his week, ground was officially broken on Star Wars-themed lands in bothDisneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney Worldin Florida. These twin 14-acre expansions, the largest single additions to any Disney park ever, don’t have an official name yet and an opening date has yet to be set, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t totally over-the-moon excited already.
Based on everything that’s officially been released–mostly the presentation from D23 Expo last summer and the short pre-viz reel unveiled during the Disneyland 60 special–here are the 8 things that we’re most looking forward to in relation to the upcoming Star Wars-themed lands at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
1. The Millennium Falcon Attraction
One of the two immersive attractions promised for Star Wars-themed land has you actually piloting the Millennium Falcon, you know, the smuggler ship that made the infamous Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. While there isn’t much known about this attraction, besides some rough footage during the Disneyland 60 special, which showed the iconic starship outrunning TIE fighters on a dusty desert planet, the fact that you’ll be able to control one of the most memorable spaceships in the history of cinema is enough to make anyone jazzed. “Banking left, right, firing laser cannons–you’re in complete control!” said the voice over on the special. Yes please.
2. The First Order Attraction
The second attraction promised for Star Wars-themed land finds you “in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order in a race against time.” How awesome does that sound? (It’s also really cool that they’re combining more classic elements of Star Wars with stuff from the new films–the Resistance and the First Order were just introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, after all.) While the footage shown during the Disneyland 60 special was just as brief as the Millennium Falcon stuff. Also, just seeing First Order stormtroopers firing upon your ride vehicle is so, so cool. Specifics of the ride vehicle and the technology that will bring this attraction to life haven’t been revealed, but it looks to be a galactic game changer.
3. Real Characters
One of the things that was heavily teased during the D23 Expo was the fact thatStar Wars-themed lands will be populated by actual characters from this “remote outpost.” This means that you’ll encounter denizens of this as-yet-unnamed planet. During the Disneyland 60 special it was noted that you’ll “meet aliens.” A lot has been said about how immersive this new land will be, and these characters walking around will certainly make you feel like you’ve been transported to a galaxy far, far away.
4. The Cantina
How many times have you watched Star Wars and thought, Wow I would love to visit the Mos Eisley cantina? Well, pretty soon that will be a reality. One of the two flagship food service locations in Star Wars-themed land will be an intricately themed Mos Eisley-like cantina (remember, this is a brand new planet). The preliminary artwork shown during the Disney 60 special featured all sorts of alien creatures, and behind the bar was a large, circular tank with some kind of aquatic creature swimming around inside of it. Like much of the Star Wars-themed land, specifics are hard to pin down, but even the possibility of what these experiences is enough to get really, really excited.
5. Dinner Club
The other dining experience in the Star Wars-themed land is an upscale dinner club. It’s hard to even imagine what this will be like; there hasn’t really been an upscale dinner club dramatized in any of the Star Wars films. But given the level of detail and imagination contained within recent Disney dining experiences like Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom, Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure, or the recently opened Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (also at Magic Kingdom), this dining experience, described as the nicest dinner club on the planet, will be wholly out of this world.
6. Street Market
All of your senses will come alive in the “otherworldly” street market. You’ll be able to taste local delicacies and rub shoulders with local inhabitants. Since theStar Wars-themed land’s world has been described as a remote trading outpost, it’s easy to imagine that there will be items from not only this planet but other planets as well.
Besides aliens, you’ll also get to meet droids! Droids are, obviously, the best, and the wizardry that will bring these characters to life will undoubtedly be next-level.
8. Next Generation Character Experiences
One of the hallmarks of Season of the Force at Disneyland is the character experiences inside Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can get a giant Wookiee hug from Chewbacca and have a showdown with the villainous Kylo Ren. These aren’t traditional character interactions, but really powerful, wholly unique experiences. Whenever Star Wars-themed lands open, we can only imagine that these experiences will continue to be expanded and enhanced, bringing favorite characters to life in entirely new ways for guests of these new, highly themed lands.