TOKYO Disneyland has reported it will expand the theme park to include new rides, attractions, and shopping malls.
Shares of Oriental Land Co, who operates Tokyo Disneyland, soared to the highest value this year after Disney’s announcement. Share prices went up as much as 4.2 percent as Nikkei also announced an investment of more than ¥300 billion (US$2.7 billion) in the park.
The popular park already includes Tokyo DisneySea, equipped with a Little Venice, Turtle Tank and plenty of aqua-themes rides, as well as the main park which has classic attractions such as Space Mountain and Tomorrow Land.
The operating company, that also runs the Walt Disney Co. hotels and shopping malls, is hoping to collaborate with the Californian based entertainment giant, Burbank, to explore expansion options including an area dedicated to the hit Disney movie Frozen.
As tourism figures in Japan increase year on year, Oriental Land expects that overseas visitors to the park will double by 2020. This expectation has been formed from the record number of increased tourism and publicity generated from the 2016 opening of the Disney theme park in Shanghai, China.
However, the park in Shanghai, operated by the Walt Disney group, has competition from China’s second richest man who heads the entertainment conglomerate, Wanda Group. Its founder, Wang Jianlin wants to freeze out Disney in Shanghai, which is an issue Japan won’t have to deal with.
As part of the expansion, one of the parking lots will be made into a multi-story structure, and the company is also looking to acquire additional land from neighboring sites.
The expansion hopes to attract an older demographic through the construction of bigger and faster rides, aimed at an international audience. The expansion will also loosen up congestion and massive queue times in the park.