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: official opening date & invitation previews, likelihood of soft openings, ride & restaurant details, and answers to questions. (Updated December 11, 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 320 billion yen, which is over $2 billion USD.
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.
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.
Speaking of which, let’s start by taking a new look at each of these ports, covering the new details about the Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan areas of the port!
Frozen Kingdom – Set after the events of the Disney Animation film Frozen, the Arendelle area of Fantasy Springs is full of happiness now that Queen Elsa has embraced her powers to create ice and snow.
In the ‘Frozen Kingdom’ miniland (as its officially known), the Kingdom of Arendelle has been returned to its former glory and guests can visit while immersing themselves in a festive mood. At the far end of the Frozen Kingdom are towering snow capped mountains with several cascading waterfalls. In the distance, near the summit of North Mountain, Elsa’s ice palace glistens proudly, covered in snow.
The ride in Frozen Kingdom is called Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey attraction (#1 in the concept art above); it follows the story of the film, guests board a boat and enjoy an epic and heartwarming tale of two sisters that discover only true love can thaw a frozen heart. Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey also features the film’s well-known songs.
OLC describes Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey as a boat ride that’s approximately 6.5 minutes long. This means that Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Journey is slightly longer than Frozen Ever After. Unlike the ‘World of Frozen’ at Hong Kong Disneyland, this attraction is not expected to be an upgraded clone of Frozen Ever After.
In Frozen Kingdom, guests can dine at the Royal Banquet of Arendelle restaurant located in Arendelle Castle (#2), which has both an indoor dining area and a covered outdoor dining area with views of the fjord cliffs and mountains in the distance. Guests can also stop by Oaken’s OK Foods (#3), run by Oaken, the owner of the trading post and sauna that is featured in the film.
Royal Banquet of Arendelle is a counter service restaurant and Oaken’s OK Foods is considered a small snack spot. Our expectation is that the latter is a quick-service window with a limited menu, whereas the former is a large-scale counter service restaurant on par with Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom.
Rapunzel’s Forest – Bringing to life the world of the Walt Disney Animated Film Tangled is Rapunzel’s Forest. In the valley rises the tower where the long haired princess Rapunzel has lived since she was a child.
At night, the entire forest is bathed in warm light emanating from Rapunzel’s tower, lamps lining the paths, a glowing restaurant, boathouse windows, and lanterns hanging from the boats.
In Rapunzel’s Forest, guests can enjoy the Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival ride (#1), and experience the eponymous character’s “best day ever” as she falls in love with Flynn Rider on a romantic boat ride to the annual Lantern Festival. Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival is a 5-minute long boat ride.
Over at The Snuggly Duckling restaurant (#2), where the local rough-and tumble crowd gathers, guests can enjoy a meal in a variety of atmospheric dining areas. The Snuggly Duckling is a counter service restaurant with a variety of atmospheric dining areas.
Peter Pan’s Never Land – Inside Peter Pan’s Never Land, guests become members of the Lost Kids, a group of fun-loving, adventurous, and energetic children. In Peter Pan’s Never Land, guests can explore a pirate ship, dine in a secret hideaway, or go on a great adventure with their friends as they encounter pirates.
In the attraction Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure (#1), guests join the Lost Kids, a group of fun-loving and adventurous children, and explore Never Land with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell to rescue John from Captain Hook and his band of pirates. By boarding a boat and wearing goggles, guests will be able to enjoy Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure in 3D. For safety reasons, this attraction has a minimum height requirement of 102 cm (~40 inches).
Additionally, guests can enjoy dining at Lookout Cookout (#2), a restaurant created by the Lost Kids from parts of a shipwreck that had washed ashore, with spectacular views of Never Land. Lookout Cookout is yet another counter service restaurant coming to Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea.
Pixie Hollow, the fairy valley where Tinker Bell lives, can also be found in Peter Pan’s Never Land. Guests can experience the Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies attraction (#3), and help Tinker Bell as she starts her new delivery service in Pixie Hollow, while visiting four seasonal locations to deliver various packages and parcels to the fairies. Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies is approximately 2 minutes long, and is the “kiddie ride” in Fantasy Springs.
Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel – 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.
On the first floor of Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel is Fantasy Springs Gifts (#6), a merchandise shop accessible only from within the Park. The new Fantasy Springs hotel is comprised of two buildings: the Fantasy Chateau (#1) and the Grand Chateau (#2).
The Fantasy Chateau offers “deluxe-type” rooms adorned with motifs of the flora and fauna of Fantasy Springs, while the Grand Chateau offers “luxury-type” rooms which provide guests with the finest accommodation experience at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Additionally, the hotel has three dining facilities all facing inside Tokyo DisneySea. At Fantasy Springs Restaurant (#3), guests can dine buffet-style while gazing upon paintings inspired by the Disney Animation films Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Tangled and Sleeping Beauty.
Guests can also enjoy Grand Paradis Lounge (#4), a lobby lounge with large, open windows. Finally, there’s La Libellule (#5), which is a restaurant exclusively for guests staying in the Grand Chateau; La Libellule offers views of Fantasy Springs from the sublime dining hall with French cuisine for a blissful experience only a Disney hotel can offer.
Here’s a new video showing the construction progress over the last several years:
This is the largest expansion to Tokyo DisneySea since the park opened in 2001. In fact, it’s one of the biggest developments of any existing theme park in history, spanning an area of approximately 140,000 m2.
Taking just over five years from the start of construction in May 2019, there has been a total investment of approximately 320 billion yen in this project. Again, that’s over $2 billion U.S., and would’ve been closer to $3 billion back when construction started, but the dollar has gained a tremendous amount of strength relative to the yen!
Tokyo Disney Resort has announced that Fantasy Springs will officially open on June 6, 2024.
We’ve been anxiously awaiting the Fantasy Springs opening date, with the expectation that it’d probably be between late April and mid-May 2024. So it’s a bit surprising that it’s not only missing the resort’s anniversary on April 15, but also the popular Golden Week holidays.
It’s unclear why OLC is waiting until June 6, 2024 to open Fantasy Springs. It could be as simple as work not yet being finished on the attractions themselves or more testing & adjusting being necessary, despite the exteriors looking nearly-finished for a while now. Several of these are complex attractions, and Imagineering has a history of delays and reliability woes with its recent envelope-pushing tech. This is both the most obvious and likely explanation.
Another possibility is that June is the most strategically opportune time for Tokyo Disney Resort to officially open Fantasy Springs. Those who follow the U.S. parks have likely seen repeated references to how Disneyland is experiencing delayed pent-up demand as compared to Walt Disney World because California reopened later than Florida.
Japan’s reopening has occurred on a later timeline than California or Florida, and Tokyo Disney Resort is still seeing strong revenge travel among domestic Japanese visitors as a result. It’s possible that OLC is waiting for pent-up demand to exhaust itself before debuting the next big draw. No need to incentivize visits when people are already traveling to make up for lost time.
Yet another possibility is staffing shortages. Japan has an aging population and is reliant on immigration for labor, so the border closure hit the country’s workforce hard. There are advertisements to work at Tokyo Disney Resort inside trains and stations, on television, etc. Given all of that, it could be a matter of OLC projecting that they won’t have enough Cast Members to fully staff Fantasy Springs and everything else that’ll be needed until June.
The underlying rationale(s) for Fantasy Springs opening on June 6, 2024 are relevant to a discussion of Fantasy Springs soft openings. If OLC is delaying the opening for strategic purposes, a lengthy period of previews is probable–perhaps for much of May 2024. If it’s because that’s the earliest possible date after construction is finished and training is complete, it’s a different story.
Tokyo Disney Resort has a history of prolonged soft openings with major new additions. It happened with Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, Nemo & Friends SeaRider–but not with Soaring: Fantastic Flight. Whether the last one is an anomaly or the new norm remains to be seen, but with so much here, a longer ‘dress rehearsal’ seems likely and pragmatic, especially if some elements are ready to roll months in advance.
For the large-scale expansion including Beauty and the Beast at Tokyo Disneyland that was originally slated to open on April 15, 2020, previews for on-site hotel guests were slated to start in March. Those didn’t end up happening–and instead the parks closed for several months–but the point stands. Tokyo Disney Resort typically does soft openings or previews for major additions.
Tokyo Disney Resort has now announced something similar for Fantasy Springs with its “Preview Invitation Campaign.” As part of that, guests will be selected by lottery to attend limited previews of Fantasy Springs from among those who have reserved and purchased a Vacation Package, hotel reservation or e-Tickets.
For our purposes, only the dates of the previews are relevant (click the link above if you’re interested in the whole process–but it’s really only relevant to those who reside in Japan). Those Fantasy Springs previews will be held May 14, 2024 and May 21-22, 2024. From that, we can safely deduce that OLC is already reasonably confident the land will be finished by mid-May 2024 at the latest.
Accordingly, soft openings could occur before or after that. If we had to guess–and that’s all this is, a guess–we’d expect invitation previews beyond what’s listed above, that also extend to employees of Tokyo Disney Resort’s many sponsors from May 14 to 22. After that, wider soft openings are entirely possible–and plausible. I would not bank on soft openings before May 14, 2024–but I also wouldn’t necessarily bet against it. This is a huge expansion, and OLC will want smooth and polished operations by June 6, 2024.
Another thing to note is the new “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” special event from April 9, 2024 until June 30, 2024. “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” at Tokyo DisneySea will feature a harbor greeting, decorations, merchandise, and menus all themed to the special event, “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” will allow guests to imagine and gain a better grasp of the world of Fantasy Springs. Guests will be able to expand their imagination and begin dreaming of what kind of magical world awaits them at Fantasy Springs.
Of course, that event does not promise previews of Fantasy Springs, and it seems pretty far-fetched that the land would quietly open in early April 2024…but not officially open on the obvious date of April 15, 2024. However small the odds, we wouldn’t rule it out, either. This expansion is colossal, will have sky-high demand, and Tokyo Disney Resort prides itself on operations. A two-month soft opening coinciding with an event that’s only supposed to be “dreaming of” the new land is not outside the realm of possibility. It is very unlikely and we’d bet against it–but it could happen.
The biggest wild card or real monkey wrench to soft openings is construction delays, which could still prevent Fantasy Springs from being ready before mid-May 2024. In which case, Tokyo Disney Resort may do test & adjust and ‘trial operations’ via the limited-capacity entry system. Speaking of which…
To enter Fantasy Springs and enjoy the new locations and attractions, a Standby Pass (available free of charge) or Disney Premier Access (available for a fee) for eligible attractions in Fantasy Springs will be required, in addition to a valid Park ticket for Tokyo DisneySea.
These will be available after entering Tokyo DisneySea, meaning there’s going to be a huge crowd at rope drop that stops in their tracks in Aquasphere Plaza to book the free Standby Pass or buy Premier Access for an attraction in the land and its access.
Expect other guests to run (err…walk briskly) the mile-long marathon from the front of the park to Fantasy Springs. OLC notes that “depending on the crowd, you may be able to enter without using the standby or Disney Premier Access.” This could mean that Standby Pass for entering the land won’t be turned on until Fantasy Springs hits capacity.
It’s too early to talk strategy specifics, but our preliminary recommendation would be budgeting Disney Premier Access for every attraction you want to do in Fantasy Springs and planning to buy that ASAP upon entering the park. You should also arrive an hour before official opening.
Standby Pass is available on the Tokyo Disney Resort App, and guests can obtain a Standby Pass free of charge after entering the Park. Guests will be able to experience any of the four attractions at Fantasy Springs with a Standby Pass. Once guests obtain a Standby Pass, they will be able to enter Fantasy Springs to explore the new area and experience the selected attraction at a designated time.
Disney Premier Access is available for a fee, and guests can purchase Disney Premier Access using the Tokyo Disney Resort App after entering the Park. Guests will be able to experience three attractions at Fantasy Springs with Disney Premier Access. With Disney Premier Access for an attraction at Fantasy Springs, guests will be able to enter Fantasy Springs at a specified time to explore the new area and experience the selected attraction with a reduced wait time, offering convenience and added flexibility for those who wish to maximize their visit to this new area.
With a Standby Pass or Disney Premier Access for an attraction in Fantasy Springs, guests will be able to enter Fantasy Springs at a specified time to enjoy both the new area and the attraction(s).
Looking back at the progress on the expansion, 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.
If you want an “aerial” preview of each miniland in Fantasy Springs, here are videos of the scale models:
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 large 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.
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 June 2024!
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 June 6, 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!