'Star Wars' land coming to Disney's California, Florida parks

Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:36pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

Anaheim, Calif. (Reuters) - "Star Wars" is being transported from a galaxy far, far away to

California and Florida after Walt Disney Co announced on Saturday it was developing two new expansions at its theme parks that will bring the celebrated film franchise to life.

The new 14-acre "Star Wars" land, the largest themed land to be part of Anaheim, California's Disneyland and Orlando, Florida's Disney World, will introduce a new planet from George Lucas' intergalactic film saga.

It will also feature two new rides, including one where participants will be able to take control of the Millennium Falcon spaceship, as well as the Cantina, the infamous hub of rogue smugglers and traders in the films.

A date for the opening of the new attractions was not given, and Disney did not comment on the cost of the expansions.

The new lands will hope to harness the avid fanbase of "Star Wars," which first came out in 1977 and has since become embedded into U.S. pop culture.

The announcement, made by Disney Chief Executive and Chairman Bob Iger at the annual D23 Exposition in Anaheim on Saturday, comes as fans gear up for the first installment of a new trilogy of "Star Wars" films, kicking off with December's "The Force Awakens."

Harrison Ford, who reprises the role of Han Solo, was welcomed to the convention stage with a standing ovation and led the cast of the new film, including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o and British newcomer John Boyega.   Continued...

People wearing Star Wars-themed costumes eat pretzels in San Francisco, California July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith