Studio Ghibli’s official amusement park to open in 2022
On May 31, 2017, Studio Ghibli officially announced working on a project of opening an official Ghibli theme park 🎡 in the beginning of 2020. The chosen site to recreate My Neighbor Totoro’s atmosphere is Morikoro Park, in Nagoya’s suburb. The place already displays Mei and Satsuki’s house, built for Aichi’s International Exhibition in 2005.
It is the first step for a park dedicated to immersion into Studio Ghibli’s universe, especially in famous filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s works. There will be not roller coasters but rather recreations of the studio’s movies settings.
A park divided into five universes
In 2018, Aichi prefecture announced details on the park. It will spread on a 200 hectares area and open in autumn 🍁 2022. Construction work is expected to start in 2020. Ghibli Park will be divided into five areas:
The two last areas are expected to open a little bit later, at the end of 2023 (construction works are expected to start in 2021).
These choices reflect the will to accommodate children in the best way possible, as families are the main target of this amusement park. Therefore, there is NO attraction based on:
- Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (whose copyrights are not owned by Ghibli as a matter of fact);
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind;
- Grave of the Fireflies;
- Pom Poko;
- Porco Rosso;
- Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea;
- The Secret World of Arrietty;
- The Tale of The Princess Kaguya;
- From Up on Poppy Hill;
- The Wind Rises.
Moreover, movies directed by Isao Takahata (1935-2018) are not featured in the park.
Ghibli amusement park expects receiving 1 million visitors in 2022 then 1,8 million per year once the five areas are completed.
Hayao Miyazaki in charge of the design
At the end of 2018, it was announced that the design of the park will be created by Studio Ghibli and the park itself will be built by the firm Nihon Sekkei for an estimated amount of ¥284,439,600 (~2.7 million dollars). It is a sure fact that Hayao Miyazaki will have a say in the overall look of the park.
On May 31, 2019, two years after the creation of the park announcement, Aichi prefecture’s governor Hideaki Omura published on his Twitter account Ghibli Park’s official logo (front picture). It represents the name "Ghibli Park" ジブリパーク in katakana drawn by:
- Hayao Miyazaki (filmmaker and co-founder of the studio) for the first word ジブリ Ghibli; and,
- Toshio Suzuki (producer and president of the studio at the time) for the last characters パーク Park.
The katakana's design reminds of nature and forest undergrowth, with a reference to the cute soot gremlins, the susuwatari.
On a side note, the park’s communication is totally made by Aichi prefecture, and not by Studio Ghibli, whose official website barely mentions the project.
Cross-sections and sketches of the five areas were disclosed (see our photo gallery). Those last elements confirm Miyazaki’s implication in designing the general ambiance of the park. Colorful constructions in eclectic architectural styles are surrounded by nature and the nearby forest. A design true to Studio Ghibli’s universe that will please fans without a doubt.
We are impatient to hear further information!