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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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Past, Present and Future Galactic Stars Shine at Star Wars Weekends 2014

posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Here’s a little trivia: did you know former “Cheers” star and the Disney•Pixar “lucky charm” John Ratzenberger once appeared on the silver screen in the Star Wars saga? Before he frequented the watering hole where everybody knew his name, he braved the frigid planet Hoth in a minor role in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Next stop for Ratzenberger (or, as he may be known to Star Wars fans: Major Bren Derlin) will be Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014.
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Today, we’re pleased to announce the full talent lineup for this year’s event. Celebrities scheduled to attend include Star Wars actors and actresses from the past (from the Star Wars film saga), present (from the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and even the future (from the eagerly anticipated Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels).

As we previously announced, acclaimed voice actor James Arnold Taylor is the official celebrity host of this year’s event. We’re pleased to announce today that Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars, a former Walt Disney World Resort parade performer and now a successful fangirl fashion designer, will be the host of a special “Behind The Force” show each weekend. This year, “Behind The Force” will showcase some of the main cast members from Star Wars Rebels.

Also of note: Weekend V will feature the most Star Wars celebrities to appear at one time in the event’s history.

Here’s the lineup (*subject to change):

Weekend I: May 16-18

Ahmed Best: Jar Jar Binks (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II: May 23-25

Warwick Davis: Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Wald (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Capt. Jeremoch Colton (Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith)

Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III: May 30-June 1

Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

John Ratzenberger: Major Bren Derlin (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back)

Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV: June 6-8

Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Darth Bane (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)

Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V: June 13-15

Dee Bradley Baker: Captain Rex/the Clones, Bossk and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Cat Taber: Padmé Amidala and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Tom Kane: Yoda, the series’ narrator and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Matt Lanter: Anakin Skywalker and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

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New Options for Star Wars – D-Tech Me Returning to Star Wars Weekends Starting May 16, 2014

posted on April 9th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I recently shared with you a first look at new merchandise coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 16. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that the Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience will return this year with a few new options for guests. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania.

For those unfamiliar with Star Wars – D-Tech Me, this 10-minute experience uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. The captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. My fellow author Gary Buchanan has a cool, behind-the-scenes video about the experience as seen in this story.
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This year, two returning favorites – Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper – will be joined by two new figurines – Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot. There are both male and female options offered for X-Wing pilot, Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper figurines. For children, Alderaan Princess and Carbon-Freeze Me figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.
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For the first time, we are introducing a 16-inch figurine. While a wise Jedi Master once said “size matters not,” you can see the size differences of the Stormtrooper figurines in the above image.
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Additionally, we will share details starting May 16 on DisneyParksMerchandise.com about how you can have your image from last year added to a new figurine this year. An example of this is shown above with a Stormtrooper figurine image from last year applied to the new X-Wing Pilot figurine.

The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $99.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For the 16-inch figurines, retail is $1,499.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.

Completed figurines will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).

To book your experience, please call 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324). We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2014 (May 16 – 18, May 23 – 25, May 30 – June 1, June 6 – 8, and June 13-15).

Finally, guests attending the Rebel Rendezvous event on May 15 will be some of the first individuals to experience Star Wars – D-Tech Me this year. Registered event guests should look for an email soon that will explain how to sign up. If you still want to go to the Rebel Rendezvous event, we’d love to have you! Please see DisneyParksMerchandise.com for more details.

Please note: Separate theme park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or in the event a reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature, is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

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May the Fourth Be With You! Two New Star Wars-Themed Character Dining Experiences May 4-June 15 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 28th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Force is strong this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

As Gary Buchanan has been sharing with everyone here on Disney Parks Blog, there’s a galaxy full of fun and excitement planned for this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Now there’s even more Star Wars fun coming your way with two new, out-of-this-world character dining experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Guests will be able to start their day with the “Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast” at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Inside, it’s a long time ago in a drive-in far, far away, where out-of-this-world breakfast delicacies are accompanied by thrilling movie moments from the Star Wars saga. Guests may encounter Darth Vader and other Star Wars film characters as they appear to step right off the screen to join the fun.

At dinner, famous Disney pals get dressed up as their favorite Star Wars characters for “Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine.” Wearing his very own Jedi robe, Mickey joins a host of characters at guests’ tables for an intergalactic celebration of the saga, complete with Star Wars music, interactive moments and a delectable dinner buffet.

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Best of all, these exciting new character dining experiences won’t just be offered during Star Wars Weekends event days. Both experiences start May the 4th (known informally by many fans around the globe each year as “Star Wars Day”) and will continue to be offered daily through June 15, 2014.

Price of the breakfast experience is $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for children. The dinner experience is $55.99 for adults and $33.99 for children, or as part of the “Fantasmic!” Dinner Package at a price of adults $59.99 and $36.99 for children. Both experiences include a digital photograph. (Taxes and gratuity are not included in these prices.)

To book these experiences, guests can call 407-WDW-DINE or online at disneyworld.com/spring.

I can’t wait to take my boys to this. Who else is making reservations?

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Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker, to Make Historic First Appearance at Star Wars Weekends

posted on March 20th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


His most famous film character has destroyed the Death Star, received the Medal of Bravery following The Battle of Yavin and resisted a turn to the dark side, so what is he going to do next?

He’s going to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

No wait, wrong answer. He’s going to Disney World!

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For the first time in event history, Mark Hamill, the actor who brought Luke Skywalker to the silver screen in the Star Wars saga, will appear at Star Wars Weekends. Hamill will be one of the celebrity guests for Weekend IV, June 6-8, 2014. Fans can see him in the daily “Legends of the Force” Star Wars-themed motorcade and in a featured talk show.

Hamill’s appearances will most likely be a very popular gathering place for members of the Empire and the Rebellion, so be sure to arrive early.

More details about the event have been placed into the memory systems of an R2-unit and we’ll soon reveal them, but we wanted to share this Force-filled news with you today.

Stay updated with the latest event news here, StarWars.com and the event’s official website, DisneyTheForce.com. You also can join the conversation online with the official event hashtag, #DisneyTheForce.

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New Merchandise and ‘Rebel Rendezvous’ Event Coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One of my favorite events returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 16, 2014 – Star Wars Weekends! Today, I’m delighted to give you a first look at some of the new merchandise we’ve created for this year’s event. I also have some details about a new merchandise ticketed event coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 15, the day before Star Wars Weekends officially opens. I’ll share more about that event in a moment, but first let’s take a look at the new merchandise poster.

“This year’s merchandise poster contains a few nods to the upcoming Disney XD animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels,” explained Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas. “The color orange in the poster was inspired by the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ series’ logo, while the non-specific battle scene is supposed to take place between the events of Episode III and IV. This is similar to the storyline of the upcoming animated series. We also included a Star Speeder 1000 and R2-MK as tributes to Disney Parks.”

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This poster will be used on a variety of items including the ever popular Disney pins. The Disney pin team will also release a few other items like concept artwork cards with pins, a limited release mystery set and, my favorite, a Battle of Yavin lanyard with medal.

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The toy team created several new items this year including a limited edition figures set; a lenticular 1,000-piece puzzle; a Jabba the Hutt latex character; and a Queen Amidala and Princess Leia Deluxe Fashion Set.

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The limited release Vinylmation mystery series Star Wars: Series 4 will also debut during Star Wars Weekends. Look for a limited edition 9-inch and 3-inch figure set featuring the Rancor and his keeper this year.

To round out the preview, the arts and collectibles team have designed four medium-sized figures (Pluto dressed as an AT-AT is my favorite!).
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I promised some details about a merchandise ticketed event on Thursday, May 15. The “Rebel Rendezvous” will be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Attendees will receive exclusive access to Darth’s Mall one day before it opens to the public; a limited edition recruitment pack with items like a custom messenger bag, cadet hat, tumbler, lanyard, pin and medal set; preferential opportunity to purchase select 2014 Star Wars Weekends merchandise; and special meet and greet opportunities with characters and Disney artists.

Registration for the event will begin on March 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EST at www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com, but you can visit the site now for additional details and restrictions. A catalog with additional merchandise images will be published on March 4.

May the Force Be With You!

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The Rebel Alliance Adds Another Weekend to Star Wars Weekends 2014 in Response to a Decree Issued by the Evil Sith, Emperor Palpatine

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As the Rebel Alliance continues its fight for freedom and democracy in the Star Wars galaxy, the phantom puppetmaster himself, Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine), has issued a new galactic decree about Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

While some of his blue-hued holographic transmission was garbled, the Emperor has ordered his Galactic Empire to create a demonstration of force and power that can be seen high above Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends 2014. This has caused much talk in the galaxy that a gala fireworks show featuring Star Wars music will be presented each evening this year.

When consulted, several protocol droids further translated the Emperor’s message. These translations reinforced the conclusions that there will be a new evening experience for Star Wars Weekends guests on Hollywood Blvd. in the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

However, that’s not the end of this story.

When the Rebel Alliance secretly learned of the Emperor’s plans from a hidden message decoded from an astromech droid, they decided to extend the galactic gala one more weekend in 2014.

In order to convince more guests to join the Rebellion, a 5th weekend is now being added to Star Wars Weekends 2014. The new event dates are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16-June 15, 2014. The theme for this year’s event is, appropriately, “Join the Rebellion.”

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014
  • Weekend V: June 13 – 15, 2014

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In addition to offering a first-look at this year’s event logo above, we’re pleased to announce James Arnold Taylor will return to Star Wars Weekends 2014 as the event’s official celebrity host. Taylor, a Star Wars Weekends fan favorite, is the voice of hundreds of animated characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

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‘Impressive, Most Impressive’ Star Wars Weekends Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May/June 2014

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Gather your favorite droids, nerf herders, walking carpets and scoundrels and make plans to attend Star Wars Weekends 2014. We’re pleased today to announce the dates for next year’s Force-filled special event.

Star Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 16-June 8, 2014.

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014

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Star Wars Weekends combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney into a galactic special event that has become a fan favorite through the years. Star Wars Weekends features the largest collection of official Star Wars characters found at any theme park in the world, star conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Death Star-sized motorcade through the park and plenty of entertainment fun for guests of all ages.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and StarWars.com for the latest updates and details as they are released. And, check out disneytheforce.com for the latest in event information.

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Speed Into Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park For Your Holiday Merchandise

posted on November 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Get in gear, Disney•Pixar “Cars” enthusiasts! This year’s Cars Land-inspired holiday collection is full of good tidings and season’s speedings and is guaranteed to get your motor running.

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Here are a few of my top picks:

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The Snow Car! Words can’t express how cute it is. See for yourself!

If you became an instant fan of the Snow Car, like me, keep an eye out for the Snow Car fleece blanket as well (available now at Radiator Springs Curios).

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For kids, kids at heart or car collecting enthusiasts, our holiday-themed die-cast collection featuring Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sally, Doc Hudson and Ramone are only available at Disney Parks.

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Other great gift ideas include the Mack Truck Hauler with 15 Die-Cast Cars, a Piston Cup Award and Star Wars-themed “Cars” die-cast vehicles. If the last item left you saying “what?”… It’s okay! I had to see it for my own eyes as well, but now there’s no turning back. Sally as Princess Leia, Mater as Darth Vader, Lightning McQueen as Luke Skywalker, Fillmore as Yoda, Tractors as StormTroopers and Luigi & Guido as C-3P0 and R2-D2. Enough said!

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Have you picked out this year’s greeting cards to send to your family and friends? If you answered no, and are a fan of Disney and “Cars,” take note, because this might be exactly what you’re looking for. The set of 12 cards feature four different designs: Tow Mater, Lightning McQueen, Sally and Ramone! Each card includes a cleverly themed holiday message such as Happy New Gear, Dashing Through the Snow, Fueltide Cheer and Feliz Navidad.

So where can you find all of these items? In Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park of course! But specifically, look for toys and stocking stuffers for the kids at Sarge’s Surplus Hut. For your ‘big kid’ (a.k.a. Dad), Ramone’s House of Body Art and Radiator Springs Curios are probably your best bet.

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One final thing … but I’ll warn you, it will take you on a trip down memory lane. How many of you remember having a Name Plate Keychain that you may have picked up on your own trips over time. I know I can remember having one (or two) when I was little, and I’m pretty sure you’ll remember getting one too. Well, a Cars Land-inspired version just hit store shelves at Radiator Springs Curios, so stop in to see if you can find one with your name on it or perhaps a clever phrase.

So hit the road and stop in to our Cars Land stores the next time you’re cruising through town.

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