When Studio Ghibli opened Ghibli Park in Aichi Prefecture in fall 2022, only 3 of the planned 5 areas were completed – Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Dondoko Forest (the Totoro area), and Hill of Youth. Since then, the park has slowly expanded with the opening of the Princess Mononoke-inspired Mononoke Village on November 1st, 2023. On March 16th, 2024, the final area called Valley of Witches will have its grand opening.
New Ghibli Park Ticket System from March 2024
Starting March 2024, Ghibli Park will introduce a new ticket system, offering an integrated experience across its five areas: Ghibli’s Large Warehouse, Hill of Youth, Dondoko Forest, Mononoke Village, and Witch Valley. The “Ghibli Park Grand Stroll Ticket” allows a full-day exploration of all areas, with additional experiences available for an extra fee.
Here is a summary of the progress in completing Ghibli Park over the past year:
|Ticket Prices (Adult/Child Weekday)
|Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Dondoko Forest, Hill of Youth
|November 1st, 2022
|November 1st, 2023
|¥2,500-¥1,250 (with Warehouse)
|Valley of Witches
|March 16th, 2024
|¥7,300-¥3,650 (all access)
In terms of pricing, the park has slowly increased ticket prices with each expansion. The latest pricing system features setcombination tickets instead of separate area tickets. The top-level “Premium Big Stroll Ticket” offers all-area all-access for ¥7,300 adults/¥3,650 children on weekdays. This makes Ghibli Park nearly as expensive as leading attractions like Tokyo Disneyland (¥7,900/¥4,700) and Universal Studios Japan (¥8,600/¥5,600).
The multiple price hikes in just over a year of operation may start to deter casual visitors, especially locals who have easier access to the more affordable Ghibli Museum in Tokyo (¥1,000 entry). However, for hardcore Ghibli fans and foreign tourists already investing in airfare and hotels, the extra cost is likely worth it to fully experience director Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic fantasy worlds come to life.
The Valley of Witches Grand Opening
The Valley of Witches is themed around the worlds of Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Earwig and the Witch. It will feature recreations of landmarks from the films such as Howl’s castle and Kiki’s bakery, which will be a functioning restaurant. There will also be Ghibli Park’s first conventional theme park rides – a carousel with vehicles and characters from Ghibli films, including Yakul the elk from Princess Mononoke, and a “Flying Machine” carousel that raises riders in the air.
Other attractions include the Okino Home where Kiki lives with her parents, the Hatter’s Hat Shop from Howl’s Moving Castle, the Witch’s House from Earwig and the Witch, and a play area inspired by the imaginative young boys from Castle in the Sky and Kiki’s Delivery Service who love flight and building aircrafts.
Exclusive Ghibli Park Preview Events
Before the grand opening, Ghibli Park will host preview events on March 6 and 10, 2024. These previews offer a sneak peek into the enchanting world of Ghibli Park, with applications opening on November 29, 2023.
Details For New The Valley of Witches Rides
The Merry-Go-Round, inspired by a traveling amusement park, is adorned with vehicles, animals, and characters from various Ghibli films.
Another attraction, the Flying Machine, follows the same theme, offering a unique experience for children and their guardians.
Airplane Rider’s Tower
The Airplane Rider’s Tower is a playground designed for children, inspired by the dreams of flying, reminiscent of characters like Pazu from “Castle in the Sky” and Tombo from “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”
The Okino Residence, where Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” grew up, features a garden and rooms like Kiki’s bedroom and her mother’s witch shop.
The Guchoki Bakery, home to Kiki and her black cat Jiji in “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” will sell real bread and allow visitors to peek into the attic room.
Howl’s Castle, a 20-meter-tall structure from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” features a large hearth, Howl’s bedroom, and a desolate land in front.
Hatter’s Hat Shop
The Hatter’s Hat Shop, a whimsical store from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” offers a colorful array of hats and accessories, inviting visitors to step into a world of fashion and fantasy.
The Witch’s House, from “Earwig and the Witch,” is a mysterious and enchanting abode, complete with magical artifacts and hidden secrets waiting to be discovered.
Image Credit: prtimes