Disney announces launch dates for its ‘Star Wars’ theme parks

Disney has spent years working on bringing the Star Wars universe to its California and Orlando theme parks, and during that time, we’ve gleaned quite a bit of intel on what, precisely, visitors will be able to experience when they land in “Galaxy’s Edge” — including flying the Millennium Falcon (via a VR simulation in a life-size replica of the ship), drinking a glass of blue milk at the cantina, and engaging stormtroopers in battle, all at a planetary location that will be part of the franchise’s official canon. From the early looks of things, the new parks are going to be as great as imagined. And last night, the company finally announced when you’ll be able to visit the new galaxy far, far away.

Opening season for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — the largest single-themed land expansion in the history of the parks — will begin in summer 2019 at California’s Disneyland Resort and in late fall 2019 at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort, just in time for the release of Star Wars: Episode IX in December 2019. The video above provides an CGI’d aerial view of the completed park (which is still under construction), and little else. However, we’ve had plenty of prior glimpses of the eagerly anticipated destination, which will be populated by scoundrels, droids, an enormous TIE fighter, and AT-ATs. If you choose to make Orlando your intergalactic park of your choice, you’ll be able to stay at an as-yet-unnamed Star Wars-themed hotel that will connect directly to the corresponding sci-fi region — meaning you could conceivably spend your entire vacation immersed in a 360-degree outer-space adventure.

Galaxy’s Edge, the locale, has been dubbed by Disney “a remote frontier outpost somewhere on the edge of wild space. … This used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days. But now with the advent of hyperspace, its prominence has fallen and faded a little bit, which made it a great spot for those who didn’t want to be on that mainstream path — the smugglers, the bounty hunters, rogue adventurers looking to crew up, the people who don’t want to be found — basically all the interesting people.” Between exploring that region and engaging in interactive dramas during your visit (i.e., your success piloting the Millennium Falcon might impact your later strolling-about encounters with First Order baddies), it sounds like the venue will be the place for Star Wars fans to be when it opens later next year.

Time to start saving your credits, hyperspace-jumpers.

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