For a lot of people, Star Wars Land is a dream come true. For decades, the idea of a Star Wars theme park seemed too good to be true – and it was, despite the insane marketability of the franchise. Of course, when Disney bought the rights and began work on a new trilogy (as well as a slew of spin-off films), there were plenty of fans out there hoping that the Disney purchase would become the catalyst for a Star Wars theme park.
During last month's D23 show, those fans finally got their wish: while it's still a long way off, Star Wars Land will be the first theme park based on the beloved sci-fi franchise. It's also going to be massive, with Disney announcing that the park would need 14 acres of space in both Orlando and Anaheim. On top of all that, Disney CEO Bob Iger promised that absolutely everything in the park would be in-universe: "Every store and restaurant will be operated by local inhabitants. Nothing in the land will be out of character, or stray from mythology."
It's obviously going to be a huge undertaking: moving that much space and constructing what is essentially a small Star Wars-themed neighborhood is no small task. Thankfully, Disney's not wasting any time: the company expects to break ground sometime next year.
Disney's COO Tom Staggs (via the OC Register) made the announcement Thursday, and although the company isn't willing to give fans an opening date just yet, it's clear that Disney wants to get the park up and running as soon as physically possible. Even so, theme parks take years and years to build – there's a good chance that Episode IX could hit theaters around the opening of Star Wars Land.
"This will be, perhaps, the most immersive land we've ever built. We want people to feel like they stepped into the world of Star Wars, and so that's really sparked our imaginations and it's got people fired up."
Considering Disney's massive plans for the park – which include a full-size Millennium Falcon replica, as well as the cantina from Mos Eisley in A New Hope – there's a good chance they'll hit their mark. Then again, as previously stated, theme parks like this take years to build, so don't get your hopes up for a 2018 opening.
As long as it's light on prequel material, Star Wars Land's success is all but guaranteed.
In terms of Star Wars entertainment this year you can expect to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hit theaters Dec. 18.