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Full reopening of Tokyo’s Disney Resort parks
Tokyo's Disneyland and the DisneySea theme parks returned to full operations yesterday (Thursday) for the first time since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on 11th March.
The DisneySea theme park reopened at 9 a.m. Tokyo time yesterday, 47 days after being shut after the disasters, which also triggered a nuclear crisis. DisneySea's sister park, Tokyo Disneyland, reopened on 15th April after crews repaired relatively minor quake damage there, and on Thursday it extended its operating hours to normal (northern hemisphere) summer hours.
Two new attractions made their debut at Tokyo DisneySea's reopening - the 'Fantasmic' nighttime spectacular and the Mickey and Friends' Greeting Trails character meet-and-greet area. However, the park has postponed plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary in September, out of consideration for victims of the disaster.
Meanwhile, at Tokyo Disneyland:
• The new 'Easter Wonderland' parade made its debut when the park reopened. It featured floats themed to American and European customs, such as egg decorating, egg hunts and flower bonnets;
• On 9th May the new 'Nightfall Glow' nighttime parade will temporarily replace the venerable 'Electrical Parade: DreamLights', which will close for a two-month update;
• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad remains closed to repair quake damage to the rock surfaces surrounding the roller coaster and, for the time being, the park has reduced the monorail operating schedule and canceled the nightly fireworks show.
To conserve energy, the parks and adjacent hotels have reduced lighting, limited air conditioning output, restricted escalators and turned off electric hand dryers. The resort plans to install three generators by summer to offset consumption.
Tokyo Disneyland drew 17,000 visitors on the first day of operations after the quake, compared with a daily resort average of about 70,000, according to the Japanese news station NHK. Oriental Land Co., which operates the Tokyo Disney resort, lost $245 million during the 34-day closure of Tokyo Disneyland, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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