The biggest movie of 2015 is going to be Star Wars: Episode VII. There’s not much debate about that. While J.J. Abrams and crew are busy getting the new movie together so they can start production this spring, Disney’s Imagineers may have some inside information on new storyline and characters. Apparently, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are overhauling a majority of Tomorrowland (the theme park and not the upcoming movie) to resemble the look and feel of Episode VII.
According to MiceChat.com, Team Disney Anaheim (TDA) recently got the go-ahead to transform Tomorrowland into the all-new Star Wars Land. The new attractions and rides will obviously be Star Wars-centric, with an emphasis on the next installment. It seems that Abrams allowed the Imagineers access to key parts of the screenplay so they can start designing the new additions.
Many of the attractions featured at the new Star Wars Land have been leaked, and include a Millennium Falcon walk-thru, Ewok village, and authentic Tatooine cantina. Some of the new attractions will also directly reference Episode VII and are planned for sometime in 2017. Mice Chat writes:
The Imagineers assigned to the Star Wars Tomorrowland project have now been debriefed on the characters and plotlines coming for Star Wars Episode VII that opens in theaters in about two years. The original plan for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland relied heavily on characters and plot points from the first three Star Wars films, with attractions like a Millennium Falcon walk-thru on the old PeopleMover platform, a wild Tatooine cantina replacing Tomorrowland Terrace, and a speeder bike ride through an Ewok village where Autopia currently sits. Those key attractions are all still part of phase two, but they are being layered or tweaked to include references from Episode VII that will be released in theaters at least 18 months before any of those attractions open.
There were rumors that the proposed Star Wars Land was put on hold until Disney could figure out how to deal with the logistics of introducing the new pieces. But now it looks like Tomorrowland will be completely converted by summer 2017, just in time for Star Wars: Episode VIII to hit theaters.
It seems fitting that Disney would want to introduce more Star Wars into their theme parks. They didn’t buy Lucasfilm for $4.4 billion just to make a few new movies, they’re going to squeeze out every penny they possibly can. The Mouse House is also starting to introduce their other acquired properties into their parks and resorts. They’ve already added new Marvel attractions like the Iron Man Experience at Disneyland in Hong Kong.
At the moment, no actors have been officially cast in Star Wars: Episode VII, but we expect to hear something more concrete soon as the film is already scheduled to hit theaters everywhere on December 18, 2015.