
Here are a couple of pointers to make your viewing that much more enjoyable
- There is no lottery for the show
- The best view if by the Partner Statue in the Hub (get there at least an hour ahead to secure a spot against the railing)
- Another great spot is in front of the Vacation Package area (below the Partner Statue)
- The show usually shows twice in the evenings the last show is less crowded
This show has the perfect mixture of Christmas, technology, and pyro to create an excellent way to close out the day at Tokyo Disneyland. It pulls at the heartstrings at the right moments with perfect music and visual queues that leaves you feeling fuzzy all over and full of Christmas spirit. If that was the goal, then it certainly does that.
Don’t miss Disney Gifts of Christmas at Tokyo Disneyland which is on now until December 25, 2017.
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