Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
Grizzly River Run

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 5th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we continued our series of exciting updates from Disney Cruise Line with the announcement that a new stage show, “Tangled: The Musical,” will be premiering onboard the Disney Magic in November.

TTM8009625

Jonathan told us that “Tangled: The Musical” will stay true to the storyline from the hit feature film—with a few special twists to create a live staged production—featuring favorite characters like Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, the villainous Mother Gothel and Maximus the police horse. Check out his original story for more details and information on when you’ll be able to see exclusive behind the scenes videos of the stage show.

SWG7987962

We also shared a story many of you have been waiting for – a look at this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Details are still coming together for the event, but Shawn shared some highlights of what’s new for Star Wars Weekends 2015:

  • Star Wars: Rebels” – Relive the adventurous twists and turns of the first exciting season of the Disney XD series “Star Wars: Rebels,” in an all-new show with Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from the show’s voice cast … along with a few surprises!
  • Autograph Opportunities – For the first time, autograph sessions with Star Wars celebrities will be held in an indoor location, just off Commissary Lane near Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. For complete details about autograph opportunities, be sure to visit StarWarsWeekends.com prior to your visit.
  • Darth’s Mall – Can’t find the droids you’re looking for? Head over to this new complex of shops near Streets of America for the best selection of Star Wars merchandise in this galaxy or any other!

The event is shaping up to be among the best, with a new show, new locations for merchandise and autograph opportunities and a galaxy of stars. Go check out our original story for a list of the celebrities scheduled to appear for Star Wars Weekends 2015.

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

First Look: New Olaf Premium Sipper Coming to Disneyland Resort – What’s better than warm hugs from a snowman? A cool drink in an Olaf Premium Sipper! For the first time in forever, guests will be able to purchase the new Olaf Premium Sipper from Food & Beverage locations throughout Disneyland Resort.

Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A. – See historic pictures from the construction of Main Street, U.S.A. in this special series from Disney Parks Blog author George Savvas.

Live Music Expanding at Disneyland Park Beginning July 17 – During the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, music will become an even bigger part of the storytelling within Disneyland park. Click through to learn more!

Learn to Draw Dopey from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Artist Mike Chovanec of the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers step-by-step instructions on how to draw one of the most lovable characters from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

From Stem to Stern Wine Tasting on a Disney Cruise – Learn about Disney Cruise Line’s “From Stem to Stern” wine event, where a knowledgeable sommelier teaches you to sip like a pro.

New ‘Frozen Fever’ Treats Coming to Disney Parks and Resorts – It’s official: we’ve caught Frozen Fever! The Disney Parks Food and Beverage team has created new treats inspired by the “Frozen Fever” short.

And this week, the name of the newest female baby rhino at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – determined by Disney Parks Blog readers – was revealed. You voted the Kiama as the winning name. It was the overwhelming majority with more than half of the votes.

Kiama will continue to bond and grow with her mom backstage for a few more months, but stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates and more information as we near her on-stage debut. Check out Karen’s story for more.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Frank Oz and Ian McDiarmid Among the Stars Announced for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


To paraphrase a certain scruffy looking nerf herder, I’ve flown from one side of the galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff … but nothing as cool as Star Wars Weekends. This year’s event is shaping up to be among the best, with a new show, new locations for merchandise and autograph opportunities and a galaxy of stars that includes returning favorites and luminaries making their first hyperspace jump to Star Wars Weekends!

So shall we dispense with the pleasantries?
Here are the celebrities scheduled to appear for Star Wars Weekends 2015 (entertainment is subject to change):

Weekend I (May 15 – 17)
SWG7987963

  • 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)

Weekend II (May 22 – 24)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III (May 29 – 31)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)

  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V (June 12 – 14)
SWG7987962

  • Frank Oz: Yoda (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; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Of course, Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) will be appearing every week, and in addition to Ashley Eckstein’s Weekend IV guest spot, she will also be joining us every day of the event as host of “Padawan Mind Challenge – Family Edition.”

Details are still coming together for the event, but some of the highlights of what’s new for Star Wars Weekends 2015 include:

  • Star Wars: Rebels” – Relive the adventurous twists and turns of the first exciting season of the Disney XD series “Star Wars: Rebels,” in an all-new show with Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from the show’s voice cast … along with a few surprises!
  • Autograph Opportunities – For the first time, autograph sessions with Star Wars celebrities will be held in an indoor location, just off Commissary Lane near Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. For complete details about autograph opportunities, be sure to visit StarWarsWeekends.com prior to your visit.
  • Darth’s Mall – Can’t find the droids you’re looking for? Head over to this new complex of shops near Streets of America for the best selection of Star Wars merchandise in this galaxy or any other!

All this, plus dozens of Star Wars characters appearing throughout the park, yummy Star Wars-inspired treats and the spectacular fireworks finale, “Symphony in the Stars.” It just goes to show you that Star Wars Weekends is as close to the Force as you can get!

Believe it or not, we still have more to share with you in the weeks ahead, so keep checking Disney Parks Blog and StarWarsWeekends.com for updates, and keep the conversation going on social media using #SWW2015!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Jedi Knight and TIE-fighter Pilot D-Tech Me Figures Premiere at Star Wars Weekends Starting May 15, 2015

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to announce that two new D-Tech Me figurines – a Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter pilot – are premiering at Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year.

DTOD6980741

First introduced in May 2012, Star Wars – D-Tech Me is a 10-minute experience that uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. The captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, near Streets of America across from Studio Catering Company.

DTOD6980742

In addition to the new figurines, we will again offer the Carbon-Freeze Me figurine, Alderaan Princess figurine, and male and female options for Stormtrooper and X-Wing pilot figurines.

For children, the Carbon-Freeze Me and Alderaan Princess figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.

DTOD6980743

The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $119.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For 15-inch figurines, retail is $999.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.

Completed figurines will arrive within 6-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).

Guests can book their experience by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324) starting March 26. We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2015 (May 15 – 17, May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7, and June 12-14). Guests attending the Galactic Gathering event on May 14 will be some of the first individuals to experience Star Wars – D-Tech Me this year.

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 in the Star Wars D-Tech Me experience. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or reservation cancellations 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. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Friendly Faces on a Disney Cruise Trump Friday the 13th Woes

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Can you believe it’s Friday the 13th, again?! Last month on this traditionally unlucky day, we celebrated Villaintine’s Day, and I shared with you the top places to spot villains on a Disney cruise. But this month I want to focus on good rather than evil and show you some the friendly faces you can see when sailing with us.

asdf654321

The Fab Five: The gang’s all here! Starting with our special Sailing Away celebration, you’ll see these beloved friends up on stage, walking the decks, giving out hugs and lighting up faces throughout your entire cruise. Potential memorable moments with these guys are just one reason to have your camera handy at all times.

asdf654132

Princesses: Calling all royalty! Heroines like Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana and Ariel await your presence in the atrium lobby for our one-of-a-kind Princess Gatherings. Some of these special ladies also make appearances in our stage shows, singing tunes from your favorite Disney films and showing off their glittery gowns.

asdf654123

Friends from Arendelle: Speaking of princesses, your two favorite royal sisters are now onboard all four ships, soon to be joined by their pal, Olaf. Plenty of warm hugs will be given, and come summer, these friends will delight Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruisers during a spectacular “Frozen”-inspired celebration on deck.


asdf321654

Intergalactic Heroes: The Force is strong with this one! Iconic characters from the Star Wars saga are joining us aboard eight sailings on the Disney Fantasy in 2016. During the day-long celebration, Star Wars Day at Sea, you’ll see them roaming the decks, converging on the deck stage for a special celebration, signing autographs and more.

asdf123456

Pixar Pals: Your favorite characters from Pixar films are everywhere! You’ll spot them on stage, on screen, on deck and more. Some of our Pixar character highlights include “Toy Story – The Musical” in the Walt Disney Theatre, an atrium dance party in Alaska and humorous conversations with Crush in Animator’s Palate.

0131ZW_3018MS

Disney Junior: Jake and Sofia are two stars from Disney Junior bringing smiles to the faces of our littlest cruisers. One event your family won’t want to miss is our Disney Junior Pirate & Princess Dance Party where you can boogie to fun Disney Junior tunes, sometimes alongside this adventure-seeking pirate and adored princess in-training.

asdf235648

Popular Pirates: Avast, me hearties! Jake isn’t the only well-liked pirate you’ll meet on your sailing. Captain Jack Sparrow can be spotted stumbling around Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay (Castaway Air Bar serves excellent rum!), and Mickey and his gang, including Chip and Dale, don their swashbuckling attire for our special pirate party night.

Of course, that’s not all! Friends like Lilo and Stitch are up for fun all year long, and Santa Claus spreads cheer throughout the holiday season. Who are some of the other friendly faces you love to see on a Disney cruise?

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Giant Sand Castle in the Snow Announces 24-Hour Party, ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 11th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


As you may have seen on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” we shared some true Disney magic in winter-weary Boston by creating a warm summer scene, inspired by Olaf’s “In Summer” dream, to officially announce that the “Coolest Summer Ever” is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. And it all begins with a Disney Parks Blog reader favorite – a 24-hour event at Magic Kingdom Park – during Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer.

NOI749702443

Olaf, who is the official host of our “Coolest Summer Ever,” surprised Bostonians near historic Faneuil Hall with a 20-foot wide beach that included a Cinderella Castle made of sand, beach chairs, beach balls and other reminders of summer fun at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out how it all came together in the video below.

We’re kicking off the summer with an all-night party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom Park will be open to guests for 24 hours of nonstop fun from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. May 22-23. Guests are invited to dress to show their Disney Side while a selection of favorite attractions, entertainment, merchandise, food and beverages will be on tap all night long to celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever” at Walt Disney World Resort.

For the “Coolest Summer Ever,” we’re already planning experiences you won’t want to miss. Here’s an early look at some of the highlights:

There’s more to come, so keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog or visit Disneyworld.com/CoolestSummerEver for future details and information.

Also, later this morning, Erin will be sharing a special announcement from Disneyland Resort right here on the blog.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

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


9317459f1p0 Cover

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.

SWGG740164

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.

SWGG740165

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , ,

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.

Photo 1

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!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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.

stasta736991

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.

stasta873982

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!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort

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.

SAD697505

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:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

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