Tokyo Disneyland and the quake

The quake and tsunami that hit Tokyo this week stranded thousands of visitors at Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea (this latter being the most extraordinary built environment I've ever seen). The parks -- built on "reclaimed land" -- experienced some liquefaction. Most of the damage appears to have hit the parking lot and monorail berm. John Frost of the Disney Blog bets that the monorail will be down for some time. 69,000 guests were in the park when the quake hit, and 30,000 guests stayed behind at the park, supplied with heaters and raincoats, and then fed breakfast the next day (the trains to and from TDL being out of service).
The 69,000 guests in park were evacuated to safe areas and given supplies to shelter in place over night as transportation options were affected by the quake. Twitter user Rezaikram has posted pictures of guests camped out in the common areas of the park. Among the supplies provided were "disposable heaters, plastic bags, and rain coats" according to Rezaikram.
Japan Earthquake strands tourists at Tokyo Disneyland, damage reports coming in


  1. An acquaintance of mine was in Disneyland when the quake hit – they only just managed to leave this morning. Imagine being stuck in an area at sea level, on the coast, after a huge earthquake and wondering if the tsunami is heading your way.

  2. Someone on one of the Disney forums posted a video that was shot by someone in the park during the quake. Hard to tell much about the earthquake itself, but it’s fascinating how organized and orderly everything was in the park, announcements and all:

  3. I definitely never want to hear the phrase “the parking lot is liquefying”
    when I’m out for a fun day with the wife and kids

    In terms of being stuck between polar opposites, I can’t imagine a worse place
    to be during an earthquake than Disneyland. A friend of mine calls
    this sort of dichotomy “eating strawberry shortcake in Hell”

    1. it´s funny, I have the exact opposite opinion there.
      I think the best place to be during a natural disaster would be in a controlled, yet somewhat unfamiliar environment so that you won’t put yourself in additional danger by wrongfully assuming that things will work the way that you´re used to.

      And, as long as you ARE in Hell, every upgrade should be cherished. Strawberry cake, yes please!

  4. I’d genuinely like to see pictured of costumed characters running for their lives in this mess.

  5. @uglyredhonda

    you can see the “cast members” veneer slipping and quietly freaking out when they realise that it’s not a drill and the parade has been cancelled.

  6. Heaters, raincoats and breakfast? That is much more than American businesses would off here in the US. They would first mark up the items and then sell them to increase profits. In Qwestland when a person on one of the rides was thrown off due to a faulty restraint Qwest sent then the bill to repair the entire ride AND the ambulance and hospital bill.

  7. I saw this on the TV whole day and I wonder if there is enough help coming in from all places. I know that these areas are prone to the earthquakes but this one has travelled a huge distance and I think we have to use the strategies more to fore tale these types of typhoons. I thank you Sad and sorry to see all those cars, bridges, human lives hanging on for help. It is sad really sad. May be at that time they never imagined that the catastrophe would strike at this rate. We make mistakes and now are the time to think and go back to religion. Even doctors say, “I have done my part. Now leave it to Allah, God, Holy Spirit, name these you want the meaning is the Creator. We have lost the love we had in 60s and 70s. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  8. I was waiting in line for Storm Rider at Disney Sea when the quake hit. At first I just thought that I was dizzy but then the shaking got much worse. Everyone hit the deck. I just remember looking across the park at Tower of Terror expecting to see it collapse.

    Shortly afterward, a mascot dressed like Max, from “A Goofy Movie” came dancing through the crowd. I assume it was an attempt to try to cheer people up but it was more surreal and unsettling than anything else.

  9. My wife’s sister and her family were there yesterday in a rented car, but left about 2:30 local time because it looked like her baby daughter had caught a cold. They would have been stuck if they’d stayed half hour longer.

    1. That was the right time to be in a car a few hours later and they would have been caught up in the grandmother of all traffic jams. And she wasn’t the kindly kind of grandmother either :D

  10. I bet the bicycle pianist was having a time of it entertaining the quests. The piano is pedal powered, the seat steers the contraption. No electricity needed. He could have been the whole parade all by himself. And he’s always a european or westerner.

  11. Ok, apparently many here at boing boing feel like it’s best to deal with this situation with some black humor…

    So let me be the first to say that picture looks like Godzilla took a giant radioactive shit on Tokyo Disneyland.

    Scroll back up the page and take another look at that picture and tell me I’m wrong?

    1. Well, I’ll say it: you’re wrong.
      That’s not even Disneyland in the photo, that’s Disneysea, which has a big artificial volcanic mountain as it’s central iconic structure. There’s not even any visible damage in that photo, just crowding around the “Mediterranean Harbour” area.

      1. You see a volcanic mountain, I see a giant radioactive Godzilla turd. I’m just not convinced that’s not a giant radioactive Godzilla turd.

  12. I love that phrase “disposable heater”. I have a few of those here in my basement, we call them logs..

  13. Disney is only one of the companies who are readly for natural disisters and I would be happy to be stranded at Disneyland for a few days. They have an entire warehouse with cots, blankets, food, water, medicine, first aid supplies, etc.

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