Home » 5 Star Wars Theme Park Attractions that Disney Might Actually Build…Eventually

    5 Star Wars Theme Park Attractions that Disney Might Actually Build…Eventually

    Millennium Falcon

    Disney has a long history of basing attractions on the Star Wars franchise, starting with the ground-breaking Star Tours back in 1986. In 2012, it splurged some $4 billion on acquiring Lucasfilm, giving it direct control of the characters and stories. New movies are on the way, and it’s surely only a matter of time before we see new Star Wars rides and shows at Disney theme parks.

    Some fans, though, are beginning to get frustrated. There are rumors of a Star Wars overhaul for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, and of an entire new Star Wars land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But, as yet, nothing has been officially announced – and there are counter-rumors that both projects have stalled or even been canceled altogether.

    It’s a safe bet that Disney’s Imagineers are working on new attraction concepts based on existing or upcoming Star Wars movies. However, it’s by no means certain that any of these will suddenly be thrust into production, or that Disney will divert resources away from projects in favor of Lucasfilm-related attractions.

    Still, when you throw $4 billion at a franchise, it’s likely that you’re going to want to exploit it any way you can. The arrival of new Star Wars movies will provide perfect opportunities for Disney to cross-promote them with new attractions in its theme parks, and the LucasFilm deal carries none of the complexities of Disney’s Marvel purchase (and Marvel’s pre-existing relationship with rival Universal Orlando).

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the short-term, medium-term and long-term Star Wars projects that are currently rumored to be in the pipeline at Disney theme parks.

    5. Millennium Falcon walkthrough (Disneyland)

    Millennium Falcon

    After an unsuccessful and quickly-reversed attempt to give Disnyland’s Tomorrowland a steampunk overhaul in 1998, it has gradually returned to its previous color palate of silvers and blues. With the likes of Innoventions beginning to show their age, it’s an area of the park that is ripe for a makeover.

    Could Star Wars finally give Tomorrowland the central thematic setting and story that it lacks? The most recent rumors, propagated by Micechat, suggest that it will – but that it won’t be the “big bang” overhaul that some fans are hoping for. Instead, it could open in stages, much like New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.

    One attraction that desperately needs replacing is the PeopleMover, which has stood abandoned since its ill-fated replacement, the Rocket Rods, shut in 2000 after just two years in operations. The skeleton of the former Rocket Jets attraction (replaced by Astro Orbiter in 1998) still sits up on the third floor of the circular platform that once housed the entrance to the PeopleMover. Rumor has it has that this entire platform will be converted into a walkthrough version of the iconic Millennium Falcon spacecraft.

    4. Yoda Encounter (Disneyland)

    Yoda

    The Magic Eye Theater in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland currently hosts the aging Captain EO – an attraction that is surely due to be replaced at some stage in the next few years. Rumors suggests that Disney may re-use the technlogy that it employs for the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction at various theme parks across the globe, allowing guests to interact in real-time with Jedi Master Yoda.

    3. Mos Eisley Cantina (Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

    Mos Eisley Cantina

    Star Wars-themed lands (or sub-lands) have been rumored for Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Disney’s Hollywood Studios – and one “attraction” (really a restaurant) has been rumored for all of them. We think an eatery based on the Mos Eisley Cantina is a near-certainty to come to at least one, at possibly all three, of these parks.

    At Disneyland Paris, a mini-land dedicated to Star Wars has long been rumored to be in the pipeline for Discoveryland – to coincide with Star Tours (the latest remaining original version of the attraction) being upgraded to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. This sub-land would, apparently, incorporate several existing attractions, shops and facilities – including a Mos Eisley Cantina makeover for the Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet restaurant. This, of course, would feature the unusual band seen in the first Star Wars movie.

    The rumors about new restaurants at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studio are less specific – but if there’s going to be a Star Wars dining location, a version of the Cantina seems the most likely bet.

    2. The enhanced Jedi Academy

    Jedi Training Academy

    The Jedi Training Academy is a popular attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s been suggested that Disney would “double down” on it as part of any Star Wars Land expansion, moving it into its own dedicated theater. The same rumors have circulated about Disneyland, with the Innoventions building being cited as a possible location. At Disneyland Paris, Captain EO is said to be the attraction to make way for an enhanced version of the show, which allows younger guests to learn the ways of the Jedi.

    1. The speeder bike ride

    Speeder Bike

    This is the one the fans really want. The headline ride of the rumored Tomorrowland update at Disneyland (as well as Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) is said to be a speeder bike ride through the forests of Endor, based on scenes in Return of the Jedi. It would be an expensive proposition, though – one that will have to pass serious scrutiny from Disney’s money-men.

    Tron

    What form would such a ride take? Well, we may get some clues next year, when Shanghai Disneyland throws open its gates. The park will be home to Tron Lightcycle Power Run, a motorbike-style coaster built by Vekoma. The same ride system might provide the basis for a speeder bike ride.