'Star Wars' Is Heading for Earth at Disney Parks

New attraction areas planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, plus themed events for fans.

Fans of "Star Wars" are about to get a chance to experience the world of the Skywalkers and Han Solo up close and personal. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at the D23 EXPO that "Star Wars"-themed lands are coming to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

“This will be like nothing you’ve seen before. You’ll get to explore these new planets, never before seen, meet some new characters and some familiar ones and have that chance to truly step into this wonderful galaxy of sights, sounds and tastes even,” said Scott Throwbridge, the project lead for the "Star Wars" park.

Though no completion date has been announced, some details have been released. Both parks are planned to occupy approximately 14 acres each and will be designed to represent a gateway planet on the outer rim with new and familiar characters.

Experiences in the works include creating customizable missions which visitors then fly in the Millennium Falcon as well as the chance to take part in a battle between rebel and imperial troops. Star Tours, a 3D motion-simulating attraction, will also be updated with a new adventure based on the upcoming "Star Wars" film.

Millennium Falcon in rendering of Star Wars theme park at Disney World and Disneyland

In celebration, Disney World and Disneyland will each hold a seasonal event dubbed Star Wars: Season of the Force. Both the events will feature limited-time food, drink and merchandise options alongside enhanced character experiences. During the event, Disneyland will change Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain with a "Star Wars"-themed update of the visual projections and music selections, and Disney World’s event will involve a new fireworks show set to the John Williams’s score.

These new events should tide fans over until the Dec. 18 release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Can’t wait for the release? Head over to Seattle where the EMP Museum is holding its Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibit detailing what went into the creation of the iconic costumes fans know so well.

Jacob Wingard
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