Disney plans Westworld for Star Wars fans

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens in 2019 as part of the Disney 360 vacation concept

Disney Star Wars
During D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced plans to create "the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away."

Disneyland. Since the Fifties, the theme park has been constructed as a magical utopia in the minds of children across the world. Five years after the mammoth Disney Corporation paid $4 billion (Dh14.7 billion) for the rights to George Lucas’ epic space opera, Disneyland has announced plans for an immersive Jedi-themed Star Wars resort. It will be called Galaxy’s Edge.

We aren’t kidding when we say it’s immersive. “It’s unlike anything that exists today,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a release published yesterday on the company blog. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire.”

Attractions

Besides the Star Wars hotel, two attractions have also been announced at Galaxy’s Edge. The first is set inside the hangar bay of a Star Destroyer, built on a scale Disney claims it’s never done before.

Star Wars Disney Disneyland
An artist’s impression of guests piloting the Millennium Falcon

The second attraction lets guests pilot the Millennium Falcon, fire blasters and prepare for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. Performing well on the mission grants you extra galactic credits, but returning the ship in poor condition could put you on a bounty hunter’s hit list: expect to be accosted at the local cantina.

Guests will also encounter familiar faces such as BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and Rex, the troublesome pilot.

This being Star Wars, guests will also be able to acquire licensed trinkets and treasures from across the merchandise galaxy.

Westworld with ewoks?

There are clear parallels to be seen here with Westworld. The critically acclaimed HBO series sees guests pay a premium to visit a gargantuan Wild West resort. Besides a true-to-life landscape, buildings and railroads, the USP of Westworld is its resident androids, who believe the world they inhabit really is the Old West. Guests can team up with the androids to embark on train robberies, saloon shoot-outs and other epic period experiences.

While we’re fairly sure the Star Wars resort will steer clear of the violence and ethical minefields of the HBO show, Chapek is at pains to describe the uniqueness of this experience: “Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100 per cent immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

Disney 360

Disney’s Star Wars resort is the first in a range of immersive experiences planned by the company. Its new project, Disney 360, remains shrouded in mystery.

We may not have Disneyland here in the UAE, but we do have Dubai Parks and Resorts. Please take note, DPR – something similar could be amazing here.

Check out this fly-through video to see what’s in store: