Star Wars is a cultural wonder, so it only makes sense that the epic galactic legend would make its way into the Disney universe. With the new Star Wars area being constructed in Disneyland, the two iconic worlds are quickly coming together. But what does this mean for the magical California theme park? Big changes are coming, and the original appearance of Walt Disney’s creation will be dramatically transformed.
Temporary and Permanent Changes
The Star Wars land will cover 14 acres of Disneyland property in and near Frontierland, which means some staple elements of the park will be affected. As new acreage is carved out, 14 percent of the rides, restaurants and attractions will close down at least for a while. This is the most massive expansion in Disneyland history, and the alterations will certainly give the Anaheim park a new vibe.
Beginning in January, the makeover will make a huge impact on the Frontierland atmosphere. The Big Thunder Ranch area will be permanently shut down, which means the furry residents at the petting zoo will be placed in new homes. Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree is also being terminated, and the Western-themed eatery, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, will soon be just a memory as well.
Some attractions are merely being paused temporarily. These include the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, the Pirate’s Lair at Tom Sawyer Island, the Sailing Ship Columbia and Fantasmic. The Disneyland Railroad track is being realigned, and the Rivers of America will eventually have a new route. It’s unknown how long construction will last, but rumors say it’ll be at least one year before the closed attractions reopen.
Projected Design of the New Land
For those waiting eagerly on the edge of their seats, Disney officials have offered some hints regarding the possible features of the space-themed attraction. Announcements have already been made about a Millennium Falcon ride that allows for a unique and customized experience for guests. A New Era Battle ride has also been mentioned, which at least hints to a world that ties into the latest film.
The land will be designed as an entirely new planet that is a gateway to the familiar galaxy. Aliens will replace traditional Disney Cast Members, and each restaurant, store and attraction will be operated by costumed characters. Inhabitants of the Star Wars land will likely include humanoids, aliens and droids. Spokespeople for Disneyland have stated that every aspect will fit the story in this fully immersive world.
The Star Wars saga has already seeped into Disneyland through the Season of the Force event currently taking place. Space Mountain has been transformed into Hyperspace Mountain, Star Tours has been revamped with new special effects and the Star Wars Launch Bay has been opened in Tomorrowland. Even some of the restaurants now sell planetary plates and intergalactic goodies related to the films.
Although the arrival of Star Wars has some drawbacks, the benefits of the innovative land will be monumental for fans of the franchise. If you’ve been longing to navigate the Millennium Falcon, sip some blue milk or battle the First Order, you may just get your wish. Only time will tell what the new creation will offer Disneyland visitors, but it’s safe to say the outcome will be out of this world.
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