Tuesday, 17th March 2015
In Events In Japan,
Disney announces further plans for Tokyo Disney in 2015
The Walt Disney Company has announced that it will be hosting a special D23 Expo Japan from November 6th to 8th 2015 in Tokyo Disney Resort in Maihama. These are all smell steps to expanding all that Disney has to offer to the local economy in Tokyo.
Expanding the fanbase
As a fun event for Disney fans to get together and celebrate everything that the brand has to offer, D23 is actually held every two years in the US, but Expo Japan was launched in 2013 to cater to the niche Japanese market. As part of proceedings, visitors will be able to enjoy performances, peruse through exclusive merchandise, and attend workshops, seminars and presentations by Disney executives on what is coming soon from the company, whether it be related to theme parks, movies, music or television.
This year's Expo is themed around 'the power of story', undoubtedly looking at how enriched universes have been created across the Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars franchises. One only has to look at The Avengers initiative or the series of Star Wars spin-off movies announced to see how interlocking stories help to further enhance the brand.
Beyond these, there will also be exhibitions on costumes, artworks, the Disney Princesses, film props, and hands-on interactivity. On November 3rd, there will also be a Kingdom Hearts fan event at Cinema Ikspiari within the resort. More details of all events will be available on the official website, while information about tickets are expected at the end of April.
Walt Disney Japan President Paul Candland said: "We heard from a lot of fans about how delighted they were with the D23 Expo we held in 2013, and this Expo promises to be even more spectacular. We're very excited about being able to present this great event once again, and we know our guests will have an incredible experience during the three days we have planned for them."
The D23 has been held three times in the US in Anaheim, California, with the next one occurring on August 14th to 16th 2015. The name 'D23' pays homage to when Walt Disney opened his Hollywood studio in 1923.
A virtual reality?
The Expo is not the only exciting thing on the horizon for Tokyo Disney this year. With the recent announcement of Project Morpheus being unleashed by Sony later this year, Disney is too looking to tap into the virtual reality market within its parks. In regards to the immersive experiences for rides, hotels and cruise lines, the potentials are limitless - one only has to look at Tokyo's Goofy Paint n' Play House, allowing kids to use a projection system to launch blobs of colour onto walls.
Speaking to Wired, Disney’s Bei Yang said: “When people talk about virtual reality these days, they’re generally talking about head-mounted displays. But we need to think in a broader context. Virtual reality is really about the human body as an input/output mechanism. It’s about spoofing inputs into the human perceptual system to create desired effects.”
Virtual reality technology is rapidly developing and it could soon be a focal point at Tokyo Disney. The software was actually used in the building of such attractions, with engineers wandering around prototype versions before any construction actually began. Yang added: “Building a theme park attraction is really expensive. If you’re going to mess up, it’s better to do it with bits instead of concrete.”
Whatever form the technology may take in the future, it looks like change certainly is on the horizon or Tokyo Disney, and as the city gears up for the 2020 Olympics, this is one attraction that the millions of visitors will not want to miss out on. So why not seize the opportunity to try out something new?