Time FramePreviews: August 2019 Official Opening: August 29, 2019 Rise of the Resistance: December 5, 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 set to open on August 29 2019 and the Disneyland version debuted May 31, 2019. Both versions will open without Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, but all other areas will open with the land.
Confirmed details on Star Wars Land are as follows:
- The land will be called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
- A Star Wars Themed Hotel will be "connected" to the land.
- 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 begins. 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
- May 31, 2019: The land officially opens in Disneyland
- August 2019: Annual Passholder previews in Disney's Hollywoood Studios.
- August 29, 2019: The land officially opens in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Opens December 5, 2019
- 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." Guests are also expected to come face to face with Kylo Ren.
- Expected to include at least 150 Storm Trooper animatronics as well as other animatronics
- Guests will board 8 passenger transport vehicles manned by an R5 droid. Guests may potentially leave their vehicles at certain points of the attraction and get on new vehicles (or reload onto their original vehicle).
- Hourly capacity reports have been between 1500-1900 guests per hour.
- Walt Disney Imagineering Code Name: Alcatraz
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Opens August 29, 2019
- This will take place in the second largest show building. 6 guests per cabin will be placed in one of 3 critical roles inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. The queue and setup will reportedly be themed to a spaceport with references to the interior of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will be in a physical capsule with a viewport to a large exterior screen.
The backstory for the attraction is that Chewbacca has made arrangements with Hondo Ohnaka (Clone Wars and Rebels). Ohnaka will send guests on one of three scenarios:
- A race on Corellia
- A trip to a First Order shipyard on Corellia
- Steal a piece of cargo and battle a monster
- Disney partnered with NVIDIA for the ride system rendering. The attraction is expected to be 8K resolution rendered in real time.
- Multiple pre-shows are expected to setup the plot and tasks required in the attraction.
- Multiple endings and significant ride variability are expected.
Hourly capacity reports are expected to be 1800 guests per hour.
- There are 4 turntables that will slowly rotate 7 Millennium Falcon capsules
- Each capsule is expected to seat 6 guests
- Ride time is rumored to be 4 minutes.
- 2 additional standalone capsules will be available for guests requiring more time for load and unload.
- Walt Disney Imagineering Code Name: Big Bird
- 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.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Oga's Cantina - This bar/lounge is run by alien proprietor Oga Garra, the Cantina will feature form Star Tours pilot Rex (RX-24, the former StarSpeeder 3000 pilot) as the DJ amidst a cast of questionable characters throughout the establishment. Guests will dine on small plates and beverages in unique vessels.
- Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo- At this restaurant housed in a working hangar bay, choose from a variety of dishes prepared with ingredients from across the galaxy—all of it delicious, but none of it familiar. Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has docked a food freighter loaded with fresh supplies and he’s ready to satisfy the appetites of visitors and locals alike with an array of exotic offerings. His planet-hopping travels allow him to prepare fare with unusual flavors that delight customers.
- Ronto Roasters - Ronto Roasters is a favorite stop for crews prepping for their next mission.Inside, spot the hanging podracer engine heating up a spit of meats. A pitmaster droid turns the mechanical spit, grilling a large side of ronto—a massive beast native to the planet Tatooine.
- Snack Stands - Kat Saka's Kettle (popcorn) Milk Stand (Blue and green milk)
- Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers – Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.
- Droid Depot – Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.
- Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities - Hidden inside the den, you’ll encounter a rotating collection of unique items that include everything from jewelry, to ancient tools, to rare kyber crystals, to statues—and even a collection of famous lightsabers. The eclectic assortment of goods comes from many different planets and eras.
- First Order Cargo – A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.
- Resistance Supply – Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.
- Smaller Shops - Toydarian Toymaker (toys), Creature Stall (interesting critters that you can take home with you), Black Spire Outfitters (clothing), The Jewels of Bith (accessories and other trinkets to treasure)
- 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 village will be known as Black Spire Outpost.
- 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
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Teaser Video
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge model from the 2017 D23 Expo
The Music of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Concept Art
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Teaser Video and Concept art:
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Teaser Video and Concept art:
Oga's Cantina concept art:
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Disneyland concept art:
Hollywood Studios Nighttime Concept Art
Additional details that have not been confirmed are as follows:
- The budget for Star Wars and other Hollywood Studios enhancements/infrastructure improvements has been reported to be roughly $2.8 billion.
- 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 will 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.
- Imagineers are pushing for a large streetmasphere presence with interactive components built into the surroundings.
In addition to Star Wars Land, additional Star Wars content and changes have already taken place. That rumor tracker can be found here.
July 11, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog announced that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will officially open on December 5, 2019 at Disney's Hollywood Studios and January 17, 2020 in Disneyland.
July 5, 2019: The official Annual Passholder perks website announced that annual passholders will have the opportunity to experience a preview of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge before the August 29th official opening date.
How to Register
- Email invitations with registration details will be sent out later this summer.
- If you are an eligible Passholder and would like to register a Guest to accompany you, that Guest must also have a valid Platinum, Platinum Plus or Premier annual pass, be listed on your Family & Friends list and have opted to share "All My Plans" with you.
- Advance registration is required.
- Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders must register by making an online reservation for ONE event.
- Valid Annual Pass and photo ID are required at check-in for each Passholder and Passholder Guest.
- Reservations are limited and are subject to availability.
- Activities and attractions are subject to change without notice.
June 22, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog mentioned that Rise of the Resistance is expected to open later this year in Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
May 28, 2019: The Disneyland Youtube Channel shared a preivew of some of the dining offerings coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
May 24, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog shared the first photos of the new park maps coming to Disneyland that feature Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The map cover shows familiar concept art for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, and the map shows the locations of the two attractions, restaurants and snack stands.
May 20, 2019: The Disneyland Youtube Channel shared a preview of some of the merchandise coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
May 13, 2019: The Disneyland Youtube Channel shared a 360 degree video of the Chess room in Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run.
April 19, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog shared details and a video of some of the upcoming merchandise that will be available at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Per the blog:
Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers – Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.
Droid Depot – Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.
First Order Cargo – A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.
Resistance Supply – Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.
There are also several market stalls which sell a variety of merchandise such as:
- Toydarian Toymaker (toys)
- Creature Stall (interesting critters that you can take home with you)
- Black Spire Outfitters (clothing)
- The Jewels of Bith (accessories and other trinkets to treasure)
April 16, 2019: Matt Roseboom of Attractions Magazine went on a tour of the Imagineering facility in Glendale California with Imagineer Dave Fisher. As part of the tour they were told that the self driving droids planned for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge are ready, but are being held back due to anticipated crowds.
April 13, 2019: As part of the Star Wars Celebration Parks and Resorts panel today in Chicago, Disney announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to create specialized packaging and bottles for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The packaging resembles thermal detonators and features Aurebesh translations for Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and Dasani.
April 12, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog shared a video of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge exhibit at the Star Wars Celebration currently taking place in Chicago. In the video, guests can see the First Order Troop Transport vehicle that will be utilized in the Rise of the Resistance attraction as well as merchandise that will be available in the land.
April 11, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog announced that they will broadcasting the Parks and Resorts panel from the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago on April 13th.
From 11 AM - 12:30 PM on Saturday April 13th, Imagineers Chris Beatty, Asa Kalama, Margaret Kerrison and Scott Trowbridge will be joined by Doug Chiang and Matt Martin from Lucasfilm as part of a panel discussion.
April 6, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that it is possible that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway does not open until 2020 and it is likely that Rise of the Resistance opens before Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.
March 22, 2019: Brady MacDonald of Bloloop.com provided a detailed account of what guests can expect inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
March 9, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that while the Table Service restaurant won't be part of the opening day of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, there is a location for it, potentially attached to Oga's Cantina.
March 7, 2019: During today's Shareholder's meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open on August 29th at Disney's Hollywood Studios and May 31st at Disneyland.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will open on the August 29th date with Rise of the Resistance opening later in 2019.
Height requirements were also announced today:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will have a 38" Height Requirement
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will have a 40" Height Requirement
Fastpass+ will not be available at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run when it first opens nor at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance when it opens later this year.
Disneyland guests will also be required to make a no cost reservation to see the land from May 31st - June 23rd and it is unknown if Disney's Hollywood Studios will undergo a similar requirement.
WDWMagic.com user t3techcom18 is reporting a small chance that Rise of the Resistance will have soft openings in Disneyland in late July.
February 27, 2019: Cast member costumes for Disneyland's version of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge were revealed today through many Instagram posts. Users DisneyExaminer and seedisneywithus shared photos of the Black Spire Outpost village costumes. Cast members will be able to mix and match their costumes to create a variety of different looks throughout the land.
User seedisneywithus also shared photos of the food and beverage costumes that will presumably be worn at Oga's Cantina.
At Smugglers Run, the costumes resemble that of a runway flight crew, appropriate for the attraction's theme.
At Rise of the Resistance, it appears that there will be two different costume designs representing the First Order and the Resistance.
Each cast member will also have a name tag in both English and Aurabesh.
January 14, 2018: Attractions Magazine posted a breakdown of a rumored scene by scene description of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistence citing anonymous sources. The article came with the disclaimer that until confirmed by Disney that the following was just rumor. Below is the exact text from the article.
We have seen this blue transport ship in displays and concept art for quite some time. In fact, this model is on display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But, why? Why has this singular ship been given nearly as much detail as the Millennium Falcon?
It’s because guests will be taking this ship as a sort of pre-show in the queue for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction. At some point in the queue, most likely right after the FastPass+ and standby merge, guests will be loaded into this rather large ship.
Guests will board the ship, and, unbeknownst to them, will be spun 180 degrees inside. This spinning will allow the room to both load and unload guests at the same. Large screens, combined with music and sound effects, will simulate that guests are taking off from Batuu into space.
While on their way through the galaxy, the ship will be captured by the First Order. This will force the ship to land inside of a First Order Star Destroyer hangar.
This is where the main storyline of the attraction begins. Guests will exit the pre-show ship into a hangar. This will be one of the largest rooms of the entire building, complete with animatronic stormtroopers, TIE fighters and a picturesque view of space. Guests will be told to, “move along,” as they are taken to individual load rooms, themed to First Order prison cells.
This diagram gives an approximate idea of what to expect for the four individual load rooms. Guests will be taken from the huge hangar area on the left into the hallways. Here, they will be grouped into the smaller pre-show rooms. These secondary pre-shows are expected to have a droid of some kind that will explain safety procedures and move the story along, much like how Rocket Raccoon does in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure.
Guests will then be loaded into one-of-two different trackless First Order transport vehicles. These two ride vehicles will accompany each other during the entire experience. Once guests are loaded in, the vehicle is sent out of the room for processing.
Now, while there are four showrooms, equaling eight different ride vehicles, it is expected that there will never be more than two vehicles in the same room. The two vehicles that start together will never be separated for more than a few seconds.
From this point, the two buddy transports will enter the blue-colored room. Unlike the preview videos that Disney provided, cast members will not be walking around this area.
Instead, the buddy transports will enter and shortly after, a rogue droid will drive across the upper bridge. This droid will hack into the First Order mainframe, gaining control of your vehicles – which will suddenly take off, as your escape mission begins.
The two ride vehicles will exit the large first room in an extremely high-detailed area, which is meant to look like hallways inside of a First Order Star Destroyer. The real excitement begins when the vehicles turn a corner to come face-to-face with an animatronic Kylo Ren! His saber will ignite as the vehicles back up in retreat. They’ll spin around and go down the second turn, only to enter the AT-AT room.
This is where the vehicles will become separated, each going up their own elevator shaft on either side of the room.
These AT-AT walkers will be massive – nearly the exact same size as they would be in the actual Star Wars universe. Each AT-AT’s head can move and fire upon the guests, only just missing them, of course.
Once guests have gone up the elevator shaft, they will be on the “second” floor of the building. In reality, guests will be more than 40 feet up – which is important later.
They will twist and turn in their own vehicle and head down a short hallway before the two buddy vehicles meet up again. Both vehicles will see each other and turn as they quietly go under an elevated area.
This elevated area will have a two animatronics, Kylo Ren and possibly General Hux. They are expected to be talking about the sudden Resistance fighters that are attacking the ship. They have come to save the guests!
From there, guests will sneak away from the meeting and enter the gun room. Like stated before, there won’t be any actual cast members in the attraction ride space, so these stormtroopers are most likely just for the commercial. However, the massive gun above them will be there.
A row of these guns will be blasting off into space as the two buddy vehicles drive under them, looking for a way out. Guests will feel the power as these guns shoot, recoil and reload. The accompanying screens on the right will show the Resistance fleet getting blasted at on massive screens meant to portray space.
The two buddy vehicles will once again meet up with Kylo Ren as he swings his lightsaber towards them, causing visible burn and gash marks on the walls. Kylo will nearly grab the guests when the Star Destroyer ship will be hit by a huge blast. This blast will cause Kylo Ren to get caught between a broken piece of the ship and the guests.
The two buddy vehicles may get a call from the Resistance ships to find an escape pod. The hacked vehicles will add the coordinates and take off. They almost make it before meeting up with Kylo Ren one last time. He uses the force to hold up the room as he comes at you, but at the last second, a wall collapses which causes him to focus all his attention on not getting hit.
The buddy vehicles aggressively back up, each swerving into their own escape pod. This is where the rumors about the Tower of Terror-style drop emerge.
The escape pods are actually elevator shafts that will drop guests from the highest point of the building. This drop will be accompanied by more high-end screens and will make guests feel as though they just shot off into space. The windows of the escape pods will show guests twisting, turning and falling back to the planet of Batuu.
In addition to the attraction description for Rise of the Resistance, the article also reveals that in addition to the previously identified 4 turntables with 7 Millennium cockpits per turntable for the Smugglers Run attraction, Disney has built two stand alone cockpits for guests that require additional time to load and unload.
December 31, 2018: On Episode 194 of the Disney Dish podcast, Len Testa discusses the concept of interactive activities within Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will see guests earning, "reputation points". These points appear to be consistent with things Disney has said publicly about how Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will reward guests that do a good job piloting the Falcon.
Additionally, Jim Hill and Len Testa discussed that Disney has created scenarios where guests can do nothing and a scenario will play out that will fill the 4 minute and 30 seconds ride time. The hypothetical situation presented was that the ship would be brought into a tractor beam, effectively overriding all controls.
Lastly, Disney has apparently been looking to test load and unload scenarios with the expectation that guests will want their pictures taken inside the Millennium Falcon, potentially disrupting attraction throughput.
Guests will crash land their pod in an old warehouse. The two buddy vehicles will then roll out of the escape pods and end up here, the unload area. This area will be somewhat visible to guests not riding the attraction. This may also be an area where guests can get a photo from PhotoPass.
December 25, 2018: The Disney Parks Blog shared a teaser video showing old and new footage of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The footage shows guests walking around the Millennium Falcon and aboard the two attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance.
December 3, 2018: On Episode 190 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill states that there is a scene in Rise of the Resistance that is larger than the entire show building for Pirates of the Caribbean and guests will exit their transport vehicle at some point during the attraction.
November 29, 2018: The Rebel Rave YouTube Channel summarized "What We Know" about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
November 17, 2018: At the D23 Destination D Event, Bob Chapek (Chairman of Disney Parks, Events, Consumer Products) announced the names of the two attractions coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run places guests in control of the famous ship and into one of three unique flight crew roles.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will put guests in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order including a face to face encounter with Kylo Ren.
Aspects of the land will also be integrated with the Play Disney Parks App. Lastly, Chapek announced that Academy Award winning composer John Williams will create a new original Star Wars themed score for the land. The music was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. A preview of the music can be found here along with a construction update on the project at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
November 16, 2018: Brooks Barnes (New York Times) reported on Twitter that the Millennium Falcon attraction is expected to have an hourly capacity of 1800 guests per hour.
November 16, 2018: @Attractions Magazine on Twitter reported that at Tomorrow's "It All Started with a Mouse" presentation, Bob Chapek (Chairman of Parks, Events and Consumer Products) is expected to reveal the names of the two Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attractions as well as additional details on the future of Epcot.
November 5, 2018: On Episode 186 of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill discussed the anticipated traffic pattern for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge during the first few months of operation. Guests are expected to enter the land via the Grand Avenue entrance and will exit through Toy Story Land.
October 16, 2018: Disney updated their ticket prices today and switched to date-based ticketing for all tickets. Guests can purchase tickets through December 16, 2019 leading WDWNT.com to speculate that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will not open prior to that date. For the land to open in "Late Fall 2019" as originally stated the window for opening would be between December 17-20, 2019.
October 4, 2018: MakingStarWars.net is reporting that Smugglers Run will have three different Missions:
- Mission Scenario One: Hondo gets you involved in a race on Corellia that he’s sure you can’t lose with the Millennium Falcon.
- Mission Scenario Two: Hondo sends you to the First Order Shipyard on Corellia, possibly on a mission for the Resistance.
- Mission Scenario Three: Your crew will have to steal some piece of cargo but the cargo is guarded by a giant monster similar to The Maw from Solo: A Star Wars Story and you’ll have evade the creature like the mythic heroes stealing the treasure from the sleeping dragon. Spoiler: The dragon wakes up.
September 23, 2018: Within the last week Disney has filed several permits for exterior "show set" installations in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 posted several of these permits as a reference, most of them are dated September 17th and 18th.
August 31, 2018: MakingStarWars.net is reporting a rumor that Michael Giacchino and John Williams are composing new music for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
August 30, 2018: Imagineer Scott Trowbridge announced on the Disney Parks Blog that one of the dining options in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be called Oga's Cantina.
Details of the restaurant are as follows:
Visitors come to this notorious local watering hole to unwind, conduct shady business, and maybe even encounter a friend…or a foe. Run by an intriguing alien proprietor, Oga Garra, the cantina adheres to a strict code of conduct that tries to keep its unruly patrons in check. But with a history of being a smugglers’ safe haven and a popular stopping point for those seeking to avoid the authorities, you can bet that the cantina has a story or two to tell.
Oga’s Cantina is the kind of establishment that attracts some of the most interesting and disreputable characters in the galaxy. And you never know when a stormtrooper or a familiar face will show up. Patrons of the cantina come from across the galaxy to sample the famous concoctions created with exotic ingredients using “otherworldly” methods, served in unique vessels. With choices for kids and libations for adults, the cantina will make for a great stop!
Musical entertainment is provided courtesy of RX-24, the former StarSpeeder 3000 pilot droid we first met in Star Tours, who has re-envisioned himself as the cantina’s DJ. As quirky and talkative as ever, he’s still trying to do his best on the job.
May 27, 2018: At tonight's Star Wars: Galactic Nights event, Imagineering revealed that the village in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be known as Black Spire Outpost. The name was revealed during the two panel discussions with Imagineer Scott Trowbridge and others.
According to a follow up post on the Disney Parks Blog:
The largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself.
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.