Frozen Port at Tokyo DisneySea & Tokyo Disneyland New Fantasyland
Tokyo Disney Resort will be adding a new Scandinavia port with a Frozen area in it as Tokyo Disneyland adds a New Fantasyland with Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast areas, announced the Oriental Land Company (owners and operators of Tokyo Disney Resort). This is part of the company’s aggressive plan to spend 500 billion yen (~$4.2 billion) on its two existing theme parks between now and 2024.
The Scandinavia port-of-call will be located on an expansion pad in Tokyo DisneySea, while the New Fantasyland additions will mostly repurpose existing portions of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Both areas are set to be complete after the end of fiscal year 2017. This is a fairly aggressive construction schedule considering the expansiveness of these projects, and given that no construction has yet begun.
You can read more about the basics of the news in this press release from the Oriental Land Company. I’d rather focus on commentary than parroting a press release that you can read for yourself. (2017 Update: the Scandinavia port has been put on hold indefinitely in favor of Soarin’ expansion at Tokyo DisneySea; the New Fantasyland project has also shifted.)
Although this news seems like all-upside and no downside at first blush, let’s look a little closer…
The rough outline of this plan was actually unveiled last October, albeit only with the vague plan to expand Fantasyland and add a new, thematically undecided port to Tokyo DisneySea. The big news then was the amount of money being spent on the existing theme parks (which was closer to $5 billion at the time due to differences in the conversion rate). Even spread over 10 years, that number is pretty astonishing. While it includes things like back-of-house improvements and routine maintenance, even removing those expenditures, it’s still (at least) the equivalent of two Disney California Adventure overhauls.
It now appears that these two projects are where a good chunk of that money is being spent, and a post-fiscal year 2017 completion date means an aggressive construction timeline given the scale of the projects and the earthquake code in Japan that makes construction there more challenging. Heck, if this were Walt Disney World and the announcement were made today, construction probably wouldn’t even start until 2017. That’s what we call “The Avatarland Attack Plan.”
At that time the OLC announced their plan last October, I was mostly concerned about the news for Tokyo DisneySea. Given the success of Frozen at the time, particularly in Japan, and that it is set in the “Port of Arendelle,” I figured it was a foregone conclusion that the new port would be Frozenland. Now, like every good Disney fan, I sleep in a bed blanketed with a veritable sea of Olaf plushes, but it worried me that Tokyo DisneySea would be further ‘toonified.
This may seem preposterous to Disney fans who identify primarily with animation and enjoy the parks as an extension of that. It’s certainly not preposterous to any EPCOT Center fan who loved the park in its Center incarnation. Tokyo DisneySea is Disney’s most original, ambitious, and thoughtful concept since EPCOT Center.
Even if they are totally different in theme, they are the same in tone and spirit. The sad story of EPCOT Center has been told and retold, and doesn’t bear repeating here. Suffice to say, I hope the ghost of Dreamfinder is haunting every executive who played a part in bastardizing that park’s wonderful concept.
While still by far the greatest theme park in the world, Tokyo DisneySea has appeared headed on a similar trajectory. A park that opened with entirely original and ambitious concepts has seen every recent addition involving Disney characters (Turtle Talk with Crush, Jasmine’s Flying Carpets, Toy Story Mania) and the popularity of these attractions has vindicated the decisions to add them. You think Toy Story Mania is a madhouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Arrive at park opening someday at DisneySea. It makes the old DHS rope drop routine look like a leisurely afternoon stroll.
The reality is that Tokyo Disney Resort has a large, spend-happy demographic of young females who are enamored with Disney characters. Although Tokyo DisneySea opened with the aim of attracting Japan’s older, aging population to diversify its business, the quicker and easier buck is undoubtedly made by targeting the younger generation that is character-obsessed. Fortunately, the Oriental Land Company has gone to great lengths to ensure that all additions are carefully made, and aren’t just shoehorned in with some tenuous (or no) justification. This isn’t Monsters Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland.
Enter Frozen. Like I said, it seemed like the no-brainer decision for the last port in Tokyo DisneySea. Not only is the movie insanely popular and set in a port, but it offers a “type” of port that otherwise isn’t represented in DisneySea.
In fact, this last port was originally set to be called Glacier Bay back in the early days of DisneySea, and would presumably have a similar look to Arendelle. Frozenland just made sense, or so I thought, and I was concerned that its opening would further distance DisneySea from its original vision.
This is why I was shocked and elated when I read the news about the new port, and the first line is that it would be “themed to Scandinavia.” Now, the second line is a parenthetical explaining that it would include an area with the world of Frozen, but the fact that the port will draw from a real-world place is at least a minor coup. (The concept art for the Scandinavia port is at the top of this post.)
At the end of the day, who knows, maybe the entire concept will be swallowed by Frozen and the port will be called ‘Scandinavian Fjord’ but have no offerings that aren’t intertwined with Frozen in some way. The pessimist in me worries that might be the case, but the optimist is excited about the “multiple major attractions, shops, restaurants, and other facilities,” and hopeful that one E-Ticket will be IP-free and a large area of the land will be wholly Scandinavian. Color me at least cautiously optimistic this will be the case.
In an ideal world (and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case), the bulk of the exterior areas will be real-world Scandinavia. The ‘World of Frozen‘ area would be akin to Mermaid Lagoon’s King Triton’s Castle, which is a large indoor area, with multiple attractions that are all set underwater.
Think of how cool a similar concept with Frozen would be, set indoors in a perpetual state of winter. I don’t begrudge Frozen‘s inclusion in this port at all, as it is a natural fit, I just hope it doesn’t become a de facto Port of Arendelle. Note that I have absolutely no inside information on anything, so this is all simply speculation and conjecture on my part.
For me, there’s a lot less to say of interest about New Fantasyland. This truly was a no-brainer, and I see almost no way to criticize the changes being made here. If the concept art that was previously released and the plans attached thereto still stand, the bulk of this expansion comes at the expense of the Grand Circuit Raceway (the speedway) and long forgotten areas of Tomorrowland. This Disney and More article has a good dissection of the original concept art for Tokyo Disneyland’s New Fantasyland.
Like the rest of them, Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland is a thematic hodgepodge, and much of it is still stuck in the 1980s. I, for one, will not shed a single tear over the “loss” of the Grand Circuit Raceway, and the large swath of land it occupies is certainly a sensible place for expansion. Repurposing land is a necessary evil at Tokyo Disney Resort, where the only other way to expand requires costly reclaiming of land.
Previously, the plan was to relocate ‘it’s a small world’ to the Tomorrowland edge of Fantasyland, with the Alice in Wonderland expansion occurring in ‘it’s a small world’s’ current location, adjacent to Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. Makes perfect sense, although I’ve always thought moving attractions was the stuff of Theme Park Tycoon, not real life. (In fairness, a few hundred yards should be nothing compared to the move from New York to Anaheim!)
Details are sparse on what this area will include, but the ‘it’s a small world’ plot is massive. Alice in Wonderland is really popular in Japan, and the tone of the story makes for a perfect opportunity to test out a tech-heavy, impressionistic attraction. Trackless ride tech would be a fit for the source material, but being so close to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, I’m betting a different ride system will be utilized for the anticipated E-Ticket here.
The Beauty and the Beast area looks like it’ll occupy the plot between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland (and parts of both), and what this will include is another big question mark. I expect a modified version of Be Our Guest Restaurant, but I would be surprised to see Enchanted Tales with Belle. Characters are popular in Japan, but low-capacity attractions are a recipe for disaster in Tokyo Disneyland, the most attended theme park in the world (don’t believe the published numbers putting Magic Kingdom ahead), as the potential for multi-hour waits would be great. If this concept is even on the table, I suspect it will wait for the final approval until Stitch Encounter opens and operations has a chance to see how it handles crowds. I think much more likely is a high-capacity dark ride of some sort.
Tokyo Disneyland badly needs people eaters, and I think just about every addition that is part of this expansion will have high-capacity. Much of this expansion is likely occurring due to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the crowds expected to descend upon the parks then. There are already major issues with crowds, and this expansion will create even more interest in the parks, so it had better be able to offset that new interest (and existing crowd issues) through added capacity.
Unless the team working on New Fantasyland for Tokyo Disneyland makes a spectacular and unprecedented blunder, it should be a colossal improvement from what’s currently there. Imagineering has proven time and again what it is capable of when given the budget (just look at the park next door) and the Oriental Land Company appears poised to do this thing John Hammond style.
I think when all is said and done, New Fantasyland is going to be a jaw-dropping area that makes Walt Disney World fans feel robbed (well, besides the ones with their heads in the sand who think that ‘everything Disney does is magical’) over the version of New Fantasyland we received in the Magic Kingdom.
Really, the same goes for the Scandinavian port at Tokyo DisneySea. Even though I am apprehensive about how it will balance IP with the real Scandinavia, I am not at all concerned that it will be built with lavish detail and an incredible budget. Again, I’m cautiously optimistic that the right balance will be struck, and this will prove to be an appropriate addition to Tokyo DisneySea. This is not simply going to be a clone of whatever the heck is going on at Epcot as the great nation of Norway becomes the great nation of Arendelle.
The amount of money being thrown at the whole of Tokyo Disney Resort over the next few years, regardless of the substance of the projects, alone has me excited. I’m hopeful this aggressive expansion finally gets US Disney fans to sit up and take note because frankly, there’s only so much imploring I can do to convince people to visit Japan. If I haven’t convinced you by now…maybe my good friend Olaf can do a bit of persuading. 😉
If you’re thinking of visiting Japan for the first time and are overwhelmed with planning, definitely check out our Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Guide. It covers much more than the parks, from getting there to WiFi to currency and much, much more. For more photos and an idea of what we did day-by-day during our first visit, read our Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report.
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Does this expansion look like something you’d like to see at Walt Disney World? Would this be enough to push you over the edge and convince you to visit the parks in Japan? Any other thoughts or speculation to add about the project? Please share any questions and comments you have!
Are these changes still happening?
I’d been searching and searching the web in Japanese for an analysis of this expansion, and am surprised and delighted to find it here! Being someone squarely in the Japanese “demographic of young females who are enamored with Disney characters”, what you point out about the balance of originality and IP is something I never thought about. It’s a really intriguing debate!
As with all your trip reports and tips, it’s refreshing and fascinating to see each park in the larger context of the worldwide Disney Resorts and their respective history. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion!
I didn’t need anymore incentive because these parks look beautiful and so different from World. Just the cost of plane tickets has me pausing. Wonderful post. I hope they stay away from to much Frozen.
Japanese culture seems to have a pretty strong affinity for Scandinavia, interestingly — Scandinavian aesthetic styles are pretty popular, and there’s even a Swedish-style village named Sweden Hills on Hokkaido (it’s adorable). Hopefully this supports the notion that the new area will be Scandinavian first and Frozen second?
I really want to visit the Tokyo parks so very badly… the thought of the trip is definitely a bit overwhelming though. I have read your posts about planning / budgeting it and you have at least convinced me that it is possible for me to go at some point (which i didn’t really believe in the past). Just not sure when that will be yet. Maybe these new additions will be enough to get me to commit to planning a trip there in the 2017-2018 range!
I used to love this Disney Blog… It’s always been a joy for me to read to keep up with things, but the more I read the more I feel myself getting sucked in to your obvious pessimistic view of most of the things that the Walt Disney company does. It makes me wonder why you even bother writing a Disney blog if all you’re going to do is berate every decision they make.
It seems like you especially like to pick on WDW, for whatever reason. Sure, EPCOT isn’t what it used to be, and Hollywood Studios needs work to increase the number of attractions, but why do you insist on shoving these things in the faces of WDW fans everywhere?
Bear in mind that the parks at WDW are beloved, almost “sacred”, to the grand majority of the people who go there. You come across like everyone who goes to WDW is shallow and has no taste for the “finer things of Disney”. I think what bothers me the most is that you’re so matter-of-fact when you bash Disney. As if your opinion is the only one that matters. There are a lot of amazing things about all of the Disney parks, so why do you constantly focus on all of it’s “inferiority”? Even in posts that have nothing to do with WDW you somehow find a way to throw in a cynical remark or two about how horrible it is.
A tip to make your blog more enjoyable for every Disney fan to read: stop being so negative all of the time. You come across like if you can’t afford an overseas trip to Tokyo Disney that you might as well just stop going to Disney parks all together. I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but a large percentage of us can’t necessarily afford to fly to Tokyo Disney. Ever. So what’s the point in making it out to seem like all the other Disney parks are the ugly step sisters to the Holy Grail of all things Disney parks?
I just don’t get why you insist on dwelling on the extremely insignificant details and then act like it’s a travesty that Disney would ever dare do something SO unbelievably horrible. For what? Because they want to make space for character meet and greets where your favorite water fountain used to be? One of the things that makes Disney great is that they’re constantly changing the parks to ensure that fans have a magical experience not only this year, but for years to come. Is it inconvenient at times? Yes it is, but I guarantee if you asked a kid who was at Disney for their first time, “excuse me, little 8-year-old girl, doesn’t this 8 foot long construction wall just RUIN your entire Disney experience? I can’t believe Disney would try to put up a wall right here!” that her response would be an overwhelming “No!”
Maybe for once in a long time you should go to a Disney park, put down your camera and your negative outlook on Disney, and just enjoy the parks for what they are. Maybe you should stop thinking about how you can increase your word count on your next blog post and you should fall in love with the things that made Disney magical when you went as a kid. Isn’t that what Disney is all about? It’s a place to forget who and where you are, and just immerse yourself in the Magic. Are there things about the parks that some of us don’t necessarily like? Yes, but it’s so annoying how negative you are about them. You remind me of “that guy” in line for Peter Pan who won’t stop complaining about how long the line is when what he should be focusing on is how unbelievable it is that he even has the privilege to be at Disney! Stop and enjoy what IS there instead of always complaining about what you think should be there.
You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion, and I can fully respect if my tone and writing style are off-putting, and make you not want to read this blog.
For me, nothing is sacred. Implicit in the idea of treating things sacred is the notion that those things are above reproach. There are myriad Disney blogs that do treat Walt Disney World that way, and only focus on the positive. As an escapist vacation destination, I can totally understand if people want to focus only on the positive. I get and can respect that, and those people probably should not read this blog.
I have always tried to take an evenhanded approach, focusing both on the good and the bad. I think I am reasonably fair in my assessment of things, but of course, judging my own opinions is a bit ridiculous since I would simply alter my approach if I didn’t think I was being “fair.” Maybe I am not truly being fair, I don’t know.
I make no secret of my belief that the Tokyo parks are far superior to Walt Disney World, both in substance and operations. In fairness, I think you’ll find this same sentiment from 95%+ of guests who have been to both. I visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland far more than I go to Tokyo, so I certainly don’t advocate “not going” to Disney Parks if you can’t afford Tokyo.
With that said, I absolutely adore Walt Disney World, and when I criticize it, I do so because I want the best for it and leaders who actually care about it. Beyond that, I think I’m fairly optimistic about its future. If you read my most recent WDW Rumor post, I think you’ll see that: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/disney-world-summer-2015-news-rumors/
In that post, I am…
-Optimistic about AVATAR Land; a stance contrary to the consensus among Disney fans
-Accepting of Toy Story Land in DHS; something many fans oppose
-Excited to see the new-look Poly; changes that have been derided by many due to the removal of the lobby fountain
-Excited for the Jungle Cruise Restaurant; I’ll be honest, everyone I know is excited for this
I don’t know where your remarks about water fountains, meet & greets, and construction walls are coming from; to my knowledge, I’ve never brought up any of those topics in a critical regard.
As for the jokes about Walt Disney World, don’t read too much into them. I make jokes about every topic under the sun, including myself (I sleep in a bed of Olaf plushes…).
I just don’t see what you’re seeing in this blog. It honestly doesn’t strike me as negative at all. I enjoy the humor and irreverence. I enjoy reading about the international parks even though it will be many years before our kids will be old enough for international travel. The coverage here can’t be found anywhere else and you get delightful photography as well.
Well said Anne. 100% agree.
Tom is just a guy. He’s being pretty generous with his time writing this blog, and I don’t think he would do it if he didn’t absolutely love Disney. Loving something means you have strong feelings about it, and strongly negative feelings are part of that. Attacking him for sharing his opinions on a blog that we’re enjoying for free (despite the fact that it’s more helpful than most guidebooks) seems more far more negative than anything he’s ever said about Disney.
Caleb, have you been to Tokyo Disney Resort? Maybe you have, and maybe it didn’t leave an impression on you. But personally having visited *every* Disney park in the world, for me I cannot help but be slightly sad about the missed potential in the other Disney parks. And trust me it’s worse for Europeans like me, because we have to endure the low service and maintenance levels at Disneyland Paris, which makes the American parks seem like utopian perfection. In my opinion, Tokyo Disney Resort is how Disney should be. It’s like they read a manual of Disney service in the 70s/80s and then continued perpetuating, even improving upon, all the traditions. Even aside from the massive investment in astonishing attractions, it’s the details at Tokyo that makes it the most Disney of all parks. I didn’t see a single lightbulb out when I was on my trip. The staff at Tokyo are the friendliest ever – even when they’re speaking in their patchy English. If you haven’t yet been to Tokyo, please do it. The more Americans and Europeans who realise what they’re missing out on, the more chance we have of convincing Disney to up their game.
Okay, this looks amazing. As uninterested as I am in frozen, I have every confidence that Imagineering plus OLC and OLC’s budget will produce something amazing. It will be fascinating to compare and contrast with the Frozen attraction at Epcot…
Fantasyland and the Fantasyland end of Tomorrowland was always the weakest part of TDL, so it’s great to see them fixing that with elaborately themed areas. I wonder what the attractions will be.
The only thing I can’t quite work out is that the concept art for the Frozen port shows frozen-themed areas in the foreground, which would be where Port Discovery is. I’m not sure how that will work?
I wonder what Disney will do when all the Frozen mania is over and the wait time for Frozen attractions drops to normal levels. I am thinking the huge investment in this area is short-sighted.
I think Frozen has already solidified its place in history alongside other timeless Disney animated classics. Certainly the “mania” will die down, but I see building Frozen attractions as no different than Beauty and the Beast or Alice in Wonderland (both of which are getting their own mini-lands) ones, or a Mermaid Lagoon in TDS dedicated to The Little Mermaid.
In this case, it seems like WDI and the OLC are hedging their bets by not making it a fully-fledged Port of Arendelle, and instead doing a Scandivanian Fjord with Frozen elements.
Wow, this is exciting! We went to TDR in November, expecting to be ‘one and done’ – now we all just dream of going back. Partly, I admit, for the ‘people watching’ of the character obsessed!
I’m a little surprised that WDI has not tried to shoehorn The Little Mermaid attraction into TDS. I’m guessing it’s an issue with available space?
Yay another reason to return to disney sea we went last year and it was AMAZING TDR definately does not get the credit it deserves can’t wait to go back now with the expansion it gives me a date to look forward to 2024 TDR here we come PS when are they gonna give us Disney Downunder!!! As much as I enjoy travelling abroad I wish Disney was in our backyard…
First, congratulations on “scooping” this news in the U.S.! I don’t think other U.S. sites have posted this yet–maybe they never will. At times, it’s like they pretend TDLR doesn’t exist, despite the fact this expansion (combined) seems way bigger than Cars Land or anything at WDW so far.
Second, the 2017 opening date does seem far-fetched. However, I think the Harry Potter expansions for Hollywood and Japan were announced at the same time, and the Japan expansion opened last year while the Hollywood one won’t open until next year. So for whatever reason, things seem to be built more quickly in Japan, though seemingly not by sacrificing quality.
Third, as for the Frozen theming, for some reason I’m not as worried. World Showcase is supposed to represent real countries but TDS is more a fantasy take on different ports of call, which is what Arendelle really is. Also the existing ports already had rides based on specific IP like Indiana Jones at Lost River Delta and 20K Leagues at Mysterious Island. I agree that if there’s multiple rides, they shouldn’t all be about Frozen, but I can’t see the main E-ticket ride being anything but Frozen. I’m fine with it as long as it’s done well.
I’m bummed about Mystic Rhythmic closing. I already missed Mythica. They’d better not close Big Band Beat before I make it over there…
As always, keep up the news on the overseas parks. It really makes your site different from all the other ones out there!
I just read from an insider that the Frozen E-ticket will cost over $400 million! I hope this means it can potentially top Mystic Manor as the best dark ride ever created.
Cool, so a 2017-19 trip is in order after the expansions but before the Olympics.
“John Hammond style”… I’ll have to steal that phrase. Love it.
Thanks. My Seinfeld and Jurassic Park references are on point. Really, the only reason to read this blog.
Delay the trip until then if you must, but I really see to reason for anyone who regularly visits Walt Disney World to do that. If you’re a Disney regular, there is virtually no chance that a “once in a lifetime” trip to Tokyo will truly be a one-time trip. Those parks are just too awesome. Try to find me Disney fans who have been and consider it a “one and done” for them. Doubt you will find many…
Don’t delay if you don’t need to. We’re already plotting a return trip next year (although it’s relatively easy for us as we currently live in Korea).
When I look at the bottom part of the rendering of the “Scandanavia/Frozen” Port, I see what appears to be some additional buildings with Scandanavian architectural elements across the river and across the bridge. I am wondering if they plan to retheme the Hanger Stage that has played hosted to Mystic Rhythms and install a Frozen stage show. Just a thought when I saw the rendering.
I suppose anything is possible, but given that the replacement for Mystic Rhythms was announced last year with all of the expensive R&D already being finished for it, I don’t see that happening. I suspect the actual plans for this area are going to really blow people away. The vague rumblings I’ve heard are ambitious, to say the least…
Does the low yen have any effect on these expansions? That is, are they getting less for their money now than previously? I would expect most of their construction costs to be sourced locally in yen, whereas only the research and design costs would be based in USD due to WDI being located overseas. I could be completely wrong though, as this is not an area I’m familiar with.
I mean, theoretically the work WDI does for which they are paying in USD is more expensive relative to what it was before, but only to the extent of R&D. I doubt that really has too much of an impact on things.
In any case, the Oriental Land Company has demonstrated that it is not averse to spending more money and going over budget when necessary to do things the “right” way. Tower of Terror was the last really good example of this, and I suspect pretty much everything here will be the next big example. It’s an exciting time to be a Tokyo Disney Resort fan! 🙂
Being of Scandinavian descent, this makes me excited and nervous at the same time. Our Scandinavian heritage is very important to my family, and other families, which is why Norway is our favorite land at EPCOT, and why Frozen was exciting to us at first, and then scary because it seems like our culture is being Disneyfied. My grandmother’s name was Elsa, and I always planned on naming my future daughter that, but not anymore now that it is becoming a popular name due to the film. My dogs are named Olaf and Sven, and now everyone thinks they are named after the Frozen characters. Tourism in Norway and Sweden is booming, but only because little girls want to see Arendelle. So the whole Frozenfication of EPCOT is concerning as is the future Scandinavia land at Tokyo DisneySea. While it’s loosely based on a Hans Christian Anderson story, the Little Mermaid is too and that isn’t shuffled into Scandinavia things at Disney. So my hope is that this Scandinavia Land is Scandinavia with just a small mention of Frozen, and I hope the Frozen ride at EPCOT is just Olaf traveling around Norway (I will confess that I too find Olaf adorable).
I would be much more concerned about what’s happening at Epcot than what’s happening at Tokyo DisneySea. The OLC is going to give the Imagineers the money to do this expansion right, and that should entail striking the right balance between real-world Scandinavia and fictional Arendelle, and making the fictional blend seamlessly with the real.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Arabian Coast at Tokyo DisneySea, but it draws heavily from Aladdin, while still being faithful to real world design sensibilities and having unique attractions. That is what I expect from the Scandinavian Fjord port.
For whatever it’s worth coming from someone you don’t know at all, I’ll echo what Tom says about the likelihood the OLC will treat Scandinavia right at DisneySea. My family and I are just finishing up a vacation in Tokyo that included four days at the resort. DisneySea was amazing, and I have to imagine that whatever they do with this expansion will be top notch. I’ve also always been a Norway pavilion fan (I’ll miss Maelstrom, actually), along with the rest of what EPCOT used to be. DisneySea does indeed have a similar vibe to it, even though it’s a different beast.
I didn’t need any more incentive to visit Tokyo Disney, I’m just waiting to save up the money and vacation time (and find someone to go with me who also has the money and vacation time–possibly the more difficult part). This is just going to make the wait more painful.
Keep an eye on airfare! I’ve seen it for $650 roundtrip out of a number of cities (not just the normal West Coast ones–I’m talking places like Columbus, Ohio) and with the current conversion rate, a Tokyo trip could cost about as much as a Walt Disney World trip.
Oh this has put me in two minds about my first TDR trip! I’m meant to be going September 2016 but I love Alice and a Alice themed expansion is a dream come true. Hopefully there won’t be boards up everywhere.
There will likely be walls up by that point, but I suspect the impact of them on your trip will be minimal. Tokyo Disneyland needs as much space as possible for crowds to move, and the areas where walls be should be at the edges of the park, anyway.
I was similarly concerned about the new port being all Frozen, so the concept art is encouraging. I really hope they have at least one great attraction other than Frozen in the new port. Other than that I just have to laugh at all the Frozen overlay in Epcot defenders. This is how it’s done son.
In my view one of the rare misses in Tokyo is Fantasyland and its concrete jungle appearance. I’m optimistic that it will be addressed in a big way to add more of a fantasy forest look. I could see a ride going in like the updated Alice ride at DLR on steroids.
I think both of these projects will be a wake-up call for some Walt Disney World fans who treat everything those parks do as amazing. Here, you have two projects that can be DIRECTLY compared to what has been or is being added to Walt Disney World. New Fantasyland is no slouch at Walt Disney World, but I think this will blow it out of the water. It goes without saying that the TDS Scandinavia port will trounce the Norway re-theme.
Tokyo Disneyland’s concrete jungle appearance *in general* is a miss. If you look at areas of the park that were built subsequent to the park’s opening (Critter Country, tropical area in Adventureland), the environments are much better designed, and have a certain warmth to them. I think when the park was originally being built, there were such serious concerns about attendance projections that every walkway was built really large and everything done to make guest flow easy. That certainly has some upsides, but it has downsides as well. This project should further address those downsides.
Yeah, those walkways. Tokyo Disneyland is not by any stretch of the imagination the most beautiful Magic Kingdom-style park on the planet – I’m not even sure that it’s better than Hong Kong Disneyland – and for me it’s the walkways that spoil it.
Not so much the width, but just the fact that the walkways for the most parts have no pavement/sidewalk and are just green or red concrete with no themeing. I spent a lot of time wondering whether it would be feasible for them to re-theme at some point with all the lovely little touches I expect from Disney such as horseshoe imprints and gravel marks.
On the other hand, the walkways DO get massively busy, even in the low season, and I don’t see any evidence that the guests really care at all. After all they’re spending hours on the walkways sitting on plastic mats waiting for the parades (which seem to happen about nine times a day!)