Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea: $2 Billion Park Expansion
Fantasy Springs is the colossal port themed to Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan under construction at Tokyo DisneySea. This covers everything you need to know: likely opening date, concept art, progress video, photos of ride vehicle testing, and answers to common questions. (Updated March 3, 2023.)
Oriental Land Company, the owner and operator of the Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in Japan, is embarking on the most ambitious expansion project of its parks in over two decades with Fantasy Springs. This large scale expansion features multiple rides, restaurants, retail, and a luxury hotel. It has a blockbuster budget of 250 billion yen (or around ~$2.3 billion US).
The overarching inspiration for Fantasy Springs (there’s still time to call it FantaSea Springs, OLC!) is a magical spring leading to a world of Disney fantasy. It’s basically a Fantasyland-style port that brings Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan to Tokyo DisneySea, with separate mini-areas for each in a single port of call that’s tied together via magical springs.
Not calling it FantaSea Springs is a missed opportunity, but given the level of investment, we can’t complain too much. Fantasy Springs will be a record-setting addition to what’s already the best theme park in the world. That park is already lavish, and this will become (by far) its most expensive port of call.
Fantasy Springs will be the most expensive expansion to any existing theme park anywhere, ever. It’ll cost triple the amount of the recent Tokyo Disneyland ‘large scale’ addition that included a Beauty and the Beast mini-land and more, and over double the cost of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
This is no knock on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which itself is no slouch. That rumored $1 billion is a hefty price tag for a single land, and the end results (or at least what’s been shared thus far) look pretty fantastic. It’s difficult to imagine a land being over double the cost of that, Cars Land, or Pandora – World of Avatar (both of which are also stunning), but that’s exactly the case with Fantasy Springs.
The difference between Fantasy Springs and all of the aforementioned additions is that DisneySea’s new port will feature four new attractions, three restaurants, and one gift shop. Three of the new attractions will be boat rides, which is fitting for Tokyo DisneySea. It’s unclear how lavish the rides will be, but we’re expecting at least two of them to be E-Ticket attractions.
The Fantasy Springs name was announced at the joint groundbreaking ceremony and traditional Shinto prayer for safe construction held by Oriental Land Company and the Walt Disney Company held at the planned development site.
OLC COO Keiichiro Kaminishi, OLC President & CEO Kazumi Toshio, and Disney CEO Bob Iger were on hand for the ground-breaking, with the latter two offering remarks:
That was back in mid-2019, before the world went sideways. A little over a year later, Tokyo Disney Resort (and every other Disney theme park in the world) closed. Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea have since reopened, but are still pretty far from normal.
We made a couple of visits to Tokyo Disney Resort after construction started. Here’s a look at our last photo of the Fantasy Springs construction site:
After a brief pause, it has been full steam ahead of Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea, with construction moving forward even during the closure of Tokyo Disney Resort and states of emergency in Japan.
The luxury hotel is now topped out, its signature golden dome has been installed, and the green show buildings for each attraction are fully built. The operative word for all of it is massive. It’s also quite impressive that construction has progressed from site prep work to enclosure in the span of ~16 months. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World managed to knock down one side of Innoventions in that same time.
Speaking of construction, above is the latest look at the progression of construction on Fantasy Springs from Tokyo Disney Resort. This features the newest drone footage showing the construction process of each of the three areas and Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel.
This is very similar to the video shown during the D23 Expo in September of last year, with specific shots of construction actually being identical. That means that this footage is several months old at this point. We recently saw this in person from Bayside Station and the monorail, but didn’t have an “aerial” hotel room view (we got Tokyo Bay instead). Suffice to say, progress is much further along than what’s depicted here.
Unfortunately, OLC has delayed the opening of the new land. The opening timeframe for Fantasy Springs at Tokyo Disney Resort is now both the first quarter of fiscal 2024 and Spring 2024. That might seem redundant, but it actually helps us narrow down the official opening date.
This first refers to Oriental Land Company’s financial year, whereas Spring 2024 (obviously) refers to the normal calendar. Based on the overlap of those two timeframes, Fantasy Springs will open sometime between April 1, 2024 and June 30, 2024. (Of course, that’s when interpreting OLC’s announcement in the most literal sense; they’re usually more direct with announcements than Disney.)
Our expectation is that Fantasy Springs opens towards the front of that window, likely in April 2024. Tokyo Disney Resort is big on debuting new additions on or around its anniversary, making April 15, 2024 the most likely official opening date for Fantasy Springs.
Tokyo Disney Resort is also big on soft openings, and previously has opened major new expansions over a month prior to their official debut date. That does not mean that will happen with Fantasy Springs, but if it’s ready to roll, we’d expect previews to begin in March 2024.
One thing that is likely to be ready much earlier is Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel. Based on what we’ve seen, this luxury resort already looks really close to being done! It’ll be interesting to see whether it opens ahead of the land, or if OLC holds off to debut everything all at once.
Now let’s discuss some of the substance of Fantasy Springs.
Let’s start by sharing a scale model fly-through video of the new Tanged area, which will be immediately to the right after entering Fantasy Springs:
This Tangled area will feature a restaurant inspired by the Snuggly Duckling, the tavern inhabited by boisterous ruffians in the film. A version of this already exists as Tanged Tree Tavern, a counter service restaurant at Shanghai Disneyland.
The area will also offer a boat ride where guests board gondolas for a romantic tour of Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she journeys with Flynn to the lantern festival. This will culminate in countless flickering lanterns that illuminate the attraction’s finale while Rapunzel and Flynn sing an iconic song from the film. Sounds better than bathrooms. Maybe.
Next up is the Arendelle-inspired area scale model video. Another restaurant will be located here, and set inside Arendelle Castle at the foot of beautiful, snow-capped mountains.
The Frozen mini-port is set after the first film, and will feature a ride telling the story of Elsa and Anna with iconic songs from the film and surprising thrills.
Finally, the Peter Pan area. This will be home to two attractions and a restaurant, and showcase the fantastical world of Never Land. The landscape will include mountains, Captain Hook’s pirate ship, and Skull Rock.
One attraction immerses guests in the oversized world of Pixie Hollow. Never Land’s restaurant will be inspired by the Lost Boys and their hideout, affording lovely views of Never Land that Guests can enjoy while they dine.
The main Peter Pan attraction will be a boat ride as guests board boats to chase Captain Hook and his crew of pirates who have captured Wendy’s younger brother; Tinker Bell sprinkles the boats with pixie dust, Guests fly through Never Land on an adventure that features iconic music and dynamic 3D imagery.
Based on the description and some semi-informed speculation, we’re expecting the main Peter Pan attraction to use technology similar to Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland, and be the port’s flagship attraction.
The sixth Disney hotel built in Japan, the Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel will be situated near the magical spring in Fantasy Springs. Paintings depicting Disney Princesses as well as floral motifs can be seen throughout the interior of the hotel, allowing the world of Fantasy Springs to continue from the Park to the hotel.
Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel is comprised of 419 “deluxe-type” rooms. In addition, there are 56 “luxury-type” rooms, offering guests the finest accommodation experience at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Based upon information from the Tokyo Disney Resort fan community coupled with visible construction progress and the near-certain layout of Fantasy Springs, the Frozen area will be largest of all, thanks to having both a boat ride and a table service restaurant, plus some impressive rock-work to conceal a tall theater behind it in Tokyo Disneyland.
Judging by show building sizes, the main Peter Pan ride and Frozen ride will both be massive. The Tangled boat ride is more modest, but still large. Given the huge size of this plot of land and the lack of retail (only one gift shop in the entire port), those show building sizes are at least credible on their face.
If this is your first exposure to Fantasy Springs, the model fly-through might seem a bit dry and uninspired.
OLC takes a very different approach from Disney when it comes to revealing new information; this is straightforward, letting the substance of the blockbuster expansion speak for itself. It may not be as superficially “exciting” as using fluffy language to manufacture enthusiasm for an ordinary shop for creations, but it gets the job done.
The new hotel abuts Bayside Station, so more or less “across the street” from the Hilton and Sheraton.
The Tangled and Peter Pan areas will roughly be located behind Arabian Coast and Lost River Delta (respectively) in Tokyo DisneySea, and the Frozen area will be behind Toontown and the Beauty and the Beast area in Tokyo Disneyland.
In my commentary to the initial announcement, I expressed some trepidation.
Namely, that this further cartoonifies Tokyo DisneySea, a park that was originally built with a more mature audience in mind. That remains a concern, and one that I think is valid given Japan’s aging population.
Without question, Fantasy Springs will be a great draw in terms of current guest demographics at Tokyo Disney Resort. How it’ll hold up in a decade or two remains to be seen. When it was built, Tokyo DisneySea had the long-term in mind. There has been a slow pivot from that as more immediate returns could be seen from a character-centric approach.
Thematically, I’ve started to come around on Fantasy Springs. Selfishly, I’d love for Tokyo DisneySea to be a treasure trove of original concepts and deeper dives into grittier intellectual property. Part of why I instantly fell in love with Tokyo DisneySea is because it carried forward the torch of EPCOT Center in its own way.
With that said, Tokyo DisneySea has always shoehorned attractions and concepts into the park. Its main sense of thematic integrity and cohesion comes from the various waterways and the themed ports themselves.
On an attraction level, it’s hard to claim that Indiana Jones Adventure, Journey to the Center of the Earth, or Tower of Terror–universally beloved DisneySea rides–have any logical nexus to the sea.
Those attractions, along with others at Tokyo DisneySea, succeed because of the way they are framed in the overarching themes of the park.
They’re not scrutinized because they’ve been there since the earlier era of Tokyo DisneySea, and they just work. (They’re probably also given a pass by fans because they’re exceptional attractions that don’t seek to highlight popular, arguably overused animated films.)
Fantasy Springs has the same potential. It could frame this magical springs feature multiple animated properties in a way that cohesively works with the rest of Tokyo DisneySea.
If anything, these particular movies are better fits for DisneySea than the attractions mentioned above–all of animated films feature water and their rides will utilize boats. Sure, Fantasy Springs might be treading a bit close to Fantasyland, but if the land itself is unique and compelling (and the concept art sure makes that look to be the case), I doubt many people will worry about that.
This is just one of several huge projects to expand Tokyo Disney Resort, which is pictured in the map above. (The blue area is Tokyo DisneySea and the green is Tokyo Disneyland.)
The bottom yellow area is a new Toy Story hotel, the upper left yellow area is a new parking structure, and the red is this Fantasy Springs expansion, which replaces a parking lot between the parks and Bayside Station.
It’s more difficult to ascertain, but the solid green area (just above the red) in Tokyo Disneyland is the Beauty and the Beast mini-land (and Fantasyland expansion) at Tokyo Disneyland, which cost of $750 million.
The solid blue area in the middle-ish area of Tokyo DisneySea is Soaring: Fantastic Flight. This new attraction debuted three years ago. As you can see from what OLC has released, this will be an incredibly lavish presentation of Soarin.
Overall, we’re incredibly excited about the future of Tokyo Disney Resort. While we absolutely love the Japan parks, the level of capital invested on new attractions in the last decade had been lagging behind the United States parks.
This plus the aforementioned additions and the forthcoming new Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland fix all of that. If TDR can keep its seasonal entertainment going strong even after these additions, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will easily hold the titles of #1 and #2 Disney theme parks in the world.
We are beyond hyped for Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea, but we’ve also been very closely following its development. While initially apprehensive about Tokyo DisneySea losing its more sophisticated quality, the park admittedly does need more for younger audiences, and the port’s ambition level is just off the charts.
As should be expected with a budget of $2.3 billion for what’s essentially a single land and hotel. We can’t wait to get back to Japan, finally experience the Tokyo Disneyland expansion, and then by able to enjoy yet another large scale expansion in Spring 2024!
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.
What do you think of the Fantasy Springs expansion at Tokyo DisneySea? Do you think this is a good fit for the park? Do all of these additions to Tokyo Disney Resort between now and 2024 make you want to plan a trip there? Any questions? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Hi Tom. Is your info about the likely opening date being in 2023 still correct? Everywhere else I have looked on the web says April 2024.
No, I need to update this post. Here’s the latest: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/fantasy-springs-tokyo-disneysea-opening-info-peter-pan-frozen-tangled-concept-art/
I don’t think it cartoonifies the park at all. In fact I love that they are sticking to core Disney IPs and Pixar IPs. This is what Disney is about, the world of fantasy and magic. I don’t want Marvel or Star Wars polluting the Disney experience I’ve come to love.
I know I will love this new port very much.
Well, we were already considering a trip to China and Japan for the Disney theme parks, now it’s time to start planning! Maybe May or September for mild weather, but need to pick a year… When are most of these wonderful additions scheduled to be complete?
Thanks for the update! Exciting to hear this – as a non US reader it should be cheaper to visit than the American parks. Hoping for 2022.
Although I prefer original attractions over IPs, I like the look of the plans for Fantasy Springs. Once again, I am jealous DisneySea is not located in USA. I would rather have these TDL/TDS expansions instead of non-Disney IPs in WDW and DLR (Marvel, Pandora, and Star Wars).
Texas Disneysea has a certain ring to it. 🙂
It would have been helpful if you’d put in your headline that the expansion is planned for Tokyo Disney. I really dislike teasers that turn out to be something different from the headline
The headline says: “A Look at Tokyo DisneySea’s $2.3 Billion “Fantasy Springs” Expansion”. Tokyo is the 4th word. 🙂
The headline to the article does, but not the e-mail the link was in. I too was extremely disappointed to find it’s going to be in Tokyo 🙁
The email actually just said Fantasy Springs but nothing about location, I assumed Florida too. Disappointing,
I’m like so many that won’t ever go to the Asian parks. So as a Disney fan, it’s sad that we don’t have a version of DisneySea in the US. Hey I’m even bummed we in FL won’t get a Marvel Land. Yay Universal agreement. But I do hate reading that OLC is better at Disney than Disney.
So sick and tired of hearing about ALL this exciting stuff happening at Disney properties in Europe and Asia where most AMERICANS will NEVER get to experience. Toyko seems to get all the most amazing editions and I am very jealous!
I agree that Japan (specifically) has the BEST expansions for everything! Even other theme parks that rival Disney. I think these properties would be more accessible if Disney made buying packages more accessible. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to ‘price’ a package in Japan but it wouldn’t let me book a stay more than 3 days or it didn’t have the currency exchange viewpoint available. I think they need an American-friendly website for abroad properties so we can book in advance and budget accordingly. The properties abroad aren’t very pricey in comparison to Walt Disney World at all. In reality, it’s the flights that cost families a HUGE amount from the states. Anywho, my point is that I’m jealous too. And, I would like an easier way to book a package deal on the Japanese website, so I can stay ON the resort and not at a nearby Hilton.
I think that there is some kind of restriction on OLC that they are not allowed to actively market Tokyo Disney Resort outside of Japan, so that they don’t cannibalise attendance at the Disney-owned resorts. (Maybe that’s a myth but it would make sense). That will probably prevent them making it too easy for us…
Completely off-topic: I wonder why Disney Cruise Line doesn’t make more of the asian parks? All of the asian parks would be very accessible via ship – can you imagine a sailing from California to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo taking in all of the parks?
“I wonder why Disney Cruise Line doesn’t make more of the asian parks?”
The reason Disney ‘overlooks’ Tokyo Disney Resort is because Disney doesn’t own it. That’s why it’s not included with Adventures by Disney packages, and if/when one of the ships is relocated to Asia, it likely won’t be one of the featured land/sea destinations.
Shanghai and Hong Kong are a different story, but Disney has no reason to promote Tokyo beyond the basic ‘courtesy’ marketing of announcements on the Disney Parks Blog. Moreover, as U.S. guests make up an incredibly small guest demographic, OLC has no incentive to actively market the parks to us.
“And, I would like an easier way to book a package deal on the Japanese website, so I can stay ON the resort and not at a nearby Hilton.”
For what it’s worth, the Hilton *is* on property. It’s connected to the parks via the monorail, and is closer to both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea than the Polynesian is to Magic Kingdom.
I wouldn’t get too hung up on booking a vacation package. We’ve never bothered with that; the individual components are much easier to purchase on their own.
tom, do you have a post on this site you could link that outlines planning a trip there? if not, would it be possible to post one? same question for DLP?
Comprehensive Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Guide:
Disneyland Paris: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/disneyland-paris-trip-planning/
They need to build a frozen and tangled land here in Florida!! We have plenty of space and it would be a wonderful addition to the parks.
I agree! I’m amazed at the glacial speed of Disney especially with Frozen. It was an enormous hit and it took them a year to get merchandise into stores. They have a ride they did an overlay on but that’s it for one if their biggest hits ever. Tangled is also very popular with children especially. And Peter Pan come on that’s one of their biggest classics.
I’m so excited for this. Yes, it’s a little bit of a change of focus for DisneySea, but to me it’s more appropriate than Ariel’s Undersea Kingdom (or whatever it’s called) which always stuck out as not really ‘fitting’ within the park, despite it fulfilling a useful function. I think it will be absolutely amazing. I see another trip to Tokyo in a few years….
It will be fascinating to see how it integrates with the hotel and with Disneyland. After, Fantasy Springs and Fantasyland will now be right up against each other – will there be an entrance between the two parks? Will it effectively make it one large park for guests with parkhoppers and annual passes? Or will the hotel serve as a portal between them?
Has Disney said that anything is going away to make room for these rides? My first thought when I heard the news was that one of these boat rides will be a retheme of Sinbad, given its location right about where Fantasy Springs starts, as well as the fact that it’s never appeared to be all that popular (as much as I love it) and we would otherwise have four boat rides next to each other….
I don’t know if I’ll ever get there (4 kids about to enter college every 2y for an eternity), but the fact that they have 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and it looks way cooler than the one I remember here as a kid…it’s basically moved to the top of my dream travel wish list.
Anyone else find it ironic that all the big expansions in the U.S. are non-Disney IP (Avatar, Star Wars, Marvel) while Tokyo gets all the Disney ones (Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Tangled, Frozen)?
In terms of popularity, Disney animated films overshadow other IP in Japan–both at the box office and in merchandise sales.
We’re just back this week from Tokyo and our first visit to Disney Sea. Tom’s remark that this is the best Disney theme park for unique activities in the world is spot on. It’s excellent – and we’ve visited all of them outside of China. Outside of that, it has a few glitches. After spending a hour on the train from downtown Tokyo to get there, it was disappointing to have to take (and pay extra for) another train – the park monorail. The “western” food at the signature restaurants was not great, even by theme park standards. Also, oddly, you simply can’t buy a shirt or hat that says “Tokyo Disney Sea” at ANY gift shop; they just don’t have them – but there are entire stores dedicated to Duffy the Bear (so that’s where all that junk went)! Still, these glitches are nit-picky. If you get the chance, go!
You are right; for all of the wonderful things about the Tokyo resort, the merchandise definitely clashes with prevailing Western trends/fashion.
I had a real issue with Duffy & Friends before visiting the Asia parks, and now after visiting the resorts in Tokyo, HK, and Shanghai, I totally get it. For some reason it just makes perfect sense there, and I’m now a HUGE Gelatoni fan!
I did find a simple T shirt that said “Tokyo DisneySea” on it but it took a LOT of searching around. I don’t even recall which gift store I found it in, though it was inside the park.
Very excited for this. The Tokyo resort never disappoints. That’s why, regardless of the specific project, we can rest assured it will be nothing short of spectacular.
I’m very excited for these new additions. It’s amazing that Disney has never done anything with Peter Pan except one ride especially because it’s always been such a popular ride. Going to be planning a trip to Japan for 2023. The focus of our trip will be Japan in general but will definitely have to have a few days at Disney. How many days do you recommend?
Our Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Guide has a “How Many Days” section: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/tokyo-disney-trip-planning-guide/
That’s it, we’re going in 2023!! Avoiding the chaos of the Olympics and seeing these new additions will be great. The next decision will be when to go during 2023 to avoid the most crowds. Thanks for the update Tom, gotta go save up now.
“The next decision will be when to go during 2023 to avoid the most crowds.”
We can help with that! See our when to visit post: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/tokyo-disneyland-crowds-tips/
…and crowd calendar post: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/crowd-calendars-tokyo-disneyland-disneysea/
Suddenly I feel a need to price a future trip to Japan. All of your reviews have made we want to visit Disney in Tokyo but this new land is extra appealing. Excited for the future of all these projects.
I’m with you Sydney. We’re considering a pre-Olympic spring break trip to Tokyo next year. Without this blog, I don’t think that would ever have entered our minds.
Tom’s reviews have had the same effect on me – we’ll absolutely be hitting Japan after our big Disneyland/California holiday.