Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

SATURDAY SIX: Six of Disney’s (Not So) Secret Plans for the Next 5 Years

by on August 16, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six of Disney’s (Not So) Secret Plans for the Next 5 Years. This past week The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill podcast went over a lot of exciting possibilities for Walt Disney World’s near future.  The show was the talk of the theme park world, and while it was loaded with a metric ton of information, scintillating rumors, and insider scoops, we’re going to count down the six biggest takeaways of this audio starting with…

# 6 – The Sorcerer’s Hat ain’t going anywhere…

SATURDAY_SIX_DHSHAT

Haters gonna hate. (photo by Matt Cleary and Brandon Glover)

 

The era of nightmares doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Jim Hill says that despite the fact that many guests see the giant Sorcerer’s hat sitting in the middle of the park as the biggest eyesore since Cinderella Castle was turned into a giant pink birthday cake, it serves an important purpose to the park. More to the point, the stage below the ugly hat plays a vital roll in allowing DHS to hold various live shows and draw the crowds away from popular attractions such as Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: June 12, 2014

by on June 12, 2014

Hi, Everyone! I’m very happy to announce this new weekly article bringing you the best of Disney and what to expect in the week ahead. Since this is new, please let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see added. We’re always really happy to hear your feedback. Now, let’s get started with a look at the best week ever!

The Star Wars Weekends event continues to be popular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but last weekend wasn’t as crowded as expected. I’ve heard rumors that this was because cast member passes were blacked out. In any case, it was nice to see the streets not quite so packed!

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Star Wars Dining at Walt Disney World: What You Need To Know

by on May 5, 2014

IMG_9008Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has added two Star Wars dining experiences to its Star Wars Weekends lineup and, though Star Wars Weekends hasn’t officially started, the dining experiences began yesterday. Offered daily May 4, 2014, through June 15, 2014, the meals include the Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine Dinner at Hollywood & Vine. As with all Disney Dining Experiences, there are some things you need to know to make your meal go as smoothly as possible.

STAR WARS DINE-IN GALACTIC BREAKFAST at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

The Dine-In Galactic Breakfast is served at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater every morning through June 15, 2014, from 8 a.m. to noon. The price ($47.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids ages 3-9) gets you pastries, and appetizer, an entree, a breakfast dessert (not listed on the menu), and a non-alcoholic beverage. No discounts are accepted, and the meal will take two adult table service credits per person from your Disney Dining Plan Account. Though it’s rare for a child’s meal to pull adult credits, we did confirm this with booking and the restaurant, so be sure to ask what you’re going to be “charged” if you’re on the dining plan.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Photo Courtesy of Disney

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Photo Courtesy of Disney

What do you need to know about breakfast? First, the menu is fairly limited and a little odd. The full menu is here. Reports from yesterday’s service were that it was a little slow, and some of the food wasn’t the best, but it’s a new offering for this restaurant, so it’s likely that those kinks will work out. Second, the restaurant itself is themed as a drive-in theater, so the environment is pretty dark. While you have an immediate photo op with Darth Vader and Boba Fett (with PhotoPass and a special backdrop) as you enter the restaurant, your pictures with the Jawas, Greedo, and Storm Troopers inside the dining room may not come out so great, even with a flash. If character meet and greets are a big reason for booking for your family, be sure to take this into account. You do get a special PhotoPass card with your entrance photos on it.

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Movies to Watch Before You Visit Disney World

by on November 20, 2013

For many children, and adults, Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming place, filled with countless new sights, sounds, smells, textures, in an endless stream of stimuli. Sure you can surprise your family with trip to Walt Disney World, but you may have a better overall vacation experience if you give your kids some time to prepare in advance. At-home preparation for you kids might take the form of meeting costumed characters, practicing table manners, or learning to sleep in a particular crib, but one of the easiest, and most effective, ways to get a child ready for a Disney vacation is to show him movies related to your upcoming trip.

Cinderella is a must see before visiting Walt Disney World.

Cinderella is a must see before visiting Walt Disney World.

You’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of what’s happening in the parks if you’re familiar with the stories depicted in what you see there.

Some of these suggestions will be obvious. Your child will no doubt have a better grasp on something like the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor if he’s, you know, actually seen Monsters, Inc. Other suggestions will be more tangentially related to specific attractions, but will give a your kids a greater comprehension of the tone and flavor of Walt Disney World.

As always, use these recommendations with the caveat that you are the best judge of what’s appropriate for your specific child and his current developmental stage. For example, while most preschoolers will adore The Little Mermaid, a child who’s in fear-of-the-ocean mode might have a full-scale meltdown at the sight of Ursula. Similarly, some kids might be ready for a Star Wars marathon at age four, while others will need to wait until eight, nine, or even older. If there’s a movie that you haven’t seen since your own childhood, it might be worth doing a quick preview on your own before subjecting your child to potential overload.

You’ll no doubt note that many Disney and Pixar films are not mentioned on my list (Bambi, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Up, etc.). This bears no reflection on the quality of the films, nor on their place in the canon, but rather speaks to their current relative lack of representation at the Walt Disney World parks and resorts. There are also a few non-Disney films listed here because, in my opinion, they do a particularly good job of evoking an atmosphere or time period represented at the parks in a more succinct way than any actual Disney film does.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! August 2013 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on August 27, 2013

MMM_LogoWe all have our favorite stores in the Walt Disney World parks and resorts to get our fill of merchandise. Whether it’s Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney, Mouse Gear in Epcot, or the Ink & Paint Shop at the Art of Animation Resort, it’s not that hard finding a gift shop filled to the brim with the latest Disney vinylmation, t-shirts, and plushes. But did you know that there is a place where all the merchandise Disney has a hard time selling ends up? A magical store filled with discount prices and Disney-related items that even Guy Selga wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores: Disney’s Character Warehouse.

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Rediscovered Transcript Reveals Original Spielberg/Disneyland Connection

by on April 16, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

It's no secret that legendary film director Steven Spielberg is a life-long theme park afficiando. As a long-time consultant to Universal Studios, rides based on movies he has created or produced (including classics like ET, Back to the Future, Jaws, Men in Black, and Jurassic Park) have been hits in Orlando, California, and Japan. Spielberg is also known to be a fan of classic Disney films; he had composer John Williams include the melody “When You Wish Upon a Star” in his Close Encounters of the Third Kind score, and his film A.I. is essentially an explicit update of Pinnoccio.

But few fans realize how far back Spielberg's fascination with theme park rides — specifically Disneyland dark rides and E-tickets — goes. Thanks to a fascinating 35-year-old story conference transcript, we have a first-hand account of the lauded filmmaker's pro-Disney fanaticism.

The minutes of this momentous meeting, recorded over a week in late January 1978, document the moment when Spielberg, together with pal George Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, brainstormed the basic backstory of Indiana Jones, and solidified the script outline that would eventually become 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Originally leaked on an Internet film site in 2009 as scan of a grainy photocopy, the document has recently resurfaced as a searchable PDF. These newly accessible transcripts reveal the creative energy that birthed this iconic screen hero, and give insight into these award-winning artists' working methods.

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