Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tokyo Disneyland Opens! - April 15, 1983

In honor of Tokyo Disneyland's 29th birthday today, I'm posting an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times 6 days before the park officially opened on April 15, 1983. I'm also including a few photos of some of the attractions mentioned in the article. These are all photos that were taken during my very first visit to Tokyo Disneyland.

This first part of the article mentions Tokyo Disneyland's castle being the same one that "adorns the California park," but in reality it is the same as the castle at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The Starjets can be seen below. These also resemble Walt Disney World's original Starjets attraction more closely than Disneyland's Rocket Jets. Fortunately, Tokyo's Starjets have not undergone a hideous remodel job like the Disneyland and Walt Disney World counterparts have.

This photo shows a far more crowded "World Bazaar" in comparison to the photo above that was taken during one of the park's preview days.

The 18 minute presentation of "movies and three-dimensional visuals outlining Japan's 3,000 years of history" mentioned below, was Tokyo Disneyland's Meet The World attaction, which was unique to Tokyo Disneyland, but has since been torn down. :-(

Another attraction that was unique to Tokyo Disneyland at the time it opened was Pinocchio's Daring Journey. As the article mentions, it was only unique to the park until the New Fantasyland opened at Disneyland the following month.

Happy 29th Birthday, Tokyo Disneyland!


Snow White Sanctum said...

It's too bad your namesake was torn down. It is cool though that you've had the opportunity to visit TDL. From everything I've read and seen online, it sounds like a stellar park.

Major Pepperidge said...

When did you first visit the park? Was it opening year?

I love the Starjets, although they look strange only one story off the ground. The roof over the World Bazaar has always looked strange to me, even though I get why they did it. It makes the place feel like an indoor mall.

Also, I didn't know that Pinocchio was at Tokyo Disneyland before it appeared in Anaheim!

TokyoMagic! said...

SWS, stellar is a good word to describe TDL....and Tokyo's second park, Tokyo DisneySea is even "beyond stellar!"

Major, my first visit to the Tokyo parks was in 2004. I've been there eight times now! I remember thinking the same thing about the roof over World Bazaar when I saw it in pictures, but it didn't bother me when I saw it in person.


The StarJets "stand alone" because the Oriental Land Company passed on the WEDWAY PeopleMover. Pinocchio's Daring Journey may have opened first at TDL, but both Tokyo & DL's show pieces were manufactured at the same time. Pinocchio's Daring Journey was developed for Disneyland in the early 1970's as part of Pinocchio's Village addition which evolved into the New Fanatsyland of 1983. The Pinocchio models are shown in Disney Annual Report of 1974 and the DL Backstage 1974 magazine.

K. Martinez said...

Finally got around to visiting your Blog. Very nice site. I wish I discovered it earlier.

Back in 1983 I purchased quite a bit of merchandise from TDL via mail order including photo booklets of each land and several pictorial books and guides. My biggest regret is that I sold most of it later with the exception of one pictorial book.

Look forward to future posts and catching up on your older blog entries.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, I would love to see those 1974 publications!

K. Martinez, Welcome....and thank you!!! I have a few souvenir items from the early years of TDL, but I wish I had more!

Dan Alexander said...

I remember seeing a clip of Tokyo Disneyland opening on the Today Show (I think) so many years ago. I can also remember a magazine with a picture of the characters in a snow-covered Tokyo Disneyland during the first few years of the park's operation. Very magical! I gotta get there someday.

Darrin.. said...

Jiminy Christmas I can't believe it's already been 29 years!