December 3, 1980 – The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Tokyo Disneyland is Held in Urayasu, Japan
“Tokyo Disneyland remains an unfading source of pride.”
On December 3, 1980, the groundbreaking ceremony for the first international Disney theme park, Tokyo Disneyland, took place in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. After the agreement to build the park was signed in April of 1973, nine employees from the Oriental Land Company were sent to California to study Disney Park operations. Up to 150 people would travel to Disneyland to study park operations before the ceremony. A special Shinto purification ceremony known as Kiri-Nusa-San-Mai (切麻散米) was held on the site on December 3, which involves rice and salt to cleanse the land before construction. A press conference was also held, with up to 250 members of the media in attendance, adding to the expectations that this park would bring upon opening. Construction then began in January of 1981m and the park opened almost two-and-a-half years later on April 15, 1983.