What’s New and News in Disney?

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So, looking for your Disney news fix? Want to know what exciting and not so exciting changes are being made in your happy place? Well keep reading because here are a few:

1. Two friends rode all 46 available rides at Walt Disney World recently to fulfill their childhood dream and they did it all in one day!  Shane Lindsay and Ted Tamburo completed their mission in 17 hours and by mapping it out ahead of time.

2. According to Walt Disney’s World News this Spring 2015 will bloom with a fresh take on lush gardens, inspired flavors and lively entertainment during the 75-day Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 4-May 17 at Walt Disney World Resort. New Disney character topiaries, including a nod to the blockbuster animated film, “Frozen,” will offer colorful selfie and family photo ops. Outdoor Kitchens will serve a fresh take on sweet and savory noshes. And guests can get “hands-on” with festival fun during Disney-led gardening seminars.

3.Star Wars Weekends 2015 have been announced!Darth Vader and DH

Bring your inner Darth Vader and be ready to have the pleasure of meeting some iconic characters every weekend between May 15th and June 14th in 2015. Star Wars Weekends run from Friday through Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and special meet and greets, parades and shows will be announced in the coming months.

4. The Great Movie Ride is (finally) getting a little TLC from Turner Classic Movies. The updated version should be ready by Spring 2015 and I know we can all agree that this is something we ALL look forward too!

5. Disneyland is getting some Frozen Fun coming their way! Beginning on January 7, 2015 at Disney’s California Adventure you will find a new location to meet Anna and Elsa, a sing along, a family dance party and tons more fun! It is sure to be a huge hit. There is a sneak peek on December 20th if you are in the area. One extra exciting thing is a new Frozen-themed show that is set to open January 7, 2015th as well in DCA.

If you have any Disney news to share with us – let us know!

Star Wars Expansion

Star Wars fans rejoice! Disney CEO Bob Iger was quoted in Variety saying Disney was “developing designs for a far greater Star Wars presence in the parks”. There aren’t any details just yet but hopefully by next year will we be hearing more about what is to come. Of course rumors have been flying since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, but this is the first time it has been official news.

Currently in Hollywood Studios there are two Star Wars themed attractions. Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy. Additionally, on select weekends in May and June there are the Star Wars weekends which feature special meals, parades, shows, character meets, and shopping.

Stormtroopers

What would you most like to see for a Star Wars land or area?

My Very First Star Wars Weekend…the Good, the Bad and the Dark Side

Darth Vader and DH

Last year, about this time, I was preparing for my first trip to Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood Studios (plus a few days more to visit all the parks) at Walt Disney World. Seeing as we are gearing up again with Star Wars Weekend and whether to go again or not I thought I would share with you why and why not think about taking advantage of these special days. I decided years ago that one day I wanted to take my husband (here on out known as “DH” or Disney Husband) there to experience the Dark Side. So, when he started talking gibberish about going to the beach for a vacation I quickly pulled out the big guns and mentioned Star Wars weekend at Disney. So, to Disney it was! We luckily were able to stay at Boardwalk Resorts while we enjoyed the boat access they have to not only Hollywood Studios but also EPCOT. We are not DVC owners, but we were able to reserve a one bedroom villa and with all that space we invited a good friend (“DBFF”or Disney Best Friend Forever haha!) to tag along as well and enjoy the trip.

A little background on my Star Wars knowledge (or lack thereof): I have no true recollection of watching any of the Star Wars Movies. I have a slight recall of being dressed as Princess Leia when I was quite young for Halloween and having to be convinced I was being dressed as a Princess…to make it all feel better to a young child. My husband says I saw a Star Wars movie with him in the last 10-12 years but I am thinking I slept through it because I have no recollection. Anyway, with that said I wish I had watched the movies prior to the weekend so I would know some of the characters but all in all as long as you know who Darth Vader is then you are doing good.

Storm Troopers and an Admiring Fan of the Dark Side

The Good: The best part of the whole Star Wars experience was the evening event called “Hyperspace Hoopla”. It was funny, entertaining, and well worth the time spent. The bad behavior of many at the event trying to sneak their kids up front and ending with a few confrontations with Disney Cast Members only added to the entertainment and calmed down once the show started.

The Bad: The Parade. Too many people and the route was not clearly marked. We were in a place roped off for a parade route but what really happened was the parade went down Hollywood Boulevard and then jumped on the stage that was positioned in front of the Sorceror’s Hat. So, we never really saw the parade and by the time it had all happened we could not get a view of the stage. All in all…it was a waste of time and many grumblings were heard by all.

The Dark Side: Actually there was no real “Dark Side” other than the kind you want (see pictures above!) Like almost everything Disney does this special event turned out really well. Everything was spread out to make it not takeover the entire park and so the lines were decent. We waited about 15 minutes for a picture with Darth Vader for my husband. The entire 15 minutes his interaction with the people was so funny (my favorite was when a little girl started hugging him and he really was not sure what to do).

The weekend had lots of activities, special merchandise (Darth Mall was the merchandise Hub) and plenty of fun. I loved seeing all the costumes the park visitors had on that day and learning more about the 501st Club that does the amazing costumes and does it all for charity.

Star Wars Weekend Cupcake

Oh, and lastly, the cupcakes. Who does not want a Darth Vader cupcake? A chocolate and peanut butter extravaganza that was well worth the entire visit.

So, have you ever been to Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood Studios or any other Disney “special events”? Are you thinking of going this year? Let me know your favorite times at the parks in the comments below.