Japan Quake: Nearly 70,000 stranded overnight at Tokyo Disneyland [Second Update]

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The massive earthquake that struck Japan on Friday reportedly stranded 69,000 people at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea after damaged roads and transportation interruptions forced visitors to camp overnight in 30-degree temperatures.

While the theme parks experienced some quake damage, there were no reports of any injuries. Disney employees provided blankets, heaters and raincoats to visitors who were required to shelter in place and prohibited from leaving the park because of safety concerns.

[UPDATED at 8:29 p.m. on 3/11: While Disney never discusses attendance figures, the number of visitors who camped overnight was significantly less than the 69,000 in attendance at the time of the earthquake because thousands left before the order to shelter in place was announced, according to company sources.

Photos: Scenes from the earthquake

And while initial reports indicated that nobody was hurt during the quake, Disney has since announced there were some minor injuries at the two theme parks.]

[UPDATED at 11:52 a.m. on 3/12: Most, if not all, visitors have left the parks, according to the Disney Blog.

The official park operational calendars show Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea closed through March 21.


Daps Magic (@mrdaps), a Disney blog that has been in contact with visitors and employees via Twitter and Facebook, reports that power, water and gas are operating inside the parks. Minor injuries were reported, including a few people treated for anxiety.

Watch videos from inside the parks during aftershocks at Inside the Magic.]

Officials said the parks will remain closed through Saturday and possibly longer as crews assess damage to the infrastructure and attractions.

Videos of the earthquake

Television news reports showed large pools of standing water in the Tokyo Disneyland parking lot, possibly caused by liquefaction. The flooding runs along a stretch of monorail beams that rim the parking lot.

Photos posted on social media websites showed buckled pavement, pooling water and hundreds of seated visitors inside the parks.

New York Post travel editor David Landsel (@davidlandsel), who has been tweeting from inside Tokyo DisneySea, said about half the visitors have been allowed to return to their hotels or leave the park. The 30,000 visitors who remain in the parks have been treated to tea, cookies, chocolates and pork buns, he said.

“What a bizarre (and wonderful) place to be trapped!” he wrote to his followers.

Photos: Scenes from the earthquake