【tdr0047】Secret behind the opening day of Tokyo DisneySea


Tokyo DisneySea was opened on Tuesday, September 4, 2001.

Don’t you wonder why they decided to open it on such a featureless day? Typically, theme parks open on a clear-cut date like the first day of the month, or on a weekend or holiday so that more people can visit. However, it was opened on a featureless weekday.

Why did they decide to open the DisneySea on such a day?

The Oriental Land Co., Ltd. is managing and operating Tokyo Disney Resort under license agreement with the U.S. Walt Disney Company. The second chairman of the company, the late Mr. Masatomo Takahashi made tremendous efforts and greatly contributed to the opening of Tokyo Disneyland. That is why his birthday, September 4, was selected as the opening day of Tokyo DisneySea.

The late Mr. Takahashi first negotiated with fishermen in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture on fishery compensation, and then negotiated with Walt Disney Company. Despite the tough negotiations which almost broke down, with the company being very strict about various rights, as well as criticisms on the Tokyo Disneyland construction cost which were going to be higher than scheduled, he led the project to a success with his great decisiveness and leadership. He made such a tremendous contribution to the opening.

After becoming a chairman, he announced a plan to build a second theme park following Tokyo Disneyland. He engaged in long, hard negotiations with the Disney Company, and brought the idea of “Tokyo Disney Resort” including the second Disney theme park Tokyo DisneySea into reality.

Unfortunately, however, he had no chance to see the completed Tokyo DisneySea; he passed away on January 31, 2000 due to heart failure.

“Without the great efforts of the late Mr. Takahashi, we would not have the Disney Resort consisting of Disneyland and DisneySea in Japan today…” That feeling of gratitude made them decide to open it on September 4, 2001, his 88th birthday if he was still alive.

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