Are you a fan of the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films? If that’s the case then I’m sure you’ll be planning to visit the forthcoming Ghibli Theme Park when it’s completed! The project was originally slated for completion in 2020, however sadly there’s been a slight delay with the park now being expected to open in 2022. Don’t worry though! There might be a delay but we now have some amazing concept art to see of the plans for the new park!
The park will be located in EXPO Park, was once the site of the 2005 World EXPO in Nagakute City, near Nagoya. It’s the perfect location, as it already hosts a scale replica of Mei and Satsuki Kusakabe’s home from My Neighbor Totoro.
The park will feature a multitude of elements from the beloved films. Once you enter the nearly 500-acre area, there will be buildings in a similar style to Howl’s Moving Castle and Whisper of the Heart’s antique shops. European-style brick buildings will be included in the plans, as will a Big Ghibli Warehouse, which will have themed play areas as well as exhibition galleries and cinemas. Rather than focusing on the more thrill-seeking style of rides like most Theme Parks, current Ghibli Park plans will allow park goers to focus on nature as they enjoy walks that include features from popular films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. Statues of animals featured in films such as boars and spiders will bring the magic of Ghibli films to life!
Rides based on the popular animated movies like ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Spirited Away' are anticipated to be being planned. So far, only a basic plan of the park has been released, showing some of the attractions, rides and forested nature trails.
Miyazaki is of course the co-founder of Ghibli and the mastermind behind timeless classics such as ‘Princess Mononoke’ and 'Castle In The Sky.' The theme park will honor his works and seek to bring them to the real world and display his works as one of the most successful animators of his time. His movie, ‘Spirited Away’, won the Oscar for best animated film in 2003, the first Japanese film ever to receive such an award. Miyazaki went into retirement in 2014, however, last year he announced he would be making one final film, to be released in 2019 or 2020. The film will be made for his grandson and is his way of leaving something behind for him once he is gone. ‘Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It's his way of saying, "Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he's leaving behind this film," Toshio Suzuki was quoted as saying previously on the Japanese television program ‘Nichiyobi Bijitsukan.’
One thing is for sure, the park is looking to be out of this world from the concept art. It seems like 2022 feels too far away! Do you think you’ll be able to wait that long to see Ghibli brought to life? If you can’t wait that long, you can visit a scale replica of Mei and Satsuki Kusakabe’s home from My Neighbor Totoro or why not watch some of the best Studio Ghibli movies we’ve mentioned in a previous blog here! Will you be visiting when it opens? Let us know in the comments below!