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Happy Fourth of July from Disney Parks

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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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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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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Share Your ‘Star Wars Style’ for a Chance to Win a Trip to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Star Wars Weekends will kick off in just a few days and to celebrate we’re encouraging Disney Parks social media followers to share their “Star Wars Style” online for a chance to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

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To enter, simply submit a photo of you showing off your best look inspired by the Star Wars franchise at www.StarWarsStyle.com. Entries will be accepted from May 4-June 1, 2015. The grand prize is a trip for two to the Walt Disney World Resort, plus a Star Wars gift basket, exclusive to the Disney Parks. Eight semifinalists will also receive special Star Wars merchandise gift baskets.

Click here to see the official rules.

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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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Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot: May 2015

posted on April 29th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


See what’s happening in the world of Merchandise Special Events this May at Walt Disney World Resort!

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April 29 – May 3: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings April 29 – May 3 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot and May 18 – 23 and 27 – 31, from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

April 30 – May 3: Meet artist Larry Dotson, April 30 – May 3 (throughout the day) at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? Look for additional appearances by Larry, May 14 – 17 at Art of Disney, Epcot. Learn more.

May 1-2: Need a gift for Mother’s Day? Stop by Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace where you can find some of the latest releases from PANDORA and just the gift you’ve been looking for. Learn more.

May 1 – 11: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the debut of the Precious Moments Mother’s Day Collection. Meet the representatives and see the dolls throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Artist Appearance Tip: Look for a special appearance by designer and artist Linda Rick, May 8 – 10. Learn more.

May 8 – 9: Disney Fine Art artist, Michelle St. Laurent, will be on hand for a special appearance from 3 – 9 p.m., each day at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop in and say hello! Learn more.

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May 8 – 9: Join us as we welcome artist Liana Hee to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from 4 -7 p.m. each day. Learn more.

May 8 – 16: Stop in and find some of the latest releases by artist David E. Doss from 1 – 9 p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

May 14: We are summoning the most loyal in the galaxy to gather at the Galactic Gathering Event on May 14, 2015 between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A limited number of tickets to this special merchandise event are still available. Learn more.

May 15 – June 14: Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fridays – Sundays for Star Wars Weekends. Darth’s Mall is expanding to a three-location complex and is your one-stop galactic destination for commemorative merchandise. Tip: Take part in special artist appearances and signings each weekend. Learn more.

Are you curious what else we have up our sleeve? Here are a few other events to keep in mind.

June 20: A new hand-painted limited edition Ink & Paint cel, titled Ariel and Friends, will make a splash at the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Look for appearances by the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. on the day of release. Not able to make it? A special pre-purchase opportunity will be available May 4 through June 18, 2015. Learn more.

September 11 – 12: Wanna trade? Tickets to this year’s GenEARation D event are available now and are in limited supply. Don’t miss out! Find out all the details and get a sneak peek inside the merchandise catalog for the event. Learn more.

Which event are you most excited for?

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 26th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we announced some fantastic new experiences coming to the Disney Dream cruise ship this fall, including interactive youth areas themed to Star Wars and Disney Infinity.

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In Disney’s Oceaneer Club, kids are in for an out-of-this-galaxy experience in a newly themed play, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, inspired by the spacecraft from the legendary saga. We’ll also offer Star Wars-themed crafts, games and activities in this space.

Also in the Oceaneer Club, a high-tech interactive space based on the Disney Infinity video game will allow kids to experience a whole new way of playing together with virtual experiences and immersive activities. Customized, on-screen adventures will bring to life characters and stories from across The Walt Disney Company.

Jonathan has more details on both spaces and other enhancements coming to the Disney Dream in his original story.

Walt Disney Describes Disneyland Park

And as we continue to count down the weeks until the beginning of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration on May 22, Erin launched the first of her series of stories looking back at some of the innovations that the Happiest Place on Earth has seen throughout its first 60 years.

This week, we started with the biggest innovation of all – Disneyland itself – recalled in Walt Disney’s own words. Check Erin’s original story for more details.

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

Five Reasons to Visit the Disneyland Resort this Spring – Spring is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and it’s brought unique experiences you will only find this time of year! Check out our top five reasons to visit right now.

VIDEO: Learn to Make the Manhattan from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park – Watch as our bartender creates a Manhattan cocktail (and one of those fabulous ice spheres) from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.

What’s Included on Your Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – See three of the activities that make a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, an unforgettable experience for everyone. Plus, they are included in the price of your room!

PHOTOS: Dockside Margaritas Opens Today at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort – This past week, Dockside Margaritas opened at Downtown Disney! Click through for photos of the cool, laid-back new location.

Disney Days of Past: ‘Goof Troop’ Visits Walt Disney World Resort – Television became a little goofier this past week in 1992 when “Goof Troop” first aired on The Disney Channel. Goofy and Max joined Chip ‘n Dale (from their “Rescue Rangers” days) on stage in Mickey’s Starland as seen here in July 1992.

Show your #DisneySide at the Final Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World Resort – On Saturday, May 2 runDisney will host its final Expedition Everest Challenge. This exciting nighttime 5K through Disney’s Animal Kingdom includes obstacles throughout the course and is followed by a scavenger hunt making it the ultimate adventure.

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New Experiences Coming to the Disney Dream When Transformed Spaces Debut This Fall

posted on April 21st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Just announced today, we’re bringing exciting new experiences to the Disney Dream when we transform spaces throughout the ship this fall! Headlining the enhancements are two new interactive youth areas, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. We’re also adding a whimsical sweet shop serving handmade gelato and the ever-popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Here’s a look at the new spaces and the fun in store for Disney Dream cruisers …

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Star Wars: Millennium Falcon

In Disney’s Oceaneer Club, kids are in for an out-of-this-galaxy experience in a newly themed play, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, inspired by the spacecraft from the legendary saga.

Upon entering the spaceship, younglings will join the Rebel Alliance in the epic battle of good versus evil by assisting with the navigation of this powerful space vehicle. Sitting in the cockpit, children can pilot this super-cool spaceship through hyperspace and trigger lightspeed jumps to different locations around the galaxy.

We’ll also offer Star Wars-themed crafts, games and activities in this space. Plus, kids can watch episodes from the new Disney XD animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” on a large screen or virtually join the rebellion at gaming stations featuring the series’ action-packed adventures.

The excitement continues during a shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience that invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master. They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.

Disney Infinity

Also in the Oceaneer Club, a high-tech interactive space based on the Disney Infinity video game offers more fun for kids.

In the Disney Infinity area, children can experience a whole new way of playing together with exciting virtual experiences and immersive activities. Customized, on-screen adventures will bring to life characters and stories from across The Walt Disney Company.

The complete set of Disney Infinity character figures will be on display for creative inspiration and available for gameplay. Kids visiting this special room – found only on the Disney Dream – will be able to unlock exclusive Disney Cruise Line content that they can continue to enjoy when playing Disney Infinity at home.

Special activities will bring the virtual gameplay experience to life in the real world. For example, a life-sized Disney Infinity Base sets the stage where children take the place of character figures for a group gaming experience unlike any other. Lighting up in response to gameplay on a large screen, this interactive floor will allow kids to be immersed in the world of Disney Infinity.

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Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats

Handmade gelato and ice cream, an assortment of candy, and delectable novelty treats are some of the deliciousness available for purchase at Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats. Resembling the whimsical candy land of the Sugar Rush race car game in “Wreck-It Ralph,” the sweet shop’s décor features nods to the film, including a race track and checkerboard patterned floor, gas pump-style gumball dispensers, Vanellope’s race car and King Candy’s throne. This specialty store coming to Deck 11 will have two entrances, inside Cabana’s restaurant and outside by the pool deck.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, coming to Deck 5 midship, will bring to life the storybook fantasies of young guests with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers. This very special salon will offer aspiring princesses and knights ages three to 12 the chance to transform into royalty with the help of a fairy godmother-in-training. On pirate party night this boutique becomes The Pirates League where swashbuckling pirates of all ages will have the opportunity to unleash their inner buccaneer.

Satellite Falls

Exclusively for adults, Deck 13 forward will include a new water feature, Satellite Falls, a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort. Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

This wave of enhancements to the Disney Dream debuts on the October 26 four-night voyage from Port Canaveral, following the ship’s dry dock October 4-24, 2015 in Freeport, Bahamas. Which new space are you most excited about?

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First-Ever Disney Cruise Line Meet-Up Showcases Exciting New Entertainment

posted on April 10th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Yesterday we hosted our first-ever Disney Cruise Line meet-up! This special event was a sneak peek at exciting new entertainment coming to our ships, and meet-up guests got to go behind the scenes with the creative team who develops our onboard entertainment.

We heard from three show directors about our new series of “Frozen”-inspired experiences, Star Wars Day at Sea and “Tangled: The Musical.” The event was packed full of fun with special appearances by Disney friends like Anna, Elsa and Olaf. We also got a first look at our “Tangled: The Musical” in production, including this never-before-seen artwork of one of the show’s spectacular scenes . . .

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I loved the opportunity to meet hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers. There were some familiar faces there, too, including friends from “Frozen,” Star Wars and “Tangled.” To be expected, Olaf gave out plenty of warm hugs!

Check out the video and photo gallery below to see highlights from this incredibly fun event. Thanks to all of you who made Disney Cruise Line’s first meet-up a great one!

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Reservations Now Open for the Feel the Force Premium Packages During Star Wars Weekends

posted on April 7th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Prepare to ‘Feel the Force’ with special premium packages offered this year at Star Wars Weekends. These dining packages put you close to the action of the Legends of The Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks and more in true intergalactic-foodie style.

Star Wars Weekend

Enjoy your morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, knowing the Feel the Force Premium Package includes reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade from 11 a.m.-noon, with a selection of soft drinks, water and a snack.

Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars-Themed Cupcakes from the 'Symphony in the Stars' Fireworks Dessert Party During Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The grand finale to your day at Star Wars Weekends is the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party at 9 p.m. Enjoy Star Wars-themed desserts (including the famous Yoda and Darth Vader Cupcakes above), and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages–all with an up-close view of the fireworks!

You can expand your universe of choices by upgrading to the Feel the Force Deluxe Premium Package. In addition to the benefits listed above, the Deluxe Premium Package allows guests to follow behind the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard, provides reserved seating for all of the celebrity talk shows that day in the Theater of the Stars, and offers priority access to Darth’s Mall throughout the day of the package. It also comes with a commemorative lanyard and credential to honor your most impressive day.

To book this event, hurry you must. Quantities are limited. The Feel the Force Premium Packages will take place on event weekends, May 15 to June 14. For more information about premium packages, VIP tours and Star Wars dining events, visit StarWarsWeekends.com.

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