At this weekend's D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, CA, Disney announced new Star Wars-themed lands for Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
At 14 acres each, the two new lands will be the largest single themed expansions ever for the company, Disney said.
Two signature attractions will include a battle experience and one that puts guests at the controls of the Millennium Falcon as they take on a "customized secret mission."
New Star Wars-themed additions will also include a new Star Tours adventure, a Star Wars Launch Bay, a new Jedi Training Academy and "Season of the Force:"
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind the scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.
Jedi Training Academy — This attraction will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."
Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both parks. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing battle. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the score of the Star Wars movies.
The partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm dates back to 1987, when the Star Tours attraction, inspired by the film series, opened at Disneyland. The attraction was then redesigned, emerging as "Star Tours – The Adventures Continue" in 2011 and featuring more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility to visit five different planets.
The World of AVATAR, Toy Story Land
At D23 Disney also announced plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios and more details on Pandora—The World of AVATAR, which is already under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Additionally, the company announced that Soarin' Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure, and it also previewed a video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.
The new 11-acre Toy Story Land will transport guests into Andy's back yard, and will include two new attractions and one expanded one:
Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will take guests on a toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
Alien saucers attraction – The little green aliens from the movie will take guests for a spin in their very own flying saucers.
Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this attraction.
As part of the largest expansion in the park's history, Disney's Animal Kingdom will immerse guests in the world of Pandora. The entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences.
"Rivers of Light" – Expected to open next spring, "Rivers of Light" will combine live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery on the natural stage of Discovery River.
Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney's Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees.
AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.