our dreams are coming true: a studio ghibli theme park is being built
Who knows, you might get to take a ride on a Catbus.
Ever wanted to ride around inside a Catbus? Well, rejoice, because soon you might be able to! According to Japan Times, a "Park Ghibli" is set to be built in Nagoya, Japan and is slated to open in the early 2020s. The news comes in the midst of several exciting developments at the animation company. In February, it was announced that Hayao Miyazaki had come out of retirement to work on a new Studio Ghibli film and, this week, the studio began an open call for aspiring animators to take part in the film's creation.
With Miyazaki's universes as complex and fantastical as Walt Disney's — if not more — fans have wanted a Ghibli theme park for a long time. In 2015, an artist by the name of TAKUMI created an intricate rendering of what one might look like. He drew inspiration from Disney World by following the blueprint of the legendary park and placing Howl Castle in the center of the imagined playland (just like the Sleeping Beauty Castle).
This is not the first time Miyazaki's dreamy, hand-drawn settings have been recreated IRL. A replica of Satsuki and Mei's house from My Neighbor Totoro was created for Expo 2005, a world fair that took place over 180 days in Nagoya, Japan. The house is still open to visitors and fans are able to touch everything in the space, from the furniture to the dishes and clothes. There's also the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka (just outside Tokyo), which showcases several exclusive short films and a giant replica of Catbus, as well as serving "Valley of the Wind" beer.
"Park Ghibli" is sure to be a delight of even bigger proportions. Close your eyes and imagine it: visitors running around wearing Totoro ears, taking rides on flying brooms, and eating soup dumplings inside a treehouse cafe. We can't wait!
Text André-Naquian Wheeler
Still via Youtube