Seriously kinda bummed about the Miceage article today, though I kinda knew that the Ewok village wasn’t for real. Long time Star Wars fan, and know others in that community, as well as on the Disney side, so decided to put out the feelers and see if anything is actually being developed. Surprisingly got some interesting answers as apparently Lucasfilm is working on the Star Wars land with WDI! Beats me how far along the WDI development process it is (or even if my friend was pulling my chain), but here’s what I was told:
Basically, Tatooine and Yavin will be the two big “worlds.” Personally, I’m half-surprised as I figure the wookie home world or Coruscant, but I guess the Jedi Academy on Yavin (jungle-like) becomes a big deal in the upcoming movies or something.
1. Lightsaber Training. Special effects created light sabers whereby you train with a holographic Jedi master, spare with fellow Jedi, and fight off Darth Vader (animatronic?) Uses something like Google Glass so that you see blaster bolts bounce off your light saber and adds special effects when you cut through an imperial droid. An attraction in the Yavin area of Star Wars land.
2. Pod racers ride. “RSR 2.0 meets Mr. Toad”, whatever that means. The pod racers twist around and appear to bump into each other as they fly around a track meant to resemble a portion of Tatooine, almost tip into a sarlac pit, and end up flying through Jaba’s palace and narrowly avoid getting eaten by a Rancor. Boba Fett makes an appearance. I’m psyched for this if it is a big animatronic like King Kong or something. Told my contact that Jaba is kinda dead and he laughed and said the palace is under new management or something.
3. Tatooine writ large. My source made a big deal about “random” imperial searches lead by Darth Vader and a group of stormtroopers who ask guests questions and pretend to escort suspicious guests away. Kinda creepy if you ask me. Sit-down cantina restaurant with animatronic singers, staged fights between bounty hunters, Watto’s curiosity shop.
4. There is a “space port” in Tatooine and you walk through that and come out the other side into the Yavin, which is a rebel base/Jedi training center. Various aliens who have become Jedi are there, as well as R2D2.
5. Supposedly the big, big Ride in Yavin: Starship ride using the largest show building ever built for Disney, you fly in a spaceship through 3-D models of battles in space (interactive in that you control some of the motion/effects), “buzz” a star destroyer, through an asteroid belt, evading star destroyers, and through a mock-up of a spaceship wasteland is in order to save the Millennium Falcon which is damaged, fight off “spacetroopers” and then back to Yavin. Kinda surprised, but sounded cool as it will be mostly 3-D sets, with screens/projections used for starscapes in the background and such. Sounds, OK, could be quite good if they use enough show scenes, and apparently it will use an advanced ride system where you feel like you’re flying in space with a near 360 view. You have the option of visiting the Millennium Falcon, now safe in the spaceport, and getting Han’s personal thanks, after exiting. (Sadly, I think this part is just another meet and greet and it probably won’t be open all the time leaving guests to walk past a closed Millennium Falcon, I say put Han on the outside and let anybody walk through the ship!).
6. Tatooine has a tame ride for kids where you get on a slow-moving “hover cart” and visit a Jawa village where droids are being moved around, and through a “Bantha” herd, before escaping from sand people with the help of Jawas on rontos (Yeah I had to look that up). The queue has “Ben Kenobi’s old house”, whatever that might look like.
7. Yavin has a Jedi Academy Mess Hall counter-service where you can get alien foods, as well as a counter service “Lando’s Refreshments”, various meet and greets. A Yoda meet and greet has a pseudo-spaceship that shakes (really a waiting room), before you exit into an indoor recreation of Dagoah where you get to meet Yoda. Luke Skywalker message, “I need you to meet an old friend of mine . . . “ or something like that.
I’m kinda not sold on Yavin yet, I’ll have to wait to see the films and see if Yavin is in it, and if it is a world I’d like to visit. Sounds . . . interesting though. Sure hope it comes to DLR! Too meet and greet heavy?