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Tokyo Disneyland celebration

Tokyo Disneyland has begun its 30th anniversary celebrations with a spectacular ceremony, ahead of a year of special events at the park.

The ceremony featured Tom Staggs, the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Toshio Kagami, the CEO of the Oriental Land Company (which operates the Tokyo Disney Resort). More than 300 Disney characters and Cast Members joined the show, which was captured on camera in the video embedded below.

Speaking on stage, Staggs said: "Since opening day, the Tokyo Disney Resort has inspired the imaginations of hundreds of millions of guests, becoming the most beloved leisure destination in Japan. The special relationship and collaboration we have with our partner, Oriental Land Company, has continued to grow and flourish over the last three decades, and this can directly be seen in the many incredible attractions, entertainment and experiences we’ve added to the Resort throughout the years."

The anniversary celebrations saw a one-off fireworks show, dubbed "Happiness on High", being performed, as well as the debut of a new daytime parade known as "Happiness is Here". This features 13 floats, occupied by Disney characters including Goofy, Aladdin and Winnie the Pooh. The parade will be performed throughout 2013, which has been named "Happiness Year" by Tokyo Disneyland.

Covering a 115-acre plot in Urayasu, Tokyo Disneyland is similar in style to the original Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The park's most popular rides will be familiar to fans of Disney's other properties: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain and Peter Pan's Flight, to name just a few. It does have a few originals of its own, though, including the innovative Pooh's Hunny Hunt and Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek.

In an ambitious move, Disney agreed to build its first theme park outside of the US at the same time that it was constructing Epcot at Walt Disney World. Tokyo Disneyland threw open its gates on April 15, 1983, and is owned by the Oriental Land Company, which licenses the attractions and characters from Disney. It has proven to be a spectacular success, and is currently ranked behind only the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland as the third most popular theme park in the world.

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