'Star Wars' themed land at planned at Disney parks
ANAHEIM, California - The Associated Press
AP photoDisney theme parks have their sights on a galaxy far, far away.
"Star Wars" is getting its own themed lands at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced at the D23 Fan Expo on Aug. 15.
"We are creating a jaw-dropping new world," Iger said.
The 14-acre attractions represent the largest single themed land expansion ever.
Iger also said that the Star Wars land will be "every bit as thrilling as the films" and will include attractions and entertainment in an area populated by aliens and droids. There will also be a Cantina and the chance to take control of the Millennium Falcon - one of the signature attractions.
One adventure also promises to put guests "in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance."
Since 1987, Disney parks have only had the Star Tours ride as their "Star Wars" themed attraction, and even that will be getting a facelift to reflect the new characters and worlds from December's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The ride was previously updated in 2011.
More comprehensive brand integration into the parks has been expected since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. Disney will also be adding the interactive Star Wars Launch Bay and introducing a new seasonal event, Season of the Force, which will update Space Mountain to become Hyperspace Mountain where guests will participate in an X-Wing battle.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced an upcoming Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, featuring exaggeratedly large objects to make guests feel as though they are actually in Andy's backyard.
Filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau also previewed the currently-under construction World of AVATAR at Disney's Animal Kingdom.