At the tail end of the live action presentation at the D23 Expo this afternoon, Bob Iger took the stage for a special announcement that wasn’t specifically tied to any upcoming film. Instead, he made the kind of seismic announcement that will be talked about for the rest of the D23 Expo: that a massive, highly immersive Star Wars-themed land will soon be headed to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That’s right: not one, but two Star Wars-themed lands.
Here’s what was announced in the panel: a pair of 14-acre lands that will feature creatures, characters and vehicles pulled from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as the older films. Iger teased a Mos Eisley-style cantina, as well as the two signature attractions: one that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the Resistance and the First Order and the other that allows you pilot the most famous ship in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. The lands will be located in both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. This is very, very exciting news indeed.
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” Iger told the ecstatic crowd, who had already been primed by a wonderful moment with man Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members, including the legendary Harrison Ford. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. 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.”
Star Wars first appeared in the parks with the Star Tours attraction in 1987 and has been a presence ever since, with everything from the Jedi Training Academy to the revolutionary revamp of Star Tours, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (which opened in 2011). This marks a truly historic culmination of nearly 30 years of creative partnership and will undoubtedly become a destination for Star Wars fans the galaxy over.