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WDW Main Street Live Stream - 24 Hour Event - 2015

Set a Course for Star Wars Weekends This Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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.

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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!

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Moms Panel Monday: Need Recommendations on Dining at Walt Disney World Resort?

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Food can be a big and very fun part of the Walt Disney World Resort experience, and for this issue of Moms Panel Monday our panelists offer dining suggestions to a guest who is visiting this summer.

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Each panelist provides personal insight — such as favorites of their kids’ like 50s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to signature dining establishments like California Grill and Flying Fish Cafe, and even not-to-be-missed indulgences like waffle-based sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom Park or the addictive Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Does your family have any favorite places to grab a bite at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on May 17th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Star Wars Weekends 2015 began this week at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and we’re celebrating here on the Disney Parks Blog with new artwork, images and stories.

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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.

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We also announced the names of several new high-profile tenants coming Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort, including fashion retailers Uniqlo, Zara, Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.

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.

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Star Wars: Force For Change Coming to Star Wars Weekends This Year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 16th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce Star Wars: Force For Change is coming to Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Starting May 15, we will offer T-shirts for adults, women and kids featuring a stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

During the final weekend, June 12-14, we will offer a limited edition stormtrooper pin at Darth’s Mall, located near Streets of America across from Studio Catering Company.

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.

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Star Wars Weekends Starts Today at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


You are as close to the Force as you can get! The opening scroll on Star Wars Weekends 2015 is rolling at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. All weekend long, there will be dozens of Star Wars characters appearing throughout the park, 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 so much more!

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And what’s this…? The Emperor is coming here?!

That’s right! Ian McDiarmid, the actor who portrayed Emperor Palpatine (aka the Sith Lord Darth Sidious) in the Star Wars films, has made his first hyperspace jump to our system as a celebrity guest for Weekend I of Star Wars Weekends. You’ll want to double your efforts to be here and see him, along with the other stars of the saga appearing this weekend. Here’s the complete list:

  • Event Host James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ian McDiarmid: Senator/Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Amy Allen: Aayla Secura (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Also new and not to be missed at Star Wars Weekends this year is Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience and the Darth’s Mall complex on Streets of America, where you will find the droids (and T-shirts and other great merchandise) you’re looking for!

So who’s coming out this weekend? Let us know in the Comments section, and share the excitement on social media using the hashtag #SWW2015. If you can’t make it this weekend, Star Wars Weekends continues every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 14.

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Learn to Draw Mickey’s Pal, Goofy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 7th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s Learn to Draw animation tutorial series continues with a lesson on a classic Disney character – Goofy! Goofy, initially dubbed Dippy Dawg, made his first on-screen debut in the short film “Mickey’s Revue” on May 25, 1932. The short also featured Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow.

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and get ready for step-by-step instructions on how to draw your own Goofy from Mike Chovanec of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For previous animation tutorials on some of your favorite Disney characters, check out the list below:

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Top 10 Disney Salads, Coast to Coast

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


May is National Salad Month (who knew?). One of our favorite ways to eat is with a big bowl of deliciousness that doesn’t always involve romaine.

Here are 10 of our favorite salads from the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Salad bars don’t count – we love the ways the chefs create a taste sensation with a little bit of this and that.

The Caesar Salad at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante at Disneyland Park 'Smiling Tiger Salad' at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

At Disneyland Resort:

  1. “Smiling Tiger Salad” at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. What’s not to love about Chef Andrew Sutton’s tempura fried lobster, spicy beef, Asian greens and a drizzle of coconut-lime vinaigrette?
  2. Relax over lunch with the Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad at Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure park, a mélange of warm asparagus, avocado, arugula, toasted ancient grains and roasted chicken breast filled with strawberry butter.
  3. Also at Disney California Adventure park, we discovered the Greek Salad at Paradise Garden Grill – grab a seat in the shade and dig in to this generous bowl of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, pepperoncinis, marinated olive and feta flavored with a lemon-oregano dressing and pita bread for scooping. You might want to share.
  4. Over at Disneyland park, a longtime favorite is the Caesar at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. This is the real deal, as the Caesar was invented in Mexico City – though a staple in Italian restaurants, the Caesar generally is attributed to Caesar Cardini, an Italian who created the salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where it became a hit with Hollywood stars. Rancho serves the Hacienda Caesar, romaine tossed, sweet peppers and cotija cheese in housemade dressing with pepitas seeds, radishes and crisp tortilla chips. Top it with grilled chicken or carne asada.
The Power Salad at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot The Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios

At Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Heading to the East Coast, The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort has an entrée salad that’s never left the menu – the chicken strawberry salad with greens, grilled chicken breast, cucumbers, fresh strawberries and gorgonzola tossed in a lightly sweet white zinfandel vinaigrette. A classic.
  2. Over at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, try the trendy Power Salad – a bowlful of protein with quinoa, oak-fired chicken, almonds and honey vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of energy to power walk World Showcase Promenade.
  3. Quinoa is the star of another favorite at ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – the Couscous Quinoa & Arugula Salad, tossed to order. We top it with grilled salmon for extra protein and Omega 3s.
  4. Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, who doesn’t love the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby? Chopped delightfully small and tossed tableside, it’s a classic with ham, bacon, turkey breast, egg, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado and chives, all mixed with dressing still made from the original recipe when the salad was invented in Hollywood in the 1930s.
  5. Delightfully different is the Jiko Salad at Jiko—The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. A lovely plate of poached pears, heirloom spinach, kabocha squash in a pear vinaigrette topped with a brittle of pumpkin seeds and black lentils. Instagram worthy.
  6. And finally, another longtime favorite we always have to order: the Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This one stays on the menu, though Chef Brian Piasecki may mix up the ingredients. Right now it’s crispy rock shrimp (a Florida delicacy) with spicy baby greens, Subarashii pear, red onions, soy reduction and addictive wasabi cream. You won’t want to share this one.
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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience Coming to Star Wars Weekends

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Guests attending Star Wars Weekends will be able to find shelter and sustenance in the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. Reports have been made that this location was once a known hangout of Rebel pilots, aliens and smugglers; with the immersive environment and stellar bites—I understand why!

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Look for a menu full of Star Wars-themed food and beverage offerings that are out of this world:

  • Pilot’s Pomme Frites – these are tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley with a garlic aioli for dipping
  • Ensalada Naboo – seared chicken breast, bibb lettuce, grape tomatoes, watermelon radish, almond frica, and a parmesan-peppercorn ranch dressing
  • Lightsaber Bites – hand-dipped corn-battered knockwurst sausages with house-made chips and mustard dipping sauce
  • The Dark Fried – Chicken and Darth Vader waffles served with maple syrup and sweet barbecue sauce
  • Trio of Thermal Detonators – spicy pork wings topped with spicy piquillo-pepper sauce and slaw
  • Slider Sampler featuring “The Sith” barbecue-braised brisket with cole slaw and “The Jedi” with barbecued pulled chicken with arugula
  • Fruit and Cheese “Sabers” featuring Tillamook cheddar, Brie, goat cheese, pickled vegetables, crostini, cheddar crackers, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon, strawberry, olives and gherkins
  • Chips & Sith – hummus with red pepper coulis, black sesame dust, and corn tortilla chips
  • Yoda Key Lime Cake
  • Trio of Star Wars mini cupcakes, including Mini Darth Vader (chocolate-peanut butter), Mini Yoda (chocolate-hazelnut), and Mini Jabba the Hutt (salted caramel latte) served in the Han Solo Carbonite Souvenir Box

A new drink menu will also be available:

  • Imperial Blue – Maker’s Mark Whisky, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, topped with Sprite
  • Tatooine Sunset – Stoli vanilla, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, pineapple juice with grenadine
  • Rebel Red – Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, sour mix and a splash of grenadine
  • Dagobah Swamp Juice – Midori, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, sweet and sour, topped with lemon-lime foam
  • The Dark Side – Stoli vanilla vodka, Bailey’s liqueur, crème de cocoa and brownie garnish
  • Alderaan Ale

The Jabba the Hutt and Yoda cupcakes will also be available at Tusken Fridge Raiders, Trolley Car Café, Starring Rolls Cafe, and Backlot Express. The Darth Vader cupcake will be available at all quick-service locations, including Starring Rolls Cafe, and Trolley Car Cafe and Tusken Fridge Raiders at Darth’s Mall.

For Reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

May the food be with you!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


There’s no doubt that Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is a fan-favorite attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But just how well do you know this attraction? Test your knowledge below!

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Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

What is the name of your transportation vehicle you board for your adventure with Star Tours – The Adventures Continues?
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How many different story combinations can you experience at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue?
WDW Attractions Lifestyle Shoot
Which of the following is NOT a destination you may visit during your journey?
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Which character will you NOT encounter during your journey?
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Who is your pilot during your journey with Star Tours – The Adventures Continues?
Star Tours Early Departure

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Commemorative ‘May the 4th’ Items Coming to Disney Parks for Star Wars Fans on May 4

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Being a long-time fan of Star Wars, I love visiting Disney Parks on May 4. This annual, fan-proclaimed “Star Wars Day” is a great day to ride Star Tours – The Adventures Continue with other fans who grew up in the Star Wars universe like I did. Here is a quick look at some commemorative items we’ve created to celebrate this day-long celebration at Disney Parks on May 4.

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This year, fans will find two T-shirts – one with Jedi Mickey for “May the 4th” and one with Goofy dressed as Darth Vader for “Revenge of the 5th.” The same artwork was used on two limited edition pins. A matching water bottle will be released in Florida only.

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A new 9-inch plush of an Ewok named Teebo will be released in both California and Florida that day.

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Guests in Florida will find two open edition MagicBands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with stylized images of Luke Skywalker and a Stormtrooper. Each will have a retail of $19.95; they both can be “linked later” making them great gifts.

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I’m also excited to share that we will release the Second Edition Star Wars headphones by SMS Audio, the official headphones of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. This second series depicts fan favorite themes such as Tie Fighter, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader. These headphones will only be found at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Finally, we will release an “I Am Your Father’s Day” shirt on the Disney Parks online store from May 4-10 at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.

At Disneyland Resort, guests should look for the T-shirts, pins and plush at Little Green Men Store Command in Disneyland park and at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District. The T-shirts and plush will also be offered at D-Street.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort, guests should visit the following locations to find select items: Tatooine Traders, Mickey’s of Hollywood, Beverly Sunset and Studio Prop Shop.

May the 4th Be With You!

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