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Monday, June 17, 2013

Disney Strikes Back - Star Wars Land Coming to WDW

According to Theme Park Insider (link) and now being propogated in various print, web, and TV outlets, Disney plans on adding a "Star Wars Land" to Walt Disney World's Disney Hollywood Studios with opening set for 2018, maybe sooner if they want to throw more money at the project. In addition to Star Wars Land, the plan is for Disney to replicate a version of the massively successful Cars Land in DHS as well. I'll leave the Cars Land rumor alone for now because I'm still in my one month moratorium on writing anything about Cars Land and this news isn't going to make me alter my commitment to that. Star Wars Land? Now that's a different story altogether.

Much like Disney California Adventure a few years ago, Disney Hollywood Studios has been an underachieving theme park for quite some time. Confused themes, a bit of neglect, and constant questioning of what do we do with the place has been on the minds of WDW fans for quite some time. But once a year, DHS hosts the massively successful Star Wars Weekends to prop up the sagging park. I have always thought that if Disney was going to do anything major with park related theming with their recent George Lucas acquisitions, WDW would be the place. Certainly they have the property and space to do things right as opposed to the Disneyland Resorts approach of let's see what we can squeeze in. So a Star Wars Land in DHS just makes too much sense to pass up.

Of course that doesn't make a Disneylander like myself feel any better. Who wouldn't love a Star Wars Land in your own backyard rather than across the country? And what about D23 coming up in August in Anaheim. Walt Disney World has stolen the thunder with the opening of the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train (coaster), now Star Wars Land, and a Cars Land. And whatever happened to Avatarland in Disney Animal Kingdom? Somebody at Disney better get off the schneid and announce something new (and big) for Disneyland. A Monsters Inc roller coaster? Please. You can do better than that. No wonder that, as of today, D23 has a new level of membership, one that costs the applicant nothing at all because they're giving it away just to prop up sagging membership numbers. A convention in Anaheim that features big changes to a park that is 3000 miles away probably isn't the best way to bring in the crowds that Disney wants.

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