The Star Wars universe is going to have a greater presence at Disney theme parks worldwide, the L.A. Times is reporting.
Ewoks, Wookies, Stormtroopers and Jedi Knights will soon be taking their place alongside Mickey, Minnie, Donald and the gang at parks in Orlando, Anaheim, and worldwide, Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors at a conference call on Tuesday. He stated that he plans to “significantly” increase the Star Wars universe’s presence a the theme parks.
“When we grow Star Wars‘ presence, which we will do significantly, you will see better bets being made that will pay off for us than were made in the past.” (CBS News)
Currently, the Star Wars presence at Disney theme parks is somewhat limited. A Star Wars-themed attraction – “Star Tours,” a motion-simulator attraction – is present at Disney theme parks in Florida, California, Tokyo, and Paris, according to the Huffington Post. The attractions were designed in the late 1980s. The Florida and California parks also have an interactive show called the “Jedi Training Academy,” where children train to become Jedi Knights. And every year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida hosts “Star Wars Weekends,” an annual festival of all things Star Wars.
Increasing the presence of a popular franchise at a theme park brings visitors to the park, according to Yahoo News. Disneyland in California added a Cars section to Disney’s California Adventure in 2012. And earlier this year, Disneyland Paris opened up a Ratatouille-themed section.
Disney theme parks have become a consistent money-maker for their parent company in recent years, according to the L.A. Times. This year, the rollout of the MyMagic+ system, which allows visitors to manage their theme park tickets and their in-park purchases with a wrist band, has helped drive up attendance at the parks 8 percent over last year.
In 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the studio that owned the rights to the Star Wars franchise, in a multi-billion-dollar deal (see this Inquisitr article). Shortly afterwards, it was announced that Star Wars Episode VII was going to be produced, to be followed by future Star Wars movies every year, sending Star Wars geeks worldwide into a frenzy of speculation and anticipation.
According to Yahoo News, the Marvel comic-book franchise may soon see in increased presence at Disney them parks, too.
Do you believe that the addition of Star Wars characters and settings to the Disney theme parks will dilute the magic? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: Child Mode