Disneyland's ‘Star Wars' Lands: Ground's Broken!

A 360-degree image, released by the theme park, reveals a fresh construction site, some galactic visitors, and Big Thunder Mountain.

Members of the Rebel Alliance, come in, are you reading this transmission? Come in, come in, we've got important news: That massive tower-like structure you may be seeing in the distance, with the Imperial AT-AT in the foreground? 

That's no moon... That's Big Thunder Mountain.

So hang onto your helmets, your light sabers, and your droids, because April 14 is one auspicious day: Ground has officially been broken at Disneyland Resort, in advance of the anticipated-around-the-universe 'Star Wars' Lands.

A 360-degree image, released by the Anaheim theme park, shows what appears to be a fresh construction site, with a dirt road, some hard-hat'd employees, and the expected heavy machinery.

The not-so-expected heavy machinery in the photo comes in the form of the AT-AT seen near the employees, and the TIE Fighter. Do the people in the image know those are in the near vicinity? Perhaps R2-D2, who also cameos in the snapshot, should warn them at once, in his inimitable excitable way.

BB-8, why you're there, too! Droids to the rescue.

As for an opening date on the widely obsessed-over 14-acre spread? That's very TBD, though gazing a few years down the road -- er, asteroid belt -- is probably within range.

As for when a number of attractions around Disneyland closed down -- some permanently, some temporarily -- in advance of the 'Star Wars' construction? That happened a few days into 2016.

The Disneyland Railroad and the iconic vessels on the Rivers of America remain closed, for the time being (though you can visit the stationary trains at both Main Street Station and New Orleans Square, as well as the at-the-dock Mark Twain Riverboat).

And the presence of the Force is already felt within the gates of The Happiest Place on Earth, thanks to perennial favorite Star Tours as well as the recently introduced Season of the Force, which boasts character meet-and-greets. (Yes, you could actually hug Chewbacca, don't cry, hold it together, it's true.)

For now, though, pore over the picture and get a feel for where the new 'Star Wars' Lands will be, what they might look like, and how cool it is to see Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the distance.

The mine train roller coaster has been a Disneyland hallmark since 1979, the very era when 'Star Wars' mania first captured our Force-filled fancies. It has been, for decades, "the wildest ride in the wilderness," though the coaster may have a cosmic run for that title when its new neighbor makes its big debut.

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