Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Over the weekend at D23 Expo 2015 in Anaheim, Bob Iger made the huge announcement that Star Wars Land would be coming to Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando Florida. The announcement was filled with a bunch of juicy details, but raised just as many questions.
Where will these Star Wars-themed lands be located in the existing theme parks? Is Disneyland’s Toontown set to be demolished? When will both Star Wars Lands open to the public? Will Star Wars Land offer any alcoholic beverages? Lets explore these questions and much more, after the jump.
First of all, yes, the “all your questions answered” headline might be a bit deceptive as we don’t have the exact answers to all of your questions (especially since Disney isn’t confirming much at this point). But we have done the research and have some educated responses that might give us a good idea of what to expect.
What can we expect from Star Wars Land?
Here is a list of things that Disney officially announced during Saturday’s D23 Expo presentations:
A Whole New World: The land will be themed as “a whole new planet” we’ve never seen before in the Star Wars movies, described as “a gateway planet” and “a remote frontier town, one of the last stops before wild space.” The world will be full of places and characters both familiar and not so familiar.
How Big and Where? Star Wars Land will take up 14 acres. This will be the largest single land expansion in Disneyland history. They are building two Star Wars Lands, one in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando Florida and the other in Disneyland park in Anaheim California.
The World’s Inhabitants: The world will be inhabited by aliens, humanoids and droids. This likely means the world will have a variety of costumed characters, puppeteered alien creatures and remote controlled droids walking the streets. You can see above a piece of concept art showing a huge white Bantha-looking creature that was teased as one of the creatures we could encounter in this land.
There Will Be No Castmemebers, Only Star Wars Aliens: “Every store and restaurant will be operated by local inhabitants making each experience deeply immersive.” This will be a fully themed land where everyone is in character. While there will be humanoid-looking shop workers, I would also expect we’ll get some puppeted or animatronic shopkeepers.
Every Single Thing Will Be In Story: “Nothing in the land will be out of character or stray from mythology.” Later Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Bob Chapek reiterated that “every single thing will be in story.” We can maybe expect this to mean that everything from merchandise to food options will be set within the world, kind of like Universal Studios has tried to do with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The new land will feature “two fantastic signature attractions.”
Millennium Falcon Secret Mission: One attraction will give you the ability to take the controls of the Millennium Falcon on a “customized secret mission.” I think a lot of reports are not focusing on Bob Iger’s use of the word “customized.” We have already seen with the Star Tours redo Star Tours: The Adventures Continue that Disney is able to create a variety of different ride experiences through randomized branching of ride experiences. Here the word “customized” makes it sound like you, the park visitor, will have a choice in where you take Han Solo’s famous ship. This ride sounds like some kind of motion simulator like Star Tours.
New Era Battle: The other will be “an the epic Star Wars adventure that puts you right in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and The Resistance.” This tells us the world of the land will be set in a Post-Return of the Jedi timeline, and that the new rides could tie in to the upcoming films. I expect this ride will be more of a dark ride experience, but who knows what kind. The concept art above seems to be from this Star Wars attraction, but what does it tell us?
Blue Milk: Guests’ experiences will include a taste of blue milk, just like Luke Skywalker had on his home planet of Tatooine.
After the jump, find out where Star Wars Land will be located in Disneyland and Hollywood Studios. When will they open to the public? How big is 14 acres? Will they both open at the same time? Will the serve adult beverages? And more.