The Force is coming to Disney Parks: Star Wars Land
by: Christy Todd, Travel Consultant for Playtime Vacations
Disney is taking their enthusiasm for Star Wars to the next level in 2016 & 2017. There are plans to open a Star Wars Land at both the Disney World theme park and at Disneyland in California. While the largest portion of these projects is only beginning there are many Star Wars additions ready to be experienced at both locations right now!
Disney opened the Star Wars Launch Bay area at each theme park. The Launch Bay area is located in the Animations Courtyard area of the Studios and at Disneyland it is located in Tomorrowland. First Order Stormtroopers patrol the area in front of the Launch Bay keeping an eye on the guests as they approach. Once in the Star Wars Launch Bay area you have a chance to visit several different Star Wars encounters.
The Launch Bay Theater features short films of interviews with individuals that have been key in the making of the Star Wars Saga movies. There are two galleries to visit. The Celebration gallery gives you an up close look at props, ship replicas and costumes used in the movie saga. You can even get an up close view Rey’s Speeder from the newest film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Preview Gallery features artwork, props and film artifacts exclusively from the newest Star Wars film.
There are also special character encounters in two immersive themed area The Dark Side and The Light Side. Choose your path! On the Dark Side you will journey into a Star Destroyer to meet the one and only Darth Vader. The Light Side will take you into an improvised Rebel base to meet Chewbacca, Han Solo’s faithful co-pilot and friend!
You can also visit the galaxy’s famous Cantina! In The Cantina there is an abundance of photo opportunities. You can also check out the infamous HoloChess table that made its first debut in the original Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. While wandering about you will likely run into some Jawas that are there to mingle among the guests. Next, stop by the Star Wars Game Center! Here guests can play an exclusive version of Disney Infinity 3.0.
Lastly, you can stop in to The Launch Bay Cargo gift shop. There is a large range of Star Wars collectibles to choose from. Art prints, figurines, customized magic bands and much more. They also have an array of costumes available….Including a fully authentic Darth Vader costume (for the right price of course)
For the younglings in your group The Jedi Training: Trial of the Temple will let your kids feel the Force and train to be a Jedi Padawan. For any child who wishes to participate on stage there is a registration ran daily to get signed up. The show lets these new recruits show off their newly acquired skills to the audience and maybe even have a close encounter with the Dark Side!
The Force is strong with this show!
The ride Star Tours:
The Adventures Continue also received some updates. There are over 50 different Star Wars scenes to experience on this adventurous simulator ride. You can blast off into a new adventure almost every time you ride! Test your bravery and ride off into space to save the Galaxy!
In addition to the newly opened Star Wars Launch Bay area there is a new nighttime fireworks show that has debuted at Disney World. Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show lights up the skies over Hollywood Studios each night! The fireworks show is set to music selections from all throughout the Star Wars movie saga, including from The Force Awakens!
The year 2016 will bring changes to both Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Work will begin on the 14 acre Star Wars expansions at each park. This means that both theme parks will have some attractions/areas closing temporarily and some closing permanently to make room. The Disneyland plans have a tentative and ambitious completion date of Spring 2017. As of right now it is being called a Star Wars-themed Land. It is unknown for sure if it will officially be known as Star Wars Land.
The new Star Wars Land setting will make you feel as though you magically transported into a trading post located on a never before seen planet out on The Outer Rim of the Galaxy. There will be two, yet to be detailed, signature attractions. One of which was shown on the original concept art to be a full size Millennium Falcon ship. Here riders will be able to take the controls of the iconic Millennium Falcon themselves to help save the galaxy!
The Launch Bay area that has opened seems to be a wonderful addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will satisfy the Star Wars craving that guests have while Disney starts work on the larger land area. Book your out of this world trip to a Disney theme park today with Playtime Vacations!