• Disney's theme parks likely to feel the force of Star Wars

      When the Walt Disney Co. bought one of the biggest movie brands in Hollywood history this week, it also triggered speculation about how Lucasfilm Ltd.'s Star Wars franchise might further manifest itself in Disney's theme parks.


      Tom Hodges, a California artist, created this fictional rendering of a Star Wars theme park for Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando in 2010. He based the fake theme park map on a 1966 map of Disneyland. (Tom Hodges / November 2, 2012)


      Disney made it clear after announcing the purchase Tuesday that, in addition to making more Star Wars movies, it planned to use the brand in all of its business units, including its parks-and-resorts division.


      "We have ample opportunity to expand the presence of this franchise in our parks. There's room to grow what we've already got, so we feel particularly good about that," Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said.


      Attractions experts say they expect to see Disney do more with Star Wars in its theme parks, though Disney has previously told industry analysts that it is taking a break from big-time capital projects in its parks unit, so it could be a while before anyone senses a disturbance in the Force in a Disney park.

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