Disney Parks Reveal Biggest Expansions Ever

Disney promises two 14-acre fully populated areas
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2015 3:05 PM CDT
Huge Star Wars Worlds Coming to Disney Parks
Concept art of the newly announced Star Wars Land at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015.   (Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)

Nothing like piloting a "hunk of junk" or joining an epic sci-fi battle on your family vacation, right? Then Walt Disney Co. has you covered: CEO Bob Iger announced yesterday that Walt Disney World and Disneyland will each add a 14-acre Star Wars expansion, CNN Money reports. "We knew it needed to be big," he told a crowd of 7,500 at Disney's D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, per the LA Times. "We knew it needed to be great. ... So we’re going to transport guests to a whole new planet." Visitors will get to fly Han Solo's rough-and-ready ship, the Millenium Falcon, on what Iger called a "customized secret mission," or join "a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance." The expansions will also include humanoids, aliens, droids, and a cantina.

Disney already offers "a Star Wars-themed virtual reality ride" called Star Tours that's been around since 1987, Fortune notes. The latest reveal follows Disney's 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm for over $4 billion and shows "how vitally important the film franchise has become to Disney’s bottom line," the Times says. "Walt Disney Studios [also] has an ambitious slate of 'Star Wars' sequels and spinoff films planned for years into the future." Groundbreaking for the two expansions—Disney's biggest ever—will start in 2017. Fans in Anaheim reacted positively, with one adding that he was "skeptical as to where they're going to put it in Disneyland; there’s not much room." Indeed, Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch and a few backstage areas will have to bite the dust. (More Star Wars stories.)

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