The official site has announced that Episode VII will open on December 18, 2015.
Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, made the announcement today. “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” he said.
Looks like the rumors about Lucasfilm wanting a 2016 release while Disney wanted a 2015 release may have held some water, but this seems to be a good compromise. Extra time to make a better movie is always a good thing.
(Although, personally, seeing a Star Wars movie in December, without the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, is going to be really really really weird.)
Episode VII will begin filming in Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.