Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Star Wars – D-Tech Me Experience Returns to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Starting May 17, 2013

posted on May 6th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m excited to share that the Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience will be returning for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year. The experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, the highly themed merchandise destination located in the courtyard adjacent to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. You may recall we first introduced the Carbon-Freeze Me experience last year during Star Wars Weekends (my fellow author Gary Buchanan explains how it works in this video). We also introduced the experience at Celebration VI, the ultimate Star Wars fan event that was held last August in Orlando, Florida.

This year, we are bringing back the popular “cast yourself in Carbonite” option that was inspired by a scene from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. We are also delighted to offer a new option featuring the elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire, the Stormtroopers.
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The 10-minute experience uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. That captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. The completed figurine will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally). Guests will also receive either a Carbon-Freeze Me light-up band or a collector button depending upon which option they choose.

The Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience is $99.95, plus shipping and applicable sales tax.
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To book your experience, please call 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324) to ask about availability. We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2013 (May 17 – 19, May 24 – 26, May 31 – June 2, and June 7 – 9).

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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New ‘Limited Time Magic’ Merchandise Coming For ‘May The Fourth Be With You” Celebration at Disney Parks

posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Being a long-time Star Wars fan, I was thrilled to read Gary Buchanan’s article about the special “May The Fourth Be With You” event taking place this weekend as part of “Limited Time Magic.” This one-day celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is separate from our month-long Star Wars Weekends special event, which begins on May 17. Gary mentioned there will be special entertainment, a dance party, fireworks and commemorative merchandise. I’m happy to share with you a first look at the new shirts and pins that will be released on Saturday at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
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Disney Design Group artist Quynh Kimball told me the character artwork found on the shirts was created by artist Tommy Lee Edwards. The artwork for the limited edition pins was created by Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan. The pins will each have an edition size of 1,500.
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If you are in Florida, these items will be released at the Superstar Shop located next to The American Idol Experience attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For those fans in California, the shirts and pins will be released at Disney’s Pin Traders in the Downtown Disney District and Little Green Men Store Command in Disneyland park. Please note that wristbands will be distributed to those guests purchasing pins at the Disneyland Resort.

I can’t wait for this weekend. I hope you will join us!

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‘May The Fourth Be With You’ Celebrated at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for ‘Limited Time Magic’

posted on April 26th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


For one day only, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will present a “Limited Time Magic” event for the annual, fan-proclaimed “Star Wars Day,” May 4 – a date that Star Wars fans worldwide turn into a celebratory pun, “May the Fourth Be With You!”
May The Fourth Be With You at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Separate from our month-long Star Wars Weekends special event (which begins May 17), this “Limited Time Magic” celebration features special Star Wars entertainment, characters, commemorative merchandise, a Star Wars dance party and a Star Wars-themed fireworks show to cap off the day.

You might even find yourself sitting next to Chewbacca aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Star Wars characters will make surprise appearances on the 3-D attraction to enjoy the wild journey through space alongside park guests.

A special edition of Jedi Training Academy also is planned that day, with parents invited to join their children (ages 4-12, sign-ups required on first-come basis) on-stage for the training and final showdown with the Empire.

When the sun goes down, galactic fun lights the night as Lobot (from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back) takes over as DJ for a dance party that will be highlighted by a special Star Wars fireworks show.

“May the Fourth Be With You” “Limited Time Magic” park activities and shows are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

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Walt Disney World Resort – May 2013 Merchandise Events

posted on April 23rd, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Quick Update on Trading Night! The Trading Night hours have been extended to start at 5 p.m. ending at 9 p.m.

Just a couple of reminders:

  • The specific location of Trading Night will actually be in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill Restaurant area and adjacent lobby area.
  • Space will be extremely limited, we ask that you limit the number of items that you choose to bring.
  • Vinylmation Trading will not be offered, however the Product Preview Section and Artist Signing Area remain.
  • Food & Beverage concession areas will be open.

Before we jump into May events, here’s one last note for April. Trading Night has just been announced! The Walt Disney World Resort Trading Night will take place April 30, 2013 from 6 – 9 p.m. 5-9 p.m. at ESPN Grill and Josten’s Center at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. So bring your friends and family and trade stories, Vinylmation and pins.

Walt Disney World Trading Night Will Take Place April 30 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex

Now onward to May we go!

May 3: Disney Design Group Artist Betsy DePadova will be appearing at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 -7 p.m. to sign the latest pin and Vinylmation release in the 2013 series. Fellow author Steven Miller was the first to give you a glimpse at this artwork and more as he turned the spotlight on 2013 posters. Learn more here.

May 3 – 4: Everyone loves jewelry, or at least I know I do. So be sure to stop by Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace between the hours of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m. to see some of the newest releases from Chamilia. If your interest is piqued about this event, be sure to look for an upcoming post by author, Steven Miller who will give you a glimpse of what you’ll find before you go.

May 6 – 11: For those of you visiting Magic Kingdom Park, be sure to stop in and say hello to Larry Dotson who will be taking up residence in Uptown Jewelers, May 6 – 11 and at Art of Disney in Epcot, May 16 – 19, as we debut some of his newest releases. Learn more here.

Larry Dotson Will be in Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park May 6-11 and at Art of Disney in Epcot May 16-19

May 8 – 19: Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace will once again welcome David Doss, who will be on hand to showcase some of his most recent releases. Learn more here.

May 9 – 13: If you are a Precious Moments Dolls collector, then this release is for you. Making a splash at Walt Disney World Resort is the new collection of dolls inspired by “The Little Mermaid.” Representatives will be on hand on each of the days at Once Upon A Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Want to meet Linda Rick? Well you’re in luck. We have official confirmation that Linda Rick will be appearing, May 10 – 12. Learn more here.

New Collection of Precious Moments Dolls Inspired by 'The Little Mermaid'

May 10 – Okay Vinylmation collectors, mark your calendars! Park Starz 2 Vinylmation designed by Disney Design Group artists Casey Jones and Thomas Scott hits shelves at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside on May 10. Casey Jones will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of this new collection from 5 – 7 p.m. Here are a few of my favorite Park Starz, wait until you see the rest. Learn more here.

Park Starz 2 Vinylmation Hits Shelves at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside on May 10 Park Starz 2 Vinylmation Hits Shelves at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside on May 10 Park Starz 2 Vinylmation Hits Shelves at D Street in Downtown Disney Westside on May 10

May 17 – Planning on attending Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? If not, you should consider it. It’s literally the best place in the galaxy to be. Steven was the first to give you a look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 merchandise, and I assure you there’s more to come, from new artwork to toys, tees, Vinylmation and more. Passholders, we even have some special items just for you! Keep watching as the date draws near.

Look for details on all of these events and more on www.ArtofDisneyParks.com.

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‘Star Wars’ Droid Factory Expands to New Locations at Disney Parks

posted on April 12th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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In May 2012, we opened the first Star Wars Droid Factory experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’m delighted to announce that we’ve expanded the build-your-own droid experience to new locations at Disneyland park in California and Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. I spoke with toy merchandiser Cody Hampton at Disney Theme Park Merchandise about what’s in store for fans.
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“The Droid Factory has been an incredibly popular experience with our fans,” explained Cody. “After the initial launch, we heard our fans loud and clear that they also wanted this interactive experience in California. I’m beyond happy that guests are able to exit Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park and be able to build their own droids.”
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A Droid Factory build station opened at Once Upon a Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace earlier this month. For California, the new build station can be found in The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park starting April 13.
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Guests are able to build “astromech” droids from the Star Wars galaxy. (Here’s a closer look at this series of droids from the official Star Wars website)
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The new experiences will feature more build stations for guests to make their own droid action figures. They were designed as a square, which can accommodate up to four guests at one time (that’s two more build stations than the current version at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

May the Force be with you … and your droids!

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Billy Dee Williams, aka Lando Calrissian, Set to Appear at Star Wars Weekends 2013 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 5th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Billy Dee Williams, aka Lando Calrissian, Set to Appear at Star Wars Weekends 2013
Today we’re pleased to announce that everyone’s favorite galactic smuggler, gambler and scoundrel will temporarily leave Cloud City and board the Millennium Falcon with a course set for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as actor Billy Dee Williams returns to Star Wars Weekends for the 2013 edition.

Williams, a fan favorite for his portrayal of Lando Calrissian in the film saga, will attend Weekend IV, June 7-9, 2013.

Lando, who is described on his official StarWars.com bio as having two weapons of choice — a blaster pistol and “a devastating smile” — betrayed the Rebellion when he made a deal with Darth Vader to capture his old friend, Han Solo. However, there was a storybook ending to the tale when he redeemed himself by later helping to free Captain Solo and assisting in the destruction of the second Death Star.

If you make plans to attend Weekend IV, I definitely suggest attending one of the “Stars of the Saga” talk shows that features Williams. It was a highlight for me at past events to hear him tell tales about his portrayal of the suave scoundrel. But be sure to get there early; his appearances will most likely be a popular gathering place for members of both the Empire and the Rebellion.

Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

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First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise

I was delighted to see the logo for Star Wars Weekends 2013 as shared by my fellow author Gary Buchanan. He said the artwork gives a nod to the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.” I vividly recall seeing the film in theaters with my parents in May 1983. I was completely obsessed with Star Wars at the time, so I love this poster as it reminds me of my childhood. Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas said they had some different poster concepts, like Mickey Mouse in the Rancor pit, before selecting an iconic scene from the Battle of Endor.

Here is a look at some new items with this year’s logo coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 17, 2013.

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Including a Disney Pin, a Coffee Mug, a Photo Frame and More

The logo is featured on numerous items including a Disney pin, a coffee mug, a photo frame and more. Disney Design Group also created a unique Star Wars Weekends “title crawl” image for merchandise, which reminds me of the opening title sequences from the Star Wars motion pictures.

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Including an Oversized Calendar With 13 Previous Star Wars Weekends Posters

We are trying a few new things this year, like an oversized calendar with 13 previous Star Wars Weekends posters. Each poster measures 12-inches by 18-inches, and can be removed from the calendar for framing. We are also introducing a deluxe autograph and photograph book (I’m adding that to the “long overdue” column). The popular Star Tours nametags using Aurebesh will be returning. This year, we will have a new black name tag for Annual Passholders only!

First Look at Star Wars Weekends 2013 Merchandise Including The Jedi Mickey’s Starfighter

I’m particularly excited about some new toys this year. Jedi Mickey’s Starfighter is amazing (insta-buy)! We will also have new Muppets action figures and new die-cast cars of Disney•Pixar “Cars” characters portraying Star Wars characters. I think the oversized Salacious B. Crumb latex character and the thermal detonator “hot potato” game are perfect for this year’s theme.

Finally, we will have new Vinylmation at this year’s event including a limited release mystery series; a Vinylmation, Jr. series with droids; and two limited edition figures – a removable, 3-inch figure of Han Solo in Carbonite, and a 9-inch Jabba the Hutt figure with a 1.5-inch Salacious B. Crumb figure.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog, StarWars.com and DisneyWorld.com/StarWarsWeekends for future updates. I can’t wait for May!

Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

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A Villain and Hero Highlight ‘Star Wars’ Weekends 2013 in Weekend I and Weekend II and a First Look at the 2013 Event Logo

posted on March 14th, 2013 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


One of Mickey Mouse’s favorite things about Star Wars Weekends is that he gets to dress in his Jedi best and join the galactic fun. Each year, Mickey seems to take on a different role in the official “Star Wars” Weekends logo. This year, his imagination takes him to the Forest Moon of Endor, where he is seen zipping away from scout troopers with Chip and Dale. Mickey’s wild speeder bike ride on this year’s artwork has historical significance, as 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi” — the film that featured the Battle of Endor.

The 'Star Wars' Weekends Logo for 2013 Features Mickey in the Forest Moon of Endor with Chip and Dale

In addition to unveiling the logo for this year’s event, we’re excited to announce a pair of celebrity appearances for Star Wars Weekends 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort, with two legends from the saga doubling the fun in two consecutive weekends.

Action star Ray Park, who portrayed the Sith warrior Darth Maul on the silver screen, will be one of the celebrity guests in Weekends I and II. Actor Warwick Davis, known to Star Wars fans as everyone’s favorite Ewok, Wicket W. Warrick, will be one of the guests during Weekends II and III.

More Star Wars celebrities will be announced soon, so be sure to program your droids to scan the Disney Parks Blog and StarWars.com, as well as DisneyWorld.com/StarWarsWeekends for updates.

Star Wars Weekends takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013. Most event activities are included in regular park admission.

Join the conversation online by using the hash tag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

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Build Your Own Star Tours Starspeeder 1000

posted on January 9th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Today marks the 26th anniversary of the opening of the original Star Tours at Disneyland park, so I thought it would be the perfect time to show you one of my favorite crafts from Spoonful.com – the Star Tours Starspeeder Fleet!

Star Tours Starspeeder 1000

You can build your own Star Tours Starspeeder 1000, Air Alderaan Starspeeder 1000, Bespin Direct Starspeeder 1000 and more with these printables. If you loved the Starspeeder 1000 Spaceliner Collection that Steven Miller told us about here on the Disney Parks Blog, you’ll love this project. Just click here and May the Force be with You!

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‘Star Wars’ Weekends 2013 Dates Announced

posted on December 27th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


“Luke, We’re gonna have company!” — Han Solo

If your starship can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs (I’m still trying to figure out how fast that is), set your hyperdrive for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios sector for May and early June, for the 2013 edition of Star Wars Weekends.

This year’s Force-filled fun will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17 – June 9, 2013.

James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein Share a Laugh On-stage at Star Wars Weekends 2012.  The Pair Will Return as Celebrity Hosts in 2013.

While details are still being planned, we’re excited to announce that James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein are returning as celebrity hosts for the annual special event. James, the voice behind many of the most famous animated characters in film, television and commercials, is known to Star Wars fans as the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. Ashley, who started her show business career as a parade dancer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is the voice of Anakin’s ambitious Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

James is the Official Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2013, and Ashley is Celebrity Host of “Behind the Force,” a live show that takes fans behind-the-scenes in the Star Wars universe.

Be sure to program your scanning droids to check here for the latest updates from the Galactic Senate about Star Wars Weekends 2013.

For guests who may be considering a visit to Walt Disney World Resort for their very first Star Wars Weekends, here’s a short overview video with our own galactic reporter, “Jedi John” (please note his very stylish “mic saber”). While the celebrity appearances for this year have not been announced (stay tuned for those names in an upcoming post), John talks to some Star Wars celebrities from past events to get their thoughts.

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