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Season of the Force Begins November 16 at Disneyland Park in Southern California

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

We are excited to debut all-new Star Wars experiences at Disneyland park in Southern California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida in the coming months. Beginning November 16, Disneyland park guests will have the chance to jump to lightspeed with Season of the Force, featuring opportunities to meet some of your favorite Star Wars characters, experience an exciting twist on a favorite attraction and more.

Opening at Disneyland park on November 16 will be:

Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Park

  • Star Wars Launch Bay – This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and much more.
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – Coming in December, a twist on the Jedi Training experience will introduce new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.
  • Hyperspace Mountain – For a limited time, guests will join an X-wing starfighter battle in this reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction.
  • Other limited-time experiences include:
    • An opportunity to revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films at Tomorrowland Theater.
    • Special themed food and beverage, merchandise and entertainment.

We’ll have dates to share soon for Season of the Force at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Disney Parks is also preparing to take guests to a galaxy far, far away with new Star Wars-themed lands. With groundbreaking scheduled to take place in 2016 for our largest single-land expansions ever, building the new 14-acre lands will be major projects at both Disneyland park in Southern California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Work to make room for this new land at Disneyland park in California will require the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad to close temporarily. The following will suspend operations at the end of the operating day on January 10:

  • The Disneyland Railroad, including all stations
  • Attractions along the Rivers of America, including:
    • “Fantasmic!”
    • Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
    • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
    • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

We look forward to all of these attractions reopening in the future.

Elsewhere in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch – including Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – will close permanently at the end of the operating day on January 10.

Stay tuned for more details on Season of the Force at Disneyland park, and keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information about exciting Star Wars experiences coming to Disney Parks in both California and Florida.


  • Hi,

    Does that mean Space Mountain will re-open on 11/16 as well at DLR? I read somewhere it will be closed Nov – Jan, but here it looks like it will open in November.

    Thank you.

  • At Disneyland Space Mt. is already set up as “Ghost Galaxy”…and the Haunted Mansion is also set up as “”Holiday Haunted Mansion”…

    I’m not surprised by the closures of the DLRR or everything on The Rivers of America…it makes perfect sense since those attractions all go by or near the construction site…no one should be surprised if they closed down Big Thunder Trail too

  • I’m excited to hear about the new Star Wars Land but I am also sorry to hear about the loss of Big Thunder Ranch and the BBQ. It has always been a favorite spot for our family to visit and dine at. I think the suggestions about moving the BBQ to Rancho del Zocalo or the Golden Horseshoe are great ideas! The Golden Horseshoe stage would be a great place for the Country Bear Jamboree to make a comeback! And can’t they make a spot for the petting zoo somewhere in Critter Country?!

  • Are there any plans to update any of the attractions that will be closed?

  • I am curious are the animals from the petting zoo available to purchase?? I would love penny the goat.

  • What are the dates that Space Mountain will be closed for prepping of Hyperspace? Is this something that will take only a couple of days prior to 16th of November or will it be closed for week/s prior?

  • Hoping for Orlando to have Season of the Force by November 27th!

  • Hi Erin! When Rivers of America reopens, will it return in its original size and form? thanks!

  • Is there anything planned for annual passholders? Would love a new Star Wars themed annual pass!

  • Will Fantasmic be on Sunday the 10th of January before the closes?

  • Hi Erin,

    as an european, will this be also in Disneyland Paris?


  • Don’t know why the DLRR would be affected. The track currently goes behind Big Thunder Mountain Ranch and is not in the way. Unless Disney plans on changing the layout of the track and tweaking the banks of the Rivers Of America just a bit.

  • What will happen with the TLT bands then? Will they still be performing after or during this phase? Are they going to move them to another location? A lot of pass holders are wondering and puzzled about this, so any answer would be greatly appreciated.

  • I’m really going to miss riding on the Disneyland Railroad. But once I heard Bob Iger’s announcement, about the construction of Star Wars Land, I knew the railroad would be affected. The Disneyland Railroad is my number 1 Favorite attraction at the Park. I hope that 2016 will pass by quickly, so I can ride once again.

  • I wish they had waited to close the railroad and Fantasmic until after the Star Wars weekend. Erin do you know when the Haunted Mansion will go down for the changover? I hope maybe that they will keep it open this year through that same weekend. In other words can you beg them to keep it open that weekend

  • Jenny (#23), my daughter and I asked a Cast Member that works in the petting zoo what was going to happen to them. She told me that some of the Cast Members that can would be taking some of the goats to their homes. I know when we will miss that little area. My 9 yr old daughter is not happy about this and loves the animals back there very much. Its a stop we make each visit. I know that I am glad that the goats will have homes with some of those they know and that love them already. You can always see how much the Cast Members in the Ranch love the animals and care for them.

  • Erin, will the DLRR also be closed for at least a year? Terrible news if it is, as a disabled person, we rely on the train to get us around the park without having to use a mobility scooter 🙁

  • While I’m super excited for Star Wars land, I’m completely disappointed at the loss of the petting zoo and More importantly the BBQ. The BBQ is the best place to eat. Great food, lots of fun. Why close it?

  • Will the Disneyland Railroad be reopening earlier than the attractions along the Rivers of America and, if so, do you know approximately when? Thank you in advance! 🙂

  • Add me to the list of those sad to see the Big Thunder Ranch area go – both for the great restaurant and for the wonderful entertainment that can be found there including Farley the Fiddler and Miss Chris & Tex Tumbleweed. All of whom would be wonderful additions to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon which hasn’t had the same charm since Billy Hill left!

  • Can you shed any light as to if Seasons of the Force will replace Disney Star Wars Weekends (Florida- Hollywood Studios) or if it will be in addition? We have a trip planned in May, but would possibly switch if this was the case. It is so hard to plan 180 days in advance of the events are not announced yet. Thank you so much.

  • “Opening at Disneyland park on November 16 will be:
    Hyperspace Mountain”

    According to the official listings, Space Mountain will re-open (presumably as Hyperspace Mountain) on November 14. Which is the correct date?

    • Sorry for the confusion, Gregory. Hyperspace Mountain opens November 16. The calendar is now being updated with the correct date. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Since they are calling this “Season of the Force” is it realistic to expect that Hollywood Studios will be getting some Star Wars additions/updates for the holiday season? I would hope so especially since the new movie comes out in December as well.

  • Hi Erin,

    Will there be a new parking structure added to resort as well to handle the crowds for star wars land?

  • How long is season of the force going to run i will be back at the park in January 2016

    • Curtis – An end date has not yet been announced.

  • Hi Erin, do you know how long the train will be down for? I am kinda sad and its a total foot saver! 🙂 People are also asking if the train is down because its going to go through star wars land? Also, people are wondering if part of rivers of america is going to be shortened to make room? Please help us clarify. 🙂 Thanks, thanks!!

  • Im a bit disappointed this november data is only confirmed for California, since I will be travelling to Disneyworld Orlando in december…..can I expect the Launch Bay there too? Or other special events?

    Kind regards.

  • Hi Erin, Do you know what will happen with the Goats at the petting zoo? Are they going to move them to another location within one of the parks?

    • Hi Jenny – We are finalizing plans for the animals that currently reside in the Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm.

  • Will we there be a Kylo Ren meet n greet in the Star Wars Launch Bay or is it just classic Star Wars characters?

    • Amanda – At this time, we’ve only received reports of Darth Vader and Chewbacca making appearances at Star Wars Launch Bay.

  • With the Ranch closing, will the Springtime Roundup, Halloween Carnival and Jingle Jangle Jamboree take place at other locations at the Resort in the near future?

  • The wife and I will be in california for our Honeymoon and making a stop at Disneyland and California Adventure Park, THIS! IS! A! BONUS! And great news!! 😀

  • Is the Petting zoo and area where Santa & Mrs. Claus also closing during this time?

    • Carl – Yes, the entire Big Thunder Ranch area, including the Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm, will close permanently at the end of the operating day on January 10. This holiday season, you can find Santa Claus in Critter Country at Disneyland park.

  • It’s such a shame about Big Thunder BBQ, It is my favorite place. I personally think it should be relocated even if the show doesn’t go with it. Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante would be a perfect place for it to go, it’s sill in Frontierland and next to Big Thunder Mountain. And to be honest, the food there isn’t that great (not horrible ether, simply ok).

  • Thank-you for the update. I love knowing our pre-booked trip (11/30-12/4) will allow my son to experience “Season of the Force” and my daughter will get one last time with the Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm animals. Thank-you for making both of their days (and mine!) 🙂

  • When will Seasons of the Force end?

    I am joining the many who will miss Big Thunder Ranch. It was a quiet respite in the park, and the seasonal celebrations were really lovely.

    How will all of this construction affect the animals on the Rivers of America, such as the many ducks who call it home? Will the river itself be drained during this construction?I’d hate to think that their habitats will be disturbed. 🙁

  • Any idea how long the Season of the Force will go on at Disneyland?

    • And end date has not yet been announced.

  • If Thunder Mtn BBQ doesn’t come back somewhere, please say you’re gonna have all you can eat tauntaun or ewok at Chalmun’s (Mos Eisley) Cantina.

  • Can you please give us an idea of how long the Hyperspace Mountain overlay is expected to run? I’d love to arrange a trip before it ends.

    • Christopher – And end date has not yet been announced.

  • About how long will the Rivers of America (and Fantasmic!) be closed for?

    • Hi Kelly – While it is too early to give an exact date, we expect it will be more than a year.

  • Thank you so much for the update, Erin!

  • Will Big Thunder Ranch BBQ be relocated?

  • This is going to be extremely cool, can’t wait. Thanks Disney!

  • Will Jedi Training Academy being closing to revamp or will it maintain operations regularly?
    Also, do we have an estimate of how long the season of the force will run at DLR? Thanks!

  • Is there any word on the end date for the DL experiences? Specifically I’d like to know if it will be running during the Star Wars half marathon weekend (January 14-17).

    • Hi Krystina – And end date has not yet been announced.

  • Oh wow! This is a surprise! I thought that Season of the Force was supposed to begin in early 2016, but that the Launch Bay and the new scene in Star Tours would begin late this year. I wasn’t expecting everything (except for Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple) to start so soon.

    I am going to greatly miss the Big Thunder Ranch. It was so pivotal to Halloween Time, the Holidays and to Springtime/Easter at Disneyland Resort. And I will really miss the cute animals!

  • Why is Disney planning to close all of those attractions? This concerns me as a huge Disneyland fan!!! Is star wars going to affect the rivers of america? I excited about star wars but I hope river of america and Tom Sawyer Island will stay the way it is…

    Frontierland is a special part of Walts vision for Disneyland. Please make sure the river will be safe!!!

  • While I’m excited for the Season of the Force, it sounds fun! I am saddened by part of this news. I will miss the DLRR and Fantasmic! during their temporary downtime. And I will really miss the Big Thunder Ranch. My husband and I ate at the BBQ on our anniversary a couple of years ago. The food is fantastic and it’s not too unreasonably priced since it’s all you can eat. Hopefully Disney will find a place to relocate a restaurant of its type (maybe somewhere at DCA).

  • This is very exciting, although I will miss seeing Fantasmic! Will Fantasmic! reopen by summer 2016 or will this be a longer closure than that?

    • While it is too early to give an exact date, we expect it will be more than a year.

  • Any idea on when Fantasmic will be returning?

    • Taylor – While it is too early to give an exact date, we expect it will be more than a year.

  • Aha! We have our time stamp. Be ready for guests complaining about their feet though.

    Also, specialty food items? Will there be a later post explaining them?

    • Stay tuned, Alyxandria – We’ll have more information on the special themed food soon.

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