Massive Expansion at Disney Park Anticipates Record 30 Million Visitors, Braces for Crowds

in Tokyo Disneyland

Colorful flowers and lush greenery frame a grand Disney fairytale castle under a bright blue sky. Inset: An overhead view shows a large crowd of people gathered, forming a dense line. The contrast highlights the serene castle and the bustling crowd.

Credit: Inside The Magic

A Disney park is bracing for 29 million guests this year thanks to a new expansion set to break records as it brings in billions in revenue.

Concept art of all-new attractions and experiences coming next year to Tokyo DisneySea, a Disney theme park in Japan.
Image Credit: Tokyo DisneySea

Disney Park to Gear Up for 29 Million Guests and Billions in Revenue Thanks To Massive Expansion

After a $2 billion investment and a protracted construction process complicated by the pandemic, The Walt Disney Company officially unveiled its expansive Fantasy Springs addition at the Tokyo Disney Resort on Thursday. Covering 1.5 million square feet, this new area includes sections inspired by the Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan franchises. The expansion is critical to Disney’s 10-year, $60 billion investment strategy for its global theme parks.

It is also the most significant addition in Japan since the Tokyo resort, Disney’s first major international destination, opened over 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Josh D’Amaro, chair of Disney Experiences, attended the celebration alongside executives from Oriental Land, Disney’s Japanese partner and the park’s operator.

“I am so proud of the richly immersive experiences we’ve created together, and I look forward to the bright future ahead of us here at Tokyo Disney Resort,” Iger remarked.

“We’ve worked alongside Oriental Land Company for more than 40 years, and this new land exemplifies our companies’ shared commitment to excellence in everything we do.”

The Japanese resort’s twin theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, are renowned among Disney superfans for offering the most pleasant visitor experience in Disney’s global portfolio. Contributing factors include the courteousness of Japanese guests and the high standards of maintenance, operations, and cleanliness upheld by Oriental Land.

A person in a Mickey Mouse costume is standing outdoors in front of a pastel-colored building with blue trim, extending their right arm. Mickey is dressed in his signature red shorts with white buttons, yellow bow tie, and black jacket.
Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

Disney anticipates the new Fantasy Springs addition will further enhance the Tokyo resort’s appeal. Oriental Land projects that this expansion will boost the park’s annual visitor total to 29 million, up from 27.5 million in 2023. At a press preview in May, Disney’s president of international theme parks, Jill Estorino, described the Fantasy Springs addition as “one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever undertaken in the world.”

Fantasy Springs features themed attractions, restaurants, and merchandise shops in each area. For example, the eagerly awaited Frozen Kingdom introduces a snow-capped mountain from Arendelle to the DisneySea skyline. Guests can experience the “Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey” attraction, enjoy a meal at the Royal Banquet of Arendelle restaurant, or visit Oaken’s OK Foods for casual dining.

Disney’s expansion in Japan is well-timed to capitalize on favorable tourism trends. A weak yen and growing international interest in Japanese culture have contributed to a surge in inbound tourism. In March, Japan welcomed a record 3.08 million visitors, an 11.6 percent increase from the same period in 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Mickey and Minnie in their new outfits at Tokyo DisneySea, a Disney theme park in Japan.
Credit: Tokyo Disneyland

First-quarter spending by overseas travelers reached a record $11.3 billion (1.75 trillion yen), with average spending per visitor up 42 percent from Q1 2019. The Tokyo Disney Resort’s guest capacity also saw a significant boost with the opening of the Fantasy Springs Hotel, which offers a private entrance to the new area.

The hotel comprises two buildings: Fantasy Chateau, featuring 419 deluxe rooms, and Grand Chateau, a luxury hotel with 56 resort-facing units. Starting at about $2,200 per night, the Grand Chateau rooms are the resort’s most expensive accommodation.

“Based on some research we had done and some discussions with our partners, we found there’s new demand for luxury rooms here at the Tokyo resort,” said George Gross, senior vice president and managing director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan. Disney and Oriental Land are already planning further enhancements for Japan. In April, the companies announced plans to open the world’s first attraction based on the Wreck-It Ralph animated franchise at the Tokyo Disney Resort by 2026.

The unveiling of the Fantasy Springs addition at the Tokyo Disney Resort marks a significant milestone, particularly for Tokyo DisneySea. Known for offering one of the most delightful visitor experiences globally, Tokyo DisneySea is set to benefit from the new immersive experiences introduced by Fantasy Springs.

With sections inspired by beloved franchises such as Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan, Fantasy Springs adds fresh excitement and attractions to Tokyo DisneySea’s stellar lineup. This expansion is expected to draw increased visitor interest, contributing to its continued success and cementing its reputation as a premier destination for Disney enthusiasts and theme park lovers.

in Tokyo Disneyland

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