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Tokyo Disney Resort planning new massive expansion

It’s been over 16 years since Tokyo DisneySea opened at the Tokyo Disney Resort and, with remarkable consistency, crowds have flooded both gates every year since. According to sources in local Japanese media, the resort is beginning to work on a massive expansion that would help alleviate the over-crowding in its parks.

Oriental Land Company (OLC), which owns Tokyo Disney Resort, is already in the middle of a expansion of its existing parks, but this new project is larger by a lot. It would cost roughly $2.7 billion and expand the existing parks by roughly 30%. This is a long range plan and construction isn’t expected to start for a few years, but negotiations are under way with Walt Disney Co which OLC licenses the rights to its Disney parks from.

According to published reports, the expansion would be aimed at attracting older generations in Japan as well as visitors from overseas. It’s believed the new areas may carry a Japanese theme to help appeal to foreign tourists.

A new multi-level parking structure will be built to accommodate the expansion and OLC is looking to acquire nearby land as well.

This sounds to me like Tokyo Disney Resort wants its own Disney California Adventure, but based on Japanese culture and icons. This is not a bad idea as long as they don’t go cheap like Disney did in Anaheim. That cost the company more in the long run to fix the problem. I would also encourage them to focus on telling stories from Japan instead of replicating physical features.

We expect an official announcement of the project next year, perhaps as early as May. What do you think would make a good theme for a third theme park at Tokyo Disney Resort?

(photo by flickr user gelll.rosario cc-by-2.0 license)