Shanghai Disneyland Will Include Star Wars Attractions


After Disney’s reinvigoration of the franchise, the public is due some new Star Wars rides. Plans are already underway to make that happen, but according to a huge announcement by Disney today, the stateside parks may not be the first ones to get new attractions.

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Disney has unveiled ambitious plans for its first theme park in mainland China called Shanghai Disneyland, set to open next spring. The $5.5 billion park will have six themed areas while simultaneously embracing Chinese culture. But more importantly, it will have a Star Wars-themed section called the Star Wars Launch Bay.

According to Disney:

"“In a celebration of the Star Wars Galaxy, guests will meet heroes and villains of the saga, visit iconic intergalactic set-pieces, view props and memorabilia from the most recent Episode, and be immersed in the Skywalker story through a state-of-the-art cinematic experience.”"

By “most recent Episode,” I assume they mean Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Meanwhile, it sounds like that “state-of-the-art cinematic experience” will be akin to Star Tours at Disneyland and Disney World, a 3-D motion simulator ride.

It’s still unclear exactly what kind of rides the park will feature, or if they’ll be ready by its grand opening in the spring. But from the photo above, it appears that the Bay will feature museum-like exhibits of Star Wars items along with mascots dressed up in character.

And Disney won’t be discriminatory when it comes to what era of Star Wars it will cover. That is definitely Sabine from Star Wars Rebels in the back right of the photo, talking to an excited young Rebels fan.

This also represents yet another example of Disney capitalizing on the Chinese market, which signifies huge box office potential to movie studios. The company recently played all six of the movies at the Shanghai Film Festival in June, presumably to ratchet up anticipation for the franchise.

Here’s a video of a flyover of the model for the park. It’s hard to tell exactly where the Star Wars section will be located:

I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t be getting any new rides in the states before China, but this development isn’t entirely unexpected, as Disney has had its eye on China for awhile. It will also be interesting to see if Disney tweaks the elements of the franchise for a Chinese audience, perhaps by acknowledging the series’ many influences from Asian cinema.

Next: New Images, Footage of Star Wars Uprising Gameplay