Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced back in June of 2018 that an agreement has been reached with The Walt Disney Company on plans for developing a new themed port, named Fantasy Springs, at Tokyo DisneySea.
The Fantasy Springs expansion at Tokyo DisneySea will create an eighth themed port that is inspired by a magical spring leading to a world of Disney fantasy. The themed port will be comprised of three distinct areas recreating the worlds of the Disney films “Frozen”, “Tangled”, and “Peter Pan”. Additionally, four new attractions will be developed just for this expansion. Operations are projected to begin in fiscal year 2022 and Oriental Land plans to invest about 250 billion yen in this project, the largest additional investment to date for existing facilities. Thanks to a recent video from the Walt Disney Imagineering in a Box series, we’re getting to see where some of that money is going, specifically towards cutting-edge animatronics for a new “Tangled” attraction.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Tangled project, Rapunzel actually gets an entire area, complete with a replica Tower and her very own attraction! Here’s how OLC describes it:
“Guests visiting this area will discover Rapunzel’s tower rising above in a charming forest. The area will include an attraction that follows Rapunzel to the lantern festival and a restaurant inspired by the hideout of the humorous band of thugs who appeared in the film. In the attraction, Guests will board gondolas for a romantic boat tour of Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she journeys with Flynn to the lantern festival. Countless flickering lanterns illuminate the attraction’s climactic scene while Rapunzel and Flynn sing an iconic song from the film, building to an unforgettable finale.”
And of course, what boat ride at a Disney park would be complete without adorable animatronics? Imagineering has given us a sneak peek at the latest, all-electronic animatronic developed for the upcoming land in the form of this adorable Pascal figure.
Okay, so de-skinned, he isn’t as cute, but it’s fascinating to realize that he’s fully electrically powered instead of hydraulic or pneumatic-based, like most animatronics used at the parks. This allows for more realistic, fluid movements and micro-movements, so Pascal can fully stare, smirk, and smile.
Yup, between this and the Beauty and the Beast village, my plans for Tokyo Disney in 2022 are pretty much set.
If you’re curious about Imagineering in a Box, clips of each lesson are now available on YouTube, and they hold insights to current attractions as well as those still in development. If you keep a sharp eye out during each video short, you never know what you’re going to catch, like this amazing maquette of Rapunzel and Flynn on a gondola, also for the “Tangled” attraction… and remember, this is just a section of the expansion, so there’s plenty more to come!