Ever since Disney acquired the rights to Lucasfilm in 2012, Star Wars fans have been anxiously waiting to see how the saga would be added to the Disney Parks. While our thirst was quenched with Star Wars Weekends and shows like the Jedi Training Academy, our dreams finally came true when it was announced that Star Wars Land was, indeed, coming to the Disney Parks.
On August 15, 2015, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, announced at the D23 Expo that a Star Wars themed land would be added to both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Construction began on the 14 acre expansion in April 2016 and on February 7, 2017, it was announced that we could expect the new land to open up sometime in 2019 (I suppose they didn’t build Coruscant in a day, either).
Even though we have another two painfully long years to wait and dream, we already have a nice idea of what to expect when Star Wars Land (the unofficial name as of right now) finally opens to the public.
Guests will be transported to a brand new planet in the outer rim—one that we’ve never seen before… so if you were hoping to see Hoth brought to Florida, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. While some people may be disappointed with the fact that we won’t get to see any familiar planets with this new addition to the parks, it’s actually a very wise decision made by Disney and their Imagineers. With a new planet, Guests can’t have any expectations. If they were to build Mustafar or Naboo, we would have expectations that no one—not even Disney—could meet. By introducing us to a new planet, there are no expectations and yet endless possibilities!
And get ready for this to be a fully immersive experience, enough to make any Star Wars fan completely geek out (even Josiah). Disney Imagineer and one of the masterminds behind Star Wars Land, Scott Trowbridge, teases us by saying, “What does that street feel like? What does that animal smell like…” and most importantly, “…What does the blue milk taste like?”
Of course, new expansions to the parks would be incomplete without new experiences for Guests to take part in. Of course there will be the classic meet and greets with characters both old and new, a marketplace, two restaurants—one of them being a higher end “club” (most likely full service) and, of course, the cantina (most likely quick service)—and two brand new attractions.
Sit in the pilot’s seat of the Millennium Falcon and control the famous ship yourself! This is the very first ride of its kind created by Disney. It’s the first time Disney will have a first person shooter experience in an attraction. It will also be a motion simulator ride, completely controlled by the Guest! It’s about as close as you can get to the real deal without having to journey to a galaxy far, far away.
The second attraction will transport Guests right in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order. There isn’t too much made available about this attraction as of yet but it’s nice to see both the original and new films find representation in this new addition to the parks.
Recent images from Nearmap show us that progress is being made on Star Wars Land. At first glance, it might just look like piles of dirt, but among those piles of dirt, little structures are starting to pop up. While these are far too small to be either of the attractions, they could be stores or even small food kiosks.
If you’ve ever found yourself impatiently waiting for something to open at Disney *cough*Seven Dwarfs Mine Train*cough* then you know that Disney is infamous for pushing back opening dates and not meeting deadlines. Let’s hope that these images are a good sign that Star Wars Land is well on it’s way to meeting its 2019 opening date.
What are you most looking forward to in Star Wars Land? Let us know in the comments below!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is one of The Geekiverse’s newest writers and one of its Disney experts. Keep it locked right here for all the latest on Disney parks, films, and more.
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