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Imperial walkers have invaded Disney's Star Wars land

March 15, 2017, 7:40 PM · Disneyland fans are getting excited by the apparent arrival of two Imperial AT-AT walkers in the park's upcoming Star Wars land.

First featured in The Empire Strikes Back, the Imperial Walkers are those hulking, four-legged All Terrain Armored Transport vehicles, one of which Luke's buddy Wedge Antilles foiled by flying his Snowspeeder's tow cable around its legs. More recently in the Star Wars film series, a wrecked AT-AT walker provided Rey's home on Jakku in The Force Awakens.

Partial "movie set" versions of Imperial Walkers have guarded the entrance of Walt Disney World's version of Star Tours ever since that ride opened at the then-Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in 1989. But Disneyland's never had the walkers in front of its Star Tours, which stands at the front of the park's Tomorrowland.

Steel frames for two walkers appeared on Disneyland's Star Wars land construction site this week. And it looks like they're going inside one of the new land's show buildings.

Construction at Disneyland appears to be running ahead of the pace at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort, which is getting a pretty much identical installation of the upcoming land. So Orlando-area fans should be on the lookout for the arrival of the walkers at Disney World in the weeks to come.

Disney's Star Wars land will feature two new attractions: a dark ride battle with the First Order and another ride where visitors can pilot the Millennium Falcon. In addition, the land, which is set on a new planet in the Star Wars universe, will feature a Cantina and numerous interactive elements. The lands will open sometime in 2019.

Update: Since everyone's talking about this now, Disney has dropped a promo video from the construction site.

Replies (8)

March 15, 2017 at 8:12 PM · Dammit, that's Disney for you, always one-upping the competition. Knotts previews it's Boysenberry Festival, so Disney has to bring out the AT-ATs to steal the limelight.

2019, I'll have to start saving.

March 15, 2017 at 9:14 PM · Disneyland's Star Wars Land should be more than a year ahead of DHS. DHS seems to be still demolishing the land and re-routing the parking lot.

The only thing quiet is the new parking structure and bridge. No news on the permit or the Anaheim businesses on Harbor being happy with the plans. I would think at minimum the parking structure should start construction while the bridge can be delayed until later, but maybe Disney wants it's plans to be finalized first. My hope is Disney gives Anaheim a free bridge (second bridge) with Harbor access on both sides. This will solve the problem. This second bridge will be outside the security zone and allow guests to cross the street and access the hotels and restaurants without walking a longer distance.

March 17, 2017 at 10:43 AM · AT-ATs can't steal the thunder from Knott's Boysenberry Festival. It's unique and the food is too good. Maybe it can one-up Harry Potter, but that still remains to be seen.
March 18, 2017 at 2:45 AM · I was hoping for full scale vehicles for Star Wars land but this is another scaled down version. I'm a bit disappointed.
March 18, 2017 at 4:48 AM · OT, hold off on your disappointment. These are going inside one of the show buildings, likely for a ride. That being said, a full scale AT-AT would be over 20m (66ft) tall, so depending on the free space in the area a full scale version may be out of place or wasted in the area anyway
March 18, 2017 at 6:17 AM · Nice to see Disney's making some real progress. Pandora will finally be open, and the construction of Star Wars Land is running pretty efficiently. And about the AT-AT comment; it's pretty common for theme parks to distort size a bit for the sake of convenience. I'm sure Universal would love to have a life-size Optimus Prime on top of their sign for the Transformers ride. But what they would love even more is to not have to have to deal with a crumbling roof from all that weight.
March 20, 2017 at 3:43 PM · @ grant
Maybe they should have gone for the AT-ST instead, smaller but not less impressive to see in real life. If Disney wanted to build a believable world they should go all the way. I guess they don't.
March 21, 2017 at 1:19 AM · OT, in the context of a ride, it's entirely plausible they don't need A full sized replica (and looking at the people in that photo it's not far off it). Perspective and context play a huge role in these things.

WWOHP has managed fine without a full sized Hogwarts, even Hagrids Hut is small (considering Hagrid is huge, he wouldn't fit through the door). saying that Disney is not building a believable world here is completely unwarranted and smells largely of bias.

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