Disneyland adding a Star Wars Land

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Disney has just announced it is adding a new Star Wars-themed land to both Disneyland and Disney World resorts. The Orlando, FL park might have room to expand, but speculation about how the Anaheim location will add another themed area has long-time fans and theme-park experts guessing: what’s going to stay and what will go?

Aerial view of Disneyland, as of 2005 (Wiki Commons)
Aerial view of Disneyland, as of 2005 (Wiki Commons)

What is the least popular area of the park? That might be a place to start, if you’re trying to figure it out. The new Star Wars land will be 14 acres in both locations, so it will be the biggest expansion in the parks’ history.

The Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger told a large audience, “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars. We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

If your first visit to Disneyland was as a child you will recall the wonder and excitement of all the rides, the spookiness of the Pirates of the Caribbean and then the Haunted Mansion; the excitement and joy of It’s a Small World — we know you are singing the song to yourself right now — climbing Tom Sawyer’s Tree House, you may want to visit the park once again before some of your favorite rides and restaurants disappear.

John McClintock, spokesman for Disney, told Chris Nichols of the Los Angeles Times (Ask Chris) the exact borders haven’t been determined, just that the Star Wars area would be centered at what is now the Big Thunder Ranch.

Wiki Commons
Wiki Commons

For Star Wars fans, this is the greatest news since learning the identity of Luke Skywalker’s father. Spoiler alert: it seems so obvious now.

An even bigger question is: will Disneyland and Disney World ever be affordable for the families of modest means? Currently the one-day pass for an adult is $99, before taxes and fees. Theme parks are an expensive proposition and there are a whole lot of California residents who can’t afford to take their families to the “happiest place on Earth.”

(Photo above of proposed Star Wars Land at Disney resorts — YouTube)