Studio Ghibli has had plans to open a theme park for a couple years now, and it looks like the studio is ready to update fans on how the project is doing. A brand-new update has been given on the park, and it seems the timeframe for when the location will open has been shifted back a bit.
But never fear! Totoro is still coming to the theme park... It is just that the Cat Bus may take a little longer to arrive with him than expected.
According to a new report from Japan (via Variety), the executives at Studio Ghibli updated Japanese press on its theme park over the weekend. The Chunichi newspaper said the studio still plans to put the park in the Aichi Prefecture within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park. At more than 450 acres, the park once held a world's fair just outside of Nagoya, and it will house the Studio Ghibli park in a few years.
When reports of the park first went live in 2017, Studio Ghibli said they hoped to have the park open by 2020. However, this new report says the new target opening will be in 2022. To be specific, the fall of 2022 will see the park open for the first time while additional attractions are added the following year.
At this time, no budget has been announced for the park, but fans expect it to live up to director Hayao Miyazaki's strict standards. The filmmaker is vey well-known for being involved with his stories, and Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki says he acts no different with this park.
In fact, the producer said Miyazaki is "really worried about the Ghibli park" at the moment.
"He can't leave anything up to other people. He's a meddlesome old man," Suzuki joked.
While the filmmaker works on his next feature film, Studio Ghibli says his son Goro is working closely with the park's creators. However, Miyazaki is giving direct oversight on certain themed attractions, so fans can expect this location to be just as magical as his animated classics.