Disney parks adding 'Star Wars'-themed lands
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ever wanted to hang out in the sleazy cantina from Star Wars? Or itched to fight on the Millennium Falcon? Visualize it.
Disney chairman Bob Iger announced the creation of two Star Wars theme lands coming to the Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim, Calif. Iger made the announcement before a rabid crowd at the biennial Disney D23 Expo Saturday morning.
'Star Wars'-themed lands are coming to Disney Parks.
The concept received a rousing standing ovation from the 8,000 fans gathered.
The parks will allow Star Wars fans to step into the stories and interact with the characters from a galaxy far, far away. They will be transported to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port filled with Star Wars characters.
The plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney's largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14 acres each.
"We are creating a jaw-dropping new world," said Iger. "We're bringing Star Wars to life in a big way. ...These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet.
"Nothing in land will be out of character," added Iger, including the famed cantina. "You've never seen a cantina like this before."
The locations will also allow guests to ride the Millennium Falcon in a "climactic battle."
"Guests will truly become part of a Star Wars story," said Iger. "It's going to be a whole new level, a whole new galaxy."
Star Wars Land rendering.
The news was even exciting to Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, who talked longingly about hanging out with droids and riding the Millennium Falcon.
"It's really pushing what you thought was possible in terms of an amusement park experience," Abrams said backstage at D23. "When you see what they're working on in these parks your mind is going to be blown. And it's really fun for anyone who likes Star Wars. I think they're gonna have an experience they'll never forget."
Oscar Isaac, who plays an X-wing Fighter pilot in The Force Awakens, warned that he hopes the experience is not too real.
"Don't eat up to two hours before flying an X-wing," said Isaac. "From experience, I say don't do that."
No timeline was given for the additions, but park attendees will be able to experience more Star Wars even before the themed lands are ready.
At the Disney Parks panel Saturday afternoon, Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said that fans will experience Star Wars updates to pre-existing rides. As part of Disney's 2016 Star Wars: Season of the Force event, popular indoor roller coaster Space Mountain will transform into Hyperspace Mountain.
More Star Wars attractions coming soon: The 3D simulator Star Tours will include new characters from The Force Awakens, there will also be a new Star Wars Launch Bay for guests to peek behind the scenes of movies and play games, and a reimagined Jedi Training Camp with new characters from Star Wars Rebels.