Featured Attractions

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Theme Park Thursdays: Tokyo's World Bazaar

Guests familiar with Disney's parks around the world may be caught off guard at Tokyo Disneyland when they first step through the gates. Rather than entering under train tracks onto Main Street, guests walk into what appears to be a gigantic building that houses the World Bazaar.

Once inside, the place looks very much like a Disney Main Street, except this one has a massive glass roof over it and there's no train station in sight.

So what explains this bizarro entrance? Tokyo's cold snowy winters were relatively unknown to the other two Disney resorts that existed in Southern California and Central Florida at the time. Disney Imagineers weren't sure how guests would react to such weather, so they decided to make the park's opening act a warm, inviting one year round, despite how the weather might actually be outside. As for the lack of a train? It seems that Japan requires that any fixed transport system with more than one stop be heavily regulated. Disney didn't want to worry about creating a timetable for the trains or catering to obscure regulations that weren't intended for an amusement ride, so the Tokyo Disneyland Railroad only encircles the west side of the park, with just one stop.