During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.
“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”
Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.
At D23 Expo 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Warsproject to the delight of thousands of fans in attendance. The jaw-dropping new lands will open with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, the Star Wars-themed lands will open in 2019.
However, guests don’t need to wait until 2019 to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. From special character encounters to fan-favorite attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and interactive entertainment like Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, guests of all ages can experience Star Wars stories at Disney parks and resorts around the world.
Check out the slideshow below. Photo Credit: Disney
RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Ways to Have a “Star Wars” Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
By Cindy N.
The building excitement around the return of Star Wars to theaters has been palpable. Star Wars mania is back and bigger than ever. Fans of the original series have grown up and can’t wait to share their love and excitement of the saga with their kids and grandkids. George Lucas and Disney World have enjoyed a long relationship that has brought the magic of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies into the parks. In August of 2015, Disney announced news that fans were waiting for: Star Wars Land would be coming to Hollywood Studios! While construction began in 2016, fans don’t need to wait until 2019 to experience a Star Wars themed day. Whether you are a young padawan or master Jedi, here are nine ways to have a Star Wars Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
1 – Jedi Training: Trails of the Temple, Next to Star Tours, Echo Lake
First up on the list is signing up your young padawan for Jedi Training. After a brief refurbishment, the very popular Jedi Training Academy is back with double the villains–so double the kids! Young Padawans will receive training on how to use the Force and wield light sabers. After a brief but thorough training in the Force, the young knights get a chance to use their skills and will face either Darth Vader or a new villain, the Seventh Sister (from the popular Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels). There is also an appearance by Darth Maul. With an all new stage and cast this will be sure to delight Star Wars fans from the age of 4-12. This is a very popular twenty-minute show. Sign ups occur on a first come first come basis. If you have a young Padawan, be sure to sign them up early at the Indiana Jones show location. Check your Times Guide for more information. You will be given a return time for your youngling to return for training!
2 – Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, ABC Sound Studio, Echo Lake
Head across the way towards the ABC Sound Studio to set the stage for a Star Wars day! This is must see for any Star Wars fan looking to get even more excited for Force Awakens (if that’s even possible). It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce a new generation to the Star Wars movies or to get caught up on the story if you’re one of the 10 adults on the planet that didn’t see Episodes 1-6. You’ll see a ten-minute retelling of the Star Wars saga that includes a sneak peek at the future of the galaxy.
3 – Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Echo Lake
Stroll on down towards Star Tours where you’ll experience an out of this world attraction. On December 15, 1989 the original Star Tours blasted off to Endor to the pleasure of Star Wars fans. In 2011, the power of the Force and Disney magic came together again to create the new Star Tours-The Adventure Continues. This newer edition features 3D technology, unique branching storylines and includes the expanded universe including the original trilogy of films and the prequels. Recently, the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens was also added to the story.
4 – Star Wars Shopping
As you exit Star Tours, you’ll enter Tatooine Traders, one of three specialty Star Wars stores at Hollywood Studios. You’ll discover action figures, apparel, gadgets, LEGO kits, books and more. Also, don’t miss Launch Bay Cargo at Star Wars Launch Bay (#5). There is a wide selection of Star Wars merchandise, including original artwork. The most amazing merchandise are probably the replica costumes!
5 – Star Wars Launch Bay, Animation Courtyard
Star Wars Launch Bay is an exciting new attraction that will please Star Wars fans of all ages. First, you’ll be treated to a short film that celebrates the Star Wars saga. This film includes commentary from key Star Wars producers, directors, writers, crew and story tellers responsible for bringing the Star Wars galaxy to life. You’ll then be treated to an exhibit area that features props, models, costumes and artifacts from Star Wars films. Also be on the lookout for a gaming area where you can play the popular Disney Infinity video game, which features an exclusive Toy Box built just for Star Wars Launch Bay. Before you leave make sure you get your cameras ready as this is one of our top recommended locations for photo opportunities! There is so much to see and do in this great new experience-read what you need to know here!
6 – Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away is a fifteen-minute show at Center Stage with multiple showings per day. In an interesting mix of movie vignettes and character appearances, this stage show is all about highlighting what we love about Star Wars—everything! Be sure to read all about this amazing show in our full article.
7 – The Storm Trooper March led by Captain Phasma
The Storm Trooper March led by Captain Phasma begins in the Animation Courtyard, leaving Star Wars Launch Bay with them marching behind Center Stage and then arriving for a short (about 3 minutes) demonstration on stage. It’s a real treat to see Captain Phasma up close with her troops! Anyone who loves Storm Troopers will not want to miss this short demonstration. Be sure to check the Times Guide for show time information.
8 – Star Wars Snapshots: May the Photos Be with You
There are many photo opportunities you’ll want to take advantage of. Here are 5 different place
- AT-AT Walker, Outside of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue-Get your picture under a massive AT-AT walker which looms over an Ewok village.
- Speeder Bike, Outside of Tatooine Traders – A must for our family for years. We love getting our kids on this speeder and see how they’ve grown!
- Cantina, Star Wars Launch Bay – Be sure to visit the area reminiscent of the famous Mos Eisley Cantina! Sit at a Sabacc table or stand at the bar and clutch your favorite-a glass of blue bantha milk! This fun area is full of photo opportunities.
- Star Wars Characters, Star Wars Launch Bay – You won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet fan favorites Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and now BB-8, our favorite droid! Each character has his own meeting area. Also, you may run into a Jawa at the Cantina!
9 – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Finally, you’ll end your amazing Star Wars day with the all new firework and stage show, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. State-of-the-art projection effects, dynamic lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics light up the night like never before! The music, magic and characters of Star Wars combine with special effects and fireworks to put you inside iconic scenes from the Star Wars saga. The sounds of the amazing John Williams famous Star Wars score fills the air. Note due to the nature of the show your best viewing location is from Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Center Stage area.
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