In what Disney describes as its "largest, single-theme land expansion ever," both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will house 14-acre Star Wars themed attractions for an upscale, unearthly experience.
While struggling with an unpredictable television environment, Disney has been thriving on domestic theme park revenue, and the Burbank, Calif.-based company just unveiled a peek of its plans to boost that income. Its estimated $2 billion projects will include two signature attractions to transport guests to remote galaxies to make "Star Wars characters and their stories come to life."
Disney is keeping fans posted on the details of the developments through its Disney Parks Blog.
Expect a Star Wars version of Space Mountain following the release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens on Dec. 18, Disney executives announced the company's D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., over the weekend.
Disney, in a joint venture with Shanghai Shendi, is also amping up its theme park business abroad. Its park in Shanghai -- to include six themed lands -- is set for a grand opening in spring 2016, the company announced in July.
And Disney could certainly use the stability to its bottom line. Disney shares are still down sharply from recent near 52-week highs on its third-quarter results and guidance released Aug. 4, leading several analysts to go bearish on the stock.
But revenue from U.S. theme parks and resorts provided a bright spot, with sales up 4% to $4.1 billion and operating income up 9% as spending per person on items like food, beverages and merchandise increased. Increases in average ticket prices at the Disneyland Resort and higher average hotel room rates also padded sales.
Analysts like Daniel Salmon of BMO Capital Markets say to expect these new Star Wars attractions will be a "highly successful project long-term," although he cautions that Disney may see a higher short-term capital expense hit.
Here's a glimpse of Disney's dazzling theme park visions.
Star Wars Disney World
Disney said its Star Wars parks will have two signature attractions that will give visitors "the ability to take controls" of the Millennium Falcon spaceship for a "customized secret mission." Disney teased they'll put guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
No timeline was set for the project, but Disney executives did say at the company's D23 Expo that it will launch several other attractions in the meantime, including more Toy Story attractions and an Avatar-themed park in Florida.
"I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars," said Disney CEO Bob Iger. "We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single-themed land expansion ever."
Star Wars Disneyland
Like its Florida counterpart, the Star Wars theme park in Disneyland in California will encompass 14 acres and has no detailed timeline. It may be worth the wait, however long that is.
"These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance," Iger said.
The iconic four-winged X-wing Starfighters are a Star Wars staple.
Disney visitors eager for an early taste of Star Wars thrills can join an X-wing Starfighter battle in upcoming Hyperspace Mountain, which will be a version of the traditional Space Mountain ride set to open early next year. Simultaneously, Star Wars themed food and special entertainment are on tap for Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.
And in an even earlier debut, Star Wars Launch Bay, an interactive experience, will open this winter in both Florida and California to coincide with the Dec. 18 release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The attraction will walk guests through exhibits on each of the Star Wars movies.
Toy Story Land
Amid the Star Wars hype, Disney is also leveraging theme park success with another popular movie franchise -- Toy Story.
Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida will be 11 acres of attractions that Disney says will take guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy's backyard.
"Guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination," Disney said.
Toy Story Land, which will include an expansion of the current Toy Story Mania! midway attraction, was inspired by "overwhelming guest response" to Cars Land in California, a $1.1 billion, 12-acre expansion that opened in 2012.
A roller coast featuring Slinky Dog is in the plans, as is an alien saucers ride where visitors ride in their own flying saucers facing The Claw, as characters do in Toy Story.
Pandora -- The World of Avatar
Also in the works at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida is Pandora -- The World of Avatar. It's inspired by the blockbuster 2009 film Avatar, set in the mid-22nd century. The film follows humans who are colonizing a habitable moon called Pandora.
The new addition will feature "awe-inspiring floating mountains, a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants" and a new attraction called Avatar Flight of Passage.
"We're creating a transformational experience that you'll remember for the rest of your life," said developer Joe Rohde at the D23 conference.
If the Avatar attraction is as successful as the film, Disney can bank on a good investment. Avatar, with its unique animation and 3D effects, drew about $2.7 billion in box office receipts, making it the highest grossing film of all time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no position in the stocks mentioned.