You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney to Reveal ‘Ambitious’ Theme Park Plans for ‘Star Wars’

The big tease of what Disney has planned for “Star Wars” inside its theme parks continues 11 months before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” flies into theaters.

Disney chief Bob Iger told Wall Street analysts that there’s “a fair amount of design and development (taking place by the company’s Imagineers) to greatly increase ‘Star Wars” presence in multiple locations around the world,” shortly after the Mouse House announced another strong financial quarter. “The plans are ambitious, so it’s going to take some time for them to be built and opened.”

While Iger said specific plans would be announced “later in 2015,” the executive already had announced “significant” plans for the franchise for which it paid George Lucas $4 billion in 2012. He also has said whatever new attractions are announced, they will be based on future films in the series, as well as its spinoffs. Several Disney parks currently include an updated version of the “Star Tours” attraction.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Iger said, “Fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll be ready to go public with some specifics. But it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more ‘Star Wars’ at Disney and at Disney parks in the near future.”

See More: ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Attractions to Be Based on New Films, Not Old (EXCLUSIVE)

Disney knows there’s anticipation for all-things “Star Wars.”

A teaser trailer released for J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” has been viewed more than 123 million times since November, Iger said on Tuesday.

And while that film won’t open until Dec. 18, various divisions at the company are likely to try to capitalize on that rabid fan interest.

Disney XD already has launched the animated “Star Wars Rebels” TV show. And an early wave of products is expected to hit store shelves that’s tied to “The Force Awakens.” Just how much it could boost sales for Disney’s consumer products arm is still in question.

“I don’t know if there will be a ramp-up to buying for ‘Star Wars,'” Iger said, with most merchandise tied to a film typically selling around its release. “We’re likely to see some buying in advance of the movie in consumer products.”

Either way, “Star Wars” will join 11 franchises that will generate $1 billion in retail sales this year, as they did last year, Disney said. That includes “Frozen,” which was a major moneymaker during the holidays.

“The consumer products business has a lot of breadth,” said Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo during the same call with analysts. “We’re only beginning to see this year what the overall Marvel franchises are going to deliver (with ‘The Avengers’ sequel and ‘Ant-Man’), and we will add ‘Star Wars’ to that pantheon in a very significant way.”

Disney already has a number of high-profile events happening this year — all prime platforms it could use to announce its ambitious “Star Wars” plans.

First up is “Star Wars Celebration,” which will take place April 16-19 inside the Anaheim Convention Center. There’s May 4, long embraced by the franchise’s fans as “Star Wars” Day. And Disney’s version of Comic-Con, the D23 Expo, is set for Aug. 14-16. It also will take place in Anaheim. Of course, there’s Dec. 18, when “The Force Awakens” bows in theaters, but it’s likely Disney will have announced its park plans for “Star Wars” by then.

There also are a number of theme parks where Disney is preparing to make room for new attractions.

The largest is Shanghai Disneyland, which will have its grand opening in spring 2016. After breaking ground, Disney committed another $800 million to significantly expand the size of that park with new rides and attractions.

Outside of “Star Wars,” Disney already is building an “Avatar”-themed land at its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando. That land is set to open in 2017.

It’s considering how to promote its other franchises inside the resorts.

“There is still a great opportunity to mine these franchises across Disney’s parks,” Iger said.

Disney has enjoyed a considerable uptick in attendance after the introduction of new rides and themed lands designed around its popular film properties. The “Cars”-themed land at California Adventure, which was part of a $1 billion overhaul of that park, has been a major draw since it opened; an expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom had guests lining up for hours to ride the “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” ride in Orlando last year.

More Film

  • Abominable Animated Movie

    Vietnam Pulls DreamWorks’ 'Abominable' Over Contested Territorial Claims

    Vietnam has banned DreamWorks Animation’s new co-produced feature “Abominable” from its cinemas due to a scene involving a map that depicts China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The move comes as U.S. entertainment firms like the NBA, Disney and gaming firm Activision Blizzard are under intense fire from US fans, activists and [...]

  • The Captain

    China Box Office: 'The Captain' Flies to $340 Million After Two Weeks on Release

    Patriotic thriller “The Captain” held on to the top spot at the Chinese box office for the second weekend, again leading from propaganda omnibus “My People, My Country.” “The Captain,” also known as “The Chinese Pilot” earned $34.9 million according to consultancy Artisan Gateway, for a two-week cumulative of $343 million. The cumulative for “People,” [...]

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law To Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • Hache

    ‘Hache’ Creator, Director Discuss Netflix’s Next Spanish Original, Dropping Nov. 1

    MADRID — On Nov 1 Netflix will drop its fifth Spanish original series, 1960’s-set drug smuggling drama “Hache,” produced by Madrid’s Weekend Studio for the platform. Created by Verónica Fernández and directed by Jorge Torregrossa (“La vida inesperada,” “Cocaine Coast,” “Velvet Collection”), “Hache” tells the story of Helena (Adriana Ugarte), a prostitute who ends up [...]

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

  • The-Ancient-Law

    Lumière Festival’s MIFC Broadens International Spotlight with Focus on Germany

    The 7th Lumière Film Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) is expanding its international scope this year with more foreign companies than ever before taking part in the event, high-profile guests and an examination of Germany’s heritage cinema sector. With 17 international firms from 25 countries at the event, the MIFC has reported a 20% [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content