- "On a remote outpost planet, new adventures await..."
- ―Construction sign at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney CEO Robert Iger first announced at the D23 Expo on August 15, 2015 that the company would be building a Star Wars-themed land in Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California and in Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The announcement stated that these lands would be fourteen acres in size, making them the largest single land expansions in company history. The two attractions announced for the land included a ride that puts guests behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and a ride that throws guests into the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. It was also announced that the lands' setting would be an outpost on the yet-to-be-seen planet Batuu on the edge of the Outer Rim Territories, just before Wild Space. During the Q1 FY17 Earnings call for The Walt Disney Company on February 7, 2017, Iger announced that the new lands would open in the year 2019. During the "Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making" panel at Celebration Orlando, Asa Kalama of Walt Disney Imagineering stated that what they were building would be canonical.
In the lead up to the annual D23 Expo, the Disney Parks Blog unveiled a logo for the event "Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: A Galaxy of Stories", which would debut on July 14-16. The event allowed for guests to catch a glimpse of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that would populate the outpost that will act as a setting for the park, as well as the unveiling of a detailed model for the 14-acre theme park that would debut in 2019, alongside artwork and media showcasing its development. On December 16, 2017, during the parks' Galactic Nights event, some more information about the ride and its development process was unveiled to the public via LucasFilm vice president Doug Chiang as well as Imagineer members Chris Beatty, Robin Reardon, and Scott Trowbridge. In particular, it was revealed via construction photos that development had recently "topped out" after the highest construction point was in place. It was also revealed that, among other things, there will be a toy shop with concept art unveiled, with Beatty explaining that the inspiration for its design was from marketplaces in Morocco, and that, fitting with its design inspiration, all the wares are handmade arts and crafts similar to those found in Moroccan marketplaces. In addition, the water fountains would have a unique design.
Chiang also revealed that they are building X-Wing models for the theme park element and differentiated them from the movie models. Some concept art that was unveiled also showcased the Millennium Falcon portion of the attraction, including an entirely new location composed of overgrowth in a sewer-like area. A set of trading cards were also unveiled to the public, which revealed some new details about the ride, in particular confirming that BB-8 and Kylo Ren will be present in the ride, as well as hinting at a new character called R3X that resembled RX-24 from the original Star Tours ride. The same cards also had map pieces on it that revealed some locations on Batuu, in particular the Surabat River Valley, Docking Bay 9, Merchant Row, and Black Spire Station, would be present in the ride and gave some details about the location and a translation key for some Aurebesh messages on the borders of some cards.
On January 11, 2018, the Star Wars Launch Bay attraction at Disneyland included a piece of the full model of the upcoming attraction that was unveiled at D23, marking the second Disney theme park to include part of the scale model (the first being Disneyland Hollywood Studios).
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- New Details Announced for Star Wars-Themed Lands for Disney Parks on the Disney Parks Blog
- Star Wars Insider 172
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