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Disneyland Article
We Just Got A Big Hint About How Cool Disneyland's Star Wars Rides Will Be

Big Thunder Bar-B-Que
Matt Weinberger
January 07, 2016
January 28, 2016
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Jon Snoddy, Disney EVP of Imagineering - the House of Mouse's artist-scientist genius division - dropped some big hints about just how cool the rides at Disneyland's forthcoming "Star Wars" area will be on stage at a CES 2016 panel.

Thanks to the involvement of Industrial Lights and Magic, the legendary special-effects firm that Disney acquired in its big 2013 purchase of "Star Wars" studio Lucasfilm, Snoddy says that one of the rides will be "unprecedented, in a way."

While Snoddy didn't share any details on exactly which ride this was in reference to, the description lines up with the previous announcement of an attraction that takes riders through a battle between the evil First Order and the heroic Resistance - inspired by the record-smashing movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

In fairness, it could also refer to the Disney Parks' forthcoming "Avatar Land" areas, based on the 2009 smash hit, and which we already knew would have a boat ride - but from the context of the conversation, it certainly sounded like a "Star Wars" attraction. We'll have to wait for more official details on Disney's "Star Wars" plans for the parks to know for sure.

Snoddy hinted that one of the rides that Disney Imagineering is working on with ILM is a "boat ride," with boats moving alongside a track, kind of like Disney park crowd-pleaser "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Where ILM comes in, Snoddy says, is in helping Disney mix super-high-resolution projections with real-life physical sets and characters to create an immersive mix.

Thanks to Disney Imagineering's robotics and ride know-how, they'll know where the boats will be at any moment, down to the millimeter, meaning that they can predict with almost guaranteed accuracy where a rider's attention will be.

Indeed, Snoddy says that having ILM's expertise on tap has made a huge difference in the already-complicated business of building a new Disney park attraction, let alone one that's this immersive.

"When you build a theme-park attraction, you're building a building, you're building a massive device," Snoddy says.

In order to make way for its new "Star Wars"-themed land, Disneyland will close several attractions later in January, including Big Thunder Ranch, the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Eatery Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue will also close.
Attractions Referenced

Big Thunder Ranch

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Big Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Restaurants Referenced

Big Thunder Bar-B-Que

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