More Star Wars at Disney Parks Stories

‘What’s Next’ at the Disneyland Resort

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

We just opened a new nighttime spectacular, “World of Color,” and a reimagined attraction, Silly Symphony Swings, and began the second year of Summer Nightastic! at the Disneyland Resort, but there’s even more Disney magic on the horizon.

This morning we hosted an event called “What’s Next” and shared a look at what’s coming to Southern California in the next few months and years. Here are some of the headlines:

The “Adventures Continue” for the Jedi in All of Us – Kathy Rogers, Senior Show Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, gave a huge update on the reimagining of Star Tours today. The new Star Tours 3-D attraction will debut in 2011 in Disneyland park and will bridge that “long time ago” between the two Star Wars™ trilogies. Kathy revealed today that the attraction will take voyagers – for the first time – to Coruscant and other destinations in the Stars Wars galaxy. Star Tours fans: please note that the attraction in Disneyland park goes on hiatus beginning July 27 to prepare for the all-new journeys, and the last departure to Endor will take place July 26. You’ll also be able to enjoy this exciting adventure in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. See below for an image that was shared for the first time today that shows a StarSpeeder zipping through Coruscant.

Star Wars © 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM
Star Tours

The Disneyland Hotel Gets a Fabulous New Makeover and Features New Suites – Just announced today! Two all-new, over-the-top themed suites are joining the Pirates of the Caribbean suite and Mickey Mouse Penthouse: the Big Thunder Suite and Fairy Tale Suite. See our previous story that details all the changes coming to the Disneyland Hotel, including a new pool and water play area, enhancements to the existing pool, and new restaurant and bar.

Kids Sail Free to Mexican Riviera with Disney Cruise Line For the first time today, we announced that guests 17 and under can sail free on the Disney Wonder for most seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera from January 23 to March 20, 2011, when accompanied by two full-fare paying guests occupying the same stateroom. How can you take advantage of this offer? Book it through July 31, 2010. Just visit or call 888-DCL-2500, and make sure to mention or input booking code “KFMR” when making the reservation. Seven-night cruises to Mexican Riviera depart from the Port of Los Angeles and include visits to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. This news follows other big announcements from Disney Cruise Line, including the new West Coast itineraries to Alaska and other destinations. For details, check out and for all the rules and conditions, click here.

Disney Cruise Line

Next in Disney California Adventure Park – The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure: This is the next big milestone in the ongoing expansion of Disney California Adventure park, and we’ll be sharing more news here on the blog in the coming weeks. Today, we’re sharing one of the models from the “Under the Sea” scene for the new attraction. The Little Mermaid attraction, set to debut in 2011, will give new meaning to the phrase “immersive Disney attraction” by taking guests “under the sea” to experience magnificent scenes and magical songs from the popular motion picture.

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Summer 2012 – Hit the Road with Mater and Lightning McQueen: The best of Disney California Adventure park expansion may still be yet to come. Executive Producer and Vice President from Walt Disney Imagineering, Kathy Mangum, shared an update on Cars Land, the 12-acre expansion inspired by the Disney•Pixar blockbuster “Cars” that is set to debut in 2012. The land, modeled on the movie’s Radiator Springs setting, will feature three new attractions, including the E-ticket excitement of Radiator Springs Racers – taking guests zooming through the Cars Land landscape. Other Cars Land attractions will include Luigi’s Flying Tires (which should strike a chord with anyone who remembers the Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland) and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, a tow-truck themed attraction. The year 2012 will also see the completion of the new front entryway greeting park guests: Buena Vista Street featuring the Carthay Circle Theatre and the vintage Southern California Red Car Trolleys.

Kathy shared an artist rendering today that shows guests walking down Route 66, the main street of Cars Land, and a photo of a ride vehicle from Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.

Cars Land

Cars Land

This is a lot of news to share all at once. What are you most excited about?


  • I’m excited about Star Tours II :D. Star Tours has had like five minute waits (if that) for months. This update is sure to make the attraction more attractive to park-goers than ever ;).

    I’m going to be in Tokyo for a year starting this Summer, so I’m going to miss going to Disneyland and DCA. But at least I have a whole lot of new adventures to look forward to when I return! =D

  • I’ll enjoy the vintage look of the new entry way. I have a real nostalgic streak about that early period when Walt and Roy first came to California. Part of the Disney magic is being able to recreate that feel from another era (Think Main Street USA & Disney Hollywood Studios) and the proposed changes at DCA will be one more of these incredible settings!! My whole family is also anxious for the “E” ticket ride in Radiator Springs!! I think Walt would be especially pleased with the ever changing scene in Anaheim, he did say Disneyland would never be finished. Keep on “plussing” things!!

    Mike in Tucson

  • I’m so excited! I heard they are making a new restaurant in cars land that is themed for cars but based off of WDW sci-fi drive in which would be great! I hope the little mermaid uses a lot of special effects and is entertaining. I’m so ready forv this!

  • Im just hoping that Ariel the ride its scary,I hope Disney imagineers remember this is for kids, to make them happy…we all want to see a Ariel, Erick, and a bunch of fishes…ursula its already in another shows and parades.

  • Carsland will be as fun as test track!

  • All of it sounds wonderful, but for myself, I’m looking forward to the remodel of the Disneyland Hotel (I plan in staying there next time. My daughter can’t wait to see Ariels new ride and Cars land would be one for my boys 🙂 It’s Disneyland though, It’s all exciting!!!!!


  • I’m excited for everything, but if I had to choose the one I’m most excited for would be The Little Mermaid ride! Ariel is my favorite character and from my favorite movie, plus I think the Ariel merchandise is lacking in the park and I’m hoping this new ride will bring about some cool new things that I can pick up. Ariel is not just for little girls!

  • I was okay with the loss of the Submarine-Voyage or the People-Mover. But I’m shocked that Disney would make a move to replace the Star Tours attraction.


  • Thanks for the info. on the cruise special for the Disney Wonder! I think that would make a great Christmas gift for a family.

  • The star tours update will be awesome!!! I still remember my dad having us run down mainstreet as soon as the park gates opened just to get in line for star tours cause he couldn’t wait! He is such a Disney kid, but aren’t we all!

  • Another great blog Heather ! Thanks again for keeping us informed….lots of excitement on this page!…”Cars” has the ambiance and will be my 5 yr old grandson’s fav …but the eye candy goes to Ariel..Can’t wait ! Disney is such a “magical” place thanks to the “Imagineering Dept” they have really captured Walt’s vision. Thank you soooo much !

  • Can not wait for Ariel’s Undersea Adventure!

  • Cars Land….can’t wait!!!!!! And the new west coast cruises, hoping to make the Alaska one happen in 2012.

  • the little mermaid ride is going to be so cute i cant wait! i love that cars land looks like radiator springs.
    the only thing im worried about is star tours i hope it doesnt change too much cause i love the original and rex is the coolest captain ever i hope he is still there in the future

  • All these attractions look great it’s hard to pick a favorite! One favorite at Hollywood Studios is definitely Star Tours. One recommendation for the reimagining: captioning. When I rode this we had to read the script from a binder (without a flashlight, luckily I had a cell phone). Don’t forget about access for the Deaf/Hard of hearing!

  • Since I first saw ‘Cars’ with my kids, I loved the movie; it had such a cute yet deep storyline. And now, there will be Cars Land!!

    My oldest kids (4 and 2) have not stopped talking about our trip to Disney/California last December. My son (who is branching into trying new rides) is so excited that there will be a whole land about ‘Cars.’ We, of course, will head to that part of the park. However, he may love it so much we may never leave Radiator Springs!

    I kid, of course, because my daughter is just as excited about the Disney parks. Everyday she asks someone (usually me) what my favorite ride at Disney is. While she always talks about Midway Mania and Mickey’s Fun Wheel, I bet she’ll change her tune once she journeys on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure!

    To sum up, we look forward to it all! Disney always does top-of-the-line work. And, although these are the projects that we will see in the near future, we know you have numerous other projects up your sleeves that are just as exciting!!

  • All that you presented looks wonderful, and my favorite part is that you did not mention removing the C A L I F O R N I A letters which were just transformed for World of Color <— L O V E them!!!

  • I’m so excited for the new Star Tours but I’m totally bummed because I’ll miss the last ride in July. I’m going in September!!

  • When will the front entrance area of DCA be all wraped up (roughly)?

  • Carsland by far! My son will be 5 when it opens, and he is going to absolutely LOVE it!!

    I am so sad to see Star Tours change, but at the same time interested in seeing what is next to come. I hope it’s great!

  • CARS LAND! My 3 year old daughter is dying to see it..She is an avid CARS collector..

  • I’m excited for the new Star Tours, although I am sad to see the old leave. Also, I absolutely cannot wait to see the new entrance!

  • Ariel! Definitely Little Mermaid. We have three little girls and nothing excites them more than princesses!

  • I agree what has been said about Cars Land;

    I LOVE the idea that they are actually re-creating the town of Radiator Springs complete with that beautiful rock work.

  • I’m confused about Star Tours: Heather, you say the last “departure to Endor” is June 26, but the ride closes July 27…does this mean a different ride program for that month? (Or, less excitingly, a typo?) 🙂


  • The new entrance for California Adventures looks amaziingggg!! I’m so excited!!!

  • I’m very curious to see what they do with Star Tours II. I thought I was hearing rumors that the 3D would be glasses-less… If that’s true, I’m anxious to see how it works.

    Little Mermaid is shaping up to be a great-looking ride…even the outside building design that I saw at Blue Sky Cellar looked really cool.

    But I’m most excited over Cars Land, and the rocky backdrop they’re going to build to really put you in the movie. That’s going to be incredible.

  • I’m really looking forward to the Star Tours update and the new attractions coming to California Adventure!

  • WOW Heather! Great updates!! I can’t wait until everything is finished. Is the Little Mermaid ride going to be similar to the one that was shown on the DVD? I can’t wait to see the progess of all of the new attractions–they will really help the DCA park popularity.

  • Definitely Ariel’s Undersea Adventure!

  • ARIEL’S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE!!!!!!!! Can’t wait!

  • CARSLAND looks really exciting. I like the fact that we will be immersed in the Radiator Springs.

  • it WAS cars land but now after seeing that model and all the bright colors and things going on little mermaid has become my favorite!

  • Ariel and star wars renovcation are goingto be epic! Im mostly excited for an Ariel ride! she needs one! the little mermaid DVD makes me want one and now she has one 😀

Comments are closed.