Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan to spring in Japan
Tokyo Disney Sea readies major new port
Let’s wrap up the 2024 parks and attractions preview with what will surely be the industry’s most significant project to open this year, Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea. The newest “port” at the park, it will feature mini lands and major attractions themed to Frozen, Peter Pan, and Tangled. As if that’s not eventful enough, the Japanese resort will also be opening the DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel adjacent to the park. The whole shebang is reportedly budgeted at 320 billion yen, which translates to a cool $2.1 billion. Yowsa!
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So, what will all those Disney dollars bring when the expansion opens later this year? Before I share some of the tantalizing tidbits, let’s step back and talk a bit about the Tokyo Disney Resort.
While it is one of six Disney theme park resorts around the world, it is not owned by the Walt Disney Company. Instead it is owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses Disney’s intellectual property. Apparently, the Japanese company has very deep pockets, because nearly everything at the resort’s two parks (the other one is Tokyo Disneyland) is super-duper plussed. I have never visited the resort, but Tokyo Disney Sea is widely regarded as one of, if not the finest theme park in the world. Among its drool-worthy and one-of-a-kind attractions are Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. It already generates lots of theme park envy, especially among U.S. fans (including me). And now The Oriental Land Company is opening its cavernous pockets and dropping another $2.1 billion on Tokyo Disney Sea? (Hang tight stateside ATPers. The Mouse says it will be spending $17 billion at Walt Disney World over the next ten years and is trying to get the necessary buy-ins for its aggressive “DisneylandForward” expansion program at the original California resort. For now, we will just have to keep drooling I guess.)
Details about Fantasy Springs are a bit sparse, so bear with me. Frozen Kingdom will welcome Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey. It will be a boat ride and encapsulate the movie, complete with some of its catchy tunes. But word on the midway is that it will not take its cue from the apparently similar Frozen Ever After at Epcot (as is the case with the attraction at the recently opened World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland). Whatever form it will take, it will likely be another must-see experience at the park. Hungry guests will be able to enter the area’s Arendelle Castle and feast at Royal Banquet of Arendelle.
Two attractions await guests in Peter Pan’s Never Land. According to Disney, guests aboard Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure will join the the flying Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys to help rescue John from the nefarious Captain Hook. Judging by the concept art (below left), it would seem passengers will will soar to Never Land aboard a flying galleon. But here’s the thing: The adjacent Tokyo Disneyland already offers Peter Pan’s Flight. Like its stateside counterparts, guests set sail to Never Land aboard flying galleons. Seems kinda duplicative, no? The new attraction will be in 3D, however, which implies that it may be screen-based.
It’s unclear exactly what kind of ride system it will feature, but I’m guessing that the other attraction, Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies, will be a spinner or some other kind of flat ride geared to kiddos. Guests will also be able to explore a pirate ship and dine at the area’s Lookout Cookout.
In Rapunzel’s Forest, passengers aboard boats on Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival will be able to swoon over Flynn Rider along with the Tangled heroine. The attraction is described as a romantic journey that will take the two lovebirds to the titular festival. A third Fantasy Springs counter service restaurant, The Snuggly Duckling, will round out the area.
If all of this adventure sounds exhausting, guests won’t have to go too far to rest their weary bones. The 475-room Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel will overlook and be accessible to the new port. It will include two buildings: The Grand Chateau will offer more upscale “luxury” accommodations, while the Fantasy Chateau will feature “deluxe” digs. The hotel will continue the land’s design aesthetic and take inspiration from its three IPs as well as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
I’d imagine spring water will be on the menu at the hotel’s two eateries. The Fantasy Springs Restaurant will be a buffet with plenty of choices for even the fussiest eaters. La Libellule, on the other hand, will specialize in French cuisine and sounds like it will be more swanky (and probably less attractive to fussy eaters). Located in the lobby, the Grand Paradis Lounge will serve adult beverages (along with spring water?).
The Fantasy Springs port as well as the new hotel are scheduled to open in June.
How much more envious are you of Tokyo DisneySea with Fantasy Springs set to debut? What attraction or feature would you most like to see duplicated at other Disney parks?