Star Wars

Star Wars: Galactic Nights Event Returning

by on September 6, 2017

Star Wars: Galactic Nights

©Disney

Earlier this year, Disney rolled out the first ever Star Wars: Galactic Nights event to correspond with Star Wars Celebration. It appears as though that wasn’t the only time that event would take place, as it is returning this December to tie in with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

This event is the ultimate one for a Star Wars fan. It will take place on December 16 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and invites Guests to celebrate the beloved Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: Galactic Nights Guests will be invited to dress as their favorite character while attending this family-friendly event, as well as experience fun and exclusive Star Wars activities and events.

Here’s what you can expect to experience at the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event:

Rebel Base

The Rebel Base will serve as the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event hub. Here, Guests will find a DJ dance party, as well as being the home for ongoing event information, hosted shows, interactive moments and more!

Epic Theater

Don’t miss this one-night-only panel discussion called “Inside the Saga: A Galaxy in the Making” about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This unique event will be taking place multiple times throughout the evening at The Epic Theater and will be the place where you learn about exciting developments about the new expansion opening in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Two Shops at Downtown Disney Closing to Make Way for New Virtual Experience

by on August 17, 2017

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire - Downtown Disney

©Star Wars

Recently it was announced that an all new virtual experience themed around Star Wars, called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire would be coming to Downtown Disney in the Disneyland Resort. The question was, where will this experience be located? It seems that it will officially be going in the space of Disney Vault 28 and Fossil. Both stores will be closing soon, by the end of September to make way.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will be a brand new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID which will take Guests literally into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience and Guests will be able to interact with friends, fans, and even some characters.

It is still currently unclear where the experience will be found at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open this holiday season on both coasts. Stay tuned to the blog for more details!

Disney Officially Unveils New Star Wars Themed Hotel Experience

by on July 16, 2017

A few months ago, you may have seen the rumors that were floating around about a survey that was done relating to a Star Wars-themed hotel. This hotel would be an utterly innovative experience that immerses Guests right into the story.

Star Wars Themed Hotel

©Disney

 

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Official Name for Star Wars Land

by on July 15, 2017

Star Wars Land has been announced previously for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but we didn’t know what these lands would actually be called. That is until today.

Both Star Wars lands will officially be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a remote trading post found on the edge of wild space.

These new lands will feature two major attractions that will put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Both the attractions, as well as the land itself, will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before. The story will truly come alive for guests who visit.

Copyright Disney

 

One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It will be built on a scale that hasn’t been done before.

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The SATURDAY SIX Looks at the (possible) future of Walt Disney World and Universal

by on June 24, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the (possible) future of Walt Disney World and Universal!  As they do several times each month, TouringPlans’ own Len Testa teamed up with industry icon Jim Hill to record an episode of the Disney Dish podcast. This particular episode was going to be answering a listener question of character meet-and-greets in the park, but before they got to that question the two men discussed several major stories affecting both Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. The two theme park titans discussed many rumored additions and changes to the two resorts, as well as giving reasons why they may – and may not – actually come to fruition. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the more important items, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – It’s GAME ON for Universal’s Super Nintendo World vs. Disney’s Star Wars Land

Universal vs. Disney. (art by Joel Carroll)

Many of us saw the recent groundbreaking of Super Nintendo World in Japan, and a lot of us have been waiting (not so) patiently for some news on what Universal and Nintendo have cooked up for Orlando. Universal waiting on announcing new projects is nothing new, in fact many insiders say the company got “burned” when announcing the original Wizarding World early, causing many guests to delay their Universal vacations until it was opened. Whatever the case, news on Nintendo attractions in America has been between slim and none until recently.

All of a sudden, the flood gates opened. Thanks to Twitter user Gary Snyder we got a look at the original pitch for a Nintendoland in Universal Studios Florida along with some pieces of concept art. In a word, these pictures were mind-blowing. Located in the area of USF that currently houses Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, the new Nintendo area would replace everything except the E.T. Adventure (the only opening day ride still in the park) and the ultra-themed gift store,Spongebob Storepants.

Early draft of what could possibly be coming to Universal Studios Florida and how it would fit into the park. (photo via Gary Snyder)

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Ask It Results: Best Current Use of Star Wars

by on April 26, 2017

The results are in! Last week we asked you:

Which is the best use of Star Wars at Walt Disney World?

With special nods to the “All of the above” (read: Star Wars mega fans) and “None of the above” (read: Not Star Wars fans), here’s how the four choices did in our weekly poll, with more than 1,400 votes cast.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! March 2017 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on March 31, 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo came across some pretty interesting stuff in March including more Turkey Leg merchandise, the first Outlet appearance of a Metal Earth product, and even discovered more nefarious tricks from the eBay pirates  that haunt the stores. 

Ready to see what we found? Let’s go!

First up was this truly fantastic Jungle Cruise glass. This design is based off a print from one of my personal favorite Disney artists, Shag. I absolutely adore the retro style. Bought one of these and it is now my everyday juice glass. Originally $14.95, now $9.99.

Jungle Cruise.

This next item was a tough one to pass up. On one hand, it’s based around the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction, which is normally something I would buy no matter what just on principle. However, I’m not a fan of drinking out of these types of glasses, so ended up passing despite the great price. Originally $12.95, now $4.99.

20, 000 Leagues glass.

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The SATURDAY SIX Looks at Disney’s New Seven Hour STAR WARS Guided Tour

by on February 4, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Disney’s new Star Wars Guided Tour! One of the most underrated attractions at Walt Disney World are the guided tours available across property. Behind the Seeds at EPCOT is a true gem, Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom is a must-do for hardcore Disney fans, and the Sanaa Cultural Tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a fascinating look at all the details in one of Disney’s best restaurants. In late 2016, Disney announced that a new seven hour tour based around Star Wars would be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at a price of $121.12 per person, not including cost of admission to the park.

Star Wars Guided Tour check-in. (photo by Meg Stump)

Star Wars Guided Tour credentials, where guests are separated into different planets. All theme park bloggers hail from “Mustafar.” (photo by Meg Stump)

To put seven hours into perspective, if you were to watch A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi consecutively it would take less than six and a half hours (although watching the prequels back to back would probably seem like 100 hours). The price is also one of the highest of any tour that WDW offers, would there be value to be found? Thanks to an in-depth investigation by SATURDAY SIX editor in chief Megan Stump, we’re happy to report back the answer is a resounding YESToday we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of the new guided tour, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – March Behind the First Order

One common theme you see among many of our favorite shows that go to Walt Disney World – including Full House, Step By Step, and last year’s Blackish – is that characters from the show end up joining Disney parades or other shows in the parks. I think this because there is a subconscious, or maybe even conscious, feeling by many people that they want to be part of the show. Guests who take part in the Star Wars Guided Tour get to live out their theme park fantasy by being a part of Captain Phasma’s march of the First Order. Guests meet up up with Captain Phasma and the gang as soon as they come onstage and you travel directly behind the stormtroopers as they make their way down Hollywood Blvd.

Captain Phasma leads the First Order. (photo by Meg Stump)

Guests doing the Star Wars Guided Tour follow directly behind the First Order. (photo by Meg Stump)

Where else can you be this close to the action other than the Star Wars Guided Tour? (photo by Meg Stump)

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever January 19, 2017: Sailing Away!

by on January 19, 2017

Hello, lovebugs! It’s never too early to get working on your new year’s resolutions. With that in mind, I started 2017 off with a cruise! We had planned to sail later in the year, but decided to move it up to the first Star Wars Day at Sea cruise for 2017! More on that later, but below you can see the ship model inside the cruise port. We arrived at roughly 11:15am on our day of departure and were boarding by 12:30pm, so we didn’t have much time to admire the decor.

It was a gloomy, rainy day outside. However, inside the Disney Fantasy it was beautiful and inviting. Even Goofy lined up to welcome us onboard! Maybe I’ve always been too early before, but I’ve never seen characters greeting guests. I also saw Belle later in the day clapping as guests started their vacations!

There’s so much more cruise fun to share! Please click to read more.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Disney Gifts Santa Can Bring Back to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores in 2016)

by on December 24, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX is an annual tradition. Six Disney Gifts Santa Can Bring Back to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores in 2016). Some readers of this weekly column may not know that we also have The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! where every single month for over three years we have braved the insanity of the Orlando Premium Outlet parking lots to cover the two Disney outlet stores (more info on them – including addresses –  are at the end of the article.)  In fact, we even had a very special Three Year Anniversary edition with some congratulatory notes from some very impressive names in the theme park community.

Now, while some Christmas dreams do come true, such as Ralphie Parker getting his official Red Ryder BB gun and Your Humble Author getting a Han Solo blaster back in the day, other Christmas gifts deserve to go straight to the Island of Misfit Toys. Today we will take a look at some of those very items, starting with…

# 6 – Glow With The Show Ears

Let it glow.

Our first item this week was the first ever Made With Magic piece of merchandise to hit the Outlets. These were the Mickey Ears that lit up with different colors to Glow With the Show during some of the nighttime spectaculars at the parks. I have no actual financial numbers to support my theory, but having been the parks many, many times and only seeing a handful of guests wearing these, I’m going to assume Disney took a complete bath on this idea. It’s an item that cost over $25, are heavier than a normal pair of Mickey Ears, and the person wearing it can’t even see it glow. They were reduced to $9.99. This pair of Ears is particularly garish in design.

# 5 – Hats that are “Big In Japan”

This next item I had been waiting for ever since they showed up at the regular Disney stores over two years ago. These hats where you look like you are wearing the carcass of a dead Disney character on your head and are next level bananas. Apparently these bonkers hats are huge over at the Tokyo parks, but to be fair they also line up for hours just for popcorn. Popcorn!  To be even more fair, if I were out there I’d be in line with them. Originally $21.95, these were reduced to $5.99.

Goofy hat.

Donald hat, as seen in the Art of Animation gift shop.

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