Aaah, Tanabata - the story of two star crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are only allowed to meet once a year.
It's said that if you make a wish on this day, it might come true.
The Disney event for this Japanese festival is called Tanabata Days, and it lasts three weeks this year. One of the main attractions for Tanabata Days is the wishing place at each park. Cast members dressed in yukata hand out free Mickey-shaped tanzaku papers for everyone to write their wishes on. You're free to take these home with you to collect if you want, but then your wishes might not come true.
Tanabata hit me straight in the feels this year. I'm currently in a long distance relationship, and the thought of only being able to meet once a year (and only if it's sunny, I might add! Hang up all your teru teru bouzu for Orihime and Hikoboshi, please!), is absolutely heartbreaking. WHAT SORT OF A CELEBRATION IS THIS, JAPAN?!
See that girl bawling during the short 10 minute Tanabata greeting? Yup, that might be me.
The greeting "parades" (I use the word "parade" very lightly here, hence the """"") are short, but cute. They feature Mickey and Minnie as Hikoboshi and Orihime, at DisneySea you get a bonus pair, as Duffy and Shellie May are also dressed up in Tanabata costumes. And then there are all the various princesses with their princes. Aww. But the greetings really only last for about 10 minutes or so. The song is cute, it's a mix of Disney tunes and Tanabata-sama, a traditional children's song about, you guessed it, Tanabata.
Despite all this, I have a sneaking suspicion that the main draw at Tokyo Disney Resort during Tanabata are all the Tanabata themed food items. Yes, it's a three week event (previously even shorter, literally only days!), but it comes with its own special menus. The hotels join in too!
I went and tried the Tanabata cake set at Hyperion Lounge at the Disney Ambassador Hotel. It was basically an enormous éclair with mango cream, fresh mango and pineapple, and adorable decorations. The little straw across the top was an actual bamboo straw.
The odd contraption sticking out the side of it is a pipette filled with mango sauce. I was told to add this according to taste. Apparently people use it to draw cute Mickey shapes on their plate, but I'm not that creative. I piped it into my mango cream, and it was absolutely delicious.
The parks offer up some incredibly delicious soft serve shave ice jellies in the image of the two lovers.
I had the blue one at DisneySea and the pink one at Disneyland, only later did I realise that I'm the milky way in this equation. Very poetic, Tokyo Disney. We are all star dust.