Monday, August 17, 2015

Theme Parking: From Dreams to Anticipation - Star Wars in Disneyland

  • For fans of Disneyland, there was exciting news at the D23 Expo this weekend. Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO, announced a fourteen acre expansion to add a Star Wars land to the park. Bob Chapek, head of Disney Parks and Resorts, and Imagineer Scott Trowbridge went on to describe what exactly the new land would entail.
  • Set on a new world in the Star Wars universe, Disney is crafting a place better suited to Disneyland than the extreme environments normally present in the movies. The land will be entirely inhabited by characters from the universe, costuming all of the cast members as appropriate. There are two rides planned: one involving the Millennium Falcon and one involving a battle between the light and dark sides. There will even be dining similar to the Mos Eisley Cantina, which seems like a Star Wars fan's dream come true.
  • Rumors had Disney demolishing Mickey's Toontown to replace it with a Star Wars land. But the current thought, as corroborated by the Disneyland Today twitter account, is that Big Thunder Ranch will become the new entrance to the land.
  • While the new land is under construction, additions will be made to Tomorrowland to suffice those of us waiting for the real thing. Star Wars Launch Bay will exhibit the films and merchandise around the series, most likely in the under-refurbishment Innoventions building alongside the Marvel superheroes. Star Tours will be receiving another update to align the program with episode seven. Also, a new seasonal event called Season Of The Force will increase visibility of Star Wars in the park. The most concrete plan for the event is the new themed overlay for Space Mountain called Hyperspace Mountain.
  • The Orange County Recorder reports that the city of Anaheim is likely to approve the park's plans with all speed. As well, the newspaper reminds us that it is likely to be some time before those plans come to fruition. Comparing this announcement to the most recent addition, Cars Land, we are likely two years from the company even breaking ground. Add in three years for construction and we are unlikely to see an opening until 2020.
  • In other news, it looks like I'm back to the drawing board on my plan to fix Tomorrowland. If anyone one from WDI is reading, give me a call. I can get this all figured out.

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