How Disney brings America’s Halloween traditions to the world.

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How Disney brings America's Halloween traditions to the world. 1

This interesting article comes to us from D23.

In the same way Walt Disney Parks and Resorts introduced Main Street, U.S.A. to Asia and Europe, they’re now inspiring guests from all around the world to experience something else as American as apple pie — Halloween. From a dancing zombie chorus line at Hong Kong Disneyland to a bewitching parade in Tokyo, each year the parks scare up nightmarish spectaculars, wicked parties and hair-raising attraction overlays. These holiday haunts are prompting a global interest in the American celebration, and we think this is the perfect time to catch up with a few Disney cast members from around the world to see how Disney’s fairy-tale landmarks are helping to turn Halloween into an international tradition.

Ten years ago, China had barely heard of Halloween. But when Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005, a ghoulish fall event with haunting effects and shadowy characters arrived with it, one that has continued to grow each year. “Celebrating Halloween in Asia is a relatively new phenomenon and therefore doesn’t follow the longstanding traditions seen in America,” says Laurie Jordan, vice president, Entertainment, Hong Kong Disneyland. “The Hong Kong market definition of Halloween tends to be the ‘scarier the better.’ Trick-or-treating is catching on in Hong Kong and is something our guests enjoy in Fantasyland. However, our Haunted Halloween plays largely to Asian sensibilities with an emphasis on dramatic, ghostly offerings.” A mob of zombies and a treacherous, towering dragon summoned by the evil Maleficent on Main Street, U.S.A. are just a few of the unforgettable spectacles that the park has created to introduce locals to the holiday. And now, the Haunted Halloween celebration has become their most successful and anticipated annual event.

At Tokyo Disneyland, guests are invited to wear their own costumes inside the magic kingdom for 14 special days in October. Guests parade through each themed land donning their favorite Disney or pop-culture character costumes and creating a park-wide masquerade. The costume party celebration continues at its sister park, Tokyo DisneySea. There, the Mysterious Masquerade, a Broadway-style revue at Waterfront Park, wraps everyone up in the spirit of Halloween with a dazzling performance from Mickey, Minnie, Donald and the rest of the gang.

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