- By Jim Hayward Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The much-anticipated expansion of Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World for the themed land based on the Star Wars films will open in the late fall of 2019, according an executive involved with the project. That will be months after the debut of California's version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland next summer.
Scott Trowbridge, an executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, made the announcement in a post today on the Disney Parks Blog.
Disney CEO Bob Iger had previously announced that the new lands would open in 2019, but nothing more specific was confirmed until today. While it was widely believed that Disneyland's version of Galaxy’s Edge would open first, based on the progress of the expansive construction projects, the new announcement appears to give Walt Disney's original park a significant head start.
A third version of the land based on the science fiction films and stories created by George Lucas has been announced for Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris sometime after 2021.
The 2019 projects are being touted as the "largest single-themed land expansions ever" at Disney parks. At Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will cover 14 acres of the park and also include an adjacent Star Wars-themed resort hotel. There has been no apparent start of hotel construction, which could account for the later opening date in Florida. No timetable for hotel construction has been announced.
Guests will "land in the middle of the action as they live their own Star Wars stories," according to Trowbridge. Promised attractions include a ride that puts guests behind the controls of Han Solo's Millennium Falcon, plus an experience that drops guests into the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
More details on the upcoming Star Wars lands may be revealed Sunday when Hollywood Studios hosts a special event, Star Wars: Galactic Nights. The family-friendly event will include a panel discussion about Galaxy's Edge as well as new experiences inspired by the latest film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, set for release on Friday.