Disney Offers New Look at ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Expansions

By July 11, 2016

Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort have featured various Star Wars-themed elements for years, including the popular Star Tours ride and the Jedi Training Academy stage show, but fans have been looking forward to a more immersive experience from the moment Disney acquired Lucasfilm and its properties. An official announcement during last year’s D23 Expo confirmed that a massive Star Wars expansion would be headed to both parks in the coming years, and now we have a better idea what surprises fans can expect.

The Disney Parks blog posted this gorgeous piece of concept art, an artist’s rendering of what the Disneyland version of this massive 14-acre expansion may look like upon completion, along with a brief description.

Nestled between towering spires of rock, this thriving port contains a seemingly familiar architecture of markets, landing zones and buildings. Click here for a larger version of the image above. Look closely and you may find hints of some of the thrilling experiences that are coming – like the Millennium Falcon peeking out of one of the cargo bays, marking the location where guests will get the opportunity to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

disney star wars land 2016 concept art

The Millennium Falcon ride will be one of the expansions’s cornerstone attractions, and earlier this year Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge confirmed that park attendees will not only ride in Han Solo’s legendary spacecraft, they’ll actually get to spend some time in the cockpit:

“Step aboard that iconic spaceship, the Millennium Falcon and take the controls yourself. You’re actually going to pilot this thing. You’re going to be the one in complete control, steering it through outer space, firing those lasers cannons, it’s all up to you so please be gentle with her.”

Of course, one of the other major draws of the new Star Wars-themed lands will be the level of immersion, offering park guests the chance to interact with droids and various alien species, visit a trading market featuring wares from across the galaxy, and sampling authentic Star Wars delicacies – which I’m assuming would almost have to include blue Bantha milk.

No word yet on when the new Star Wars lands will open in the Disney parks, but I’m guessing we’re probably a few years out from completion, and we’ll have plenty of updates for you as progress continues.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).