Every two years Disney holds the D23 Exposition. It is an opportunity for Disney fans to get together and share their love of all things Disney. It is also a stage to make big announcements about what is coming soon to the Disney empire. The announcements cover everything from the parks to upcoming movies. This year, perhaps more than any other so far, there was great news for Disney fans but especially for Disney parks fans. If you are a Disney parks fan here are the big news from D23 2017! Continue reading Big News From D23 2017→
That disturbance in the force last weekend was not the Death Star destroying a planet. It was Star Wars fans rejoicing over a major announcement at the annual D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Star Wars Land is coming to Disney!
Star Wars Land Coming To Disney
There had been speculation for years that Disney was going to add a Star Wars land somewhere. The rumor mill jumped into high gear when Disney bought Lucasfilm. Bob Iger (chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company) added to it earlier this year by saying there would be an increased Star Wars presence in the parks.
Many fans were pulling for a Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios in Orlando. This made good sense because the Studios already had the annual Star Wars Weekends in May and early June. And with the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter just down the road at Universal Studios Orlando many people were waiting for Disney to answer Universal’s challenge.
But there were also rumors that Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California might be the new Star Wars land. There was little to actually suggest this but reality has never had a big impact on rumors and wishes.
It turns out that both coasts are about to experience the power of the Force. Hollywood Studios will be getting a Star Wars Land. Disneyland will also be getting a Star Wars land but the location is not yet clear.
What To Expect From Star Wars land
As you might imagine there were a lot of teasers about what the new Star Wars land would look like but not a lot of details. Here is what we were told…
The new land (presumably at both parks) will be 14 acres and according to Iger, “Our largest single themed land expansion ever.” To get an idea of the scope of this project old Fantasyland was 10 acres and the expansion made it 21 acres.
The Star Wars land will not be set on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s homeworld. Nor will it be set on any other planet we are familiar with. Instead it will be on a new, as of yet unannounced planet, from the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. This planet has been described as remote port on the edge of wild space.
There will be two major attractions in the new land. One will give guests an opportunity to pilot the famed Millennium Falcon on a secret mission. The other will put guests in the middle of an battle. This battle will not be from the previous trilogies but will be from the upcoming Force Awakens.
Being Disney there will also be merchandising and food options. These locations will be heavily themed and feature creatures both old and new from the Star Wars universe.
One thing was conspicuously absent from the announcement. There was no opening date announced. We will have to wait for that but Disney has announced some teases until the new land opens.
The good news is Disney is not going to wait to start introducing new Star Wars themed content. There are changes coming to some existing attractions and some new attractions and events coming. They are expected to begin arriving before the end of the year.
Star Tours will be getting some new variations. Not only will new scenes be introduced but new characters as well. With the randomness that is already built into Star Tours this just adds more options to the mix.
The Jedi Academy is also scheduled for some updating. There will be a new design as well as new characters and story lines.
There are two completely new elements that will be introduced. They are Launch Bay and Season of the Force.
Launch Bay will evidently be a new location. There will be character meet and greets and opportunities to interact with designers and directors. How and when this interaction will take place is still to be revealed. There will also be props, artwork and opportunities to experience some of the best Star Wars video games.
Season of the Force is a new event. It will debut on both coasts but each coast will have at least one unique experience. At Disneyland Space Mountain will become Hyperspace Mountain. At Hollywood Studios there will be a new fireworks show set to the famous Star Wars Soundtrack by John Williams.
Both coasts will share character interactions, special merchandise and food. This will no doubt be similar to Star Wars Weekends.
But What Does This Mean For Star Wars Weekends?
Nothing was specifically mentioned about Star Wars Weekends but Season of the Force would seem to replace the popular event. If so it will greatly expand the opportunity for guests to experience Star Wars and that is a good thing! Guess we just have to wait and see how it all plays out!
Disney just released a New Star Wars Trailer! While some Disney purists might insist that the Star Wars universe is not part of the Disney universe Bob Iger would disagree. Four billion dollars does give you a sense of some ownership!
Iger has also teased those of us who are both Disney and Star Wars fans with hints about an expanded Star Wars presence in the Disney Parks. Hopefully we will learn something more concrete at this years D23 Celebration. Continue reading New Star Wars Trailer→
Disney Cruise Line recently announced something that has created a huge disturbance in the Force, at least for fans of Star Wars and cruises. Unofficially it is being called the Disney Star Wars Cruise by most. Officially Disney is calling it Star Wars Day at Sea.
Before you get the wrong idea remember the official name is Star Wars Day at Sea. Unfortunately (for geeks like Grumpy who cannot get enough Star Wars) the Star Wars theme will be for one day only. The other days of the cruise will just be a typical Disney cruise, which is still a great experience!
The Star Wars Day at Sea (Or Disney Star Wars Cruise if you prefer) starts in January of 2016 and is filling up fast!
Below is the official Disney description of this epic cruise.
In early 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters of the Star Wars saga during a brand-new event of galactic proportions: Stars Wars Day at Sea. Marking the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney—for a day of fun more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a “galaxy” far, far away—in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including:
Deck party celebration
Meet-and-greets with favorite Star Wars Characters
Star Wars-themed activities for younglings of all ages
Out-of-this-world food and beverage offerings
With the only at-sea screenings of Episode VII, this event will thrill Padawans (Jedi in training) and Jedi Masters in every family. It is … your destiny.
Star Wars Day at Sea will be available only aboard the Disney Fantasy on select Western Caribbean sailings, January through April in 2016. Star WarsDay at Sea will take place during cruises departing on the following dates:
The Star Wars Day at Sea is a one-day extravaganza during your cruise. For the rest of your voyage, you’ll enjoy the jam-packed itinerary of excitement and adventure you can only get from a Disney Cruise Line sailing. From Broadway-style shows and innovative dining, to a fun-filled visit to the private island paradise of Castaway Cay!
Entertainment and events are subject to change without notice. Merchandise offerings available while supplies last.