Every few years, Disney holds their D23 Expo in Anaheim where they announce their plans for parks, movies, resorts, and more for the coming years. This year’s expo had some amazing announcements!
Rogue One is the name of the new Star Wars movie and if you did not know that you may want to stop reading this review. Now, if you remember (or if you don’t click HERE for my last Star Wars movie review), I am not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world or even amongst us Dole Whippie ladies; but, I will put my husband up against anyone to claim he is the biggest fan. With that said, I was up and seeing the movie at 9:30am in the morning. This is not a great movie time because no one is awake, no one wants popcorn, and no one (or really I) want to be there. But, I was there, and I was exhausted from the night before being my birthday “party”. Yes, we went to Star Wars on my birthday weekend. It is not enough to be blessed with a birthday a week before Christmas…nope, Star Wars decided to thwart all plans for my birthday and open that weekend. So, here is what I thought:
It was a great story and had a good cast, decent plot, great music and the end was spine tingling (even for me). I am not going to spoil it but pretty darn cool Disney. If you are not a Star Wars groupie it is hard to follow who everyone is and who they become and what planets are good and bad. But, you can still enjoy the film. The middle gets long (for a non-fan) and you really do not have to watch it to get what happens and can take a 20 minute snooze. I may have. No comment.
The Star Wars music in the film was awesome – you knew it was Star Wars and they teased you a few times that you were going to get the full on version but nope and that was okay because I loved what they did with the new music.
The end was awesome in every way, but there was one part of the end I had issues with…I would tell you but I would get in trouble with the spoiler people.
OH WELL _ STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT A SPOILER:
I did not love that Jyn and Cassian died at the end. This is a Disney movie – they needed to live happily ever after. I mean come on – was the force not strong enough with them?
I loved the little cameos of CP3P0 and R2D2 and man I love me some Princess Leia buns. That was so cool.
Go see this movie. I may watch Episode 4 not to see what happens next…until next time: I am one with the force and the force is strong with me.
If you’re a Star Wars fan and you’ve been following Disney news, chances are you’ve heard about the Star Wars fireworks show at Hollywood Studios, Symphony in the Stars. In accompaniment with that show, Disney is also offering a dessert party you can attend. If you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to celebrate an occasion, like a birthday or anniversary, then this might just be the thing for you!
For $69 for adults (and kids aged 10 – 17) and $39 (kids aged 3 – 9) you get a special viewing location for the fireworks show as well as a fun Star Wars themed dessert buffet with specialty drinks, including alcoholic beverage options. Check out those Darth Vader cupcakes!
Hollywood Studios park admission is required. You must check in at Center Stage. The venue is uncovered, but if the weather acts up, they may move indoors. This particular dessert party does not have seating, so be ready to stand for the show. They do accommodate wheelchairs and scooters, however.
And just so you don’t forget this occasion, each guest receives a Chewbacca stein to take with them as a souvenir!
This is a great fireworks show, and while the price might be a little steep for the average park-goer, it seems like a fun way to celebrate with someone who really loves Star Wars.
If you’ve been, let us know what you thought of the dessert party in the comments!
So, yes, growing up my dad did dress me up as Princess Leia for Halloween one year when I was too young to be able to express my voice (or they said Princess and I said yes?) Though I had blond hair, I still was able to do side buns and wear the long white dress and get treats and my brother was dressed as Luke Skywalker. How did our parents even tell us apart that year; as I am sure, every other kid in the neighborhood looked the same? I remember the hair though and it being done and being a huge pain as all tender-headed girls can agree – it just is never as fun as it looks to have an elaborate hairdo.
When I dressed as Princess Leia I am sure I was happy with it; but, I had no idea what I represented. I never saw the movies because, honestly, I was 3 in 1977 when the first Star Wars came out (which is now Episode IV: A New Hope) and that was just not on my agenda.
With that said and for full disclosure of the claim of being a non-Star Wars fan, I do not remember seeing any Star Wars movies ever. My husband (a HUGE Star Wars fan) swears I saw one of the more recently released episodes with him. What I think really happened is he was with a bunch of friends and so enthralled with the movies he did not notice that I was not there and instead at home enjoying my quiet time. Moving on to how much of a good wife I am (one of my favorite topics) because I did plan a trip to Disney, for a Star Wars weekend, a few years back. I had very low expectations for this trip and my enjoyment of the Star Wars “stuff” going on at Hollywood Studios. I ended up really loving the “stuff” and if you want to see a few highlights you can read my review or just google Hyperspace Hoopla (seeing Darth Vader do the Whip and Nae Nae is life changing). If you want to learn more about that trip you can read my review by clicking HERE.
Is there a point to this article? Yes, and that is a non-Star Wars fan (me) watching Episode 7 last week and sharing her experiences with you.
Scenario: Under a bit of force, my friend (another Star Wars nut) twisted my arm to watch it. He had bought the download and while I was visiting him and his family we sat down to watch it.
Here are the 5 major points I have noted:
1. I did like it. I liked it a lot in fact. I know when I really like a movie by asking to pause the movie when I need to refill my drink or check email (instead of just doing those things and not worrying about missing a minute or two). My enjoyment was not expected, as I thought within a few minutes I would find it redundant with fighting, and just not my cup of tea. How wrong I was…
2. I thought the acting was great, for the most part, and immediately fell in love with BB-8. I definitely want a full-size one in my future and it did make me love and appreciate our BB-8 app enabled droid (or pet) we have in our home. If you have not heard of these check them out because they are awesome and the newest update has where if you watch the movie with your BB-8 he interacts with you about the movie. Prior to watching the movie I called it the most expensive cat toy on the market because that is what I used it for to play with the cats.
3. I am intrigued by Rey, the theories on who her parents are, and enjoyed the character. I even read a few articles about who her parents might be and was found discussing it with some Star Wars peeps. This means I am invested and now am looking forward to the next Star Wars movie (Episode 8) which has a release date of December 15, 2017. Not to plan ahead, but this is two days before my birthday – did I love it enough to make this part of my birthday week? Hmm maybe! But shhhh! I do not want to tell my husband, yet, as I am not sure. I would then be locked in and he would talk of nothing else but that. It would make him so proud though. So, rest easy (because I can tell you are rooting for me to tell him soon) and know that closer to the time (I mean we have more than a year) I will tell him so he can tell all his buddies how awesome his wife is and make me the cool, nerdy Star Wars wife. Currently, I am just the cool, nerdy Disney wife so it might be nice for a change (upgrade?).
4. The jokes were funny. Even though I had not seen any other Star Wars (or do not remember them) I still was able to know enough about it to laugh and enjoy the Princess Leia and Hans Solo relationship. I also cheered when Chewie and R2D2 and the gold one came on screen. I loved the personality they gave Chewie (maybe he always was like that?) Also, after this movie came out I read and saw some commentary on Carrie Fisher that was not positive (I am not even giving it credence by giving details). My response to that is “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” She looks awesome and is almost 60. People need to back that train up because she is still a hot Princess and NOW is a General and kicking some Dark Side parts. Please don’t make me go all Kylo Ren on you.
5. I am NOT a fan of killing off Hans Solo and I know things need to move to the future people; but, just as I was getting to know him as a character better he is gone. I guess I can watch Episodes 1-6 and get to know him better. Sigh. He is a cute one though still right?
So, yes there is a ton more to say but these points are enough to make a non fan question (I hope?) and take two hours to watch and see. I know that, after watching Episode 7, I am definitely invested in watching 1-6. Now just to figure out what order to watch them in (the order of release with 4-6 being first and then 1-3 or in straight order 1-6?) All Star Wars fans seem to say the release order? What do you think?
Disney has always a great movie line-up on the horizon and 2016 and 2017 are already shaping up to be perhaps the best two year’s ever. Some people are going to disagree because Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in 2015 but let’s put that aside, for now, and look to the future (as only Star Wars would want you too!) In addition, there is more Star Wars to come so that helps all your Star Wars fans to look forward in anticipation.
Here is my top 5 list of Disney films I personally am looking forward to in 2016 and 2017:
1. Finding Dory I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this movie and I am so
happy they have finally made it happen. I am ready to laugh and be happy with Nemo and Dory again. Want to check out the trailer? Click Here.
2. Beauty and the Beast – This is a live action fantasy, musical film that stars Emma Watson (who does not love Hermione) as Belle and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. This is done in a similar manner as Cinderella which was released in 2015.
3. Moana – Another princess movie! There can never be enough Disney princesses and Moana is joining the ranks. Want to see the voice of Moana being told she got the part? Cute youtube video Click here!
4. The Jungle Book – Another live action coming out in Spring of 2016 and has quite the cast list including Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley to name a few. Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli and is a cutey! Want to see more info and a teaser then Click Here.
5. Alice: Through the Looking Glass – The sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in
Wonderland is coming soon. My favorite Mad Hatter is back and Johnny Depp I know will do the part justice. This is another live action movie and if anything the cinematography will be amazing.
So this is my Top 5 list and I would love to hear your thoughts and what you are looking forward to seeing?
Oh my! If you are a Disney fan you know how much news came out this past weekend at D23 in Anaheim. If you are NOT a Disney fan you probably still heard some of it because it is crazy and wild all the cool stuff that is coming. If you are like me then you do not want to wait but want it all now! But go ahead and go to Disney and enjoy what is there now because with change you may lose some of your old favorites! But, do not worry because all the new stuff will make you quickly forget!
First, let’s talk about the BIGGEST news from D23 and I think we can all agree it is the new alcohol policy for Disney Cruise Line. Right??? Okay no that was not the biggest news at all (but I will address this news later but for now let’s start positive) and the biggest news…drum roll please… Star Wars Land. Yes, finally for all you Star Wars lovers (which clearly from the crowds at Star Wars Weekends is a ton) there is going to be an answer to your needs. Star Wars Land is going to be located at Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World (so thankfully something will be there to entertain us people) and at the Disney Land Resort.
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “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.”
There is more to come on this and stay with us here at Dolewhipped.com because we are bringing it to you!
Second, more lands! Yes, there are more lands coming our way including Toy Story Land coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World (again actual things to do there!) and at Animal Kingdom they are going with Pandora – The World of Avatar. I am sure Disney will do a great job with this as they do with everything. Another cool thing coming to Animal Kingdom that really gets me ready to go is After Dark at Animal Kingdom. They will have a show called “Rivers of Light” that sounds spectacular and is coming this Spring and also the Kilimanjaro Safari is going to have a night-time safari that will be a special type of safari and sounds awesome. I am a huge fan of Animal Kingdom and love seeing it grow.
Two more quick but excellent things to mention is a new restaurant at Magic Kingdom and a change to Soarin’. The table service restaurant named “Jungle Skipper Canteen” and will be themed after the Jungle Cruise. I am loving another table service option inside Magic Kingdom so this is good news. Soarin’ will no longer be Soarin’ Over California but instead we will be Soarin’ Around the World. This change will be put in place both in Epcot’s Soarin’ attraction in Walt Disney World and in Disney’s California Adventure’s Soarin’ attraction in Disneyland.
Last, is the bad news. Disney Cruise Line has changed the alcohol policy and the change goes into effect for any cruises commencing on or after September 30, 2015. I am just going to bullet point the new rules as I cry:
So, that is it. I know it hurts because it hurts us all but I am just the bearer of the news. Disney Cruise Line is still the best hands down and now you just need to save a few more dollars to pay for drinks on board. Also, remember at each port you can get 2 bottles and alcohol is usually very cheap at most ports of call – hey looking at the bright side! But overall, the news was amazing and I can not wait for these new things! If you have any questions let me know.
Hollywood Studios is in a transition period and I am sure the attractions that are in progress will be wonderful but if I were in charge here is what I would do, if I was an Imagineer for the day with no budget in mind.
Pixarland- A land filled with the characters and scenes from some of the best films. I personally love Monsters Inc and Monsters University and would love to see a dedicated area with over the top theming straight out of Monstropolis. Wall-E and the scene where he and Eva and whirling around space with a fire extinguisher. And a new addition, a dark ride based on Inside Out.
Carsland- Of course this could have been added to my Pixarland but I would love to see what they have in California in Florida. I think it could be a huge draw for more crowds.
Star Wars Land- I would love to see more Star Wars in the park! Permanent meet and greets with popular characters would be pretty amazing. Of course I would love to see some new attractions based on the classic episodes for the greatest appeal.
Updated stage shows- So many of these shows can use some fresh meat. I think the Little Mermaid show can leave forever, since there is an attraction in Magic Kingdom. Same with Beauty and the Beast. And I wouldn’t be sad to see Lights, Motor, Action! go be replaced by a Carsland attraction. Changing one of these shows to a Disney Junior show starring Sofia the First or Jake and the Neverland Pirates with full sized characters, similar to the traveling productions.
There is my take on Imagineer for the day in Hollywood Studios. If you missed the first for Animal Kingdom you can find it here. Leave a comment and tell me what you would do if you were in charge of Hollywood Studios!
Recently we had Dustin, the Character Queen, on our podcast, you can listen here! We wanted to share our favorite character meets!
Here is Jamie’s:
My favorite character meet was in March 2011. We had waited in line for my 3 year old nieces to meet the princesses and a few other characters and it didn’t go well. Everyone was too shy, so we figured we’d wait it out and not push the character thing this visit so the girls weren’t traumatized. Well, we took a ride on Dumbo and as soon as we got off spotted Pinocchio. My niece Maia took a deep breath and ran as fast as her little legs could carry her… Right into poor Pinocchio! She didn’t let go for a good minute or two. It was so sweet, and the start of no more shyness when it came to meeting characters!
My youngest daughter Allie tends to be very shy, especially with face characters but she loves the soft characters like Stitch. She and Stitch have a lot in common so here they are sharing a moment and a hug.
One of my favorite character interactions was during Star Wars Weekend with Darth Vader and my husband, Scott. He is a huge Star Wars fan so we waited in quite the line to meet Darth Vader. We watched others go before him and just smile while DV was giving them the force choke. So, everyone in line was a little stunned and then laughing when Scott went into full choking mode. I personally would not go near Darth Vader as I was a bit afraid of him!
And finally, Jillian’s:
My favorite meet was also involving Stitch. It was my first visit with my own family to Walt Disney World. We had breakfast at ‘Ohana and had recently discovered Lilo and Stitch so this was a must do for our family. Stitch and Pluto were in full force and acting so silly. Lilo grabbed my daughter’s hand and lead her on the parade around the restaurant. There is no doubt that this is my favorite Disney moment of all time.
Do you have a favorite character meet moment? If so, share it with us!
I don’t know about where you live, but there’s no Disney store local to me. We went on a road trip last week and I made my family stop off to check out the Disney outlet on our way. Here’s some of the cool stuff they had!
If you have a Sofia The First fan, they had plenty of things to choose from!
Doc McStuffins fangirls can get this adorable dress!
Headed to the beach or pool this summer? They have swimsuits and beach towels on sale in various prints for boys and girls!
Most of this is available via their website, but it’s fun to see things in person! Definitely gets you in the mood to plan a Disney trip!
Arrive early, at least 30 minutes. As with Epcot sometimes the park will open early so if you are there early you will be one of the first ones in the gates! Of course you can always make a reservation for Hollywood and Vine for a pre-park opening breakfast.
Go right! If you want to check out the headliners most of them are to the right side of the park.
In Disney Jr Live on Stage don’t sit in the front. The view is not going to be great but if you sit towards the middle/back then you will have a much better view of the show.
If you plan to sign your child or children up for Jedi Training Academy this will be one of the first stops you want to make. You will get a show time and make sure to show up with plenty of time to spare.
Get the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. This costs nothing extra. You can use your dining plan credits and get reserved seating and save your FastPass+ for something else. Plus the seating for Fantasmic! is in a really great spot!
Check out The Magic of Disney Animation, you can meet characters, take an animation class and see some really neat Disney memorabilia.
Make a plan, this is important for Hollywood Studios if you want to see more than two shows. In a park that is show heavy you have to make sure you are in the correct place at the time the shows start or you will be waiting a while for the next one.
Meet characters! This is a great park for hard to find characters like the Disney Junior gang or Phineas and Ferb. It is usually home to the newest characters, previous to Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 there was Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope so always check for new character meets!
Try a cupcake! Hollywood Studios always seems to have always changing cupcakes with some great standbys too. Well worth a snack credit!
See fireworks. If there are fireworks going on at Hollywood Studios do not miss them! They are by far the best of all the parks. Plus it will be less crowded than the Magic Kingdom.
Have a missed a great tip? Share it here I would love to add it to my list!