Star Wars Land at Disneyland® theme park broke ground last month, and it will be AMAZING when it’s finally complete, in another year or two. But there’s a HOME RUN worth of fantastic Star Wars experiences at Disneyland right now!
Like a single, the Star Wars Launch Bay is the basic building block of great Star Wars experience at Disneyland. Star Wars Launch Bay has taken over the Tomorrowland Expo Center (with Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America, moving to the new Super Hero HQ in California Adventure). It features film props, a sort of Star Wars movie saga highlight film called “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi,” and an opportunity for hands-on fun with Star Wars characters on the Disney Infinity 3.0 game platform. But the highlight of the Launch Bay for us are the character meet experiences. Though the particular characters are subject to change, right now you’ll find Kylo Ren and our favorite, Chewbacca. If you’re lucky, you might even happen upon an unscheduled appearance by Boba Fett or be approached by Sandpeople trying to trade with you!
I know what you’re saying. Star Tours WAS new — 5 years ago. But like a double, a little extra effort leads to an opportunity for something special. They’ve taken advantage of the flexibility of digital video to fold-in new content and new scenes, including references to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (my favorite is a pretty incredible escape sequence following the Millennium Falcon). Even BB-8 make an appearance!
Hyperspace Mountain would probably be a home run, but like a triple, it’s rare and fleeting. The Star Wars overlay of Space Mountain has even people who are not normally fans of Space Mountain riding the attraction. But if you want your chance to experience Hyperspace Mountain, you’ll want to get that Disneyland vacation booked soon. No announcement has been made yet about when the Hyperspace Mountain overlay will come down, but Ghost Galaxy is usually up by mid-September, so the clock is ticking!
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple gets the “home run” designation, because it really does have it all. It’s a well-done update to an already well-loved experience. Children ages 4-12 can get the opportunity to face off, light-saber in hand, against the Dark Side of the Force. The update brings with it two improvements (among several) that especially stand out:
- Young Padawans may face off against old mainstays of the attraction, like Darth Vader or Darth Maul, or may face new characters including Kylo Ren and The Seventh Sister from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series.
- Random selection has been replaced with first-come, first-served sign-ups. No more does having a child excited about Jedi Training force parents to either engage in extreme attention-getting tactics to try and get their child “chosen” for the show or else keep returning to the show to give a disappointed child another chance. If this experience is important to you, just make it a priority to go straight to the registration kiosk next to the Star Wars Launch Bay. Important note: participating children MUST be present for registration.