It was perhaps a destiny Disney signed into action the minute they took over the iconic franchise – but it still has us very, very excited. As Universal Studios has done with the Harry Potter series’ Wizarding World, Disneyland will be expanding both Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, to introduce Star Wars Land to guests.
Officially announced today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the expansion will be the largest single-land expansion ever in the park’s 60+ year history, with 14 acres (56,656 m2) being dedicated to the iconic franchise.
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “Through each new attraction and new land we create, we push the boundaries of what is possible. And as you can imagine, with Star Wars, we are taking that to a whole new level, with a whole galaxy to explore.”
Star Wars is no stranger to the parks, with the motion simulator Star Tours being a popular attraction for almost 30 years. In 2010, the ride’s original location closed down to make way for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which re-opened in 2011 with a new “3D” experience, as well as a randomised storyline (the idea being you never get the same experience twice). The original Star Tours continued operating at other Disney parks until very recently, when the final location in Paris shut down. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will open there in 2017.
There’s no word on when the new Land will open, or how Star Tours and Tomorrowland will factor in to the design, but so far they have announced two “signature attractions” as being the centrepiece:
A Millennium Falcon ride where guests will have “the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy… on a customized secret mission”. And there will also be “an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle” We’re hoping that will be a roller coaster of some kind, though at this stage we don’t know anything more than that.
Stay tuned to The Iris and our sister site AU Abroad for more details about the new park as they come to hand.
Quotes and Images from StarWars.com