At the D23 expo, currently taking place in Anaheim, California, Disney gave the first glimpse at the much-anticipated “Star Wars” lands which are being built for the Disneyland Resort in Cali and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek pulled back the curtain on a 50-foot wide 3D model of the intergalactic area which is said to cover around 14 acres. The model reveals a rocky terrain of jagged mountains, Endor-like forests, and metal-topped cantina structures.
“To say we are excited for the “Star Wars”-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said at the unveiling. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”
In a Disney Parks blog post, the company said the lands “will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where “Star Wars” characters and their stories come to life.”
The blog also described the parks two main attractions – one that allows visitors to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and the other will throw guests in the middle of a “climatic battle” between the First Order and the Resistance.
In 2015, when plans for the park were first announced, E! Online reported that “all the restaurants and stores will be operated by “local inhabitants”.” The latest announcement revealed there will be an eatery similar to the famous Mos Eisley Cantina.
The land’s immersive story sounds like it will have an almost “Westworld”-vibe, with role-playing and visitor engagement being a key part of the experience. Scott Mallwtiz, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, said that while guests are in the park “Your actions will matter.”
“As you move through the areas, you might be recruited to join one side or the other,” Mallwitz said. “Are you a spy? Are you part of the Resistance or willing to join the First Order? It’s up to you.”
The “Star Wars” lands, which have yet to be given an official name, will be the largest themed expansion in the park’s history and according to Bloomberg will cost $1 billion each.
The 3D model will be on display at the D23 expo throughout the weekend, and Chapek plans to share exciting new details during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 presentation on Saturday.