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Disneyland began draining part of the Rivers of America on Wednesday as it prepares to break ground next month on the 14-acre Star Wars theme land.
The southern half of the artificial river will retain its water, thanks to coffer dams on both sides of Tom Sawyer Island. The Orange County Register reports that’s because officials at the Anaheim, California, park wanted to keep the pleasant view of the river from Frontierland and New Orleans Square during the lengthy construction.
The Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad were closed in January as preparations began for the Star Wars area. As part of the massive project, the size of Tom Sawyer island will be reduced slightly, and the course of the river will be altered for the first time since Disneyland opened in 1955. When those areas reopen, the north bank will boast a new waterfront (seen in an artist’s rendering released in January).
Announced in August at the D23 Expo, the plan for Star Wars land at both Disneyland and Disney World features as its centerpiece a Millennium Falcon attraction in which visitors can “actually pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy,” and another that places guests in the midst of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order “in a race against time.” Other attractions will include a street market, a cantina and an upscale dinner club.
There’s been no announcement for when construction will began at Disney World, or when the Star Wars lands are expected to open.