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Time Is Running Out to Enter the Star Wars Awakens Sweepstakes

posted on February 12th, 2016 by Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations


Has the Force awakened in you yet?

Jump to lightspeed for a chance to win a Disney Parks vacation and discover the all-new Star Wars attractions and offerings at Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort or Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. You only have one week left to enter the Star Wars Awakens Sweepstakes.

Time Is Running Out to Enter the Star Wars Awakens Sweepstakes

From encounters with everyone’s favorite Wookie, or the galaxy’s newest villain, Kylo Ren, a journey to new adventures aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, to younglings testing their strength with the Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – Disney Parks are the only place where you will step into the adventures of Star Wars every day.

The sweepstakes’ Grand Prize includes a three night stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel or four nights at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, theme park tickets during your visit, a Disney Gift Card, and more.

See official rules here, and more details here.

May the Force be with you!

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A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

posted on February 11th, 2016 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Disney fans, you are not going to believe it! I just got the inside scoop on new additions to the Star Wars-inspired collection from ALEX AND ANI debuting at Disney Parks.

Launching February 15 are expandable wire bangles featuring classic Star Wars characters and phrases including Yoda, “Do Or Do Not… There Is No Try,” and Princess Leia and Han Solo, “I Love You. I Know.” Both of these pieces will come in RAFAELIAN GOLD and RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

It doesn’t stop there – releasing the same day is a buffed epoxy expandable wire bangle featuring one of the most famous lines of all, “May The Force Be With You,” in Shiny Silver and Shiny Gold finishes. Yes, you heard it right. Take a look!

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

I am curious how many of you chose an alliance when we debuted the Star Wars symbol bangles in December? I ended up joining the ranks of the Rebellion. Are you surprised? For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, check them out for yourselves.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

Available in RAFAELIAN GOLD and RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes, these bangles feature the Rebellion symbol, the Imperial symbol and the Jedi symbol. Where do your loyalties lie?

Her highness, Princess Leia, also accompanied the symbols. Depicted with her signature hairstyle and robe, she’s ready to take on the dark side. Choose from RAFAELIAN GOLD or RAFAELIAN SILVER finishes.

A Galaxy of ALEX AND ANI Bangles to Debut at Disney Parks

Find them at the galactic outposts below:

Disneyland Resort

  • Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co.
  • Disneyland park – New Century Jewelry
  • Downtown Disney DistrictDisney Vault 28 and World of Disney Store
  • Walt Disney World Resort

    Tip: Bangles will be available online on or around the same dates as they debut at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort merchandise locations.

    Are you excited for these new additions? Which one is your favorite?

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    Top Five: Star Wars Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy

    posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


    During eight Disney Fantasy sailings in early 2016, Star Wars Day at Sea transports guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. We’ve been talking with Disney cruisers who have experienced the Force during this epic day-long celebration, and here are the results of their top-five fan favorites:

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      1. Character Interactions

    Darth Vader, Captain Phasma, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy are onboard for meet-and-greets and photos. Some may even be seen patrolling the decks!

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      1. Family Costumes

    Families are encouraged to bring costumes and cosplay for this special occasion. From morning till night, you’ll see Star Wars character look-a-likes all throughout the ship, especially during the lively costume celebration in the ship’s atrium.

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      1. Film Screenings

    You can watch all seven films in the Star Wars saga and follow Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Rey and Finn along their epic journey. Also showing are episodes of the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

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      1. Younglings Use Their Power

    In “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and put their skills to the test in a final battle with the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

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      1. Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks

    The day concludes when the “Summon the Force” deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and Star Wars characters. The grand finale is a spectacular display of pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects and a medley of Star Wars music.

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    Tips for a Rainy Day at the Disneyland Resort

    posted on February 1st, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


    Here at the Disneyland Resort, wet weather does not put a damper on day of fun. Umbrella in hand, it’s one of my favorite times to take in the sights and sounds of the parks. Try out these activities to sprinkle extra excitement on your rainy day visit:

    Gear up for the weather
    If the precipitation catches you by surprise, our Disneyland Resort merchandise locations have you covered … literally! You can purchase ponchos and umbrellas in shops throughout both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. If you don’t see them on the shelves, just ask a cast member.

    Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Park

    Experience favorite indoor attractions
    Galactic explorers may escape to Star Wars Launch Bay or Hyperspace Mountain in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. For a more relaxing respite from the rain, take a taxi through Monstropolis at Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! at Disney California Adventure park.

    Ride your favorite attractions … again and again
    Rainy days can mean more opportunities to ride your favorite attractions!

    Take advantage of the unique photo opportunities
    Sleeping Beauty Castle and Mickey’s Fun Wheel look lovely as ever when the skies are gray, and there are some great snapshots you can only take when it’s raining! For example, try capturing a creative shot of Flo’s V8 Café neon sign reflected on the puddles in Cars Land.

    For inspiration, check out these rainy day reflection photos from Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

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    Sing along to a show
    Even in drizzly weather, the show will go on for some of our Disneyland Resort entertainment offerings! Kick back and dry off as The Laughing Stock Co. cracks jokes inside The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland. At Disney California Adventure park, catch up with Mickey Mouse and friends in “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” Be sure to check our daily entertainment guide for show times.

    Discover the details in the parks
    This is a great time to hunt for a hidden Mickey or enjoy the small delights scattered throughout the parks. Have you picked up one of the party line telephones and listened in on a conversation inside the Market House at Disneyland park? While exploring the Sorcerer’s Workshop at Disney California Adventure park, you will notice the portrait and rose inside the Beast’s Library mysteriously begin to change. Take a little extra time to discover some of the parks’ hidden delights.

    What are your favorite ways to spend a rainy day at the Disneyland Resort?

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    Experience the Force: First Look at Star Wars Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy

    posted on January 29th, 2016 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


    This month we kicked off Star Wars Day at Sea, a special day-long celebration aboard the Disney Fantasy. Heard about it, have you?

    Star Wars Day at Sea

    Taking place during select Western Caribbean cruises from January through April, the event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations for Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike. Check out this video to see how Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other!

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    Disney Parks After Dark: Symphony in the Stars – A Galactic Spectacular

    posted on January 28th, 2016 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


    Tonight’s Disney Parks After Dark image was snapped at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the Dark Side (temporarily) takes over for the brand new “Symphony in the Stars – A Galactic Spectacular” nightly fireworks show.

    The show is a fireworks spectacular that’s set to memorable music from throughout the Star Wars saga, including two tracks from the latest film: “Rey’s Theme” and “March of the Resistance.” Specific characters from the Star Wars galaxy are also represented in the show, with lines of dialogue from characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and Rey, highlighting key moments in the spectacular.

    Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios

    If you’re adding “Symphony in the Stars – A Galactic Spectacular” to your plans for an upcoming trip, learn more about the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party,” which will be offered nightly through March 19. Star Wars-themed treats, including Darth Vader and droid cupcakes, plus alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and more are on the menu. Learn how to make reservations here.

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    runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Outfits

    posted on January 20th, 2016 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


    Runners embraced the light side at the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort. We saw runners choose styles from the original Star Wars films such as Luke and Leia, and many runners who felt the Force as BB-8, Rey and Finn.

    Our Star Wars friends Matt Martin and Cole Horton joined us this past weekend. Matt manages digital content and community relations at Lucasfilm and Cole is a Star Wars contributor as well as the author of Star Wars related books. Congratulations to Matt Martin for completing his first Star Wars 5K and Cole Horton who accomplished his mission in the Star Wars Rebel Challenge! We celebrated at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland park afterward, in our outfits from New Balance and Champion.

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    Here are a few of our favorite looks from the weekend. Congrats to all participants on fulfilling your destiny!

    Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. We can’t wait for you to join us.

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    Did you participate this past weekend? Show us your Force-inspired style with the hashtag #StarWarsHalf! Follow @runDisney on Twitter and Instagram for more galactic fun.

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    The Force is with Nick Arciniaga Again in Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

    posted on January 17th, 2016 by Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort


    Nick Arciniaga Wins Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

    Fountain Valley, Calif., native Nick Arciniaga just won his second consecutive Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort today! After winning the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015, he followed up with second straight victory in a record-setting time of 1:05:49.

    Arciniaga, 32, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., blasted past First Order stormtroopers to break the tape at the finish line. Adam Roach of Pebble Beach, Calif., was second (1:12:29) and Hunter Sapienza of Seattle, Wash., was third (1:12:38).

    “This is a race that means a lot to me,” Arciniaga said of the victory. “I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since I can remember.” Arciniaga goes on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in the upcoming weeks.

    Annie Bersagel is First Female Finisher in Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

    Annie Bersagel, 32, of Colorado, also flew at lightspeed across the finish line Sunday as the female winner with a time of 1:15:09. Bersagel is also set to compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Second-place female finisher was 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon female winner, Jennifer Berry, of Denver, Colo. (1:21:11) and third-place finisher was Kendal Sager of Los Altos, Calif. (1:25:05).

    “I was the fastest stormtrooper out here today,’’ Bersagel joked after her win, clad in Star Wars-inspired running gear. “So that’s all you can really ask for, right?”

    Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

    Arciniaga and Bersagel jumped to hyperspace to outrun more than 13,000 athletes in the 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets, where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

    The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend included several family-friendly events, including a three-day Health and Fitness Expo with the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets. It was the second runDisney race weekend of 2016 and the first this year at Disneyland Resort. The event offered athletes a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. The ultimate test for Star Wars rebels was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

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    Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

    posted on January 17th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


    This week, Disney Parks Blog readers were among the first to learn that one of the most intriguing new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Kylo Ren – will be coming to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

    Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into the exciting experiences like Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and Star Wars Launch Bay. Next month, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland park of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren. Check out Shawn’s original story for more details.

    And we also shared that ‘Tangled’ has returned to the Royal Theatre at Disneyland park. Beginning this weekend (Friday, January 15), the tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider is once again coming to life through the inimitable storytelling talents of resident Renaissance men, Messieurs Smythe and Jones. Take a look at our original story.

    Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.

    First Look at New Rivers of America Waterfront and Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park in California – The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland park in Southern California have closed temporarily as we prepare to bring an all-new Star Wars-themed land to the park. When these areas reopen, the north bank of the Rivers of America will have a beautiful new waterfront, which we’re excited to give you a sneak peek at.

    Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Returns to Disney California Adventure Park – This year, the Year of the Monkey, brings the return of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park, February 5-8!

    Pixar Wizards Leave Their Signatures on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – If you’ve had the chance to stop through Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you may have noticed the impressive Storyboard Chandelier that serves the lobby’s centerpiece. Since the resort opened in 2012, it has become tradition for film contributors – both voice actors and those working behind the scenes – to add their autograph to a sketch appearing on the chandelier.

    New Year – New Disney Parks Moms Panel – The beginning of 2016 not only brings new hopes and dreams for many of us, it also brings new members to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Decorate Your Home with New Disney Parks-Inspired Figurines – During a recent Disney Parks Blog Unboxed video, I gave you a first look at three new decorative figurines coming to Disney Parks this year. These figurines were inspired by characters and icons from attractions found at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts.

    Wildlife Wednesday: Meet Willie the Aardvark at Rafiki’s Planet Watch – I’m delighted to introduce you to Willie, a new resident at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Willie is an aardvark that frequents the outdoor stage next to Affection Section where I hope you get the chance to meet and learn more about him in person.

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    Experience Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show One More Time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    posted on January 15th, 2016 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


    As many of you know, our historic expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will bring new, spectacular experiences to the park, including entire lands inspired by the blockbuster Star Wars and Toy Story films.

    Recently, we shared that the park’s Star Wars-themed land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with new experiences that’ll include a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts everyone in the middle of a climactic battle.

    And in Toy Story Land, Andy’s backyard will come to life and the famous little green aliens from the movie will take you for a spin in their very own flying saucers. A family-friendly roller coaster will also have you riding on the back of Slinky Dog.

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    In order to bring our new lands to life, the first steps of the expansion will be happening soon. We wanted to let you know that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and nearby locations around Streets of America will be closing on April 2, 2016. The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will continue its daily shows until the closing date.

    While the new areas of the park come to life, we’ll continue bringing new things to Disney’s Hollywood Studios such as the recent opening of Star Wars Launch Bay, the nighttime spectacular “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” and Sunset Showcase.

    Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on our largest-ever expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – we’ll have more information to share with you soon.

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