Tokyo Disneyland - not for kids only

by AFP, Feb 25, 2008 | Destinations: Japan / Tokyo

TOKYO, Feb 21, 2008 - As the Japanese have fewer and fewer children, Tokyo Disneyland is setting its sights on the growing elderly population, launching a cut-rate annual pass for visitors aged 60 or older.

It is believed to be the first time a special annual pass for seniors has been available at any of the world's Disneylands, which are icons of entertainment for children.

Oriental Land Co., which operates Tokyo Disneyland and adjacent DisneySea, will from March 1 offer a pass costing 35,000 yen (325 dollars) allowing seniors to visit one of the parks as many times as they wish in a year.

The price is a 22 percent discount on a regular pass. If seniors want to go to both parks, the annual pass will cost 55,000 yen, a 27 percent cut.

"As the country ages and people have fewer and fewer children, we need to take measures addressed to senior visitors," Oriental Land spokesman Hiroshi Suzuki said.

"As we aim at family entertainment, elderly people aren't the sole focus of our business but certainly are a core target," he said.

Oriental Land already gives seniors a discount on daily tickets.
It also earlier sold a seniors' pass for Tokyo DisneySea for a fixed one-year period to January 31. It decided to regularly offer an annual pass given its popularity.

Tokyo Disneyland marks its 25th anniversary this year, meaning many people who took their children to the sprawling park at the opening are now around 60.

"We see an increasing number of middle-age and senior couples in the parks," Suzuki said.

Tokyo Disneyland, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each day, opened in the suburbs of the Japanese capital in 1983 as Disney's first theme park outside the United States.

Visits to the park have nearly become a rite of passage for Japanese children.

Tokyo DisneySea opened in 2001, embracing more adult visitors. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages are available at DisneySea, unlike in Disneyland.

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