Disney Japan Back Up

After several weeks of conflicting reports, the Oriental Land Company announced April 11 that Tokyo Disneyland would reopen on a limited basis April 15.

The amusement park had been closed since the March 11 earthquake, mainly owing to problems with liquefaction, which ruined much of the Tokyo Disney Resort’s parking lot but didn’t seem to affect the park itself.

The park will close at 6 p.m. daily for the time being, because of acute power shortages due to the loss of electrical power capacity from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The other Disney park, Tokyo Disney Sea, will remain closed until at least the end of the month. Hotels within the resort area were to open for business April 15 as well.

In other Disney news, executives of the company and their Shanghai partners broke ground April 8 for a new Disney theme park in the city’s suburbs.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the $3.7 billion project will be “authentically Disney, but distinctly Chinese.” The city’s leaders seemed to be equally enthusiastic about the park, despite the fact that negotiations took more than 10 years. The park will anchor an international tourism resort zone, including hotels and other entertainment attractions. It will be Disney’s fourth theme park outside the U.S.

Under present plans, the Shanghai park will be smaller than its problem-plagued cousin in Hong Kong. However, the surrounding resort area will be twice as large as Hong Kong’s, meaning that the Shanghai park could always expand in the future.

Disney has a 43 percent stake in the two joint ventures set up to build the project, but will have a 70 percent stake in the joint venture that will manage the park.

Those involved are saying the park could open for business in five years, though the Shanghai side would prefer sooner.