Unless you have been living inside a Taun Taun all weekend, you have no doubt heard or read about the long-awaited Star Wars themed land that Bob Iger announced for Disney Parks on Saturday at the D23 Expo. The new land will be constructed at both Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the U.S., with no word yet as to if the construction will take place simultaneously on both coasts (or when it might actually open to guests). If it is simultaneous, the official Disneyland Today twitter account is claiming construction will begin no later than the end of 2017. Now, this does not mean that construction won’t start early, but the project is still in the design phase at this time. The twitter account also confirmed that Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland will not be affected, but Big Thunder Ranch will close to make room for the land which will also take the place of many current backstage buildings.
@Wraithkelso It is not replacing Mickey’s Toontown. It will be in the Big Thunder Ranch area, inclusive of some backstage locations.
— Disneyland Today (@DisneylandToday) August 17, 2015
@DisneylandToday Any idea on where “Star Wars Land” will be and when construction will begin?
Why was Toontown spared? Well, our guess is that this 14-acre Star Wars land with two attractions may be just the beginning. The two new attractions will center around the story (or at least take place around the time) of The Force Awakens, but there are still two more Star Wars episodes to follow and many “A Star Wars Story” stand-alone films on the way. I can’t imagine a scenario where more Star Wars attractions aren’t added over time to both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to include the stories following Episode VII. It is likely Mickey’s Toontown is simply a placeholder at this time for more Star Wars adventures to come at a later date several years from now.
While we still don’t know exactly where Star Wars land will be located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, just north of Star Tours seems like a good bet. Yes, that might mean the end of Muppetvision 3-D, but we’ll have to wait for some official announcement on that.
The land will represent a new planet on the Outer Rim, sort of the last stop before the deep reaches of space in the Star Wars universe, so it would be a good place for anyone in the galaxy to stop on their journey. This will be a world where it is believable that anyone and anything from the franchise could appear and not seem out of place. The land will feature two new attractions:
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.
We expect the Millennium Falcon attraction to be a simulator-type ride that allows guests to control the movement and fate of the vessel. The details on the other attraction are a little more vague, but rumor has it that it may be a type of shooting ride along the lines of the cutting-edge version of Buzz Lightyear being designed for Shanghai Disneyland.
The remainder of the land will feature shops, restaurants, and lounges operated by the inhabitants of the planet. You may not find cast member name tags throughout the land, but maybe strange alien creatures who own and operate the establishments. The only venue we have heard anything about so far is a Cantina, different in design but similar in overall concept to the one you would find in Mos Eisley space port on Tatooine. There also appears to be a nightclub with live musical performances, but this could be another part of the Cantina.
It seems that Star Tours will cover the entire Star Wars series, while the new land is mostly inspired by athe new films being released over the next few years. It feels like a bold move for the company ahead of the release of Episode VII, but I’m sure now that Bob Iger has seen the finished film product and is pleased with it that there is enough confidence in the future of the franchise to move forward with this project as is. Only time will tell if this is a wise decision.
Stay tuned for more details on the Star Wars themed-land as the become available.