• 09Nov
    News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Disney scuttles Star Wars Weekends while construction begins for new Star Wars area

    [From our sister site, Sci-Fi Storm]

    Star Wars Weekends, a multi-weekend event that Disney has hosted for annually for the last 13 years and occasionally before that, is over.

    It was announced on the official Disney Parks Blog today, although we believed it already to be the case.

    Construction will begin next year in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, where the Weekends were held, in order to provide a whole new “land” dedicated to Star Wars. Previously, the Star Wars presence was limited to the Star Tours attraction, the Tatooine Traders shop, and more recently the Jedi Training Academy (where children get trained by a Jedi and then face Darth Vader!) With Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 everyone expected a bigger park presence and it’s on the way. A few details were released about that expansion:

    • On December 1st, “Star Wars: Launch Bay” opens, giving fans a look at the franchise and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, special merchandise and opportunities to encounter Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
    • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will feature a new scene inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens: a chase following the Millenium Falcon through the ship wreckage on the desert planet of Jakku. Those familiar with the random scenes in the attraction might be glad to know that for a few months, the Jakku scene will be in every ride, and then it “will be up to the will of the Force”.
    • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (opening early December) is a re-imagining of the Jedi Training Academy which will take younglings to the secret site of an ancient Jedi temple where they will face Darth Vader along with the Seventh Sister – a new villain from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels
    • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi will feature scenes from the complete Star Wars saga, also giving anyone new to the Star Wars galaxy an opportunity to get acquainted with the films.

    Tags: ,

  • 19Oct
    News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on WDW plans Opening Night event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens posterOn the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17th, Walt Disney World Resort will host a special ticketed event at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park for fans who want to be among the first viewers of the movie and celebrate with other fans.

    Guests will have a confirmed seat at the AMC Disney Springs 24 theater for a showing between 7pm-8pm, and then celebrate over at Hollywood Studios at a private party afterwards until 2am. The party will include special access to the new Star Wars: Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction, a DJ dance party, and a preview of the all new fireworks display set to Star Wars music. Costumes are encouraged! But follow standard Disney guest costume guidelines – if you dress like a Disney character, for instance, you may not pose for pictures with other guests or sign autographs, etc.

    Characters will also appear at Launch Bay – it is sounding like a private mini-Star Wars Weekends!

    Tickets will go on sale immediately after the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens airs tonight during Monday Night Football. And in fact, tickets for showings at theaters around the country will go on sale at the same time!

    Ticket prices will depend on which format you see the movie in: 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).

    Note: Direct transportation between Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios will NOT be provided. Parking is free at Disney Springs, and parking at Hollywood Studios is included in the price of the ticket. Guests staying at a WDW Resort will be able to take transportation from Disney Springs to their resort, and then on to Hollywood Studios.

    More FAQs can be found here.

    Tags: ,

  • 15Aug
    Disneyland, News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Disney confirms Star Wars land expansions for Hollywood Studios and Disneyland

    At the D23 Expo today, Disney confirmed the long expected expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a land based on Star Wars – and another one at Disneyland Park as well! They report that both are receiving a 14-acre expansion, although the details of how (especially at Disneyland which has limited space available – but recent acquisitions of nearby parcels might be related) and when we’ll see it are still under wraps.

    I also wonder whether the 14 acres include reclaimed areas, as was expected in Hollywood Studios.

    The land will be based on a remote outpost on a new planet which has not yet been named, but presumably based on the upcoming The Force Awakens movie, but things will be drawn from the original saga as well. A Cantina is expected that will feature the variety of aliens and creatures you’d expect. And two new signature rides will be added, including one featuring the Millennium Falcon nd allow guests to take the controls in a climatic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

    “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Bob Iger, Disney’s Chairman and CEO. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

    And for the purists, everything done will be officially canon.

    Stay tuned for more details, and follow along with The DIS as they provide live coverage from D23!

    Tags: ,

  • 12Feb
    Disney Cruise Line Comments Off on Disney adds Star Wars Day At Sea on select cruise sailings

    It isn’t the long-awaited details of a Star Wars expansion at the parks, or more Star Wars Weekends, but it has me trying to plan another cruise…Disney Cruise Line announced “Star Wars Day At Sea”, on select sailings of the Disney Fantasy from January to April 2016.

    All cruises are 7-day Western Caribbean itineraries, during which one day will specifically be a “Star Wars Day”, similar to the Pirate Night. The entire day will include a deck party, meet-and-greet with characters, celebrations, youth activities, exclusive food and beverage options and merchandise, and exclusive screenings of the Star Wars films and Star Wars Rebels.

    The specific sailings are (all in 2016):

    January 9
    January 23
    February 6
    February 20
    March 5
    March 19
    April 2
    April 16

    Tags:

  • 10Dec
    Disneyland, News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Star Wars theme park presense to take from upcoming movies

    Disney has been rather tight-lipped on what their plans are for expanding the Star Wars franchise within its theme parks. And while we still don’t know what the exact plans are, we do know one thing – they were waiting for at least the first of the new movies to be in production so they could take elements from it.

    Speaking at a Q&A session at Variety‘s Dealmakers Breakfast earlier today, Disney chief Bob Iger said, “There will be a much larger Star Wars presence in our parks globally. But we want to do this big, which takes time, and to do it right.”

    And doing it right meant waiting until they could include elements from the newest installment of the franchise. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this,” he elaborated. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”

    So Iger put the brakes on all the Imagineering work being done to buy time for J.J. Abrams and his team to get through the development work and into production, so there would be designs that Imagineering could include.

    “I slowed it all down so what we come forward with will have a blend of the past, present and maybe the future,” he said. “Now we have a sense of what’s in Star Wars 8 and what some of the standalone films will have in them.”

    And just how much are they betting on the next movie? All in, baby. “I keep telling J.J. Abrams this is a $4 billion movie. We need to treat this very special. It’s an unbelievable privilege and unbelievable responsibility to take a jewel and treat it in a way that is respectful of its past but brings it into the future.”

    He’s got that right.

    Tags: