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When Should Tokyo Disneyland Reopen?

Events in Japan continue to teeter on the edge of disaster. Whether you’re a villager in Northeastern Japan whose every day is a fight for the basic necessities of survival in a post-tsunami zone or a resident of Fukushima or nearby cities (including Tokyo) where you have to consider the real possibility of radioactive fallout from an explosion at the nuclear power plant, there is a lot to be worried about. There does seem to be growing hope for light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime, we should be keeping everyone in our thoughts and consider donations to whatever charity (preferably one that’s been vetted by Charity Navigator) moves you. (Aside: I like Architecture for Humanity or Doctors without Borders.)

During the crisis many of Japan’s industrial powers have shut-down to save energy or because parts of their operation have been devastated by the quake and tsunami. Tokyo Disney Resort shut down all of their properties at least until the 22nd of March. Disney has offered their facilities to assist recovery in the local community and many cast members have mobilized to go out and help clear away debris. OLC, the company that operates TDR, offered to send home any international cast who want to leave promising them their job back when the park re-opens.

Which brings up the question, when should Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea re-open?

I’m not sure one can set an exact date. But perhaps we can construct a set of criteria that should be met before the gates are reopened. Keeping in mind that Tokyo Disney is an entertainment facility, not urgent for survival, but important when you want to return to sense of normalcy in a post-disaster world.

So here’s my short list of criteria. Please share your ideas of what’s acceptable or expected for a Disney resort, any resort in the same situation as Tokyo Disney Resort, to reopen after a mega-disaster like what has befallen Japan.

1) Operation must not be a tax on the local energy network. Rolling blackouts must be over or independent power source should be used.

2) Any possibility of immediate danger (anything that could cause possible injury to guests or cast) should be at least 48 hours in the past.

3) Cast members whose family may have suffered injury or death should be allowed to deal with their personal crisis first. Although this may not delay an opening, it should factor in to it. A company should not be seen to be profiting on its employees crises.

4) Structural and attraction damage should be fixed and every attraction and guest/cast area surveyed for safety. If an attraction cannot be repaired in a timely manner, than it should be clearly listed as not available.

This is not a complete list, but something to get discussion started. What else should be on it? Assuming the nuclear reactor meltdown threat passes soon, when do you predict Tokyo Disneyland to finally reopen?

Photo credit: Tokyo DisneySeas Flickr Creative Commons, Cory Doctorow.

8 thoughts on “When Should Tokyo Disneyland Reopen?”

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  4. While I understand the reasons for keeping the parks closed, I do wonder if it is for the best. The fact is Tokyo Disneyland is in the area of the infamous ‘ring of fire’ region of the world. It is, and will always be, subject to seismic activity. You can’t escape it. To open one, two, or three months from now doesn’t diminish any potential for problems in the future. Sorry, but earthquakes cannot be predicted. As for radiation, again, it will never be any further from those nuclear reactors than they are today. And while power concerns aren’t to be ignored, how much more damage, both short term and long, is being done to the nation by closing a place that provides exactly the type of distraction needed during a time of increased fear and doubt? I’m not saying that Tokyo Disneyland should ignore the various warnings or push aside the experiences of the past week but no amount of time will diminish the dangers for which they are currently closed, not ever. If Disney is closed now, shouldn’t it be closed for good? I’ve been to Disney World (Florida) more than I can count, I was married there, I’ve celebrated anniversaries and birthdays there and at Disneyland (California). I ran my first full marathon at Disney World in 2010. I was to celebrate an anniversary at Tokyo Disneyland this very month, my first transoceanic trip, but it looks like that’s going to have to wait. And I will wait. I’ll wait because the fun, the joy, the laughter, and the good times I’ve been provided for many years are worth that wait. It might sound trite, and maybe even insensitive, to say but I think the lights of Disney just might help remind everyone that the future isn’t as dark as it might seem right now. Much love to Japan and those still there. Take care. I hope to see you soon.

  5. To our brothers and sisters in Japan my heart is with you all during this hardtime. I hope your country can get back on your feet soon and celebrate the one thing that Disney as always taught us to live, laugh, play and dream about a brighter future. When Tokyo Disneyland resort does open again it should be a big celebration of what life is really about in Japan. We don’t know why things happen but in the end the world would realize just what really matters in life. Tokyo Disneyland did the right thing by shutting down for awhile untill the country can get back on their feet. so when should they open maybe sometime in May!!!! Let the families who lost their home, and northern japan build their city back up.
    When the diaster ends unlock your dreams in the place that the whole world shares in “Around the World ” Disney Magic. Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland our with you Tokyo Disneyland and will help bring the magic back to your Magic Kingdom.

  6. With the announcement today that the Tokyo region is going to go through rolling black outs through the summer, it is going to be quite a while before the park opens. There are a lot more important things to worry about but due to the blackouts, it could be this fall before the parks open.

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