Tag Archives: theme parks

Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Disney World; Star Tours update, Launch Bay coming late 2015

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During Disney’s biennial D23 Expo, Bob Iger stormed the stage to the tune of John Williams’ titular Imperial March to deliver arguably the biggest news of the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel: Dual, 14-acre themed Star Wars lands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

From the official press release: “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.”

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A true collaboration between Disney Imagineering, ILM, and Lucasfilm, the Star Wars land will be a truly immersive and authentic experience. Both lands will feature two signature attractions, one of which is piloting the Millennium Falcon on a clandestine mission. Iger stressed that every element would feel as if you were a part of the world: restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment would all feature galactic characters for an authentic interactive experience.

And yes, there’s going to be a cantina.

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Later Saturday, during D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts panel, additional details on the recently announced Star Wars Land were revealed along with more immediate changes coming to the domestic parks towards the end of this year.

Hyperspace Mountain (only at Disneyland)Season of the Force
Season of the Force will be a limited-time, seasonal event in 2016 at both Disney World and the Disneyland, bringing new Star Wars experiences to both parks. At Tomorrowland in Disneyland, guests will have an opportunity to partake of Star Wars-themed entertainment, food and beverages, and new merchandise. The popular Space Mountain coaster will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain with a temporary Star Wars layover in which you’ll get to experience a high-octane X-Wing battle. On the other side of the country, guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be treated to a new fireworks spectacular set to John Williams’ memorable Star Wars scores.

Star Wars Launch Bay
Also at both parks will be the newly created Star Wars Launch Bay that will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The Launch Bay will be a hub for interactive experiences for guests that want to learn more about The Force Awakens, as well as an opportunity to purchase special merchandise and food. It’s expected to open late this year.

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Tours
The ever-popular Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will see a new update later this year in both U.S. parks. (Information on the update availability coming to the international parks is currently unknown.) The anticipated updates will be include locations and characters from The Force Awakens.

At this point, the Star Wars invasion is real and it’s happening. I’ll see you all in the pit.

Rumor: Star Wars changes for Disney’s Hollywood Studios

echo-lakeWe heard the other day that Disneyland wants $1 billion for upgrades that will presumably include something Star Wars, but on the other side of the country it’s $3 billion worth of changes for Hollywood Studios in Orlando. According to Billy Donnelly (via) it’s for a pretty dramatic makeover that includes Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pixar.

One addition? A Dagobah makeover for Echo Lake. How very Florida!

Details – and an official announcement – are expected at D23 in August.

The Force Awakens roundup: Boyega’s topical jogging gear, Weekends merch features new trooper

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

John Boyega jogs in a stormtrooper hoodie. Stars: They’re just like us. Also, you can get a glimpse of the stormtrooper figure he got Harrison Ford (and it looks like a few others) to sign.

Star Wars Weekends are revving up at Disney World in Orlando, and there’s an Episode VII tee on sale there that actually features the new stormtrooper. It comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes.

→ Rumor corner: What is the green planet? (I have some doubts, due mainly to a certain actor’s flippancy with something else that recently came up, but spoilers. Sigh.) On that note, it appears that TFA’s water scenes may have been filmed in England’s Lake District National Park.

→ Lucasfilm movies will be featured at D23 Expo this year. This obviously isn’t a surprise, and clearly The Force Awakens will be the priority, but it may be the first chance for something to go wide on Rogue One – though D23 is only two weeks after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation drops on July 31, which could still be cutting it a bit close.

Today in The Force Awakens: Mark Hamill talks beard, reveals BB-8 is a real prop

TFA trading card: BB-8→ #BEARDWATCH LIVES. Well, sort of. Mark Hamill talks about his Episode VII beard at Yahoo: “…face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.” He also reveals that BB-8 is an actual prop, not CGI.

And I wasn’t able to get to this yesterday before the big news dropped, but Hamill also talked to IGN about the trailer, with lots of praise for the new kids.

→ It will surprise absolutely no one that today brings a report that Star Tours is going to get a new mission related to the new films. My only real question: When will it be added? Because wouldn’t that be a nice perk for Celebration Anaheim?

→ In less sure thing rumors, we’ve got another report of where (and why) Luke Skywalker is during the film, and why. Plus some speculation on Sith shrines.

→ Here you go, math nerds: How fast is BB-8?

The Force Awakens: Disney attractions to be based on new films

tfa-promo1-falcon-imax800Variety hosted a Bob Iger Q&A today, where the Disney chief revealed that theme park plans for the franchise will be based mainly on things from the upcoming films. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” he said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”

He also revealed that they debated whether to release an early trailer at all, and that J.J. Abrams’ use of physical sets and props have given the film a “wow factor.”

Andy Serkis says that his trailer speech “emotionally rooted” his character – go ahead and add that one to your speculation file.

→ In light of yesterday’s revelation that George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer and all the hay that was made of it yesterday, Eleven Thirty-Eight has a nice reminder today that George’s perspective is not our perspective.

→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is #13 on The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 list of women in entertainment.

Cracked’s four stupidest reactions to The Force Awakens trailer. Yeah, pretty much.

→ Rumor corner: Making Star Wars details a chase scene, and some new ships.

Is Star Wars going to take over Toontown at Disneyland?

toontownIs Disneyland sacrificing Mickey’s Toontown for the long-awaited Star Wars area? Micechat is claiming that construction will begin there by 2016.

It does seem to make more sense than MiceChat’s previous Tomorrowland rumor – Tomorrowland has not only been a part of the park since inception, it’s getting it’s own movie next year. Toontown only opened in 1993, and the Disney World version was closed in 2011.

Apparently there’ll be some sort of Disneyland announcement later this week that may or may not have anything for us but /Film speculates we won’t hear anything about Star Wars plans until Celebration or the D23 Expo next year, which is in line with what we’ve heard before.