D23, the biennial expo for all things Disney, kicked off last Thursday with a fan-pleasing peek at Walt Disney World’s and Disneyland’s Star Wars-themed expansions. Turns out that early look was just a teasing taste of what the House of Mouse had in store, however, as their dedicated Parks and Resorts panel shed much more light on the highly anticipated lands from a galaxy far, far away.
First up, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek revealed the 14-acre expansions would officially be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. He also hinted the lands would go above and beyond the parks’ usual immersion-ratcheting experiences to offer guests their very own galaxy-saving adventures, complete with realistic character interactions with the likes of Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, BB-8, and more. Additionally, fan-favorite Star Tours character Rex will appear as a DJ in the land’s cantina.
Galaxy’s Edge‘s two premier attractions–one that puts fans behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and another that places them precariously between a First Order-versus-Resistance battle–will also factor into guests’ larger story-driven experiences in the lands. Deep-diving details are protected as fiercely as the Death Star plans, but it sounds like fans’ actions on these rides could potentially put a bounty on their head or see them celebrated like a hero at the local cantina.
Perhaps the biggest news shared by Chapek was the confirmation of a Star Wars–themed resort coming to Walt Disney World. Keeping with the new lands’ focus on immersing guests in their favorite sci-fi saga, the hotel will host personalized, multi-day adventures. Offering even more details on Disney’s official Parks blog, Chapek said this: “It’s unlike anything that exists today. From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”
All that, and the resort’s themed rooms will offer breathtaking views of outer space! No word on when the ambitious hotel project will open, but Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge hits Anaheim and Orlando in 2018, with the former opening first.