Star Wars at Disneyland: Some Classics to Close (for a Time)

The train and to-dos around the Rivers of America will shutter as Star Wars construction starts up.

When The Happiest Place on Earth welcomes a fresh attraction, a few standard physical changes are seen, though nothing too major. Some walls go up around the future ride's spot while a friendly cast member redirects guests to other diversions.

But when new planets are forming inside Disneyland, and whole swaths of the universe are in the works, larger actions must be taken.

Word on the comlink is that a 14-acre "Star Wars" land is headed for the world's most famous theme park -- perhaps you've heard the scuttlebutt, which has now reached into all corners of deep space -- and construction is set to impact a few favorites around the Anaheim destination.

An announcement arrived on Sept. 24, 2015 regarding the temporary closures of some attractions and a couple of permanent closures, as well.

The permanent farewells will be of no surprise to anyone who knows that the "Star Wars" area is headed for Big Thunder Ranch's neck of the woods. Circle D Ranch and the petting zoo will make way for cinema's most famous space cowboys, and the fiddles-and-vittles restaurant, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, will trot off into the sunset as well, along with its downhome stage show.

The temporary farewells includes a caboodle of classics around the Rivers of America as well as The Disneyland Railroad. All stations will be shuttered, for several months, as construction kicks in on the "Star Wars" rides.

The Rivers of America closures mean both the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia will head for port for an expected time of a year or so, and Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes will run aground for a time, too.

Fans will guess that "Fantasmic!," the nighttime water-plus-Mickey-plus-dragon extravaganza, will be put on hold along with the Columbia, which is part of the spectacular, and they'd be correct. The Press Enterprise reveals that cast members assigned to these attractions and the others around the area "will be offered other roles" during the construction.

As far as timelines go? Get to Big Thunder Ranch by Jan. 10, 2016 if you want to bid it goodbye and enjoy your last bucket of Big Thunder barbecue.

Jan. 10 is also the date when the temporary closures of the Disneyland Railroad, the Rivers of America attractions, and "Fantasmic!" take effect.

These are not the only "Star Wars"-related changes revealed: "Season of the Force," which will present meet-and-photo opportunities with characters from the films, as well as a temporary re-theming of Space Mountain, opens on Nov. 16.

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