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The rumors are now over and today at the D23 Expo Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Although completion dates for the two new parks have not been released, each new land marks Disney’s largest single themed land expansions ever at 14 acres each. The last will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life. At Disneyland park, the land will be located in the Big Thunder Ranch area, inclusive of some backstage locations. For those of us who adore the Disneyland goats and the delicious food at Big Thunder BBQ, this is indeed theh little, gray rain cloud in this announcement.
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
The Star Wars lands will have two signature attractions: one with a thrilling battle experience and another that puts guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.
It will likely take years to develop and build these exciting new lands. In the meantime, Star Wars fans will be able to experience several new enhancements and experiences at Disneyland (and Walt Disney World). For the sake of this post, we are focusing on what will be happening at Disneyland.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
Jedi Training Academy — Although I am not sure how you can possibly improve on something so incredibly perfect, Jedi Training Academy will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. This is expected to open later this year in the old Innoventions building.
Season of the Force – This, my friends, is HUGE. I don’t know about you, but my family (and by “family,” I mean “husband) has been complaining for years that there is no Star Wars Weekend for us west coasters. Finally, we are getting something better than a Star Wars Weekend–we are getting a whole season!!! In early 2016, Disneyland park guests will get to explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout Tomorrowland the land, themed food locations and more. They will also get to experience a rethemed Space Mountain that will become “Hyperspace Mountain,” in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle.
We are so excited for the new Star Wars enhancements and ultimately the new land! We will keep you updated with all of the Star Wars news as it becomes available. What are you looking forward to most?