On April 15 of this year, Tokyo Disney Resort began a year-long celebration commemorating the 30th anniversary of its 1983 opening. They call it The Year of Happiness! Why? From the beginning, the Resort has been a place where dreams come true and where Guests create many happy memories. It seemed only fitting to deem this special time The Year of Happiness.
A new parade was begun for the celebration, called Happiness is Here. The Parade performs only once a day but lasts a magical 45 minutes. Featuring Disney-character motifs, a Mickey Mouse toy-shaped float, princesses, fairies, and more, this lively presentation brings lots of happiness to Guests of all ages.
Happiness on High, a special nighttime fireworks display was also created just for this anniversary year. The sky above the Parks comes alive specific evenings, set to Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th anniversary theme song.
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues opened this year in honor the Resort’s big year. With 3D effects and more than 50 possible story combinations, Guests can experience new thrills each time they ride.
Special decorations and commemorative merchandise can also be found across the Resort until March 20, 2014.
The traditional gift for someone celebrating a 30th anniversary is the pearl. How appropriate that is for Tokyo Disney Resort, seeing as Japan has been a leading producer of both natural and cultured pearls for many, many years.
Costellos.com says pearls have been a source of fascination for centuries, claiming, “They have been considered the most magical and feminine of all gems and are the only one created by a living organism.” Pearls, composed of 82-86% mineral (calcium carbonate), 10-14% organic binder, and 2-4% water, are very soft and chip easily. An emblem of modesty, chastity, and purity, pearls have also come to symbolize a happy marriage.
If possible, visit Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Journey about halfway around the World Showcase to the Japan Pavilion, and stop by the Mitsukoshi Department Store. About midway back on the left is a very special counter. Here, for $15, you can purchase a freshly plucked pearl! Choose your oyster and be entertained as the Cast Member removes its pearl, cleans, and then measures it for you. An array of beautiful settings are available for purchase too. If you’d rather just watch, that’s fine! It’s quite entertaining, and the young ladies behind the counter are more than eager to explain the process of how the pearl grows, how they are harvested, and what makes your pearl so special!
Here’s the one my daughter got when we were there in September (it was an early birthday gift)!
For an additional activity, make a faux pearl necklace in honor of Tokyo Disney Resort’s “Pearl” Anniversary! Stop by the local hobby shop for some beads and cord. String it as desired and attach a closure. Think of Tokyo Disney Resort each time you wear it.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Marine Biology, Arts & Crafts
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary, Middle Grades
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