The Star Wars-inspired areas of the parks mark Disney's largest single-themed land expansions ever and will bring park guests into the middle of the action in their own stories from a galaxy far, far away.
A video accompanying the opening season announcement, included above, offers parkgoers a recreated peek at what's to come — showing off the never-before-seen planet Batuu.
Described as a "remote outpost on the galaxy's edge," Batuu was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes until its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel.
Now home to galactic travelers who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, Batuu has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space.
The seedy underbelly of the galaxy serves as a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the ever-expanding reach of the powerful First Order, and is a well-worn and familiar locale for many characters from the expansive Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the immersive and "jaw-dropping" experience coming to both domestic parks at D23 Expo 2015, where the 14-acre project was unveiled for the first time.
Disney Imagineers are crafting a fully-themed immersive area meant to convincingly transport guests to the far reaches of outer space, with Galaxy's Edge populated and operated by Star Wars aliens and characters.
Included in the offerings will be all-new shops, restaurants, and "two fantastic signature attractions," including a ride that will give guests the opportunity to pilot Han Solo's beloved Millennium Falcon.
"Every restaurant, building, everything will be inhabited by the aliens and droids you'd expect to find there," Iger said.
"You'd expect to find a Cantina — and there will be one. You'll have the chance to run into all the droids and fantastic beasts that Star Wars is known for. You'll meet characters from The Force Awakens and more from the Star Wars saga."
During a 2017 convention panel titled "Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making," Disney executive Scott Trowbridge said Imagineers aimed to craft a destination and a story that "required us to go to a new place."
Added Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo of the centuries-old remote frontier outpost, embedded with Star Wars' Outer Rim in the Unknown Regions, guests will come to discover the sprawling backstory of this lived-in location.
"It's been there for thousands and thousands of years," Hidalgo said. "You're going to discover that. You're going to be able to get a sense of the history of the place when you go there."
Said Asa Kalama, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, guests visiting Galaxy's Edge will have the opportunity to take part in storylines during their visits.
"For those who are looking to delve a little but deeper, lots of opportunities circling about," Kalama explained.
"There are going to be a ton of opportunities to help out and support the Resistance, lots of smugglers and bounty hunters who are looking for a little bit of help and might be willing to offer you up a side job, and for those of you who are interested in supporting The First Order, that will absolutely be an opportunity as well."
Speaking of the organization of bad guys, one signature attraction will find visitors caught in the middle of the warring factions.1comments
"Man, you're going to feel like you're in the thick of it," Lucasfilm's Diana Williams said. "You're not going to sit in a chair and watch it happening. You're going to be standing right in front of it. You're in Star Wars."
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be located near Frontierland at Disneyland Park located in Anaheim, California. Its counterpart will be located at Disney's Hollywood Studios park as part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida.