Taiwan Lantern Festival to feature Tokyo Disneyland Parade

Tokyo Disneyland will for the first time send a troupe of more than 100 performers that will take the stage at the 2012 Lantern Festival in Changhua County, central Taiwan, according to the Tourism Bureau.

The festival, which this year runs Feb. 6-19, highlights global participation, as it is becoming a well-known international celebration, bureau officials said.

"It's unprecedented for Tokyo Disneyland, because until now it has only sent individual characters abroad for events like this," said Wayne Liu, the bureau's deputy director-general.

The parade, which will include Mickey and Minnie Mouse, is expected to be a mixture of American, Japanese and Taiwanese culture, Liu said.

Under the theme of "Dreams and Magic," the Disney team will also showcase a specially designed float, according to the organizers.

Now in its 23rd year, the festival was featured on Discovery Channel's Fantastic Festivals of the World program and last year drew more than 8 million visitors when it was hosted in northern Taiwan's Miaoli County.

As 2012 will be the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac, a dragon-motif main lantern that is 20 meters tall and weighs 40 tons -- reputed to be the biggest lantern ever made -- will be on display, the bureau said.

(Source: 30JAN2012)

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