Opening in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney Park to be built outside of the United States and, with its sister park, Tokyo DisneySea, it remains one of the most sought-after destinations for Disney die-hards—and for good reason. These two parks are some of the most immersive, innovative, highly themed, and technologically advanced Disney Parks in the entire world. And these parks just got more irresistible, with a raft of new attractions announced for both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
In a press release unleashed today, detailed plans for expansions and upgrades through the fiscal year 2020 and some mind-blowing new announcements were made.
The biggest announcement was for a Beauty and the Beast-themed area, set to open in 2020. While it’s being described as an expansion of Fantasyland, it will take up a large chunk of what was Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. In its place will be a highly immersive mini-land, one that “will make Guests feel like they are in the film.”
So, what does that entail?
Well, the major attraction, currently unnamed, will feature next-level technology and last for a genuinely incredible 8 minutes. According to the press release, “Guests board enchanted serving dishes that dance in rhythm to the film’s well-known music and follow Belle on a romantic musical adventure inside the enchanted Castle where she dances her way into the heart of Beast, just in time to break the fateful spell.” There will also be a new shop and a new restaurant in this area of the park, although details of those have yet to be announced.
Additionally, there will be a new live Fantasyland theater, which will serve as “the first full-scale indoor theater for live entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland.” As to what type of shows will debut inside of this new 1,500-seat theater … according to the press release, it will be “Signature Disney entertainment unique to Tokyo Disneyland and featuring the Disney Friends will be presented in this storybook theater environment.” Based on the concept images, this is going to be a gorgeous, stately complex. It will be located near the new Beauty and the Beast-themed land, towards Space Mountain and behind the new Tomorrowland attraction.
And what is the new Tomorrowland attraction, you ask?
Why, it’s a brand new attraction themed around Big Hero 6 (also currently unnamed). The attraction is “an exciting musical ‘whip ride’ that swings them unpredictably round and round,” and should last for about a minute and a half. If you’ve been to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, then you know the type of attraction experience you’ll get, which is deceptively simple and remarkably fun. The concept art makes it look crazy and futuristic, and it’s a perfect fit, not only for Tomorrowland, but for Tokyo Disneyland (remember, the film took place in San Fransokyo, a futuristic combination of San Francisco and Tokyo). It will open in the spring of 2020.
Accompanying the Big Hero 6 attraction will be an outer space themed shop, that, “for the first time in either Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea,” will be “selling popcorn in multiple flavors.” If you don’t know about the near-mythical status of popcorn at Tokyo Disneyland, there are separate stands around the park that sell popcorn in crazy flavors like “soy sauce and butter,” curry, cappuccino, white chocolate, and black pepper. They are supposedly amazing.
There will also be a new character greeting facility at the entrance to Toontown (so, right next to the new Beauty and the Beast-themed land), with guests meeting Minnie Mouse. “After walking through Minnie’s design studio and her work area with interactive elements, guests can meet Minnie in person, take pictures with her, and generally spend a memorable time together,” according to the press release. This is also set to open in the spring of 2020.
Also, across the way at Tokyo DisneySea, a new version of Soarin’ will premiere in the Mediterranean Harbor section of the park, while elsewhere “new versions of current attractions and entertainment programs” are also being developed.
Soarin,’ which originally debuted at Disney California Adventure before making its way to Walt Disney World’s Epcot and, soon enough, Shanghai Disneyland, will now be a part of Tokyo DisneySea “with original scenes and the newest visual images.” The promotional image shows a different kind of ride vehicle; instead of a hang glider it almost looks like a flying machine that Leonardo Da Vinci would have designed (fitting in with its period Italian setting). It will be located across from Mysterious Island, home to the iconic Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction, and will open in the fiscal year 2019.
I didn’t think it was possible, but Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea just became even more incredible. Is it 2020 yet?