Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Disney has still not shown us what Star Wars Land will look like, aside from a few pieces of concept art released at D23 Expo 2015 (some of which were pieces of concept art from The Force Awakens). We’ve previously learned that the 14-acre Star Wars Land would be built in the top left corner of the park, taking over land previously occupied by backstage areas, Big Thunder Ranch as well as some of Rivers of America. We’ve even seen beautiful official concept art of what the Rivers of America will look like after the construction is completed. But now we finally get a look at the layout of Star Wars Land. Hit the jump to see an early unofficial Star Wars Land map.
The following map comes thanks to MiceAge, which has their pulse on Disneyland news. You can head on over to their site to see a nice before and after with a slider.
According to MiceAge’s new unconfirmed report, Disney is aiming for a December 2018 grand opening for Star Wars Land. That is a much faster timetable than the Mouse House has done with past California expansions, and I doubt Disney will officially announce a grand opening date until they are deep into construction.
The site also provides some information on what we might expect from the land itself. Apparently the show buildings will be over 150 feet tall, with interiors that are sunk into the ground, and the exteriors will be hidden inside themed rock cliffs and forested mountains.
The largest show building in the land, for the headliner battle escape attraction coded named “Alcatraz” at WDI (get it?), will dwarf even the largest backstage buildings for Anaheim’s other massive E Tickets like Pirates, Indy or Radiator Springs Racers.
You can see from the projected layout above that the Battle Escape attraction will be larger than the entirety of Toon Town. How exciting is that?
There will be three entrances into the new land: one from Big Thunder Trail, another from where the entry to Big Thunder Ranch was near the border between Fantasyland and Frontierland, and a new entrance between the Hungry Bear Restaurant and Rivers of America to go under the train tracks and connect from the west. Walt Disney Imagineering has been trying to add a pedestrian path that would give Critter Country a connection to the east side of Disneyland for decades, and it now looks like it will happen.
The reveal moments from the two tunnels off the Big Thunder Trail will be the most architecturally stunning, while the winding path through the forest north of Critter Country will be memorable for the sudden appearance of X-Wing fighters parked on rocky ledges and landing pads as you enter the alien land from the west. The goal here is to meet or exceed the Wow! moment that people experience when they walk through the archway into Cars Land from the Pacific Wharf area.
If Disney can even come close to the “wow” moment of the Pacific Wharf entrance to Cars Land, we’re in for a real treat because I’m not even a fan of Cars and walking through that archways gives me chills every single time.
Meanwhile, MakingStarWars claims to have some more inside information about Star Wars Land. I’m not sure of their sources, so take the following with a grain of salt for now. It’s rumored that Poe Dameron’s black X-wing fighter will greet guests at the third entrance to Star Wars Land, and that the Millennium Falcon will be “real, life sized, not scaled down at all, and sitting on top of a launch pad” with an “opening and closing main door and aliens/troopers will be walking around asking people if they’ve seen anyone leave the ship.”
Disney blogger Jim Hill has said that the Imagineers loved the script for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and that the initial plan was to base one of the rides on a sequence from the upcoming film. However MSW now says that it now “appears to be somewhat unlikely” for that attraction to be based in the Rebellion era. I always found the rumor to be strange, especially considering the concept art (which appeared to be from this new ride) showed First Order Stormtroopers. It would make sense to base the new attractions on the future of Star Wars, and not the past, as to avoid the rides getting outdated too quickly.Cool Posts From Around the Web: