Out with the old, in with the brand new Star Wars Land at Disneyland in sunny Anaheim, California. Now that you’ve seen Force Awakens once, maybe even five times, the idea of actually getting to travel to a real Star Wars land is all sorts of exciting. It’ll be a reality in the near future, but to make way for all the ships and droids set to move into the Happiest Place on Earth, a few things have to go.
While its sister park in Florida, Disney World, has MORE than enough room to build six Star Wars Lands if it wanted to, Disneyland needs to permanently close a few long-standing attractions to make space. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Big Thunder Ranch, which has been a part of the park since 1986, will be closing permanently. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — you know, the wildest ride in the wilderness — will not be affected by the closures, but the BBQ, the Jamboree, and the petting zoo will all shut their queue lines down forever on January 11th, 2016.
And don’t worry, according to Disneyland, the animals at the petting zoo have all been adopted by a family in Southern California.
The neighboring area of Frontierland will have some attractions close temporarily during Star Wars Land construction. All of Tom Sawyer Island will be closed starting on January 11th, along with the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Davey Crockett Canoes, which will no longer be taking passengers. On top of that, the nightly Fantasmic (that runs off of Tom Sawyer Island) will also cease shows for the time being. And if that’s still not enough attractions taking a little breather, the Disneyland Railroad, that runs around the circumference of the park, will also have to stop chugging along. But these will all reopen eventually, potentially even before Star Wars Land opens.
In total, 14% of the park’s attractions will be closed during construction, but don’t let that stop you from going to Disneyland. Tomorrowland has recently been revamped to include lots of Star Wars stuff, from a newly-themed Space Mountain (now called Hyperspace Mountain), and the Star Wars Launch Bay in the former Innoventions. It’s not clear how long those things will remain, or what will happen to them once Star Wars Land opens in the opposite corner of the park.
Bottom line is, if you’ve got a soft spot for Thunder Mountain Ranch be sure to try and get there before the first week of the year. Or better yet, do get there before then. Remember, there is no “try.”
(Image via Lucasfilm)