If done well Star Wars land would give me a reason to go back to WDW after many years but nothing they are doing give me the feeling they will succeed and get back to the level of when Walt was around or the standard Universal has created.
And based on recent history, whatever WDI ends up deciding on for Hollywood Studios, I’m assuming it will be underwhelming, like almost everything new to come to Walt Disney World in the last eight years, or so (admittedly, that’s a very short list). I just have no faith that the current upper management at the company has any desire to do amazing things in Florida again. Eisner, for all his flaws, at least seemed to really love the parks on a personal level, and continually tried to add and freshen the offerings (sometimes to great effect, sometimes in a very misguided way); Iger doesn’t seem to care about WDW at all beyond the revenue it generates for the company. So when STAR WARS Land does eventually open (probably just in time for WDW’s 50th anniversary), I’m expecting a restaurant, new shops, a couple of flat rides, and maybe a new show, all wrapped in extravagantly-detailed theming - all flash, no substance, and certainly no new E tickets. I want to be proven wrong. I desperately want to see WDW fully engage Universal in an attractions arms race and build some first-class, one-of-a-kind rides, but I see no evidence that Iger or the TDO people have any interest in doing cutting-edge stuff again.
That said, your idea for a Jabba’s Palace dark ride would be a ton of fun, and an opportunity for Disney to create a new AA showcase the likes of which they haven’t attempted since the heyday of Epcot. Just imagine the dozens of cool alien creatures that could populate that ride!
I'm all for taking the time to do things right, but the fact that Disney won't even be ready to make an announcement for another year is just further proof that they just don't seem to get it.
I will say that Robert seems to completely ignore the one potential reason why Disney is taking so long to make an announcement about Star Wars in the theme parks, and what would solve all of the "land" problems he points out....Star Wars will occupy its own theme park in both Florida and California. Everyone seems to think the WWoHP is its own theme park, and perhaps Universal will eventually make that happen some day, but Disney could eliminate all of the confusion by creating a full theme park experience around the worlds of Star Wars. With 6 movies to pull from and another 4+ in development, there's plenty of material to make that happen, and could potentially explain the delay in Disney applying the IP more widely in the existing parks.
Toy Story Mania opened in summer 2008, just 6 years ago. I get the point though, and the park is clearly suffering from stagnation. The fact the USF is not really a working studio park allows Disney to reinvent DHS much in the way the DCA has been reinvented. It's just a matter of how much money they're willing to pump into it.
Disney seems to run on geologic time these days.
However, I think Russell has the best idea as a new Star Wars theme park would really set the world on fire. Disney has the room, and the Star Wars Universe has the stories, so why not go all out? A Star Wars park could potentially become the most popular vacation destination on the planet.
1) I like the idea of using Tatooine as a theme. Definitely retheme the current Star Traders to Florida's better-themed "Tatooine Traders" at the Studios to really have a sense of Tatooine as a theme. Theme the Star Tours facade to far more of a Star Wars/ futuristic theme and although there are supposed to be different destinations/ experiences on the ride, theme the exit to Tatooine as it's the most iconic/ most used and still is one of the destinations. Maybe make it so you hop on the ride at the station and exit the ride in Tatooine.
2) The Captain EO Theater is definitely awaited to be razed at this point. Starcade, which is not my favorite thing could also be razed as well. Those are both next to/ behind the Star Traders store. Why not reskin those into the iconic Tatooine Pod Racers'? The Redd Rocket's Pizza port next door to Space Mountain is also not well-themed and has horrible food and I would be more than glad to see that re-themed to the Moss Eisley Cantina. Maybe even include an animatronic of Jabba the Hutt, similar to Sonny Eclipse at WDW's Tomorrowland (Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe).
3) Obviously keep Space Mountain and re-theme the queue/ entrance to make it look like you are transferring from Tatooine to Space Port 77.
4) If the areas around Innoventions (except Space Mountain) shall go, there's no reason Innoventions shouldn't either. Replace Innoventions with an attraction themed to Queen/ Padme Amidala's palace or some sort of meet-and-greet.
5) Keep the jedi training academy, but maybe put a roof over it and have a Yoda animatronic on the ride's queue giving you instructions. Retheme the Tomorrowland terrace around that.
[quote]This is the way I'd do it. Star Wars is too big for just one land of a park. A whole Star Wars park could work, but this doesn't seem like the avenue they've chosen. Therefore multiple themed areas must be the go. They could all be in the one park, but it makes much better commercial sense to spread them across the parks, like Harry Potter has.A post on another thread detailed this and I think that poster had some good ideas. For DHS I would go with Tatooine. I would personally extend out over or under the road with the bridge being decorated as the transition into Mos Eisley, and converting the swampland into tattoine (knocking down things would probably make more financial sense I admit). Star Tours could have a rethemed exit so the ride is the thematic access route to tatooine from earth.
As for content, the cantina is a given for the primary meals area. Jabba's palace, I believe would be the best secondary food outlet,and would double up as the opening to a ride which features the escape from the palace and the sarlac. You could throw in the obligatory broken yeti - I mean rancor. This would be best done as a semi dark ride with the first half being inside and the rest outside. I'm thinking something vaguely similar to the mummy rides, or perhaps Indiana Jones (only on a smaller scale)
The next ride would be on Luke's t-16, definitely a kiddie coaster (I don't believe DHS has one at all) with a simple threading of the stone needle and taking potshots at womp rats.
The final ride, and the e-ticket,would be a pod-race. This could be done in many different ways, and I'm sure disney's imagineers could come up with better ideas than I could on how it works. This is one of the best action set-pieces from Tatooine, and could make for an incredible ride if done correctly. [/quote]
Also, I disagree about placing it in Tomorrowland. DHS has a tremendous amount of space, once they raze the Indy show and the Backstage Tour. And SW fits the "movie" theme much better than the "tomorrow" theme.
As previously stated, a new park altogether would be the perfect option, and it would be done in the Magic Kingdom hub & spoke-style.
The "castle" could even be the Death Star, which would be the park's icon, much like Spaceship Earth's giant golf ball is its icon. Obviously the Death Star would double as a dark ride. Or even copy Spaceship Earth and have a slow-moving ride through the history of Star Wars to initiate all the peoplel who have really no idea what it's about. Explain the species, the force, the characters' relationships, etc.
The spokes would all open up to individual lands or "planets".
That would be the best way to do it. Obviously I don't see that happening because of cost concerns, but depending on land, they could easily build another two or three hotels, specifically themed to Star Wars.
Then get rid of Star Tours altogether. Simply disassemble it and move it to Hong Kong Disneyland, or put it into DisneyQuest.
Option two would be to put different planets in different parks. Coruscant in Hollywood Studios. Hoth in Paris. Tatooine in Shanghai, etc.
And like they did with the Downtown Disney Starbucks where Anaheim can see Orlando and vice versa through a "portal", there could be a similar feature that allows people to see what's going on in the other parks/planets.
Either way, I'm guessing I'll be underwhelmed in 3-5 years when the plans are officially announced, but I'll hold my breath nonetheless.
I think that they will make a 5th theme park completely dedicated to Star Wars. Star Wars has very diverse environments, so much so that you would need a rather large area dedicated to Star Wars to remotely do justice to the franchise. WDW has more than enough room to accommodate a new park. WDW is due for a new park anyways, and would certainly give The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a run for their money.
I also think this would be a good opportunity for WDW to make Star Wars themed Hotels. Imagine a Corascent or a Mos Eisly Themed Hotel. I think Disney has an opportunity to do something big here.
Universal has built the next level of immersive experiences in Diagon Alley, you are actually there in the movie, and everything from the food and merchandise supports it.
Disney has 'themed' areas. For example, Disneyland's Fantasyland, while great, is a still an assortment of experiences, you are not totally immersed in any movie.
A worse offender is the Little Mermaid ride in DCA. You know you are on a ride, not an immersive experience, because the building is just decorated to the theme of the Little Mermaid.
I'm not sure that Disney can totally go the immersive route with Star Wars, I'm sure they will still sell Coke in the land. But one thing is sure, it cannot be totally immersive in the space of Toontown and Big Thunder Ranch or even Tomorrowland. Star Wars needs its own park in order to be totally immersive.
I was looking at Google Maps, actually Toontown is a very small area, you would have to tear down backstage buildings to put Star Wars there. And also Toontown is actually far from Big Thunder Ranch, actually the Fantasyland Theater is in between them. Also even now with the fireworks, they close It's A Small World to make sure that embers don't fall onto the building, how are they going to keep Star Wars land (in Toontown) open?
Adding Star Wars to Disneyland is not going to increase revenue as much as a third park, you need a separate park to increase ticket sales, and spread out the crowds.
As far as Toontown is concerned, I think it should remain, Mickey and friends need their own land, maybe spruce it up with a new attraction.