Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will be the third and fourth Disney theme parks in the world to reopen, with the official opening date of July 1, 2020 announced by OLC. In this post, we’ll share the details, including temporary health safety protocol, rules, phased plans, how ticketing will work, which attractions will open, seasonal entertainment, and more.
Before we get started, please be aware that Oriental Land Company has not yet released any of this information on the English version of the Tokyo Disney Resort site (here’s the Japanese press release). We’re doing our best to provide an accurate translation and distill what’s pertinent here, but some of this info could be slightly inaccurate or subject to change.
It’s highly unlikely any of you are going to be visiting Japan with the travel ban still in place, so we’re comfortable getting a detail or two wrong. It’s not going to be make or break for you if we say Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Treehouse won’t be open and it turns out that it is. Nevertheless, thought we should disclose that up front…
First, as noted above, there still are entry bans that prevent pretty much anyone reading this from entering Japan. If you have a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort planned for this fall or 2021, you might want to read our post When Will Japan Reopen & Allow Foreign Tourists?That covers the upcoming first phase, which will allow select residents of 4 countries to enter, plus speculation for the rest of the world.
While Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are reopening before Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the parks in Japan also closed earlier–and are reopening after both of the other parks in Asia. Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland are now both open. Likewise, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has been undergoing phased operations for a few weeks as it prepares to unveil Super Nintendo World (see our Universal Studios Japan Planning Guide for more on that).
Upon reopening, it appears that Tokyo Disney Resort will sell only 1-day or partial day tickets, with no multi-day tickets being available. Promotional tickets will not be valid during the first phase of reopening.
Only dated tickets will be sold and they’ll be available only 30-days in advance with strict purchase limits. Guests may book full day tickets, after 11 am, and after 2 pm tickets. Tickets will be sold beginning June 25, 2020 on the Tokyo Disney Resort website.
Annual Passports will also not be valid initially. A lottery system for APs will be set up at a future date for entry into Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Refunds and extensions will also be available at a later date.
This AP info probably applies to no one reading this, but we think it’s still interesting. Tokyo Disney Resort has a diehard local fanbase of Annual Passholders that show up in full force each weekend. If you’ve ever seen photos of crazy lines for popcorn or to enter–those are almost certainly from a weekend or holiday. With significant limits on attendance, this approach is an absolute necessity.
In terms of the health safety protocol, it’s all mostly the same as the other parks. Physical distancing measures are being taken for attractions, restaurants, and shops with the park capacity also significantly reduced. (Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that attendance will be limited to 15,000 guests–down from 100,000–but we cannot corroborate that.)
Guest temperature will measured at the time of entering the park, and if they have a fever of 37.5°C or higher and cold symptoms, they may not enter. There will also be restrictions on capacity at restaurants and in shops, and guests will be required to wait in line to enter, and wear masks when entering and leaving these locations.
The mask policy does have some unique wrinkles. Guests will need to wear a mask at all times. However, as a measure against heat stroke during summer when the temperature and humidity are high, guests may remove their masks when outdoors if sufficiently physically-distanced from other guests.
We were just commenting yesterday that it’d be nice to see Walt Disney World adopt such a policy, as we felt somewhat foolish wearing masks outside at nearly-empty resorts. We understand Walt Disney World not offering such latitude, as guests are irresponsible and already seeking ways to circumvent mask policy. In Japan where mask culture was ubiquitous prior to this and courtesy reigns, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Character greetings will be modified to accommodate physical distancing. Same goes for attraction queues, which will be modified for guest spacing. Additionally, FastPass and Single Rider will not be offered.
Even with alterations, some attractions simply are not practical to operate at this time. Here are lists of attractions that won’t reopen with the parks:
Swiss Family Tree House
Tom Sawyer Island Raft
Woodchuck Greeting Trail
Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall
Goofy’s Paint & Playhouse
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Treehouse
Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
Village Greeting Place
“Saludos Amigos!” Greeting Dock
Mickey & Friends Greeting Trail
Mermaid Lagoon Theater
20,000 Miles Under the Sea
Here’s entertainment that won’t run when the parks reopen. This list stings a bit more, and will probably help further reduce crowds and demand, as so many fans flock to these parks for the characters…
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
Disney Light The Night (Fireworks)
Jamboree Mickey! Dance SHow
Let’s Party Gras!
Mickey’s Rainbow Luau
The Diamond Horseshoe Presents “Mickey & Company”
Court Jester Quartet
Disney Light The Night (Fireworks)
Hello New York!
Big Band Beat
My Friend Duffy
Song of Mirage
Time Traveler Band
Many other shops, restaurants, and services will be closed or not offered, but all of that is beyond the scope of this post. (You probably don’t care that Guided Tours, which aren’t available in English, are temporarily paused.)
One thing of interest might be the status of seasonal events. Basically, everything previously announced–Disney Easter, Cookie Ann’s Greeting Drive, Duffy’s Sunny Fun, and Pirates Summer–have all been cancelled. One event, Happy Fair with Baymax, has been postponed.
If my translation of Oriental Land Company’s press release is correct, the opening date of this will be decided after “looking at the situation after restarting both parks.” I take this to mean that OLC will see how things go with their new protocol, and then set an opening date.
While Tokyo Disney Resort does not engage in cash grabs like other parks (their superior seasonal entertainment is included in the cost of admission, etc), we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the expansion debut while only 1-day tickets are sold. This will both help control attendance and also help in recouping lost revenue, as many Annual Passport holders will undoubtedly purchase single day tickets to experience the additions.
Ultimately, it’s good news that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea now have reopening dates and plans for their phased restarts. It’s obviously going to be a while before anyone reading this will be visiting, but still a step in the right direction–all of these parks need to start somewhere before regaining normalcy. Perhaps most interesting will be to see how Tokyo handles its fervent local fanbase. There are parallels between Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland visitor demographics, and it’ll be interesting to see if the two approach reopening similarly.
What do you think of this news? Excited that all of the worldwide Disney theme parks now have reopening dates set, or are you concerned that it’s still too soon? Do you have a trip planned to Tokyo Disney Resort later this year or in 2021 that you’re concerned might be impacted or cancelled? Do you agree or disagree with our commentary? Any questions? 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.