INFO: The Tanabata Festival at Tokyo Disneyland By Sarah Golden


The Tanabata Festival at Tokyo Disneyland by Sarah Golden

Magic, mystery and myth. All of these things exist at Tokyo Disney Sea. What better place to celebrate a traditional Japanese holiday based on a celestial myth? The festival of stars, or the Tanabata festival! Tanabata is a special occasion that takes place on the seventh of July every year. This holiday is one of the most romantic Asian holidays in the world. It is based on the mythical love of Orihime and Hikoboshi, the princess of the stars and the cowherd of the heavens.

Legend has it that Princess Orihime met the cowherd Hikoboshi and it was love at first sight. In fact, their love was so distracting that they abandoned their duties, and the skies were no longer in balance. Furious, Orihime's father, the Emperor of the Skies forbade the two from meeting, but Orihime begged her father to see Hikoboshi again. Finally, The Emperor allowed only one day, the seventh of July, and on this day the milky way is visible, and a bridge forms, allowing the two lovers to be together.

At Tokyo Disney Sea, Mickey and Minnie reenact this love story and encourage guests to make a wish in a show at the Mediterranean Sea area in the front of the park. They ride in on a beautiful cloud themed boat adorned with written wishes, streamers and the traditional gold ribbons of the festival.

The show isn't the only thing that Tokyo Disney Sea does to celebrate. The guests of the park can make a wish of their own at a special wishing spot at the American Waterfront at a brightly decorated area where they write their wishes on Mickey shaped paper and tie them to a tree. People from around the world write their wishes in different languages, and they enjoy the special treats that the park has provided for the occasion. Some of those treats included a sweet pudding dessert with pop rock candy, and a bright blue beer with a glowing star chiller.

Merchandise and special food from the restaurants are provided in select locations throughout the park, and they change every year. The year I went, they had stationary, traditional Mickey and Minnie dolls, and wishing charms for cell phones.

Celebrating Tanabata with Disney is a memorable occasion where wishes and dreams could come true.