Disney park enthusiasts rejoice, you have but another reason to make an annual pilgrimage to the happiest place on earth. Or, if Disney Land/Word wasn’t appealing to you maybe now you have a reason to go. Both Disney parks are planning an unprecedented expansion; ushering in the world and characters from a galaxy far far away. Disney CEO Bob Iger just announced at the D23 Expo that they are making not one, but two, full-on Star Wars-themed lands at their theme parks.
Disney, of course, has always been an ever constant presence at the Disney parks; with the Star Tours ride (which was renovated a few years ago), Jedi Training Academy, and the annual Star Wars days. But now, with the new upcoming film trilogy and planned spinoffs, the Star Wars franchise will be bigger than ever. Obviously taking note from Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, themed park expansion based on mega franchises was the next inevitable step for Disney – and you don’t get much bigger than Star Wars.
“Star Wars Land” will add 14 acres to Disney Land, making it that parks biggest expansion in history. Fans will be transported to a whole new planet, drink and eat at cantinas operated by aliens and droids. Best of all, one of the two main rides will let fans fly the Millennium Falcon!
Here’s the official announcement:
Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.
Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.
“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.”
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
And here a couple of more pieces of concept art:
And here’s a few more, showing off some of the creatures and scenery:
— Disneyland Live (@DisneylandLive) August 15, 2015
No word yet on when the expansion will be complete, but it’s likely a project that will take several years to develop. Heck, we’ve been hearing about James Cameron’s Avatar Land for the last 3 years or so and they’re still not close to seeing that open.
Mark this down as one of those things you pray you stay alive long enough to see and experience.