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.”
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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
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.”
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
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.
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.
Here are a few of my top picks:
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
From above the world of “Cars” comes Disney’s “Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty, a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. The new “Dusty in Flight” Disney Gift Card has now landed on DisneyGiftCard.com and is available for purchase.
Originally only available in park, new Disney Gift Cards from Star Wars Weekends featuring Skywalker Mickey, Darth Goofy, Stitch Yoda, and Darth Donald are now available for purchase online.
A few weeks ago, I turned the spotlight on timepieces for Mother’s Day. With Father’s Day only a few days away, it’s now time (pun intended) to focus on timepieces for Dad. Here are a few of my favorite watches released this spring at Disney Parks.
There is a variety of styles available for dads including some classic silver toned watches that have subtle Disney hints. I liked the blue watch with a pop art-style Mickey Mouse (mostly because blue is my favorite color). I also like the slightly tilted square watch featuring Mickey Mouse. I guess I have a thing for contemporary designs.
I was particularly excited to see Disney Design Group artist Darren Wilson’s artwork used for Disney Villains watches of Jafar, Captain Hook and Scar. There is also a new Chernabog watch that was designed by long time Disney Design Group Artist Mark Seppala. I asked Darren about his unique designs.
“A few years ago, I created an image of Maleficent using a caricature or anime style as I thought it would be something different for merchandise,” explained Darren. “In 2006, the pin team released a limited edition, jumbo-sized pin using the artwork which was titled ‘Big Head Villain Roundup.’ I was happy to see the artwork featured again this spring on watches.”
One of the highlights of Star Wars Weekends is seeing — and hearing — the voices behind some of the famous on-screen characters. The world of Disney and the galaxy of Star Wars once again came together during Weekend II, when Jim Cummings bounced his way from the Hundred Acre Wood to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special visit.
In addition to being the voice of Outer Rim pirate Honda Ohnaka in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Jim has a long list of credits with The Walt Disney Company. Many guests know him as the voice of Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger too!) and Darkwing Duck. Jim’s credits also include famous Disney characters like Pete, Ed the Hyena, Humphrey the Bear and Ray the Firefly.
The final weekend of Star Wars Weekends 2013 is this weekend, so catch it before it leaves our galaxy. The event takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 7-9. Weekend IV celebrity guest stars include Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew and Tom Kane.
Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #StarWarsWeekends on Twitter.
When I was young, I spent countless hours playing with my Star Wars action figures, re-enacting my favorite scenes from the movies. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined what it would be like to come face to face with Darth Vader in a light saber battle or to meet C3PO and R2D2.
On the opening days of this year’s Star Wars Weekends, some of our guests took one step closer to putting themselves in the movies by visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in elaborate costumes and meeting their favorite characters. From family-made pieces to professionally-finished gear and make-up, guests played a starring role in the festivities, too.
I had never pictured Darth Vader in a green tutu, but I think it works. Which is your favorite?
The new gift prepares young Jedi for their interstellar trip, compliments of the Star Tours Travel Agency. And today, Disney Show Director Ken Malquist, who led the creative development of this new offering, is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at what went into designing the Star Tours Adventure Pack. Here’s my interview with Ken:
Jean: Ken, what’s this gift about?
Ken: Well, as the galaxy’s foremost vacation and travel provider, Star Tours takes great care in enhancing their passenger’s in-flight experience, so Aly San San, Star Tours Spokesbot, has provided the essentials a Jedi should never travel without: A satchel, a motion activated nametag with flashing blue lights, travel credentials, a pillow/blanket, chocolate, and a Light Saber.
Jean: What special creative experiences did you go through to create this gift?
Ken: We worked closely with our Star Wars experts on staff, Star Wars Weekends, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering, [to share] our concepts and ideas. It truly was a collaborative process to create this gifting experience.
Jean: As a Star Wars/Star Tours enthusiast, what do you think fans will especially like about this gifting experience?
Ken: It’s the whole package and the detail. Having the light-up lanyard, boarding documentation and ticket really takes it to the next level. You’re now in the adventure and the Force is with you. Creating this gift was an amazing and unique experience. At the end of the day, I would share with my family that I had spent time researching Ewoks, how many fingers they had, and how tall they are! I never thought I would actually become an expert, which is literally what happened. I had to immerse myself in the Star Wars universe; it was definitely a personal journey.
If you want to learn more, visit DisneyFlorist.com or call a Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Maker at 407-WDW-GIFT. And of course, may the Force be with you!
And for a full 24-hours, our team of Disney Parks Blog authors shared photos, videos and stories from the event, including updates from one author who visited all three parks – on both coasts – in one day. If you missed any of the fun, take some time this Memorial Day weekend to see the monster madness in the parks.
Disneyland Resort Wraps Up the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter
Well, now it’s time to say goodbye! It’s scary how much fun we’ve had at the Disneyland Resort over the past 24 hours, starting with fireworks all the way to partying in our pajamas. Thanks for following along, and if you joined us in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks today, I hope you had a monstrously good time!
Today’s bi-coastal adventure was an amazing memory that I’ll never forget. Thank you for following along throughout the day. I realized one important thing during my coast-to-coast adventure – I’m proud to be a Disney cast member working in the most magical place on Earth. I hope to see you in the parks!
Because what’s an all-nighter without your pajamas? Beginning at midnight, Disneyland park guests were treated to the Disney Character Pajama Party in Mickey’s Toontown. The party featured classic Disney cartoons, a Mickey Mouse Party Zone plus hot chocolate, milk and cookies. And of course, some of our favorite Disney friends were there in their pajamas!
Our 24 hours of fun has just come to a close at Magic Kingdom Park here at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Our team has had an absolute blast covering the kick off to Monstrous Summer over the last 24 hours – from our Monstrous Morning Meet-Up, that started before the park opened, to Dole Whips, lunch in New Fantasyland, night-time entertainment, and so much more!. Now it’s time to say goodnight! (Or should that be, “good morning’?).
What better way to end my Monstrous day then getting some QT with the boss (in my pajamas, no less). He looks like he’s ready for the comfort of a nice, warm bed. Well, that wraps it up for me – I’ll see you again real soon (this coming Thursday) right here on the Disney Parks Blog.
I arrived at the Disneyland Resort! I’m delighted to be back at the original Disney Park. When I arrived, the Monstrous Summer All-Night Party was in full swing. I grabbed a quick photo in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (yes, the Scare Pig traveled with me all the way from Florida).
Some would call my dance moves a bit scary. I’d say they’re monstrously awesome. (I imagine they’re somewhere in the middle.) Bringing my ‘A’ game, I joined still-wide-awake guests and danced ’til the wee hours at Disney’s Up All Night Dance Party. Check out the photo gallery below to see what a great time our guests are having!
Mickey Mouse as a Jedi, Minnie Mouse as Princess Leia, Donald Duck as a Stormtrooper and Goofy as (a pants-less) Darth Vader … it’s a mash-up of all things awesome in Tomorrowland here at Disneyland park. Our Disney friends have donned their best Star Wars attire to greet guests at our all-night party. Check them out!
At a time when we’re usually preparing Magic Kingdom Park for Saturday morning guests, Main Street, U.S.A., is still open, busy and beautiful. We wanted to share a rare look at what’s happening now – at three in the morning.
It’s midnight here in Florida and time to let you know that we will be keeping things lively at Cinderella Castle with Disney’s Up All Night Dance Party. You can dance the morning away from 2 to 5:45 a.m. this morning at Cinderella Castle. Let us know if you’re joining us.
After spending time on some attractions in the park, the group enjoyed an early preview screening of Disney•Pixar’s new movie “Monsters University” before it opens in theaters in 3D on June 21. Here’s a look at some of the fun.
Thank you to everyone who attended – it was wonderful meeting so many new friends and readers of the Disney Parks Blog. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for information about our next meet-up opportunity
The Main Street Electrical Parade is about to make its way through Magic Kingdom Park. What a great way to kick off the special nighttime festivities the park has planned for the Monstrous All-Nighter! This is one of my favorite Disney parades of all time – probably because it reminds me of my first trip to Magic Kingdom Park back in the early 1980s. (And the Pete’s Dragon float is the BEST!).
Be sure to check back later for our coverage of the all-night dance parties, fireworks and more!
If I’m going to last until 6 a.m., I’ll need some food-powered energy. In honor of my Mike Wazowski-inspired meal, I’ve written a Monstrous Food Haiku. (Get this! The cotton candy tastes like green apple. It. Was. Delicious.)
Mike inspired food
The salad keeps it balanced
Tasty, green goodness
I just arrived at the Orlando International Airport to start the second leg of my coast-to-coast expedition for the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter. While I had a quick costume change, I kept wearing the Sulley ear hat and Mike Wazowski sunglasses (yes, I got strange looks from a few people and that was okay). Today was a blast! I enjoyed seeing many friends at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort from early morning to late afternoon. There is more excitement planned this evening at the Disneyland Resort, and I can’t wait to get there.
While this isn’t my first trip to California, I can finally shout something I’ve watched people say for years – “I’m going to Disneyland!” I hope to see you in the Parks!
Here in Tomorrowland at the Walt Disney World Resort, we’re starting our “Monster Mania” DJ Dance Party. It’s happening at the Rockettower Plaza Stage from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight. Tweet us if you’re out there with #Disney24.
“Eye” can’t think of a better way to kick off my Monstrous Summer than snapping a shot of me with one of the coolest Monsters at Monster University, James P. Sullivan. I’m even decked out in my best MU gear for the occasion.
I’m on the nightshift here on the Disney Parks Blog, and I’ll be helping bring this All-Nighter into 6 a.m. with updates throughout the night from Walt Disney World Resort. Right now, I’m headed out to get in on all the fun Magic Kingdom Park has going on. (I hear there’s a dance party. And by now, you know I love a good dance party.)
If you are pulling an all-nighter and staying with us at the Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts for 24 hours today, then there’s no doubt you will work up a Monstrous appetite. Here are my top Monstrous picks to keep you going throughout the day and night: the Monstrous Summer cupcake with green icing, the Mike Wazowski-inspired cake pop and, my personal favorites, the Mike and Sulley specialty apples. For those of you attending the party in Florida, you might even find green and blue cotton candy!
Keep an “eye” out in the following locations if you are looking to scare up one of these delectable treats:
Speaking of sweet treats, I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller, who will be joining us here at the Disneyland Resort in just a matter of hours. He’s been celebrating the 24 hour event in Florida and will be traveling coast-to-coast this evening. I’m thinking I better pick up an apple or two for him just in case he didn’t get one earlier. But which one should I pick? You weigh in…Mike or Sulley? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to watch the Disney Parks Blog later this evening to see which one he actually selects.
Lovely Afternoon Treat at the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park
After spending nearly all day at Magic Kingdom Park for the Monstrous Summer “All-Nighter,” I thought a refreshing Citrus Swirl would be a nice change of pace from the several cups of coffee I’ve consumed. I asked my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Catalano to join me at the Sunshine Tree Terrace while wearing our Sulley ear hats and Mike Wazowski sunglasses. Our field trip was a wonderful way to spend a sunny Florida afternoon before departing for the Golden State – California!
Thousands of Disneyland Resort guests lined up early this morning to begin 24 hours of monstrous fun here at the Disneyland Resort. Check out the video below for the opening moment (complete with fireworks, of course), lots of Mike Wazowski eyes and more!
If you joined us early this morning, you know we kicked off our first-ever three park all night party with a special moment in front of Magic Kingdom Park. Mike and Sulley, from the newest Disney•Pixar animated feature “Monsters University,” were joined by some of your other favorite Disney characters to start the Monstrous Summer at Disney Parks. Take a look.
Our friends Mike and Sulley (and several of their friends from “Monsters University“) just made their way down Main Street, U.S.A., as a pre-parade to the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade. Their appearance even included cheerleaders and a monstrous marching band – love it! If you’re in the park today and would like to see them again, they’ll be back at 2:45 p.m.
The best part, however, was meeting the Lambert family from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They joined us at Magic Kingdom Park today for the all-night party following a week-long vacation at Walt Disney World Resort. I particularly loved the backs of their shirts, as it was a great reminder of how much time we’ll be celebrating at Disney Parks today. I’m going to make every second count!
The “Celebrate the Magic” nighttime spectacular, which uses amazing projections to transform Cinderella Castle into a kaleidoscope of Disney characters and stories, is introducing a new segment just for the summer season.
You’ll head to the beach with Lilo and Stitch, dive “Under the Sea” with Ariel and Sebastian, and go Goofy for this sunny homage to the fun and freedom of summer days shared with family and friends. And best of all, this special bit of “Limited Time Magic” lasts all summer long.
We have a treat for those of you who are following the Monstrous All-Nighter along from home. Here’s where you can download the “Monsters University” Entrance Exam poster we gave away earlier today at our Monstrous Morning Meet-Up. Can you correctly guess where monsters would pop up in Magic Kingdom Park if they stepped through these doors for a scare? Click here for the answers!
We’re loving some of the outfits we’ve seen Magic Kingdom Park guests in so far today. Guests have gotten very creative with their theme park attire, appearing in “Monsters University” gear, pajamas and even some self-made “monstrous” creations! Check out the gallery above to see some of our favorites.
On this “monstrous” day at Disney Parks, I stopped by the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., in Magic Kingdom Park to check out the new merchandise for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film “Monsters University.” The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and, after attending an early screening, I can say that it’s awesome! Like previous film releases such as “Oz The Great and Powerful” Disney Theme Park Merchandise partnered with the Disney Store to introduce some of the plush and toys they created. There are, however, a handful of items created specifically for Disney Parks.
The Emporium had an entire wall of “Monsters University”-inspired goods. They were mixed with some classic items we’ve had for years like the Mike Wazowski “eye” shirt, the Boo baby plush in a blanket, and the “Monsters, Inc“. figure playset.
I particularly liked the new D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 4/4S and the iPhone 5. I also liked the “MU” hat that looks like it came directly from the film (the worn spot is a nice touch).
While in the Emporium, I had some fun with my favorite new traveling buddy today – the Scare Pig plush, who is the school mascot from “Monsters University” rival, Fear Tech. Look for additional items arriving in June including a mystery pin set and a limited edition opening day pin. I’m particularly excited for the new Vinylmation mystery set designed by Disney artist Ron Cohee coming to Disney Parks on June 14. Go MU!
If you’re not able to join us in the parks for our “all-nighter,” we’ve got the next best thing to being here – live video from Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. Along with our live blogging coverage, we have a live video stream showing the fun on Main Street U.S.A., as it happens.
During the 24-hours, we’ll be featuring the live video stream in our live blogging content stream. We’re also making it available on a special Disney Parks Blog page to check anytime during the event.
I’m no stranger to staying up for 24 hours. While in college, I remember pulling a few “all-nighters” to finish writing papers for class. I also attended a few 24-hour science-fiction movie marathons when I lived in Columbus, Ohio (that was crazy but fun!). Today, I have another excuse to stay up all night – the Monstrous Summer “All-Nighter” to kick off a summer of fun at Disney Parks. This is a big bicoastal party, which I will be attending for most of the day at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. This evening, I’ll finish out the night in Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California.
Throughout the day, I’ll be sharing updates about my adventures on the Disney Parks Blog. I’d love to get photographs with friends on both coasts dressed in their best Monstrous Summer attire. I’m also looking forward to enjoying a refreshing Citrus Swirl early this afternoon in Adventureland. Anyone care to join me?
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our Monstrous Morning Meet-Up at Magic Kingdom Park where we’re officially registering our guests as new “Monsters University” students! They’re also enjoying a special Monstrous Donut & Fruit Bar, photo opportunities and more. Check out the gallery below for an inside look.
Guests joined the blog team outside of Magic Kingdom Park as early as 4:30 a.m. this morning to be among the first to enter and kick off the Memorial Day Weekend in a big way. We’ve started the day here in Florida but there’s plenty more to see and experience during the next 24 hours.
Keep checking for complete coverage of our “all-nighter” at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort – Erin will be joining us with updates soon. Our reports will include a live stream from Main Street U.S.A., and a few other surprises.