February 7, 2017 – The Walt Disney Co. announced today, during its 2017 Quarter One earnings call, that Star Wars Land at Disneyland (Anaheim) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando) will open sometime in 2019.
Ever since Disney first erected construction walls at both parks in the first third of 2016, Disney has never committed to a specific opening date for either Star Wars Land. Despite today’s announcement, however, no soft- or hard-opening dates have been revealed.
The promise of a 2019 opening is more credible for Disneyland because vertical construction has been well underway for several months. By contrast, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has not witnessed any major vertical construction and is moving at a snail’s pace.
The following video filmed Feb. 3rd at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by YouTube user TheTimTracker shows some repositioned construction walls and points out some logistical theming problems. How, for example, will Disney be able to seamlessly connect Star Tours Adventure with the new Star Wars Land, when the Muppets’ Courtyard stands between them?
An overhead shot of the future Star Wars Land in Orlando shows the bare beginnings of the new themed area:
Adjacent to Star Wars Land in Orlando is the now-under-construction Toy Story Land. Judging by the quicker pace of construction there, it appears that Toy Story Land will be opening well before Star Wars Land.
Other higher priority projects, such as “Pandora – The World of Avatar” (at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, opening May 27th) and the expansion of various Disney Vacation Clubs (i.e., timeshares), may explain part of the reason for the slower pace at Star Wars Land.
By contrast, Disneyland’s Star Wars Land in Anaheim is showing a lot of heavy equipment on site, vertical construction and fairly rapid progress:
May 24, 2019, by the way, is the announced premiere date for Star Wars Episode IX (no official title yet). As that movie will conclude the third trilogy, Disney may be feeling some pressure to open its newest themed lands before fans drift away.