Happy New Year, Explorers! Just like that, 2018 is over and we’re into 2019. How did we celebrate the first day (January 1, 2019) of the new year? Paid a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, of course! Watching Mickey, Minnie and Friends celebrate the new year in their traditional Japanese attire is always a special treat.
OLC invited us to Press Day for the New Year’s Event, which is happening now through January 6, 2019, at both Parks. Read all the details here.
The first week of January is always incredibly busy due to the New Year’s holiday (school, work, etc). This day was no exception. The crowds were high at both parks and the queue to get through bag check and turnstiles took a good 10-15 minutes. The attraction wait times weren’t terribly high, compared to a weekend. My guess is since normal guests were allowed into the Parks since 02:00, that helped a bit.
From what I could see, the crowds were mostly waiting for the New Year’s Greetings (I’ll talk about those in a moment), restaurants, and shopping. We waited about an hour to get our photo with the Pumbaa decoration at the entrance to the World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland and about 15-minutes at Tokyo DisneySea.
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New Year’s Greetings
The New Year’s event is one of the few times during the year where you’re able to see Mickey and Friends in traditional Japanese kimono. The other is Tanabata Days (Yukata) and the summer event. This is called a “greeting” but it’s not a character greeting. Instead, it’s a mini parade with the characters. Think of it as a “drive-by waving.”
Both Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea have these greetings a couple of times during the day. The main reason it’s so busy in the morning is the new Ambassador makes an appearance during the parade. For 2019/2020, Ayumi Noguchi (野口 歩美) is the Tokyo Disney Resort Ambassador.
We got to watch the greetings at both Parks (see my clips below). It was rather busy for the first performances, with guests waiting an hour before show time.
— TDR Explorer (@tdrexplorer) January 3, 2019
Even for such a short event, there are some delicious things to stuff your face with. The strawberry mousse with souvenir mug is one of my favourites and I get one each year. The design always changes to show the current zodiac. Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba have beautiful artwork on this year’s mug. The dessert is always fantastic and makes for an ideal light snack.
To end our day (we were up at 05:30), we made our way over to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. The Dreamer’s Lounge, inside the hotel, was offering a dessert aptly named “Year End & New Year” Dessert Medley. I always love the seasonal desserts at the hotel lounges. Not only do they look phenomenal, but the flavour is also always top-notch.
Thank you to OLC for providing the souvenir mug for us.
The merchandise for the New Year’s event came out on November 30. I went and took a look through the shops to see what was left. The plush badges (keychains) with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, & Chip ‘n’ Dale were all gone from what I saw. The other items were low in stock too.
New Years is a short but sweet event at the Parks. I enjoy the event since it’s something you’ll only ever experience in Japan and the character costumes are wonderful. The only downside is the crowds are high since everyone in Japan is off on holidays for that week.
Watch our day at the Parks in our New Year’s Day 2019 vlog below!
More Things to Do in Tokyo
My recommendations for things to do in and around Tokyo! Plan a day at the Hello Kitty theme park, Sanrio Puroland, and an afternoon at the popular TeamLab Planets TOKYO. Take a tour around Tokyo with the convenient hop-on and-off bus. Spend a rainy afternoon inside Japan’s largest indoor theme park, Tokyo Joyoplis, near Tokyo Disney!
More on Tokyo Disney Resort
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