Though it has been nearly two years since Star Wars Land was first confirmed to be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there hasn’t been a whole lot in the way of official updates on this land since then. However, during the recent Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando, Disney released a few additional tidbits for fans to mull over in the run up to the D23 convention later this summer, where it is largely believed that this new land will finally get officially detailed.
But in the meantime, here's what we've just learned over the past few days about what we can expect from Star Wars Land when it opens in 2019:
1. There will be interactive elements in this land that will help fans make their own "story"
During the Star Wars Celebration panel, Imagineers took the stage briefly to talk about how guests who enter Star Wars Land will instantly become part of the larger Star Wars "story", with each move that they make serving a purpose within the larger narrative of the land with opportunities to make choices within the park that will affect their entire experience and allow them to create their own story as they make their way through the land and visit over and over again.
While there's no real details available right now about how this might work, our educated guess is that Dsney will be introducing a brand new way to track how guests behave in certain areas of the park. For instance, we know that one of the new rides will be an interactive adventure that pits the First Order against the Resistance. With this technology, it could be possible that, based on the side guests pick, they'll see different aspects of the environment, perhaps even outside of the ride react to you differently. Or perhaps a purchase of a special "dark side" item could trigger other environmental changes. But how might something ambitious like this be accomplished? For the answer, let's look back at 2016...
Last year, Disney began passively scanning guests' MagicBands to display information like names and hometowns on queue screens at Mission: SPACE, Expedition Everest, and even It's a Small World. With this in ming its not unreasonable to think that some evolution of this technology could be used here. And there's something else that could also play into this as well...
2. Character experiences will be a big part of this new land
Right now, the only place to meet Star Wars characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Star Wars Launch Bay. However, that will be changing very soon, as it was announced at the aforementioned Star Wars Celebration panel that one of the big hallmarks of Star Wars Land will be the presence of walk-around characters unlike any that have ever been a part of Disney Parks before.
And while this revelation was, again, purposefully vague, we can't help but feel like it is related to the previous information about making this new land interactive. If Disney is already using the technology inside MagicBands to track choices guests make inside this new land, they could also relay that information to characters for more personal interactions. Imagine choosing to help The First Order in the interactive dark ride, and then having an audience with Kylo Ren, who commends you for your efforts. Or talking to Poe Dameron, who implores you to help the Resistance next time. The possibilities are truly endless, and if characters are going to be a big part of this new land, such a development could be a real game changer, not just for Disney parks but for immersive, themed lands as a whole.