The annual Star Wars Weekends event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the WDW (Walt Disney World) resort in Orlando, Florida, is more than just a theme park celebration. The popular event is not only about enjoying the favorite scenes and characters from the amazing trilogy, it is in fact a giant attempt to bring to life the culture of one of the greatest franchises ever created. Paying homage to Star Wars in such a huge and magical way is always a dream experience to me. And I think there is no other place on earth where we can celebrate the same like the way one enjoys at the annual Disney event. Thanks to the Star Wars Weekends for keeping alive the spirit of this beloved Franchise unlike any other. Continue reading
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Disney Star Wars Weekends
For the fans of Star Wars nothing is so exciting than what Disney Star Wars Weekends have to offer. Started in 1997, this one of a kind exclusive Disney World event is a must anticipated fantasy-fest which celebrates and brings to life the favorite actions and scenes from the Iconic film saga of all times. Every year from May through June Disney Hollywood Studios theme park becomes the most happening place to look for. During the period the Park is at its best with plenty of special and unique Star Wars activities and attractions that every fan and guest loves to celebrate and enjoy. Continue reading
Taking the Disney Guest Experience to the Next Level
At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we continually push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for our Guests. We’re always looking for ways to take what we do and do it even better.
Over the past few years, we’ve devoted considerable time and resources to create a more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience for each and every Guest who spends time with us. I know there’s been significant speculation about these efforts among our fans, so we’re pleased to give you a glimpse into the work we are doing to take the entire Disney Guest experience to the next level.
Some of these initiatives are more apparent and can already be seen by our Guests – like our interactive queues at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Enchanted Art on our cruise ships – while others are more behind-the-scenes and are focused on “how” visitors plan, access and enjoy their experiences with us. Over the next several months, we’ll be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+ that will give Guests more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit.
Like most people who visit Walt Disney World Resort, my family and I have our “must-do” attractions, and as the father of three boys, those attractions often end with the word “mountain.” Now, rather than dashing as a group, or even splitting up to gather FastPasses, imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park. With MyMagic+, Guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.
A major component of MyMagic+ is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which gives Guests planning their trip the latest information on all Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. We know that some people like to plan every aspect of their Disney vacation in advance while others like to plan very little, letting their day unfold spontaneously. No matter where Guests fall in that spectrum, My Disney Experience gives them the flexibility to plan as much or as little as they’d like to create the exact Disney experience they want. They can book dining and other experiences and reserve times for their favorite attractions, shows and more through an enhanced FastPass system, FastPass+. Once they arrive, they can use their smart phones to spontaneously change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit.
Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand (or Card). It will serve as a Guest’s room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one. We’ve began testing certain aspects of MyMagic+ in Florida last month and the early reactions we’ve gotten have been fantastic.
This collection of tools is another step forward in the ongoing evolution of our Guest experience, giving us even more ways to help friends and family create the unforgettable Disney memories that they want most. We’ll be testing, adjusting and adding features to MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience over time and will continue to make improvements based on our Guests’ feedback. We look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead!
Disney World’s Avatar Project – How Fans Are Taking It?
New Fantasyland Spreads Even More Magic
Magic Kingdom guests blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus.
To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station — all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.
There’s more to come as the expansion of the New Fantasyland – nearly doubling in size — continues at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, so many more attractions are coming on line later this year that Dec. 6, 2012 has been set as the Grand Opening of Fantasyland. Previews are currently taking place.
Slated to make their debuts:
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
- The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full-service table dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
- Just outside the village is Maurice’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where an enchanted mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”
“Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.
“We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before.”
Beyond 2012, there’s more in store for Fantasyland guests:
- Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery – an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it’s time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).
- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).
The Spirit of the Season at Universal Studios Orlando
The Official Ticket Center 12/11/20102 – Universal Orlando Resort’s Holidays celebration is where families create holiday memories to last a lifetime. With one-of-a-kind holiday traditions that all ages can enjoy, it’s the only place where guests can come face-to-face with The Grinch at Grinchmas, watch majestic Macy’s balloons wind through the streets and hear Christmas music sensation – Mannheim Steamroller – perform beloved holiday classics. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Jan.1, the Holidays at Universal Orlando offers incredible holiday experiences at both theme parks.
At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will be filled with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. Guests can watch the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also meet The Grinch and the Whos and on select dates, purchase and enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous New York City parade. This year, the parade will include all-new Nutcracker and Mouse King “trycaloons” – tandem tricycles that appear to be pedaled by whimsical balloon characters from the popular holiday tale. Guests will also enjoy colorful holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus.
Returning this year with more concerts than ever before is Mannheim Steamroller – the masters of Christmas music with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide. The acclaimed musical group will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios eight nights this year to perform their memorable holiday hits for guests. Performance nights are Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23.
All theme park holiday entertainment – including Mannheim Steamroller concerts – is included as part of two-park or multi-day admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk
On December 31st, guests can celebrate the New Year at one of the hottest parties of the year – Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration. This year’s electrifying event features a rockin’ concert by one of today’s top artists, access to seven of CityWalk’s high-energy nightclubs, all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine and a midnight champagne toast.
For more information on the Holidays at Universal Orlando, vacation packages and ticket offers, visit www.officialticketcenter.com
Get Ready for Laughter and Lunacy with the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
The Official Ticket Center ~ It just keeps getting better and better at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, New Fantasyland is proud to present the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang!
What would a circus be without clowns? At Storybook Circus in Magic Kingdom Park, our masters of mirth tickle your funny bone with a whirlwind of wackiness. Just wait until you meet boss clown Chuckles Buffoon McMonkeyshine III and his protégés, Whinny Horselaugh and Snort. Together, they engage in circus shenanigans, from classic calamities to clown calisthenics. They’re sure to have you in stitches!
Joining the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang is the Silly Saxtet, parading onto the circus grounds with their own unique twist on circus music standards, and featured clown Wowzer, a specialty performer who takes center ring and keeps his audience enthralled with amazing feats of thrills, chills and hilarity.
Inspired by everything from Walt Disney’s “Dumbo” to the music of Spike Jones, the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang also has its roots in the classic traditions of The Greatest Show on Earth. Several members of the ensemble are graduates of the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.
“I feel like I’m going back to my roots,” said Show Director Mark Renfrow, himself a member of the Clown College Class of ’83. “People are going to be really surprised by the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang. They’re just so approachable and fun. They really bring the whole circus area to life.”
The Storybook Circus Giggle Gang debuts this week, as part of the grand reveal of New Fantasyland!
Show Express – The best way to experience SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration!
The seasonal shows are one of the main highlights of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. These entertaining performances truly bring the season to life, and now, SeaWorld Orlando is offering the best way to experience them all.
New this year is Show Express which gives you special, reserved seating at all of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration’s shows: Shamu Christmas Miracles, O Wondrous Night, Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas and Winter Wonderland on Ice.
Along with reserved seating, you’ll receive front-of-the-line access to THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, a classic holiday favorite at SeaWorld Orlando. Plus eat, drink and be merry as much as you’d like at participating restaurants throughout the park with All Day Dining Deal included. To remember your experience for years to come, you’ll enjoy a complimentary holiday photo from one of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration exclusive photo locations.
Special discounts are available for Pass Members when booking through the Pass Member website. For more information about SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, please visit www.officialticketcenter.com. Ready to book your Show Express experience now? Call us toll free at 1-877-406-4836 TODAY!
What’s Happening at The Walt Disney World Resort this Holiday Season?
Whatever you have planned for your vacation, make sure you set aside time to see the Walt Disney World® Resort all decked out for the holidays. Besides all of the holiday favorites that are in store year after year thrilling guests from around the world, you will now also get the chance to experience the amazing expansion in the Magic Kingdom® Park – New Fantasyland! So, make sure to add the Park Hopper® Option to your ticket during these busy holiday times so you and your family will have the flexibility to “hop” around all four Disney Theme Parks. You can check out some of your favorite celebrities at Epcot’s® Candlelight Processional, the bright lights at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™, and all of the new offerings just for the holiday season!
Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot® Help Guests Celebrate the Holidays
One of the most beloved holiday traditions at Epcot® is the Candlelight Processional – a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir.
November 23 – December 30, 2012 – World Showcase, America Gardens Theatre – 5:00, 6:45 & 8:15 p.m.
Nov. 25: Geena Davis, Nov. 26 – 29: Neil Patrick Harris, Nov. 30 – Dec. 1: Whoopi Goldberg
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Magic Kingdom® Park
Select Nights – Now – Dec. 21
Pardon Disney’s Pixie Dust
Epcot®: Test Track will be closed through December 5
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: will be closed October 28 through January 5
La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® at Downtown Disney® West Side will be closed November 27
November 25- December 1, 2012
A Behind the Scenes Look at Cinderella’s Castle ~ “Castle Dream Lights” at the Magic Kingdom
If you could decorate Cinderella Castle for the holidays, how would you decorate it?
This is the exact premise of Cinderella’s Holiday Wish and the Castle Dream Lights, a nightly holiday show and spectacle that lights up Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park with thousands of lights.
It’s also one of my all-time favorite holiday offerings here at Walt Disney World Resort. Earlier this month, we decided to go behind-the-scenes with Creative Director Reed Jones to learn just what it takes to bring this show to life. Take a look!
Showtimes may vary per night. The best way to know is to arrive early and pick up a Times Guide on your way in. That’s the best way to know where to be and when so you don’t miss a thing. Happy holidays!