Star Wars Land News: Year One

Written by Darth Daver. Posted in Features

Published on April 28, 2017 at 3:00 am with No Comments

A year ago this week, Star Wars Land News posted it’s first stand-alone article dedicated to documenting the progress of Star Wars Land Construction and the cultural influence of Star Wars at Disneyland. So this seemed like a good time to take a look how far it’s all come.



Changes Coming In Tomorrowland

 

First, let’s get caught up on the status of Star Wars in it’s temporary hub at Disneyland. Memorial Day weekend will introduce the Summer of Heroes promoting Marvel at Disney California Adventure. That means Season Of The Force promotion will be over. Tomorrowland’s sign should return and the Star Wars banners will be gone.

May 27 marks the 40th Anniversary of Space Mountain. On May 29, Hyperspace Mountain will close and Classic Space Mountain will return for the summer. Somehow it seemed a better idea to keep Hyperspace Mountain open for the holiday weekend instead of having Classic Space Mountain for it’s anniversary.

Hyperspace Mountain has been a huge success and won’t be gone for long. The way this should play out is that we get Classic Space Mountain for the summer. In the fall, we have Ghost Galaxy for Halloweentime. And in November, Hyperspace Mountain comes back as part of the Season Of The Force to celebrate/promote the next Star Wars film “The Last Jedi”. That should go until at least this time next year. But…in May 2018, we get another Star Wars film, the “Untitled Han Solo Movie”. So, what version of Space Mountain we’ll have in summer 2018 remains to be seen. It’ll be interesting to see if the popularity of Space Mountain changes.

Will this scene change?

What do you think about Space Mountain rotating between three different overlays over the course of the year?

The rest of the Star Wars offerings in Tomorrowland should remain unchanged until Star Wars Land opens in 2019.

New Merchandise In The Park

A slew of new Star Wars merchandise has reached the parks following Star Wars Celebration in Orlando last week. May 25th marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. There’s Christmas decorations, statues, toys, hats and shirts! Here’s a peek at what’s new.

For the 40th, they brought back the legacy packs. Are any of you old enough to know the story behind this? It’s 1977 all over again and I couldn’t be happier.

The Force For Change fundraising initiative brings us the first “Last Jedi” shirts as well.

And who can resist Cinna-Ren Candy? Or do you prefer something a little more Chewie?

May The Fourth Be With You

The world-renowned Star Wars Day is this Thursday. As of this posting, there have been no official announcements of activities at the park (I think everyone is still recovering from Celebration). Last year there was exclusive merchandise, a trivia contest and a gathering of Star Wars fans from all over. Watch out for details and come out and join us!

Star Wars Land News Highlights

Star Wars Land News is not just about construction photos. It’s about the meeting of two of my favorite things in the world: Disneyland and Star Wars. With that, I’ve tried to include news bits and thoughts on these topics over the past year. Here are some of my favorites:

Star Wars News: Are you OT or PT?

How did you get introduced to Star Wars: In a theater, on VHS or Netflix? It may influence how much you hate Jar Jar Binks.

Star Wars Land News: Mud, Rocks And The Ethics Of CGI

With the visual effects success of resurrecting Grand Moff Tarkin for “Rogue One”, it raises the question about doing the same for Princess Leia in Episode IX.

Star Wars Land News: Princess or Legend?

After Carrie Fisher’s Passing in December, there was discussion about making Leia a character in the park. But in our February 24 article, I made the case for a bigger honor, started a hashtag campaign and earlier this month, it happened. Carrie Fisher is going to be a Disney Legend.

Star Wars Land Construction

The cornerstone of Star Wars Land News has been documenting the progress of Disneyland’s biggest expansion ever. Let’s take a quick look at how things have changed over the year.

Clearing The Land

By the end of April 2016, the backstage area was demolished and the land (which includes the old berm) was cleared.

June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016

The Dirt Star

All of that dirt had to go somewhere. It went to the north area of Star Wars Land until the retaining walls for the new berm were in place in the fall. Most of that dirt filled in the new berm.

April 20, 2016

June 1, 2016

The Chalet

An early casualty was the Skyway Chalet that sat vacant over Fantasyland. It was demolished overnight.

May 26, 2016

June 15, 2016

Fantasmic Backstage

Built inside the berm separating the Rivers Of America from Star Wars Land is an indoor dock for the Fantasmic show boats. The cement room was built up, covered with dirt and now has trees on top.

May 26, 2016

Aug. 3, 2016

Aug. 18, 2016

Oct. 6, 2016

Feb. 8, 2016

March 22, 2017

The Rivers Of America

With Tom Sawyer’s Island reduced to make room for Star Wars Land, a new berm was built with a waterfall. It’s progressing fast because it’s set to open soon!

May 5, 2016

Nov. 8, 2016

Nov. 22, 2016

Jan. 10, 2017

April 26, 2017

That’s a lot of work for one year.

Big Thunder Trail

Also opening soon is the Big Thunder Trail linking Frontierland to Fantasyland. An area that was leveled and wiped clean a year ago has a new mountain face today.

May 11, 2016

June 15, 2016

July 13, 2016

Feb. 8, 2017

Nov. 8, 2016

Nov. 22, 2016

Feb. 22, 2017

Dec. 1, 2016

Feb. 22, 2017

March 15, 2017

Battle Escape Attraction

The most dramatic change so far has been the Battle Escape Attraction. It started with a large hole in the ground, expanded to a circular structure and then went vertical. But the big news came when the AT-ATs were built and then enclosed within the structure.

July 21, 2016

Aug. 10, 2016

Aug. 24, 2016

Sept. 15, 2016

Nov. 8, 2016

Feb. 8, 2017

March 15, 2017

Feb. 8, 2017

Sept. 22, 2016

March 9, 2017

March 15, 2017

April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017

 

You can see the archive for all the Star Wars Land News here. Thanks for reading!

As Always…

 


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About Darth Daver

Dave is a SoCal native and lifelong Disneyland fan. His path to the Dark Side started with seeing Star Wars at a very young age. Since then, he has become a writer, filmmaker and is working on his Sith Lord certification test. Follow on Instagram @ darth_daver_mc

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