Couples + Family

5 Ways Disney is Adding ‘Star Wars’ to its Theme Parks

(Photo: Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)

Disney is making room for the Force — make that a lot of room, having revealed extensive plans on how it’s going to integrate George Lucas’ extraordinary world into its theme parks.

1. The company will build “Star Wars” lands at Hollywood Studios, in Florida, and Disneyland, in California. The attractions will clearly embrace what has made “Cars Land” such a huge success for Disney’s California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, Calif., and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” for Universal and Warner Bros. in Orlando.

Both lands will be based on a remote trading port, and have two signature attractions, including one that puts guests behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon as they go on a secret mission.

Millennial Falcon Star Wars Land
(Photo: Artist Concept Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)

“We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever,” said Walt Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger while announcing the attractions. Disney already is building a separate “Avatar”-themed land at its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando. “These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new ‘Star Wars’ planet, including an epic ‘Star Wars’ adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

2.Star Tours,” which first opened in 1987 and was updated in 2011 as “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue,” will now get a new adventure that includes locations and characters from J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens.”

“The Adventures Continue” enabled the ride film to feature more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility for guests to visit five different planets. New footage from “The Force Awakens” will increase that.

Star Wars Land
(Photo: Artist Concept Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)

3. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Tomorrowland section of Disneyland will get a “Star Wars Launch Bay” later this year, that will include exhibits, special merchandise and food themed around “The Force Awakens.”

4. The Jedi Training Academy, popular with young “Star Wars” fans, will be updated to include characters and the newest villain seen in Disney XD’s animated “Star Wars Rebels” show.

5. Themed food locations and entertainment will be featured. Space Mountain will be renamed Hyperspace Mountain during the seasonal event as part of a stunt that reimagines the ride as an X-wing Starfighter battle. Orlando’s Hollywood Studios will launch nightly fireworks shows on weekends set to John Williams’ iconic “Star Wars” score.

Check out the final trailer for “The Force Awakens” below.

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