Bob Iger confirms large Star Wars presence coming to Disney Parks.

Rumored concept art for Star Wars mini-park planned for Disneyland Paris

Rumored concept art for Star Wars mini-park planned for Disneyland Paris

It’s been no secret, with hints coming even from the upper echelons of Burbank, that Disney is looking to capitalize on their acquisition of the Star Wars franchise by expanding its presence in the theme parks. Right now that is essentially limited to a motion simulator attraction or two, a jedi-training school mini-show, and the 5 weekends that compose Star Wars Weekends out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For the last few years Rumors, including some on this site, have ranged from we’re getting a new attraction to perhaps a whole new theme park dedicated to Lucasfilm properties. Tea leaves were read, with the smallest of construction projects taken as a sign big changes were coming. But nothing was ever official, just obvious.

sww12-skywalkerSo it is a relief to hear Disney CEO Bob Iger finally speak out on today’s results call saying there will be a “far greater Star Wars presence in our parks.” Exactly what it is, will be announced in 2015. That’s the year of the first new Star Wars moving in a decade, which will be great synergy for the parks.

This means we can probably look forward to plenty of speculation, leaks, and rumor-mongering over the next few months. Anaheim is hosting the Star Wars Celebration in April of 2015 and there is also a D23 Expo in 2015 just a little over a year from now. Either could be the perfect time to make the big announcement.

That said, we may not have to wait until 2015 for the parks to start work on the expansion. Construction at Disney often starts ahead of project announcements (although not always it was almost a full two years after Avatar was announced before they finally closed Camp Minnie Mickey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

My big hope is they give Imagineering and the folks from Lucasfilm the budget they need to build in an environment as immersive and story rich as the new Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando. Disney needs to fix Disney’s Hollywood Studios like it did DCA and they need an answer to Harry Potter here in Orlando just to show Disney is still at the top of the game. A huge Star Wars expansion of DHS would be just the ticket.

So the big question is, what would you like to see in an expanded Star Wars presence in the parks?

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9 Responses to Bob Iger confirms large Star Wars presence coming to Disney Parks.

  1. grumpymickey says:

    I cannot agree more about needing something to contend with Diagon Alley and this could be just the thing! Go Star Wars land!

  2. HonestJohn says:

    Is there any path forward for delivering quickly? One thing Harry Potter/Universal has above WDW right now is that their projects are getting delivered much faster than New Fantasyland and Avatarland.

  3. Brian Kazmierczak says:

    Having been there last week, I can say there is definitely a far larger merchandise presence for Star Wars in the parks. And I am not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing, but they need to get more rides/attractions in the park… as neat as the seven dwarfs mine train ride was, it isn’t worth standing in line for an hour+ for…

  4. Paul Douglas says:

    An experience as immersive as Diagon Alley, but less cramped and with Disney’s vastly superior park logistics at work would be a dream come true for me. They could really exploit the multiple locations too and create unique environments based on different planets and locations form the movies at each park. The absolute grand daddy dream is a Star Wars PARK opening as Paris’s third gate.

  5. Dave says:

    I agree that something needs to be done for Hollywood Studios. I also think that a Star Wars land would be the answer to the Tomorrowland problem that has plagued the company since Disneyland opened in 1955. How do you keep Tomorrowland futuristic, without an expensive referb every 10 years? Star Wars is timeless and would be a great fit in Tomorrowland both in Anaheim and Orlando. Of course I would rather see a full Star Wars theme park, but I don’t think that is in the cards.

  6. Jordan says:

    I’m hoping for the Star Wars land to fix Disney Hollywood Studios as both WDW and DHS could really use an immersive experience but I REALLY hope they don’t duplicate it at DLR. Maybe add the e ticket from the land to replace autopia but too much Star Wars in DLR could drown out the marvel, tomorrowland movie, and classic theme park originals and that IMHO would be far worse than Club 34

  7. Jocelyn Houck says:

    Well AVATAR was a big mistake…..SO again I will push and say EWOK VILLAGE!!! That is what the “Avapoo” place should have been!

  8. Andrea says:

    Animal Kingdom.. Get rid of Avatar Land.. My god put something more meaningful in there …

  9. Wayne Le Brocq says:

    A huge star wars presence in the park would be great. There is no doubting that. Yeah I agree DHS needs a big upgrade and Star Wars would be the perfect solution. The best idea would be a mini park/land inside a main park. Though I hope that they don’t destroy DHS just because of Star Wars. There are some great attractions there and you can’t deny that. I wouldn’t want the Indiana jones stunt show to go. That still attracts a huge audience,( I’ve just recently returned from WDW and the show is still a great attraction to see), though the car stunt show could go.
    As mentioned in the article, universal has the Harry Potter worlds but if it wasn’t for that, they would be struggling against Disney. WDW is still the main theme park in Orlando is has been for a long time and will always be in my personal view. Universal are trying their hardest to play catch up, but the park lacks the imagination that Disney has. Bob Iger has made 3 great acquisitions with Pixar, Marvel and Lucas. This has steamrolled Disney in the right direction. A path it hasn’t been on for a very long time. There is no downside to what the company can do. The parks do need more maintenance then they are currently getting, but all in all Disney are doing the right thing

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