14 acres of Star Wars: that’s what to expect from both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida (where it’ll occupy Hollywood Studios).
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “Through each new attraction and new land we create, we push the boundaries of what is possible. And as you can imagine, with Star Wars, we are taking that to a whole new level, with a whole galaxy to explore.
“We’re bringing Star Wars to life in a big way, and I mean really big. It’s our largest single-themed land expansion ever.”
Iger painted a picture of a totally immersive experience. “This new 14 acre land will be occupied by many inhabitants, aliens, droids. The attractions, entertainment, everything we create will be part of our storytelling, transporting our fans to a world of fun.
“Every restaurant, building, everything will be inhabited by the aliens and droids you’d expect to find there. You’d expect to find a Cantina – and there will be one. You’ll have the chance to run into all the droids and fantastic beasts that Star Wars is known for. You’ll meet characters from The Force Awakens and more from the Star Wars saga.”
There’ll be a never-seen-before planet, a remote trading port and, said the press release, “one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life”.
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
Here’s some concept art that handily doubles as your new desktop wallpaper:
- both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios will include Star Wars Launch Bay later this year, an “interactive experience” that will take guests “into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga
- also later this year, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will be upgraded at both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios to include a new Force Awakens adventure
- beginning early next year, special Star Wars-themed entertainment and food locations will be added to Tomorrowland at Disneyland, as well as a Star Wars-themed upgrade to Space Mountain, now dubbed “Hyperspace Mountain”
- also early next year, Hollywood Studios will feature “a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights”
This is unprecedented. Obviously the last four points are to create a Star Wars presence at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World while the major attractions are built. But if this doesn’t tell you that Disney have confidence in Star Wars and Lucasfilm, nothing will.
So when will Star Wars land be complete? They’ll be breaking ground in Disneyland in 2017, so expect the whole thing to be complete once the sequel trilogy wraps up in 2019.
Star Wars is back, and bigger than ever.