Tokyo Disney announces five new attractions
The Tokyo Disney Resort has announced plans to add several new attractions at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, including a new version of Soarin', a Big Hero 6 spinner ride, and a Mystic Manor-style ride through the Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast.
The plans, which also include a 1,500-seat theater for live performances and a Minnie Mouse meet and greet facility, will cost an estimated US$675 million. Tokyo Disneyland's Grand Circuit Raceway and StarJets will close to make room for some of the new attractions. The raceway will close in January and the Star Jets will close in "autumn-winter 2017."
In its press release announcing the new development, the Oriental Land Company (which owns and operates the Tokyo Disney Resort under license from Disney) made no mention of the Frozen-themed Nordic Port of Arendelle for Tokyo DisneySea that it announced last year. Nor did it mention the Alice in Wonderland mini-land for Tokyo Disneyland that it included in that announcement. A Beauty and the Beast-themed mini-land also was part of that announcement... but that appears to have grown, under the newly announced plans.
Beauty and the Beast Area
All concept art courtesy Oriental Land Company
This new area will take over much of the space now occupied by Grand Circuit Raceway and StarJets, effectively expanding Fantasyland into Tomorrowland's current footprint. It will include a shop, a restaurant and a new ride. Oriental Land's concept art suggests that the new restaurant will be a Gaston's Tavern rather than a Be Our Guest. Which makes sense, given that Tokyo Disney appears to have different plans for the Beast's castle.
That will be the setting for the area's new ride, which appears to use trackless vehicles crafted to look like spinning serving dishes. From the park's 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 the Beast, just in time to break the fateful spell.
This would give Tokyo Disneyland's Fantasyland two next-gen trackless dark rides, following the original Pooh's Hunny Hunt. The new ride, which is yet to be named, is scheduled to open in Spring 2020, along with the rest of the newly announced Tokyo Disneyland attractions.
Live Entertainment Theater
Behind the new Beauty and the Beast area, Tokyo Disneyland will build a 1,500-seat indoor theater for live performances. "Signature Disney entertainment unique to Tokyo Disneyland and featuring the Disney Friends will be presented in this storybook theater environment," according to the Oriental Land Co. press release.
Minnie Meet and Greet
Back in Toontown, Minnie Mouse will be getting her own design studio, where she will greet guests. The queue for the meet will wind through Minnie's studio and include interactive elements.
Big Hero 6 Ride
This new attraction, hosted by Baymax, will be built between Space Mountain and the new Beauty and the Beast area. It will be a musical whip ride, similar to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree at Disney California Adventure.
Over in Tokyo DisneySea, Soarin' will come to Mediterranean Harbor. It is scheduled to open sometime in 2019, but the concept art shows much more fanciful ride vehicles than the hang gliders found on the other versions of Soarin' around the world.
The omission of the Alice in Wonderland maze and Frozen land suggests that those developments won't go forward after all, but we are awaiting official confirmation of that from Oriental Land Co.
Based on track record, it will all be amazing.
Lol...... Why oh why was Disney World stuck with a stupid Little Mermaid Ride instead of just expanding the Beauty and Beast land to include the trackless dark ride. ??????
A Steampunk version of Soarin'. Interesting.
I have been fighting Mystic Manor's lure to get me into an airplane for quite some time...NOW it's gonna join forces with Beauty and the Beast!??! I am quickly developing a serious jealousy for the foreign parks!
Tokyo Disneyland needs to buy Disney's American theme parks. The Japanese would treat American fans better than Bob Iger has. #FireBobIger
Removing Autopia at DL for a Beauty and Beast mini-land with an amazing dark ride, I only wish...
So do we still thank Shanghai?
If only we could get an actually beauty and the beast ride in the us parks
These are budget basement attractions - bar Soarin. The fact they aren't doing the Frozen land also is pretty pathetic after announcing it last year.
As far as I know, TDS still has a new land on the back-burner, as they are waiting to see what happens with Epcot's ride. Should plans go forward, that will be open around 2021. Soarin' was earmarked for this spot since the park opened (and also tossed around in the New York and Cape Cod areas), so that shouldn't really affect much with the expansion land at the back of the park. StarWars is also a strong contender against Frozen, but we will see.
But there is already a Beast castle in WDW. Sure is't a tiny miniature (that some people try to sell as forced perspective) with a restaurant under it but the WDW company earns more from a restaurant than a ride.
I remember predicting if Tokyo Disney built a New Fantasyland they would put an E ticket ride before putting a restaurant. Guess I was right!
Whew! A lot of Kool-Aid drinking and fact spinning going on in this thread!
These all look like very solid attractions. While I do question whether putting Beauty and the Beast right next to Pooh's Hunny Hunt is a smart decision, I guess that is the best place for it to fit and the general public probably isn't going to care that the ride systems themselves are so similar (Disneyland's Fantasyland has never had a problem with it's four thematically different but mechanically identical dark rides). I'm assuming Soarin' will be the same film as the others, just with a lot more theming of the attraction itself. I also find it very interesting that the Frozen land is on hold as that film was insanely popular in Japan, but perhaps Disney is starting to realize that it is not guaranteed to maintain its popularity long term (I'm certainly very curious how the US Frozen attractions opening this year end up performing). Would these additions be enough for me to plan a trip to Tokyo Disney had I already visited? Probably not, but I definitely look forward to trying these out when I do get a chance to visit.
Well done AJ, spot on!
It's not unfair to compare how the two resorts are financed at all. One just has to to note they are financed differently.
Not a fan of Soarin or the Big Hero 6 ride, but I do like the Beauty and the Beast ride and the New entertainment theater. If only WDC ran their U.S. parks like OLC runs TDR.
@80 "budget basement"?
Amazing Beauty and the Beast ride. It's the truly essence/heart of Disney (unfortunately it is not in Disney's "native country"). Notwithstanding, I am so excited. I wish that I could be able to ride every day!
To answer "Why is this not in WDW" things, the Oriental Land Company has been wanting stuff that's unique to Tokyo (and Hong Kong and Shanghai) to give them "bragging rights" over the U.S. parks.
On my gosh I am pumped! I can't wait to see how the use the trackless technology with beauty and the beast.
Oh man. I read this entire post pouting at the injustice of how AMAZING this will be.
"Whew! A lot of Kool-Aid drinking and fact spinning going on in this thread!"
Demolishing the speedway is something every Disney park should consider. If you want to ride GoKarts, just go to FunZone, for crying out loud. WDW could learn a lesson from Tokyo. Disneyland, Paris, and Hong Kong could as well.
I just had an educated thought... Maybe a clone of the DCA Frozen show will go to the new theater if Frozen is still real popular. That would make more sense overall. That plot of land that was scheduled to be used for Frozen is the last real big plot of land that DisneySea has to add a new land with, so they probably want to be picky and make sure it's a good one. It looks like more funding will go to Fantasyland with these set of plans. Which is good because that Fantasyland out there does need a little TLC. Let's remember, DisneySea seems to be dedicated to the best of the best attractions out there. Soarin has been a long proven family favorite. Just add a little more detail to bring it to DisneySea standards and there you go. An easy hold over until they figure out what to do with that large plot of land. I think when the numbers come in for Star Wars Land here in the states, DisneySea will almost have no choice but to build it because guest are really going to want a copy over there, but time will only tell that take. Until then, I can't wait to ride in some plates in a few years. To be honest though, as of now, all my focus is starting to switch to Avatar. That are is looking very beautiful.
If they decided to skip Frozen because Star Wars land would be a much better investment and both would use the same space, that is good news.
The Tokyo parks are overcrowded, so they add new attractions. The U.S. parks are overcrowded, so they raise prices and try to milk more money with hare-brained schemes like My Magic Plus.
The Beauty and the Beast ride looks like it will be impressive. The other ones don't look that great. And I wonder why it took so long for them to add a version of Soarin'.
Daniel, unless I'm mistaken the Walt Disney Company does not hold any ownership stake in the Tokyo Disney Resort. Instead, they have licensed the Disney brand to the Oriental Land Company for use at the resort, and while Disney does contract Imagineering work and has final approval for the resort's additions they do not finance it. As a result of this arrangement, most of the profits from Tokyo Disney can be directly reinvested into that property.
AJ you are correct about the ownership of the parks and yes Oriental Land company does wholly own Tokyo Disney Resort. I agree with you that that is definitely an advantage over the other theme parks. But I don't feel that it is unfair to compare the parks. Walt Disney Co. is huge compared to the Oriental land company, indeed one of the largest in the world. They chose to invest in foreign parks nobody forced them to. If it hasn't gone well that is Disney's fault not the OLCos. Oriental land company can, and actually will, do the same as they are currently looking to build something in Okinawa. If Oriental land has done a beter job with their resort than Disney itself I think they should be commended. I just don't feel it's an unfair comparison. It's like saying it's unfair to compare honda and GM cars because one is bigger than the other yet their products compete on a global scale and so do theme parks.
AJ, stop making excuses for greedy Bob Iger. Disney's American parks wouldn't be hurting for cash, if greedy Bob Iger hadn't spent billions of dollars on stock buybacks, foreign misadventures and the MyMagic+ fiasco. The $1.5 billion that Iger wasted on MyMagic+ alone could have paid for 15 E-ticket attractions. Tokyo Disney cares about their customers. Bob Iger does not.
Yeah, they really cut down on many of the other attractions. I'm confused about Frozen. I wonder if maybe they're thinking about a potential Star Wars Land for Disney Sea in Frozen's place ;) However, I actually like how they changed their plans for Beauty and the Beast.
Daniel, I get what you're saying, but I think the difference is that Oriental Land Company is solely a leisure and tourism company while the Walt Disney Company is a mass media and entertainment conglomerate that encompasses a much wider range of consumer products. If, say, the entire parks and resorts division was performing at 125% above expectations but the media networks division is 50% below, you'd see a lot of money diverted to help that division instead of being reinvested in parks and resorts. This is not a problem Tokyo Disney has to deal with, so it makes comparisons difficult when it comes to theme park investment and operations. If the parks and resorts division was entirely independent, it would be a lot easier to compare them. You can't think of it like comparing two car companies, you'd have to think of it as comparing a company that only does road vehicles to a company with large scale operations in every part of the transportation sector.
AJ, Thank you for your posts. You always contribute good insight to the discussion.
"In the last 5 years, Iger has spent $30 billion on share buybacks, the foreigh parks and MyMagic+. How much capital has Iger invested in American attractions during that period?"
AJ, how did you arrive at those estimates of $3 billion for Disneyland and $4-5 billion for WDW?
Bob Iger has destroyed the US parks especially WDW. New Fantasyland is not even a 40% of what it was originally going to be. We always get budget cuts when they finally decide to do refurbs and the trend continues to be on getting cheaper and inferior products into these parks while squeezing more money out of our Guest. This is not the same company we used to be under Eisner. The Disney way is no longer in practice at TA nor TO. :( Bob needs to leave ASAP!!!
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