Photo (cc) by Mike Saechang
There has been a disturbance in the Force at Disneyland.
The iconic theme park in Anaheim, California, recently updated some attractions and is about to close others as part of a “Star Wars” overhaul.
The Walt Disney Co. purchased the Lucasfilm production company as well as its “Star Wars” franchise in 2012. The franchise’s latest installment, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” debuted in theaters earlier this month, reaching $1 billion in ticket sales in a record-breaking 12 days.
Disneyland’s overhaul will include its largest expansion ever, the Los Angeles Times reports.
To build the new 14-acre “Star Wars” attractions, however, an area that comprises almost one-quarter of Disneyland’s 85 acres and 14 percent of its attractions will close permanently or temporarily, according to the newspaper.
These changes come months after price hikes for annual admission passes at Disney parks, but Disneyland attendance is not expected to suffer.
Theme park consultant Dennis Speigel, who is president of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati, tells the Times:
“At the end of the day, you won’t see any attendance drop. The tourists will come, hell or high water.”
If you’re among such tourists, be sure to check out “Disney Raising Prices Again, but You Can Save With These Tips.”
Some of Disneyland’s attractions that remain open have also been updated as part of Disneyland’s “Star Wars” Season of the Force that debuted in the Tomorrowland area in mid-November.
For example, the ride Space Mountain is now Hyperspace Mountain, the Galactic Grill eatery features a “Star Wars”-themed menu, and fans can meet “Star Wars” characters and play “Star Wars” video games in the “Star Wars” Launch Bay area.
To make room for the expansion, the Big Thunder Ranch area will close permanently starting on Jan. 10. It includes:
- Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue
- Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo
- Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree
The Disneyland Railroad and all of its stations and attractions along the Rivers of America will close temporarily on Jan. 10. The attractions include:
- Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
- Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
- Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
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