The news that Universal Studios Orlando is ramping up their latest new park, Epic Universe, there have been rumors and speculation that Disney World may follow suit.
Disney hasn't opened a new theme park in Orlando since 1998 when Animal Kingdom arrived. Disney has invested heavily in their parks over the years with new and re-imagine attractions and even Galaxy's Edge has been pretty successful. But what if Disney opted to make an entire world of Star Wars? Imagine the scale they could deliver.
Let's play a hypothetical game and take a look at some of the options. First, Disney may have to decide whether or not to gut Galaxy's Edge and free up the Hollywood Studios area for something new and different. The chances of that happening would be virtually zero. It would make no sense financially or otherwise. It is, after all, an outpost.
Now, let's look at where a new park could be located. Many speculate that current Disney-owned property that sits between Magic Kingdom and the EPCOT/Hollywood Studios route would be suitable for a 5th gate. We will work on the premise that a Star Wars land could fit here.
Disney could come up with some space-aged transport to take guests from Galaxy's Edge to the new Park. That would be an incredible addition in and of itself and would make Star Wars park-hopping that much more enjoyable.
I picture a new Star Wars land laid out in a similar style to EPCOT. Think World Showcase but instead of countries, fully emersive worlds from the Star Wars canon.
I picture a central hub that would be similar to Coruscant complete with a towering Jedi Temple that would serve as the 5th Gate's iconic logo like Cinderella's Castle, Hollywood Tower, Spaceship Earth, and the Tree of Life.
To the right, you could have the villains, maybe something along the line of Mustafar. Dark rides and attractions that bring out the worst of the force. On the opposite side, Dagobah, a holy land of Jedi history with swampy attractions and the best Jedi to ever live.
Enter beyond the Jedi spire and come to Scarif, a watery world filled with lush vegetation and towering palms. From there, guests can transport themselves through the Star Wars universe. Tatooine, the villages of Kashyyk, the rolling waterfalls of Naboo, and then on to the tree-top wonders of Endor.
Imagine entering a world and taking a trip upwards into the clouds of Bespin or entering the temples of Yavin 4. The point is, each world presents its own attractions and opportunities.
Disney's Imagineers could go absolutely crazy designing the park. From inventing new foods and rides to cast-member costumes. An opportunity to tell stories from the Lucas Film world.
The trick would be to make a Star Wars land attractive to non-Star Wars fans. That is where the imagination would have to come in.
While it is all fun to speculate on what a world like Star Wars might be, it is the last point that will not allow it to happen. For as many Star Wars fans as there are, there are just as many that are not. To fully immerse guests into a Star Wars land, gone would be the Disney themes of Mickey Mouse and company. It would become an entire world based on popular filmography and novels but could hold interest over and over again.
Fun to think about for sure but never likely to see the light of a saber. That doesn't mean there will not be another park at Disney. Despite the lack of information on the subject from Disney, because there isn't any, at some point Disney has to grow and re-theming attractions isn't going to do enough to stay competitive in Orlando.
A 5th gate will happen and as we are seeing with Universal Studios, the length of time from imagination to reality isn't as long as many might think. It's time for Disney to do it. Eventually, they will.