Disney’s Hollywood Studios
UPDATE DECEMBER 2017
At the Dec. 16, 2017, “Star Wars: Galactic Nights” special event, Imagineers and the team from Lucasfilm shared additional details about the ongoing construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
— There is a new photo of the interior of the Millennium Falcon (below), which will be used in one of the new land’s attractions.
— Doug Chiang from Lucasfilm revealed that a fleet of full-size X-wing starfighters has been built.
— Imagineer Chris Beatty said he drew inspiration from the exotic markets of Istanbul and Marrakech for the marketplace in the Galaxy’s Edge village, where guests can explore a collection of shops and merchant stalls. Chris shared an example of one overseen by a Toydarian, one of the creatures first encountered on Tatooine in the film Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, who sells toys. Below is new concept art for what that toy stall will look like. Inside, you’ll be able to discover toys straight out of the Star Wars galaxy. Exclusive to this outpost, all these offerings look hand-crafted by local artisans.
More details for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is slated to open in 2019, will be announced soon.
UPDATE JULY 2017
At the D23 Expo 2017, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, revealed the official name of the Star Wars-inspired lands that are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and shared details on the immersive experiences guests will be able to enjoy when the lands open in 2019.
The lands, both called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.
The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!
Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.
And speaking of the cantina, guests there will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy.
UPDATE APRIL 2017
During a panel discussion at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, representatives from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering discussed their partnership and shared details about the new Star Wars-themed lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The panel, Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making, featured an exclusive video that gave some insight to this collaboration. The team shared new details about the story behind this mysterious destination somewhere on the Outer Rim — lying on the edge of the Unknown Regions: The remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. Unusual characters from across the galaxy have landed here, preferring the “no questions asked” environment as well as easy access to exotic supplies and an abundant supply of ready rogues looking to join a crew for their next adventure.
The Star Wars-themed lands are scheduled to open in 2019.
Work has begun on the 14-acre Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that was announced during the 2015 D23 EXPO. With construction under way, Star Wars Weekends will NOT be offered.
However, a number of Star Wars-related experiences have already debuted at the theme park.
Star Wars Launch Bay takes guests into the Star Wars saga and the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and behind-the-scenes peeks, special merchandise and opportunities to encounter Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue has added a new adventure inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” is an abridged, cinematic reel celebrating the Star Wars saga (episodes I-VII) in a theater setting near Echo Lake (in the former ABC Sound Studio).
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple is a reimagined Jedi Training experience that takes younglings to the secret site of an ancient Jedi temple where they face Darth Vader along with the Seventh Sister, a new villain from the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
“Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,” a dazzling Star Wars-themed fireworks show set to memorable Star Wars music from throughout the saga, debuted December 18, 2015, the same day that the new film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” opened in theaters. Excerpts of music from the new film are included. (Note that during the 2016 holiday season, this show will be on hiatus, while Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM is performed instead.)
Stormtrooper Patrols — First Order Stormtroopers are now patrolling the Animation Courtyard area in front of the Star Wars Launch Bay. They may also patrol various other areas of the park, interacting with guests during their mission to find members of the Resistance.
Galactic Food — Guests can experience Star Wars through their palates. Various novelty items and specialty foods inspired by a galaxy far, far away, such as Blue Milk Panna Cotta, Padawan Limeade, BB-8 Lemon and Butter Cream cupcake and a Han Solo Souvenir Kid’s Meal served in a Han Solo-themed bucket, are now available at various locations inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can also purchase admission to a dessert party during the fireworks show featuring themed desserts, specialty drinks and a souvenir Chewbacca stein.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 19, 2016
Today, at the D23 Destination D event, Walt Disney World unveiled a new image from Walt Disney Imagineering that shows how the Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will look once the sun goes down. As you can see, the land will take on a whole new dimension after dark and feature adventures and surprises around each corner. If you look close, the image reveals a peek at what you’ll discover in this all-new land located in the southwest corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including one of the signature attractions that lets you take the controls of the Millennium Falcon. Work is already underway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park in Anaheim, to bring the stories from a galaxy, far, far away to life in the parks.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 22, 2016:
On Sunday, February 21, during the “Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60” special that aired on ABC-TV, actor Harrison Ford, Star Wars’ Han Solo, shared some exciting new details about the Star Wars-themed lands planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Walt Disney Imagineering has joined forces with the imagination of Lucasfilm to bring this galaxy to life, and the illustrations shared during the TV special show the epic scale of these new lands, which will each span 14 acres.
Guests will be able to step aboard The Millennium Falcon and actually pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy, steering the vessel through space, firing the laser cannons, in complete control of the experience. And with the arrival of the First Order to the planet, visitors will find themselves in the middle of a tense battle between stormtroopers and Resistance fighters.
No dates or timeframes were given for the development of these new lands, and construction has not officially begun, although many attractions in both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are closing to make room for the new lands.
At the 2015 D23 EXPO in August, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that a new, 14-acre Star Wars-themed land would be constructed in both Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and in Disneyland in California. Star Wars Land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle. Here’s the official press release with details of this announcement. And here’s video of Bob Iger’s surprise announcement: