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PHOTO REPORT: Tokyo DisneySea 3/1/21 (Zero Crowds, Aquatopia Refurbishment, Projection Mapping Equipment Installed, & More!)

Ahoy there, we’re back at Tokyo DisneySea for another round-up of the latest news! Its been a few months since we’ve visited the park, so there’s been quite a number of changes to check out. The Oriental Land Company is certainly keeping itself busy, even amid the State of Emergency, prepping for the park’s 20th anniversary later this year, so let’s take a look around!

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Arriving around 10 minutes before open left us with this incredibly short line, especially for Tokyo Disney standards. Guests have been back on self-enforcing social distancing as of late, so Cast Members only needed to remind the occasional ne’er-do-well about wearing a mask after eating or drinking.

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The inside of the park just a few minutes after open made it look like everything was still closed! The AquaSphere Plaza was dead, with only a few folks here and there taking selfies.

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Even almost a year after the last special event, it still feels strange to not see a banner draped above Passaggio MiraCosta.

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The theme of the day at Tokyo DisneySea today is “empty”. The serious lack of people at the park was truly eerie, since capacity is limited to only 5000 Guests per day at present.

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On the bright side, Mt. Prometheus is looking better than ever, with only some minor construction scaffolding at water level obscuring the view.

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Several restaurants, including Cafe Portofino, were closed for today and today only, on top of the various other outlets closed during the State of Emergency. This left only Zambini Brothers’ Ristorante and Dockside Diner as the only counter-service outlets open after 3 PM.

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Over by Soaring: Fantastic Flight, the earliest blossoms are once again in bloom. These aren’t the iconic sakura Japan is known for, rather they’re plum blossoms.

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Empty is the theme in American Waterfront too, with Columbus Circle virtually abandoned, and walkways in both directions leaving clear, barely-obstructed views down the rest of New York.

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New York Deli remains shuttered as well, a casualty of the State of Emergency.

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Meanwhile, the Broadway Music Theater greeting featuring Mickey Mouse on his drum set from the Big Band Beat finale closed on February 28th. The Coming of Age ceremony for Urayasu is set to be held here later this month, but no further news has been announced regarding the return of entertainment at Tokyo Disney Resort yet.

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An empty Toyville Trolley Park and a five minute wait for Toy Story Mania truly underscore the desperate situation. Typically the queue is filled to the brim, even with social distancing in recent times.

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But fear not, for the Green Army Men are here to protect Guests visiting American Waterfront!

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A similar situation is visible at Tower of Terror, with no wait and a desolate lobby. This is what an abandoned hotel would feel like.

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Plastic curtains, previously installed on Indiana Jones Adventure last year, are now also in place aboard Tower of Terror‘s elevators, allowing every row to be seated. Until recently, the middle row was consistently skipped.

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Over at the S.S. Columbia, the entire bow is currently covered in towering scaffolds, and closed to Guests. This mast maintenance is done roughly every decade or so. Perfect timing now that the park’s 20th anniversary is almost here!

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Down at the Dockside Stage, the sign for Hello, New York! has finally been removed. The show’s cancellation was announced back in October along with virtually all atmospheric entertainment.

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Down in Cape Cod, dozens of ducks decided to stop over and take a rest. For whatever reason, ducks seem to really favor the waters of Cape Cod, none of the other areas see nearly this much congregation.

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In a very non-OLC move, Aquatopia is currently under its annual refurbishment but planters are not covering the construction work. Scaffolds are up on the lighting towers and around the load building.

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Ride vehicles are neatly lined up close to the path of the DisneySea Transit Steamer.

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Most noticeable (other than the scaffolding itself, of course) is that the light-up letters that spell Aquatopia have been removed for servicing.

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But not all is lost! Chip and Dale are out greeting Guests today in their adorable Port Discovery costumes.

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Another gap in entertainment is obvious in Lost River Delta, with Song of Mirage also still missing. Unlike the other show venues across Tokyo Disney Resort, the Hangar Stage has not played host to a character greeting during its downtime.

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But Max in a poncho is still out to say hi to everyone!

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Although photo service is currently unavailable at Tokyo Disney Resort attractions (save for Splash Mountain), the stock photo for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull has been updated with the new 2021 mark.

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Early site prep is underway behind planters next to the Mickey & Friends Greeting Trails. It’s a small site, so this is likely another themed vending machine similar to those installed last year in Arabian Coast and Mediterranean Harbor.

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Character greetings are where the real lines are at Tokyo Disney Resort right now. Since the Entry Request lottery system is turned off, many Guests are buying tickets specifically to spend time meeting characters. Waits have reportedly exceeded 70 minutes for the Theater Orleans greeting at Tokyo Disneyland, among other locations.

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But even an emergency can’t cool the fever for chicken legs at Lost River Cookhouse.

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Construction of Fantasy Springs is now incredibly visible from inside Tokyo DisneySea, with a projected opening date currently set for 2023. The green-sided show building for the Tangled attraction in particular is visible inside the park, but will hopefully be themed or covered by the time the expansion opens.

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The upper dome of the Caravan Carousel is currently covered. In a previous photo report, we noted that the upper area was looking a bit faded compared to lower areas that see less sunlight, so it’s good to see the Oriental Land Company fixing things up.

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Long a home of caramel corn, it appears the Matcha White Chocolate popcorn has moved from Port Discovery to Mermaid Lagoon recently. You can read (or watch) our review from last year here on WDWNT.

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After briefly reopening in December, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been closed since January for its annual refurbishment, and is set to reopen on March 5th.

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Back at Emporio, Cast Members were hard at work stocking the shelves with… Baymax items. Since there’s no seasonal events going to take up this space, overstock items from the massive Baymax merchandise line released in September at Tokyo Disneyland will fill this space for the time being.

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Preparations continue for Believe! Sea of Dreams, the new nighttime show coming this year to Tokyo DisneySea. Projection mapping equipment has been installed on the roof of Hotel MiraCosta, and Guests staying at the hotel have reported test patterns being displayed overnight. With projections on the hotels, it’s likely that Mount Prometheus will also see projection mapping in the upcoming spectacular.

That’s the latest from Tokyo DisneySea! There’s so much going on in spite of the State of Emergency that clearly The Oriental Land Company is wasting no time preparing for when crowds can return to some semblance of normal later this year. What was your favorite discovery? Let us know in the comments below!

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