3 Top-Secret Projects Disney Is Developing That Will Change Theme Parks Forever

1. Star Wars Land itself will be the most immersive role-playing theme park "land" ever built in any park.

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The new Star Wars Land is coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland in California. Sources say all cast members will be in costume as Star Wars characters. I'm not talking about how it's done in the rest of the parks, where someone will walk through dressed as Mickey or Donald or Princess Tiana or whoever, while everyone else is dressed normally with name tags. In the Star Wars area, everyone working for Disney, including snack vendors and street sweepers, will be dressed up as the inhabitants of a space port on some remote planet. They will interact with you as whatever Star Wars character they are playing. You will also only find Star Wars-themed foods and only Star Wars universe goods to buy in this part of the park.

They are going to have a life-sized replica of the Millennium Falcon and another ride is going to allow you to climb into the cockpit and take it out for a joyride. Apparently each flight will be different depending on choices you make. That's a huge evolution over rides like Toy Story: Midway Mania or the Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland, where you use little laser guns to shoot at targets and then you get a score at the end. With this new Millennium Falcon ride, you will be able to shoot at TIE fighters and other spaceships, depending on how well you do the ride changes. The whole time that you are in Star Wars Land, you will not see into any other areas of the parks. They want to give you total immersion so you really feel like you are on a real planet in the Star Wars universe. It all sounds incredible.

If they succeed at even a fraction of these ambitious projects, I hope that in time the rest of the parks are upgraded to match this level of immersiveness. It really is an exciting time to be a Disney fan.