Unless you live on a planet even more remote than Tatooine you have probably heard about Galaxy’s Edge. Galaxy’s Edge is the name of a new Star Wars land being built at Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
The new land was announced in 2015 but Disney did not give us a lot of details. Since then we have learned a lot more about it so let’s take a look at some of what we know.
The excitement has been building for Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed land at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. We have been promised an immersive land featuring heroes and villains from a galaxy far, far away. There will be two new rides as well as entertainment and dining. One ride will be a dark ride featuring the New Order and the second is a Millennium Falcon ride.
In typical Disney fashion details are kind of sparse but some were included in a the Target exclusive release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Let’s take a look and see what we learned.
The fact that Disney has announced a nearly year long refurbishment has many people asking, ” Is Pizza Planet at Hollywood Studios Closing?” While at first the idea seems crazy (Pizza Planet is very popular!) there are some very good reasons to consider it.
First is the fact that it will be closed from January to November. That suggests more than just updating and giving everything a fresh coat of paint. It suggests a complete overhaul. It suggests that the building that houses Pizza Planet today is going to house something totally different come November.
Second is location. Like the real estate agents tell you it is all about location. Pizza Planet is located right next to the Star Tours -The Adventure Continues. That location seems prime to be the center point of the new Star Wars Land and a Toy Story themed Pizza Planet would create a disturbance in the Force.
Speaking of locations Star Wars is not the only new land coming to Hollywood Studios. Toy Story is getting its own land. But where will it go? Disney is in the process of adding a third track to Toy Story Midway Mania which is probably the most popular ride at Hollywood Studios. So the logical place to place Toy Story Land is near the already existing attraction. That attraction, as you can see from the map below, is half-way across the park.
So maybe Pizza Planet is not closing for good. Maybe it is just moving to a new home. We can hope!
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!
Ever since the announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 people have been asking, guessing and dreaming about Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios. Rumors have ranged from there will be a new Star Wars attraction to there will be an entirely new theme parks. The most accepted rumor has been that it will be more than a single attraction and less than a a new park. That means a new land similar to Carsland at Disney’s California Adventure. Continue reading Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios→