Disney to break ground on Star Wars theme parks in 2016

The two parks will be in Florida and California

Work on two Star Wars theme parks is set to begin in 2016 in Florida and California, the COO of Walt Disney Co. announced on Thursday (September 10).

The areas, which will both form part of Disney’s existing theme parks, will be 14 acres, the largest single-themed park expansions in the company’s history.

Thomas Staggs, the Disney COO, did not say when they would open, but Disney Chairman and Chief Exec Robert Iger revealed details about what the parks would contain earlier in the year.

Visitors will be able to take control of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo’s spaceship, and undertake a “customised secret mission.” They will also be able to visit a Star Wars cantina, among other immersive experiences.

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” Iger said. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever.

“These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Disney bought Lucasfilm, which owns the Star Wars franchise, for $4.06 billion (£2.6 billion) in 2012, and will release the next instalment of the films, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, on December 18, 2015.