It was less than a month ago when Disney announced that it would be adding a Star Wars themed land to both the Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks. Speculation has run wild among fan sites guessing when we might see the new lands open. We still don’t know the answer to that question, but we do know construction will commence on both projects some time in 2016.
Current Chief Operation Officer and former Disney Parks Chairman Tom Staggs made the announcement at an investors’ conference in Beverly Hills.
Disney CEO and President Bob Iger had previously stated that any new Star Wars attractions added to the park would be focused on the new movies, so it was no surprise that the announcement for the lands included attractions based on an battle with the First Order and piloting a flight on the Millennium Falcon (which should satisfy us legacy fans as well).
The new lands will encompass 14-acres and be richly themed. We don’t know much more than that at this point. Some concept art was revealed at the D23 Expo, but Disney had said final designs may be significantly different.
At Disneyland the entrance to the new land will be located at Big Thunder Ranch (between Fantasyland and Big Thunder Mountain) with the show buildings occupying what is backstage area today. There is still no official word on the location of Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The big question is whether it will require expanding the park or of all of it will be contained within the existing boundaries thereby requiring the removal of some existing attractions, stores, and dining.
I hope this means that Disney will be rushing the lands to completion to capitalize on the success of the new Star Wars trilogy (and the stand alone ‘Story’ films). In the past Disney has not been afraid to open major attractions in multiple parks in the same year, so who knows. In the meantime, we will have a new “Seasons of the Force” event and the “Star Wars Launch Bay” experience at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to explore and our dreams for what a real Star Wars land could be.
(H/T Themepark Insider)