New Disney area to immerse park visitors in Star Wars story

The world of Star Wars is coming from a galaxy far, far away to become the largest single-themed land in a Disney park.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an adventure through the grungy planet Batuu where guests can build their own droids and lightsabres, interact with aliens and climb into the cockpit of the massive Millennium Falcon, to discover their mission and engage in a dogfight with Tie fighters.

The sprawling 14-acre land is set on a remote world in the newest Star Wars trilogy — so do not expect appearances by Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader – but some familiar faces including Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and fan-favourite Chewbacca will be a part of the adventure.

Galaxy’s Edge is set to open this summer at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, then in the autumn at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The lands will offer a mix of trading outposts, a cantina and even a wooded area where Resistance fighters have set up camp.

Entry is included with a park ticket, but it will cost more for guests who want to create their own lightsabre or purchase their own droid modelled on R2-D2 or BB-8.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said guests will have persistent interaction with Star Wars elements, whether it’s Stormtroopers barking orders or the swinging music of a grimy cantina that serves Star Wars-themed alcohol.

Galaxy’s Edge is still under construction, but its buildings, shops and main attractions are in place. Right now the focus is on “cosmetics and making sure the equipment is working properly”, said John Larena, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Here are some of the land’s key features:

MILLENNIUM FALCON: SMUGGLERS RUN

Selfie opportunities will be abundant inside and out of the “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”. The spaceship is an exact replica of the ship from the films, measuring more than 100ft long.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (Disney Parks/Lucasfilm/AP)</figcaption>
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (Disney Parks/Lucasfilm/AP)

Inside the cockpit, a team of six people operate the spacecraft during an interactive experience that, just like the movies, will get a little bumpy. An encounter with First Order fighters put guests in the role of pilots, gunners or flight engineers to ensure their mission is completed.

RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

On a full-size starship, guests play as new Resistance recruits and go on a journey. A hologram image of Rey will appear with a message before guests board their ship and take off from Batuu and head into the orbit.

But the starship runs into trouble, intercepted by a nearby Star Destroyer. This sets up a climactic battle against military members of the First Order.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The Rise of the Resistance attraction (Disney Parks/Lucasfilm/AP)</figcaption>
The Rise of the Resistance attraction (Disney Parks/Lucasfilm/AP)

Resistance guests will be thrown into a detention cell where they could run up against Kylo Ren, and have to figure out an escape.

SAVI’S WORKSHOP

Guests will be able to purchase a lightsabre or hand-build their own. Bring plenty of credits: the price for the hilt is around 109 dollars (£82) and the blade costs 49 dollars (£37) depending on the type.

DROID DEPOT

Guests — for an undisclosed cost — can either purchase a pre-built droid or build one in the colours of their choosing by picking pieces off a conveyor belt.

They are not just pretty to look at. Park official says the droids will be controllable by guests.

TASTE OF STAR WARS

There’s no such thing as chicken in Galaxy’s Edge. That’s Tip Yip, and the cornbread that you might eat with it is blue, gravy is green and cauliflower is orange.

Much of the food is plant-based with dairy-free mash potatoes and vegan meatballs.

OGA’S CANTINA

The cantina will be the first location to serve alcohol to the general public in Disneyland’s 60-plus year history. It is the place to come and unwind, but is also known to have some of the most disreputable characters in the galaxy.

And yes, droids are allowed.

PLAY DISNEY PARKS MOBILE APP

Galaxy’s Edge is the first land in a Disney park designed to integrate with the app. It can help translate Star Wars languages and scan crates to discover the contents. The app can also be used to interact with droids, media screens, door panels and drinking fountains.

- Press Association

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