The new Star Wars lands aren't the only thing that Disney is adding to its theme parks — the company has just announced a number of new initiatives related to the space opera that are coming this year. Walt Disney Imagineering's Scott Trowbridge took the stage during an afternoon presentation to announce that the Star Tours attraction will be refreshed in the coming months, adding a new destination from The Force Awakens and incorporating new characters from J.J. Abrams' upcoming film.
Its parks will also be getting a new mini-attraction called Star Wars Launch Bay, which will serve as a hub for visitors to get an introduction to the universe and check out all of the various tie-ins, such as the upcoming games Star Wars: Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0. But for a more robust stopgap until the new Star Wars lands open — they appear to be several years away at this point — Disneyland and its sister park in Orlando will also get a seasonal makeover called Season of The Force. All of Tomorrowland will be transformed, adding themed food locations, with the classic ride Space Mountain transformed into a X-Wing battle called Hyperspace Mountain. A new fireworks show will also be part of the Season of The Force event, which will kick off early next year.
Disneyland has tackled themed makeovers of rides in the past. The Haunted Mansion, for example, has been receiving a holiday rethink, mixing in elements from The Nightmare Before Christmas, annually since 2001. The Star Wars initiative, however, represents a new level of orchestration, coming together in concert with a new film, a number of new games, and an entirely relaunched fictional universe. When Disney bought Lucasfilm, one of the potential opportunities was this kind of far-reaching exploitation, across pretty much every medium possible. While fans will no doubt be looking off into the distance toward the fully realized Star Wars lands, these 2015 options should keep them happy in the meantime.