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Force Friday Midnight Event at Disney Parks Now Open to All Guests on September 4, 2015

posted on September 2nd, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


We have an exciting update about the midnight Force Friday event at Disney Parks. Due to overwhelming guest demand, the Force Friday event on September 4, 2015 is now open to Star Wars fans of all ages – and will no longer be a ticketed event.

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Guests who attend this midnight release party will be some of the first to find new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise. In addition to items guests may find at The Disney Stores and select national retailers, we will be releasing several items found only at Disney Parks including apparel, pins, toys, retail MagicBands (Walt Disney World Resort only), Vinylmation figures, and more. Please note that purchase limits will apply.

Two merchandise locations – World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort and Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort – will join stores around the world opening their doors at midnight for a special celebration of all things Star Wars.

Beginning September 3, fans across the world will get a sneak peak of new product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens via the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event on the Star Wars YouTube channel. The live stream kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, September 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 2), and concludes with a grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, September 3.

Guests are encouraged to document their experience using the hashtag #ForceFriday.

Looking forward to seeing you at Disney Parks!

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Force Friday Merchandise Event Details Released

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


There’s been an “awakening” in the force, have you felt it?

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New Star Wars™ themed merchandise and more will land in our galaxy at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on September 4, 2015 at 12:01 AM (Midnight). Set your hyperspace coordinates and come to this merchandise ticketed event to gather supplies and other acquisitions in preparation of the highly anticipated film release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

Tickets to the Force Friday merchandise event include:

  • The opportunity to be among the first to purchase new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise, including Disney Theme Park Merchandise exclusives and licensed products. Purchase limits will apply.
  • Amenity gift

Which “side” will you choose? No matter where your alliances fall, here are the details on where the events will take place.

Tickets for the Force Friday merchandise release are $50 per person and are limited to availability. No discounts apply.

Reservations for the Force Friday merchandise ticketed event will be accepted only via www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning August 26, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Time)/ 2 p.m. (Eastern Time).

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Walt Disney World Resort Feels the Dark Side of the Force in All New Star Wars Half Marathon Event

posted on August 25th, 2015 by Faron Kelley, Director of Non-Leisure Marketing and Sales Strategy


The Force has awakened at Walt Disney World Resort through runDisney’s newest addition to its portfolio – Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side.

This intergalactic quest through Walt Disney World theme parks blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. The events will include a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon plus a special challenge for completing the 10K and half marathon called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge!

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Runners who join the Galactic Empire will enjoy a true Star Wars experience, including Dark side-inspired medals and merchandise throughout the weekend.

After the thrilling inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort this past January, runners and Star Wars fans alike have been vocal about their desire for a similar themed race at Walt Disney World Resort.

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To differentiate the two races, Disneyland Resort will embrace the Light Side of the Force with a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon as well as continuing its Star Wars Rebel Challenge upon completion of the 10K and half marathon.

Whether you are a runDisney veteran or Star Wars enthusiast, these races will be a journey like no other. By participating in both Star Wars Half Marathon events, runners will earn the inaugural Kessel Run Challenge medal, which Star Wars fans know is the ultimate test of skill.

As runDisney broadens its resume, it continues to bring runners uniquely inspired races while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle!

Registration for the East Coast event opens September 22, 2015 at noon ET. May the courses be with you!

Are you excited for this event? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #StarWarsHalf!

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Star Wars Enhancements, New Experiences Coming Soon to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay and Season of the Force, guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will soon be able to step into the Star Wars galaxy like never before!

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters and special merchandise. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with Super Heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

Hyperspace Mountain Coming for Season of the Force at Disneyland Park

Season of the Force, a new seasonal event beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will also climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Finally, Jedi Training Academy – a favorite of younger fans – will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series, “Star Wars Rebels.”

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Live Updates from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Presentation at 2015 D23 EXPO

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


UPDATE: 4:30 PDT
The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2015 D23 EXPO has concluded! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog over the next few days for more details on these new and exciting experiences.

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! We’re excited to share the news as Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announces new attractions and entertainment, part of the unprecedented growth at Disney Parks around the world. While the guests inside Hall D23 will be the first to hear the news, we will provide live updates here. Keep an eye on this space!

UPDATE: 4:15 PDT

Guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands, fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut next year.

UPDATE: 4:00 PDT

Iron Man Experience Coming to Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man just landed for a special appearance at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation! Soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself when Iron Man Experience opens in 2016.

UPDATE: 3:45 PDT

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will invite guests into the world of AVATAR, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land.
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
  • Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

UPDATE: 3:30 PDT

The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with the all-new 11-acre Toy Story Land. Guests will become part of the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard, including two new Disney Parks attractions and one expanded favorite.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – This coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a thrilling, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land on the back of Slinky Dog.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.
  • Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds an additional track to this popular attraction.

UPDATE: 3:20 PDT

Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek just reminded fans in Hall D23 of the all-new Star Wars-themed lands that are coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, announced by Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger earlier today. Chapek also shared more information about new Star Wars experiences coming to both resorts, some starting late this year.

The worlds, stories and characters of the Star Wars galaxy will come to life through new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay – Opening later this year, this interactive experience will take guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga.

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food locations and Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

posted on August 15th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger Announces Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Artist Concept Shows Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more news coming out of D23 EXPO 2015 this afternoon from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Back to Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park

posted on June 18th, 2015 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


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Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is a guest favorite at the Disneyland Resort, and of course one of mine too. Not only do I like riding the attraction, I also think the exterior of the building is a great subject to photograph. I like the photos for their unique perspective and futuristic appeal.

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A Guest of Star Wars Weekends, Frank Oz Will Be

posted on June 12th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Are you looking for one of the greatest stars of the Star Wars saga? Well, fear not. After all, fear is the path to the Dark Side. You seek Yoda. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Yoda you shall find!

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Our very special guest this weekend is none other than Frank Oz, the man who brought to life the most powerful Jedi Master of all time. Beyond his portrayal of Yoda in Star Wars, Frank Oz is also a noted director and the award-winning performer behind lovable Muppets Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and more. This weekend, you’ll be able to see Frank Oz in the “Legends of the Force” celebrity motorcade on Hollywood Blvd. and at Theater of the Stars, where he’ll share stories of his illustrious career during “A Conversation with Frank Oz.”

For this year’s final weekend, you will find yourself among a galaxy of Star Wars stars. Here’s the full list of those scheduled to appear:

  • Event Host James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Frank Oz: Yoda (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; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things, but Star Wars Weekends fans sure do! And this weekend promises to be the most adventurous and exciting yet.

Who is planning to join us as we “iris out” and bid farewell to Star Wars Weekends 2015? Let us know in the comments, and may the Force be with you. Always.

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Star Wars Weekends Host James Arnold Taylor Checks Out Augmented Reality App Aurasma

posted on June 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


For the second year, Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is using augmented reality to give guests a “virtual” experience on top of their real-world fun. Aurasma is a mobile application, free at the Apple App Store or Android Market for a smartphone or tablet.

Thanks to Aurasma and official technology provider HP, park guests can interact with the Star Wars Weekends logo and other locations around the Darth’s Mall shops. You open Aurasma and point your camera at special images, bringing them to life in surprising ways. Star Wars Weekends host (and voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and the animated series “Star Wars Rebels) shows how to have fun with Aurasma in this video.

Tip: When you first open Aurasma, it will prompt you to register. If you choose, you can click “skip” on the final welcome screen.

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Feel The Force With New Star Wars Weekends Desktop Wallpapers

posted on June 11th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week our friends in the Yellow Shoes Creative Group produced three wallpapers based on the commercial spot to share with all of you in honor of the return of Star Wars Weekends.

To download a size that fits your device, simply click on the image below.

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Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it. And check out our complete gallery of wallpapers on our special page.

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