Tokyo Disney Resort introduced new facilities one after the other in the years 2000 and 2001 including Tokyo DisneySea Park, which welcomed the 10 millionth Guest on its 307th day since its opening – surpassing Tokyo Disneyland in its speed of achieving this benchmark figure. And as Walt Disney once said “Disneyland will never be completed,” so it is the same with Tokyo Disney Resort, with facilities continuing to be developed and enhanced ever since the time of its openings.
In 2003, Tokyo Disneyland hosted a grand celebration of its 20th anniversary under the theme of “Dreams.” During this period, the combined annual attendance for the both Parks surpassed the 25 million mark for the first time.
In 2004, the year following the 20th anniversary event, Tokyo Disneyland introduced the new attraction Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. Tokyo DisneySea also introduced new features successively: a new nighttime entertainment “BraviSEAmo!” debuted in 2004; the new attraction Raging Spirits had its grand opening in 2005; and another new attraction Tower of Terror opened in 2006.
While we continued to enhance the Parks’ appeal with new shows and attractions, we also developed new facilities and created new infrastructure for the area outside of the Parks to provide Guests with an even more comfortable stay in Tokyo Disney Resort.
This became even more important because with the opening of Tokyo DisneySea, an increasing number of Guests were staying in the area for multiple days. In order to accommodate these Guests, we created the “Tokyo Disney Resort Good Neighbor Hotel” (from 2001) and the “Tokyo Disney Resort Partner Hotel” (from 2005) programs. These programs enabled Guests to select a hotel from a variety of choices that catered to their preferences and budget requirements. It also allowed Guests to take advantage of such benefits as shuttle services to the Parks, as well as access to the latest Tokyo Disney Resort information at their hotels. Among the Tokyo Disney Resort Partner Hotels is the Palm & Fountain Terrace Hotel, which opened on February 25, 2005 and is owned and operated by our group company. The hotel provides comfortable accommodations at a reasonable price for families and groups visiting Tokyo Disney Resort. Today, there are a total of 28 hotels that Guests can choose from to enjoy multiple dream-filled days at the Resort.
To further enhance the services provided within the Resort, we opened the Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center in July 2001. Located adjacent to JR Maihama Station, which is one of the major points of arrival for our Guests, the Welcome Center provides information on all Resort facilities, and also offers various convenient services to Guests staying at a hotel within Tokyo Disney Resort. Also in July 2001, the Disney Resort Cruiser, a shuttle bus connecting the hotels to the Parks, started operations. This bus is designed with the Disney touch including Mickey-shaped windows and straps, bringing an element of fun and fantasy to the Guests.
To further add convenience for Guests looking to stay at the Resort, we started offering the Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Package, a travel deal that combines accommodations, such as at a Disney Hotel, with Park Passport tickets, FastPass tickets, and show viewing tickets. Some plans also include tickets to see “Zed” at Cirque du Soleil Theatre Tokyo, thereby satisfying the various wishes of the Guests.
In 2008, Tokyo Disney Resort welcomed its 25th anniversary. The celebration started on April 15 and continued for a year, with festivities held throughout the Resort under the slogan of “Unlock Your Dreams.”
During the 25th anniversary year, a new daytime parade was introduced at Tokyo Disneyland, the Park where it all originally began. Throughout this milestone year, different facilities within the Resort hosted a variety of events depending on the season. And to show our appreciation to the Guests for all these magical years, we offered the “Magical Dreams 25 ‘Unlock Your Dreams’” program where Tokyo Disney Resort dreams came true for 25 Guests. Of these dreams, one lucky family had their dream of having Tokyo DisneySea all to themselves come true!
In addition to these dream-filled programs, Tokyo Disney Resort opened two new facilities – Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and Cirque du Soleil Theatre Tokyo – during this commemorative year.
Tokyo Disneyland Hotel opened on July 8, 2008 to further enhance the accommodation needs within Tokyo Disney Resort. With a total of 705 rooms, this became the third and largest of the Disney Hotels in Japan.
Cirque du Soleil Theatre Tokyo was developed to provide Guests visiting the Resort with another element of entertainment. In order to provide a theater-type show that is uniquely different from a theme park experience, we looked to the internationally renowned entertainment group, Cirque du Soleil. After more than a year of negotiations, we finally reached an agreement in 2005. Following the signing of the agreement, it took approximately two years of construction before the resident theater in Japan for Cirque du Soleil was born. And for this unprecedented venue, a new show titled “Zed” was created especially and exclusively for this theater. The incredible scale of the stage as well as the amazing wonder of the acrobatics is attracting attention not only within but from outside of Japan as well.
It was 50 years ago that our company made its first steps toward the goal of creating a major leisure facility. This idea gradually grew into a grand concept for a “leisure land” shared by an increasing number of people, with various facilities interconnected with one another to create multiple levels of appeals to the Guests. This idea took shape and eventually materialized as what we know of today as Tokyo Disney Resort.
The 50 years of our history involved many uphill struggles. But what remained consistent throughout all these years was our “frontier spirit” in challenging ourselves to create something new. This continues to be our driving motivation, not only today, but also on into our future.
As we move on to take on new challenges for the next 25, 50, and 100 years, we will continue to strive to create even more “happiness” for our Guests. And so, we hope you will join us in looking forward to our future, as we continue to imagine and create new wonders and excitement into the years ahead.