Monday, June 29, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 6/22/15 - 6/29/15




News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 
News


Epcot
  • A new lounge called D-Zone has popped up behind the Character Spot. Guests can sit and relax in the air conditioning with a cool beverage.
  • Captain EO will be returning on July 19.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Flame Tree Barbeque will open on June 30.
  • Disney has already stopped selling the animal poop treats because people were offended by them.
General Walt Disney World News
  • Selfie sticks are banned across Walt Disney World property.
  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closed for its annual refurbishment from October 25 through to January 2 2016. Blizzard Beach will be closed from January 3 through to March 12, 2016.

Rumors
  • With rumors of Disney's Art of Animation closing soon, it's also being rumored that Mickey and Minnie will be meeting in a new area, as will Hiro and Baymax.  
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 6/15/15 - 6/21/15






News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News

Magic Kingdom

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant is now taking breakfast reservations until October 3.


Epcot

  • Living with the Land will be closed from September 8-17.



General Walt Disney World News

  • The Richard Petty Driving Experience is indeed closing to make way for more Magic Kingdom parking.


Rumors


  • New waterfront cabins should be headed to Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

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Download the ALL NEW 2015 Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. See the great things the park has to offer!  



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 6/8/15 - 6/14/15


News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News

Epcot
  • The new attraction for the Norway Pavilion currently under construction will be called Frozen Ever After. Through the attraction, Guests will discover that Elsa has created a winter-in-summer day for everyone to experience. Guests will experience some of their favorite Frozen characters, including the Snowgies from the animated short “Frozen Fever.” This new attraction will share favorite moments and music from the film in a new unique way, new technology and classic Disney storytelling. In addition, the “Royal Sommerhus” will be the charming setting for Guests to meet Anna and Elsa.  The attraction is expected to open in Spring 2016. (Rumored to be May 1.)


Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • As the latest addition to Harambe Market, Zuri’s Sweets Shop will be the newest merchandise location for Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to purchase treats with an African twist will feature 80 exclusive food items. Guests can buy assorted bulk trail mixes, bottles of the signature sweet and spicy sauce from Flame Tree Barbecue, themed sweets from “The Lion King,” and much more. The shop will open on June 17.

Downtown Disney
  • Vivoli Gelateria is now open in The Landing. 
  • We have some new details about The Edison. The restaurant will be themed to a 1920's period electric company power plant.  It will feature a number of distinct spaces like The Lab performance space, The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and a Waterfront Patio. In addition, entertainment options will include things such as contortionists, palm readers, live DJs and more. The Edison is expected to open in 2016.

General Walt Disney World News
  • The 2016 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages go on sale on June 22.

Rumors

  • This may be the last year for the Jedi Mickey's Dine at Hollywood and Vine.
  • Morimoto Asia will open in September.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

24 Hours at Walt Disney World






Have you ever thought of attempting a 24 Hour Day at Walt Disney World?

Wait...you can spend 24 Hours in Walt Disney World?  Yep! You sure can!  Each year for Memorial Day Weekend, guests are able to spend from 6:00 a.m. on a Friday until 6:00 a.m. on Saturday in the Magic Kingdom.  It is a feat that I NEVER though I would accomplish...however, this year, I actually did.

So, let's back up.  Disney started these 24 hour days back in 2012.  That event was held on February 29 to celebrate Leap Year.  The event was so popular that Disney moved it to Memorial Day Weekend and the rest is history.  They announced that another 24 hour day was occurring this Memorial Day Weekend back in March, however, the hubby and I didn't decide to make the trip until just a couple of weeks prior.

We knew we had annual passes and we knew that we had a place to stay that weekend, since my brother lives in Orlando, and we knew we had the three day weekend off, so we thought...hmm....this could be fun.

So, we started planning.  We would have to work on Friday until 5 p.m. and then we'd have to make the 7 hour (with Atlanta traffic) drive down to Orlando, so that meant we'd arrive at around 1:00 a.m.  We weren't planning on spending the whole rest of the evening in the Magic Kingdom; I figured we'd leave around 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. out of sheer exhaustion.  I know my sleepy limit and that's typically it.  We'd also do some Star Wars Weekends stuff, cause I'd never visited during that time of year, and we'd go home on Monday.  A short, but effective trip.

We did the first part as planned, but I was actually able to leave work a little early, however, ATL traffic, caused more delays than I was expecting.  We got into Orlando at around 12:30 and walked into the Magic Kingdom at 1:00 a.m. and we were feeling good.  The adrenaline had kicked in nicely.

Our first stop was at Starbucks.  We had to get some caffeine.



Now, before our trip, I decided to make FastPass+ reservations for the times I was estimating we'd be in the park.  I made an 11:30-12:30 reservation, a 12:30-1:30 reservation, and a 1:30-2:30 reservation for the three mountains.  Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to get us into the Magic Kingdom in time for the first one, however, after we'd been fully caffeinated, we were able to use the second and third ones, and the best part is, that because we'd arrived so late, no one else had FastPasses!  The standby lines were astronomical for Big Thunder Mountain and Splash, but we breezed right on.

What was especially awesome about this event was the party atmosphere.  It was so weird hearing Taylor Swift playing from Tomorrowland, but at 2:00 a.m., you don't care.  Whatever will keep you awake is great!


After about 2:00 a.m. the wait times for most attractions died down.  We were able to breeze on most things in Fantasyland and Storybook Circus.  By that time it was almost 4:00 and I have to admit...we were still feeling good.  The tiredness hadn't set in yet.  I started thinking...we can do this.  We can make it two more hours.  

That is until we sat down on the Wedway Peoplemover at about 4:45 a.m.  At that point, I realized just how tired I was and I thought...should we go home?  We heavily debated it, but as we were walking past Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor, I saw that it had a 10 minute wait, so I thought...we can handle that.


It ended up being the best experience I've ever had at Monster's Inc Laugh Floor.  Because at that time of the night, the crowd was all adults, the monsters were able to go a little more adult with their show (not rated R...more like PG-13.)  It was fantastically fun!



By the time we got out of Monster's Inc, we started making our way to the front of the park, because we'd heard there was going to be a special goodbye ceremony.  The ceremony was ok.  It was kind of cute with the characters in their PJs, but just alright.





Holy cow!  It's 6:00 a.m.!  I'd made it!  I couldn't believe it.  And I wasn't as stupidly tired as I thought I would be.  It was so cool to be in the Magic Kingdom that early in the morning.





When all was said and done, I was actually awake for 27 hours, by the time I got back home and settled.

The question is....would I do this event again and stay awake for 24 hours?  You know....I wouldn't say I would never do it again.  It was a lot of fun.  The energy was fantastic.  And I can say I did it.  I may not stay awake the full 24 hours.  I may choose to nap next time, but I think I would do an event like this again.

So now, I as you...would you do a 24 Hour Day at Walt Disney World?  Why or why not?  Let me know in the comments. 

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...pin the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 6/1/15 - 6/7/15




News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.  News


Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Frozen Summer Fun kicks off soon and this year guests will be able to catch both Frozen Fever and a behind the scenes look at making the short, in the ABC Sound Studio.  The short will air twice each hour, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  
  • A new preview area for the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Star Wars game is now open to the side of the Hyperion Theater, where guests can see the new Star Wars playlets, and take a test play on the game itself.

Disney's Animal Kingdom  

  • Creature Comforts will reopen June 18 as the newest Starbucks location. The menu will include coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccinos, signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries, as well as a few Disney snacks. 
  • Beginning June 17, Pizzafari will no longer offer breakfast.  The restaurant will open at 11:00 a.m. for lunch.


Downtown Disney

  • The NBA Experience is slated to come to at Disney Springs.  This expansive, one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that puts guests right in the middle of NBA game action. Guests will enjoy immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.
  • Vivoli Gelateria will open this month.


General Walt Disney World News

  • Mickey's Backyard Barbeque will take place this summer on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.


Rumors


  • Rebel Hangar may last past Star Wars Weekends.
  • Could more attractions be on the docket to close at Disney's Hollywood Studios by the end of the year?
Download the ALL NEW 2015 Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. See the great things the park has to offer! 
 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Disney Cruise Line 101: Pre-Planning



I am super stoked!  My Disney Cruise Line vacation aboard the Disney Dream is just a little over a month away! (Well, if I'm being technical, it's 36 days and counting...) This will be my third cruise on this glorious ship and so I wanted to start this little Disney Cruise Line 101 Series by taking a look at some of the things you should think about with pre-planning. 

By now, you've already booked the cruise and you have made your final payment. (For those who don't know, final payment is dependent on the number of cruises you've taken.  The more cruises, the sooner you can pay off your cruise...you'll see why that matters in a minute.)

First things first...make sure you have a valid passport. I know that when you cruise via a U.S. port like Port Canaveral you technically can use your birth certficate still, but please don't!  Spend the money and get a passport.  It makes life a whole heck of a lot easier. (Plus, a friend of mine didn't actually have the correct birth certificate for her daughter...didn't have a raised seal...and they weren't going to let her cruise. Luckily she rectified the problem, but don't let that be you!)  So, go do it for each member of your family!

Ok...that's my PSA for the day.

The next thing you want to do, after paying off your cruise is to log in to and compete your cruise documents and forms online under My Online Check-In. (Which is found at disneycruise.com/plan). You will need to make sure to print off these documents and bring them with you to the Port. 

Disney Cruise Line guests have a unique reservation making process.  It is as follows:  
  • Platinum Castaway Club members (repeat Disney Cruise Line passengers who have been on 10 or more previous Disney cruises) and those who are staying in Concierge cabins can make their online reservations up to 120 days prior to embarkation.
  • Gold Castaway Club members (repeat Disney Cruise Line passengers who have been on 5 or more previous Disney cruises) can make their online reservations up to 105 days prior to embarkation.
  • Silver Castaway Club members (repeat Disney Cruise Line passengers who have been on 4 or fewer previous Disney cruises) can begin making reservations 90 days before embarking.
  • All others can go online and make reservations 75 days in advance of departure.
This is something to keep in mind because it will impact things as we move forward.

You'll first want to schedule your Port Arrival Time.  This will be the time when you will be permitted to board the ship.  Make sure that you arrive on time, and while Disney says that early arrivals may have to wait, I can honestly say I've never had to wait to enter the building once. 

A couple of exceptions on scheduling a port arrival time:
  • If you are staying at an official Walt Disney World resort the night before your cruise and you are utilizing Disney’s bus service to take you to the port, you do not choose a port arrival time during online check-in. You will typically arrive at the port at around 1:30 p.m. Your embarkation group number will be assigned based on when you arrive.
  • If you are a Platinum Castaway Club member or staying in a concierge level stateroom or suite, good news! You are automatically in embarkation group 1!

In addition, if you haven't already, take a look at the Shore Excursions and Port Adventures that you can take part in while cruising. (The earlier you can make online reservations, the better shot you have of getting the harder to get choices ahead of your vacation.) Now is the time to sign up for whichever options you think best suit your vacation needs. You'll also want to make sure to sign up for any spa treatments you're thinking about.  You also will be able to make babysitting reservations for those with little bitties. Finally, if you are wanting to experience Remy or Palo, make sure to sign up for that too. Don't worry if all the spots are filled for these things.  A lot of times Disney will hold back reservations for those who haven't made them prior to boarding the ship, or for those who were unable to obtain the reservation that they desired, so if you can't get what you want, make sure to head to Guest Relations when boarding.

To start making reservations online, register at DisneyCruise.com. You’ll need to make sure you know your cruise reservation number. Reservations open at midnight EST, the exact number of days in advance listed above.

If you will be celebrating something special, you'll want to make sure to order that merchandise to be delivered onboard ahead of time.  To choose your in-room gifts, visit disneycruise.com/plan and select "In-Room Gifts and Shopping."  

This is the time to think about where you'll be staying the night prior as well, if you haven't already made arrangements.  You never want to fly in the day of departure on the cruise (because what if something goes wrong?) so, it's always smart to arrive at least the night prior.

This also means that if you are staying on Disney property the night prior and haven't set up ground transportation to and from the ship, and you want to utilize that option, you'll want to take care of that now too.

About 45 days out from your vacation, you'll receive a booklet in the mail filled with all the last minute information that you should be thinking about leading up to your vacation. Make sure to take a look at it to familiarize yourself with anything you may be missing.


Whew!  While it sounds like a lot, it really isn't too terrible.  Trust me...this is probably the most "stressful" part of your trip!  Once you get onboard, you'll be able to relax with ease.

Next up in this series will be things to think while packing for your Disney cruise.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors - 5/25/15 - 6/1/15


News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News

Magic Kingdom
  • At this year's Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a new stage show calleed The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular will bring the fantastically evil Sanderson Sisters to the Castle stage where they will run amuck. With the help of the Disney villains, the three sisters, Winifred, Mary, and Sarah will conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion. The show will also feature appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent, as well as other favorite baddies. To round things out there will be dancers, projections, and special effects. The show will be replacing the Villains Mix and Mingle.
  • The Walt Disney World Railroad will be closed from September 28 through November 5. 

Epcot
  • First details have been announced for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. New dining options for 2015 will include things like Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese at the Farm Fresh Marketplace; the Scottish Citrus Thistle at the Scotland Marketplace; Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kumara Dumpling at the New Zealand Marketplace; and Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas at the Australia Marketplace. Celebrity chefs for this year's premium events include Cat Cora, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Rock Harper, Kenny Gilbert, Buddy Valastro, and John Ash.  The Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog will be returning for 2015. New this year will be Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, which invites kids of all ages to join a World Showcase scavenger hunt for little Remy statuettes hidden around the park’s World Showcase. The Chase Lounge will be returning to the American Adventure Pavilion, where guests who own a Chase debit or credit card will find complimentary refreshments and interactive fun.  Finally, there will be quite a few new premium events including the new “French Family Meal Traditions” lunch on Fridays and Sundays; new “Rockin’ Burger Block Party” on select dates; and new beverage events to include “Exploring Wines from 1996 to Now” that salutes the festival’s 20th year.
  • In addition, the full line up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series has been announced. It includes: 
    • David Cook – September 25-27
    • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29
    • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1
    • Starship – October 2-4
    • Smash Mouth – October 5-7
    • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9
    • 38 Special – October 10-11
    • Rick Springfield – October 12-13
    • Sugar Ray – October 14-16
    • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18
    • Air Supply – October 19-21
    • Fuel – October 22-23
    • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25
    • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28
    • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30
    • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1
    • Boyz II Men – November 2-4
    • Sister Hazel – November 5-6
    • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9
    • Hanson – November 10-12
    • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14
    • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • The Great Movie Ride has finally been updated with Turner Classic Movies branding. In the queue, families will enjoy new digital movie posters. In addition, there is  a new pre-ride video with TCM host Robert Osborne who provides illuminating insights from the movies. The finale will feature an all-new montage of classic movie moments. Finally, after Guests exit the attraction, they will have a new photo opportunity with the classic handprints that are famous outside of Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Flame Tree Barbeque is now expected to see its refurbishment until late June.
  • Harambe Market will see the opening of another shop, Zuri's Sweets beginning sometime in June.

General Walt Disney World News
  • Big changes have taken place with the Disney Dining Plan. The changes include more flexibility and choice in using entitlements,  including substitutions, who can use meal entitlements, and expanded snack offerings.  The full list of changes can be found here.
  • Beginning June 1, Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will offer a new men's experience called the Soothing Gentlemen's Facial which is designed to refresh and revitalize. This new spa experience is offered for 25 minutes for $70 or 50 minutes for $135.
  • Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs have seen a pricing change. The cost is now $16.49 for the entire length of stay, no matter the length. This hasn't been rolled out in full yet, only at some of the resorts, but it would indicate that it is headed to the rest of them.

Rumors
  • Disney may be considering tiered pricing based on the day of the week and the month you want to visit the parks.
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Please purchase a subscription through this link and help support this blog

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/18/15 - 5/24/15


News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News

Epcot
  • A new backstage tour is being offered called DestiNations Discovered. This five hour walking tour takes guests through the creation of the World Showcase pavilions.Cost is $109 per person.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • The new Harambe Market opened in the Africa section.
  • A new grab and go location is being constructed in the Asia section where FastPass tickets were previously distributed for Expedition: Everest. It is expected to be open sometime this fall.

Downtown Disney

  • Hoypoloi will be closing on May 25 to make way for the United World Soccer store.
  • The BOATHOUSE is now part of the Disney Dining Plan and will cost 2 Table Service credits.
General Walt Disney World News

  • At Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Territory Lounge will be testing a coffee shop from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  They will be serving iced coffee, espresso, lattes, specialty beverages, and pastries.
 Download the ALL NEW 2015 Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. See the great things the park has to offer!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/11/15 - 5/17/15



News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News


Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Pre-arrival FastPass+ selections for Fantasmic! will not July 21 and 22.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Guests can meet Tarzan along the Discovery Island Trail
  • Pocahontas will be meeting at Discovery Island Character Landing

Disney Resorts
  • Chef Mickey's will be offering brunch daily. Adults will cost $40.46 and children will cost $21.29. 
  • At Disney's Grand Floridan Resort, Mizner's Lounge will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. as a coffee bar. The lounge will operate as normal from 4:30 until midnight. 

Downtown Disney/Disney Springs

  •  Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar will be opening at Disney Springs.  The Disney owned and operated bar will be located just between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE in what was formerly the Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney. The aviation/ Indiana Jones-themed bar and lounge will have seating for 150, including both indoor and outdoor space.
  • In addition, 13 new shops and retail establishments have been announced for Disney Springs.  They include: 
RETAIL
    • Zara: Owned by the Inditex Group, one of the world’s largest fashion retail groups. Zara is known for its men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories, and how it expertly interprets current fashion and style trends of the season, delivering original designs to the consumer in a matter of weeks.
    • Tommy Bahama: Iconic island lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama embodies relaxed sophistication. The hallmarks of this casual collection include island-inspired sportswear, denim, and swimwear for men and women in luxuriously soft silks and cottons, richly woven textures and eclectic prints.
    • Lilly Pulitzer: The authentic American resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, is landing in the heart of Disney and will be offering their clothing and accessories, optimistic outlook, and happy prints to those who've loved the brand for years and new Lilly Girls out there.
    • UNIQLO: Leading global retailer UNIQLO designs, manufactures, and sells casual apparel that comes from the company’s Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. The simplest design hides the most thoughtful details in clothing that is constantly being innovated to bring more warmth and lightness, better design and comfort to people’s lives.
    • PANDORA: Building on its existing relationship with Disney Parks, the popular jewelry brand offers classic yet modern charm bracelets, along with necklaces, rings and earrings, as well as a line of exclusive Disney-themed jewelry.
    • UGG: The UGG® brand is recognized as a premium lifestyle brand offering men’s, women’s and kid’s footwear as well as loungewear, outerwear, home products, cold weather accessories and handbags.
    • L’Occitane en Provence: L’Occitane en Provence is an international skincare and beauty line celebrating the culture and beauty of Provence, France.
    • Edward Beiner: A leading eyewear designer, purveyor and retailer, Edward Beiner offers today's aspiring lifestyle-oriented customer the world's most original, authentic and innovative designer, fashion and high performance eyewear.
DINING
    • Edison: Inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, this lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination. It will feature exceptionally good classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret and music.
    • Sprinkles: The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. Their innovative Cupcake ATM satisfies sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
    • Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza: Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh, artisanal toppings – all for one price. The generously sized, 11-inch pizzas are “fast-fired” in a blazing hot open-flame oven and ready to enjoy in just 180 seconds. 
    • Vivoli Gelateria: Vivoli Gelateria serves expertly crafted gelato made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, panini sandwiches and espresso drinks.
    • Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s: Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café. This is expected to open in July. 

Rumors

  • Captain EO could be returning July 19 to Epcot.
  • Hearing that Harambe Market will be opening May 25.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Star Wars Weekends - A Complete Guide for 2015






Do you have a Star Wars fanatic in your family? Are you excited about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Then you need to catch Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios which runs from May 15 through June 14.  Oh, and if you're not a Star Wars fanatic, well don't fret.  It's still fun just walking around and soaking in the atmosphere too!

Star Wars Weekends take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Activities that take place during Star Wars Weekends include character meals, a fireworks spectacular, a parade, meet and greets with both Disney and Star Wars characters, plus celebrity meeting opportunities, stage presentations, and so much more!  Oh and the best part? All these activities are included in your park admission!


So, here we go, let's dive in to the Complete Guide to Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 



What's New?


©Disney


  • A special Jabba the Hutt cupcake will be introduced this year. 
  • This year's celebrity talk shows will take place at the Theater of the Stars, where Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage is performed. 
  • The Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience will have guests entering a space that serves as a rest stop and hangout for cosmic travelers of all kinds. At the lounge, Guests will be able to enjoy great Star Wars-inspired food and beverage offerings
  • A special event called the Galactic Gathering will take place on May 14 where guests can pre-purchase merchandise at Darth's Mall and get other special goodies. 
  • The D-Tech Me Experience returns with new options of Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter Pilot. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, your likeness will be scanned and cast as a three-dimensional figurine.   
  • Star Wars Rebels: The Ultimate Guide will allow Guests to relive the exciting adventures of the crew of the Ghost as seen in Star Wars Rebels Season 1 at ABC Sound Studio from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
 

Celebrity Meet and Greets



The celebrity meet and greet opportunities are one of the big highlights of Star Wars Weekends.  It's always exciting to see which celebrities will make their appearance!  



 Each weekend also includes celebrity hosts, who keep the party rocking and host special events throughout the days.  



  Celebrity Hosts Appearing All Five Weekends:

  • James Arnold Taylor - the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

Weekly Celebrity Guests:

Weekend I (May 15 – 17)
  • 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)
  • Ashley Eckstein - the voice of Ahsoka Tano, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
  •  
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)
  • Ashley Eckstein - the voice of Ahsoka Tano, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
  •  
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)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ashley Eckstein - the voice of Ahsoka Tano, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
  •  
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)
  • 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
  • Ashley Eckstein - the voice of Ahsoka Tano, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
  •  
Do keep in mind that schedules are subject to change without notice.



Celebrity Photo and Autograph Opportunities

©Disney

If you want to meet some of your favorite Star War celebrities each weekend during the event, you'll need to line up well ahead of time.  The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-like system. Here's how it works:
 
Guests will need to line up outside Disney’s Hollywood Studios' front gate entrance before the park opens. Those wishing to obtain celebrity autographs should use the bag check line to the far right. For the extremely popular celebrities, the queue usually starts between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. For less popular stars, plan to arrive by 6:30 a.m. Keep in mind that there will be different lines for each of the different celebrities, so in the beginning, make sure you join the line of the celebrity that is your number one priority to meet.
When you get to the front of the line, you will receive a wristband. Your theme park admission and this wristband will allow you to receive one FASTPASS ticket. Only one FASTPASS ticket will be given out per guest.  Guests may not get a FASTPASS for other members of their party, nor may they save a place in any of the FASTPASS lines for other members of your party . Each guest must be present to receive their FASTPASS ticket, which will contain a designated autograph return time.
Once you receive a ticket, you will need to continue to wear your wristband, since it will be necessary in order to obtain an autograph. FASTPASS ticket quantities are extremely limited and are only issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once you receive your FASTPASS ticket, go  enjoy other Star Wars Weekends activities. When your designated return time approaches, head over to the celebrity autograph location found at Echo Lake.  Simply show your wristband and present your FASTPASS ticket.

Often all the FASTPASS tickets for visiting celebrities will be distributed.  At that time, Disney may issue stand-by tickets, however, the stand-by tickets do not guarantee that you will get to meet the celebrity.
Also of note:  one autograph (signed photo or memorabilia) per Guest. If you don't have an item to be signed, a small photo card will be available at the autograph table. As always, there is no additional charge for the celebrity autograph sessions at Star Wars Weekends. Do keep in mind that not all celebrities announced for Star Wars Weekends will be signing autographs and meeting guests.
New this year, the celebrities will be meeting in an indoor location! This is a nice perk, since before, Guests would always have to meet the celebrities outdoors. The new location is on Commissary Lane near Star Tours.



Special Star Wars Weekends Events

There are a lot of fun activities that take place over Star Wars Weekends that are exclusive to the event. These include things like Disney and Star Wars character meet and greets, a special parade, a fireworks spectacular, and more.  Here is what you can expect that will be exclusive to the event's weekends.

The Stormtrooper Welcome - Hollywood and Vine Intersection

Encounter troublesome Imperial Stormtroopers while they ready a welcome surprise from the Dark Side as they attempt to keep all “Rebel Scum” out in this cute, little show that takes place around 7:30 am.  During the show, the Stormtroopers interact with both each other, as well as the Guests entering the park for the day.

Characters

This event is known for its character meet and greets.  Guests can meet Star Wars characters old and new.  In addition, many Disney characters dressed as Star Wars characters can also be found.  Here is where you will likely see your favorites.  

Rebel Star Wars Character Encounters 

 
©Disney


Character
Location
Lukc/Leia
Commissary Lane
Chewbacca, Ewoks, Ewok Chip and Dale
Star Tours
Clone Troopers
Streets of America
C-3PO and R2-D2
Darth's Mall
Queen Amidala
ABC Sound Studio
Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and Stormtrooper Donald
Darth's Mall


©Disney


Character
Location
Bounty Hunters
Near Studios Backlot Tour
Darth Maul
Near Studios Backlot Tour
Darth Vader
Streets of America



Legends of the Force Parade


Star Wars celebrities take part in the gala "Legends of the Force" parade, alongside Star Wars characters and Disney characters. The motorcade begins at the front of the park and travels up to the Center Stage, concluding with a grand celebrity welcome. It takes place daily during Star Wars Weekends at 11:00 a.m.


The Star Wars Weekends Event Stage 

  • Celebrity Welcome - Star Wars Weekends host James Arnold Taylor, along with that week's visiting celebrities, highlight the day’s events. Takes place at the Sorcerer Hat Stage immediately following the parade. 
  • Stormtrooper Patrol - Be on the lookout for Imperial Stormtroopers as they walk the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage imparting Imperial info and their own unique brand of investigation. 
  • Boba Fett Patrol - Keep an eye peeled for Boba Fett as strolls and patrols the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage. 
  
Padawan Mind Challenge

Kids ages 11 and under can test their Star War knowledge before the Jedi Council. Registration for the events begins at the Event Information Table near ABC Sound Studio starting at Park opening. Both parent (or adult over 18) and child must be present when signing up. Sign up early as spots go fast. The event takes place on the Center Stage at 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m.

Celebrity Talk Shows

Experience the fascinating life and movie making adventures of visiting celebrities at Disney's Hollywood Studio's Theater of the Stars.  Shows include:   
  • Star Wars Rebels at Theater of the Stars at 1:45 p.m. This show will reveal the fascinating art of voice acting from James Arnold Taylor and a special guest from Star Wars Rebels voice cast.
  • Stars of the Saga at Theater of the Stars begins with a Stormtrooper pre-show at 3:15 p.m. This Star Wars –themed celebrity talk show is hosted by James Arnold Taylor. 
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond will be held  at Theater of the Stars at 7 p.m. This one-man show  stars James Arnold Taylor and a galaxy of iconic characters as he takes his audience on a journey into the world of voice acting.

Guests can make FastPass reservations for these shows and since these shows are unique, FastPass+ reservations will likely go fast. If you want to make sure to see one of these shows, make your reservations as soon as possible.

For those who are not able to make FastPass+ reservations, or would like to see more than one show, standby options will be available.


Fireworks

DJ Lobot will be spinning favorite tunes beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Center Stage. To finish off the evening, the Symphony in the Stars fireworks celebration will occur at 9:45 p.m. and will feature a few of your favorite Star Wars characters, as well as a frenzy of fireworks set to that infamous score.

Feel the Force Premium Packages

The Feel the Force Premium Package will have guests get reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, complete with soft drinks, water, and snacks. Guests also get to take part in ONE of the Celebrity Talk Shows in Theater of the Stars. Your show time will be selected at check-in. Finally, to end the evening, guests get to experience the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party, where guests will enjoy Star Wars-themed desserts (like the delicious Darth Vader cupcake), as well as a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a great view of the evening’s fireworks. The cost of the Feel the Force Premium Package is $69 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $39 per child (ages 3-9). Tax and gratuity are included. 

The Feel the Force Deluxe Premium Package will allow Guests to experience the reserved viewing area for the Legends of the Force Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, but after the parade they will have the opportunity to follow behind the motorcade, too! In addition, they get reserved seating for ALL the Celebrity Talk Shows that take place in the Theater of the Stars. Deluxe Premium Package purchasers will also receive all day priority access to Darth’s Mall and a ceremonial lanyard. Finally, they get to watch the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks while enjoying a special dessert party. The cost for this package is $99 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $64 for children (ages 3-9) Tax and gratuity are included.


Special Star Wars Merchandise Opportunities

There are lots of special Star Wars merchandise opportunities for guests to take advantage of.  From customizable merchandise, limited edition items, and more.  Here's what you can expect to see:  

Darth's Mall

Located off the Streets of America, Darth's Mall is the place to go if you want to purchase special Star Wars Weekends merchandise.  Star Wars Weekends always includes a multitude of limited edition pins, artwork and collectibles. Darth’s Mall is open from park open – 7:30 p.m. It includes:

  • Prop Shop (Prop shop is open 7 days/week)
    • Event Merchandise
    • Star Wars Merchandise
    • Lego Free Build Activity (only available on Star Wars Weekend event dates)
  • Watto’s Grotto
    • Event Merchandise
    • Build Your Own LIghtsaber
    • Build Your Own Droid
    • Name Tags
    • Ashley Eckstein Her Universe
    • Annual Passholder Items
  • X-Wing Collectibles
    • X-Wing Collectibles
    • Limited Edition/Release Pins
    • Dooney & Bourke
    • Vinylmation
    • MagicBands
    • Character Figurines
    • Annual Passholder Items

Galactic Gathering Event

A special event that will take place on May 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. which gives guests access to Darth's Mall and Star Wars Weekend merchandise one day before Star Wars Weekends debuts.

Packages for this event are $250 per person and include: 
  • A Rebel or Empire MagicBand (Guests choose their side when registering online. Only available to Galactic Gathering guests.)
  • Commemorative trading pin (Only available to Galactic Gathering guests.)
  • Darth’s Mall Light Speed Pass, giving expedited entry into Darth’s Mall for all five weekends. (Only available to Galactic Gathering guests.)
  • 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.

In addition, guests of the Galactic Gathering will also get to meet Disney characters, Disney Design Group Artists and Ashley Eckstein who will be on hand again this year with merchandise from her Her Universe line.



D-Tech Me Experience


©Disney




©Disney


©Disney

One of the more popular activities for Star Wars Weekends is returning again this year. The D-Tech Me experience is where guests can have their faces cast on a mold of a Star Wars figurine.
This year, there will be four exciting options to choose from. They include the previous two versions: the Carbon-Freeze Me mold (similar to what happens to Han Solo in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back) the Alderaan Princess, the X-Wing Pilot and the Stormtrooper mold.  New for this year are molds of the Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter Pilot.

The process works as follows: Guests take part in a 3D face scan, which will be sent to a 3D printer. Once created, the figurine will be mailed to guests approximately 7-8 weeks later. 

Guests can purchase either a 7-inch figurine for $119.95 (plus tax and shipping) or a new 16-inch figurine for $999.95 (plus tax and shipping.)

Guests who have completed the process last year will also be able to take the previous face scan and add it to a different figurine, if they choose.

To book your experience, call (407) WDW-TECH. A credit card number will be required to hold the reservation, and cancellation fees may apply. 

The D-Tech Experience is located inside Darth's Mall.


Star Wars Weekends Character Meals

During the event are two Star Wars Character Meals. The meals will take place daily (not just during Star Wars Weekends) from May 4 - June 14.   Make sure to book your reservation for these meals by calling (407) WDW-DINE.



Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast - Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

This meal will take place from  8:00 a.m. to noon. Guests may meet Stormtroopers, Jawa, Greedo, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader. Best of all, it appears that instead of showing classic sci-fi movie clips, the theater will show Star Wars clips, including trailers, music, and other clips! Pricing is $47.99 for adults ages 10 and up and $29.99 for children ages 3-9. The Disney Dining Plan is available and it will cost two table service credits.  This meal also includes a digital photo of your party with Darth Vader on a commemorative PhotoPass card.

The Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine - Hollywood and Vine

This dinner will have guests meeting Disney characters dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. Guests will get to meet Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale. Dinner starts at 4:15pm and lasts until park close. Prices are $55.99 for adults ages 10 and up (or $59.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package), and $33.99 for children ages 3-9 (or $36.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package). For guests on the Disney Dining Plan, this meal will use two table service credits.  Guests will receive a digital download copy of their photograph with Ewok Chip and Dale on a commemorative PhotoPass card.


Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

The Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience will have guests entering a space that serves as a rest stop and hangout for cosmic travelers of all kinds. It will open daily at 4:00 p.m. At the lounge, Guests will be able to enjoy great Star Wars-inspired food and beverage offerings including: 

  • Pilot’s Pomme Frites – these are tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley with a garlic aioli for dipping
  • Ensalada Naboo – seared chicken breast, bibb lettuce, grape tomatoes, watermelon radish, almond frica, and a parmesan-peppercorn ranch dressing
  • Lightsaber Bites – hand-dipped corn-battered knockwurst sausages with house-made chips and mustard dipping sauce
 
©Disney

  •  The Dark Fried – Chicken and Darth Vader waffles served with maple syrup and sweet barbecue sauce
  • Trio of Thermal Detonators – spicy pork wings topped with spicy piquillo-pepper sauce and slaw
  • Slider Sampler featuring “The Sith” barbecue-braised brisket with cole slaw and “The Jedi” with barbecued pulled chicken with arugula
  • Fruit and Cheese “Sabers” featuring Tillamook cheddar, Brie, goat cheese, pickled vegetables, crostini, cheddar crackers, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon, strawberry, olives and gherkins
  • Chips & Sith – hummus with red pepper coulis, black sesame dust, and corn tortilla chips
  •  Yoda Key Lime Cake
  • Trio of Star Wars mini cupcakes, including Mini Darth Vader (chocolate-peanut butter), Mini Yoda (chocolate-hazelnut), and Mini Jabba the Hutt (salted caramel latte) served in the Han Solo Carbonite Souvenir Box

Fun Star Wars Treats

Yummy treats are always a part of Star Wars Weekends, with specialty items being offered featuring characters like R2-D2, Yoda, and Darth Vader.  Take your pick and choose your side.  
  • Look for Star Wars-themed treats throughout the park, which are offered in souvenir Star Wars snack buckets.  This year I've seen Stormtrooper mugs and Darth Vader buckets.
  • Also be on the lookout for The Darth Vader cupcake. A rich chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing and chocolate ganache with Darth Vader made from chocolate topping the delight. You’ll find the treat at Darth's Mall, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co, Pizza Planet, and Starting Rolls.You can also pick up a Yoda cupcake or a Jabba the Hutt cupcake too.
  • Kids Power Packs in R2-D2 buckets are typically available at Sunset Ranch Market, Pizza Planet, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company and ABC Commissary. 


Other Star Wars Weekends Fun

These events happen all the time, however, they are extra special to experience during Star Wars Weekends.  Keep in mind that because it is Star Wars Weekends, these experiences do tend to see more action. 



 
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Experience out-of-this-world destinations, all in 3D. You never know which journey you'll get!




Jedi Training Academy

This event started as only a Star Wars Weekends event, but became so popular, that it now takes place daily.  However, there is something special about seeing it during Star Wars Weekends.  During this stage show, Jedi hopefuls (children ages 4-12) learn the ways of the Force before coming face to face with Darth Vader to test their skills with a lightsaber. 

Guests must sign up ahead of time at the sign up location in front of Indiana Jones Epic Theater.  In order to get a chance to appear on stage, sign up at park opening to secure your spot. Spots go quickly.  Both parent (or adult over 18) and child must be present when signing up. Availability is limited and on a first-com basis.

The Jedi Training Academy takes place on the Star Tours Stage, found right next to Star Tours.

Miscellaneous

Here are some additional fun tidbits to keep in mind for this year's Star Wars Weekends: 
Dress up! Both children and adults are frequently seen in Star Wars costumes during this event. If you don't have your own Star Wars gear, pick up Star Wars custom items which are available for purchase at the event. In addition, there is also usually a face painting station that offers Star Wars designs located in the Star Tours area.

Also, be on the look out for Star Wars themed gift cards available, featuring Disney characters as Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Weekends is always a great experience.  There parks have a fun, party atmosphere almost.  The air feels electric!  

What do you look forward to with Star Wars Weekends?  Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page.  


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