The Tokyo Disney Resort remains closed following the devastating earthquake that hit north-east Japan on March 11, with no reopening date yet set for its two theme parks.
The Oriental Land Company, which operates the resort, has completed an inspection of damage at Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and other facilities. No significant damage has been found to attractions or buildings, but the car park was impacted and repairs on it are now nearing completion. Transportation and electricity supplies to the park are also said to be unstable at present.
The Tokyo Disney Resort closed following the earthquake, initially announcing that its gates would remain shut for at least 10 days. This period now looks set to be lengthened considerably, with the disaster having a major impact on a resort which relies heavily on local visitors.
While the theme parks appear to have survived the massive earthquake with only minor damage, Bloomberg reports that the reclaimed land on which it is built is causing significant concern for the local government. The violent tremors caused liquefaction (an effect which causes ground to behave like quicksand) across much of the 3,600 acres of land in Urayasu city, including Tokyo Disneyland's parking lot.
Suburban areas built on the reclaimed land are said to have been most badly affected, as they do not feature the concrete pilings that protect high-rise buildings. Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea were protected by 15-meter deep reinforced foundations, but the resort's car park lacks these. This caused as many as 30 cars to become trapped following the earthquake.
Authorities in Urayasu are said to be considering reinforcing the reclaimed land in the medium-term, when initial repairs have been completed. Concern has been expressed at the extent of the effect on the area, which sits a long distance from the seismic centre of the earthquake.
Around 20,000 guests spent the night at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on March 11 after the earthquake caused massive disruption to public transport systems. No injuries were reported, with staff providing supplies for those who needed to stay overnight. This included food, water, blankets, heaters and even free merchandise to help entertain and calm frightened children.