Expansion to have attractions exclusive to Japan, with Frozen area expected.

Since its opening in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland has enjoyed the status of being Japan’s premier theme park. That prestige steadily grew over the years as the addition of hotels, shopping centers, and eventually a whole second theme park, Tokyo Disney Sea, were added to the vicinity, together forming the Tokyo Disney Resort of today.

In recent years, however, Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan has been grabbing headlines and attracting visitors with a slew of tie-ups with non-Disney franchises, including Harry Potter, Final Fantasy, Nintendo’s video game properties, and a slew of popular anime series. There’s also a Studio Ghibli theme park coming to Aichi Prefecture, filled with the whimsical wonder of the animation house behind My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.

But Tokyo Disney Resort isn’t just resting on its laurels. Oriental Land (the company that actually owns and operates Tokyo Disney Resort, under a licensing agreement from the Walt Disney Company), is planning a massive expansion of the resort, with a budget of 300 billion yen (US$2.68 billion).

The new additions will increase the size of Tokyo Disney Resort by some 30 percent. While Oriental Land hasn’t specifically announced that the expansion will be a third park, speculators believe that to be a likely scenario, considering the budget’s similarity to the 340 billion yen Disney spent in building Disney Sea, which opened in 2001 (the planned three billion expansion is the largest of its kind since then).

Oriental Land wants the expansion to include exclusive attractions that can’t be found in other Disney theme parks around the world. A Frozen area seems like a given, considering that there isn’t enough room within the confines of Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea to create attractions appropriate in scale to the film’s immense popularity.

The Nhon Keizai Shimbun reports that Oriental Land hopes for the expansion to be ready to receive guests in 2023, which, if doable, would roughly match up with the Ghibli theme park’s projected early 2020s opening.

Sources: Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko, Kyodo Tsushin, Nihon Keizai Shimbun via Jin
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