TOKYO, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo Disneyland celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday, kicking off year-long festivities featuring several iconic characters.
Despite the rainy weather, people rushed to the theme park located east of Tokyo for the first day of celebration, greeted with passionate waves of hands and high-fives by actors and actresses at the entrance.
"We will step up hard work to make this a place where everyone's dreams continue," Kenji Yoshida, president of Disneyland's operator Oriental Land, said at the launch ceremony for the 40th-anniversary celebrations.
The celebration activities will be held until March 31, 2024.
Starting Saturday, Tokyo Disneyland will present a new daytime 45-minute parade called "Disney Harmony in Color", which includes characters from Disney movies such as "Zootopia", "Moana" and "Wreck-it Ralph", as well as long-time favorites.
Among the celebration activities will also be "Club Mouse Beat", a live entertainment program performed by Mickey Mouse and his friends, "Let's Celebrate with Colors" featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends greeting guests from aboard a boat at Tokyo DisneySea, and "Sky Full of Colors" with fireworks lighting up the night sky at both parks of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba Prefecture.
Tokyo Disneyland, which opened on April 15, 1983, was the first Disney park outside the United States. Its neighboring theme park Tokyo DisneySea was opened to the public in 2001.
The total number of visitors to the two parks had surpassed 800 million as of March 2022.