Disneyland launched its new “Star Wars” offerings on Nov. 16, debuting Season of the Force in the Tomorrowland section of the Anaheim, California theme park. The experiences include the “Star Wars” Launch Bay, with displays, interactive element and character encounters; a re-imagining of Space Mountain as Hyperspace Mountain; and new segments for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.
“Star Wars” Launch Bay takes place at the newly named Tomorrowland Expo Center, formerly called Innoventions. Here, guests can immerse themselves in all things “Star Wars.” Character meet-and-greets with Darth Vader and Chewbacca permit guests to choose between their Dark Side and Light Side (or both). A game center offers time for video gameplay, the Theater features interviews with some of the creative forces behind the Force, and the Cantina offers photo ops in a space inspired by the saga’s iconic bar. “Star Wars” Launch Bay Cargo offers merchandise available for purchase.
Launch Bay also offers galleries and displays filled with props, models and replicas for detail-oriented fans. The Dark Side Gallery features Stormtrooper armor and Sith lightsabers while the Light Side Gallery presents rebel flight helmets and Jedi lightaavers A preview gallery offers a look at “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh installment in the “Star Wars” saga, with replicas of props and costumes from the upcoming movie. The Starship Gallery focuses on flight, with models of starships and their pilots.
Space Mountain takes guests in a familiar galaxy far, far away with Disneyland’s re-imagining of its dark roller coaster during Season of the Force, Hyperspace Mountain presents a thrilling battle between Rebel X-wings, which guests “pilot,” and Imperial TIE fighters set to a soundtrack inspired by the films.
Star Tours, a 3-D flight simulator, adds new characters and scenes from “The Force Awakens.” (No spoilers for the film here.)
Season of the Force has a presence throughout Tomorrowland. For those unfamiliar with the saga, the Tomorrowland Theater offers “Star Wars: Path of The Jedi,” a 10-minute compilation that covers scenes from the films and includes moments from the upcoming movie. First Order stormtroopers patrol the area near “Star Wars” Launch Bay and Star Tours. And Disneyland serves some out-of-this-world “Star Wars” themed food at The Galactic Grill, in the Tomorrowland Terrace area, and Pizza Port .
Season of the Force will also feature new elements for the Jedi Training Academy. The children’s interactive show, in which younglings are trained in ways of the Force, will debut new characters and a new villain when “Trials of the Temple” opens Dec. 8. The experience draws from the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
Season of the Force debuts at Disneyland in time for the holidays and the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Dec 18. The area is designed not only to increase fan interest in the next installment of the Saga but to raise interest in the “Star Wars” lands Disney will build at both Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. Announced in August at the D23 Expo, construction on these lands begins in 2016.
According to Disneyland Resort’s website, Season of the Force runs through Dec. 31. Disneyland’s holiday season runs through Jan. 6, 2016.