D23 Expo: ‘Star Wars’ Themed Lands Coming to Disney Parks

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At the conclusion of this morning’s live-action Disney films panel at the D23 Expo, Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage and dropped a huge announcement: Star Wars-themed lands are coming to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and the Disney Hollywood Studios park in Orlando. 

At 14-acres each, these will be the largest single-themed expansions in the history of Disney Parks, and Iger promised a fully immersive experience with “nothing out of character or straying from mythology.” That means when you walk into a store or restaurant, the employees will be aliens – and yes, there will even be a Cantina.

Star Wars Land (which has not been confirmed as the official name) will include two signature attractions: one will place guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance, while the other will put them behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon as it embarks on a secret mission.

No information was released on when these new attractions would be opening, but an expansion of that magnitude would certainly require several years of work before it would be completed. We’re guessing 2018 would be the absolute earliest timeline, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s much later than that.

You can check out some concept are for the new Star Wars Land expansions below, courtesy of the official Star Wars website.

More information on the Star Wars Land expansions will be revealed later today during a Disney Parks presentation at D23. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more. For now, enjoy the official press release.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) – Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away. 

Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single themed land expansions ever at 14 acres each, transporting 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.  

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger.  “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever.  These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.” 

These authentic lands will have two signature attractions.  Along with the thrilling battle experience, another attraction puts guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.

Iger also shared concept images of the Star Wars-themed lands, giving fans a glimpse at what is to come for Disney parks.

The partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm dates back to 1987, when the successful Star Tours attraction, inspired by George Lucas’s legendary Star Wars film series, opened at Disneyland.  The attraction was then redesigned, emerging as “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” in 2011 and featuring more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility to visit five different planets.

For 60 years, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been delighting millions of people with fantastic storytelling, exceptional entertainment and extraordinary experiences, creating places where guests can make life-long memories with their friends and families.  This announcement marks an unprecedented time of growth with exciting developments happening around the world – from Disneyland Resort’s Diamond Celebration to the anticipated opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in China.  

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