We’re into what feels like the longest year of our lives. The month of March felt like a decade and April is not feeling any shorter. As most Explorers, I want nothing more than for everything to go back to “normal.”
Whatever that entails.
Over the past few weeks, Explorers have been contacting us to ask when I think Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan will reopen. Many of you have trips planned and booked in June and beyond. I understand the desire for an answer.
To be blunt, I don’t know when Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, or Universal Studios Japan will reopen their gates. I wish I did know because that’d be a superpower I’d love to have.
Now, that’s not useful advice, is it? While we don’t know what the future holds. Here’s what I do know and how it impacts your plans.
What we know so far about the closures
Tokyo Disneyland was supposed to have the grand opening of its newest expansion on April 15, 2020. This didn’t happen. This expansion spanned across Fantasyland, Toontown, and Tomorrowland. This also included the highly anticipated trackless ride Enchanted Tales of Beauty and the Beast. You’re still able to get your Beauty and the Beast fix through the Disney Store Japan though.
It’s not known at this time when the expansion will open. Oriental Land Company mentioned a decision is going to be made once both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopen. Again, we don’t know when that’ll be.
As for Universal Studios Japan, the majorly anticipated Super Nintendo World is planned to open summer 2020. There’s been no new information so far about its opening. To be fair, an exact date was never announced, only a vague “summer 2020.” So far, that seems to play in Universal Studios Japan’s favour.
If the Tokyo Summer Olympics weren’t safe from being postponed to 2021, what’s to say the opening of these major expansions won’t happen until much later in 2020.
Read our updated post on COVID-19 and Japan Travel for more details.
OK, Chris, but when do you THINK they’ll reopen?
This is my personal opinion and I don’t have any inside information. If I had to guess, and this is only a guess, the earliest is June but in reality sometime in the fall season. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
The situation in Japan continues to change rapidly, so it’s impossible to say. The entire country of Japan only went into a state of emergency on April 17, before that was only a handful of prefectures. This had lead to more closures throughout the country.
Even when the Parks do eventually reopen, you may not be able to visit right away.
When the Parks open you may not be able to visit right away
As of April 19, 2020, Japan has travel bans for travellers from several different countries. This includes Canada, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many others.
Once Japan begins to open up, including theme parks, that doesn’t mean the travel bans would be lifted right away. Japan could do what Mainland China has done and begun opening the country but not allowing travellers to enter.
Once the Parks reopen, check the travel bans for Japan before making any definitive plans.
What should you do about your upcoming trip to Japan?
Before cancelling or rescheduling, wait for as long as you can before you make any decisions. The one month mark is a decent timeframe. The reason is to try and save yourself money on fees.
The good news is, many airlines are extending their deadlines for changes and cancellations. Scott’s Cheap Flights has an excellent resource listing many different airlines from around the world.
Park tickets and hotel reservations for Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan are being refunded if booked within a specific period. As for airlines, it depends highly on what airlines you’ve booked with.
If you haven’t booked your trip yet, there’s a good chance of cheap flights with flexible change fees.
In short …
For the time being, it’s not a good time to travel. What’s happening will change the way we travel, whether we like it or not. It’s tough to predict when we’ll be able to get onto a plane again.
It’s OK to be mad, anxious, even feel grief, amidst all of this. None of us know what’s going happen. As with everything, this too will pass. We’ll be enjoying delicious Green Alien Mochi and Hello Kitty Chucky Steamed Buns soon.
Take care of yourself, Explorers. We have to keep exploring, even if it’s from home for the time being.
How to Explore from Home
There’s no doubt we’re all spending a lot more time at home. You can continue exploring by watching over 12-hours of our Tokyo Disney merchandise videos or binge our podcast episodes. Or even check out what we’re sharing over on Twitter and Instagram!