It didn't take a genius to predict that Star Wars would be coming to Disney Parks after the Mouse House purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. Today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, it was finally confirmed — with plans as suitably epic as fans hope.
Disney is building not one, but two "Star Wars Land" attractions. One will be at Disneyland in California, the other at Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Both will take up approximately 14 acres each, constituting the biggest-ever single "themed '-Land' attraction" the company has ever built (scroll down to see high-res concept art of Star Wars Land near the bottom of this article).
Announced onstage at D23, it was revealed that Star Wars Land will highlight two signature attractions. The first will allow guests to realize their lifelong dreams of piloting the Millennium Falcon, on what Disney describes as a "customized secret mission." What that means exactly has not yet been explained (will each guest get a different, "customized" experience?). The second signature attraction sends you into a climactic battle between Star Wars: The Force Awakens factions the First Order and the Resistance. It's suspected based on materials seen at D23 that this will be a ground battle.
Oh yeah, the Mos Eisley Cantina will be there, too.
Of course, there will be plenty of other attractions, restaurants, shops and whatnot as well, and Disney promises it will all be completely authentic to Star Wars. Droids and huge alien creatures will roam the park and interact with guests, for example, to help maintain the feel of George Lucas' science fiction universe.
Disney's press materials describe it as a kind of guided experience, which sounds very similar to how the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios ushers you from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts and so on. Star Wars Land 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."
Click on images to enlarge.
No timeline was given for the twin Star Wars Lands, but development and construction on attractions of this size can be expected to require many years to complete.