Time FrameLate Fall 2019
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a new land under construction at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in California. The Hollywood Studios land is expected to open in Late Fall 2019 with the Disneyland version opening Summer 2019. The land was officially announced at the 2015 D23 Expo and the full Disneyland Imagineering model was on display at the 2017 D23 Expo. Concept art and other teasers have been released since the initial announcement.
Confirmed details on Star Wars Land are as follows:
- Early 2016: Official groundbreaking took place April 14, 2016 with site preparation and demolition. The WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) codename for the demolition is, "Project Delos".
- Late 2016: Construction will begin. The WDI codename for the construction of the new land is, "Project Atlantis".
- Early 2017: The two main show buildings are expected to be fully framed
- Late Fall 2019: The land is expected to be complete.
WDI Code Name, "Alcatraz":
- This will take place in the larger of two main show buildings. Described by Disney as an, "Epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance." It is expected to be a, "Stormtrooper chase and escape" ride that uses autonomous trackless ride vehicles as well as, "nearly every other techno marvel WDI can throw at it."
- Expected to include at least 150 Storm Trooper animatronics as well as other animatronics
- Guests may potentially leave their vehicles at certain points of the attraction and get on new vehicles.
- Hourly capacity reports have been between 1500-1900 guests per hour.
WDI Code name, "Big Bird":
- This will take place in the second largest show building. This will allow guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon. It is rumored that this attraction will be an omnimover/simulator hybrid. The queue and setup will reportedly be themed to a spaceport with references to the interior of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will reportedly be in a physical capsule with a viewport to a large exterior screen.
- Multiple pre-shows are expected to setup the plot and tasks required in the attraction.
- Multiple endings are expected.
- Hourly capacity reports have been between 1500-1900 guests per hour.
- Toydarian Wares (Name unconfirmed): Guests will also be able to explore a street market run by a Toydarian, a character first introduced in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Among his wares will be handcrafted toys made by local artisans.
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue: It is unknown if the attraction will remain after the land is built. It may be re-themed with a non-Star Wars theme or potentialyl be connected to the land by way of a corridor/tunnel. Updates for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have already occurred.
- First Order Stunt Show: There is a small stage in the First Order area (Toy Story Land side) that is rumored to be for a stunt show.
- WDI Code Name, "Alcatraz":
- Rex - The former Star Tours pilot will be in the land as the DJ at the Cantina
- BB-8, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren will all appear in the land.
- The land will be 14 acres
- The Cast Members working in the restaurants and shops would all be in character for the land.
- The land will be a new location on the planet Batuu which was first introduced to the Star Wars universe on November 17, 2017 as part of an update to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
- The land will include components from the original movies and new movies.
- The land will be built in the former Streets of America area and will include a themed transition to Toy Story Land and the Muppets Courtyard
- Guests will be able to drink Blue Milk and interact with characters
- Guests will be able to visit a Cantina, this is expected to be both a table service and quick service restaurant described as the planet's "finest dinner club"
- An additional quick service restaurant is expected to have indoor and outdoor seating as well as an open grill that features a Pod Racer engine.
Star Wars Land Model from the 2017 D23 Expo
Star Wars Land Concept Art
Battle Attraction concept art:
Millennium Falcon Attraction concept art:
Cantina concept art:
Disneyland concept art:
Hollywood Studios Nighttime Concept Art
Additional details that have not been confirmed are as follows:
- The name of the land is expected to be Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
A new 400 room Star Wars themed hotel is expected to be built adjacent to the park/land.
- The hotel is expected to be a premium experience that will allow guests to have a higher level of interaction with the land and characters than traditional day guests.
- The hotel is expected to be priced above any hotel Disney currently operates at Walt Disney World.
- The hotel is expected to utilize the World Drive entrance.
- The budget for Star Wars and other Hollywood Studios enhancements/infrastructure improvements has been reported to be roughly $2.8 billion.
- There will be an "Adopt your own Porg" merchandise offering.
- An expansion area for the land includes room for a street that can include a single attraction and a restaurant.
- The Jedi Training Academy may move indoors into the Hyperion Theater (Currently home to For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Musical Celebration). Show changes may also include a Yoda animatronic. These changes would be after the Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple changes.
- Star Tours is expected to be outside of the footprint for the new land and it is expected that the simulators will be rethemed to a new attraction not based on Star Wars.
- Guests will be able to visit a Cantina and watch the touring band from Mos Eisley Cantina. The Cantina will accommodate 300-500 guests.
- A Star Wars themed fine dining/night club will be included in the new land.
- Imagineers are pushing for a large streetmasphere presence with interactive components built into the surroundings.
- Star Wars Launch Bay is expected to be retooled for Rogue One.
In addition to Star Wars Land, additional Star Wars content and changes have already taken place. That rumor tracker can be found here.
May 22, 2018: The Disney Parks Blog announced that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open in Summer 2019 in Disneyland and Late Fall 2019 in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
May 2, 2018: Len Testa of TouringPlans.com reported on WDWMagic.com that he has heard that the autonomous droids will not be ready at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening day.
April 18, 2018: BlogMickey.com posted photos of what appear to be the projection cones for the Millennium Falcon attraction.
April 10, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Cantina will have two distinct areas. A table service and a quick service area.
April 10, 2018: The YouTube Channel VRM Virtual Reality Media shared footage of a session at GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 2018 where Disney and NVIDIA showed off what "Real Time Ray tracing" of Star Wars looks like with 8 Nvidia GPU's.
The footage is reportedly "pre-alpha" footage of the Millennium Falcon attraction and is usd to demonstrate the technology coming to the ride. Last month, Disney and NVIDIA announced they would be teaming up for this attraction and each simulator would utilize eight high-end NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPUs, connected via Quadro SLI.
In short, what this means is that each ride will be rendered in real time allowing for a unique user controlled simulator experience every time. The footage below is from the VRM Virtual Reality Media YouTube channel, and the additional video was compiled by DSNY Newscast where the footage was overlayed on existing concept art for the attraction.
March 28, 2018: On NVIDIA's official blog, the company announced that Disney and NVIDIA are working together on the ride system for the Millennium Falcon attraction set to open next year in Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
NVIDIA is a leader in computer graphics cards, and the attraction will utilize eight high-end NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPUs, connected via Quadro SLI.
Per the blog:
Quadro Sync synchronizes five projectors for the creation of dazzling ultra-high resolution, perfectly timed displays to fully immerse the riders in the world of planet Batuu.
Working with NVIDIA and Epic Games, the Imagineering team created a custom multi-GPU implementation for Unreal Engine. This new code was returned to the Epic Games team and will help influence how multi-GPUs function for their engine.
“We worked with NVIDIA engineers to use Quadro-specific features like Mosaic and cross-GPU reads to develop a renderer that had performance characteristics we needed,” says Bei Yang, technology studio executive at Disney Imagineering. “Using the eight connected GPUs allowed us to achieve performance unlike anything before.”
March 14, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the two attractions are expected to have hourly capacities of 1750 guests per hour.
March 6, 2018: Jack from the DSNY Newscast YouTube Channel put together the layout of the queue and attraction of the Battle Escape Attraction (Project Alcatraz)
March 5, 2018: A conversation between multiple users on WDWMagic.com including marni1971, przidentkendall (Jack from the DSNY Newscast YouTube channel), and BrianLo, discussed the layout of the queue and attraction for the Battle Escape Attraction.
February 11, 2018: At D23 Expo Japan and on the Disney Parks Blog, Disney shared an image of several of the merchandise offerings that will be available at Toydarian Wares inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
From the blog:
Guests will also be able to explore a street market run by a Toydarian, a character first introduced in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Among his wares will be handcrafted toys made by local artisans, like those seen above.
February 5, 2018: @MickeyViews on Twitter posted photos from the private Instagram account of an alleged Imagineer that shows concept art from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The assumption is that these images are for the Millennium Falcon.
January 30, 2018: The Mickey Views YouTube channel posted photos from the private Instagram account of an alleged Imagineer that show a Star Wars: Galacy's Edge merchandise offering. The post introduces the concept of an "adopt your own Porg" offering that has been reportedly "green lit" for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge with a research and development budget of $4.5 million.
January 17, 2018: On Episode 145 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa indicated that there is expected to be a small scale First Order inspired stunt show as part of the land. Additionally, there is a possibility that the Disneyland and Disney World versions could be open on the same date to day guests. Disney may use the Disneyland version as an upcharge entrance prior to the official opening date.
December 16, 2017: In a follow up posted on the Disney Parks Blog on December 16th, Imagineer Scott Trowbridge confirmed that the image of the Millennium Falcon is indeed from the Disneyland version of the attraction. Additionally he shared a photo of full size X-Wings and a piece of concept art for one of the marketplaces.
December 13, 2017: The @DisneyParks Official Twitter account posted a photo of what appears to be part of the queue/load area for the Millennium Falcon attraction at Disneyland. The ride mechanism would have various ride vehicles/simulators rotate into place for guests so that every guest experiences a true walk through the Millennium Falcon.
November 18, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 clarified several details on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge following the Orange County Register article:
- There is a pair of "Kylo-vators". They aren't the main level change elevators.
- Even though there are 18 scenes to the battle attraction, the ride doesn't begin until scene 8.
- The Millennium Falcon prop is 80 feet wide and 100 feet nose to tail. This is not part of the ride or the preshow.
- The "U shaped bar" is the Quick Service Restaurant not the Table Service Restaurant. The Table Service Restaurant is the Cantina. The Quick Service will have outdoor seeting.
- There will be a build a lightsaber store, a build a droid shop, and seven other merchandise locations, from shops to carts in the village. The Battle Escape/Alcatraz attraction also has two carts.
- Restrooms are at either end of the village (the Falcon end of the land). In Orlando additional restrooms are the existing ones outside Muppet Vision 3-D and the Toy Story Land block on the other side of the berm.
November 17, 2017: The Orange County Register shared details of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge after seeing the blueprints of the Disneyland version (descriptions are of the Disneyland version and text is lifted directly from the article):
- Guests coming in from Fantasyland will first see a First Order performance stage and other props. Those entering from the west side see a verdant forest, a Jedi star ship and other props from the Resistance movement.
- As park-goers work their way toward the middle of the area, they could walk inside a cantina – similar to the Mos Eisley from the films – and order a soft drink from a bartender manning a U-shaped bar and sit down in booths, and table tops while listening to an audio-animatronic DJ or band on a stage.
- And in the large ride that will anchor Galaxy’s Edge, new villain Kylo Ren could make an appearance.
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Land Layout: Galaxy’s Edge is split into two sides with a hub or conflict zone in the middle. The Resistance or Rebels are on the west side of the land lined with hundreds of lush trees and forest. The First Order appears to have a performance stage and other props on the east side. The Millennium Falcon and the second, unnamed ride occupy much of the north side of the land, while the middle serves as the trading port’s hub with a merchant area and marketplace.
- First Order Ride: The building bears the code name “Alcatraz” in documents. It is a massive structure that nearly takes up nearly a quarter of Galaxy’s Edge. The plans reveal that inside, visitors will hop aboard an eight-person ride vehicle piloted by an astromech droid. Visitors will weave through projection scenes depicting a major space battle, elaborate props such as AT ATs, gunners, and a possible encounter with Kylo Ren (nicknamed Kylo-Vator in plans) before leaving in an escape pod. There are 18 scenes in total.
- Flying the Falcon: Dubbed “Big Bird” in plans, the Millennium Falcon is 100-feet across. Inside, the ride has a pre-show room before guests go into one of what appear to be four turntable rooms. Pictures previously released by Disney show six passengers boarding a ship that allows them to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. Trowbridge, the Disney Imagineer, has previously said If a visitor does a good job flying the ship, that person will receive some kind of galactic credit. If a guest leaves the ship banged up, a bounty might be placed on the visitor’s head.
- Cantina: Located directly across from the Millennium Falcon ride, the plan for the Cantina is nearly similar to the Mos Eisley in the movies. According to plans, the cantina will feature a U-shaped bar, booths, and tables. A stage will feature audio-animatronic performs, perhaps the Rex droid as the DJ as Disney officials previously announced.
- Merchant's Row: One of the features of the trading post is merchants’ row. One store that stands out was labeled “Saber.” Will there be a shop selling specifically Light Sabers? Plans for the building show six-story-high rocky spires fronting a one-story retail building with interior space about half the size of a football field. All the store fixtures will be themed to look like aged and distressed metal.
- Droids: Disney executives have already hinted that droids will populate the land. They’ve been testing a J4KE or Jake Droid the past year at Disneyland. According to the plans, droids dominate the area. Droid charging stations will be located throughout the land and there also will be a droid mechanic shop.
- Landspeeder Garage: There’s an area in Star Wars land, outside of a restaurant, that’s marked “land speeder garage,” with props of various parked space crafts.
- The Restaurant: Documents reveal that there appears to be one large sit-down and table service restaurant. The restaurant – yet to be named or themed – appears in the middle of the land. Based on plans, it appears to be larger than the Blue Bayou restaurant in Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
November 17, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather has indicated that a potential last minute change may connect the exit of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue into Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge by way of a tunnel/corridor around the existing Grand Avenue/Muppets area. This information is unconfirmed, but the ending to the Crait scene does present an interesting change.
November 17, 2017: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue introduced new sequences to the attraction, including a new finale sequence that ends in the planet represented in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The planet is identified as Batuu.
November 15, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos of cast members signing a support beam that will top out Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
November 8, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather is reporting that the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge model in Walt Disney Presents is the "non-Cantina" restaurant.
October 18, 2017: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Disney has filed additional permits for work inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The first permit (filed October 13th) is for Ride Installation at 384 Cypress Drive. This is believed to be the address for the Battle Attraction (Project Alcatraz). The permit cites numerous partners including The White-Turner Contracting Company who have previously worked with Walt Disney Imagineering.
An additional permit was filed today with a description of "Exterior Architectural Ornamentation and Scenic Elements". This indicates that theming details could soon be underway at the same location.
Both permits expire September 26, 2019, pointing to a late 2019 opening for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
October 15, 2017: On Episode 138 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Florida is approximately 3 months behind the Disneyland version and the Florida version will hopefully by open by July 2019.
October 13, 2017: BlogMickey.com is reporting that Disney has filed a Notice of Commencement for the installation of one of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attractions.
September 7, 2017: On Episode 135b of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill stated that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is expected to open in late Summer 2019.
September 6, 2017: Disney is bringing back the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event on December 16th. The special hard ticketed event includes many Star Wars inspired offerings. In addition to these offerings, a one time only panel discussion will also take place during this event discussing Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
September 1, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog announced the official opening date of the Walt Disney Presents walk through exhibit. The exhibit will contain many similar elements to Walt Disney: One Man's Dream as well as a partial model of Star Wars: Galaxy Edge and Toy Story Land. The blog shared images of the new Toy Story Land model that will debut inside Walt Disney Presents on September 8th.
In addition to the models, new concept art for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway will also be on display inside the exhibit.
August 11, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land models will soon be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. The exhibit, Walt Disney: One Man's Dream will undergo a reimagining into Walt Disney Presents.
The new Walt Disney Presents exhibit will continue to feature historic items from Disney's history as well as act as a preview center for projects in development at the Walt Disney resort. Beginning in mid-September guests will be able to see the concept art, ride vehicle maquettes and the model for Toy Story Land, a partial model of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and concept art for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.
The attraction will continue to house a meet and greet area as well as showcase previews of upcoming movies.
July 15, 2017: At the 2017 D23 Expo, Disney confirmed that the Star Wars Lands currently in development will be called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
In addition to confirming the name of the land, Disney shared new concept art, one for each attraction. The art for the battle attraction shows a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer while the Millennium Falcon attraction shows the seating configuration and the view screen in that attraction.
During the presentation, Disney shared a flyover video of the Imagineering model.
Disney confirmed that the following characters would appear as part of the new land:
- Kylo Ren
Additionally, Disney shared additional photos and concept art of other droids and creatures that will be in the land. Rex, the former pilot from the original Star Tours will return to the new land as the DJ in the cantina.
July 14, 2017: WDWThemeParks.com posted photos and videos from the Galaxy of Heroes Pavilion at the D23 Expo.
July 14, 2017: Reddit user wityblack found the possible name for the new Star Wars Land by viewing the source code on the Disney Parks Blog. The code appears to be a headline that would be posted tomorrow, "Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Announced as Name for Star Wars Lands at Disney Parks". Disney has not verified this report, but is expected to be confirmed or denied if the story appears on the blog after the Parks and Resorts presentation at 3:00 PM Pacific time July 15th.
July 13, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos and videos of the Star Wars Land model from the D23 Expo media preview. The model is part of the "Galaxy of Stories" pavilion put on by Disney Parks and Resorts.
June 22, 2017: BlogMickey.com has posted photos of the steel frame of an AT-AT inside the show building of the "Alcataraz" show building. While the construction schedules for Florida and California are not following the same path, the AT-AT figures were installed inside Disneyland's version of the attraction in mid March.
June 17, 2017: On the recent episode of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions that he Star Wars Land project will feature the rumored Star Wars Land hotel. It will be adjacent to the land and park and start with 400 guest rooms. The hotel will utilize the World Drive entrance and be built on the former wetlands that were next to World Drive. The possibility exists for two 300 guest room expansions if demand is there.
In addition to details on the resort, Jim mentioned there is an expansion for another attraction in Star Wars Land. This would be an additional street that could also include another restaurant.
June 8, 2017: Disney/D23 confirmed in a press release that a model for The Star Wars Experience as well as additional details on the land will be part of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion at the D23 Expo. The pavilion will be called, "A Galaxy of Stories" and feature imagineers working on the project as well as models for a variety of other things in the land.
April 19, 2017: Bloomberg.com shared details on the upcoming Pandora and Star Wars Lands. The details on the Star Wars Land include:
- The land features an exotic marketplace described by Imagineer Scott Trowbridge as, "Like a souk street market filled with stalls where you can buy fragrances and spices and clothes and toys and equipment from all across the galaxy, sometimes from the black market, but don't ask too many questions."
- At the cantina guests will be served by alien characters.
- The battle attraction will feature components of Episode 8 and Episode 9.
April 15, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared new concept art as well as a video discussing the collaborative efforts between Lucas Film and Disney Imagineering that is going into the design of Star Wars Land.
April 9, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Star Wars land is expected to open "mid-ish" 2019.
March 26, 2017: On consecutive posts, WDWMagic.com users BrainLo and MansionButler84 are reporting that the announced 2019 opening date of Star Wars Land was made to allow for a 6 month grace period should their be delays in construction. Per both users, if there are no delays in construction the land could open as early as December 2018 in Disneyland and May 2019 in Hollywood Studios.
March 16, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared an update of the under construction Star Wars themed lands in Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The video below is from the construction site in Disneyland.
February 8, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that each "cabin" in the Millennium Falcon will seat six guests and loading will be a slow rotating platform.
February 7, 2017: During Disney's Q1 Fiscal Year Earnings call, CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the Star Wars Themed Lands in both Disneyland and DIsney's Hollywood Studios will open in 2019.
December 15, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the transition between the Star Tours and Muppets Courtyard area and Star Wars land will be as follows:
Brick wall, ornate gate posts dividing the muppets courtyard from the path. The path itself will be landscaped with grass and trees down the side. The remaining facade will line one side of the area, the wall the other side. The current walkway from Star Tours into Muppets will be no more. The new one will roughly be through where the NYS skyscrapers were.
An art nouvou tunnel entrance will take the path through a berm in an S shape into SWL.
December 2, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that as part of a special after hours event, Spaceship Earth will be made to look like the Death Star from Star Wars. The event, being held on December 5th is an invite only event to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: Rogue One.
The event is for invited guests and invited media with additional information being shared with those individuals separately. The event will take place after hours at Epcot and will feature new information on the current Star Wars projects in development. As part of the event, digital mapping will be used to transform the exterior of Spaceship Earth into the Death Star.
November 19, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog revealed a new piece of concept art for Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios as well as officially announce a new destination in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue based on Star Wars Episode 8 (in theaters in 2018).
The concept art is a variation of a piece of Disneyland concept art as a nighttime version for Disney's Hollywood Studios.
October 5, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the capacity for both rides is more likely to be in the 1800-1900 guests per hour range.
October 4, 2016: MiceChat.com posted a Disneyland rumor update that included details of Star Wars Land expected to be shared by both coasts.
- WDI Code Name, "Big Bird": The Millennium Falcon attraction is expected to include several different pre-shows that help set up the plot and tasks expected in the attraction. If the tasks are not completed the attraction is expected to have a different ending.
- WDI Code Name, "Alcatraz": The Stormtrooper chase and escape attraction is expected to have multiple levels. WDI wants guests to board the wireless vehicles on one level, disembark and then re-board on another level. The attraction is expected to have over 150 animatronic storm troopers as well as other animatronics throughout the attraction.
- Capacity for both rides is expected to be no more than 1500 guests per hour.
August 16, 2016: HelloGiggles.com is reporting that Disney has filed a patent for interactive light sabers. The patent shows light sabers with RFID technology that could be a sign of components available in Star Wars Land.
August 10, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit listing a wide range of work related to the Star Wars project. The permit has an expiration date of 9/26/2019.
July 16, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Millennium Falcon attraction will be an omnimover/simulator hybrid. The queue and setup will reportedly be themed to a spaceport with references to the interior of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will reportedly be in a physical capsule with a viewport to a large exterior screen.
July 11, 2016: A new piece of concept art has appeared on the construction walls in Disneyland. While the concept art appears designed for Disneyland and not Disney's Hollywood Studios it is expected that many components will be shared between the two parks.
The Disney Parks Blog offered a high resolution version of the concept art.
June 17, 2016: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The new show features fireworks, Star Wars music and Star Wars pictures and video digital mapped onto the buildings of Hollywood Boulevard.
The below video is used with permission courtesy of BlogMickey.com.
May 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that the new nighttime show coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will debut on June 17, 2016.
April 22, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the current plans for Star Tours would be to keep the simulators but retheme to something unrelated to Star Wars. Recent concept art shows that Star Wars Land will not include the Star Tours attraction as part of it's footprint for Hollywood Studios or Disneyland.
April 20, 2016: TheDis posted a video of the entire Star Wars Land section of the Around Our World presentation.
In this video, the land is described by Bob Chapek as, "an entirely new planet on the outer rim, a frontier town." The majority of the presentation is made by Imagineer Scott Trowbridge. He shows concept art that indicates that Star Wars Land will go in the former Streets of America area of the park. He also mentioned that in addition to the Cantina there will be upscale dining at the planet's, "finest dinner club".
April 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos and details of the upcoming Star Wars Experiences coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular debuts in June. It will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the nearby Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations. The show will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. This new show will be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In addition, Disney has shared a cleaner version of an existing piece of concept art for the cantina in Star Wars Land.
April 15, 2016: On Episode 101 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill reported that elements of Star Wars: Rogue One are expected to be added to the Star Wars Launch Bay in August or September. Additionally he reported that the name of the land is expected to be The Star Wars Experience.
April 15, 2016: Disney is planning a three day media event discussing projects currently in development. It is expected that between April 18-20th Disney will offer more details on the Star Wars entertainment coming this summer, as well as details on Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land.
April 14, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that official groundbreaking has taken place in both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Land. The post also included a 360 degree photo of the Disneyland construction site that included many iconic Star Wars related items overlayed on the site.
April 11, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog posted a teaser image today hinting that Star Wars Land would occupy the former Streets of America.
The image of R2-D2 shows construction already in progress on the Streets of America.
April 3, 2016: The new Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away stage show debuts. This includes appearances by Captain Phasma as well as other characters in the Star Wars universe.
March 29, 2016: The stage in front of The Great Movie Ride is now complete. This stage will be used for the new Star Wars themed fireworks show
March 19, 2016: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 reported that the name being considered for the new land is Star Wars Experience.
February 22, 2016: Disney officially released additional Star Wars Land inspired concept art. The images were just some of the images shown during the Disneyland 60th Anniversary special on Sunday February 21st.
February 21, 2016: Beginning February 21st, Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens replaced Darth Maul at Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. Kylo Ren joins Darth Vader and Seventh Sister.
February 21, 2016: During The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 television special, Harrison Ford showed additional pieces of concept art for Star Wars Land. Attractions Magazine posted screen shots of some of the concept art.
February 19, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that a new nighttime spectacular inspired by Star Wars will be debuting this summer at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The new show called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is an evolution of the current Star Wars-inspired fireworks show. Per the Disney Parks Blog,
The show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the nearby Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations. The show will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. This new show will be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In addition to the new fireworks show, a new Stage Show will debut on April 4th at Center Stage (in front of the Chinese Theater). The stage show will be called, "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" and feature Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Darth Maul.
Finally, also debuting April 4th, Captain Phasma will lead a platoon of Storm Troopers from Star Wars Launch Bay to Center Stage several times a day.
February 7, 2016: Kylo Ren debuts at Star Wars Launch Bay.
February 6, 2016: Entertainment Weekly shared the first promotional video of the upcoming Wonderful World of Disney Special that will appear on ABC on February 21, 2016. The video shows a very brief glimpse at what appears to be the Milennium Falcon attraction that will be a part of Star Wars Land.
February 5, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Disney has officially confirmed that the expansion to ESPN Wide World of Sports will be for a new facility will primarily be used for cheerleading and dance events. The facility is expected to open in 2017. Previously, cheerleading and dance events would use the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular theater and this expansion has resulted in fan speculation that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular would close upon completion of the ESPN Wide World of Sports expansion.
January 28, 2016: @JimHillMedia on Twitter is reporting that Star Wars Launch Bay will be retooled for Rogue One.
January 27, 2016: Entertainment Weekly announced that Harrison Ford will appear in a Wonderful World of Disney television special on February 21, 2016 where he will reveal details on Star Wars Land at Disney World and Disneyland.
January 22, 2016: WDWMagic.com user Chef Kronk is reporting that the meet and greet will likely be characters Ezra and Sabine from Star Wars Rebels.
January 21, 2016: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that Star Wars Land is expected to open a full two years later in Florida vs. California, giving the Hollywood Studios version of Star Wars Land a late 2020 opening date.
January 19, 2016: MiceChat.com is reporting that Star Wars Land is expected to debut by the end of 2018 in Disneyland. It is unknown whether or not the Hollywood Studios version will follow the same timeline due to the additional infrastructure required.
January 15, 2016: Disney confirmed via press release that Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will meet guests in Star Wars Launch Bay. It is unlikely that the new meet and greet being built across from Star Tours will be used for a Star Wars character.
January 15, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and surrounding areas along the Streets of America will close on April 2, 2016. This is expected to include Watto's Grotto.
The closures are expected to be related to the Toy Story and Star Wars Land projects.
December 4, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the "Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular" fireworks show will play nightly beginning December 18th.
December 1, 2015: MiceChat.com provided an update and additional details on Star Wars Land coming to Disneyland. While the construction timetable may vary slightly, it is expected that the majority of components related to the Star Wars project will be very similar. The update reports:
- Demolition will begin in early 2016. The working WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) codename for the demolition is "Project Delos".
- Construction will begin later in 2016. The working WDI codename for the construction is "Project Atlantis".
- The largest show building will be home to the "Stormtrooper chase and escape" ride with the WDI codename "Alcatraz". It will feature autonomous trackless ride vehicles as well as, "nearly every other techno marvel WDI can throw at it."
- The second largest show building will be home to the "Millennium Falcon attraction with the WDI codename "Big Bird".
- The buildings are expected to be framed by early 2017.
- The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2019.
December 1, 2015: Star Wars Launch Bay officially opened to guests. Inside guests can experience Star Wars exhibits with movie props, trade with Jawas, and meet with Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple also debuted to guests. The show continues to feature Darth Vader and also now includes Seventh Sister, a villain from Star Wars Rebels.
November 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com has posted photos of walls being down around the new Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. The new version of the interactive show is expected to re-open in the next few days.
November 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit with the South Florida Water Management District a new fireworks launch area. The new area appears to be directly west of the park and could potentially allow for the entire park to remain open during fireworks shows. Disney has announced that their will be a Star Wars themed fireworks show as part of the Season of the Force event.
November 24, 2015: WDWMagic.com user RAXIP has reported that Disney has installed the sign for Star Wars Launch Bay.
November 23, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a permit for the installation of a scenic facade at the Jedi Training Academy. This is likely related to the change to Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple.
November 17, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Season of the Force will debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios will debut on January 5, 2016. The event will include the "Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular" fireworks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
The event will also include Stormtroopers throughout the park, Star Wars food and merchandise offerings, as well as the selection of new Star Wars attractions: These include the updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Star Wars Launch Bay, Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple, and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.
November 16, 2015: The Cast Member Previews for the new scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted. These include an entirely new first destination and then a new transition/message scene with the BB-8 droid.
November 13, 2015: Cast Member Previews for the new scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place at Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
November 12, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the new scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will soft open on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue on November 16, 2015.
November 9, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced that new Star Wars content will debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios beginning December 1st. The blog offered additional information about the announcements made at the D23 Expo, including:
- Star Wars Launch Bay - this will include special exhibits, behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens, unique merchandise and character meet and greets for Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
- Star Tours - The Adventures Continue - a new "adventure" based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be added to the attraction. During the opening months, the new adventure will be part of every Star Tours experience. After that, it will be integrated into the existing randomization of Star Tours. The Disney Parks Blog offered video of the new Star Tours segment.
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi - this will allow guests that are less familiar with the Star Wars movies to become further acquainted with the franchise. It will take place in the ABC Sound Studio and feature information from the complete Star Wars saga.
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple - a reimagining of the Jedi Training Academy will bring younger guests into an ancient Jedi temple where they will face Darth Vader as well as the Seventh Sister - a new villain from the Disney XD series, "Star Wars Rebels".
In addition to these details, the blog post confirmed that Star Wars Weekends will no longer take place.
November 1, 2015: On Episode 90 of The Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill said that the goal for Hollywood Studios is to complete Phase 1 (Star Wars and Toy Story) by the end of 2018.
October 26, 2015: The Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet that was previously open in the Animation building has re-opened along Mickey Avenue in the former Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow building.
October 18, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced a special event for opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The special ticketed event will be held Thursday December 17th. The event begins between 7 and 8 PM at the AMC in Disney Springs West Side where guests will have a guaranteed seat for one of the first viewings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Following the movie, guests can enjoy a private party at Disney's Hollywood Studios until 2 AM. The new Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit will be open, as will Star Wars: The Adventures Continue. Guests can also enjoy a DJ dance party and a preview of the new Star Wars fireworks.
October 8, 2015: The Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet that was previously open int he Animation building has re-opened near Playhouse Disney Live on Stage.
September 25, 2015: The Disney Events page is showing that the dates for the Season of the Force event are January 8, 2016 through March 20, 2016.
September 24, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog shared two posts (Post 1, Post 2) providing details on the Star Wars projects coming to Disneyland on November 16th. While no date has been given for Star Wars projects at Disney's Hollywood Studios, it is expected that there will be several parallels between the two resorts. The details from Disneyland that are expected to be replicated in Hollywood Studios are as follows:
Star Wars Launch Bay - The new area will give guests the chance to meet with Star Wars characters, participate in interactive exhibits as well as see details on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences -
Guests that choose the Dark Side can meet with Darth Vader, while guests that choose the Light Side can meet with Chewbacca.
- Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries - The Dark Side gallery will feature Sith lightsabers and storm trooper armor. The Light Side gallery will feature Rebel flight helmets and Jedi Knight lightsabers. The preview gallery will feature props from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Starship Gallery will feature models of famous star ships throughout the Star Wars universe.
- Star Wars Game Center - Guests can play in the new Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Toy Box.
- Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences -
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple - The Jedi Training Academy will be changing to feature a new villain from Star Wars Rebels.
- Star Tours The Adventure Continues - A new scene based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be added to the current Star Tours attraction.
September 23, 2015: WDWMagic.com users Lee and marni1971 are reporting that plans have changed for Star Wars and it is unlikely to be going to the Echo Lake area.
September 12, 2015: Signs have appeared outside of the former Animation building that say that Star Wars Launch Bay will debut in December of 2015.
September 12, 2015: WDWMagic.com user MansionButler84 has reported the following timeline for Disney's Hollywood Studios:
- Toy Story Land Fall 2017
- Star Wars Land 2019
- Cars Land 2020
He also reported that large scale construction should be underway all over the park by this time next year. This was later verified by WDWMagic.com user Lee.
September 10, 2015: ThemeParkInsider.com is reporting that Disney COO Tom Staggs stated that Disney will break ground on Star Wars Land in 2016.
September 10, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Lee is reporting that Toy Story Land is expected to open in late 2017, Star Wars Land is expected to open potentially in phases in 2019-2020, and any Phase 3 additions would debut after that.
September 9, 2015: WDWMagic.com has posted photos showing that the former Animation building has been painted gray in preparation for Star Wars Launch Bay.
September 1, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Watto's Grotto is expected to return as a Star Wars inspired merchandise shop. The shop debuted during the 2015 Star Wars Weekends in the former AFI Showcase area.
A recent Notice of Commencement filed by Disney indicates work will soon be underway in the area.
August 31, 2015: Disney's Auditions site posted an audition for Jedi Training Academy.
Disney Parks and Talent Casting is seeking Actors for 2 roles in the reimagined Jedi Training Academy to be performed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.
Performers employed by the Walt Disney World Resort are covered under the terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement with Actors' Equity Association.
Male or Female Actors- Actors with strong delivery and timing and ability to interact and connect with guests. Athletic build, good physical shape, moves well, sword work a plus.
August 16, 2015: WDWMagic.com user IgnoHippo posted aerial photos as well as Concept art with labels of how the layout of the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands would be arranged in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Star Wars Land notes:
- The new land will re-skin several buildings
- The land will take up all of Echo Lake (including Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular as well as a portion of the parking lot.
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Musical Celebration is expected to close at some point after the Frozen area opens in Epcot. This area is expected to become Jedi Training Academy.
- A possible attraction location is on the current footprint of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- The Cantina is expected to replace Backlot Express
- Character Dining is expected to replace 50's Prime Time and/or Hollywood & Vine
- Another attraction location is to the left (North East) of the current Star Tours.
- The land is expected to open in 2019.
- Streets of America and Muppet*Vision 3-D do not appear to be affected by Star Wars or Toy Story Land, but likely could be removed as part of a Phase 2.
August 16, 2015: On a premium episode of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish, Jim Hill goes into additional detail on what's coming to Hollywood Studios, including what was not mentioned.
- The Cantina band will be a "touring band" and be coming from the Mos Eisley Cantina. The restaurant will hold 300-500 people.
- The First Order and the Resistance battle attraction will be tied to the Rogue One movie and guests will be in possession of the battle plans for the Death Star.
August 15, 2015: At the D23 Expo Live Action Movies Presentation Bob IGer officially announced Star Wars Land. Additional details were provided at the D23 Expo Parks and Resorts Presentation by Bob Chapek and Scott Trowbridge. They also confirmed details on other Star Wars related projects coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Additional confirmed details include:
- 14 Acre Land on both costs
- 2 New attractions
- One attraction will be an, "Epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance."
- Another attraction would allow guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon
- The Cast Members working in the restaurants and shops would all be in character for the land.
- The land will be a new location on an entirely new planet to the Star Wars universe.
- The land will include components from the original movies and new movies.
- Guests will be able to drink Blue Milk and interact with characters
- Guests will be able to visit a Cantina
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continue will receive a new destination by the end of 2015. The new destination will be from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
- A new villain from Star Wars Rebels will be added to the Jedi Training Academy
In addition to Star Wars Land, additional Star Wars content was also announced, all of which would be taking place within the next few months:
- A new destination will be added to Star Tours later this year based on Star Wars The Force Awakens
- A new Star Wars celebration, called Season of the Force will debut at the beginning of 2016 and will include similar components to Star Wars Weekends
- A new villain from Star Wars Rebels will be added to the Jedi Training Academy
- Star Wars Launch Bay will be added to Disney's Hollywood Studios later this year. This was previously announced for Shanghai Disney and will include a behind the scenes look at Star Wars The Force Awakens character meet and greets
- A new fireworks show based on Star Wars will be added to Disney's Hollywood Studios
July 23, 2015: ThemeParkInsider.com has reported that Disney has selected a contractor to build Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The article speculates that the new land will be officially announced soon, most likely at the D23 Expo's Parks and Resorts presentation on August 15th.
July 1, 2015: On Episode #82 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish with Jim Hill, he mentioned that the original proposal of $500 million for Star Wars was rejected by the Board of the Directors for being, "more of the same".
April 28, 2015: Multiple sources have reported that Star Wars additions may not be announced at the D23 Expo in August.
March 26, 2015: SMS Audio and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have developed a strategic alliance that includes the sale of SMS Audio themed Star Wars products as well as SMS Audio becoming the official sponsor of Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
February 9, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that details on Star Wars expansions in domestic parks will be revealed at the D23 Expo in August.
February 3, 2015: During the Question and Answer session of the Quarterly Earnings call, CEO Bob Iger stated that details on additional Star Wars attractions would be revealed later in 2015. Variety speculated this could occur at one of two locations:
- Star Wars Celebration: April 16-19th at the Anaheim Convention Center
- D23 Expo: August 14-16th at the Anaheim Convention Center.
December 12, 2014: In a Bonus Episode of the Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim revealed that he did not anticipate vertical construction until fall of 2015 on Star Wars. He also reported that in one of the Walt Disney Imagineering models there was a large Death Star and an Ewok Village. He also outlined possible timelines for when Star Wars theme park information could first be revealed.
- End of January 2015: Disney is expected to announce details for the 60th Anniversary celebration at Disneyland. Disneyland also has Star Wars components in development for the Toon Town version of the park.
- April 16-19, 2015: The Star Wars Celebration is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, details could also be revealed there.
- August 14-16, 2015: The D23 Expo will be at the Anaheim Convention Center and Jim anticipates more detailed information at this event.
December 10, 2014: Speaking at Variety's Dealmakers breakfast, CEO Bob Iger stated that the expanded Star Wars content will include content from the past, present and future of the Star Wars franchise.
November 10, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 indicated that Disneyland Paris will receive an updated Star Tours attraction that will feature components from Episode VII. He also indicated that the Hollywood Studios counterpart is also expected to receive similar updates.
October 28, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that Star Wars, Cars, and Toy Story areas will be added to Disney's Hollywood Studios. The entire budget for all projects would be close to the $1.2 billion spent at Disney California Adventure. The budget will be spent over the next 5 years and construction will begin after the holidays and accelerate after Easter. The only attractions guaranteed to remain in some capacity are Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours and Tower of Terror. He also indicated that there would be "a few" (likely two) major additions as well as minor additions and the park will be supplemented with entertainment (fireworks) during the construction.
October 21, 2014: ParkJourney.com posted a patent that Disney filed featuring an individual guest in a motion simulator vehicle. The design could be related to the proposed individual speeder bike concept mentioned for a Star Wars attraction. The patent can be synchronized with a screen with the guests motion syncing with the screen using gyroscopes in the seat.
August 10, 2014: Episode 62 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast with Jim Hill include updates on several rumors. Those rumors related to Star Wars are as follows:
Star Wars is a major component of this, but it will take several years to do. Construction could begin on Star Wars content as soon as January. It will be the first component of the Hollywood Studios Changes brought on line.
- Echo Lake will become Tatooine
- Jedi Training Academy is expected to move into the Sounds Dangerous theater.
- A direct road to Star Tours is expected to be built from Hollywood Boulevard directly to Star Tours. It will be a diagonal street from the Hollywood & Vine area to Star Tours. Side streets will come off this area. It is expected that RFID technology will be used for guests to "Use the Force" as they interact with the environment.
- Hollywood & Vine is expected to remain.
- Indiana Jones is expected to remain for the short term because it is booked for corporate events through 2018.
- X-Wing Spinner attraction. Vehicles can move up and down and wings can open and close.
- Mos Eisley Cantina
August 5, 2014: On the Quarter 3 Earnings call, CEO Bob Iger indicated that Star Wars would have a significant presence in the park. He indicated that the concepts for the attractions would be revealed next year.
July 7, 2014: On the July 7th, 2014 episode of the Mouse Chat podcast, Jim Hill discussed the plans for Star Wars at Disney's Hollywood Studios. He confirmed that it is absolutely happening with ground breaking taking place as early as January 2015. Re-iterating previous reports he had made, he said that an X-Wing themed spinner as well as a speederbike themed attraction that utilizes the CAVE technology are being considered. He also indicated that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has special events booked through 2017, and after the acquisition of the rights from Paramount, Disney is considering keeping the stunt show in it's current form.
June 16, 2014: OrlandoParksNews.com shared a rumor that they initially dismissed as Blue Sky but elected to post based on the reports of American Idol closing and Indiana Jones potentially closing. The quote is below:
"Now, I will start off by saying I do not know how true this is, just things I have heard from friends inside the park. They said that Star Wars Land is back on the table, as they have been alerted about changes in their shifts for construction. After finding out more information, it is rumored to be two new rides - Battling coaster, rebels vs empire, and a dark ride that goes through greatest scenes from all movies - and then a restaurant, shopping, and all around theming.
Also, a new attraction for Pixar Place is rumored, but no more info on that was gathered.
Thanks, hope this is true and hoped it helped!" - ANONYMOUS.
We will consider this aspect of the rumor as Blue Sky until further notice.
June 16, 2014: WDWMagic.com user tikiman (Steve Seifert of TikimanPages.com) has reported that Cars Land is dead for Hollywood Studios, but Star Wars Land has been given the green light. Additional confirmation from WDWMagic.com user articos revealed that there is a budget for an un-announced project in Hollywood Studios.
June 14, 2014: DisneyAtWork.com has also reported that The American Idol Experience will close in January, adding a joint statement between Disney and FreeMantle Entertainment:
“After more than five successful years, The American Idol Experience will be coming to a close at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in January 2015. Our partnership with FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment has been a great addition to the park and we are very appreciative of the amazing cast and guests who have devoted their time and talent to make this experience special and memorable. We are incredibly proud of the more than 2,000 Dream Tickets that have given guests a chance to live their very own Cinderella story and audition for ‘American Idol’. This past season alone, three of the Top 13 contestants were originally discovered through The American Idol Experience and we expect the attraction to continue providing top contestants for ‘American Idol’ XIV in the coming year.”
While the closure of the American Idol Experience has been confirmed, DisneyAtWork.com has also reported that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is also expected to close around the same time. At this point, we will consider that part of the rumor to be Blue Sky. However, it is assumed that if and when a Star Wars land is created that it would utilize the space currently occupied by the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
June 13, 2014: WDWMagic.com user Tinkrbell has reported that The American Idol Experience will close on January 4th and will be reduced to four shows a day (three regular, one finale) beginning in July.
June 13, 2014: Ricky Brigante of Inside the Magic posted to Facebook that The American Idol Experience cast members were told the attraction would close in 6 months.
June 14, 2014: @HateToFly posted to Twitter that Frozen would be coming in 2015, Soarin' in 2016, Avatar in 2017 and Star Wars in 2019.
April 25, 2014: WDWMagic.com has reported that Imagineer Scott Trowbridge has been assigned to lead a new dedicated Star Wars Studio division of Disney Imagineering.
April 24, 2014: MakingStarWars.net has posted an additional update showing photos from the breakfast that took place this morning. The photos do not reveal any individuals in attendance, nor does the article reveal any details about Star Wars Episode VII or a new land at Hollywood Studios.
April 19, 2014: MakingStarWars.net has posted a rumor that top level Disney executives will be joining George Lucas at a breakfast at Hollywood Studios on April 24th. According to the site, the setup will be similar to the meals being served as part of Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood & Vine and Sci-Fi Dine-In. It is also expected that many of the actors and actresses included in Star Wars Episode VII will be in attendance. If true, it is unknown what the purpose of this meeting will be. The location has many speculating that among the topics for discussion will be an expanded Star Wars presence in Hollywood Studios.
November 27, 2013: Yahoo.com has reported that Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams has commissioned a full scale model of the Millennium Falcon. There is further speculation that this has already been completed.
November 26, 2013: MiceAge.com has reported that due to overages on the Next Gen project that a 90 day moratorium on spending will take place in the stateside parks. MiceAge has stated that this has resulted in the Star Wars project in Hollywood Studios being cancelled. Conflicting reports on this indicate that nothing has been cancelled at this time, but delays are likely.
November 8, 2013: TheForce.net posted a quote from Disney CEO Bob Iger where he confirmed that Disney is working on Star Wars content for both California and Orlando.
September 11, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has reported that Cars Land has been shelved as a project for Hollywood Studios in favor of Star Wars.
August 20, 2013: WDWMagic user WDW1974 has posted that a Star Wars Land has moved to the head of development projects for Disneyland and Hollywood Studios. It is expected that Disneyland's version will be announced in the fall and it is likely that Hollywood Studios' version will also be announced at this time.
August 13, 2013: The Boston Globe has reported that CEO Bob Iger said the following, "We’re going to continue to invest in Disneyland,’’ Iger said. ‘‘We’ve got some pretty exciting things that we’ll be announcing over the next couple of months.’’ It is assumed that this will also include attractions for Disney World as well.
August 13, 2013: WDWThemeParks.com is reporting that Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald told them that Star Tours was designed to have additional destinations included. Additionally, Kathy Mangum told them that she will be spending more time working on projects other than Avatar in her new role at Walt Disney World.
August 8, 2013: InsideTheMagic.net posted an updated from the D23 Expo Media Preview. At the preview, Imagineers teased guests with a new Star Wars themed project called Project Orange Harvest. Details were few and far between, but there was an acknowledgement that Star Wars content is coming.
August 6, 2013: MiceChat.com, posted that official confirmation of the Star Wars Land will not be at the D23 Expo, but concept art should be visible in the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion. Additionally, the article stated that new destinations based on Episode 7 will debut in conjunction with the new film.
July 29, 2013: MiceChat.com user KingEric posted an image of a Disney ride patent that could be used for the new Star Wars Land.
July 25, 2013: Jim Hill tweeted that fans should expect Avatar and Star Wars concept art at the D23 Expo but minimal details on the attractions. It is expected that the Star Wars attraction will utilize a version of the CAVE ride system, a 180 degree projection individual virtual reality/simulator ride system.
July 24, 2013: The latest Disney Insider newsletter reports that the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Pavilion at D23 will be offering sneak peeks at upcoming projects including Disney Springs. As well, there will be teasers for new attractions based on Avatar and Star Wars.
July 15, 2013: Disney and More is reporting at an update to Star Tours is also expected at Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. It is expected that this would include new destinations based on Star Wars Episode 7.
July 9, 2013: MiceAge.com has reported that a few weeks ago the expansion plans for Hollywood Studios were discussed in a meeting of the Board of Directors that was held at Disneyland. This would include a Star Wars Land that would share components of Disneyland's Tomorrowland makeover.
July 1, 2013: On the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discussed the Star Wars rumors. On the show, Jim Hill discusses how Echo Lake will be redone and the project will be anchored by an Endor Speeder Bike attraction. It would also include an X-Wing fighter themed spinner.
June 28-29, 2013: MiceAge.com interviewed D23 spokesperson, Jeffrey Epstein and Imagineer Dave Fisher about the upcoming D23 Expo. In the interview, and later confirmed by Jeffrey Epstein on Twitter, it was revealed that there will not be a Parks and Resorts arena presentation at the D23 Expo. Disney and More also confirmed that due to secrecy surrounding Avatar and other projects, Disney was simply not ready to announce them at the upcoming D23 Expo.
June 24, 2013: The Orlando Business Journal is reporting that Star Wars Land will be the biggest expansion in the Walt Disney World Resort history.
June 17, 2013: CFNews13 reports that Disney has "nothing to announce at this time," with regards to a Star Wars expansion.
June 15, 2013: User WDW1974 posted on WDWMagic.com that the content of Robert Niles' article is correct and significant changes to the "production side" of Hollywood Studios are imminent. As part of these changes, it is expected that the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will be ending it's run at Hollywood Studios after the 2014 Holiday Season.
June 14, 2013: Jim Hill posted on the WDWKingdomCast Facebook page that Robert Niles' report is correct with the exception of the placement. It is expected that a Speeder Bike attraction as well as the Mos Eisley Cantina will be constructed as part of a Star Wars Land. It is also expected that the Star Wars Land is expected to open prior to Cars Land.
June 13, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has posted an article that cites George Kalogridis' move to over see Walt Disney World as further evidence of a full scale overhaul of Hollywood Studios. According to Niles, this overhaul would include both Cars Land as well as a Star Wars Land. The Star Wars content could replace either the Backlot Express/Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Area or the Muppet*Vision 3-D/Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playset area.
June 12, 2013: WDWMagic.com user Alektronic identified "Star Wars Galaxy" as an area of development that exists for Hollywood Studios. However, there is no timetable for when this development will take place.
June 10, 2013: DesignerLand.com posts an image of a new graphic for "Exploration Endor" set to open in Spring 2016. This is not official artwork, but it was done by an artist uesd by Disney in the past.
June 4, 2013: MiceAge.com references various scales of additions coming to Hollywood Studios. These range from $1 billion+ to a "more modest" approach. The expectation is that these changes would be centered around Cars or Star Wars with the expectation that a definitive announcement will be made at the D23 Expo from August 9-11.
May 21, 2013: The owner of TikiManPages.com posted the following information to WDWMagic.com in the ongoing Cars Land discussion: "There will be no Cars land in WDW. There will be a huge new project that will take out things around Star Tours all the way to Indy and the lake next to it." A follow up post by user nicknick553 indicates that recent construction survey work indicated that the land would not be suitable for a full Cars Land due to the risk of pot holes.
May 8, 2013: During the May 7, 2013 Earnings Call, Bob Iger stated: "In addition to the Star Wars feature films that we’ve already talked about, we’re also working on opportunities for television and our parks. It’s still very early in the process. We’ll announce details as these developments evolve."
May 8, 2013: WDWMagic.com user Grotto123 began a thread that indicated a Star Wars Land would be built into the Television parking lot. The source seems to be front line cast members so the reliability of the information is questionable.
March 20, 2013: Multiple reports have surfaced reporting Star Wars based surveys for a new Star Wars themed land in Disneyland.
March 19, 2013: Both the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun and the Disney Channel Rocks parades will be ending in early April. According to WDWMagic.com user WDW1974, this was a decision made by President of Walt Disney World, George Kalogridis with the intention of re-allocating funds. Another user Alektronic also posted on WDWMagic.com that the Parade Maintenance department at Hollywood Studios would be demolished beginning April 4th. This building is located behind the Backlot Express restaurant and is labeled as Entertainment Costuming on the linked map.
October 30, 2012: Disney announced the acquisition of LucasFilm LTD and all of it's intellectual property.