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posted on June 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on June 11th, 2015 by Will Gay, Creative Director, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group
Ready are you? We sure were. All of a sudden I look around and I am in the middle of the TV commercial shoot for the upcoming launch of this year’s Star Wars Weekends. This is one of those moments that I just think, “Are you kidding me? How did I get here in the middle of all this awesomeness and where did all these troopers come from?” It is a little surreal to say the least. Maybe it really did all start “A long time ago in a galaxy” … well you know. You see, my Jedi Master creative teammates and myself are huge Star Wars fans ourselves. We grew up watching the original trilogy and playing with everything Star Wars. So working on the creative for the latest campaign here at Yellow Shoes really was a dream come true for us.
After editing this great footage we shot right here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then adding in all the cool special effects, it was finally complete. And we are very excited to share with you today the finished spot we call, “Lit”.
Oh, and did you notice some very familiar footage in the beginning of the spot? How cool is that? Not to mention that iconic soundtrack that comes up at the end that can make a grown man get a little misty-eyed.
The idea behind this year’s campaign is simple: it’s as close to the Force as you can get. Everything plays out around the notion of going to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you are literally surrounded by the Force and all things Star Wars.
posted on June 3rd, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Get ready for an exciting 53 days for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, celebrating two delicious decades from September 25 – November 16.
Now noted as one of America’s top food festivals by the Travel Channel, the 20th rendition promises plenty of celebrity chefs and new marketplaces, but also traditions that guests look forward to each year.
Look for favorite chefs such as Cat Cora, Jamie Deen, John Ash, Robert Irvine and Buddy Valastro onstage for demos and premium events (John Ash was at the very first Epcot fest back in 1996, and returns for 2015.) In all, more than 270 Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the U.S. will be showcased.
And for those who can’t wait to take a trip around the world at the 25-plus Marketplace kiosks, look for both new dishes (pepper bacon mac ‘n cheese at Farm Fresh Marketplace, seared venison loin in New Zealand) and returning classics (yes, the pierogies are still there in Poland, as well as Belgian waffles and kalua pork sliders in Hawaii). Wines, beers, Champagne, cocktails and mocktails are paired with good eats at each stop.
Eat to the Beat concerts are already lined up (see Charles Stovall’s blog post last week) with favorites such as Tiffany, Chaka Khan, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And the favorite Party for the Senses grand tasting events are back every Saturday night in October featuring more than 50 wines and beers with tempting bites from eminent chefs.
Other fun stuff: the Ocean Spray cranberry bog is back. And Chase cardholders can chill out, grab a complimentary soft drink and try some interactive fun at the Chase Lounge in American Adventure. For kids of all ages, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak takes you on a scavenger hunt for little Remy statuettes (maps, stickers and prizes are involved). New premium events includes “French Family Meal Traditions” lunches on Fridays and Saturdays, a “Rockin’ Burger Block Party” on select dates, and new beverage events including “Exploring Wines from 1996 to Now.”
Happy 20 years, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! We can’t wait to celebrate. More details to follow. When a reservation booking date is announced this summer, you can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at epcotfoodfestival.com.
posted on May 31st, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
During this Castle Forecourt Stage show, the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run amuck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard.
“Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” will be presented exclusively during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, held select nights at Magic Kingdom Park from September 15 – November 1, 2015. Check Shawn’s original story for more details.
And we shared the lineup for 2015’s “Eat to the Beat” concert series during this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. We’re kicking things off with David Cook on September 25 and will feature new acts like Tiffany and Chaka Khan. Charles has the complete list in his original story.
Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.
Memorial Day Flag Retreat Ceremony at Disneyland Park Honors Fallen Soldiers – On Memorial Day, Disneyland park guests lined Main Street, U.S.A. during the daily flag retreat ceremony to pay respect to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Additional ‘Decades’ Details and Art Revealed for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Learn where you can find Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration “Decades” collection merchandise!
Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Truffles Debut at Signature Restaurants – Looking for a dazzling way to complete your meal? Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Truffles will be offered at select signature restaurants throughout Disneyland Resort — Blue Bayou Restaurant, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Steakhouse 55.
New Made With Magic Items Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration – Nighttime at Disneyland Resort is now a little brighter with the release of new Made with Magic items. Created especially for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we have introduced a celebratory ear hat and a magical paintbrush!
Disney Parks Blog Readers Enjoy #Disney24, ‘Tomorrowland’ Screening – The Disney Parks Blog team held a special event for 500 of our readers, which included breakfast at Magic Kingdom Park and a special opening-day screening of the new film, “Tomorrowland.”
The Ultimate Land and Sea Family Vacation with Disney Cruise Line – Disney Parks Blog author Jonathan Frontado shares five reasons why sailing with Disney Cruise Line to a tropical destination before or after a stay at Walt Disney World Resort is the ultimate family vacation.
Learn to Draw Fred From ‘Big Hero 6’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – This week our Learn to Draw animation series continues with a lesson on how to draw another member of the “Big Hero 6” team – it’s Fred, the fun-loving, comic-book aficionado of the group!
posted on May 29th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager
Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an annual event that features activities for all ages, so even the youngest family members can join in on the fun. All three of my little girls are huge fans of the characters from both the original films and the new Star Wars Rebels series on Disney XD, so it is a huge treat for them to meet their favorites in person. Parents of Padawans won’t want to miss these incredibly themed hands-on experiences, taking place weekends May 15 – June 14, 2015.
- Jedi Training Academy – Kids from 4 to 12 can sign up to train to be a Jedi and battle an evil Sith from the dark side
- Lightsaber building – Little ones can build the lightsaber of their imaginations in Tatooine Traders
- Character Meet & Greets –Get up-close with icons from both Star Wars heroes and villains at meet & greet locations throughout the park. Don’t forget your autograph book!
- LEGO interactive build station – Little ones can spend endless amounts of time building their own Star Wars creations at this unique hands-on station
- Star Wars Droid Factory – Kids can build their own astromech droid action figure, just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
- Padawan Mind Challenge – Designed for kids ages 4 to 11, this interactive trivia event will test your little ones’ Star Wars knowledge
- “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks – Kids may actually want to take a nap just so they can stay up for this finale celebration that features popular Star Wars characters
Rick Springfield, Tiffany, Chaka Khan Rock ‘Eat to the Beat’ Concert Series at 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival
posted on May 29th, 2015 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager
In January, we let you in on the dates for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
One of my favorite times of the year! And this year is the 20th anniversary of the festival!
Now, I have the enviable task of giving you more info on this year’s festival – the lineup for 2015’s “Eat to the Beat” concert series.
Being a child of the ‘80s, I’m SUPER pumped for some of our new acts like Tiffany and Chaka Khan. Also new to this year’s festival are the S.O.S. Band, Everclear and Maxi Priest.
Here’s the full list. Hope your favorite is on there!
- David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
- Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
- Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
- Starship – October 2-4, 2015
- Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
- The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
- 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
- Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
- Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
- The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
- Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
- Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
- Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
- Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
- Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
- Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
- Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
- Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
- Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
- Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
- Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015
Please note: Daily show times take place at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Entertainment and appearances are subject to change without notice.
Be sure to check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updated info on this year’s festival.
Bonne ẻcoute!” (Happy Listening!)
posted on May 27th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
Summer may just be getting started, but I’m already looking forward to fall and the return of my favorite event at Magic Kingdom Park, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. And this year’s party will be extra fun with the introduction of an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage.
In “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run amuck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!
With the help of the Disney villains, Winifred, Mary and Sarah gather together sinister shadows, nefarious nightmares and the power of their frightful friends to conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion and cast a spell on everyone in the Magic Kingdom Park. “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” features appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other great Disney villains, along with dancers, projections and special effects that combine to make this new show a not-to-be-missed Halloween treat.
“Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” will be presented exclusively during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, held select nights at Magic Kingdom Park from September 15 – November 1, 2015.
posted on May 22nd, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
Our Star Wars Weekends event for 2015 is well under way and better than ever! And this week, the incomparable Warwick Davis is among the celebrity guests visiting from that galaxy far, far away.
Warwick portrayed lovable Ewok Wicket from the forest moon of Endor and has brought to vivid life several beloved characters beyond the worlds of Star Wars. In fact, one of my favorite shows during Star Wars Weekends is “An Ewok’s Tale: My Short Story,” Warwick Davis’s hysterical one-man show through which he shares his adventures as only he can. It’s definitely not to be missed!
Of course, Warwick is just one of the stars of the saga joining us May 22 – 24. You can also see and hear from actors whose characters have inhabited the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the Theed Royal Palace of Naboo and the grasslands of Lothal:
- Event Host James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
- Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket the Ewok (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
- Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
- Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)
- Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
No matter what part of the galaxy you hail from, you’ll want to make Star Wars Weekends your destination. With all the celebrities, Star Wars characters, special shows, fireworks and more, it is as close to the Force as you can get!
posted on May 17th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks
Through June 14, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature some of your favorite Star Wars characters as well as the “Legends of the Force” celebrity motorcade, the all-new “Star Wars: Rebels” show at Theater of the Stars, “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks and much more.
Shawn shared a few more experiences not to be missed this year, including a visit to the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. Check his original story for more details and list of character appearances.
Star Wars Weekends continues Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 14, 2015.
When work is completed in 2016, Disney Springs will have expanded to more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues, including four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers . We have the complete list of the tenants in our original blog story.
Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.
First Look: Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Souvenir Vintage Stein – This stunning souvenir vintage stein features whimsical representations of favorite lands and attractions, and is topped with Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Stars Shine Bright at the Disneyland Resort for World Premiere of ‘Tomorrowland’ – Hear from the stars on the red carpet, including the film’s star, George Clooney, about the excitement of being at the Disneyland Resort for the premiere!
Behind the Scenes: Hatbox Ghost Reappears in Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park – Last weekend, one of the 999 happy haunts in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park reappeared after decades in hiding. Take a look!
Complete List of Special Eats for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event, May 22-23 – Get a look at the ultimate foodie guide to specialty food offerings during the 24-Hour event at the Disneyland Resort.
24-Hour Event Merchandise Sparkles at the Disneyland Resort – Get a sneak peek at the artwork for the 24-hour event tees, a limited release pin and a very specially created cupcake!
Kicking Off the ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ with 24-Hours of Entertainment at Magic Kingdom Park – Next week, Magic Kingdom Park is going to stay open from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, to celebrate the beginning of the “Coolest Summer Ever!” Get a look at all the entertainment and plan your visit!
Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Sleeping Beauty Castle – Part One – Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas shares some of the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park.
Chef Mickey’s Opens for Brunch Starting May 31 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Reservations open May 22 for what promises to be a popular new addition to Walt Disney World Resort dining – mid-day brunch daily at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
posted on May 16th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager
Starting May 15, we will offer T-shirts for adults, women and kids featuring a stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Twenty-five percent of the retail sale price of this product will be donated to U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power, an innovative new program that uses the world’s first Wearable-For-Good to get youth physically active to provide lifesaving, nutrition-rich food packets to kids in need around the world.
The shirts will premiere during Star Wars Weekends and can be found in the following locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Darth’s Mall, Tatooine Traders, Prop Shop, Beverly Sunset and Mickey’s of Hollywood.
These items are the first products for Star Wars: The Force Awakens released by Disney Parks. They are also the first character products released for the upcoming film which arrives in theatres on December 18, 2015.
To learn more about Star Wars: Force For Change, please visit www.StarWars.com/ForceForChange.
May the Force Be With You!
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF does not endorse any brand or product. No portion of the purchase price is tax-deductible.