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The D23 Expo would not be complete without some mention of Star Wars; the sci-fi saga represents one of Disney’s biggest cash cows, and the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens made it a guarantee. However, Disney just made an announcement primed to send global Star Wars fans into frenzy.
At the Disney-centric expo, Bob Iger – Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company – took the stage to announce that two new Star Wars themed lands will be coming to both Disneyland and Disney World. The expansions for the two amusement parks – located in Anaheim and Orlando, respectively – will each take up roughly 14 acres and represents the largest expansion ever undertaken by the company. As for thrills, the parks will offer two signature attractions: one which puts the visitors in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, and another that will embroil guests in the midst of a fierce battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Star Wars themed attractions are nothing new for Disney parks; Disneyland premiered the wildly popular “Star Tours” in 1987 – and subsequently updated the attraction in 2011 to increase narrative variety and represent the expanded Star Wars mythos. The Star Wars-themed lands seem poised to take the immersion even further by ensuring that every aspect of the park feels as though the visitors have travelled to a planet in a galaxy far far away. This includes: shops and rides run by the planets’ local inhabitants, familiar characters and locales such as the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars: A New Hope – all of which will remain in-character. It’s an immense undertaking that Bob Iger could only describe as “jaw-dropping.”
Rumors have long swirled that this may someday happen, but we now have confirmation on the matter. At this point we know very little of the finer details regarding the Star Wars-themed land. We cannot say for sure what locales or characters will show up, but given the eclectic nature of the Star Wars universe – as well as its inhabitants – variety is almost assured. Most probably won’t mind if they leave out Jar Jar Binks, though.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have become just as much of a household name as any other aspect of the Disney giant. Iconic the world over, even uttering the words “I’m going to Disneyland” has become a customary slogan among victorious athletes. Their parks have continuously attracted guests for the last six decades – commemorated by the Diamond Celebration at Disneyland. With a soon-to-be-opened Disney Resort in Shanghai, and now this massive Star Wars themed-land, Disney shows no signs of slowing down.