In a bit of fun news, the Oriental Land Company, who runs Tokyo Disney Resort, released some new models and information about the 2.3 billion dollar expansion coming to DisneySea. This expansion, which will be called Fantasy Springs, was announced in 2018 and ground was broken in 2019. In this post, we’ll give a brief update on the upcoming land and look at the new models released.
If this is your first introduction to the Fantasy Springs expansion then, congratulations because you get to hear some fantastic news! While there may be qualms about this expansion dumbing down DisneySea’s fantastic theming, most fears are set aside when we remember the budget given to the project. 2.3 billion dollars is the biggest budget any expansion has seen in theme park history. The amount is double the budget of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. While there’s been inflation, the remodel for California Adventure (which included Toy Story Mania, World of Color, the Little Mermaid dark ride, Cars Land and a few odds & ends) had a budget of 1.1 billion. All of this to say, holy cow! They’re spending a lot of money on this project.
No, that doesn’t mean the expansion is automatically a success but, generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to theme parks. Knowing the beauty of DisneySea already, I believe the OLC will hold Fantasy Springs to the highest standard.
As for what the land will hold, Fantasy Springs promises to add a little more kid friendliness to DisneySea. Think of it as an ultra immersive Fantasyland geared toward three Disney animated classics – Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. Each movie will get it’s own subsection of the land. Guests will enter into this land between the Arabian Coast’s Jasmine’s Flying Carpets and Lost River Delta’s Raging Spirits. Shockingly, the expansion will not be taking up any existing theme park land instead replacing a parking lot and backstage areas.
Fantasy Springs appears to be in line for a 2023 opening, with progress only slightly slowed by the pandemic. The wonderful TDR Explorer has given frequent updates on the construction progress. All of the ride show buildings are outwardly completed and the new hotel is fully vertical with its golden dome in place. Let’s get to these models, which are 1/50th of the actual size. Below each video, I’ll talk about what will be included in the subsection of the land. If the models seems a little bare relative to usual Disney concept art, that is due to OLC taking more of a straight-forward approach and not adding any frills outside of the big stuff. I have no doubt that the land itself will be lavish with detail. Let’s start with the Frozen video!
The land will take guests inside the world of Arendelle. In the castle, which sits in front of the mountains, will be a table-service restaurant. This area will feature a boat attraction that is set after the first film. When the land was first announced it was said that the attraction would differ from Epcot’s Frozen Ever After. I believe that still to be the case but the details do sound very similar. This area appears to be in the back right corner of the land.
Next is the Tangled area, which appears to be on the immediate right as you enter the land. This subsection will feature a restaurant inspired by the movie’s Ugly Duckling. Another boat attraction will be in the land, likely ending in seeing some floating lanterns. How has it been over a decade since the movie and we are just now getting that scene in a theme park attraction? That might be the most attraction ready scene in any movie!
Finally, here is the Peter Pan section of the land. There will be another restaurant here, inspired by the Lost Boys. One of the two attractions will take guests inside the world of Pixie Hollow. I’m curious to see if that attraction will be more of a walk-through or not. That would certainly fit into DisneySea’s M.O. The other Peter Pan attraction will send guests on a chase of Captain Hook, flying through the sky by boat. Rumor is that this could use Shanghai’s Pirates of the Caribbean technology.
There is also a luxury hotel being built just outside of the land that will have a special entrance into Fantasy Springs. In other promising news, the land is said to only have one gift shop. This is crazy to me! Four rides and only one gift shop?? Where will people exit the rides into? I kid, but that does sound quite refreshing.
In all likelihood, we are still another two years away from this land opening and there are plenty of reasons to visit Tokyo Disney Resort before then, whenever we’re all allowed to travel internationally again. Tokyo Disneyland has its own expansion that no one outside of Japan has experienced, featuring a Beauty and the Beast attraction that is one of the most expensive ever built. Tokyo Disney Resort has the two most complete parks of any theme park resort in the world and the future appears to only be getting brighter.
What are your thoughts on the Fantasy Springs expansion? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? Check out our planning guide here to help you get started! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney! If you enjoy the blog then please subscribe via email or WordPress and like our social media accounts. You can do all of those things on the right side of this page.