When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and Marvel Comics, fans speculated that it was merely time before the super studio integrated elements from these franchises into its theme parks, namely Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. (I have a friend who was secretly working on a stand-alone Marvel theme park, which was scrapped shortly before the announcement that Disney had acquired the comic book publisher. But you didn’t hear that from me.) Other than merchandising, though, not much has been done to add elements from these properties to the classic attractions. Apparently, Disney had plans in the works, but has either put them on hold or has abandoned them entirely.
Disney keeps everything extremely confidential, so keep that in mind. But a “source” details extensive plans for ‘Star Wars’ to have been heavily worked into Tomorrowland.
Originally the plan to add Star Wars to Tomorrowland was going to be divided into two phases; a first phase involving some placemaking and a replacement for Captain EO to be finished prior to the 60th Anniversary, and a second phase kicking off in late 2015. The second phase included the Speeder Bike E Ticket ride, Ewok village and forest where Autopia currently is, a Millenium Falcon walk-thru where the PeopleMover platform is, tearing out the decaying PeopleMover tracks and moving the Astro Orbiter up on top of the Space Mountain concourse, and turning Tomorrowland Terrace into an interactive Tatooine Cantina restaurant show. All of that is now on hold indefinitely. Although Anaheim gets off a bit easier with its Star Wars plan on hold, as the plans for many of these Star Wars elements coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in WDW have just been cancelled outright.
The reason given is that recent NextGen innovations the parks have introduced, have proven costlier than anticipated and have required constant upgrades and fixes. “The NextGen additions have only shown up in the parks recently as MagicBands, gateless theme park entrances, Fastpass+ entrances on rides as minor as the Teacups, and some interactive queues.” (The original article goes into much greater detail regarding all of that.)
Not only were the ‘Star Wars’ plans cancelled, but additional additions and upgrades as well, including a ‘Monsters Inc’ roller coaster and updates to such classic rides as Alice In Wonderland, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Pinnochio’s Daring Journey and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
If I recall correctly, I believe the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse was taken out years ago, so an Ewok Village would have been a nice replacement for that. Maybe we’ll see these innovations in a year or two once Disney gets its NextGen issues resolved.
Would ‘Star Wars’ features further entice you to visit one of Disney’s theme parks?