by Donald Wood
Last updated: 2:50 PM ET, Thu November 30, 2017
The company that operates Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea has reportedly started planning an expansion project for the two parks worth $2.7 billion (around ¥300 billion.)
According to the Japan Times, the Oriental Land company plans on expanding the two existing Disney theme parks by 30 percent by 2025. To find the space for the growth, officials are looking to acquire additional land and planning to turn a parking lot at the Tokyo Disney Resort complex in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, into a multi-story structure.
Executives from Oriental Land and the Walt Disney Co. have reportedly entered negotiations regarding the new areas of the existing parks. Disney will license the rights to properties like Mickey Mouse and Star Wars as the companies hammer out details.
The Japan Times said sources believe details will be finalized by May 2018. The planned expansion will be the largest since the opening of DisneySea in 2001, which cost around ¥340 billion.
The plan behind the expansion project is to boost ticket sales to older people and foreign visitors as competition from other theme parks continues to rise, including Universal Studios Japan, Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Another reason behind the growth of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea is the alleviation of overcrowding at the parks. While the facilities are congested, sales have seen virtually no growth since 2013 and visitor numbers at both parks dropped slightly in 2016.
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