Tokyo Disney owner said to be planning major expansion

November 29, 2017, 3:53 PM · Oriental Land Company, the business that owns and operates the Tokyo Disney Resort under license from Disney, is said to be considering a major expansion of the Tokyo resort.

Multiple news outlets in Japan are reporting that OLC is planning to spend 300 billion yen (about US$2.7 billion) on new lands and attractions at the resort, starting in 2025. This is in addition to already-announced expansions now under construction, including new Beauty and Beast and Big Hero 6 attractions, as well as a Broadway-style theater and a Soarin' show.

Despite some mistranslations appearing now in U.S. press, Oriental Land has not announced that it will build a third gate at the Tokyo Disney Resort. In fact, Japanese reporting seems to indicate the OLC sources said the expansion could be the equivalent of adding another park's worth of content to the resort, not that it would be an actual third park.

To facilitate the expansion, Tokyo Disney would build a parking garage to replace some surface parking lots at the resort. Here's the Google Maps aerial view of the resort, with Tokyo Disneyland to the north and DisneySea to the south, so you can see how much surface parking area the resort has to play with between the two parks.

Aerial view of the Tokyo Disney Resort

Sources say that Tokyo Disney finally wants to start aiming to attract international visitors to the parks, which have drawn almost exclusively from Japan - and primarily the Tokyo area - for visitors in its 35-year history. The parks remain wildly popular, however, drawing about 30 million visitors a year, combined. But with a declining birth rate and aging population in Japan, not to mention increased competition from Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Tokyo Disney needs to expand, and to reach beyond Japan for visitors, to ensure continued financial growth.

Oriental Land is said to be in negotiations with Disney over the expansion, with an announcement hoped for by May 2018.

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Replies (12)

November 29, 2017 at 4:18 PM · Galaxy's Edge could be a possibility for an expansion there :)
November 29, 2017 at 4:20 PM · Clearly given the crowds reported by our "Roving reporters", there's clearly pent-up demand for more Universal/Disney level theme parks.... I'd be building them if only to make the guest experience somewhat acceptable in wait times.
November 29, 2017 at 5:05 PM · Roving reporters, eh?

Yeah, the Japanese theme parks are certainly congested, though I'd say it's a much greater problem for Universal Studios Japan since there doesn't seem to be nearly as much expansion space available within industrialized Osaka. The OLC's plan seems like a smart one, responsive and proactive in a way Disneyland CA ought to be.

November 29, 2017 at 6:36 PM · That falls in line with Universal Studios Japan expansion plans. A new hotel was announced today, and there is active talks of building a new parking garage, as well as a “minor attraction” next door (water park? Or nature park like DLPR?)
November 29, 2017 at 7:01 PM · The Oriental Land company outdoes Disney once again...
November 29, 2017 at 9:52 PM · Would they have the ability to "reclaim" land on the site like they did at Hong Kong?
November 30, 2017 at 6:30 AM · Very interesting.
The potentially available space gain I can see (inside the monorail loop, that is) however is less then 1/2 size of either of the 2 parks. Enough for nice expansions for both parks (guessing again : 1/3 of it going to TDS, 2/3s to TDL)
November 30, 2017 at 7:33 AM · Lack of chronic investment has harmed this park. I've been there, and whilst it's all very new, the actual attractions can be very poor. It also doesn't update many of it's attractions. It also has a tendancy to announce big plans only for them to be forgotton about. Anyone remember the big announcement for Frozen Land? Yep nothing happened. Can't help but feel they make these big announcements for share prices etc
November 30, 2017 at 8:29 AM · @Grant, Land Reclamation is what OLC does best! They’ve been doing it since 1960.
November 30, 2017 at 4:46 PM · Hosting the Olympics in 2020 Is bound to change their marketing approach.
November 30, 2017 at 7:40 PM · Cant wait to see what they have in store for the worlds best Theme Park Resort. Star Wars or Marvel is a good bet. What boggles my mind is why Uni or Dis don't get the theme park rights to Studio Ghibli. That's where the money is, at least in Japan.
December 2, 2017 at 9:13 AM · Wow, apparently all OLC has to do, in order to "outdo Disney", is make an announcement...

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