The Tokyo Disney Resort's operator has released full details of the limited damaged suffered at its two theme parks during the recent earthquake in Japan.
In an official document, the Oriental Land Company confirms that both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are ready to reopen when surrounding infrastructure allows. The company has previously revealed that it expects to reopen one or both parks during April, though it has declined to set a specific date.
The document confirms previous reports that damage was largely limited to the resort's car park, which suffered from liquefaction (an effect which causes ground to behave like quicksand). This has since been repaired using sand and gravel, and is now ready for use.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea were only lightly damaged due to protection from 15-meter deep reinforced foundations, which the car park does not have. Although previous reports had described damage to the "outer walls" of a large rollercoaster, it has now been revealed that it was a section of the rocky surface of Big Thunder Mountain in Tokyo Disneyland that was actually affected. This has since been repaired, while an acoustic tower in Tokyo DisneySea's Mediterranean Harbor has been removed after it bent during the earthquake.
Other areas of the resort, including the on-site hotels, Ikspiari, Cirque du Soleil Theatre and Disney Resort Line were all protected by reinforced foundations and escaped damage. The technique used to protect against liquefaction involved driving columns of compacted sand into the ground at regular intervals, increasing the density of the reclaimed land.
Both the Ikspiari entertainment area and the resort's monorail reopened during the past week, and two videos showing the current state of the resort have been posted to Screamscape and embedded below:
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.