The Star Wars universe has been a part of Disney for less than five years since Disney announced the purchase of Lucasfilm in October of 2012. Not only has this transaction led to a new generation of Star Wars movies, but it’s also totally transformed Disney’s theme parks. A Disney enthusiast paying a visit for the first time in several years might be shocked at just how much Star Wars has changed the face of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The parks have already offered a variety of Star Wars attractions for decades, most notably at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World with the Star Tours ride, but now those attractions have expanded to include things like Jedi training, and more characters, especially Stormtroopers. These days on a visit to Disney World, you’re almost as likely to run into Darth Vader as you are Mickey Mouse or Goofy. Next year, the Star Wars presence will expand further, with Star Wars Land attractions opening in both Orlando and Anaheim. Now, we know a bit more about what we might find there.
During Star Wars Celebration this weekend, which was held in Orlando, not far from Disney World, Disney released a video with more details about what to expect at Star Wars Land.
The three-minute video combines lots of classic Star Wars footage with Walt Disney Imagineers talking about their inspiration in creating the new Star Wars attractions. Also in the video is Rian Johnson, director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Dave Filoni, executive producer of Star Wars Rebels. The idea, repeated by all of them, is to give visiting guests the impression that they are living inside the Star Wars universe. This will be accomplished by both creating a physical approximation of the movies, and of the story as well. And while it’s early in the process and the company hasn’t announced full details, it is described as “the most ambitious project in the history of Walt Disney Imagineering.”
Clearly, this is an important project for Disney and the Lucasfilm team, and it’s been given all the resources and attention it could possibly receive. It’s clear from both the first two films of the Disney era and what’s been installed at the Disney parks so far, that a lot of people really love Star Wars. Even after the cynicism that so many had towards the franchise during the prequel era and the years afterward, it’s clear that Star Wars is going to be popular and in the zeitgeist for a long time. Every indication, from the renderings and discussion, is that Disney is hitting another home run with this latest theme park project.
It’s worth noting that the video does not at any point describe the project as “Star Wars Land”; it’s possible that it’s still the official name, but the video uses terms like “the Star Wars project” and “Star Wars-Themed Lands.”
The Star Wars Lands are expected to arrive at Walt Disney World and Disneyland in 2019.
Source: Disney Parks