Star Wars will make its debut at Disney’s own D23 Expo in Anaheim this August 9-11. Lucasfilm will be presenting ‘The Evolution of a Villain,’ an exhibit on the Darth Vader and Pablo Hidalgo will give fans a ‘Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101.’
If we don’t get any announcements regarding rumored expansions in Disney parks at Celebration Europe, we may see them here… But, as usual, don’t hold your breath.
The Orlando Business Journal’s Richard Bilbao has a source who told him the the Star Wars expansions being planned will “dwarf any other Disney-related expansion in its recent history.” The investment may be “north of $200 million.” And it may all open up at once, instead of in drips and drabs, and even extend beyond Hollywood Studios.
No, it’s still not confirmed that Disney will be expanding their Star Wars offerings, but: Duh.
If this is the case, it seems pretty likely that what we’ve heard so far may only be the first of many Star Tours-adjacent expansions and additions.
Following up last week’s initial report that an expanded Star Wars area at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios is in the works, Comic Book Movie is claiming to have some details… And they’re a bit underwhelming, though certainly happy news to those of you with kids. CBM’s source says that they’ll be moving the Jedi Training Academy indoors and adding a ride for younger children.
No restaurant, no museum, no older-skewing ride aside from the existing Star Tours… At least not yet. Maybe these are simply the only plans that have been approved so far? It’s early yet, and this is only a rumor, so I wouldn’t put much stock in it just yet. Hopefully we will see more of a spread if/when any of this is ever announced officially.
Well, here’s a shocker: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider reports that plans for the nigh-inevitable Star Wars Land is in the works at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
Niles says it looks like a five-year project, which means we could see an actual Star Wars area alongside Star Tours by 2018 or maybe even 2017.
(Don’t let the image above get you too excited – it’s an old concept.)
Since this is perhaps the least shocking (possible) development in the whole Disney-is-our-master-now saga, what type of Star Wars attractions would you like to see?
The full size LEGO X-Wing Starfighter that was first put on display in Times Square will be appearing at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad next week. The world’s largest LEGO model, which is over forty feet long, weighs 23 tons, and is made of 5,335,200 LEGO bricks, was unveiled on May 23 in New York City to promote the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, but will now be on display in southern California from June 13 to December 31. To celebrate the Times Square event, LEGOLAND California recreated the happening with a LEGO X-Wing unveiled in their New York City miniland display.
Slashfilm reports that Disneyland is surveying annual passholders about their potential interest with a Star Wars land at the Anaheim theme park.
Also included in the survey are questions about passholders familiarity with Star Wars as a set of movies, books and games, which trilogy is their favorite, whether they own Star Wars housewares and tattoos, and even quizzing them if they can correctly identify midichlorians, and perhaps most intriguing: which characters they would not want to see.
Does this mean that while the Orlando theme parks will continue their lead in having Star Wars Weekends, the original Disney theme park in California might be the first to get an actual Star Wars land?
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago opened up a new Star Wars miniland this weekend, and it is all The Phantom Menace. Located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is exhibiting three interactive dioramas showing off scenes from the first prequel film:
- The Naboo hangar, with launching starfighter and duel scene
- The Mos Espa podrace arena, with controllable Anakin and Sebulba podracers
- The Naboo plains battlefield, where Gungans and battle droids face off
The new set of Star Wars dioramas, a first for a U.S. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, is made with over 500,000 LEGO bricks and 2,000 mini figures. Additionally, the Chicago skyline diorama will also celebrate the opening by including Star Wars minifigures and other references in its display. The new miniland opened to the public this past weekend with a series of grand opening weekend festivities. One blogger reports their ‘preview night’ experience with lots of photos.
Unlike the miniland dioramas at LEGOLAND California (which previously announced some minor updates for this summer) which assemble characters in a blocky 4-6 inch height scale, these dioramas are at the scale of the regular LEGO mini-figures, so you’ll see your favorite LEGO figures from The Phantom Menace in the exhibit (including a hugely populated podrace arena grandstand).
This is the first Star Wars miniland at any of the indoor LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in North America. The Manchester UK Discovery Center was the first to receive the Episode I miniland, though only from February through June, and there are some hints that the Chicago installation may be temporary as well.
Rumor time! While we’ve heard before that Disney was interested in doing Star Wars movies not in the main storyline (looking at you, Zack Snyder’s Seven Samurai-inspired film), but here’s a new rumor to add to the wall: Ain’t It Cool News reports that the first standalone film is going to focus on Yoda.
The first Stand Alone film is going to center upon YODA. At this stage specifics are sparse, but Kathleen Kennedy is putting together a STAR WARS slate… I’m wildly curious for more details on the YODA film – would this be a young or old YODA tale?
As always, it’s a rumor, until we have official confirmation.
Also mentioned in the same post: Star Wars theme land in Disney’s California Adventure.
In its announcement of the opening of the LEGOLAND hotel and the rest of its 2013 plans, the Carlsbad theme park slipped in a tidbit for fans of its Star Wars miniland. In the press release reposted by Endor Express, the resort’s general manager Peter Ronchetti talks about the hotel, the upcoming Legends of Chima attractions (tied into a new toyline and cartoon), and this:
“And LEGO Star Wars fans rejoice!” continued Ronchetti, “we’ll be gaining another exciting addition in June with more details to come but it will definitely enhance our guest experience.“
The Star Wars miniland at LEGOLAND California opened in 2011 with 7 dioramas, focusing on the saga films and The Clone Wars. At the launch of the 2012 summer season, the theme park added some minor improvements to the dioramas and a lineup of Star Wars character mini-figure statues. My guess at this time is that the 2013 addition will be along the same lines as the 2012 improvements: nothing huge, but enough to make a deal about to draw in local fans, and also host more Star Wars themed weekends.
Disney and More theorizes that Disneyland Paris may be getting far more than a Star Tours upgrade: There may be an entire section of Discoveryland devoted to Star Wars. It won’t be like the image above – a previously published concept by Tim Delaney that imagines a reskinned Space Mountain – but may involve a Jedi Academy like the U.S. parks have and a Mos Eisley Cantina-inspired restaurant. (via)
In less questionable news, StarWars.com had two items this week regarding Disney World – new Star Wars art at Downtown Disney and a look at the merchandise for Star Wars Weekends.