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‘May the Force Be With You’ on This Adventures by Disney Vacation

posted on June 5th, 2014 by Andrae Gill, Adventures by Disney


Fellow Jedi Knights and Padawans, it’s time to grab your light sabers and get ready to RUN! Adventures by Disney just released a special, out-of-this-world departure of the Southern California: Disney Backstage itinerary to take place during January 12 – 18, 2015. This departure will grant families access to the runDisney inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend.

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In addition to receiving access to the Star Wars Rebel Challenge (Star Wars Half Marathon 10k and Star Wars 5k), guests who book this trip can participate in an exclusive group run in iconic Hollywood and access the Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party.

This trip also includes various unique experience, including: a rare, behind-the-magic private tour of The Walt Disney Studios; a tour of Walt Disney Imagineering and The Jim Henson Company (not regularly open to the public); a private tour of Walt Disney’s Disneyland apartment and the Disneyland Dream Suite; and a two-day, VIP experience at Disneyland Resort with special FASTPASS service to multiple rides at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

This galactic seven-day, six-night itinerary is a must for both Star Wars and Disney fans alike. For more information on the Disney Backstage & Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend trip, please click here. You may also call 1-800-543-0865 for dates, availability and to make reservations.

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runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 27th, 2014 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports


It was the summer of 1977, and I swear I saw “Star Wars: Episode IV” at least 10 times in the movie theater. Let’s face it, there was not a lot to do in Southeast Iowa. But I was hooked, especially the first time the Millennium Falcon made the jump to light speed. SO COOL!

So you can imagine my excitement when the team told me we got approval to do a Star Wars-themed runDisney weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18, 2015! I was equally geeked when our advertising team took a scene from the movie where R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing some kind of galactic chess, and C-3PO quips, “I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win,” and made it the heart of our advertising campaign, #LetTheWookieeWin.

Whether you’re a runDisney veteran, a first-time rookie or even a Wookiee, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort is going to be a fantastic weekend – and another great reason to runDisney. So may the Force, or should I say the Course, be with you!

Now if an invitation and Jedi mind tricks from some marketing guy at runDisney isn’t enough, maybe this message Lord Vader himself will convince you to join him to complete your training.

runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort
runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort
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More Cupcake Fun for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Through June 15

posted on May 17th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Immerse yourself in a galaxy far, far away – and don’t miss two more over-the-top cupcakes created by the pastry chefs at Disney’s Hollywood Studios just for Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort.

Available only at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and only through June 15, chocolate fans will have a hard time deciding between the two (you can always buy one of each and share). The chocolate Darth Vader cupcake also has a little peanut butter in the topping, while the chocolate Yoda cupcake features a rich hazelnut buttercream frosting with a sprinkle of crunchy chocolate-toffee.

More Cupcake Fun for Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios Through June 15 More Cupcake Fun for Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios Through June 15

You’ll find the Darth Vader cupcake at Rosie’s All American Café, Fairfax Fare, Starring Rolls Cafe, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Pizza Planet, Studio Catering Co. and Darth’s Mall. The Yoda cupcake is at Starring Rolls, Backlot Express and Darth’s Mall.

Both cupcakes are $5.19 and on the Disney Dining Plan.

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New Augmented Reality Features Bring Star Wars Weekends to Life in New Ways for 2014

posted on May 17th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


If you plan on attending Star Wars Weekends 2014, be sure to try out some of the new technology designed to bring the event to life in new ways.

For the first time, Star Wars Weekends is utilizing augmented reality to provide guests “virtual” character experiences, added information in the guide maps and even interaction with the event logo itself.

Lots of fun is centered in Darth’s Mall, thanks to our official technology partner, HP.

Before arriving at the park, download the free app., Aurasma, from the App Store or Android Market to your smartphone or tablet. (Tip: While the app. will prompt you to register, you are not required to do so. You can choose to advance by clicking “Skip” in the lower right on the final welcome screen.)

Utilizing HP technology, there are special locations to utilize Aurasma in the park and even on the event’s guide map. Join me and Star Wars Weekends celebrity host James Arnold Taylor as we demonstrate some of the ways you can have even more interactive fun this year.

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Creating Art for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 16th, 2014 by Will Gay, Creative Director, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Star Wars Weekends is here once again. It is definitely one of my favorite times of year as a Star Wars fan because that means here at Yellow Shoes Creative Group we get to create some awesome new images for the event. It has become one of our favorite things to “work” on each year.

There seems to be endless great ideas around the combination of our favorite Star Wars characters in situations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These photo shoots are always a lot of fun as well, giving direction to a Wookiee — who could ask for more?

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Anyway, I am excited to share with you today one of our latest images for this year. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it and see you at Star Wars Weekends!

Which image is your favorite? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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PHOTOS – Darth’s Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014

posted on May 15th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Star Wars Weekends 2014 returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort starting May 16. You may recall I shared a first look at some merchandise created especially for this event along with details about the fan-favorite Star Wars – D-Tech Me Experience. This year, these items and more will be found in Darth’s Mall, the out-of-this-world merchandise shop located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania. I recently visited the location as the merchandise team was putting on the finishing touches. Here are a few images of some of my favorite things I found.

Experience Darth's Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014 Experience Darth's Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014

Toys have been an important part of Star Wars ever since Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope debuted in theaters in 1977. I was happy to see several new toys not previously discussed including a new wave of Disney-Pixar’s Cars as Star Wars characters and a giant clone trooper that is unique to Disney Parks.

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Other favorite items include a calendar that contains marketing artwork for Star Wars Weekends, light-up glasses and reusable tote bags. There will also be several new apparel items including items from Ashley Eckstein’s incredible Her Universe line. I love the dress that reminded me of bed sheets and curtains I once had as a child!

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Speaking of apparel, we will be offering select Star Wars Rebels shirts on our Disney Parks online store from May 16-22. These will be the same shirts offered at Darth’s Mall, just in case you aren’t able to attend the event this year. Visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents to place an order.

I hope to see you at Star Wars Weekends!

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The Magic Behind the Frosting: The ‘Making Of’ the Star Wars Weekends Cupcake Video at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 15th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


“Cupcake or cupcake not. There is no pie.”

Master Yoda might not have said that, but it seems to fit the theme of the Darth Vader cupcake video we debuted earlier this week to celebrate the launch of Star Wars Weekends 2014.

A talented, confection-loving crew gathered overnight in a Disney’s Hollywood Studios bakery to shoot the video that shows what happens when the dark side meets the “sweet side.”

Enjoy this behind-the-scenes look, then enjoy a Darth Vader cupcake (and maybe a Yoda cupcake) during Star Wars Weekends. The event begins tomorrow and will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 15 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Star Wars Weekends 2014 Disney Gift Cards

posted on May 13th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


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For this year’s Star Wars Weekends we have four new unique Star Wars-themed Disney Gift Card designs to introduce! This year, Minnie has joined the boys as Princess Leia. These special new designs can be found at Darth’s Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends May 16 – June 15, 2014. Last year’s Star Wars Weekends Disney Gift Card designs can be found online at DisneyGiftCard.com.

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Darth Vader Rules the Galaxy (and the Bakery) as Star Wars Weekends Takes Cupcakes to the Dark Side

posted on May 12th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As we continue our countdown to Friday’s launch of Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, work continues non-stop behind the scenes to prep the park for the galactic gala. Photo locations are being constructed, merchandise is being sorted and Donald Duck is shining his stormtrooper armor as everyone pitches in to make sure this is the best Star Wars Weekends yet.

One of the tastiest gems of the event includes a special snack offering, a delicious Darth Vader cupcake.

Have you ever wondered what would happen in the pastry display case if the Darth Vader cupcake was consumed by the dark side? In a video produced by the award-winning team at Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, we take a look at how that scenario just might play out. (And Star Wars fans take note: there’s an “Easter egg” in this video that ties it back to a common theme from the Star Wars saga.)

Star Wars Weekends takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16 – June 15, 2014. Most event activities are included in regular theme park admission.


Click through the following posts for more Star Wars Weekends videos:

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‘Feel the Force Dining Event’ Offers More Fun for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 24th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


UPDATE 5/7: This event has sold out for 2014. For more Star Wars Weekends fun, click here.

During Star Wars Weekends, fans will be immersed in a galaxy far, far away. And now, a special Feel the Force Dining Event gives you VIP status for viewing for the Star Wars “Legends of the Force” motorcade plus a nightly dessert party (featuring the event’s popular Darth Vader cupcakes) and up-close viewing of the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks spectacular.

The Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade viewing experience is at 11 a.m.-noon each day. Soft drinks, water and a snack will be provided. The dessert party is 9-10 p.m., with fireworks starting at approximately 9:45 p.m.

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To keep it extra special, capacity is limited. Along with the VIP viewing for the motorcade and entry into the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party, you’ll receive a special souvenir Disney PhotoPass card that can be linked to your Disney account and include a series of Star Wars Weekends photos.

The Feel the Force Dining Event will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16-June 15, 2014.
Cost is $54 for adults, $32 for ages 3 to 9, including tax and gratuity. Walk-up sales will be available until Feel the Force Premium Package is sold out. To purchase the packages, go to disneyworld.com/spring or call 407-WDW-DINE.

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