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Disneyland Is Launching Biggest Expansion Ever

Disneyland Is Launching Biggest Expansion Ever

Disneyland is launching its largest expansion ever to create a 14-acre Star Wars attraction at the Anaheim theme park, which will require shutting down 10 attractions and eateries this month.

Some attractions will be shut down temporarily and others permanently, including Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, which includes Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, petting zoo and Jamboree.

Disneyland has already added several new Star Wars features since it acquired Lucasfilm, along with the Star Wars franchise, in 2012 for $4B. Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain and Star Tours rides were overhauled to incorporate special effects from the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. An area in Tomorrowland’s Innovations building also was converted to a Star Wars Launch Bay, where park patrons can play Star Wars video games, buy franchise merchandise and meet costumed characters from the movie, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The shutdown of some park features follows a 35% price hike for the top-tier annual park pass three months ago, from $779 to $1,049. Meanwhile, Disneyland's rival, Universal Studios Hollywood, is opening The Wizarding of Harry Potter attraction April 7. According to Dennis Speigel, a theme park consultant and president of the Cincinnati-based International Theme Park Services, tourists will continue to visit Disneyland regardless of what the park charges. [SDUT