It’s been a good year for Disney Parks fans in North America. We now have Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland and the Tron: Lightcycle Run at Disney World, but if theme park fans are wondering what’s next for Disney, that answer is overseas. Some of the most exciting stuff Disney has planned going forward is at international parks, including the new Fantasy Springs area at Tokyo DisneySea, which will bring new attractions based on newer movies like Tangled and Frozen, as well as classics like Peter Pan. Though in the case of Pan, the classic will be in for a bit of a modern update.
Today, Tokyo Disney Resort revealed a collection of new details about its upcoming land and the various attractions that will be part of it. Among them will be Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure, which will see guests join the Lost Kids, not the Lost Boys, on a quest to help Peter rescue John from Captain Hook. It’s a simple change, but one that has been made for obvious reasons. We've seen Disney Parks take steps to improve its inclusivity, from broadening Cast Member costume guidelines to removing the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen" from pre-recorded announcements.
This change is potentially more interesting because it's not being made (entirely) by Disney. The Tokyo Disney Resort is owned by the Oriental Land Company, and it licenses the Disney name and characters, as well as contracts with Walt Disney Imagineering for attraction design. As such, when the Disney Company makes a policy change in the parks, Tokyo doesn't always follow suit. As one key example, while Disney made the decision to close Spash Mountain at both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom and replace it with Tiana's Bayou Adventure, Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland is not getting remodeled and has no plans to close.
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In the animated Peter Pan, all of his Lost Boys were, obviously, boys, or at least coded male. The Peter Pan and Wendy cast did include some girls in the team for the live-action remake, but all indications are the new attraction will be inspired by the original. It will be interesting to see if any new Lost Kids characters will be created to try and balance things on the attraction, or if the Lost Kids name is just being used to be more inclusive, and take into account that guests of all gender identities will be experiencing the ride.
The Lost Kids will be part of another key spot in the Never Land area, the Lookout Cookout will be a dining location set inside the Lost Kids hideout. A second Peter Pan attraction will also be coming to the new land, as Fairy Tinker Bell's Busy Buggies will see guests helping Tink deliver packages to various locations at Pixie Hollow.
Two other dark ride attractions, both boat rides, are also planned for Fantasy Springs. Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey will be a ride based on the first movie’s story, but based on the description, as well as the ride vehicle design, it doesn’t appear to simply be a version of Frozen Ever After, which can currently be found at Epcot, one of many ways to enjoy Frozen at Disney World. That ride is also being constructed as part of the new World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland. We’ll also be getting Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival, a boat ride that is inspired by Flynn and Rapunzel’s romantic boat ride in Tangled. Additionally, A Snuggly Duckling restaurant is being added.
The new land is set to open in 2024 and it will certainly make a trip to Japan a must for any Disney Parks fan. These are attractions we've never seen before and they look and sound amazing.