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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap Jan. 17, 2016

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

This week, Disney Parks Blog readers were among the first to learn that one of the most intriguing new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Kylo Ren – will be coming to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Every day at Disney Parks, you can step into the exciting experiences like Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and Star Wars Launch Bay. Next month, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland park of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren. Check out Shawn’s original story for more details.

And we also shared that ‘Tangled’ has returned to the Royal Theatre at Disneyland park. Beginning this weekend (Friday, January 15), the tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider is once again coming to life through the inimitable storytelling talents of resident Renaissance men, Messieurs Smythe and Jones. Take a look at our original story.

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

First Look at New Rivers of America Waterfront and Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park in California – The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland park in Southern California have closed temporarily as we prepare to bring an all-new Star Wars-themed land to the park. When these areas reopen, the north bank of the Rivers of America will have a beautiful new waterfront, which we’re excited to give you a sneak peek at.

Happy Lunar New Year Celebration Returns to Disney California Adventure Park – This year, the Year of the Monkey, brings the return of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park, February 5-8!

Pixar Wizards Leave Their Signatures on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – If you’ve had the chance to stop through Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you may have noticed the impressive Storyboard Chandelier that serves the lobby’s centerpiece. Since the resort opened in 2012, it has become tradition for film contributors – both voice actors and those working behind the scenes – to add their autograph to a sketch appearing on the chandelier.

New Year – New Disney Parks Moms Panel – The beginning of 2016 not only brings new hopes and dreams for many of us, it also brings new members to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

Decorate Your Home with New Disney Parks-Inspired Figurines – During a recent Disney Parks Blog Unboxed video, I gave you a first look at three new decorative figurines coming to Disney Parks this year. These figurines were inspired by characters and icons from attractions found at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts.

Wildlife Wednesday: Meet Willie the Aardvark at Rafiki’s Planet Watch – I’m delighted to introduce you to Willie, a new resident at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Willie is an aardvark that frequents the outdoor stage next to Affection Section where I hope you get the chance to meet and learn more about him in person.