Studio Ghibli Theme Park Concept Art Features Howl's Moving Castle, Mononoke Village, And More

Beloved Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli has been working on opening a theme park since 2017. Now, with the November 1, 2022 opening date coming up fast, we're finally getting a look at concept art of the coming attractions for Ghibli Park at Japan's Aichi Prefecture in the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park. The first wave of Ghibli Park will include the "Spirited Away" inspired Ghibli's Grand Warehouse, the Hill of the Youth (based on both "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Whisper of the Heart") and Dondoko Forest of "My Neighbor Totoro," who also serves as Studio Ghibli's mascot. The park will eventually have five different areas (or "lands"), with each section opening on a staggered schedule.

The Ghibli Grand Warehouse is an indoor facility with exhibits like the Robot Soldier from "Castle in the Sky" and the Catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro." Hill of the Youth will be the home of the World Emporium, which fans may recognize as the antique shop from "Whisper of the Heart." Dondoko Forest will also include Satsuki and Mei's house from "My Neighbor Totoro," as well as a Dondoko-do play area. The Valley of the Witches area inspired by "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Howl's Moving Castle" is set to open at a later date, as well as Mononoke Village, an area celebrating the characters, creatures, and wildlife of "Princess Mononoke." Ghibli Park is not your typical thrill-seeking land, but more of an immersive experience allowing visitors to honor the environment and rich characters of Studio Ghibli.

Give Yourself Over to Ghibli

Following the announcement of the park's release date, Studio Ghibli launched a website with additional information that helps paint a better picture of what attendees can expect. "There are no big attractions or rides in Ghibli Park," the website says. "Take a stroll, feel the wind, and discover the wonders." Among the new concept art provided by the Ghibli Park website is a photo of Satsuki and Mei's House, which we can see has been lovingly brought to life — a spitting image of its animated design. The house is the first finished attraction within the park.

As is evident with all of the images, the preservation of mother nature was a huge consideration when designing the park. Ghibli Park's grounds were specifically chosen as the area had already been cleared, and there would be minimal need to cut down additional trees to make space. The concept art for Mononoke Village is lush with greenery and the walking areas between sections look to prioritize grass over concrete. No word yet if Ghibli Park will offer Zeniba's High Tea in the way that Disney World offers Princess Tea — but hey, a girl can dream.