Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Will Disneyland Star Wars Land Be Built At Disney's California Adventure ?

An interesting comment was posted "anonymously" to the "Visualize Disneyland Star Wars Land with this S.W Wilson Map" article posted ten days ago.  The anonymous reader, who apparently got the info from a friend working at LucasFilm, said: 
"Interesting to think about Star Wars in Anaheim... Heard from a friend at Lucasfilm that they're thinking about and discussing with Imagineering a Star Wars land in the parking lot west of DCA in order to drive more traffic to DCA, and that construction will begin in early 2016".

Although i give the benefit of the doubt to any comment, even posted anonymously, this must be considered only as a rumor until we get an official confirmation. But it's an interesting one because so far the rumors were saying that Disneyland's Star Wars Land will come in DL Tomorrowland and with a E-Ticket ride using the land where Autopia is now. 

To be honest, if i was the one choosing i would prefer to have it at DCA instead than Disneyland Tomorrowland. Not that it's impossible to do, but i've never been convinced that it was the perfect location, that a Star Wars Land would be better out of DL and even that they should put it in the long rumored third Anaheim gate. 

However, if you look at the Google Earth screen captures above, i think they will have enough space to create a land in this parking lot - in red above - if the infos are right. What? There is the South West St / Disneyland Drive between the parking lot and DCA? Sure, but this could be a minor issue which can be resolved with works to have the road going beneath the path that would be created between DCA and the parking lot, or the contrary. My main concern is the Disney's Paradise Pier hotel nearby, too close to don't be a visual intrusion if WDI Imagineers were building the Star Wars land on this parking lot... 

But i agree that the idea to build it at DCA, in order to bring more guests inside DCA rather than at Disneyland is a good one, and makes sense. Disneyland is regularly over packed and i can't imagine how packed it would be with a Star Wars Land at DL during the Holiday season... So, yes, keep this rumor in mind and we'll see in 2016 if it was the right one as the construction, according to this comment, is supposed to start this year, which would lead probably to an opening in 2018... which was the date a Star Wars Land was scheduled to open at Disneyland as written in the Disney Parks 10 years plan released internally last April. 

Pictures: copyright Google Earth

As usual, more exciting posts every day on the Disney and more Facebook page that you can access even if you don't have a Facebook account!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Official : Bob Iger Announces Star Wars Lands Coming at Disneyland AND Walt Disney World , and Likely in Parks Outside the U.S ...

It was hardly a secret but now it's official as Bob Iger in an interview with Bloomberg confirmed that "there is a fair amount of development going on at Disney Imagineering right now to expand the Star Wars presence ( translate:  Star Wars Lands ) in  Disneyland AND Walt Disney World ( translate: Disney's Hollywood Studios ) and eventually in others Disney theme parks around the world".

"We do have Star Wars in others theme parks, in Paris and in Tokyo, we haven't made any specific announcements about what will be in Shanghaî or what we're heading to Hong Kong after we build an Iron Man attraction but i think it's probably likely that Star Wars will be in more than just our two domestic parks."

Couldn't be more clear, right? Now, Disney still have to announce the opening dates of these Star Wars lands at DL and WDW but what i can tell you is that Disneyland will be probably the first to have one, shortly followed by the awaited one for WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Iger also talked about the release date of Star Wars Episode 7 movie - December 18, 2015 - which happen to be the release date of Avatar who became the most successful movie of all time and hopefully Episode 7 will be as successful.

Check out the full interview in the video below!

Picture and video: copyright Bloomberg

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Star Tours Update Coming in 2015 at Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios

Be prepared to fly to new Star Tours destinations in two years from now as i've been told that a Star Tours update is scheduled by Disney Parks for 2015 both at Disneyland and WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Considering that Star Wars Episode 7 will also be released in 2015 this new update is quite logical. Not only it'll be the right time to do it on a marketing point of view but most of all this update will make sense because the new movie will certainly introduce new planets in the Star Wars galaxy.

As Star Wars Episode 7 will be one of the most awaited movie in cinema history - and probably very successful - Disney and WDI Imagineers probably expect that Star Wars fans and Episode 7 spectators will be happy to fly to the new destinations that they will discover in this first episode of the new trilogy. Note that this is just my thoughts, but it makes sense, doesn't it?

This news of a Star Tours update also brings another involuntary info about the new movie which is that C3PO and R2D2 will probably be part of Episode 7. Why? Because if WDI introduce new movies in the ride, directly related to Episode 7 new "planets", these movies will of course be played inside the Starspeeder shuttle... And who is the driver of the Starspeeder? That's right, C3PO. If C3PO doesn't exist anymore in Episode 7, or is "dead", or anything else that could have happened to him, how could he still be the Starspeeder pilot "driving" us to what will be Episode 7 "new" planets?

Now, i admit that WDI Imagineers could replace C3PO by a new robot that will be introduce in Episode 7, or slightly change C3PO design if a new C3PO "generation" robot appear in the new movie, but considering how popular C3PO and R2D2 are among SW Fans and young kids chances are that they will keep them in Episode 7... and so in Star Tours, too.

I have no idea how many new movies/destinations will be introduced but probably not less than two, an update with one new destination only will look a bit cheap, wouldn't it, specially on Disneyland 60th anniversary year? Anyway,  i suppose that all this is great news for Star Tours fans, and there is more Star Wars news to come soon, so stay tuned on D&M!

Picture: copyright Disney - Lucasfilm

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Star Tours 2 Officially Open at Tokyo Disneyland - WDI Video

That's it, Star Tours 2 is now officially open at Tokyo Disneyland Tomorrowland and Walt Disney Imagineering just released a video to celebrate the event, and WDI Imagineers explain the changes they did in this new version! Among the new additions,  the hitchhikers droids robots above.

Georges Lucas couldn't be here but he sent a video message to TDL fans!

TDL did several fun TV spot to announce Star Tours The Adventures Continue, among them the two below.

Let's end with this video filmed by a fan on opening day.

Picture and TDL videos: copyright Disney - Oriental Land

Monday, April 29, 2013

Star Tours 2 Opens at Tokyo Disneyland - Full Video Report !

Last week was HKDL Mystic Manor's week and this week will be probably the one of Star Tours 2 which will have its official opening at TDL early May. But the attraction is now already in soft opening at TDL Tomorrowland and thanks to two TDL fans - François Couperin and vinylmatiOn - who posted videos on Youtube you'll be able to have a full look at this new Tokyo Disneyland version.

The ride movies are obviously the same but as we will see it seems that TDL had a special treatment and got some new pre-show movies and a new"hitchhiking droids" scene too. There we go for a complete tour and we begin by a video of the entrance concourse.

The next videos show the pre-show room with C3PO , R2D2 and the Starspeeder.

Always in the same room, the pre-show movie, and this one looks the same than in the U.S versions.

However,  it seems that they've introduced a new segment with the storm troopers calling to join the empire. In the video below it starts at 1.30 min and, as i unfortunately didn't did the ride in U.S theme parks, please let me know if this storm trooper part already exist in the DL and WDW versions or not, thanks.

Others pre-show movies are showing the spaceport and different destination planets. The two first videos below probably exist in the U.S versions but i wouldn't be surprised if the others below showing different planets with animated movies would be exclusive to TDL . And the animation style looks specially for japanese too. Thanks, too, to let me know if these are TDL exclusive or not.

Let's have a look now to the droids all along the pre-show and the first one is the droid of the security area, the one scanning luggages. In the video below you have the full sequence in "real time" with the different luggages.

Another droid this one apparently checking the guests.

Hitchhiker robots! Now the Hitchhiker ghosts of the Haunted Mansion are not the only ones! And these droids seems to be a TDL exclusive too...

The Droid customs and chinese shadow scenes.

A video of the thermic image security process.

It's time to embark in a Starspeeder and apparently TDL Star Tours boarding area has now a different lighting with new colors...

The video before boarding in the Starspeeder looks the same than in the U.S.

We'll end the tour with this travelling showing Star Tours 2 exit after the ride.

Thanks a lot to François Couperin and vinylmatiOn for all their videos!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Star Wars Land for Disney Hollywood Studios ?

We already know that a Star Wars land is in project for Disneyland Paris Discoveryland but according to Lance from Screamscape another one might be built at Disney Hollywood Studios. For now, there is a lot of "IF" but Lance has learned that the park’s big parade will close and that there is also a rumor "that the Parade Float building may also be removed to make room for a new future project". We're talking here about the Parade Float building located backstage behind the Backlot Express restaurant which is close to Star Tours. 

So far, there is no signs that the Backlot Express will be removed too, but as Lance explains if they remove it, then the DHS will have "a fairly large space where they could possibly build a new Star Wars themed mini-land that could include the often rumored Star Wars Cantina restaurant project proposed for Paris". 

You've understood that we are here totally in the rumor section as Disney might have others plans for the "new project" they would put where the Parade Float building is currently. But, as Lance also says, considering that Disney can't build a Marvel land at WDW - because of the Universal exclusivity deal "east of the Mississippi" - there is no doubt that Disney will want to build instead a Star Wars land at one of its WDW property. And, considering that the DHS already have Star Tours and the Star Wars weekends each year the logic would be to build a Star Wars land there. 

As we know the DHS don't have a lot of room available around Star Tours and they can't really expand the park behind it as there is one of WDW Blvd right behind. So, as Lance think, they might find some room if they remove the Parade float building and the Backlot Express and i've did for you a Google Earth view - see the circled orange space below ( click to enlarge the picture ) of the space that Lance is talking about.

But, if Disney really needs a biiiig land to build a Star Wars land which wouldn't be only a mini-land but a real big land at the height of the fans expectations, why don't they take it on the parking lot nearby - the space circled in orange below - and then expand the parking lot in the back where nothing stop them to do it - the space circled in blue on the same picture? There might be of course plenty of reasons that i don't know which would make the operation more difficult that it seems, but technically it looks possible, doesn't it?

Anyway, which park - DLP or DHS - will be the first to inaugurate its Star Wars land, the future will tell!

Picture: copyright Lucasfilm, Google Earth