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Disneyland unveils ‘Star Wars’ festival lineup of rides, shows and exhibits

Concept art of the new Star Wars Land coming to Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios.

Concept art of the new Star Wars Land coming to Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios.

(Disney)

Disneyland will begin its long and steady drumbeat leading up to the launch of the 14-acre Star Wars Land with a fan festival celebrating the classic and future films in the movie franchise.

The Season of the Force event will start Nov. 16 in Tomorrowland with a lineup of rides, shows, exhibits, specialty foods and character meet-and-greets.

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Space Mountain will get a thematic overlay to become Hyperspace Mountain, where riders will witness an X-wing battle inside the indoor roller coaster. The Star Tours motion simulator will add a new scene from the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” film that will be part of every ride along with two other scenes from the current attraction.

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The Innoventions building will transform into the Star Wars Launch Bay with props and exhibits from the movies along with galleries dedicated to lightsabers, starships, stormtroopers and Jedi Knights. Kids of all ages can play “Star Wars” video games that have been set at the most challenging difficulty levels. Fans can take photos during meet-and-greets with Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

The former Captain EO theater will be redubbed Tomorrowland Theater with clips from the first six “Star Wars” films along with trailers from the upcoming “The Force Awakens” movie.

The Jedi Training Academy play-acting lessons for kids will be rebooted in December as the “Trials of the Temple” with a new villain from the “Star Wars Rebels” television series on Disney XD.

With groundbreaking scheduled to begin in 2016 on Star Wars Land, Disneyland will close parts of the Rivers of America during construction in the Big Thunder Ranch area of the Anaheim theme park. The closure of the river on Jan. 10 will force the temporary shutdown of the “Fantasmic” nighttime spectacular, Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain riverboat, Davy Crockett’s Explorer canoes and Disneyland Railroad locomotive train.

Details about a separate version of the Season of the Force event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be announced at a later date.

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