Now you can live in ‘a galaxy far away’

AN immersive “Star Wars” hotel, a new “Ratatouille” attraction and the first ever Mickey Mouse ride are just some of the high-profile features coming soon to Walt Disney Co’s theme parks.

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will house the hotel where guests can live out a multi-day adventure within the intergalactic universe of the “Star Wars” film franchise, parks and resorts chairman Bob Chapek told attendees gathered at Disney’s annual D23 fan convention on Saturday in Southern California.

Two new “Star Wars” themed lands coming to Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida, will be called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” he said.

A model concept of the expansive new lands was unveiled on Thursday, showing pavilions set in rough, rocky terrain and uneven buildings that will house attractions. The lands will include a Millennium Falcon ride.

Disney plans to open a “Star Wars” land first in its California park and then in Florida in 2019. At 5.7 hectares, they will be the largest-ever single-themed expansions, Disney said.

Theme parks posted US$1.9 billion in operating income for the six months ended April 1, according to its latest earnings report. The theme parks sector is Disney’s second-largest division.

Disney has been investing in new attractions at its US theme parks as it faces competition from Comcast Corp’s Universal Studios.

In May, Disney opened a land based on the movie “Avatar” at the Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, and a ride based on Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” at California Adventure in Anaheim.

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