New lands, rides, restaurants, entertainment, and more is coming to Tokyo Disneyland in 2023 and 2024. If you’re debating dates for a Japan trip, here’s what’s next during the TDL 40th Anniversary celebration and beyond–construction info, expansion, opening dates, and more. (Updated May 16, 2023.)
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that this post only covers new and changing things at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. If you want something comprehensive, consult our Tokyo Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. That’s 6,000 words offering a crash course in the basics of trip prep, including everything from getting around to food to touring strategy and cities to visit in Japan beyond TDR.
The point of this post is to showcase what’s on the horizon, and help answer the question of whether you should visit Tokyo Disney Resort soon or wait. Most of you reading this are likely Disney fans based in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or Europe who are on the fence about when to take your first trip to Japan. This should help make the decision easier…
As a threshold matter, you might be wondering whether you even can visit Japan, as the border remained closed to regular visitors for over a year longer than any other G7 country. Well, the good news is that Japan is now open–and we’ve already returned to Tokyo Disney Resort since tourism resumed and still have many more on-the-ground updates to share from our trip.
Japan’s reopening should factor into when you visit Tokyo Disney Resort. That’s beyond the scope of this post, but is covered in the commentary here–and is something we address in our latest When to Visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2023-2024 update.
With that out of the way, let’s cover what’s new and what’s next at Tokyo Disney Resort!
Toy Story Hotel – We’ll start outside our tour of what’s new at Tokyo Disney Resort outside the parks. Across from Bayside Station, nestled between the Hilton Tokyo Bay and Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay is the Toy Story Hotel. As the name suggests, this brings to life the world of toys and shrinks guests down to become “honorary toys” to take part in the fun that Andy has assembled. In essence, this means a lot of larger-than-life play figures around the hotel.
Toy Story Hotel is a moderate monorail loop resort with 595 guest rooms–575 standard rooms and 20 superior rooms. The guest rooms are inspired by Andy’s bedroom, and there are a range of other fun toy-themed amenities at Toy Story Hotel. With that said, it’s definitely positioned below Hotel MiraCosta and Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, both of which remain the gold standard at Tokyo Disney Resort, and worldwide. See our post about Toy Story Hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort for more info and photos.
Tokyo Disneyland Expansion – Next up is the Tokyo Disneyland large scale expansion project, which was the blockbuster addition planned ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Just as that event didn’t happen as planned, so too did this expansion not have a big grand opening. Instead, it quietly debuted without any fanfare.
The is essentially Tokyo’s New Fantasyland…but all Beauty and the Beast! This area stretches from Belle’s Village to the secluded forest home to Beast’s Castle. In the village is La Taverne de Gaston restaurant and Village Shoppes line the street.
Belle’s Village – This trio of shops consists of La Belle Librairie, Little Town Traders and Bonjour Gifts. These stores feature many details from the film, including the rolling ladder to reach books on the high shelves and Belle’s favorite book. They’ll carry hand-made toys, candlesticks, dish-ware, books, dresses, and other clothing.
La Taverne de Gaston – This is a counter service restaurant, similar to Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom. The menu is different, with a bunch of meat-stuffed pastries (best of both worlds!) and a soft drink version of Gaston’s favorite brew.
LeFou’s & Le Petit Popper – Next door to the taverne is LeFou’s, which is a small snack shop window that serves apple-caramel churros, a new flavor for Tokyo Disneyland. Le Petit Popper is also in this area, and is a wagon in village where Belle lives that serves up fresh popcorn.
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast – Leaving the village behind, guests enter the forest and approach Beast’s Castle. Inside is the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, the expansion’s flagship attraction. This trackless dark ride features magical cups that “dance” in rhythm to the animated film’s music as they take guests through scenes depicting the story of Belle and the Beast.
We’ve now had the chance to do Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast several times (along with everything else on this ‘new’ list, for that matter) and it’s exceptional. It doesn’t quite enter the elite tier of attractions around the world, but it’s definitely in the top 20 for both of us. There are some truly remarkable effects, show scenes, and the queue and Beast’s Castle are absolutely stunning. Do not miss it!
Fantasyland Forest Theatre – Nestled in its own secluded setting straight out of a fairytale, this is the first indoor theater at Tokyo Disneyland. (It’s the indirect replacement for Showbase, which is between Space Mountain and Star Tours: the Adventures Continue.)
Both the exterior and interior design of this theater were inspired by the forest, with half-timbers, tree forms, and pillars featuring in the design. The theater is decorated with beautiful tapestries, candle-inspired chandeliers, and murals celebrating the forest and the woodland critters from Disney animation.
Mickey’s Magical Music World – I’m not sure why I’ve made this a separate entry, but Mickey’s Magical Music World is the Tokyo Disneyland original musical production inside Fantasyland Forest Theatre. The stage show features Mickey Mouse and friends in a spectacular performance of music and dance that makes full use of the theater’s large-scale stage sets and effects.
The conceit here is that Mickey Mouse and friends discover a music box deep in the forest. They turn the music box’s large golden key and doors suddenly open. That begins (what sounds like) a montage musical featuring a slew of different characters and songs from various movies, as they search for a “lost song.”
The Happy Ride with Baymax – Opposite the Fantasyland additions in Tomorrowland is the Happy Ride with Baymax, which is the world’s first rotating ride attraction themed to Big Hero 6 (released in Japan as Baymax). Hiro Hamada and his robotic personal healthcare companion Baymax developed this wild, musical ride that is sure to make everyone happy–which is the first step to healthiness.
As Hiro’s favorite up-tempo music plays, guests aboard vehicles pulled by Baymax’s nursebot friends can enjoy being whirled around in unexpected ways. A device on the attraction’s ceiling “scans” the guests with lights to measure their happiness while on the ride. This is a straightforward flat ride, but hopefully it’s a surprisingly delightful one that overachieves (a la Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree).
The Big Pop – Next door to the Happy Ride with Baymax in Tomorrowland is The Big Pop, a cosmic-themed shop specializing in popcorn. Hanging from the starry ceiling is a huge popcorn chandelier representing the “big bang” that created the universe. Large windows allow guests both inside and outside the shop to view the kitchen where the popcorn is being made and enjoy the aroma.
The Big Pop offers a variety of popcorn buckets that can be filled with a choice of three flavors of popcorn: Cookie & Cream, Caramel & Cheese, and Strawberry Milk.
Minnie’s Style Studio – For the first time at Tokyo Disneyland, guests can meet Minnie Mouse in her very own greeting facility. Minnie’s Style Studio is the aspect of the expansion located in Toontown, and although it’s only a meet & greet, it’s a plussed version.
As a world-renowned fashion designer, Minnie Mouse will greet guests while wearing her latest design, which will change each season. Decked out with a big, polka-dot bow, Minnie’s Style Studio is where she designs, creates and photographs her new fashions.
Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary – Dubbed the “Dream-Go-Round” celebration, Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary event is now underway and continues through March 31, 2024.
“Dream-Go-Round” represents the happy moments that countless guests have experienced throughout the years at Tokyo Disney Resort, “Where Dreams Come True.” During this commemorative year at Tokyo Disney Resort, the dreams of guests, Cast Members and characters come together to celebrate Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary in grand fashion.
Disney Harmony in Color – Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary new daytime parade features a harmonious world of vibrant colors. This replaced Dreaming Up, which debuted for the 35th Anniversary.
Harmony in Color kicks off with Tinker Bell, followed by many other characters from popular Walt Disney Animation Studios films such as Zootopia, Moana, Wreck-It Ralph, Coco, and more appearing on colorful floats full of fun. In the finale, Mickey Mouse and his friends appear, inviting guests to a world of colors and harmony.
Soaring: Fantastic Flight – This hang-glider simulator ride offers a grandiose flight over some amazing locations around the globe. Soaring Fantastic Flight’s ride component is similar to Soarin’ in Walt Disney World and DCA, if you’re familiar with those. The video is identical, save for the finale.
The big difference here is the build-up to that: Soaring Fantastic Flight has an incredibly lavish queue and impressive new pre-show with its own unique storyline that makes a world of difference and has impressive effects. The video also has one scene swapped out, and a new finale that ends over Tokyo Disney Resort. It’s worth seeing even if you’ve experienced Soarin’ elsewhere.
Believe! Sea of Dreams – The new nighttime spectacular at Tokyo DisneySea is Believe! Sea of Dreams, which is performed once nightly in Mediterranean Harbor. This 30 minute long show is the permanent replacement for Fantasmic, and is a ~$70 million addition. Believe! Sea of Dreams offers paid reserved viewing, and is recommended on busy nights.
As the name suggests, this nighttime spectacular transforms Mediterranean Harbor into the Sea of Dreams—a place filled with “wishing stars.” Believe! Sea of Dreams features large boats gliding dynamically over the water’s surface, bright lasers and searchlights illuminating the night sky and projections on the walls of Hotel MiraCosta. The nighttime spectacular will feature dancers, plus characters such as Peter Pan, Wendy, Aladdin, Rapunzel, Miguel, Ariel, Moana, Elsa, and others.
What’s Next in 2023-2024
Summer Celebration – From July 4 through September 6, 2023, Tokyo Disney Resort will offer multiple “Get Soaked” experiences for guests to beat the summer heat. Splash Mountain “get soaked MAX” returns again this year, as does the “get soaked” version of Aquatopia at Tokyo DisneySea. At both parks, Cast Members will spray guests with cool mist in “Get Soaked Time.”
Additionally, an exciting new entertainment program will be presented along the parade route at Tokyo Disneyland. Baymax from Big Hero 6 will gives guests a welcome reprieve from the summer heat. Toontown will also feature new summer-only Get Soaked spots, where guests can cool down and have fun together at the get soaked version of the land.
Tokyo DisneySea will present a new limited time entertainment program from July 4 through September 6, 2023 in which Duffy and all of his six friends appear together on a boat at Mediterranean Harbor. Guests can also enjoy “Duffy and Friends’ Summer Night Melodies” special merchandise, and menu items with souvenirs featuring designs depicting Duffy and his friends enjoying the starry night sky as well as decorations showing all the friends together. This is still scaled back as compared to normal summer festivities, but it’s the most TDR has done in the last 4 years. Progress, I guess?
Duffy and Friends’ Wonderful Friendship – A new stage show featuring Duffy and all of his friends, will premiere on July 4, 2023 during Duffy & Friends Summer Night Melodies at Cape Cod Cook-Off in Tokyo DisneySea. This show tells a heartwarming story of Duffy and his friends showing what friendship is about by working together to prepare for a party despite some obstacles.
“Duffy and Friends’ Wonderful Friendship” marks the first appearance of three of Duffy’s friends–CookieAnn the curious dog, ‘Olu Mel the music-loving turtle, and the fox LinaBell who enjoys solving mysteries—in a stage show where guests can enjoy the world of Duffy and his friends at Tokyo DisneySea.
So the good news with is that Cape Cod Cook-Off is finally getting a show back after “My Friend Duffy” ended with the closure of the parks. The bad news is that “Duffy and Friends’ Wonderful Friendship” will be ticketed rather than free, with the Cape Cod Cook-Off First Prize Set plus reserved seating prices ranging from around $15 to $30. That may not seem too bad, but the food at Cape Cod Cook-Off is awful. On a positive note, the lines shouldn’t be as long now!
Dinner Shows Debut & Return – In addition to the new Duffy stage show, “The Diamond Variety Muster,” a new entertainment program filled with a series of fun and exciting performances by Mickey Mouse and his friends, will premiere on September 1, 2023 at The Diamond Horseshoe Restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland. Guests can enjoy a revue that features a wide array of performances ranging from romantic ballads to comedic scenes.
That same day, “Mickey’s Rainbow Luau” will resume at Polynesian Terrace Restaurant, where a tropical world awaits and the Disney friends celebrate the guests’ various days of milestones.
Fantasy Springs – Over at Tokyo DisneySea, the biggest construction project at any Disney theme park in the world is currently underway. This blockbuster expansion will bring big budget Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan attractions to the new Fantasy Springs port-of-call. In addition to the four rides, it’ll also offer a range of new restaurants and retail. (See Everything You Need to Know About Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea for all of the specifics.)
Fantasy Springs will open in Spring 2024, meaning it could debut anytime between April 1, 2024 and June 2024 and technically meet its target. Based on recent construction footage, it appears that tremendous progress has been made on this as it prepares to open in the next fiscal year.
Our expectation is that Fantasy Springs will open on or around April 15, 2024. It’s possible that a lengthy soft opening or paid previews will be held prior to that, possibly beginning as early as February or March 2024. These are just guesses at this point, though.
Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel – The newest in-park luxury hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort will overlook Fantasy Springs and is being touted by OLC as the finest accommodations, even nicer than Hotel MiraCosta.
The hotel is located directly behind Bayside Station, meaning it’ll have convenient access (by monorail) to Tokyo Disneyland in addition to the immediate access to Fantasy Springs. This luxury hotel is boutique-sized, with under 500 rooms, two restaurants, and a lounge. All other details are presently unknown.
Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel appears very far along from the exterior, and it would not surprise us if this quietly debuts in late 2023. Its views into construction of Fantasy Springs call that into question, but it could happen given OLC’s desire to recoup revenue and recover from the closure and reduced capacity period.
New Space Mountain – Once the current phase of projects wraps up, Tokyo Disneyland will undertake a New Tomorrowland project that revolves around rebuilding Space Mountain.
That $437 million project has a big enough budget that has led to some speculation it’ll use the same ride system as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This won’t start until 2024 and won’t open until around 2027, so you could potentially time your visit to experience all of the above, plus old Space Mountain.
If you’re planning a once in a lifetime trip to Japan, the obvious advice is to wait until Fantasy Springs is finished before visiting. That’s definitely the smart move, especially if you are confident you’ll only ever visit once. Another option is visiting in November 2023 for fall colors season and Christmas at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Yes, you’d miss Fantasy Springs with this approach, which doesn’t seem ideal. However, we don’t know anyone who has visited Japan or Tokyo Disney Resort once and called it quits. We took our “once in a lifetime” trip in 2013 and have visited every year since (except 2020-2021, for obvious reasons) spending multiple months in Japan on several occasions. After you visit and are immediately hooked, you’ll understand why.
There’s also the matter of exchange rates. The yen is hovering around its weakest levels since 1998. The strength of the dollar means greater purchasing power when traveling abroad, and to Japan in particular. See Cheap Prices at Disney’s Two Best Parks for the low prices we paid for everything during our recent trip.
Even if that weren’t the case, Tokyo Disney Resort doesn’t nickel and dime. Regular tickets are much more affordable ($55 to $65 for 1-day tickets), all seasonal entertainment is included in the price of normal admission, snacks are inexpensive, as is most merchandise. The only (very big) exception to this is Duffy & Friends–now that stuff is expensive. (We joke that Duffy subsidizes the rest of Tokyo Disney Resort, which may not be that far off!)
All of this will be a breath of fresh air for Walt Disney World fans who have become disillusioned with price increases, entertainment eliminated, and all the nickel & diming. A few years ago, we wrote “Want to Recapture the Disney Magic? Visit Japan.” That’s even more apt today than it was then.
Since then, Walt Disney World has made even more cuts, whereas TDR keeps adding. At Tokyo Disney Resort, you’ll enjoy multiple parades per day (including Dreamlights, Disney’s best night parade by far), seasonal celebrations are included with admission, and prices are less expensive and more fair.
If you’re a Walt Disney World fan who has become disenchanted with the Florida parks, there is no better way to recapture that lost magic than by visiting Tokyo Disney Resort. Seriously. The only downside is that it’ll forever change the way you view every other theme park.
As might be obvious, we are TDR diehards. They’re our favorite parks in the world, and we cannot wait to return. In that regard, you might consider us a bit biased.
To that point, we’d love to hear from those who have previously been to Japan in the comments for the sake of a diversity of opinions. Please offer your honest assessment of whether Tokyo Disney Resort is worth revisiting or is a one and done, when you’re planning on going back–if at all–and anything else you might want to share!
Most importantly, late 2023 is likely to be a lower time for tourism. Domestic pent-up demand is already starting to exhaust itself in Japan as travel subsidies have ended, and international tourism (aside from China) should start to do the same by Fall 2023.
Moreover, Fantasy Springs will be massively popular when it debuts exacerbating whatever crowds exist throughout the rest of Japan. In short, you don’t want to delay visiting for years in search of the “perfect” time. Trust us, the most likely response to your first Japan trip will be, “why didn’t we do this sooner?!” and most definitely not “we should’ve waited longer.” We hear for the former all the time, but never the latter.
Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.
Which additions coming to Tokyo Disney Resort in the coming years are you most excited to experience? Are you delaying your first visit to maximize seeing ‘new stuff’ or moving it forward to avoid the crowds? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!