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What Do You Want to See in Disney's Star Wars Land?

January 13, 2016, 2:22 PM · You might have heard that Disney is adding some new land to its Anaheim and Orlando parks based on a little-known franchise called Star Wars. Much like with the build-up to the latest installment of the film series (Episode VII - The Force Awakens), there are a lot of fanboys (like me) eagerly and nervously anticipating what it is in store for us when Star Wars Land debuts.

Well, J.J.’s movie certainly did not let the vast majority of us fans down... and actually restored the rampant lack of faith in Lucas’s creation that followed the trainwreck known as the prequels.

That being said, I am sincerely hoping Star Wars Land also rises to the occasion (and let’s face it — almost impossibly high expectations) and follows suit in giving the fans what they want.

Now as Robert has explored in his previous articles, we have a general idea of what to expect as far as some of the rides and attractions. More than that, it will be the details featured in these new lands that will determine their success in transporting us to that beloevd galaxy far, far away.

Here’s my own wish list for the experiences I want to have in Star Wars Land — one for each good Star Wars movie.

Force Interactions

Use the Force, me! (Okay, you too, Luke.) Yeah okay, Harry Potter might have done it first in Universal’s Wizarding World, but come on… Disney Imagineers can certainly do it better.

Let’s have interactive areas everywhere so we can unlock the Jedi in all of us (not just the kiddies at the Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple.) Maybe we use lightsabers (only $49.95!) instead of wands, which would certainly be cool.

But how about we unleash our inner Jedi and focus the force via hand gestures tied in to Disney's Magic Bands. It would be yet another use for the ubiquitous and “beloved” band that already gets me everything I could ever want while WDW, except of course my annual passholder discount.

Drink and Dine at a Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

I don’t care if it’s the Mos Eisley Cantina, Jabba's Palace, or Maz Kanata's castle. Make it look awesome on the outside and even more amazing inside! How about some advanced audio-animatronic bands such as Max Rebo, Sy Snootles, or Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. Maybe even a stage for live music performed at dinner time.

I want spectacular and immersive theming like Be Our Guest, the WWHOP restaurants, Trader Sam’s, or Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. The tables and booths should make me feel like I’m sitting down on a movie set. And throw a few performers/characters in there for advanced interactions like a Star Wars version of the old Adventurer’s Club. Kenobi-loosh!

Walk Around Inside the Millennium Falcon

Yes, there's supposed to be a ride that takes place in the most famous cockpit in the history of cinema that allows guests to “fly it,” but I want a full-size scale movie model of the ship that made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.

I could literally spend a whole day inside something like that. They make playlands for kids, make a Falcon for the big kids. It could even be part of a themed Jakku “graveyard” area that has a half-dozen large ships and vehicles and shuttles to explore.

Character Interactions

I love the Stormtroopers on patrol and the trading Jawas at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios. And for my money, I think this kind of next-level character interaction/experience is so much cooler than a standard meet and greet.

Now, I’m not saying to dump the traditional character stuff, I’d still get in line for a photo with Slave Leia. (Hmm... I feel a disturbance in the Force as if one among a thousand uncomfortable couches suddenly cried out that I will be sleeping there tonight.)

Seriously though, having a lot of Star Wars characters just walking around and doing what you’d see them do in the movie is awesome. Think about it: Bounty Hunters checking to see if you’re on their list, Imperial Recruitment Officers trying to get you to sign up, Resistance Spies and Droids (Hello there, BB-8!) hiding out from the First Order goons by walking with your family to blend in. The possibilities are endless!

That’s why I want to see in Star Wars Land. Tell us what’s on your wish list in the comments below.

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Replies (29)

January 13, 2016 at 2:39 PM · I would most love a desert themed Tatoonie since this place is featured in the first two movie trilogies. The newest movie is featured in another desert planet, amazing coincidence. This will not happen in Star Wars Land since the lands represented in the movies will not make an appearance. We really don't know what to expect. Aside from characters, food and drink, the Force, and the Millennium Falcon, the land is the biggest unknown unlike the exact representation of Diagon Alley, Hogswort, and Hogsmead at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

At minimum, have an accurate Mos Eisley Cantina, Jabba's Palace, and the Jedi Council, and perhaps the space port that the Millennium Falcon took off from in Episode 4. We should be able to walk around the Imperial Starfleet's warships or the Death Star's interiors.

January 13, 2016 at 2:51 PM · I want "Star Wars the J.J. Abrams Experience"! Where you wear special glasses and J.J. shines a blinding flashlight into them to create all those amazing lens flairs! ;) Or Star Wars the prequel experience where you stand on a green screen and try to act amazed by a tennis ball dangled in front of you.

To be honest I am thrilled by the new movie and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Star Wars Land!

January 13, 2016 at 3:10 PM · I don't want to meet the big stars, they should be in the rides telling a new story. I don't care to visit a unknown planet, I want to be on a sellection of the known areas.
But this is Disney and thy will sell as much crap as they can not giving a hoot anout the real fans but catering to the hordes.
If The Disney company got Potter it would have sucked, JK knew, Universal did build it for the fans. No big signs with attraction names, no coke or other muggle stuff but the real deal. Disney won't dare to build it. At best it will be a nice theme park experiance but no elevation on the regular stuff they do for years.
January 13, 2016 at 3:12 PM · Anything that doesn't involve Jar-Jar
January 13, 2016 at 3:55 PM · I love walking through Harry Potter land and hearing the music from the movies. Even when I'm not noticing it I think it adds to the experience. So bring on the soundtracks.

January 13, 2016 at 4:38 PM · A restaurant with with animatronics of the bands would be awesome!!! Though there would probably be a 5 year wait for reservations.....
January 13, 2016 at 6:03 PM · I want lots of cast members in Jar Jar Binks costumes that we can force choke. Maybe make a special attraction out of it like Ollivander's.
January 13, 2016 at 6:15 PM · Other than the big E-ticket attractions, the main thing I want out of Star Wars Land is for it to feel like Star Wars. Once you step into the land, it should feel like you have stepped into the actual Star Wars galaxy, not like you've stepped into a theme park representation of it. This is something Universal appears to have done with Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I really hope that Disney can do just as good of job. Nail that, and I don't think it will matter too much what the exact contents of the land are (though I do hope that everything Paul listed makes it into the land).
January 13, 2016 at 6:22 PM · The most essential component is to fix the Fast Pass Plus system before it opens. This is going to be extremely popular, more than I think they know. I do not want to go to Florida or California and get to ride these attractions once a day. Also, they need to go all out on the cast costumes. The Star Tours outfits are terrible. Have people in full alien outfits walking around. Wookies, Twileks, Trandoshians, etc. Once you enter this area, there cannot be anything taking you out of it. No Mickey with a lightsaber.
January 13, 2016 at 8:45 PM · There was a Star Wars-themed Secret Cinema season in London last year that gave us most of what you asked for in terms of experiencing being inside that world, especially because dressing up was mandatory: x-wing pilot, jedi apprentice, smuggler or councilman. We obviously had no rides but had plenty of booze in the Mos Eisley cantina, trading with smugglers, jawas, farmers (yes, Luke's uncle and aunt), Vader and Leia bantering, etc. Several reviews are available online. It was an amazing experience and if Disney imagineers who might have attended it can up the game, as it should given the fact this was an independent production, Star Wars Land should be to die for. Fingers crossed!
January 13, 2016 at 10:20 PM · The so called immersive experience that everyone raves about, is ruined the minute you bang into someone else. It's ruined the minute you see the roller coaster track. BOTTOM LINE: it's all about your personal perspective.

Unfortunately, DIS has decided to clone STAR WARS land vs building a unique planet at each of their resorts. Like the way auto manufacturers build different cars off the same platform.

Walt Disney was the original creator of immersive environments.

Walt Disney lead the charge to tear out and rebuild a bigger and better ride that would allow him to increase capacity and revenue!

January 13, 2016 at 10:24 PM · Would like to see immersive themed areas based on the original movie trilogy, with worlds like Hoth, Bespin/ Cloud City, Endor, and Tatooine represented. I wasn't so impressed with the newest movie, though my kids liked it a lot.

Have read speculation (perhaps on this website?) that the new Star Wars themed areas will be based on the new Disney-produced movies because Disney will own all the distribution rights to those movies, compared to Episodes 4-6, which are still under Fox control.

By the way, I read an article about a month before the new movie was released that the Slave Leia costume most likely will not be included in any future Star Wars marketing or merchandising, and is off limits for future graphic novels. Which probably suits Carrie Fisher and younger female Star Wars fans just fine.

http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/11/03/55448/disney-pulls-back-on-marketing-slave-leia-and-her/

January 13, 2016 at 10:38 PM · The Osborn Family Lights
January 13, 2016 at 11:01 PM · They should have a slow moving, animatronic heavy dark ride along the lines of Pirates, one that is very immersive. It can be on Tatooine with Jabba's palace, the Rancor, etc. I'm sure they're going to have plenty of screen based, fast action rides, so a slower, immersive ride would be a good complement.
January 14, 2016 at 5:07 AM · I'm really excited for this land and I think it'll be truly spectacular. But personally, I think that even if Disney makes this the best themed land of all time, the Disney critics and Universal fanboys will still
find some reason to hate it just because Disney's name is attached to it. I mean, hey, there's still some Disney fanboys out there who aren't willing to like WWOHP because it has Universal's name attached to it, (not me, though, WWOHP is awesome) so I think that means it's pretty safe to assume the same for Disney and Star Wars; plus the fact that that Universal fanboys just seem to hate every single thing that a Disney does.
January 14, 2016 at 7:58 AM · Actually in regards to Slave Girl Leia, her image is among the new set of digital trading cards on thee STAR WARS CARDS TRADER app. This new set launches officially tomorrow but has already been trading for about 3 weeks with preview versions. So, I guess the Slave Girl Leia image is here to stay.
January 14, 2016 at 8:57 AM · Are we not worried the Millennium Falcon ride won't be Mission Space 2.0? I mean, "take control" worries me...a lot...
January 14, 2016 at 9:56 AM · As I said many many times... Disney needs to make Hollywood Studios an entire Star Wars Park...

Star Wars has been popular since the late 70's and is not going to lose that world wide following any time soon. Just look at the movie numbers from this new movie..

If you build it, they will come - Disney will finally be to compete with WWHP at Universal....

January 14, 2016 at 11:57 AM · Geez. So much negativity in some of these anonymous posts. WWHP and Carsland are already examples of how some of the best immersion works. That hate for Disney makes no sense.

At the bare minimum, I just want to see Mos Eisley Cantina or Maz's Watering Hole. An Ewok village. Photo ops with life size X-Wings, Speeder Bikes, etc. And of course meet and greets with more characters.

I'd like to see a wide variety of background characters walking around, but I feel that could occasionally get ugly with how there is always a family or group of people who feel the need to harass costumed characters.

January 14, 2016 at 1:29 PM · Brian,

just because you want something to happen doesn't mean it should happen. I would love to have my own personal secret vault filled with infinite cheeseburgers and pizza, but my own physical limitations as a regular human being say otherwise. I would love to spend all day playing videogames in my bedroom instead if going to school (stuck in the middle of mid-terms right now...ugh...) but I kinda want to have a future.

Look, Star Wars has been one of my favorite franchises since I was 7. But I seriously don't think it should completely take over DHS. Especially because of Tower of Terror. I've spent almost a year defending Disney. But if they change/replace Tower of Terror, I will throw all that away and jump right over to Universal's side. That ride is about as perfect as you can get. I know that DHS really isn't the most popular Disney park, but let's look at IOA.

Before WWOHP, IOA was barely a 2/4 day park. The only things absolutely worth doing in the park were Hulk, Dragon, Spiderman and, depending on the time and weather, the 3 water rides. Then WWOHP came, which blew all of our minds. Harry Potter is still a really popular franchise that will most likely remain relevant for years to come. But even now, IOA is still just slightly over a 3/4 day park. So would the most logical step be to just turn the entire park into just one big Harry Potter-themed park? Well, maybe, if it wasn't for one ride...Spiderman. Could you honestly imagine Spiderman, such a near-perfect ride, being altered in any way? No! That's pure blasphemy! Well, guess what? That's how we'd Disney fans feel about DHS being converted into one big Star Wars park.

January 15, 2016 at 1:58 AM · To be built in a timely, punctual manner - not the recent Disney pace at building attractions, which is quite frankly an utter disgrace.
January 15, 2016 at 7:58 AM · 66.87.122.245/hidden person /Disney Fan boy...

Yes I do want Disney to Wake up and see the potential in Hollywood Studios. Currently this park is 100 percent useless as a park… Needs major fixing. What would be better than making this overly boring, overpriced 3 ride park into a destination? Oh, sure Disney will add some new land a few underwhelming rides for 8 year olds and add some over prices food shops…

But why not journey into the unimaginable… They spent a lot on monies to create a new area Fantasy land… And it is below average. One damn ride that slightly ricks back and forth, several meet and greats and a restaurant... Underwhelming, period… I bet this new Star Wars Land will be more of the same.

I want to open their eyes to the possibilities of something bigger. Heck the already destroyed ESPN. ESPN used to be great, now it has no back bone, no personality, nothing. They have destroyed that once good outlet. They have laid off folks recently at ESPN in Bristol, CT since the popularity has diminished with the Disney management running it into a boring, vanilla piece of wasteland. Yes I am being harsh… But sometimes the truth is painful.

Disney use to have a vision but is now blind. They had to buy Pixar since they were getting destroyed in animation by DreamWorks. Steve Wynn once said “In the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is King”. Disney needs to find its one eye again… (These opinions are simply an opinion). If you do not like them, move on, nothing to see here…

Here is your challenge Disney - Prove me wrong, but I believe the Force is weak at Disney.


January 15, 2016 at 8:18 AM · Whatever the final version of Star wars land will look like, the mandate for it and World of Avatar is simple: reclaim the gold standard in theme park design from Universal studios' WWHOP.
Mind you whatever Universal studios is or will plan for the newly reacquired land down the road has a similar goal: blow star wars land and world of avatar out of the water!
Talk about constantly uping the ante! Life is good for theme park fans...
January 15, 2016 at 12:57 PM · I don't want to see any more Star Wars at all! My son and I are HUGE Disney fans (parks - not necessarily everything else) and are seriously dismayed at the direction Disney is going with DHS. It used to be my son's favorite park and now he's feeling like he doesn't know if he'll want to go anymore. Between these changes and doing away with the NX tickets, they just might be losing us. And we go A LOT.
January 15, 2016 at 5:17 PM · Brian,

I can't back up ESPN, since I don't particularly care about sports, but everything else I can.

First off, I know these are all opinions. And I get that. And I try not to be mean. I try to avoid swearing and calling people nasty names. But I look at all these comment threads and I see so much disrespect towards Disney and the opinions of their fans. So why should I be obligated to show respect towards Universal and the opinions of their fans? Now, this might sound a little weird but, my problem isn't other people liking Universal more than Disney. Unlike other Disney fanboys (and you know who I'm talking about) I acknowledge that Universal is great at what they do and they succeed in some areas where Disney is a little lacking. What makes me mad is when people just flat out say that Disney sucks or aren't as good as they used to be. And I personally find it rather
unfair that the number of Universal supporters on this website greatly outnumber the Disney supporters. And some of those Disney supporters (again, you know who I'm talking about) are kinda...nicest way I can put it...kinda immature about it. Hence the reason so many of my comments are argumentative. I'm one of the few people who wants to defend Disney but still has enough objectivness in me to admit when Universal gets something right.
Which leads to my next point:

Disney.Is.Not.Blind.


They have not lost any vision. They can see perfectly clearly. Their plans usually take 5-10 years to develop. And I'm not just talking about recently. Space Mountain, Pirates of the Carribbean, a Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain...all those rides took years just to get off the drawing board. The Imagineers had to come up with good storylines and technological innovations. I know that Universal often gets praised for being able to churn out new rides more quickly, but I bet that if they were to release behind-the-scenes documentaries for some of their more innovative rides (which I'd like to see) I'd bet we'd see that they took more time to plan out than we might've thought. So this slow pace is really nothing new.

And on the subject of their Florida parks: out of all the Disney parks, WDW is the most popular of them all. So they did not need any significant changes for a while. They had to make sure the other parks were caught up. And let's see what happened.

-DCA went from a laughing stock to one of the best parks in the country

-Mystic Manor, one of the park's most critically-praised rides, was built.

-Ratatouille, another well-reviewed dark ride, was built.

-Shanghai Disneyland, the "most ambitious" Disney park ever built.

A lot of people seem to forget that New Fantasyland wasn't supposed to be a new land, just an expansion of a preexisting one. And it's pretty good. The theming and attention to detail is almost on par with WWOHP; the Dumbo ride is better than ever, Enchanted Tales with Belle is a very cute show with amazing special effects; Little a Mermaid is an awesome dark ride which I will take over Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Winnie the Pooh (with the exception of Japan's version if it's really as good as everyone says); and while 7DMT is disappointingly short for it's super-long wait time, it's still a really fun ride with impressive Audio-Animatronics. Sure, you might never see them on anyone's top 10 list of greatest Disney rides, but so what? Not every new ride has to be the next big e-ticket. If New Fantasyland is a disappointment then, by comparison, Springfield USA should be a disgrace. All it gave us was a lazy, uninspired spinner and a couple of new restaurants.

And, throughout the 2000s, Disney's animated films were a little lacking. ***cough cough, Home On The Range, cough cough***; but in recent years their animated movies have vastly improved. Yes, it is pretty annoying show Frozen is now on everything you can put a price tag on, but there's a reason for that. And it's because Frozen's an awesome movie! And you also have Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6...all awesome movies. And guess what? They weren't made by Pixar. They were made purely by Disney.

And again, can't really speak for ESPN because, again, I don't really care about sports. But there's Marvel and Star Wars. Before the MCU, superheroes were pretty much considered a thing that was only for nerds and elementary schoolers. The only Marvel superhero that most people probably cared about was Spiderman. But the MCU has turned Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, superheroes that were then considered B-listers at best, into icons of pop culture. All because of Disney. And Star Wars. Thanks to Disney, now is probably a better time to be a Star Wars fan than any other point in history. The new movie is creating an entirely new generation of fans while winning back all of the old fans who were scared off by the prequels.

And I know what you're going to say, "so, why not turn DHS into one big Star Wars park?" Well, Brian, while I do have a huge respect for you (I was really touched by what you said in the "Why We Love Theme Parks" discussion forum), but again, just because you want something to happen doesn't mean it should happen. Just because you don't like DHS doesn't mean others do. I don't think the majority of people really hate the park, they just don't think it's as good as other offerings in the Orlando area. And, again, how could you take away such a perfect attraction like Tower of Terror?

So, to sum it all up, no, Disney hasn't lost their path. They are not blind. They know exactly what their doing. But if anything I have said hasn't convinced you of anything, then I want you to consider just one other thing. And I know this is a pretty generic Disney fanboy argument, but it's a pretty valid one: look at the numbers. Disney is still the most highly attended theme parks in the world. The majority of all those who visit still have a really good time. And despite all the price increases, the parks are still gaining more visitors and fans with each passing year. If that's not a sign that Disney hasn't gone blind, than I don't know what is.

Ok, I'm done. I'm gonna go settle down now. Have a nice weekend.


January 15, 2016 at 10:26 PM · With all due respect to the previous anonymous post, the issue is a matter of public perception and in terms of the PR battle, Universal is winning on that front.

In terms of the things happening in just Orlando only, Universal has shown it does not need to take 5-6 years from announcement to reality in terms of building new lands if one compares WWHOP phase 1&2 to Avatar.

From the viewpoint of adding & subtracting attractions, Universal has also demonstrated that you can add and subtract concurrently rather that the minus first add later approach that Disney had somewhat adopted.

Take for example that from 2010 when WWOHP phase 1 opened till Avatar opens in 2017, Universal will have added Skull Island, Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls, Transformers while having Volcano Bay, Jimmy Fallon, Fast and Furious, Simpsons, and despicable me replacing Wet N wild, Twister, Disaster, BTTF and Jimmy Neutron respectively.

On the other hand all WDW will have done is expand fantasyland, replace Norway with Frozen and open Avatar at AK.

Universal has done much more reinventing Universal Studios Florida in the last 5 years than has Disney has with DHS thats all.

January 16, 2016 at 1:18 AM · I simply would like to see something in a themed Star Wars Land that was never seen in the movies: An interstellar themed restroom dealing with the special needs of the different species and creatures... - I bet, no Toto or American Standard ceramics would fit in most cases. - So the Disney imagineers could really surprise us with some crative solutions that make the use of a restroom also an experience!
January 19, 2016 at 10:59 AM · Primarily I am hoping to see the Imagineers getting more leeway in creating attractions with minimal cost control requirements from the bean counters. I'm pretty optimistic on this count as the Powers That Be have seen the impressive impact of in depth theming and high quality attractions that have made the WWOHP so successful. No one wants a repeat of cost cutting killing the Beastly Kingdomme at DAK, or years of building to come up with a lack luster expansion such as the Fantasy Land Expansion. As noted above, an immersive Mos Eisley Cantina, the E Ticket Millenium Falcon, and perhaps another E-ticket of some sort. Added in layers of good theming and Star Wars Land could break DHS away form the pack.
January 19, 2016 at 5:19 PM · I just want to start by saying this site is awesome. Im only 10 and I love this site and amusement parks. I love parks so much I make my own homemade newsletters. Im on the edge for this star wars land idea. Sure its great, I love the movies (haven't seen the new one yet)and love star wars in general. but, I do think that they shouldn't have taken out lights, motors, action! Im not to surprised that their taking out the main street in DHS (is it just me that thinks that it was just shops)? So im excited but worried what DHS will become. So I don't want to say to much cause im 10 but is this anyone else's opinion? id like too know thz.

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