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18 Jun 2018

Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan as Disney finalises multi-billion dollar expansion for Tokyo theme park
BY Tom Anstey

The port, says Disney, is inspired by a magical spring, which will open up into each of the Disney worlds

The port, says Disney, is inspired by a magical spring, which will open up into each of the Disney worlds

Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan are coming to Disney's Tokyo theme park, after the operator announced a multi-billion dollar agreement with the Oriental Land Company for the largest expansion in the history of DisneySea.

Expected to open in 2022, the development, which has been budgeted at ¥250bn (US$2.26bn, €1.95bn, £1.7bn), will see an eighth port comprising three themed areas opened, as well as a new luxury hotel.

The port, says Disney, is inspired by a magical spring, which will open up into each of the Disney worlds. The expansion will include four major attractions, as well as three restaurants and a retail outlet.

In the Frozen area, guests can explore the kingdom of Arendelle, which will feature the boat ride already in existence at Disney's Epcot theme park and under development at Hong Kong Disneyland. In addition, a restaurant inside the castle will sit at the foot of a snow-covered mountain scene.

Rapunzel's tower will be the iconic attraction for the Tangled area, which will allow visitors to explore the forest and tower where she lives. The area will also include an attraction that follows Rapunzel to the lantern festival and a restaurant inspired by the hideout of the film's thugs.

Never Land, the home of Peter Pan, will be home to two attractions and a restaurant. Landmarks include Never Land's mountains, Captain Hook's pirate ship and Skull Rock. The first attraction will be a flight simulator, taking guests over the jungles of Never Land into a battle with Captain Hook. The second attraction will take guest to Pixie Hollow, the home of Tinker Bell. The area's restaurant is inspired by the Lost Boys' hideout.

The hotel will be themed to Disney fantasy and will offer views of the entire port area. It will offer 475 bedrooms, while a retail store will be available on the first floor, as well as two restaurants.

The development will take up 140,000sq m (1.5 million sq ft), with 100,000sq m (1.1 million sq ft) dedicated to the theme park and hotel. With the expansion, the licensing agreement between Disney and the Oriental Land Company – which currently runs until 2046 – has been extended to 2076.

"Together with the large-scale enhancement of Tokyo Disneyland, scheduled to start
operations in 2020, this new project marks a major step in the evolution of Tokyo Disney
Resort into a one-of-a-kind themed resort where guests will enjoy even more magical
Experiences," said a statement from the Oriental Land Company.

"In the 35 years since the grand opening of Tokyo Disneyland, Japan has undergone rapid
growth and Oriental Land has consistently offered new experiences that can be shared by guests of all ages that they can only have at Tokyo Disney Resort."

Japan’s theme park market has recently shown signs of increasing, as US operators Disney and Universal continue to invest in new attractions.

In recent years, Universal has funded its major Harry Potter expansion, as well as investments into a new area opened last year devoted to Despicable Me’s Minions.

A ¥60bn (US$534m, €451m, £397m) Nintendo and Mario-themed area is also in progress, with the attraction expected to open in 2020 ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Disney is also creating its own competition in Asia. In 2016 it launched Shanghai Disneyland, which drew 11 million visitors in its first year. China is also a hotbed for theme park development, with more than 60 new parks expected to open by 2020, though the government has recently tried to curb this development fearing projects are low quality or financially untenable.



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