Star Wars fans from around the galaxy have been planning their visits to the Disneyland Resort ever since The Walt Disney Company announced their plans for new Star Wars-themed lands for Disneyland Park. The 14-acre land (Disney’s single largest expansion to date) includes includes a new Star Wars planet, a space trading port, a battle adventure between the First Order and the Resistance, and the Millenium Falcon.
With construction set to begin in 2016, opening day may seem like light-years away. Not to worry: Disneyland Park is be celebrating all things Star Wars at Season of the Force, a limited Star Wars themed experience designed to drum up even more excitement and ease the agony of the wait. Much of Tomorrowland has been given a Star Wars overlay, from attractions to exhibits to merchandise to food to John Williams’ famous score playing throughout the land. If you’re planning a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, make sure you allow at least half a day to explore these Season of the Force offerings with your little padawans:
Space Mountain’s new Star Wars-themed overlay has guests shooting through hyperspace and dodging TIE fighters in an epic galactic battle. The ride is amazing! The regular soundtrack has been replaced with a new soundtrack inspired by the Star Wars movies, so it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement.
Tip: As with the regular Space Mountain, Hyperspace Mountain is a fast-moving roller coaster than dips and swerves in almost total darkness. This ride can be terrifying for young children, so use your best judgement if you child has never been on Space Mountain before.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
The simulator ride takes guests on its usual adventure across three randomly selected Star Wars planets, but Imagineers have added a new planet for Season of the Force: Jakku, the home of Rey from the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans also get to see Finn, the ex-Storm Trooper turned hero, and everyone’s new favorite droid, BB-8.
Tip: Get your FAST PASSes to both Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours as early as possible; wait times are sure to exceed 90 minutes and both attractions will stop handing out FAST PASSes by mid-day.
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
For slower paced thrills, head to the Tomorrowland Theater (the former site of the Caption EO 4D show) to enjoy Path of the Jedi, a film compilation that tells the journey of Luke Skywalker. The 10-minute film contains clips from the first six Star Wars films and a preview of the seventh, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Path of the Jedi is shown in 4D, with moving seats and gusts of wind synchronizing with the on-screen action.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
The interactive stage show will feature new characters for young padawans to battle. As before, Jedi Knights will select younglings from the audience and teach them the latest Jedi light saber movies, but for a limited time, Darth Vader will be joined by the Seventh Sister Inquisitor from the popular Disney series Star Wars Rebels join the adventure.
Tip: Only 12 kids per session get chosen to participate; to maximize your child’s chances of being selected, dress him in a Star Wars shirt or hat, make a small paper sign for her to hold, and tell her to scream and wave!
Star Wars Launch Bay
The ground floor of Tomorrowland’s circular Innoventions building is dedicated to a Star Wars exhibit entitled featuring replicas of movie props including light sabers, speeders, helmets, armor, and more. Fans can watch behind-the-scenes video clips and play exclusive Star Wars video games on Disney Infinity 3.0. Before leaving the building, don’t forget to explore Launch Bay Cargo, which offers merchandise for serious Star Wars fans including cast-autographed photos, professional-quality costumes, and light-up light saber umbrellas.
Star Wars character appearances
Beloved Star Wars characters make regular appearances at Star Wars Launch Bay. Storm Trooper patrol the area from time to time, but if you want a photo or an autograph from Chewbacca, Boba Fett or Darth Vader, you’ll have to join a long line.
Tip: Leave one grownup in line while a second grownup takes your child around Launch Bay for a quick tour of the exhibits (avoid the video game area so you don’t take up too much time and lose your place in line).
Star Wars themed menu items
Refuel at the all new Galactic Grill, which offers Star Wars themed menu items like the Cheese-3Po Burger, Jedi Order Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and First Order Specialty Burger. Hungry younglings can choose from the Jawa Turkey Sand-Wich (made with blue and white-swirled Bantha Blue Milk Bread), a mini Han Burger, and AT-ST Chicken Walker Nuggets, all served with apples and carrots. For dessert, try the sinfully rich Darth By Chocolate pudding or the adorable BB-8 Droid Crisped Rice Treat. Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port offers a different set of Star Wars dishes including Forest of Endor pasta Dark Side Chicken Curry pizza.
Star Wars food and beverage containers
If the $4,000 Darth Vader costume for sale at Star Wars Launch Bay Cargo isn’t in your budget, check out the Star Wars-themed food and beverage containers available throughout Tomorrowland. Fans can purchase Darth Vader cotton candy buckets and TIE fighter popcorn buckets at select Tomorrowland food carts, BB-8 droid soda sippers at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, Chewbacca soda containers at the Galactic Grill. Purchasing a kiddie meal at the Galactic Grill? Upgrade to a Han Solo carbonite tomb lunch box for a small fee!
When to Go
Season of the Force is a limited time event but the end date has not yet been announced. Expect heavier than usual crowds over school break periods. Disneyland is also celebrating its 60th Anniversary, so make sure you read our guide to the most dazzling Disneyland Diamond experiences!
If you plan to fly down to Anaheim, remember that LAX isn’t the only airport option. John Wayne airport (SNA) in Orange County is actually the closest airport to the Disneyland Resort, and Southwest Airlines has multiple daily flights from San Jose airport to John Wayne airport. Driving down from the Bay Area takes between 6-8 hours, depending on the time of day and on whether you take Hwy 101 or Hwy 5. For more tips, check out Red Tricycle’s Guide to Disneyland and Guide to Road Tripping between SF and LA.
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Will you be traveling across the galaxy to enjoy Season of the Force? Which experience are you most looking forward to?