Not long after Disney bought the enormous Star Wars franchise, they made plans to open dramatic new theme parks dedicated to the well-loved world.
Both Disneyland and Disney World planned to build matching, 14-acre parks at their respective California and Florida locations. Disneyland opened first, with a press-visit this week to the much-storied addition to the Disney empire.
Polygon toured the park, and gives us a glimpse at the amazing craftsmanship and detail that went into transforming a lot in Anaheim into a believable, tactile world, far, far away.
And stay tuned for the opening of the futuristic Star Wars Hotel, opening later this year at Walt Disney World Resort.
The Millennium Falcon gets prime placement in the park, and is part of a major theme ride.
There is no glaring signage or familiar Disney branding, this world has been crafted to look as authentic as possible.
We love the subtlety of the way finding, like bathroom signs and trash bins, which have a heavily distressed look, like they’ve been around for generations.
Of course the Star Wars experience wouldn’t be complete without a cantina, and this one mixes up a plethora of fascinating exotic cocktails, both alcoholic and not.
Throughout the park, staff (called cast members) are entirely in character, only responding as if this was their home planet.
Various shops and stores are available to explore on this fictional location, called Black Spire Outpost.
We love the mounted heads, from creatures both familiar and not.
Various animatronic characters populate the stores and restaurants, adding a magical element that Disney is known for.
They did a great job of building a realistic ‘used future’ that made Star Wars so familiar and loved. Everything feels distressed and authentic, despite it being brand new.
Currently, only one ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is open for use. A second major ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open, to much fanfare.