ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has awakened an interest in all things about the galaxy far, far away.
Much closer to home, in Anaheim to be specific, the film’s runaway success means more “Star Wars” attractions.
Disneyland is going to close several attractions and restaurants in the coming weeks to make room for a new 14-acre “Star Wars” project — the park’s largest expansion ever.
KCAL9’s Rebecca Ferriter went to the park Sunday to talk to Disneyland and “Star Wars” fans about all the changes.
She found fans of both have mixed emotions.
“I come twice a year and that’s not going to stop me, even if I have half the park to go to. I will still come,” said “Star Wars” fan Anne Snook.
“I love the idea of Star Wars Land, maybe just not where it’s going to be. Because of what we’re going to loose,” said Regina Wahl who liked the park just the way it was.
In fact, Wahl and her family came from Las Vegas to get one good last look at Big Thunder Ranch. It was a childhood favorite — she was brought to tears at the memories — but it’s coming down in favor of “Star Wars Land.”
“Oh I remember this. It’s been a sad trip, but we’re trying not to think about it again, but it’s okay, it’s okay,” she said.
Big Thunder Ranch, Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, Big Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo and the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree will permanently close on Jan. 10.
Several others — will close for an entire year. These include Fantasmic, Mark Twain Riverboat, the Sailing Ship Columbia, the Pirates Lair of Tom Sawyer Island, Disneyland Railroad and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.
Disneyland hasn’t yet revealed what will be included in “Star Wars Land” but with interest in the movie at such a crescendo there is little chance it won’t be an economic boom for the park despite an increase in ticket prices for annual passes.
“I think there’s a lot of hype behind this already, maybe it will even go up, because of how much people want to see ‘Star Wars’ and how much people like Disney,” said Kevin Snook.
The last time Disneyland closed several attractions at once was between 1995 and 1998 when Tomorrowland was revamped.