Tokyo Disney set for record year

The operator of Tokyo Disneyland said Thursday it expected record profits this year despite the recession as many Japanese people try to get away from the economic gloom by visiting the fantasy park.

At a time many major Japanese companies are reporting dismal earnings, Disney operator Oriental Land Co. Ltd. revised up its forecasts after a strong first three quarters.

Tokyo Disney Resort, the first Disneyland outside the United States, last year celebrated 25 years with a heavy promotional drive.

Oriental Land said revenue has surpassed expectations “due to the popularity of the Tokyo Disney Resort 25th anniversary events, which began in April, and the corresponding increase in theme park attendance.”

Oriental Land said it now expected net profit of 20.8 billion yen (232 million dollars) for the year ending March 31, a rise of nearly 20 percent from the last projection and a jump of 41.3 percent from the previous year.

It said it expects revenue of 385.2 billion yen, up from the previous projection of 375 billion yen.

With Japan’s birthrate declining, Tokyo Disneyland has tried to reach out to older people with fond memories of the park, which has become almost a rite of passage for Japanese children.

Euro Disney in October also reported record visits for the past year as Europeans look for an affordable attraction during the economic crisis.

However, Hong Kong Disneyland has been disappointed by visitor numbers since its opening more than three years ago.


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