Calling Studio Ghibli Fans—'My Neighbor Totoro' Is Getting Its Own Theme Park

Studio Ghibli, creator of popular Japanese animated movies, has announced plans to open a theme park in central Japan. The Disneyland-equivalent is slated to open in 2020 in Nagoya city, Aichi prefecture, and will be set in the fantasy land of 1988 anime film My Neighbor Totoro .

Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi prefectural governor Hideaki Oomura announced the opening at a press conference on Thursday.

The theme park, which is currently called simply Park Ghibli, will eventually include features from iconic anime films including The Wind Rises , Spirited Away , and Princess Mononoke, will open on the site of the former 2005 World Expo, around 200 miles from Tokyo.

The first phase of the park will focus on My Neighbor Totoro , a film about happy wood-spirits in postwar Japan. The main character, Totoro, is a big, friendly creature who makes friends with two siblings when their mother falls ill. The character has become a cult figure worldwide and the film is frequently cited by critics and filmmakers as one of the best animated films of all time.

A new Studio Ghibli film will be coming out in 2020, called Goro the Caterpillar.

The attraction will be situated in a 200 hectare park, and, according to Japanese press, visitors should not necessarily expect rides, but instead full immersion in a fantasy world. Visitors will be able to walk around visiting a version of the house from the film, and being surrounded bu flowers and trees. Satsuki and Mei's houses were recreated for the 2005 expo, and they're currently still open. Reports suggest they will be opened within the theme park, and visitors will be able to explore the house, opening all drawers and cupboards.

The announcement provoked excitement in Japan and attracted lots of social media attention. "Reading about a Studio Ghibli theme park made me literally start crying," said one Twitter user in the U.S.

The park will not be the only Studio Ghibli attraction in Japan. There is a museum in Tokyo stuffed with attractions, and a Kyoto bathhouse that provided inspiration for Oscar-award winning film, Spirited Away.

The park will open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Calling Studio Ghibli Fans—'My Neighbor Totoro' Is Getting Its Own Theme Park | World