The Disney experience in Tokyo is a truly bizarre one. There are locals who spend basically every spare moment in the park. They buy year-long tickets. They have their favourite characters, whose meet-and-greet appearance schedules they learn and whose merchandise they buy religiously. I found out how the cloying smell of popcorn and other sweets is pumped into the air to make people constantly crave snacks (it made me mad because it smelled awful but also made me hungry).
I was (and remain) torn about how to respond to this fairground behemoth. On one hand, it's a blatantly capitalist money-grab, where people go as a total escape from real life. A docile population kept more docile by a world of huge plush characters, actors who wave to you and over-priced food. But on the other, it genuinely makes them happy. Not pretend-happy, real-happy. Does the fact that it's making some people extraordinarily wealthy negate the fact that millions go through the park each year and have a wonderful time? I don't know. I'd never been to a major theme park before and spent the whole time oscillating between the fun of it all - there's no denying it was a lot of fun - but also the feeling of being very uncomfortable at the thought of it all. But I wasn't thinking of any of this while I was dancing.