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Tokyo Disneyland eyes changes in strategy

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TOKYO >> Aiming to boost customer satisfaction, Tokyo Disneyland has produced a new version of its daytime parade to commemorate the park’s 40th anniversary Saturday.

Tokyo Disneyland operator Oriental Land Co. will launch the revamped “Disney Harmony in Color” at the site in Urayasu, Chiba prefecture, as it looks to provide visitors with a more rewarding experience in the post-pandemic era.

When the park opened in April 1983, a one-day adult ticket was $29.15. In recent years, the same ticket has run $59 to $70.25. Despite the increase, the park continued to draw high visitor numbers before the pandemic. From 2013 to 2018, more than 30 million people visited Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea each year.

Visitor numbers plunged to 7.56 million in 2020. That fiscal year, Oriental Land posted a net loss for the first time since the company went public in 1996.

Sales per visitor were around $82 in fiscal 2019, when it was common for people to line up for two to three hours for popular attractions. That figure grew to the $97-$105 range from 2020 to 2021, when admission restrictions were in place.

“It used to be difficult to enjoy shopping because of the crowds. But now I can also enjoy many attractions, thanks to the admission restrictions,” said Kyoko Ito, 53, who visited the park in April.

While restrictions have eased, Oriental Land still keeps a rein on visitor numbers.

Last year, Tokyo Disneyland said it expects to host about 26 million visitors in 2024, about 20% less than the record 2018 figure of 32.55 million visitors.

“The pandemic made us realize that it’s not good to focus just on raising visitor numbers,” said Jun­ichi Tanaka, Oriental Land public relations manager. “We’d like to improve the customer experience by easing crowding.”

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