In addition to new director announcements and photo unveilings, today’s Lucasfilm presentation at Disney’s D23 convention concluded with some major news for fans of the Star Wars franchise: new theme parks are coming. Yes indeed, Disney announced today that Star Wars-themed lands are headed to Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
This will be Disney’s largest single themed-land expansion ever at 14 acres each, and both areas will be fully immersive attractions that transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port, and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life. Each land will feature two signature attractions: a thrilling battle experience between The First Order and the Resistance, and an attraction that allows guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon.
If this sounds a bit like Harry Potter World at Universal Studios to you, that’s no coincidence. Every store and restaurant in each land will be operated by folks completely in character, in keeping with Disney’s effort to fully immerse audiences in the Star Wars universe. And yes, there will be a cantina.
And this is why Disney ultimately bought Lucasfilm, folks. Sure the films will make them some money, but the crux of the profits is and always has been merchandising and ancillary revenue—like theme park attractions. Disneyland and Walt Disney World will surely receive a massive bump in attendance once these parks open, just as the Harry Potter attractions at Universal have been huge draws for those parks.
A target opening date hasn’t been announced yet, but you can bet these new Star Wars theme lands will open as soon as humanly possible in order to benefit from the interest gained from the new films. All Star Wars, all the time, for the rest of time.
Check out concept art for the new lands below, and click for high-resolution.
Peruse our recent Star Wars coverage below:
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ — Current Runtime Revealed
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Poster by Drew Struzan Revealed
- First ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Photo Reveals New Cast Members
- Confirmed: Colin Trevorrow Will Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’
- Star Wars Anthology': Kathleen Kennedy Reveals Age for Young Han Solo