Tokyo Disney eyes biggest expansion in nearly 20 years
Nikkei -- Nov 30
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land plans a major expansion for the theme park, looking to spend over 300 billion yen ($2.68 billion) to build new attractions and ease congestion amid fierce competition in the industry.

Oriental Land has begun discussing the plans with U.S.-based Walt Disney. The park's area would grow roughly 30%, and new facilities, expected to open around 2023, would be geared to attract both domestic and international tourists. The expansion would be the resort's priciest project since the 2001 addition of the Tokyo DisneySea section, which cost about 340 billion yen.

By expanding, the operator aims to maintain its high attendance. Tokyo Disneyland scored the most visitors of any theme park in the Asia-Pacific region last year with 16.54 million, according to the U.S.-based Themed Entertainment Association industry group. Combined with the 13.46 million for third-ranked Tokyo DisneySea, the resort welcomed 30 million visitors over the year. But those high numbers have created congestion, and customer satisfaction has declined.

The additional space would feature attractions not found at other Disney theme parks. One proposal is an area highlighting the hit movie "Frozen" -- an idea that has been discussed before but was shelved due to space concerns.

To free up space for the expansion, Oriental Land plans spend more than 10 billion yen to build a roughly 4,000-vehicle multi-story parking garage, replacing a parking lot adjacent to Tokyo Disneyland.

Located just outside of Japan's capital, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea sit on about 1 sq. kilometer of land combined. The new space may be split evenly between the two sections, though the proportion has yet to be settled.

News source: Nikkei
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