The Walt Disney Company announced that it's building Star Wars Land, its single biggest theme park expansion ever.
[Click on individual concept art images to see them bigger]
Star Wars Land will be constructed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as well as at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and will transport visitors to George Lucas' galaxy far, far away.
The existing Star Tours, last updated in 2011, will again undergo changes to incorporate new elements as well as the inclusion of characters from the upcoming new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens which opens globally in December.
Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company chairperson and CEO announced the news at the D23 EXPO 2015 and showed concept art of the new Star Wars Land he promised would be an immersive experience unlike anything people have experienced before.
"We'll soon be transporting our guests to some of the most anticipated worlds – a story that translates across time and place. Who wants to go there?” asked Bob Iger amidst loud applause in front of a crowd of 7 500 people.
The immersive environment of the theme park will introduce visitors to a Star Wars planet never seen before, a gateway planet located on the Outer Rim, full of places and characters "both familiar and not so familiar".
"For our guests every encounter will bring more of the Star Wars story to life you can explore like never before."
"The inhabitants of this remote frontier town, one of the last stops before wild space will operate every single store and restaurant – every single thing will be 'in story'. As you explore this new planet, each experience will literally be out of this world."
"Simply setting foot in this land is going to be amazing."
Visitors visiting this world filled with aliens, droids and other creatures will be able to join in two experiences. The first will be to fly a mission on the Millennium Falcon.
The second is billed as an epic Star Wars adventure, putting visitors in the middle of a climatic battle between the First Order and the Resistance, the opposing sides appearing in the new The Force Awakens film.
"Lands of this scale and detail will obviously take some time to create and we know we have to be brave, but our ambition is up to the challenge," said Bob Iger.
No official opening date for Star Wars Land has been announced.
In anticipation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens M-Net and The Walt Disney Company are creating a Star Wars pop-up channel for MultiChoice starting on 31 August on DStv on channel 109 for DStv Premium subscribers.
Sky in the United Kingdom will be running a similar Star Wars channel.
Disney will be rolling out the second season of Star Wars Rebels in which Darth Vader makes his first appearance on Disney XD (DStv 304), as well as new animation show, Droid Tales.