March 7, 2019 / 6:58 PM / 6 months ago

Disney unveils opening dates, reservation plan for 'Star Wars' expansion

FILE PHOTO: Characters of Star Wars take part in an event held for the release of the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fans of the galaxy far, far away will be able to visit the new “Star Wars” sections at Walt Disney Co’s Disneyland starting on May 31 and at Walt Disney World beginning on Aug. 29, the company announced on Thursday.

At Disneyland in Anaheim, California, guests will need a reservation to enter the 14-acre (5.6 hectare) section called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” between opening day and June 23, in addition to a park admission ticket, Disney said in a statement. Details on how to obtain the free reservations will be released later.

Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during those dates will receive one reservation per registered guest, the company said.

The reservation system is designed to manage the large crowds expected at what Disney calls its most ambitious expansion ever. The company did not set a reservation requirement for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“Galaxy’s Edge” brings to life a planet called Batuu that has never been seen in the “Star Wars” movies or TV shows that began with the original 1977 film. The time period is set during the current movie trilogy, which will conclude with the December release of “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

When the new park sections open, visitors will be able to step into a re-creation of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and feel like they are flying the famous spaceship piloted by Han Solo in the films. A second attraction, called “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance,” will open later in the year, Disney said.

The areas also include a “Star Wars”-inspired cantina, shops and eateries.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, speaking at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting, said the company was making arrangements to give special access to people with disabilities.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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