star warAfter yesterday’s news about the start of Season of the Force and the beginning of Star Wars Land construction, more details have come out about what will be closed during the time of construction.
The OC Register learned from Disney that the attractions closing temporarily for the construction will be closed for about a year:
“On the same day, all four train stations along the Disneyland Railroad, the nightly Fantasmic! show, the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Sailing Ship Columbia, the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes and the Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island will close temporarily. Disneyland officials said work is expected to take a year, but did not set a date for when these attractions will return to action.
Cast members will be offered other roles during the temporary closures.”
Long term closures such as this are not unusual with Disneyland. When The Indiana Jones Adventure was being built in Adventureland, Disney shut down the Monorail for an extended period of time in order to tear down the track and re-route it to make room for the new ride. Space Mountain in Tomorrowland was also closed for two years to remove the track from the ride and replace it prior to the park’s 50th anniversary. Most recently the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage closed for nearly a year to repaint the show scenes, leading one site to claim it was closed forever. It reopened nearly a year later as Disney said.
The closures for Star Wars Land are likely due to needing a path through the train tracks to the backstage area, as well as the danger of having guests close to the demolition of backstage buildings. Once the heavy demolition and work on the railroad tracks is complete, they’ll re-open the Rivers of America. Even though they said it would take a year, it rarely does, and they’ll probably have the boats running again in time for the busy holiday season in 2016.
They also confirmed with Disney where the new land will be located:
“Disney officials previously said the new â€œStar Warsâ€ land at Disneyland will be built in the northern part of Frontierland and will encompass the Big Thunder Ranch, some backstage areas and the Circle D Ranch, where the horses are stabled. Disneyland officials said the ranch and horses will be moved to a nearby off-property location.”
That backs up with Disney tweeted with their official Disneyland Today Twitter:
@PaulYankees It's going to be in the Big Thunder Ranch area, inclusive of some backstage locations.
— Disneyland Today (@DisneylandToday) August 16, 2015
Theme Park Insider whipped up this great image using Google Maps to give you an idea of what Disney is talking about for its location:
As you can see they’re either going to need to go over, or more likely under, the train tracks much like they did when they built Mickey’s Toon Town. That means there will be a lot of disruption in the West side of the park throughout 2016, but it also means that construction of Star Wars Land has been fast-tracked and we could see it open either by the end of 2017 or the summer of 2018.