Disneyland Closing Attractions To Make Way For ‘Star Wars’ Land

Disneyland is closing some attractions permanently to make room for Star Wars Land. The closures at the “happiest place on Earth” will take place in January. A total of six attractions and dining areas will close on a temporary basis while the 14-acre Star Wars-themed area is built. Four long-time attractions will close forever in the coming weeks.

Disney California Adventure and Disneyland are located in Orange County. The theme park increased the price of annual passes by about 30 percent in October. The popular attraction’s biggest competitor in both California and Orlando, Florida, where Disney World is located, is Universal Studios, which will soon open a Harry Potter themed area. Although Star Wars fans may be thrilled about the new mega attraction, the closure of traditional and long-time favorite Disney attractions not linked to a movie or television character might not garner applause from all visitors.

The Disneyland attractions which will be no more come January 10, 2016, include the petting zoo in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, and the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. The theme park attractions which will close on a temporary basis so that Star Wars Land can be built include: Fantasmic, the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, and even the Disneyland Railroad, MSN reports. The animals from the petting zoo have reportedly been adopted by a family in the state that has “worked with Disney animals” in the past.

Disney bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise for $4 billion in 2012, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Although the Disneyland attractions have not yet closed to make way for the new Star Wars Land, some popular rides have undergone a facelift to reflect the coming change. Space Mountain, located in Tomorrowland, and Star Tours rides have been outfitted with special effects “borrowed” from the just-released Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie.

Disneyland Frontierland

Some “underused” areas of the Tomorrowland Innovations building were remodeled into the Star Wars Launch Bay. The area is jam-packed with movie merchandise, video games, and costumed characters eager to pose for selfies. The Disneyland eatery known as the Galactic Grill is already selling sweet treats inspired by The Force Awakens movie.

Details about what Star Wars Land will look like, or what type of attractions it will include, have not yet been shared with the public. No official opening date for the new “land” at the California theme park has been announced, but industry experts estimate it may take up to a year for such a project to be completed.

Disneyland Pirates Lair On Tom Sawyer Island

Star Wars Land will include a re-creation of the Millennium Falcon, according to previous comments about the new attraction made by Disney CEO Robert Iger. The attraction will reportedly allow visitors to man the controls of Han Solo’s spaceship and conduct a “customized secret mission,” which boasts an “immersive” concept which puts the guest in the midst of a “climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

The last time that multiple attractions were closed at Disneyland for a construction project was between 1995 and 1998. During that time, Tomorrowland was revamped and multiple new attractions were added.

What do you think about Disneyland creating Star Wars Land? Will you be sad to see Tomorrowland and Frontierland to make way for Darth Vader and his entourage?

[Image via ChiMoL/Shutterstock]