Sunday, September 23, 2018

The First International Mouse Kingdom Turns 35

Way back in 1955 Walt Disney built and opened his dream come true, Disneyland.  Today, 63 years later it's a success by any measure.  It's known around the world as the "Happiest Place On Earth," and hosts more visitors than any theme or natural park on Earth each year.

Then in 1971 Walt Disney's next dream came true in the form of the Walt Disney World Resort.  That was 47 years ago.  Soon the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World will celebrate it's Golden 50th Anniversary; a celebration sure to be the envy of the world.

But it wasn't until the 1980s that the Disney Company ventured outside of the United States to spread the happiness and joy of a Disney park.  That venture was the Tokyo Disneyland Resort, located in the Tokyo, Japan metropolitan area.  It opened 35 years ago in 1983.  Therefore, today, the resort is celebrating it's 35th Anniversary and doing it in style.

Tokyo Disneyland was built very similar to the other Magic Kingdom parks in the United States except for the fact that "Frontierland" in the states is known as "Westernland" in the Tokyo resort.

For many years the Magic Kingdom in Tokyo drew millions of visitors from throughout Japan and Asia and some other international tourists.  Today, Tokyo Disneyland's Magic Kingdom is the third most visited park on Earth behind the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, California.

As the years went by it was clear that the masses of Disney fans wanted another park to visit, similar to what had been done at Walt Disney World near Orlando, FL.

Disney imagineers came up with a 100% new Disney theme park concept that had not been tried anywhere else in the Disney realm, a park based on locations by the sea.  The park would come to be known as "Tokyo Disney Sea."

The park consists of different ports of call with water the connecting theme to them all.  The center of the park and emblem of the park, such as the castles at the Magic Kingdom parks is a large looming volcano that hosts the ride, "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

The volcano is part of the "Mysterious Island" section of the park.  Other sections are:

Arabian Coast:

Mediterranean Harbor:

American Waterfront:

Port Discovery:

and the Lost River Delta:

Each land is unique with almost all attractions unique to Tokyo Disney Sea except for the Tower of Terror in the American Waterfront.

There's also the Mermaid Lagoon which is indoors.  It's a play area based on the Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

Current expansion plans include building a Scandinavian Waterfront based on the movie "Frozen."

It truely is a unique Disney park, there isn't one like it anywhere else in the world.  Many hard core Disney fans want the company to build a replica at Walt Disney World for their 5th gate project.  But, so far that hasn't come to pass.

But considering "Tokyo Disney Sea" is the fourth most visited Disney park of them all (and there are 14 around the world) it might be in their plans to build it in Florida at Walt Disney World after the big 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021-2022.

If this article made you want to travel to see this beautiful resort, like I want to, let me know.  Just post a comment at the end of the blog or on Facebook.  I'd love to hear from you.

And, I hope you enjoyed our little journey around one of the lesser known Disney resorts.

Bryan W. Rupp