If you’ve been to, or are heading to Disney World with a Star Wars fan then you need to know what to expect. Star Wars has crept into the parks since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. The announcement of Star Wars Land in Orlando and Anaheim just helped speed up the process.
What’s on the Horizon
Right now there are two waves of Star Wars experiences coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There’s new Star Wars fireworks and a stage show coming this summer, and there is Star Wars land coming soon-ish.
This summer will introduce ‘Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular’ and ‘Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away’. The former is a new Star Wars fireworks show complete with projections and spotlights. The latter is a new stage show featuring favorite Star Wars characters.
Beginning soon is a stormtrooper march that will take place a few times each day. The First Order stormtrooper march will be led by Captain Phasma. The march will start at the Launch Bay and end in front of the Chinese Theater.
Later on, Disney will introduce Star Wars Land; it is the first experience based land Disney has done since Cars Land. The 14 acre expansion will include a Millenium Falcon ride where “guests [are] in control of the Corellian freighter tasked with steering the vessel through space [and] firing laser cannons”.
The land will also include an attraction that puts guests in a battle between First Order stormtroopers and Resistance Fighters. This leads one to believe that the new land may exist in the new movie universe, but details are rather scarce.
Also included in plans for Star Wars Land is at least two opportunities for Star Wars themed dining. A cantina and an upscale dinner club are among the concepts revealed. Current estimates say Star Wars land will open in or near 2020. A formal announcement will come after construction begins this April.
Current Star Wars Experiences
Currently “the force has awakened” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney introduced new experiences along with the 7th film in the series last November.
With the new experiences, Disney now offers nightly Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios. “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” includes music from all 7 films. The fireworks display and Star Wars music pair together to create a show that is something unforgettable.
Star Wars Launch Bay also opened last year and includes chances to meet Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. There are also various Star Wars characters wandering the grounds. You can trade with a Jawa, or mingle in the cantina with other lifeforms.
Star Wars launch bay also includes a gift shop with anything a Star Wars fan would need. Whether it’s screen accurate costumes or a crossguard lightsaber, you can find it here.
No trip to Hollywood Studios would be complete without a quick ride aboard Star Tours. This intergalactic tour features a new scene from the world of ‘The Force Awakens’. It also ends in Tatooine Traders which is another Star Wars gift shop.
In Tattoine Traders guests can build their own lightsaber or design a droid and build it. This is a great opportunity for your younger Star Wars fans to create and get a cool souvenir in the process. Of course the shop also includes plenty of merchandise for the family.
Another experience for younger Star Wars fans is ‘Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple’. Kids who are between 4 and 12 years of age can have their parents register at park open next to the 50’s Prime Time Café. This interactive show allows recruits to battle against the dark side on stage.
Star Wars Land construction has already started. Parts of the tram tour have been removed and most of the back half of Hollywood Studios closes on April 4th. With construction ramping up, Star Wars land should be open by Disney World’s 50th.
Since the absence of Star Wars weekends, more and more Star Wars experiences have popped up. In the meantime, the new experiences coming this summer should hold over most Star Wars fans. Fans also have plenty to look forward to with new announcements related to Star Wars Land.