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Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Star Wars Weekends 2015 returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort on Friday, May 15. To kick off this event, Disney Theme Park Merchandise is holding a special ticketed event called “Galactic Gathering” on Thursday, May 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Similar to the “Rebel Rendezvous” event held last year, this year’s event will give guests the first opportunity to purchase new products created especially for Star Wars Weekends.

Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14 Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14

Packages for the Galactic Gathering will include the following:

  • ‘Rebel’ or ‘Empire’ retail MagicBand (Guests can choose their side when registering online)*
  • Commemorative trading pin*
  • Darth’s Mall Light Speed Pass which gives expedited entry into Darth’s Mall for all five weekends.*
  • First opportunity to pre-purchase select merchandise including personalized Aurebesh nametags, D-Tech phone cases, Dooney & Bourke handbags, Galactic Gathering Disney Gift card, retail MagicBands, limited edition pins and Vinylmation.
  • First opportunity to purchase the new designs of Star Wars-themed Disney Gift Cards.
  • Han Solo-inspired popcorn bucket with popcorn.

Guests who attend this event will also have the opportunity to meet Disney characters, Disney Design Group Artists and Ashley Eckstein from Her Universe.

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Finally, attendees will be some of the first to purchase the new figures for Star Wars D-Tech Me including a Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter pilot.

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Tickets to this event are $250 per guest (theme park admission is not included but required to participate in this event).

Registration will begin on March 4 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on http://www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

I hope to see you there!

*These items will only be available to Galactic Gathering attendees.

The number of packages available is limited and available while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis. Event package and content are not subject to discounts. Appearances are subject to space and time availability and are not guaranteed. Tickets are non-refundable. Event information subject to change without notice.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Can You Feel the Force? Star Wars Weekends is Getting Closer!

posted on February 17th, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


The Force is growing stronger here at Walt Disney World Resort as the galaxy prepares for this year’s Star Wars Weekends. If you’re as big a fan of the annual Disney’s Hollywood Studios event as I am, you’ll be excited to learn that several crowd-favorites are back in 2015, including James Arnold Taylor! Known for voicing characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Taylor will host the Stars of the Saga talk show with everyone’s favorite stormtrooper preshow at a new, larger location in Theater of the Stars on Sunset Boulevard.

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Darth’s Mall is also moving to a new and expanded complex near Streets of America, where you can find Star Wars-themed and exclusive event merchandise just for Star Wars Weekends 2015.

One of my favorite out-of-this-world experiences to catch this year is the Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine. My day just wouldn’t be complete without dinner surrounded by my favorite Disney pals dressed in their Star Wars best!

The galaxy won’t be so far, far away when beloved and iconic Star Wars characters assemble and “Summon the Force” each night for a grand celebration, including a look back at your greatest moments throughout the day on social media. For the finale, the night sky will erupt in an interstellar frenzy of fireworks as “Symphony in the Stars” salutes the saga’s most dramatic stories and brings you as close to the Force as you can get.

We’re still gathering all your favorite droids and scoundrels, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and StarWars.com for the latest updates. As we announced in December, the fun comes to our galaxy Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 15 – June 14, 2015. Check out StarWarsWeekends.com for all the must-know event details.

Are you planning on joining the Force? If so, which characters are you looking forward to seeing the most? For my boys, it’s the Jawas – they love to trade with those little guys! Let us know your favorites in the comments!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Star Wars Day at Sea on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Whether you’re a Jedi-in-training or the Jedi Master of the family, you’re in for an out-of-galaxy experience when you sail on the Disney Fantasy in early 2016! Today we announced a brand-new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea.

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Occurring one day during each of eight Disney Fantasy sailings, Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Also featured will be exclusive at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

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Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy cruises sailing on January 9, 23; February 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. Departing from Port Canaveral, the seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and our private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

This event marks the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard our ships. Next week, I’ll share even more details about the intergalactic fun we have planned for Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike!

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Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Nick Arciniaga wins inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon

The Force was strong with Nick Arciniaga this morning at the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at the Disneyland Resort. The Fountain Valley, Calif. native made the jump to hyperspace to win with a time of 1:08:13. Jennifer Berry, 34, of Denver, blasted across the finish line as the female winner with a personal record of 1:22:34. Both athletes won the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon, and Berry was also the top female finisher at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Jennifer Berry wins third runDisney race in five months

Arciniaga and Berry outran a galaxy of more than 12,200 runners in the new 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.

2015 Star Wars Half Marathon
More than 23,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend, which included 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. And for an ultimate test for Star Wars rebels, there 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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Book Spring/Summer Walt Disney World Vacations Now With Our Latest Offer

posted on January 5th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Considering a vacation at Walt Disney World Resort this spring or early in the summer? If so, now is the perfect time to book, as guests can save up to 30% off on stays at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with our latest offer.

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Springtime at Walt Disney World Resort means the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and so much more.

Vacations must be booked by March 28, and the trip must take place between March 2-June 15, 2015. Get more details on this offer – and learn how you can also upgrade to a package with a (minimum) 4-day park ticket and receive an additional ticket day free – by clicking here.


For more about visiting Walt Disney World Resort in 2015, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

posted on January 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


It’s a new year – do you have a Disney Parks vacation on your bucket list for 2015?

Whether it’s new dining experiences, sports milestones, holiday celebrations or the return of annual theme park festivals, there’s a lot to look forward to at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015. Here are 15 reasons you should consider planning a trip this year.

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1. Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – The newest Disney restaurant just opened its doors a few days ago. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine and wines – and is now an option on the Disney Dining Plan. Yum!

Exposition Park Opens for Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney

2. Exposition Park Food Trucks – While we’re on the topic of food, 2015 will give you time to check out the recently opened food trucks at Downtown Disney. This dedicated outdoor area also has live entertainment at night (subject to change, of course).

3. 2015 runDisney Races Are Off & Running - Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place January 7-11. (Check out a sneak peek at the merchandise that will be sold at this year’s event here). Space is still available in the Kids Races!

4. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – This nightspot is based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, and is set to open here in spring. Trader Sam’s will offer tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, as well as smaller food offerings. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more on this fun new location.

5. Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic – Soccer fans can get their kicks at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 1-March 1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In it, eight pro teams, including six Major League Soccer squads, will compete in 16 games.

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY WORLD

6. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Returns – This princess-themed weekend of running events returns to Walt Disney World February 19-22.

7. Starbucks to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A new Starbucks location will open at the park in February, 2015. The new location, dubbed The Trolley Car Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting the park.

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8. The Atlanta Braves Return For Spring Training – The Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their 18th consecutive year of spring training. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

9. The 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition Returns March 4-May 17 – Character topiaries, home gardening seminars, floral displays and much more will return to the park’s festival in 2015.

10. Star Wars Weekends Returns – This annual event will return to delight fans of the Force and the Empire May 15 – June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

11. “Tomorrowland” Debuts In Theaters May 22 – While it isn’t a theme park offering, how could any Disney Parks fan possibly miss out on seeing this one? AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Downtown Disney may be the perfect location. The trailer looks amazing!

12. Annual Events – 2015 means the return of our favorite annual events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our 2015 special events.

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13. New Eats at Downtown Disney – The area continues to evolve into Disney Springs, and in 2015, The Landing, the first of four interconnected neighborhoods will open to guests. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more dates and details on the openings of Morimoto Asia, THE BOATHOUSE and STK Orlando, three restaurants planned for the area, as they come available.

14. Another Year of #DisneySide Fun - Guests loved showing their Disney Side – that side each one of us has that isn’t afraid to have fun and show our silly sides – at our parks in 2014. This year we’ll continue the fun by encouraging all of you to show your Disney Side at our parks (and at home) throughout 2015.

15. Your Family Vacation – If this is the year for your family’s vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, then there’s nothing to look forward to more than your family’s special time together. If you visit our parks in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

These Are the Gifts You’re Looking For At Disney Parks This Holiday Season

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I know where I will be almost one year from now – sitting in a movie theater with my son as the opening credits roll for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Being a long-time fan of all things Star Wars, it will be the perfect holiday gift to myself next year. I remember receiving many Star Wars-themed gifts growing up in the late 1970s (the Death Star Space Station playset was one of my favorites!). If you are looking for Star Wars holiday gifts this season, I have a few suggestions of items created especially for Disney Parks.

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I love this fun holiday sweater T-shirt featuring Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other icons (it’s perfect for winter in Florida).

The Disney Pin team released some new holiday pins including a 9-pin mystery set with Star Wars gingerbread characters.

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If you are looking for toys, there are a few different options including the Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset inspired by Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; a giant Clone Trooper found only at Disney Parks; and Disney Racers die-cast cars which make for great stocking stuffers.

I also like the Star Wars Droid Factory where you can design and build your own Astromech droid action figure. This experience is offered at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California.

You can also find other Star Wars items online at DisneyStore.com/StarWars.

May the Holidays Be With You!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Star Wars Weekends Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 15-June 14

posted on December 2nd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Attention fans of The Force – get ready to plan your trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring 2015, because today, we’re unveiling the dates for next year’s Star Wars Weekends.

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Star Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 15-June 14, 2015.

  • Weekend I: May 15-17, 2015
  • Weekend II: May 22-24, 2015
  • Weekend III: May 29-31, 2015
  • Weekend IV: June 5-7, 2015
  • Weekend V: June 12-14, 2015

Star Wars Weekends combines the fun and adventure of the Star Wars film franchise with the magic of Disney Parks. The event features the largest collection of official Star Wars characters found at any theme park in the world, conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Star Wars motorcade through the park and much more.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and disneyworld.com/starwars for more.

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Twelve Favorite Holiday-Themed Gifts From Disney Parks

posted on November 10th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Now that the holidays have returned to Disney Parks, I wanted to share my 12 favorite holiday-themed gifts from Disney Theme Park Merchandise.

  1. Disney Character Nutcrackers – We’ve carried Disney character nutcrackers for a few years at Disney Parks. This year, we introduced some new sizes for figures, ranging from 5-inches to 36-inches.
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  1. Holiday Sweater T-Shirts – Building on the success from last year’s sweater T-shirts, the softlines team has four new designs including one inspired by characters and icons from “Star Wars.”
  2. Retail MagicBands and Accessories – If you are visiting Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season, look for holiday retail MagicBands and accessories such as MagicBandits. The Olaf MagicBand has an edition size of 4,000 while the Mickey and Minnie Mouse MagicBand is a limited release item. Guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand.

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  1. Disney Pins For the Holidays – Disney pins make a great stocking stuffers. This year, I love the Disney Resort snowflake pins which will be released at each Disney Resort Hotel at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts starting November 13.
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  1. Disney Ear Hat – Celebrate the season with this Disney ear hat complete with festive, fuzzy plush ears and glittering polka dots.
  2. Disney Gift Card HoldersDisney Gift Cards make great gifts and wrapping them is even easier with these two gift card holders.
  3. Spaceship Earth-Inspired Mickey Ornament – The seasonal team released several Mickey Mouse icon ornaments this year including one that looks like Spaceship Earth in Epcot. Hooray for Christmas Future!
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  1. Disney Parks Christmas Train Set – I’ve loved trains since I was a little boy. This Disney Parks Christmas train set is pretty amazing as it includes a locomotive, four train cars with animated character surprises, plus over 20 feet of track!
  2. Wayne and Lanny Plush Set – In recent years, I’ve enjoyed watching the adventures of Wayne and Lanny in Disney’s “Prep and Landing” during the holiday season. Now, they are plush set.

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  1. D-Tech on Demand Holiday CasesD-Tech on Demand, my favorite boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, will have new holiday designs. Guests can create custom and personalized cases for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Galaxy S4. Look for cases for iPhone 6+ and Samsung Galaxy S5 later in November.
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  1. Holiday Apparel – I already mentioned the awesome holiday sweater T-shirts but I also liked these two items. The pajamas were inspired by the retro-looking Holidays For Your Home collection.
  2. Countdown to Christmas Calendar – Milk chocolate every day until December 25. Sold!

Find these items and more in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. You can also find select items on online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/Holiday.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Readers Select First-Ever ‘Fan Choice’ Star Wars-Themed Disney Racer

posted on June 16th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Last week, we invited Disney Parks Blog readers to select the next Star Wars-themed Disney Racer coming to Disney Parks in spring 2015. Today, I’m happy to share the winning selection – Chewbacca.

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Thank you to those who took the time to vote. When this die-cast metal car is released next year, there will be a special “fan choice” call-out on the packaging.

Look for future updates on the Disney Parks Blog as development progresses.

May the Force be with you!

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