Star Wars Land Update: November 2016

November 19, 2016 – Walt Disney Imagineering today revealed a new artist’s concept rendering of the future Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

This is Disney's first-ever nighttime concept view of Star Wars Land.

This is Disney’s first-ever nighttime concept view of Star Wars Land.

The image was released today during the two-day D23: Destination D event at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida. According to Disney’s press release: “[T]he land will take on a whole new dimension after dark and feature adventures and surprises around each corner. If you look close, the image reveals a peek at what you’ll discover in this all-new land located in the southwest corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including one of the signature attractions that lets you take the controls of the Millennium Falcon.”

The interactive Millenium Falcon ride can be seen in the upper half of this image.

The interactive Millenium Falcon ride can be seen in the upper half of this image.

So how close is the reality of Star Wars Land in Orlando? Not anytime soon according to a recent visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

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As of November 4, 2016, there is no visible vertical construction and one block of building facades at the former Streets of America has yet to be torn down. There is some prepositioning of building materials and most of the Star Wars Land site has been cleared. But Orlando’s progress is far behind that of Disneyland in Anaheim, as the following November 9th video update shows below:

An opening date for Star Wars Land on both coasts has yet to be announced. A reasonable guess might be the end of 2019 at the earliest or 2021 at the latest (3-5 years).

Disney also announced today that it is adding a new adventure to its current attraction (ride), Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm are now working on a new mission based on elements from Star Wars Episode VIII. The Episode VIII movie (no official title yet) will premiere on Dec. 15, 2017, so the new adventure will be added to the Star Tours ride around that time frame to promote the movie.

Star Tours, a 3D motion simulator ride, sits outside the contours of Star Wars Land. The attraction first debuted at Disneyland at 1987 and, later, at Walt Disney World. A revamped version of the ride was introduced in 2011 at both theme parks.

Tokyo Disneyland (2012) and Disneyland Paris (2016) also updated their Star Tours rides, ending the original ride’s version of intergalactic adventures after 29 years.


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