Disney Will Break Ground on Star Wars Land Next Year
Disney will break ground next year for its new Star Wars Lands at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios, Tom Staggs said today
Disney's Chief Operating Officer and former Disney Parks Chairman was speaking at an investors' conference in Beverly Hills. He did not provide an opening date for the lands, which Disney unveiled at last month's D23 Expo in Anaheim.
Each land will be 14 acres and will include two major rides: one where visitors take control of the Millennium Falcon and another where they encounter a battle with the First Order (from the upcoming Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.)
Theme Park Insider readers have targeted 2020 as their collective estimate for when the new lands will open. Disneyland is building its Star Wars Land on the site currently occupied by Big Thunder Ranch, as well as adjacent backstage areas. Disney has filed permits in Anaheim to begin moving backstage facilities to recently-acquired property across the street from the Disneyland Resort, clearing space for the Star Wars Land expansion. Walt Disney World has not yet revealed where within or around Disney's Hollywood Studios it will build its Star Wars Land.
In the meantime, both parks are opening "Star Wars Launch Bay" meet-and-greet and merchandise locations, in the former Innoventions building in Disneyland and in the former Animation Pavilion at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Those will open later this year.
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If it was Universal making Star Wars land, they would be done already
Ha ha ha at the comment above. Iger has proven to be a total negative for the parks in my opinion, I blame the slow movement on him. He's had an attitude of "were number one and people will come anyway", even if all you do is meet a character after waiting an hour and a half on a line. But the lines are that long so it's hard to argue his point. Just a shame for the people who love the rides like us. The more people spend their cash at Universal the more Disney will step up, hopefully
I'm glad the ground breaking is sooner than what I originally expected, which was the end of 2017 based on the tax incentive schedule from the city of Anaheim. The next thing to drop is the ground breaking of the new parking structure. With the Frozen musical announcement at DCA, will Hollywood Backlot get a new makeover and the return of The Muppets? Plus, will the Hyperion Theater get an enclosed lobby?
Disney could actually go as slow as they like... no one is putting off vacations for this since it is years away. I think all Disney fans owe Universal a nod for starting the theme wars and setting the bar so high...
Great news on the updated schedule.
How is Iger a ‘total negative for the parks’? OK, he may not push through new attractions at the pace we might want, but just domestically on his watch there has been a Fantasyland upgrade at WDW and a major DCA upgrade, Pandora is coming, and billions in expansion plans for both parks over the next five years. I’d like it all completed now too, but new stuff is coming and most of it looks pretty good.
As theme park fans, we don't care to understand the financial aspects. As stockholders, we care very much.
Companies including Disney will do things when they are ready to do them and take as long as they think things should take. Unfortunately there are impatient people who think that they should do things when they think that they should be done. Disney doesn't care about people going to Universal. Disney will always be number 1.
The reason why the American parks have been so slow with new attractions isn't because of Iger having some sort of ego. He's been making many investments in all of the foreign parks, including the construction of Mystic Manor, one of the company's most highest-rated attractions, and Shanghai Disneyland, which looks like it'll be pretty impressive. The Disney parks do have flaws, even the biggest Disney addicts know that, but you can't solely blame them on one person. Disney's theme park division is a global operation with countless nooks and crannies and billions of employees being hired to try and cover 'em. There's always gonna be some holes and glitches in the system.
My biggest concern is what Star Wars land will do to pricing at Disneyland in terms of annual passes and tickets. As a long time annual pass holder to Disneyland I can tell you that the price of the premium pass shot up $200 the year that they opened Cars Land at California Adventure. I can only imagine how much more expensive it will be to get into Disneyland once this expansion is complete.
If construction is beginning next year, I really think 2019 is a feasible opening date. If not that, 2020 is pretty much confirmed. Star Wars Land is a big project, but 4 years from breaking ground until opening should definitely be plenty of time. Could it be done sooner than 2019? Yes, but I'd bet against it. Generally, things that are done quickly either cost a ton of money or are poor quality and I'd gladly wait an extra year or two for an outstanding Star Wars Land that doesn't require a 50% ticket hike to cover construction costs.
It takes longer and more expensive to build here people. Between permits, layers of government and union workers. That is why overseas sees more happening there. Cheaper labor and less rules.
If Iger's making investments in "all the foreign parks" I really wish he'd do something with Paris.
lol good for the company I guess, and maybe he is doing a lot for the Asian parks, I don't know, clearly the post above me sees nothing being done for euro Disney. honestly though what do I care about the foreign parks? I live here, and go to WDW all the time, even though I hope to go to the out of country parks one day, I see WDWs "updates" under his watch as unbelievably underwhelming. What's been added since 2005? Has there been even one ride built that hasn't had reasonable gripes, besides the star tours update? Toy story I guess but I didn't think that was all that great. Definitely not worth an hour and a half wait. But you have to wait that long because half of the park is closed now. If you take a look at the amount Eisner got done in Florida and California in 10 years vs Iger it's not even a competition. The best parts of Disneyland and Disney World, in my opinion, are the parts that were built way before his reign as ceo, that's why I blame him.
I'm just patiently waiting for the announcement of where the land will go in DHS.
2019 is feasible but 2020 for DLR & 2021 for WDW is more likely.
They will say anything to investors - the sad truth is Iger has been a disaster for the parks. This new land won't see the light of day till at least 2034
Re: Michael Longo
Avatar Land construction began in January 2014, with an expected opening of early 2017. And let's give 6 extra months for unexpected delays, putting it around mid-2017. Avatar Land is supposed to be a completely immersive experience for visitors, as if visiting a foreign planet, so everything has to be built from the ground up. It also comes with two major rides.
Someone compared CEO Eisner's investment in parks to CEO Iger's investment in parks.
Iger has done a lot of improve feature films and that has helped the parks tremendously. Eisner starved feature films and ruined animation. Only after Eisner left, Iger was able to buy Pixar to keep the flow of animated films going. Otherwise, Pixar would have been acquired by another studio. Iger approved Carsland. While many theme parks would not have been opened without Eisner, he bungled their creation. So it's a disaster with Eisner nonetheless.
My prediction, at least in Florida, they'll break ground late next fall by putting a few spades in the ground...taking advantage of another photo opportunity.
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