Disney CEO reveals opening dates for Avatar, Star Wars lands
In a quarterly earnings conference call this afternoon, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger revealed the opening dates for the company's upcoming theme park lands based on Avatar
and Star Wars
Disney already had announced that Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom would open by this summer, with buzz from inside the company over the past two weeks suggesting a big media event the last week in May. The blockout of Florida resident tickets for Animal Kingdom during the end of May and beginning of June also fueled speculation that Avatar would open then.
Today, Iger announced that the Avatar land would open officially on May 27. No word yet on potential soft openings before that. But if you were planning a Walt Disney World vacation for Memorial Day weekend or later this year, Pandora will be awaiting you.
As for Star Wars, fans have been speculating since Disney announced the project at D23 in August 2015 when those lands would debut. Disney has started construction at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios on these twin lands, with the Disneyland project seemingly ahead of the Florida one. But that site had a lot more contextual work to do in creating "buffers" to adjacent lands in the park. The Florida installation will stand more by itself at one end of the Hollywood Studios park, instead of being sandwiched between Frontierland/Critter Country and Fantasyland, as it will be in California.
Iger today said that the Star Wars lands will open sometime in 2019. beating Theme Park Insider readers' collective guesses of a 2020 opening for the two lands.
Update: Disney has launched a new website and Twitter feed to promote the Avatar land opening: visitpandora.com.
Is this our first notice of something going terribly wrong?
I was one day off. ;o)
I was off one day, too.
Wonder if its late 2019. Could always be pushed to 2020.
They say 2019 for Star Wars land to keep everyone in the hype but you can bet BIG that it'll get pushed back into 2020. Just wait, they know what they're doing.
Looking at January 2018 for a visit to Pandora since both the lines and the kinks should be mitigated by then....
Let's just write the construction sign now, "The Yeti's gone to visit Pandora. See you next year!"
I'm glad I decided to move my Florida trip to September/October 2017, as I would have missed Pandora by about three weeks otherwise. Hopefully the crowds are manageable by that time (I expect them to decline much more rapidly than Cars Land did). As for Star Wars, my hunch is that Disneyland's version will be ready for the premiere of Episode IX in May 2019, with DHS's land opening about six months later.
Orlando is gonna be NUTS this summer!
Will hopefully be able to catch this on our honeymoon by one day!
Any which way, it seems like Disney is making more aggressive strides in its park developments. There was a time when it seemed that something as big as Star Wars Land would take a decade to complete, as opposed to the relatively short period between announcement and opening.
This is great news. Star Wars, two years from now? Incredible.
Apparently, for Rogue one, they developed a technology to have the cockpit of the x wing fighters be a screen so the actors could react to the space battle as it was happening
Any mention of when Toy Story Land is slated to open?
Going to miss it by one day, leaving Orlando on the 27th. Come on soft opening. I have a season pass this year so maybe they will have something for pass holders. Also hope Rivers of Light will be open by then.
Am I the only one that's a little surprised *this* is how they decided to announce the opening date?
As Terry B said, no mention of Toy Story Land. I'm very excited about these new developments. I just want to see Hollywood Studios (or whatever they call it in the future) become a full day park again. Next on the to-do list: revitalize Epcot.
Agree. Epcot has to be next.
I agree....Epcot has to be next. Can't wait to see what they do!
I, for one, am scared for what they will do with EPCOT. It is my oasis. I love the world showcase and hate that Frozen was put in. If anything, I wish they would add more countries and shows like the China film and such. See, the lines for the attractions have gotten out of control, and I know I am a broken record (I hate FP+ and think it is ruining the parks), I love how I can meander around EPCOT at my leisure, pop in and out of shops, have a beer or two, and take it easy. Sure, they need to update the pavilions and really could expand future world extensively. Just leave world showcase alone unless you are adding countries without taking anything away.
Does anyone have any ideas of what the name change for Hollywood Studios will be? I hope it's Disney's (or Disney) Hollywoodland. The park is becoming a more contemporary version of the Magic Kingdom. Star Wars and Toy Story are movie franchises that began in the late 20th century, while the Magic Kingdom mainly features on attractions based on stories from the 19th century or before. And despite the fact that the Magic Kingdom is more or less the same park as Disneyland, Star Wars still works at Disneyland because it's located in it's own corner of the park and will be isolated from everything else.
2020 looks like a good time to visit now.
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