Rumor: Disneyland Is Getting Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ Expansions
Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and Marvel, theme-park fans have wondered when the company would start to take advantage of their shiny new properties in their theme parks. And for a good long time, there was nothing. Marvel presented a tangled web of rights issues. Star Wars proved a creative challenge. But now, the floodgates look like they’re about to open. New rumors concerning the presence of both franchises at California’s Disneyland have emerged and it sounds like Disney isn’t kidding around.
Although Disneyland is significantly smaller than Florida’s Walt Disney World, it makes sense that the original park would get these updates first. After all, Universal still owns the theme parks rights to the Marvel characters on the east coast (and still utilize them in their Islands of Adventure theme park). Plus, if internet scuttlebutt is to be believed, Disney has hit a few creative roadblocks in their plan to create an east coast Star Wars land that would rival Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in scope and detail. The smaller Disneyland, with its local, passionate fan base, would be the ideal testing ground for Marvel and Star Wars attractions.
These rumors were spurred on by Disney recently purchasing a whole bunch of land outside the current Disneyland borders. Everyone assumed that the park would move its administrative buildings to the new land, freeing up space in the parks for new rides and attractions. According to Mice Chat, this is the case. Disneyland Park will get a brand new Star Wars land and Disney’s California Adventure (located right next door) will get the Marvel expansion.
Full details have yet to arrive, but here is how they describe the Star Wars plans:
The plan for Star Wars Land has grown immensely in scale, and it’s now aimed squarely at the land north of Disneyland itself ... The rides and shows in the land itself are being developed in a top secret Imagineering lab in Glendale with Imagineers signing extra confidentiality agreements because the plotlines and characters are pulled from the next three episodes in the Star Wars saga and the Lucasfilm folks understandably guard that information with their lives. But what we can tell you is that Star Wars Land will include multiple attractions, anchored by a mega E Ticket using a trackless vehicle that will break the mold when it comes to how theme park visitors interact with a ride environment.
They also note that Disney is working to have a temporary “Star Wars miniland” functioning by the end of the year.
The same report has less to say about the Marvel land, but it name-drops some pretty ambitious rides, which suggests that Disney has fairly ambitious plans:
The plans to expand DCA again with a Marvel Land behind Tower of Terror continue to move ahead, and the E Ticket thrill ride that is planned to anchor that expansion is going to be very unique. The ride will feature a newly Imagineered hybrid ride system that might be best described as a combination of Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Universal’s Transformers ride using every trick and gimmick WDI can throw at it, including on-board audio and effects and elaborate sets and animatronics.
With the D23 convention just a few days away, we can expect to hear something solid on both of these fronts soon enough. If these expansions are half as impressive as Universal’s Harry Potter stuff, a road trip to Disneyland is going to be in order for a lot of people.