We have good news and bad news.
Let’s start with the latter: the long-awaited theme park that Ghibli fans the world over have been itching to see was initially supposed to open next year, but it has now been delayed to 2023. However, some attractions will be completed in time for a soft opening in autumn 2022.
Based on the initial artist’s impression released in 2019, the park would be divided into five sections. The first section is dedicated to the Large Ghibli Warehouse, an indoor facility featuring elements from various Ghibli films including 'The Secret World of Arrietty' and 'Castle in the Sky', complete with a cinema and playground. The other four sections are the Valley of Witches, the ‘Princess Mononoke’ village, the Dondoko Forest from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, and the Hill of Youth area based on ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’.
Now here’s the good news. Studio Ghibli has just teased a new artist's impression of a real-life Howl’s castle. The image is generating a fresh wave of excitement among those who’ve always dreamed of being whisked away in the whimsical fortress.
The silver lining here is that the castle, along with the rest of the Hill of Youth, will be among the first few attractions to open in 2022. The Large Ghibli Warehouse and Dondoko Forest, which contains a replica of Mei and Satsuki’s fixer-upper home, should be finished by 2023. Meanwhile, the Valley of Witches and Mononoke’s Village will take another two and a half years to complete.
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