Construction on Star Wars-themed attractions at Disneyland and Disney World will start in 2016 with the opening date still being negotiated, Disney chief operating office Tom Staggs said in a recent presentation.
"Yes, people will be able to fly the Millennium Falcon," Staggs said during a discussion at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference earlier this month. "But there's also going to be a number of other attractions. And just as importantly, this will be, I think, perhaps the most immersive land we've ever built because we want people to feel like they've stepped into the world of Star Wars. And so that's really sparked our imaginations and it's got people fired up. Yes, there'll be a cantina. That's the other question we get all the time.
"So that's exciting. And we're doing it both at Anaheim and at Walt Disney World. And I'm pleased to announce that we'll start construction on both in 2016."
When pressed for an opening date, Staggs said that was still being debated internally.
"The timing of the opening is not yet ready to be announced," he said. "Bob [Iger] and I are saying really, really soon, and other people are saying, you know this takes a while to build. So they're negotiating the opening right now."
News that Star Wars attractions were coming to Disney theme parks was announced during the D23 Expo last month. Iger called it the largest single-themed land expansion ever for Disney World.
In his talk earlier this month, Staggs also mentioned that Disney's iconic Space Mountain would be getting an "overlay" that would turn it into Hyperspace Mountain.
Disney is also working on an Avatar-themed ride for Animal Kingdom called Pandora: The World of Avatar, which has visitors experience what it's like to fly a banshee in and round Pandora.
"It's going to be really one of the most spectacular attractions we've ever built," he said. "We're going to make mountains float because you have to do that on Pandora, so why wouldn't we do it in Orlando? And so it's quite an engineering feat. So on that 10-acre land, there's another signature attraction which is a water-based ride that takes you into the bioluminescent forest of Pandora. So we're going to, again, try to make sure we immerse you in that world in a way that is really compelling."