Disney specialist agents and theme park insiders said that
among the barrage of announcements recently coming out of Walt Disney World,
one in particular, the development of a luxury Star Wars resort, could
completely redefine the modern theme park experience.
Many, in fact, said they saw the Star Wars announcement as a
clear standout among the company's revelations at its Disney Fan Club D23 Expo
earlier this month of new rides, resorts and transportation options at the
"It's an entirely new concept for Disney, which is
exciting by itself," said Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com.
Niles predicted that demand for the Star Wars resort will likely be very high
after Disney starts accepting bookings.
Ian Ford, CEO and founder of Undercover Tourist, which sells
theme park tickets online, said, "The announcement of the Star Wars-themed
resort is ground-breaking because there is really nothing else like it on the
market now. I think a lot of Star Wars fans would be interested in this form of
immersive vacationing. After all, what fan of the franchise wouldn't want to
leave Earth to become a citizen of the galaxy for a few days?"
Lance Hart, news editor of the theme park blog Screamscape,
compared it to a Westworld-style experience, where guests live, breathe, eat
and sleep in the Star Wars universe. (The HBO show "Westworld" is a
science fiction series about an immersive, Wild West-themed amusement park.)
Hart said the resort could be a "game changer."
Agents who specialize in selling Disney said that the resort
in combination with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (opening in 2019 at
Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios) will make for the ultimate fan
Disney has not provided many details about the resort,
including the price or the opening date. But observers speculated that the
company will likely want to open the concept property in time for Walt Disney
World's 50th anniversary in 2021.
In fact, they said a lot of the announcements the company
made were likely part of preparations being undertaken for that landmark
The renderings Disney released of the Star Wars resort show
public areas and accommodations made to look like various scenes from the Star
Wars movies and include guests and staff in costumes.
"It's unlike anything that exists today," Disney
Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. "From the second you arrive, you will become a part of
a Star Wars story. You'll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and
experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once
you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories
and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story
will touch every single minute of your day and it will culminate in a unique
journey for every person who visits."
Disney said it would post updates about the Star Wars resort
in the coming months on its Disney Parks Blog.