Disney's D23 Expo rolled through Anaheim this weekend, and while all of the upcoming movies, both animated and live-action, were shown off at the convention center in grand fashion, the biggest announcement of the event came when Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek arrived to unveil the new Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, California and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This is one of the biggest projects Disney parks has ever taken on, and it promises to be monumental. And we have new video from the presentation itself, which offers an intriguing peek at this huge undertaking.
Bob Chapek gave the 7,500 lucky fans in attendance a behind-the-scenes look at what's to come at his theme parks in the next severe years. Things kicked off in grand fashion as he was joined by Imagineers working on these projects as well as legendary filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau who shared new details about Pandora, The World of Avatar including the names of the land and E-ticket attraction - Avatar Flight of Passage. Fans also got a chance to see Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo appearance where he posed as an unsuspecting fan during Iron Man's dramatic entrance.
Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to the Florida and California theme parks, plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and more details on Pandora-The World of Avatar, which is already under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Chapek also shared that Soarin' Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world. Additionally, fans got a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016. Said Chapek about all this exciting news.
"From Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we're in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe," "With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love."
In addition to these announcements, Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim. Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
Details on each of the projects include Star Wars enhancements and new experiences. From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay, from a new Jedi Training Academy to "Season of the Force," soon guests will be part of both new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy. Star Wars Launch Bay is an interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, the Millennium Falcon, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also atDisneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.
Jedi Training Academy is a favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels. Season of the Force is a new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, which brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies. You can check out all the fun in the latest video direct from D23.