Star Wars Land Coming Soon to Disney Parks!
May The Force Be With You, Mickey & Pluto!! On August 15th at the D23 Expo, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced that Star Wars themed-lands were coming to Disneyland in Anaheim, California AND Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The D23 Expo is billed as bringing together all of Disney’s entertainment under one roof and is hosted by the Official Disney Fan Club; the fan extravaganza took place at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 14-16.
When the world belonging to Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and the rest of the crew is brought to life in both parks, it’ll be Disney’s largest single themed expansion with 14-arces each. The land will be a never before seen world and will feed the needs of Star Warriors who visit the parks to experience the film legacy up close and personal. This is coming at a significant era of the brand as Disney has been bringing new life into the franchise to further ignite fan frenzy since their acquisition of Lucasfilms in 2012. Their investments are expected to continue to pay-off with the new film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens opening in theaters on December 18th.
This is an understandably en-vogue occurrence happening in the theme park industry at this point in history. We told you recently that Universal Studios was going to feature rides themed after Nintendo characters and brands. When a popular park that’s been operating for decades needs to find ways to keep fresh, adding classic favorites that have withstood the test of time is a nice ingredient. All theme parks feature branded attractions and they eventually run through their useful life with fans. Despite the amount of money it would take to keep the trademarks, Cedar Fair experienced this when they switched from Nickelodeon characters to Snoopy & the Peanuts gang nearly a decade ago. At Universal Studios, they’ve swapped out different brands on the ride that once housed The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. Star Wars’ legacy is like the Marvel brand in the sense that there’s still so much more story-telling and fan frenzy to happen despite being in existence for a number decades. Bringing the world to life for guests to experience will be an incredible thrill to see how the galaxy from far, far away looks like up-close.
We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single-themed land expansion ever -Bob Iger
Most certainly, the land will be as cool as you think. Park guests will be able to visit the famous cantina from the movie franchise and will be able to do battle aboard the Millennium Falcon; no matter if you’re a fan or not, that sounds wicked awesome!
There has been no timeframe announced yet as to when the lands will roll-out to parks on both coasts but in 2016, Disney will re-theme the legendary Space Mountain indoor roller coaster to Hyperspace Mountain. This is part of Star Wars updates to existing rides and will be in conjunction with Disney’s Star Wars: Season of the Force later this year; and wait, there’s more! Star Tours, the 3D simulator attraction, will feature characters from the upcoming Episode VII film and there will also be a Star Wars Launch Bay, which allows guests to see behind the scenes and interact with games. There will be an update to the Jedi Training Camp, which will feature new characters from Star Wars Rebels.
When the Star Tours opened at Disneyland in 1987, that marked the beginning of the partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm’s epic franchise. This is certainly going to be a hit and is destined to ignite some thrilling interest from travelers and Disney fans who have waited for such a big announcement to further enrich the parks. Disney has spent recent years changing different areas of the park and this announcement, along with the unveiling of the Toy Story Land addition looks to be what Disney fans have been waiting for and will want to wait for when the lines start forming.
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