Friday, September 25, 2015

Star Wars "Season of the Force" begins at Disneyland on November 16 - DL Railroad, Mark Twain & Columbia, Fantasmic, Big Thunder Ranch Closing For One Year or Permanently Starting January 10

At Disneyland guests will enjoy soon new Star Wars themed experiences as Star Wars "Season of the Force" will begin on November 16. Disney Parks shares more details on these new Star Wars experiences, also coming at WDW Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon:

Season of the Force at Disneyland park will take guests to a galaxy far, far away with these special experiences:

Star Wars Launch Bay
This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and much more. Here’s a look inside!

Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences

Dark Side – Encounter one of the most iconic villains from Star Wars, Darth Vader.
Light Side – Fly casual at this makeshift Rebel base, and meet the most famous co-pilot in the galaxy, Chewbacca.

Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries

Dark Side Gallery – Get a look at authentic pieces of stormtrooper armor as well as famous Sith lightsabers once wielded by masters of the dark side.
Light Side Gallery – Explore a gallery filled with Rebel flight helmets and lightsabers once wielded by Jedi Knights.
Preview Gallery – See props from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Starship Gallery – Discover models of famous starships and their pilots from throughout the Star Wars saga.

Join the Battle in the Star Wars Game Center – Play the latest games from the Star Wars galaxy, including Disney Infinity 3.0 – featuring park-exclusive Toy Box levels.

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Coming in December, experience a twist on the Jedi Training experience when you will encounter new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Limited-Time Experiences:

Hyperspace Mountain – Climb aboard a reimagined Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing starfighter battle.
Revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films at Tomorrowland Theater.
Try new themed food.

Choose your side during Season of the Force, beginning November 16 at Disneyland park in California.

O-Kay, that's for the good news. Now, here is the bad news, also related to Star Wars as all of this below will happen because of the upcoming Star Wars Land. Here is the official release from Disney Parks:

"Disneyland is also preparing to take guests to a galaxy far, far away with new Star Wars-themed lands. With groundbreaking scheduled to take place in 2016 for our largest single-land expansions ever, building the new 14-acre lands will be major projects at both Disneyland park in Southern California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Work to make room for this new land at Disneyland park in California will require the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad to close temporarily. The following will suspend operations at the end of the operating day on January 10:
The Disneyland Railroad, including all stations
Attractions along the Rivers of America, including:
Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
We look forward to all of these attractions reopening in the future.

Elsewhere in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch – including Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – will close permanently at the end of the operating day on January 10."

Yes, the beloved Big Thunder Ranch and it's great Big Thunder Barbecue restaurant will close permanently - i.e: forever - on January 10. They didn't mentioned Toon Town so may be there is still hope that Toon Town or at least a part of it will escape to demolition to make place to this Star Wars land. Although i'm dead sure that WDI Imagineers will do their best to create a smooth transition between Frontierland to Star Wars land i have to say that i'll still need to see it to believe it.

Just like many of you i would have preferred that Disney build this Star Wars land out of Disneyland ( as there is no room available near Tomorrowland ) and open a third park with anything Star Wars and Marvel in it, but that's not how it will be so let's cross our fingers that Iger didn't take THE wrong decision of his life by choosing to put the Star Wars land inside Disneyland, just a few meters from Big Thunder Mountain and the Rivers of America on on side and Casey Jr and Story Book Land on the other...

Pictures: copyright Disney, Google Maps


K. Martinez said...

Big Thunder Ranch's removal doesn't bother me at all. I've been going to Disneyland for 52 years and it was the "Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland" that was beloved to me, not Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Ranch. Those attractions came later, so I never really felt attached to them like the original Mine Train.

Since The Force Awakens is supposed to have a Frontier feel and setting, I'm sure the transition will work out fine behind Frontierland. I'm looking forward to the changes and development. I just hope the Rivers of America and its attractions remain intact. Beyond that the Ranch was just a holdover until something better came along and it has.

It's too early for a third gate in my opinion. If Disney was to wait and put the newly acquired IPs in the third park, we wouldn't see the Star Wars or Marvel Lands become reality for probably ten years. Disneyland still needs a Tomorrowland rehab and DCA still needs more attractions to bring it up to standard. Just my two cents.

Mark Hickson said...

I remember what they added the log cabin. It was in 1998. I hope they move it to a new home in Frontierland!

Philip said...

NONE of Toontown is being removed, FYI.