We have exciting news to announce! We can confirm that the new “American Idol,” Scotty McCreery, is scheduled to be honored at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in a gala motorcade on Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m.
While details are still coming in, we’ve learned that the 17-year-old country crooner from Garner, N.C., will join Mickey Mouse in a sports car near the park’s entrance and take a celebratory ride down Hollywood Blvd. toward the Sorcerer Mickey Hat icon. The car will turn left and head toward “The American Idol Experience” attraction, where Scotty and Mickey will stop near a specially constructed stage. There, Scotty will pose for some souvenir pictures with Mickey and Minnie, and have the chance to talk about the dream-come-true moment when he was crowned the newest “American Idol.”
Prime viewing and photo opportunities will be along Hollywood Blvd., as Scotty and Mickey will share the spotlight in the car while they parade down the famous theme park street.
Of course, these plans are subject to change because of travel schedules or inclement weather, but stay in touch with @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter and we will post any late-breaking updates or schedule changes involving the planned festivities. And, be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog later in the day for a recap of Scotty’s big day.
With Star Tours serving as the centerpiece of the celebration, Star Wars Weekends returned bigger than ever with new characters, new shows, a larger stage for the Hyperspace Hoopla and some of the brightest stars from the Star Wars Saga and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Let’s join our favorite Star Wars Weekends roving reporter, John, as he chats with some of the celebrities and fans visiting Weekend I, recaps some of the Grand Opening fun and gives us a peek into what’s coming up for Weekend II.
While Disney’s Hollywood Studios was abuzz last week with all-things-Star Tours, there also was an electric (guitar) feeling in the air along Sunset Blvd., as Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry made a surprise visit to the roller coaster bearing his band’s famous name.
The legendary musician, who recalled riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith dozens of times with guests on its opening day in 1999, posed with Goofy in front of the four-story-tall, iconic guitar in the attraction’s courtyard. Disney Parks photographer Gene Duncan, who took pictures of Perry and the rest of Aerosmith at the grand opening ceremony in 1999, also was on hand last week to shoot this photo of Goofy and his new rock-and-roll pal.
The members of Aerosmith are known for dedication to their fans (that, and for taking them on really fast, super-stretch limo rides through the L.A. hills, of course). Following a few photos with Goofy, Joe showed that dedication and made quite a few Magic Moments as he signed autographs and posed for pictures with many of the guests who had gathered in the courtyard to see the excitement. Two of those guests, Holley Whitehead and Morgan McGaugn, visiting from Mississippi, are pictured above as they capture their own souvenir photo with the legendary guitarist.
A high-energy and highly memorable experience awaits your step team at the 2012 Disney STEP Classic, hosted by Disney Youth Programs! I am excited to announce that next year’s competition dates are February 18-19, 2012. I am also thrilled to announce that we have decided to add a new age group to the competition: 14 & Under. There will still be the traditional 18 & Up and 19 & Under age groups.
Participating teams will have the magical opportunity to perform on stage in the Premier Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as attend Master STEP Workshops provided by the National Step Show Alliance (N.S.S.A.). These workshops will help improve technical proficiency and teach the fundamentals of stepping. Participants will also, of course, have the chance to enjoy the magic of all four Walt Disney World Resort parks! Here is a look at the event:
To stay up-to-date with Disney STEP Classic, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have ever participated in Disney STEP Classic, please tell us your story in the comments below.
Ashley, the voice of Anakin Skywalker’s eager Padawan Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, has had quite a busy and exciting week in the Walt Disney World Resort galaxy. In addition to shooting a series of “Star Tours” sneak peek videos for you and other Disney Parks Blog readers (keep a lookout for the next one, an interview with Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald), on Friday she stood alongside fellow Star Wars celebrities and characters, Star Wars creator George Lucas and Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger for the gala Grand Opening Ceremony. Then she began her month-long duties as Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2011 and prepped for the premiere of the newest designs from her popular “Her Universe” line of Star Wars-themed fangirl fashion (she’s debuting new designs that will be available exclusively for a limited time for Star Wars Weekends Guests).
Let’s join Ashley inside the attraction as she talks about some of the exciting new additions to the Star Tours Spaceport. And look for some cameos by some of your favorite Star Wars characters.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve had a chance to experience the attraction yet or if you have a favorite character or destination in the 3-D adventure! (If you’re wondering, I am quite partial to navigating the ice planet of Hoth and the splash-tastic underwater journey through Naboo with its jump-in-your-seat ending. And I love when Admiral “It’s a trap!” Ackbar beams a transmission into our Starspeeder 1000).
The celebration kicked off with a procession of Star Wars characters through the park. Bree Starlighter, host of the ceremony, welcomed the crowd and introduced actor Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3P0 in the films.
The fun was suddenly interrupted by a team of stormtroopers, followed by Darth Vader, who vowed to stop the opening at all costs by placing a force field over the attraction. Two brave Jedi Knights stepped in to fight back – and later revealed themselves as Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
With some help from R2-D2, the forcefield was removed and the attraction opened to all guests.
Based on the Star Wars film franchise, the attraction takes guests on a wild 3-D adventure to multiple Star Wars destinations where they interact with famous faces from the film series.
Meet-up attendees got the red carpet treatment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before a galactic welcome by Bree Starlighter and other favorite Star Wars characters.
There were also a few extra-special opportunities, including a discussion and Q&A with Walt Disney Imagineers Steven Speigel and Kathy Rogers. Both answered questions about the attraction and shared behind-the-scenes details on how it was created. Senior Character Artist Casey Jones and Senior Design Manager Jonathan Bishop also signed special posters.
Sure, there were some unique experiences but it was you who really made our meet-up extra special. We made many new friends, including Adam Pitzer and Stephanie Weis, who traveled here from Jersey City. Both are getting married on Saturday and decided a Star Tours Meet-Up was the perfect way to kick off a special weekend.
Kevin and Jennifer Thomas also traveled from Illinois for the experience and during the night, their daughter Zoey learned the ways of a Jedi Knight. Of course, we met too many people to name in this post but take a look at who else joined in the party.
Thank you to everyone for an amazing meet-up. If you attended this morning, please let us know what you thought. Did you meet someone new?
Today’s live stream begins at 10:15 a.m. Eastern and will include the entire grand opening ceremony, including an appearance from Star Wars creator George Lucas and other faces you’ll certainly recognize. During the webcast, we’ll be answering questions in comments and on our @WaltDisneyWorld and @DisneyParks Twitter accounts.
Also be sure and check back later today, we’ll be posting photos and sharing highlights from today’s festivities here on the Disney Parks Blog. Thanks for watching.
You never know where the Force will take you. And if you’re as excited as we are about the new adventures coming your way with the grand opening of “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” then you should check out our newly launched e-postcard app. You can now create your own customized Star Tours e-postcard and share it with friends.
There are several Star Wars destinations to choose from with more coming at the end of the month and in June. Try it out now at startourspostcard.com/wdw or startourspostcard.com/dlr. Creating and sharing an e-postcard is as easy as finding a photo and clicking upload.
Walt Disney Imagineering sent us a great video today that takes a look inside One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In case you aren’t familiar, One Man’s Dream is a walk-through exhibit that features more than 400 artifacts that chronologically tell the story of Walt Disney’s life and career.
Among those amazing items on display are early animation desks, some of the first Audio-Animatronics figures, theme park models and much more.
Here, Wyatt Winter and Brian Marschall give you an inside look.
Walt Disney Imagineers take you behind the scenes of more Disney Parks attractions: