Disney used the D23 Expo in August 2105 to announce two new “lands” for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land.
The second major development is the official announcement of the 14 acre Star Wars Land, making it Disney’s largest ever single expansion project. Star Wars lands will be built at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure and will be called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”.
In February 2017, Disney confirmed that Star Wars Land will open in 2019 in both parks.
Disney promise to offer a highly themed immersive experience as Star Wars Land will be based on a frontier trading post on a gateway planet on the outer rim. Whilst not based on a specific planet, it will offer a unique but familiar feel. In November 2017, Disney announced that this new planet is to be called Batuu.
All the restaurants and shops will be run by inhabitants of the planet and you will get the chance to grab a drink at the Star Wars Cantina as seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the very first film in the series. Look out for the Tatooine blue milk.
The existing Star Tours - The Adventures Continue has been enhanced to include new adventures based on locations and characters from the most recent Star Wars VII film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. As before each ride will be unique, offering random ride sequences.
Complimenting the existing Star Tours simulator ride will be two new attractions.
One will put guests in the middle of a climactic “Battle of First Order” between the First Order and the Resistance. The other will give guests the opportunity to get behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon on a special secret mission.
As well as the major new construction, Disney are also introducing some enhancements to the park in the interim.
The interactive Star Wars Launch Bay experience has opened in the Animation Courtyard. Guests have the opportunity to meet with Star Wars characters from all seven films, see costumes and props, play games and purchase special merchandise and food.
The Jedi Training Academy has been updated with a new villain to battle.
Like Toy Story Land, there are no exact timescales for the completion of Star Wars Land and plans may change.
To make way for Star Wars Land, a lot of existing attractions have been demolished:
- The Streets of America
- Backlot Tour
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground
- Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show