Recently ABC aired a Disneyland 60th anniversary special that included some amazing musical performances, fun little sneak peeks at upcoming movies and a few quick looks back at the history of the resort. However, most importantly for those looking forward to the future of Disney Parks, this TV special revealed some new information about what we can expect from the much-anticipated Star Wars Land, coming to both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Here’s everything we learned about this upcoming land from this recent special.
Spoiler warning: Obviously, if you'd prefer to be kept completely in the dark about the nature of Star Wars Land's attractions, it's best not to read on.
1. The Millennium Falcon ride will be interactive
Ever since we first laid eyes on the concept art for the Millennium Falcon attraction, we’ve been pretty excited about the prospect of being able to climb aboard this legendary ship and fly with Han Solo. However, Disney has revealed that guests who experience this attraction won’t just be tagging along for a ride (like they currently do on Star Tours) but will actually be piloting the Millennium Falcon themselves! Guests will be able to turn, bank and even fire weapons in this still-unnamed simulation-style experience. This type of large-scale interactive attraction is certainly unprecedented, and while we don’t know exactly how it will work, we do have an idea:
Though nothing beyond the premise of this ride has been confirmed, it seems unlikely that guests will be experiencing this attraction individually. Instead, guests may be able to man different “stations” as part of a larger "team" in this new attraction, in what could be an evolution of the Mission: Space concept that has been altered to fit the Star Wars narrative. This idea not only would allow the attraction to have good guest flow, but also would be consistent with the flight style shown in the films, which often requires cooperation between characters.
2. The First Order attraction will be a classic dark ride, possibly with interactive elements as well
While the Millennium Falcon ride will use new technology to deliver a thrilling experience the likes of which hasn’t been seen before at a Disney park, the new First Order ride will be a dark ride, with concept art appearing to show a motion base ride vehicle moving through a scene with screens (similar to what guests currently experience at The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure). Though it's not made clear in the art above, it has been rumored that this ride will could be a trackless dark ride, which will be a first for Disney parks in the US (editor's note: while some commenters have pointed out that Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters will use trackless technology when it opens, this is more of a simple flat ride, rather than a complex dark ride like Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris or Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland).
What also remains unclear is whether this attraction will also have an interactive component as well. The short clip showcasing this ride seemed to show an exchange of fire between the guests and the Stormtroopers, and while this could be a part of the ride’s story (guests exchange fire with several characters during Transformers: The Ride, also at Universal Orlando Resort, for example), it is possible that this could be yet another interactive experience that will put guests in the middle of the Star Wars universe.