The ambitious, multi-part addition of "Star Wars"-related rides and attractions, at both California's Disneyland park and Florida's Disney's Hollywood Studios, hit a snag late last year when plans for both coasts were put on hold following the financially catastrophic rollout of Florida's NextGen project (just Google it -- it's too hard to explain here). Well, lucky for stateside "Star Wars" geeks, as the first phase of the Tomorrowland redo of Disneyland has been approved and should begin soon, at least according to a report on Miceage.
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According to the site, which has a pretty good track record when it comes to Disneyland developments, the plan is to remodel most of the main Tomorrowland buildings to fit in with the new "Star Wars" theme, which is supposed to loosely follow the concept of an intergalactic "space port." While almost purely cosmetic at this point, the new design will set the stage for future rides and attractions in phase 2 and beyond (should they get the OK from the keepers of the cash).
As part of this remodel, the Astro Orbiter, a gangly attraction smack dab in the middle of Tomorrowland, will be retired (for the time being, at least) and the disused Peoplemover tracks will finally be gutted. What's great is that the Imagineers have formulated a way to keep all of the rides open while this extensive remodel is executed, so you won't have to miss out on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters or Star Tours while the futuristic hub is getting a fresh coat of space paint.
Additionally, the attractions that are set to comprise phase 2 of the project, including an Endor speeder bike attraction and a version of the Mos Eisley cantina, are still on the docket, but are now said to include references to 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII," with Imagineers getting regular debriefs on what is in store for the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel.
Where we have issue with the Miceage report is that they claim the similar plans for Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios, which would see a wide swath of land, basically the area from Hollywood Boulevard back around to where Star Tours is (goodbye, Indiana Jones stunt show), give way to an immersive "Star Wars" experience, have been canceled. Our money is that it might be slightly delayed, coming sometime after Disneyland gets their redo, but it's too important to the company and fits in too well with the overall aesthetic of the Disney's Hollywood Studios park, to be abandoned completely.
Hopefully, Disney will make some kind of official statement real soon.