Reuters “Disney Eyes New Markets as Japan Ages”


Attracting tourists from abroad would be a sharp shift for a theme park that is so focused on the domestic market that it sometimes fails to address the needs of foreigners.

Signs are in English and Japanese and maps are available in English, Chinese and Korean but that's about where it stops.

During a visit to the park on a busy spring afternoon, foreign tourists complained that the park was not user friendly as they stood in two hour queues for the rollercoaster and other rides and 30 minute queues for food.

Few seemed to know about a "fastpass" service to book rides in advance which is popular with locals.


Men are another potential market. A staggering 73 percent of visitors are female possibly due to the enormous popularity of Disney characters among Japanese females.

Finding the right mix to attract new customers, such as more men, without making radical changes that might alienate its traditional female customer base will be a challenge for Tokyo Disney but one that may pay off as Japan ages.