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PHOTO REPORT: Tokyo DisneySea 9/4/21 (20th Anniversary Celebration Begins, Park-Wide Decor Installed, New Themed Vending Machine, & More)

September 4th, 2001 was the day the themed entertainment industry changed forever, when Tokyo DisneySea opened to the public for the first time. Now twenty years later, we were present for the kickoff of the park’s “Time to Shine!” 20th Anniversary celebration! Without further ado, let’s take set sail once again across the park and check out the latest news.

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In lieu of a larger icon that would usually be placed in front of the AquaSphere for an anniversary celebration, smaller icons featuring the words “Time to Shine!” with the Disney friends are placed around the AquaSphere itself to encourage social distancing.

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The line was of course longest for Mickey’s icon.

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Every single one of the Disney friends gets the love they deserve in these icons, though! No matter who your favorite core character is, there’s a photo op just for you.

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As we reported earlier this week, a banner has been installed above the park entrance featuring the core friends in their 20th anniversary costumes. There’s also a starburst above with the celebration logo.

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Flanking both sides of Passaggio MiraCosta are these banners of Chip and Dale holding a starburst.

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Inside Passaggio MiraCosta, these frames commemorating the anniversary line both sides of the path. This frame with Mickey reads:

“The 20th Anniversary celebration at Tokyo DisneySea will turn your heart and smiles into sparkling stars. The joy of laughing with friends, the happiness of being with your dear ones, the excitement of new adventures, the desire for a delightful meal, the heart-touching beauty of the scenery, the belief that dreams and wishes will come true, and the hopes for a bright future…
This is the year for these overflowing feelings to shine! Let your heart shine bright!

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The other core characters are also featured with their own stars as well. Presumably a big part of the original celebration was to be these stars, which has been toned down due to COVID-19.

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All of Mediterranean Harbor was packed with people through most of the day, but they cleared out after the final greeting occurred in the early afternoon. For a moment, the harbor appeared full again like in the pre-COVID days.

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Say happy 20th birthday to Mount Prometheus! She’s finally old enough to drink in Japan!

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Cast Members across the park were ready to sell special 20th Anniversary balloons to Guests.

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Over at McDuck’s the window displays have been updated to feature the new Duffy & Friends’ Starry Dreams line, which got a bit less attention than usual due to the 20th Anniversary’s launch.

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Just across the street, Steamboat Mickey’s finally reopened to Guests today after being closed since February 2020. No telling how long it’ll be open again, but it’s nice to see the interior of this nautical outlet once more.

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As Guests walk through the park, Cast Members are ready with these special flags to wave! If you ask nicely, they may even let you take a picture with it!

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The gachapon capsule toy machines have been updated to feature a new toy set, which features four miniature items from the 20th Anniversary’s merchandise line—the t-shirt, Mickey hat, Minnie ears headband, and chocolate crunch tin.

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Across from Tower of Terror, it seems yet another themed vending machine is on its way to the park. Tokyo Disney Resort has been installing these all over both parks in order to transition from manned drink carts. Not that we’re complaining, they’re always excellently themed.

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In Port Discovery, construction is still ongoing nearly two months later on Horizon Bay Restaurant. Must be quite the extensive refurbishment considering how long the scaffolding has been up outside.

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Construction on the massive Fantasy Springs expansion is becoming extremely visible from inside Tokyo DisneySea. The expansion opens in 2023, so there’s still quite a bit of work left, but stay tuned to WDWNT for a new update on construction soon!

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Over at Abu’s Bazaar, the figure prizes have been changed to new Mickey and Minnie figures that feature their 20th anniversary costumes!

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Plexiglass dividers have also been installed at Abu’s Bazaar between Guests as well.

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Over in Mermaid Lagoon, lines for the gachapon we mentioned earlier were reportedly as long as four hours yesterday, so today the resort implemented a makeshift timed ticket system for entry.

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Guests ordering popcorn starting today will receive a special 20th anniversary-themed container! One cool hidden feature of the design—folding the lid together creates a star pattern.

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Also available at every counter-service eatery are these commemorative cups featuring Mickey alongside the 20th anniversary logo and silhouettes of both the Disney friends and iconic buildings around Tokyo DisneySea.

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Starting today, a 20th anniversary CD is available featuring the soundtrack to Soaring: Fantastic Flight . However, it makes a very clear point of mentioning that the soundtrack for the Time to Shine Harbor Greeting is not available on this release, and will be released later.

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On the way out of the park, be sure to turn around and take a peek at the banner one more time! The logo and starburst even light up for an extra-special photo opportunity!

What a day to celebrate Tokyo DisneySea’s 20th anniversary! The “Time to Shine!” celebration runs until September 3rd, 2022, so there’s plenty of time for you to visit and experience the festivities first-hand. Are you excited about Tokyo DisneySea’s anniversary celebration? Let us know in the comments below!

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