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Amusement Parks: Tokyo Disney Resort – a Potted History


Disney’s amusement park in the Far East was the first to be opened outside  of the United States. It is located at Chiba, a prosperous city in the  Greater Tokyo area. The amusement park opened on the 15th April 1983 and  satisfied Disney’s aim to make it a place for adults and children and to  both inform and amuse.

The amusement park is owned by the Oriental Land  Company and operates under a licence from Disney. The Walt Disney Company  develops ideas, draws its income from the licensing agreements and oversees  the amusement park.

It consists of Tokyo Disneyland, with seven themed areas, and Tokyo Disney  Sea, with seven themed ports. The amusement park also has hotels and a
shopping mall. In 2007, there were 25.8 million visitors and it is obviously  offering what its public wants. Staff in the amusement park only speak  Japanese and therein lies a problem as more tourists from neighbouring  countries come to visit. Those who come from China, Thailand and English  speaking countries find their enjoyment compromised by their inability to  fully experience what the amusement park has to offer.

Another problem which the amusement park will have to face is that of  reconciling the age profile of its visitors with the increasing average age  of the Japanese population. Of the 25.8 million visitors mentioned above,   96% were from Japan itself and 84% were under 39 years of age. It is
estimated that by 2055, 40% of Japan’s population will be over 65. That  seems a long way ahead, but the two problems combined would indicate that
the amusement park will have to keep in mind that foreign tourists could be  the answer to an ageing population in Japan. The amusement park has already  had the foresight to introduce attractions, such as horticultural shows,   which have an appeal to their older visitors.

Chiba, as a result of the nearby Kuroshio current, is blessed with a milder  climate than Tokyo and this will continue to be an advantage for the  amusement park. Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, there is  every likelihood that the amusement park will adapt to changing  circumstances and continue to flourish by being what Walt Disney wanted it  to be – "a happy place".

See also:
Amusement Parks: Hong Kong Disney Resort – a Potted History

Amusement parks: Walt Disney World – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Disneyland – a Potted History
Amusement parks: Disneyland Paris – a Potted History

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