REVIEW: First-Ever “Halloween Morning” Hard Ticket Event at Tokyo Disneyland Gives Too Little Effort for Too Much Money
For its entire nearly-40 year history, Tokyo Disneyland has never held upcharge events outside of corporate sponsor private rentals and its annual Countdown Party on New Year’s Eve. All benefits of their seasonal events, including parades, food, and merchandise were available and bundled in the cost of a standard ticket, a very attractive prospect for the average Guest. That changed last month when the Oriental Land Company announced they were dipping their toes into the upcharge party pool with Halloween Morning, a five day-only hard ticket event at Tokyo Disneyland. And after our visit today, we can say for sure that it was nothing short of a major disappointment.
We paid a total of ¥13000 ($114.36) for our Halloween Morning Passport. Subtract the ¥8200 ($72.14) cost for a weekday ticket (at the time) and that makes Halloween Morning a ¥4800 ($42.23) upcharge. Sure it’s a bargain compared to Oogie Boogie Bash or Boo Bash at the US parks, but we’ve generally learned to expect more value from Tokyo Disney Resort and the Oriental Land Company for our yen.
What did our yen get us? A special greeting parade, a few open attractions, two open restaurants, two open shops, and the ability to wear costumes. What wasn’t included? The two headliner attractions of the park, the one spooky attraction, and any other options for food, which caused long lines to form at the two open outlets.
The gates opened at 8am, two hours ahead of the park open for all other Guests. There were probably 1000-2000 or so Guests who held Halloween Morning Passports, half of whom didn’t come in costume at all, defeating the purpose of the ticket.
Upon entering Tokyo Disneyland, Guests are given a plain black fanny pack with an orange stripe on the top and the Disney Halloween 2021 logo in the corner. Significantly less elaborate than any of the lunch cases or other items created for the event, we were expecting a pin or button to be the mystery gift (although no allusions were made to such, that was just our idea).
Everyone proceeded straight to the parade route for the greeting parade. For the cost, one would expect Mickey in a different costume, on a different float, maybe with a different soundtrack. Nope. The Mickey’s Greeting Parade with Villains is actually slightly misleading, there’s one villain—Maleficent. You could argue that her goons are also villains, but that’s shaky at best. It’s the same soundtrack as the regular daytime greeting (Spooky “Boo!” Parade), same costume for Mickey, it felt like the lowest effort possible was put into this. They could easily have swapped out the costume, pulled a different Spooky “Boo!” Parade float, used an old soundtrack like Banzai! Villains, or all three, and it would’ve been a marked improvement over what we got. You can watch our video of the parade below.
Meanwhile, reports on social media suggested that La Taverne de Gaston, one of the two advertised open restaurants during the event, actually didn’t open until 8:30 instead of at 8:00 with the park, thus causing a long line to form as Guests sought out breakfast.
Guests were able to take pictures with each other without many other Guests around during the event, especially after the parade, and photography Cast Members were around the park in popular locations to assist, which was definitely a plus.
There were six open attractions: Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, and Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!. We felt like there were three major omissions, however.
One: The Haunted Mansion, presumably the attraction most associated with Halloween, was not open, and in fact did not open until noon. And two: the two current headliners of the park—Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast and The Happy Ride with Baymax—were not open either. Guests were able to get Standby Passes for one of the two attractions 15 minutes ahead of the park’s opening to the general public at 10am, but could not ride before general opening time. For a premium price, we would’ve expected these to also be open.
Essentially, the ticket boiled down to an extra ¥4800 ($42.23) charge to wear a costume in the park all day. Only Guests who purchased a Halloween Morning Passport were permitted to come to the park in costume, an annual tradition that was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 still raging at the time. And while many did come in the amazing costumes we expected from Tokyo Disney Resort locals (including myself), we felt almost ripped off for this extra surcharge just to wear a costume, especially when extra two hours doesn’t make much of a dent in your day as capacity is so low that wait times are negligible for every single attraction. This would obviously be different in the future when capacity is higher, but if this is what the Oriental Land Company plans to deliver in coming years, I fear for the future of the Guest experience at Tokyo Disney Resort.
So the real question—is Halloween Morning worth it? Unless you’re absolutely dying to dress up in costumes like before COVID, unequivocally no. Tickets aren’t on sale right now but we would still recommend staying away from this if they choose to bring it back next year. We wholeheartedly hope they don’t, and we’ve heard very little positives about this even save for wearing costumes in the park again. I personally know a couple of people trying to offload their remaining tickets after their reactions to today.
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