Reviews of bucket-list-worthy things to do all over the world

Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th Anniversary “Happiness Year” Celebration!

Me at Tokyo Disneyland’s Mickey Mouse flower bed
Tokyo Disney Resort is celebrating their 30th anniversary. They’ve dubbed it “The Happiness Year.” So what does that mean for park guests? Here’s what I noticed during my visit.

Happiness Sharing Spots

“A magical trash can?” I asked my friend incredulously.

Along a rocky wall in Mysterious Island, the Jules Verne-inspired Tokyo DisneySea “land,” were Mickey-shaped balloons, white streamers that turned gold at their tips, colorful little bubbles, silver sparkles, and, yes, it was definitely a trash can.

Trash can Happiness Sharing Spot at Tokyo DisneySea
A little girl, who had been walking by with her mother, stopped to press a button below the trash can that had an image of Mickey’s hand on it. Tiny lights within the streamers began to glow and the display made a happy sound. This was my first experience with the Happiness Sharing Spots offered at the Tokyo Disney Resort theme parks during the 30th anniversary celebration.

I soon discovered more of these spots at Tokyo DisneySea. Each spot featured a different mundane-turned-magical item.

There was a magical lamp post…

Lamp post Happiness Sharing Spot at Tokyo DisneySea
… magical drinking fountains ...

Drinking fountain Happiness Sharing Spot at Tokyo DisneySea
 ... a magical pot of flowers ...

Flower pot Happiness Sharing Spot at Tokyo DisneySea
... and a magical bench.

Bench Happiness Sharing Spot at Tokyo DisneySea
At Tokyo Disneyland, I found only two Happiness Sharing Spots, a matching pair of magical cannons.

One of two cannon Happiness Sharing Spots at Tokyo Disneyland
There were medallions, called Happiness Sharing Pendants, available for purchase at many of the gift shops for 2,500 Yen. When inserted into a shaped well near the Happiness Sharing Spots, the pendants caused the displays to light up even more and sound even happier than when the Mickey’s hand button was pushed.

Medallion inserted into well
Festive Decorations

The DisneySea AquaSphere, at the entrance to Tokyo DisneySea, was decorated with Disney characters and Mickey-shaped Happiness Balloons…

Entrance to Tokyo DisneySea
…and so was Tokyo Disneyland’s Mickey Mouse flower bed.

Tokyo Disneyland’s Mickey Mouse flower bed
Cinderella Castle, inside Tokyo Disneyland, was decorated as well.

Tokyo Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle
And Happiness Year murals graced the interior of at least one of the resort monorails.

Monorail interior
Anniversary-themed Merchandise

There were 30th-anniversary-themed items everywhere I looked. I saw cups, towels, figurines, key chains, postcards, magnets, pillows, bags, tissue box covers, plush toys, and many other items.

Tokyo Disney Resort 30th-anniversary-themed merchandise
Anniversary-themed Entertainment

Both the night-time fireworks show and Tokyo Disneyland’s parade had a Happiness Year theme.

The fireworks show, called “Happiness on High,” was visible from both theme parks. Having witnessed the spectacular fireworks shows at Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida, I found the short, small-scale Tokyo show underwhelming.

Tokyo Disneyland’s parade, called “Happiness is Here,” was one of my favorite parts of the 30th anniversary celebration.  
“Happiness is Here” parade float at Tokyo Disneyland
I will never forget standing in the rain (that seemed to get harder by the minute) enjoying the parade along with my fellow Disneyland guests. People young and old smiled and clapped, watching the Disney characters (who subtly sported clear raincoats) ride their floats through the park while the catchy “Happiness is Here” 30th anniversary theme song played. Even in the rain, we were happy. Tokyo Disney Resort lived up to its promise!

Jen (California, USA)

Tokyo Disneyland opened on April 15th, 1983. The 30th anniversary celebration began April 15th, 2013 and runs through March 20th, 2014.

P.S. Inspired by my trip to Japan, I wrote a novel called Lost in Tokyo, about a girl finding herself and falling in love. Lost in Tokyo is available at and is FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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Nineteen-year-old Erin is hoping that her visit to Japan with her best friend, Adam, will be life-changing. When Erin was just four years old, her mother mysteriously vanished. Erin's only clue to her mother's possible whereabouts is a hand-written itinerary for a dream trip to Japan, a trip that Erin doesn't know if her mother ever had the chance to take. Erin has decided to carry out this itinerary, believing that it might help her find her mother.

But Erin's trip won't be going according to plan.

Hours after they arrive in Tokyo, in a jet-lagged fog, Erin and Adam end up in bed together. While struggling with the tension that now dominates their once innocent friendship and the trauma stirred up from Erin's painful past, Erin and Adam visit the places on her mother's list. As they explore the wonders of Japan, Erin finds herself haunted by strange "memories" that seem to belong to her mother. Could these memories be real? If so, perhaps her mother can be found.

Praise for LOST IN TOKYO:

"Full of heartbreak, loss and finding yourself while falling in love with your best friend. I would absolutely recommend this book and I have to several people already." -- Amy, Goodreads

"Beautifully written ... emotional adventure. Quite a few scenes brought out the goosebumps." -- Denise, Goodreads

"There were so many surprises I was on the edge of my seat." -- Kathryn, Goodreads

"Japan as a backdrop was such a unique story setting. It was both peaceful and exciting at the same time." -- Amanda, Goodreads

"Traveling throughout Japan is a dream of mine and this book created a sense of familiarity with places I've only witnessed through (manymanymany) videos." -- Em, Goodreads

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LOST IN TOKYO provides a travel guide of wonderful things to see and do while on vacation in Japan (featuring attractions in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Nikko, and Kamakura) wrapped in a coming-of-age story of healing and hope, with an unexpected ending that you'll never see coming.

LOST IN TOKYO is available as a Kindle ebook and in paperback. Read the Kindle ebook for FREE with Kindle Unlimited. If you're an Amazon Prime member and you own a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone, you can borrow the LOST IN TOKYO ebook for FREE from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

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