Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Fantasyland is Finally Complete at the Magic Kingdom

It is official!  Today, with the opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, New Fantasyland is now complete!

It has taken several years (almost 5 to be exact...) and a few updates to the plans, but we now have an amazingly detailed land that looks spectacular!

But first, let's take a look this post...made back on July 23, 2009, which was info about leaked plans for an updated Fantasyland.  Just a few short weeks later, the official announcement was made in August at the first ever D23 Expo.

Back when I first announced about the leaked plans, all of this seemed so crazy.  And in a way, so far out from left field.  Yes, we did end up getting the majority of things, like the Enchanted Forest section, which would feature The Little Mermaid and the Beauty and the Beast sections. Both of those areas came to fruition, just as they were originally leaked. However, quite a few things changed from their original format.  Like, we lost Lefou's Creperie, a snack area, Triton's Treasures gift shop and Scuttle's Scavenger Hunt. which was to be like Agent P at Epcot.  These three things sort of morphed into pieces of other things.

Larger things were cut all together.   In January of 2011, the plans that had been leaked originally had changed...drastically.  Gone were the meet and greet/shows that were centered around Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.  (These shows would have been similar to Enchanted Tales With Belle, in theory.)  And we said goodbye to the Pixie Hollow area that would have been located in the other half of Mickey's Toontown, opposite the Dumbo/Circus section. In came the full on Storybook Circus.  Of course, we also got the announcement that the previously rumored Seven Dwarfs coaster was now officially being constructed, in place of the fancy meet and greets.  Also, we got the additional announcement that because of the new Seven Dwarfs coaster, that the Snow White's Scary Adventures attraction would need to close and it would make way for the Princess Fairytale Hall.

After that announcement, things seemed relatively smooth sailing. 

New Fantasyland has always seen staggered openings.  The first area to open was the Storybook Circus section.  It opened in a couple of sections first in early summer with the opening of the Barnstormer and Dueling Dumbo, Casey Jr. Soak Station and the Fantasyland Train Station.

Then the second in October 2012 with the Pete's Silly Sideshow, Big Top Souvenirs, and the rest of the land.

After that was the big Grand Opening, which took place on December 6, 2012. At that point, a good majority of New Fantasyland had opened and we could get a real feel for how these new sections of the land would flow.  Opening at this time was Enchanted Tales With Belle, Gaston's Tavern, Under The Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, and Ariel's Grotto.

We then had to wait almost a year later until finally in September 2013, Disney opened another piece of the puzzle, with the Princess Fairytale Hall.  The meet and greet area has proven to be just as popular as we've thought it would be.  (Especially as of late with the addition of Anna and Elsa.)

Finally...we were looking at the final piece left...and we had to wait...and wait...and wait...the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was rumored to open at the end of 2013...then early winter 2014...then early spring 2014...certainly it would be open for Easter, right?  Near the May media event? Nope...the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened this morning, officially finishing out the last piece of the puzzle that is New Fantasyland.

With New Fantasyland being fully completed, I have to wonder...what is my favorite part?  I honestly think it was all the details.  They really put a lot of love and care into creating these new areas.  It made the park seem extremely fresh and was a very needed addition.  Overall, I think New Fantasyland was exactly what the Mouse ordered!

Now, I ask you...after almost 5 years of waiting...what has been your favorite piece of the puzzle?  Let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page.

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/19/14 - 5/25/14

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


Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey's Philharmagic will have a refurb from September 8 - 19. 
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is in previews currently.

Downtown Disney

  • Wetzel's Pretzels and Häagen-Dazs have opened on the WestSide and Starbucks' kiosk has opened on the Marketplace side. In addition, on the WestSide, the United World Cup Soccer store is now open.

General Walt Disney World News

  •  A brand new Junior Ride-Along experience is coming to the Richard Petty Driving Experience where kids can ride in two Piston Cup (from Cars) cars.


  •  A Frozen refurb may still indeed be on tap for Maelstrom.
  • Captain EO could be on it's last legs.
  • Great Movie Ride could be getting a massive refurb or be completely shut down
  • I've mentioned before about a rumored new fireworks show for the Magic Kingdom, and we could be looking at a timetable of late 2015/or 2016.

Please purchase a subscription through this link and help support this blog.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Kicks Off Summer With Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Event

Today is the start of Walt Disney World's summer...with the kick off event being the special 24 Hour Rock Your Disney Side Event.  The event centers around choosing the Heros or Villains to align yourselves with for the day.  Guests are invited to show their Disney side by dressing as their favorite hero or villain, grab a specialty themed snack, ride their favorite attractions, meet their favorite characters, and share via social media how they are choosing to #RockYourDisneySide.

This morning the park opened with a bang, quite literally and I've got a fun video showing you some of this morning's festivities, as well as some of the things that guests can look forward to seeing this summer in the park! 

For those who want more of a full list of things that will be happening in the park this summer, make sure to check out this week's episode of The Be Our Guest Podcast, as we discuss in detail all the delightful excitement! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Top Seven Reasons Why You Should Fall in Love With Disney's Animal Kingdom

Oh Disney's Animal Kingdom. It has never been my favorite park.  Matter of fact, it is the one I typically skip over when I take trips to Walt Disney World if I'm short on time.  But over the past couple of trips, I have found my way over to Disney's Animal Kingdom and I am realizing that I may just actually be starting to enjoy it for what it is. And you should be too!

But what is Disney's Animal Kingdom? That's where the hardship is in understanding the purpose. It's kind of a mix of both theme park and zoo.  It's really hard to place your finger on it because it has aspects of both and both co-mingle.  However, once you realize that it is both (kind of like one of my current favorite TV shows, "Once Upon a Time,") it helps you in getting the feel of this park and I think, allows you to be more accepting of it.   Thereby falling in love with it. 

So, here are the Top 7 reasons why you and I both should be falling in love with this Disney theme park.

  • The theming:  Hands down, this is, far and away, one of the best themed areas in all of Walt Disney World.  Yes, I know that the other parks and resorts are themed extremely well too, but there is a whole additional wave of detail that can be found at Disney's Animal Kingdom that feels like it can't be found anywhere else.  They've gotten close with New Fantasyland in the gorgeous and meticulously incredible details, but I feel as though this park just sees details explode! The details are just everywhere too.  They didn't spare a square inch.  
On a side note, this past trip, I finally GOT Chester and Hester's!  Yes, it reminds me of festivals I would see around my hometown, and yes, it's supposed to be that way.  Is it cheesy?  Of course it is!  But I get it.  (I even love the touch where you can see the painted lines, like the carnival is sitting on a vacant parking lot.) The theming is there, even though it doesn't necessarily feel like it.  But I get how it stands out starkly in contrast when comparing it to how immaculate the rest of the park is.

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris: This attraction is the most bang for your buck, in my opinion.  Not only is it very long, but you also get a different experience every time AND you get to see real live animals without leaving your seat!  It's done so well, getting you close to many of your favorites. (My favorite are the giraffes.) If you want to ride, consider early morning or late afternoon, or when it's raining.  
  • The shows:  while many people consider Disney's Hollywood Studios to be the place for shows, I think that honor should technically go to Disney's Animal Kingdom. It has the fantastic Finding Nemo-The Musical show, with songs that are just ridiculously creative (and they should be...they were created by the same team who brought us the music of know...that musical juggernaut) and amazing puppets! You also have Festival of the Lion King, which is opening in an all new theater soon.  It's an extremely high energy showcase with insanely talented performers.  Finally, there's the Flight of Wonders show, which I still have yet to see, but hear rave reviews about. 

  • Exhibits:  For me, the exhibit that really got me excited was the bats the last time.  Wait...what?  Bats can be found on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and while many find them to be extremely ugly, I actually started to like the furry little creatures.  They aren't as scary as you think they are when you can see them up close and personal.  However, while bats are not everyone's cup of tea, there are a lot of other animals you can experience through one of these exhibits - tigers, gorillas, komodo dragons, birds, etc. There's a lot of things you can learn by getting up close and personal to the animals found at the park.  Which brings me to my next thing: 
  • Wilderness Explorers:, how awesome is it that they have incorporated this unique gem from Up into this park.  It's like a match made in heaven?  Plus, it helps guests learn a lot more about the park, explore areas they may not have gone before, and talk with Cast Members about the animals and exhibits that they may never knew existed!  It is the perfect definition of Edu-tainment and I am all over that! 

  • Expedition Everest:  That backwards section is one of the most intense things ever.  Hands down.  And it makes me squeal like a little girl!  Add to that the fact that it's overall just a great roller coaster, and it's a can't miss attraction for the park.
  • What's coming next!  Hello!  I mean, you've got fantastic things like a nighttime Kilimanjaro Safaris; Harambe Nights this summer, which looks intriguing; and the new nighttime spectacular, Rivers of Light, which has been needed FOR YEARS.  And while the Avatar addition doesn't wow me, in terms of theme, if Disney does the impeccable job that they usually do with this park's detail, I am sure I will find something redeeming about the new land. Overall, things are changing...and I think for the better.

Animal Kingdom still needs work.  It is certainly not done growing, and I think that's why many people, myself included, consider this to be a half day park.  My tip is to come in in the morning, leave when it gets hot, or better yet, come in in the afternoon, when everyone else is leaving and have a park that's not nearly as crowded!

However, for once, I am excited about it's future.  I think that what's coming down the pipeline may be just what the doctor ordered.  (Though I would still like to see a few animal exhibits and attractions (like some dark rides...hello Mystic Manor...I am dying for you to someday be included in this park) introduced.)

Disney's Animal Kingdom's future sure seems bright and that overall is why you should be falling in love with the park. There is so much on the horizon. 

What are your thoughts?  What's something you've fallen in love with at Disney's Animal Kingdom?  Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook Page! 

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or 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, May 18, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/12/14 - 5/18/14

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


Magic Kingdom
  • Tinker Bell is now meeting in the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA. 
  • Here's what guests who are experiencing the 24 Hour, Rock Your Disney Side event will see: 
    • The Incredibles Super Movie Night, from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, showings of the movie The Incredibles will take place on the RocketTower Plaza Stage’s video screen
    • A Disney Villains Pre-Parade called "It's Good To Be Bad" Calvalcade will take place at 10:45pm - featuring baddies like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, the Big Bad Wolf, Stromboli from Pinocchio, and Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons.
    • Disney’s Up All Night Dance Party
    • Dance Party in Frontierland

  • A new Marketplace Booth will be added for this year's Epcot Food and Wine Festival called Patagonia Marketplace, featuring items from Chile and Argentina. Dishes will include fresh, sustainable roasted Verlasso salmon, quinoa salad and arugula chimichurri. Also, The Florida Local Marketplace will be renamed the Farm Fresh Marketplace and will serve local flavors, like the Bacon and Eggs,  dish featuring applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise, and pickled jalapeños. Finally, the Brazil Marketplace will be back and serving the Moqueca de Pescado, a fresh tilapia dish featuring coconut lime sauce and steamed rice.
  • Epcot will celebrate World Turtle Day on May 20th at The Seas Pavilion.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Weekends are utilizing the Aurasma app to include Augmented Reality.  It works by holding your smart phone over whatever object is tagged with the A (for Aurasma) symbol, indicating that it would be compatible with the app. Once done, the interactive digital content will spring to life by showing videos, animations, and more.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • A new shop will be called Mariya's Souvenirs and will be located in the Africa section of the park by Harambe Theater.
  • The dining list has been released for Harambe Nights.  Here's what you can expect to try: 

    Fresh Cooked Breads, Salads and More

    Watercress, melon, feta and berry balsamic onion salad
    Kachumbari salad with tomato, paneer, carrot and cilantro
    Roasted beetroot salad with sunflower seeds
    Creamy mac ‘n cheese
    Spicy vegetable samosa with mango chutney
    Traditional naan, onion kulcha and pappadum breads
    Roasted pepper hummus, raita and garlic-ginger pickle

    Surf and Turf

    Mango, radish, lime and mustard seed salad
    Watermelon, cucumber and fennel salad
    Coriander chutney roasted potatoes
    Line-caught corvina filet with goan curry sauce
    On-stage-seared lamb chops with tamarind pomegranate sauce

    Slow-cook Action Stations

    Fork-tender peri barbecued pork
    Vegetarian eggplant tikka masala curry served over creamy goat cheese pap
    Butter chicken thighs
    Vegetarian legume wat served over basmati rice


    Golden pineapple with toasted coconut
    Apple slices with Amarula caramel sauce
    Ripe melon with minted lime yogurt dip
    Rice pudding, dried fruit compote and pistachio gremolata
    Caramel salted Tanzania chocolate Kenya coffee bite
    Chai cream with zebra stripes
    Ice cream bars

Disney Resorts
  • At the Polynesian Resort, the Volcano Pool refurbishment work beginning this summer will be include a new aquatic playground with slides for children, a new hot tub, and a larger deck with more seating for guests.  Also, for those guests staying at the resort during the pool refurb, one complimentary ticket to Disney’s Blizzard Beach will be given to each member of the their party. Also, the children’s activity center will reopen on June 17 and will now be known as Club Disney, featuring sort of a Little Golden Books feel. Finally, debuting later this year will be the all new Pineapple Lenai kiosk which will sell Dole Whips. 

General Walt Disney World News
  • "Tom Casey's Let's Get Rockin!" a  live interactive band experience, has been extended through September 25.


  • A Ratatouille attraction could be on it's way to Epcot.
  • Marketplace Co-Op could open on June 6.
Download the all NEW Disney Food Blog Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-book!  Read about all the fantastic delights the Magic Kingdom has to offer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Complete Guide to Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends is an exciting and must do event for any member of your family who loves Star Wars. And even if you don't, soaking in the atmosphere is still a lot of fun too. 

Star Wars Weekends runs for an unprecedented 5 weekends this year!  The event will take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 16 - June 15. Activities that take place during Star Wars Weekends this year 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!  The best part is that all activities are included in your park admission!

Here is the Complete Guide to Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

What's New?
  • This year's event is called "Join the Rebellion." 
  • Disney has extended Star Wars Weekends, adding a 5th weekend for the event. 
  • A fabulous fireworks show, featuring Star Wars music will be presented each evening called "Symphony in the Stars." 
  • Star Wars Themed Character Meals are available daily from May 4 - June 15 at two of Disney's Hollywood Studios restaurants. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater will feature a galactic breakfast experience, and Hollywood & Vine will see a Star Wars/Disney character dinner.  
  • A special Yoda cupcake will be introduced this year. 
  • Disney has added the Premier Theater stage shows to its Tier 1 Fastpass+ selections during Star Wars Weekends.
  • The Feel the Force Premium Package will feature premium viewing for the Legends of the Force motorcade from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, including beverages and snacks.  In addition guests will get to enjoy a desert party from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM, that also includes special viewing for the Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. Additionally, you'll receive a special souvenir Disney PhotoPass card that can be used to link your photos to your Disney account, which includes a series of complimentary Star Wars photos. The Feel the Force Premium Package is available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16 to June 15. Prices are $54 for adults and $32 for children (ages 3-9), per day. (Tax and gratuity included.) Guests will receive a wristband during the motorcade viewing that will allow entry into the evening fireworks dessert party. Beverages during the parties include soda, water, tea and coffee and the fireworks dessert party includes a specialty alcoholic beverage for guest 21 years of age or older. Seating is not available with this package for either event. 
  • The D-Tech Me Experience returns with new options of Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot.  Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, your likeness will be scanned and cast as a three-dimensional figurine.   
  • Disney is introducing a separately ticketed merchandise event called Rebel Rendezvous which takes place on May 15.  The event gives guests access to Darth's Mall and Star Wars Weekend merchandise one day before it officially goes on sale to the general public. 
  • Ultimate Star Wars Weekends VIP Tour is a 7-hour VIP Tour where guests receive special access to Star Wars Weekends activities (best seats for shows at the Premiere Theater, reserved viewing for Legends of the Force Motorcade and special shopping time at Darth’s Mall).  In addition, expedited attraction access will be available (including attractions like Star Tours, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and more). Guests will be provided with a private continental breakfast at the Hollywood Brown Derby, table service lunch, and a VIP Viewing and Dessert Party for the Symphony of the Stars Fireworks show. Cost is $499 plus tax, per person (theme park admission not included). Available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16 to June 15.
  • Because of the fireworks show this year, the famous Hyperspace Hoopla is no more. This fun show in which Star War characters competed in a "dance-off" was a fan favorite.  In its place will be the DJ Lobot Dance Party which will begin at 7 p.m. each evening and  will include a nightly curtain call moment with several of the Star Wars characters just prior to the fireworks.

    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”
    • Ashley Eckstein - the voice of Ahsoka Tano, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

    Weekly Celebrity Guests:

    Weekend I: May 16 - May 18
    • Ahmed Best: Jar Jar Binks - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca - Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla - Star Wars Rebels

    Weekend II: May 23 - May 25
    • Warwick Davis: Wicket W. Warrick - Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Wald - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
    • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Capt. Jeremoch Colton - Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
    • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren - Star Wars Rebels

    Weekend III: May 30 - June 1:
    • Ray Park: Darth Maul - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
    • John Ratzenberger: Major Bren Derlin - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
    • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger - Star Wars Rebels

    Weekend IV: June 6 - June 8
    • Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker - Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Darth Bane - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Will not be meeting guests.)
    • Ray Park: Darth Maul - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
    • Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
    • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger - Star Wars Rebels

    Weekend V: June 13 - June 15
    • Dee Bradley Baker: Captain Rex/the Clones, Bossk and several additional characters - Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Cat Taber: Padmé Amidala and several additional characters - Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Tom Kane: Yoda, the series’ narrator and several additional characters - Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Matt Lanter: Anakin Skywalker and several additional characters - Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios - Star Wars Rebels

    Do keep in mind that schedules are subject to change without notice.

    Celebrity Photo and Autograph Opportunities

    If you want to meet some of your favorite Star War celebrities each weekend during the event, you'll need to line up ahead of time.  The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-type system. Here's how it works: 
    Line up outside Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s 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, 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.

    Special Star Wars Weekends Events

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

    The Stormtrooper Welcome - Hollywood and Vine Intersection

    Encounter a duo of 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 7:30am.  During the show, the Stormtroopers interact with both each other, as well as the Guests entering the park for the day.


    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


    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

    Imperial Star Wars Character Encounters


    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 Sorcerer Hat Stage, concluding with a grand celebrity welcome. Ir takes place daily during Star Wars Weekends at 11:00 a.m. If you can't get close enough to view the parade, it is also simulcast on the large screen found at the American Idol Experience.

    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 Sorcerer Hat Stage at 1 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 Premiere Theater.  Shows include:  
    • Behind the Force – Star Wars: Rebels
    • Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor
    • Stars of the Saga Star Wars Celebrity Talk Show
    • An Ewok’s Tale: My Short Story, Starring Warwick Davis (Weekend II only)
    • Visit to the Maul, starring Ray Park (Weekend III and IV only)
Do keep in mind that Disney’s Hollywood Studios tiers its attractions, and these shows are all in Tier 1. Guests may only select one attraction from those in Tier 1. Tier 1 attraction choices also include things like Toy Story Mania and Rock n' Roller keep that in mind if you decide you want to experience one of these shows.   

Also, 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.

  • Symphony in the Star Fireworks
    A fabulous fireworks show, featuring Star Wars music and some favorite Star Wars Character will be presented each evening called "Symphony in the Stars." The show will take place at 9:30 p.m. and will even utilize Glow with the Show technology. 

    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 in Soundstage 1 between the Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania, 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.  Some items available include:   

    • Custom Aurebesh name tags
    • LEGO interactive build station (select weekends)
    • Build-your-own droid station (select weekends)
    • Build-your-own lightsaber station (select weekends)
    • Her Universe merchandise
    • Art & collectibles gallery
    • FanWraps vehicle decals
    Plus, there are always opportunities for artist signings and book signings. For example, meet Ashley Eckstein for a special signing of Her Universe Star Wars merchandise daily during the event.

    Rebel Rendezvous Event

    A special event that will take place on May 15, 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 limited edition recruitment pack, featuring a custom messenger bag, cadet hat, tumbler, lanyard, pin & medal set. A meet & greet and product signing with Ashley Eckstein and Rebel activities, including special meet & greet and signing opportunities with characters and Disney artists are also included in the event.

    D-Tech Me Experience


    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) and the Stormtrooper mold.  New for this year are molds of the Alderaan Princess and the X-Wing 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 $99.95 (plus tax and shipping) or a new 16-inch figurine for $1,499.95 (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

    New for this year are two Star Wars themed character meals.  These are a long time coming and are welcome additions.  The meals will take place daily (not just during Star Wars Weekends) from May 16 - June 15.   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.

    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. I tried it recently and it is delicious! 
    • New for 2014, you can also pick up a Yoda Cupcake at Backlot Express Starring Rolls and Darth Mall.
    • Kids Power Packs in R2-D2 buckets are typically available at Sunset Ranch Market, Pizza Planet, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company and ABC Commissary. 
    • Temporary bars are located outside Animation Courtyard, Sci-Fi Dine-in, 50′s Prime Time Cafe, and Mama Melrose that sell special Star Wars themed drinks. Non-alcoholic versions are also available.

    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.


    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.  

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