Star Wars Land is Coming to Disney World
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
In 2019, at Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in California, Star Wars Land is coming.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be a new land within both Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and also at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
This is the largest single-themed land expansion ever at either of its parks in the United States.
Expectations are high. "We have forty years of dreaming to live up to," said Scott Trowbridge, the Imagineer supervising the project.
Estimated cost of construction?
A whopping $1 billion per park.
Disney has announced that the lands at both parks will be very similar.
The plans to bring Star Wars to life at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will feature a 14-acre land located at Hollywood Studios.
You can hear some of the designers and imagineers talk about it. Just try not to get excited...
Ready to start planning your trip?
What Will Star Wars Land Look Like?
Trowbridge says that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be located on an unnamed planet that “used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days, but now with advent of hyperspace, its prominence has kind of fallen and faded a little bit which has made it a great spot for those who didn't want to be on that kind of mainstream path.”
At the D23 expo in 2017, Disney unveiled a 50-ft model of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
It shows lush greenery, both stone and metal buildings, and dirt paths.
Here is a fly-through.
We also know that there will be at least two towering AT-AT walkers. Construction has begun on those already in Disneyland.
What Will Star Wars Land Feel Like?
If you read much about Star Wars Land, a word you will hear again and again is IMMERSION.
It will be very detailed. It will be authentic. It will be real. You will feel like you are truly a part of Star Wars. It is big, even for Disney.
Executive Director Chris Beatty said, "Our goal was to create a place that was so authentic, so real, that when our guests step inside, they're there. They are in the movie. To do this we had to partner with LucasFilm."
Disney is creating a feast for the senses - all of them, they say. We know there will be unique sights, sounds, and things to touch. One can only assume that there will be unique scents as well. It would not be the first time that Disney used smell as part of its full experience. What about taste? Want to try blue milk? Check out the cantina.
Star Wars Land will be an extension of the universe of Star Wars as opposed to a recreation of a specific experience or place from the films. Lots of things will be familiar to Star Wars enthusiasts, but there will also be many new experiences and sights.
Disney has emphasized that every guest's experience will be somewhat different. While it is difficult to imagine how that is possible, they have given us at least one example.
Galactic credits are the currency of Star Wars and they will be present in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge as well. You can earn them on at least one of the rides, and how many a guest has will impact how characters interact with guests.
Where In The Galaxy is Star Wars Land?
Answer: On the Outer Rim of the Unknown Regions.
Somewhere new to us, but old to the galaxy. It will be a remote trading post on an unnamed planet that has theoretically existed for thousands of years.
Disney essentially explained that guests have preconceptions of what the other worlds can and should feel like. So it had to be something new.
We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations, but this time you could be in that story [and] that required us to go to a new place.
He went on to say that Disney wanted to create a participatory place that "[a]llowed our guests to "discover and participate in their own Star Wars story."
What Rides Will Be In Star Wars Land?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature two signature rides. Their official names have not been revealed, so for lack of better monikers, we will refer to them as the Millennium Falcon Ride and the First Order Fleet Ride.
Millennium Falcon Ride
There will be a ride that allows guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon. Disney has released this teaser of what the Millennium Falcon looks like. It is currently under construction. Disney simply captioned it, "We're home" - Hans Solo's words upon entering the ship. Very apropos.
This represents the first real photo we have seen of Star Wars Land outside of concept art. So, I guess it's time to get (even more) excited about Star Wars Land.
But what will the ride BE like?...
It will test the skills of its riders on a mission that involves piloting the ship, shooting blasters, and entering hyperspace. If guests steer the ship left, it will go left, if they steer it right, well, you get it.
Disney has discovered that guests enjoy a competitive, interactive experience on their rides. The popularity of the gallery-shooting rides like Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom and Toy Story: Midway Mania, its counterpart in Hollywood Studios, prove that.
Taking this interactivity to the next level, it has been revealed that just how well you pilot the Millennium Falcon will have an impact on the rest of your immersive Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge experience.
You can either do well or poorly on this ride. Performance matters. So try not to crash!
According to the Disney Parks Blog, "perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!"
So try to avoid getting a bounty placed on your head.
First Order Fleet Ride
The other will put guests in the heat of a battle between The First Order and the Resistance that Bob Iger describes as "climactic."
Disney unveiled what the ride vehicles will look like at the D23 Expo in 2017.
Disney Park Blogs says you will "feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before."
A small sign near the transport stated:
Within the First Order Fleet, troops, officers, and personnel transverse the interiors of massive ships using small transport vehicles. Piloted by astromech droids, these vehicles are programmed with ship schematics and security access codes.
It is rumored that you may be asked to leave your vehicle by your tour droid, and then get back on. Not too much else has been unveiled. Disney is great at teasers.
And so, we wait.
What Characters Will Be in Star Wars Land?
It is the era of the New Trilogy, so one can reasonably expect to see Kylo Ren, who guests can already meet at Hollywood Studios. They will also encounter lots of familiar folks, including BB-8, Chewbacca, other members of the First Order, as well as many others.
CT-7567, or Rex, will even be there. You will be able to find him as a DJ at the cantina.
According to Trowbridge, the land will include "[t]he smugglers, the bounty hunters, the rogue adventurers looking to crew up, the people who don't want to be found — basically all the interesting people.”
Awesome much? I think it's time to buy myself a light saber.
What Else Will Be At Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge?
Much like Disney World's most recent new land, Pandora - the World of Avatar, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will have shops and restaurants that will immerse guests in all things Star Wars.
Star Wars trinkets will be available at the shops. Some we may be familiar with, some will be all new.
When Will Star Wars Land Open?
Star Wars Land is set to open in 2019.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open in Disneyland before the version in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. With construction that started in 2016, this is an understandably long project considering its scope.
Disney has yet to release an exact opening date for either Star Wars Land.
We recommend using a crowd calendar to figure out when crowds will be lowest.
Disney World Star Wars Hotel Coming, Too!
As if Star Wars Land wasn't cool enough, at D23 in 2017, Disney announced there will be a whole Star Wars resort. This will undoubtably make dreams come true for many a Star Wars fan.
Bob Iger describes it as a "way to live your own Star Wars adventure." It combines a luxury resort with an immersion in an authentic Star Wars environment."
The resort stay will be unique for each guest, just like the park experience. The Star Wars resort itself will be styled as a space ship.
Every aspect of the guest experience will be 100% Star Wars.
This experience including dressing up in the proper Star Wars attire upon entrance. It has been said that guests can choose to take more of an observer's role as well if they are not into cosplay.
The resort will be designed to feel as though you are in space. The windows will look out to space. Iger claims, "it will stand out amongst all the resorts around the world."
From the way it is described, the experience will be unique, intense, and unforgettable. “It’s unlike anything that exists today," he continued. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story. You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy."
There will be characters and mini-adventures within the hotel itself. The theming is likely going to be some of the most extreme of any of the Disney World resorts.
We can expect the price tag on this Disney resort to be high due to the level of interactivity as well as anticipated demand. It will draw a demographic that may not be drawn to traditional Disney experiences.
Gear Up To Become A Citizen of the Galaxy
After reading all of this, I found myself feeling desperately in need of a light saber, and some of these other awesome Star Wars items. Maybe bringing a little bit of the fun home will help make the wait until 2019 go faster...
Honestly, my consumption of sushi may drastically increase with the help of the chopsticks.
Prepare For Battle
To satisfy all your lightsaber needs - dark or light.
Cook Like A Jedi
May The Force Grill With You
Here is a video Disney released of the AT-AT walkers being built at Disneyland. Since we know that Star Wars Land will be similar in both parks, we can reasonably assume that we will see these guys in Disney World as well come 2019...
What would you like to see in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge or the hotel? Let us know in the comments!