Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.
Inside these authentic lands, guests will be able to step aboard The Millennium Falcon and actually pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy, steering the vessel through space, firing the laser cannons, in complete control of the experience. And with the arrival of the First Order to the planet, guests will find themselves in the middle of a tense battle between stormtroopers and Resistance fighters.
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Attendees at the first D23 Expo Japan got a first glimpse at the Avatar-inspired land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
While at the first D23 Expo Japan, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs shared some exciting news on projects in development for Disney parks around the globe. He entertained Disney fans with never-before-seen videos and imagery of Shanghai Disney Resort and the recently announced Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland. They also got an inside look at the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky process and participated in a dazzling presentation finale, donning Glow with the Show ears that illuminated to colorful images on the big screen.
But the most exciting reveal of Tom’s presentation was a first look at the Avatar experiences in development for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
WDI’s Joe Rohde (right) shares highlights of the project model with Cameron (left) and Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs. Scheduled to open in 2017, the Avatar-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history.
As these concept renderings show in epic scale, in the world of Avatar guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound.
Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s Avatar, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will become real for Disney guests to see, hear and touch.
The new Avatar-themed land will be located between Africa and the Oasis and will encompass and expand beyond the area currently known as Camp Minnie-Mickey. The Festival of the Lion King is moving its tribal celebration to an all-new theater in the Africa section of the park.
Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.
And the new Avatar-inspired land won’t be the only change coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As part of the largest expansion in the history of the park, Disney Parks is adding all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens, and swirling animal imagery that all combine to bring a show to Discovery River.
As part of the largest expansion in its history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will be adding all-new entertainment experiences including a new after-dark spectacular centered around and above Discovery River, new nighttime entertainment including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured) and a new night version of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
You may also want to check out this post on the Disney Parks Blog.