With the opening season of Spring 2024 inching ever closer, the Oriental Land Company, along with Disney, has released new information about Tokyo DisneySea’s gigantic expansion called Fantasy Springs. New video, concept art and names for attractions, areas and restaurants was all released today in the first update on the project in nearly a year. In this post, we’ll cover the news and add in a little bit of our own commentary at the end.
If you’re unaware, the initial plan for Fantasy Springs at DisneySea was to open this year. Due to construction delays and COVID, that has been pushed back to spring of next year. While the date has been pushed back, the plans haven’t appeared to scale down. The OLC (owners of Tokyo Disney Resort) have said that the expansion will cost 320 billion yen, up from the originally estimated 250 billion. That is roughly 2.2 billion US dollars and would be higher if the dollar wasn’t so strong relative to the Japanese yen right now.
Even with the strong dollar, this is the most expensive theme park expansion in… history? When the project was first announced, there were some quibbles about putting a Fantasyland-esque area into DisneySea. Over time, those have quieted thanks to the large investment and exciting progress. Adding three prominent Disney franchises and a beautiful hotel to the back of the best theme park in the world should be a boon and it already looks quite beautiful.
With that background out of the way, let’s get to the update! Via the Oriental Land Company’s release:
Fantasy Springs consists of three areas inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios films: Frozen Kingdom (the
Frozen-themed area), Rapunzel’s Forest (the Tangled themed area) and Peter Pan’s Never Land (the Peter Pan-themed area), as well as the hotel, Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel. Themed to magical springs that lead to a world of Disney fantasy, Fantasy Springs includes new attractions, restaurants, a shop, and a hotel that span a total developmental area of approximately 140,000 m² (34.5 acres) with the theme park and hotel area spanning approximately 100,000 m² (24.7 acres.)
Set after the events of the Disney Animation film Frozen, Frozen Kingdom is full of happiness now that Elsa has embraced her powers to create ice and snow. In the Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey attraction (#1 in the picture above), which follows the story of the film, guests board a boat and enjoy an epic and heartwarming tale of two sisters that discover only true love can thaw a frozen heart. The attraction also features the film’s well-known songs and will last about 6 and a half minutes. Additionally, guests can dine at the Royal Banquet of Arendelle (#2) restaurant located in Arendelle Castle, which has both an indoor dining area and a covered outdoor dining area with views of the fjord cliffs and mountains in the distance. Guests can also stop by Oaken’s OK Foods (#3), run by Oaken, the owner of the trading post and sauna that is featured in the film.
In Rapunzel’s Forest stands a tower where the long-haired princess Rapunzel has lived since she was a child. Here, guests can enjoy the Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival attraction (#1), and experience Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she falls in love with Flynn Rider on a romantic boat ride to the annual Lantern Festival. The ride will be about 5 minutes long. Over at The Snuggly Duckling restaurant (#2), where the local rough-and tumble crowd gathers, guests can enjoy a meal in a variety of atmospheric dining areas.
Peter Pan’s Never Land
In Peter Pan’s Never Land, guests can explore a pirate ship, dine in a secret hideaway, or go on a great adventure with their friends as they encounter pirates. In the attraction Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure (#1), guests join the Lost Kids, a group of fun-loving and adventurous children, and explore Never Land with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell to rescue John from Captain Hook and his band of pirates. This one lasts around 6 minutes. Additionally, guests can enjoy dining at Lookout Cookout (#2), a restaurant created by the Lost Kids from parts of a shipwreck that had washed ashore, with spectacular views of Never Land. Pixie Hollow, the fairy valley where Tinker Bell lives, can also be found in Peter Pan’s Never Land. Here, guests can experience the Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies (#3) attraction, and help Tinker Bell deliver parcels and packages to four seasonal locations in Pixie Hollow. The kiddie ride of the area will be about 2 minutes long.
On the first floor of Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel is Fantasy Springs Gifts (#6 listed below), a merchandise shop accessible only from within the Park.
TOKYO DISNEYSEA FANTASY SPRINGS HOTEL AREA
Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel is a Park-integrated Disney hotel, where guests can soak up the atmosphere of the themed port. The hotel is comprised of two buildings: the Fantasy Chateau (#1) and the Grand Chateau (#2). The Fantasy Chateau offers “deluxe-type” rooms adorned with motifs of the flora and fauna of Fantasy Springs, while the Grand Chateau offers “luxury-type” rooms which provide guests with the finest accommodation experience at Tokyo Disney Resort. Additionally, the hotel has three dining facilities all facing the Park. At Fantasy Springs Restaurant (#3), guests can dine buffet-style while gazing upon paintings inspired by the Disney Animation films Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Tangled and Sleeping Beauty. Guests can also enjoy Grand Paradis Lounge (#4), a lobby lounge with large, open windows. Furthermore, La Libellule (#5), a restaurant exclusively for guests staying in the Grand Chateau, offers views of Fantasy Springs from the sublime dining hall with French cuisine for a blissful experience only a Disney hotel can offer
Along with all of that information, Tokyo Disney Resort also revealed a cool video which consists of concept art, models and actual footage of the area. You can see that below!
Are you still with me? That was a lot to cover! I always appreciate the Oriental Land Company’s releases, as they don’t lack for detail but don’t add much in the way of frill. Anyway, I’m just going to touch on a couple of things because coming up with strong opinions about some new concept art and seconds of video for a previously announced land is silly. This is a website about theme parks though, so we’ve already crossed over some silly line! Speaking of silly, Oaken’s OK Foods is the funniest name for a restaurant.
Sorting through all of that information, I came away most excited about the video. While it only gave us a few seconds of drone footage from each sub-section, what it did show was detailed and along the lines of the massive scale that makes DisneySea blow our collective minds. The clip that showed the most was of Never Land. The water mixed with the hills overhead should make for a very picturesque setting
Speaking of hills, it’s notable that all of these areas have a high backdrop. This is likely to avoid some sightline issues but that’s a ton of rockwork detailing to do! It will be interesting to see just how well the land covers up views of everything else, be it in the resort, nearby hotels or the Tokyo Bay skyline. There are certain rides in the resort that show off that skyline purposefully, covering it up would be a very deliberate choice for Fantasy Springs.
Along those lines, each area also has water features. That seems obvious because DisneySEA and all of that but we’ve seen theme parks lose the plot many times before. I’m glad they made water an important feature in the area.
A few other spare thoughts! The concept art reveals that Rapunzel’s ride will go outside for at least a portion of it. I expect it to go back in at some point but that will add some nice kinetic energy to the area.
I’m also interested in the queue space for Fantasy Springs. The land is big and concept art is not a finished product, especially when it comes to showing where people stand in lines. I’ll be curious if most of the queues are inside or not. I’m also curious if people can get on to that pirate ship!
The concept art for the hotel has just gotten prettier over time. If it is half as pretty as what it looks like then Fantasy Springs Hotel will challenge for Disney’s best hotel right away.
I’ll finish off my fanboying by saying that if you’ve ever been interested in going to Tokyo Disney Resort or Japan then, well, do it. Even if Fantasy Springs is a colossal flop, which it won’t be, the rest of the parks are incredible. On top of that, the whole country is worthy of exploration and at the top of any country we’ve ever visited!
Are you excited for Fantasy Springs? Let us know, as well as any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Tokyo? Check out our guide to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!