What’s Ghibli Theme Park all about?
Ghibli has announced that they will be doing major expansions to their upcoming Ghibli Theme Park located in the Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park, Aichi. However, the governor of Aichi took it a step further and gave us some more information about what each area will consist of on his personal twitter.
With 5 major locations under development; The Hill of Youth Area, The Ghibli Warehouse Area, Dondoko Forest Area, Mononoke Village Area, and the Witch Valley Area. Each being inspired by various popular Ghibli films. They have expanded on what each area will consist of.
Hill of Youth
In the Hill of Youth Area, there will be locations that were featured in the movie Whisper of the Heart, such as Rotary Plaza and Chikyuu-ya. Furthermore, there will be an appearance of the “Cat Office” from “The Cat Returns”. The elevator building which is currently in place will be renovated both internally and externally with elements that incorporate science from the end of the 19th century such as those found in Castle in the Sky.
The Ghibli Warehouse area is something that piqued my interest. With some more information provided, we have found that it will take over an existing building and will essentially be an in-door city of the location that was featured in Spirited Away. It will be recreated for fans to be able to experience the atmosphere of Spirited Away while being indoors. The total area being allocated for this is about 9,600 square meters or about 4 times larger than the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.
The Dondoko Forest area will have a walking path created behind the existing “Satsuki and Mei house”. Upon the hill, there will be a nice treat from “My Neighbor Totoro” and will be moving the existing buildings which are made out of wood to the “Mononoke Village Area” and will be constructing new buildings which are more in the style of the “Satsuki and Mei” house which is currently standing.
When fans visit the Mononoke Village Area, they will be greeted with Tatara and Charcoal huts and the Witch Valley area will feature Howl’s Castle and the Okino House. Implementation and design for this have yet to start and will not begin development until the next fiscal year. So, there is still a bit of time until we can share more information on this.
So when does it open?
Ghibli Theme Park is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2022 with 3 of the 5 planned areas being open to the public. The city of Aichi predicts that Memorial Park will see a total of 2 million visitors during this time frame, with 1 million of them to be there exclusively for the Ghibli Theme Park. Once the remaining two attraction areas open, they expect to see both of those numbers grow by 800,000 visitors respectively. The draw that Ghibli will pull to the area of Aichi is going to be unprecedented and I really hope that they have plans to build a more robust infrastructure to handle all of the tourists which will soon be upon them in two short years.