Tokyo Disney Resort is closed indefinitely after being rocked by Japan’s 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011. Though buildings and infrastructure at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea survived in excellent condition, the parks remain closed due to problems with transportation and intermittent power.
A message on the Tokyo Disney Resort official website reads:
“Due to the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake that occurred March 11, 2011, Tokyo Disney Resort is currently closed. As soon as a decision is made on when the operations will resume, it will be announced on the Tokyo Disney Resort official website.
“We regret the inconvenience that this may cause and request your patience and understanding.”
With 20 percent of Japan’s nuclear reactors off-line for repairs, the country has instituted rolling 3-hour blackouts in hard-hit areas such as Tokyo. When blackouts strike, trains stop, ATMs shut down, retail stores and restaurants close their doors. In some places, blackout risk means trains aren’t running at all.
For theme parks and manufacturers, the impact goes far beyond three hours without power. Rides and equipment must be prepared for shutdown, then rigorously checked and tested when power returns. Loss of refrigeration affects food storage, preparation and safety. Blackouts can leave unprepared travelers stranded in an unfamiliar place with no access to food or cash.
Tokyo Disney’s international cast members have been sent home to their countries of origin until the parks re-open. A notice ordering Disney employees back to work on Tuesday, March 22, gave hope to some Disney tourists, but the notice specifically excluded theme park employees, concentrating instead on those who work in administrative roles and Disney Stores.
According to finance writer Paul Bond, park closures in Japan are expected to reduce Disney’s earnings for the fiscal year by approximately five cents a share.
With power and transit disruptions projected to last well into the summer months, a re-opening date for Tokyo Disney Resort remains unclear. If the parks are still closed on April 23, they will miss the kickoff of their own 10th anniversary celebration currently scheduled for April 23, 2011, through March 19, 2012.
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website
Associated Press, Tokyo Disneyland Remains Closed in Wake of Earthquake, Fox News
Magnitude 9.0 – Near the coast of Honshu, Japan, USGS
Rolling Blackouts Tangle Greater Tokyo in Snarl, Nikkei.com
Kazuaki Nagata, Manufacturers left in limbo by rolling power outages, The Japan Times
Disney to resume some operations, The Japan Times
John Frost, Disney resumes some activity in Japan, The Disney Blog
Paul Bond, How Japan disaster financially impacts Disney, Reuters