Thursday, April 28, 2016

A New Set of Expansions Planned for the Tokyo Disneyland Resort Parks

The Tokyo Disneyland Resort has provided an update on their future expansion plans, and while pretty different from what was initially announced, there's still some rather neat things coming to both of the Japan parks.

Exact expansion plans have been a bit of a moving target - back in the fall of 2014 the resort announced a 10 year, $4 billion set of expansions, then gave more detail on them in May of 2015.  At the time the plans included a new Frozen themed land for DisneySea and a major expansion of Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland, including an Alice in Wonderland sub-area and more.  This past December the parks announced they were extending the "study period" of the expansions which many thought meant a decrease in the expansion size.

Now things appear back on track, and several new attractions have again been announced - replacing the original plan and speeding things up.  Now the goal is to have a combined 30 million visitors to the parks by 2020, and they will spend 50 billion yen ($460 or so million) a year on new fun to do it.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The large expansion of Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland has been somewhat reduced, with a brand new Beauty and the Beast area replacing Tomorrowland's Grand Circuit Raceway and StarJets.  The area (above) will be home to a major new ride, restaurant, retail and also a 1,500 seat live entertainment theater - all set in the highly themed world of the film.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The Beauty and the Beast section will feature a new ride unique to Tokyo Disneyland, retelling the famous story through what looks like trackless vehicles.  Set inside the Beast's castle, the 8 minute attraction will feature "enchanted serving dish" passenger vehicles and open in 2020.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Adjacent to the Fantasyland development will be a new Tomorrowland ride, themed around Big Hero 6.  The "whip" style attraction features cars pulled by their own "personal healthcare companion" and lively music.  A new popcorn food location will also open next to the ride, aimed for 2020.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Tokyo DisneySea an switched from adding a new land to a major new ride, a copy of the popular Soarin' attractions at existing Disney parks.  Located in the Mediterranean Harbor area, the ride will be meticulously themed as seen in the above concept art - making it fit in nicely with the rest of the beautiful park.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The Soarin' ride will take guests over famous landscapes across the globe, and it appears as though the rider cars will have some unique theming in this version.  The new ride is scheduled to open in 2019.

Both parks will also see major improvements in operations and staff training to support the record number of visitors they hope to obtain.  Plans for post-2020 include developments in all the existing themed lands of Tokyo Disneyland and filling in additional expansion plots in Tokyo DisneySea.

You can check out the entire press release, will much more information and concept art, at this link.