Are you ready to visit “Galaxy’s Edge?”
The name is what Disney is officially calling its two “Star Wars”-themed lands that will open at its parks, first in California, and then Florida, in 2019.
The company has backed up early renderings of the attractions with a 50-foot-wide 3D model that represents a never-before-seen planet in the “Star Wars” films. It’s described as a remote trading port “somewhere on the Outer Rim,” and “one of the last stops before Wild Space,” according to Disney.
When open, each of the two destinations will cover 14 acres of their home bases — Disneyland, in Anaheim,Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, in Orlando.
“This is the most ambitious land we’ve built to date,” says Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Co. Parks and Resorts.
The additional details of “Galaxy’s Edge” come after Disney opened the equally impressive “World of Pandora” at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando this summer, bringing to life the blockbuster “Avatar” in a real-world setting.
Three entrances to the rocky lands, dotted with the kind of domed buildings that would fit well into the desert cities of the “Star Wars” films, will house two signature attractions.
One will let visitors pilot the Millennium Falcon, while the other puts them in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
That last attraction is described as being “so intense” and “historic,” defying “categorization,” Chapek says. “It’s about living in a story.”
Amidst the many rock formations and buildings, there’s the the famed Mos Eisley Cantina, serving up blue milk, and retail outlets selling exclusive merchandise.
Take a close look and you’ll also find some very Instagrammable hot spots: There are three lifesize replicas of spaceships from the “Star Wars” universe, including a Millennium Falcon, TIE fighter and X-wing Starfighters.
To bring the design of the attractions to life, Disney is also adding a storyline to the experience — role-playing that’s new to the theme park biz.
Plots will be driven by the droids and alien characters that guests interact with. Their story is also influenced by which entrance visitors enter “Galaxy’s Edge,” with either First Order troops or Resistance fighters recruiting newcomers to join one side or the other.
“’Are you a spy? Are you part of the Resistance or willing to join the First Order?’ It’s up to you,” says Scott Mallwitz, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering. “And your role inside of that will be defined by how you choose.”
As we’ve said before, excited we are!