Category Archives: Star Wars

iNSIDE Disney Parks – Episode 1

 

Here is the premiere episode of Disney’s official “iNSIDE Disney Parks!” This first-of-its-kind video series will feature the best of everything happening at Disney Parks right now for you and your family! With the latest Disney news and top stories worldwide, it’s an official insider’s look at what’s happening now and in the future – with a touch of nostalgia.

Warning: This just may make you want to book a Disney vacation. 🙂 And if it does, contact me to help customize it especially for you! As always, my services are free.

In this episode:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Awakens at Night – Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, guests can enjoy a plethora of new experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Jennifer Fickley Baker takes us behind the scenes as the Tree of Life prepares for nighttime awakenings.

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters at Disney California Adventure park – Luigi turns the tire storage yard behind his Casa Della Tires into a dance floor. Erin Glover goes for a spin with blog author Michelle Harker for a special look at the attraction.

Neel Sethi visits Disney’s Animal Kingdom – For the summer, Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book.” Neel Sethi spent some time talking about the film and enjoying the park.

Timelapse of Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The Tree of Life is the centerpiece of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. From our “Vault” segment, check out the construction of the tree from ground up.

New Star Wars-Themed Experiences This Summer – There’s a lot of fun in store for Star Wars fans this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Shawn Slater, Sr. Creative Entertainment manager and blog author, shared details and more during this episode.

 

New at Disney Parks this summer!
New at Disney Parks this summer!

Star Wars Day at Sea returns to Disney Cruise Line in early 2017

Star Wars Day at Sea returns in 2017
Star Wars Day at Sea returns in 2017

Returning in early 2017, Disney Cruise Line you and your family can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during Star Wars Day at Sea.

New in 2017, the Disney Fantasy special sailings expand to both eastern and western Caribbean itineraries and nearly double in number to 15 cruises. During this day-long celebration, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney for an out-of-this-galaxy cruise experience unlike any other.

Each sailing features a full day of dark side and light side fun, including official appearances of Star Wars characters, a deck party and fireworks, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, at-sea screenings of Star Wars films, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise.

Throughout the day, Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike can enjoy the immersive and intergalactic entertainment, including a deck party and fireworks display, exclusive event merchandise, and specialty Star Wars-themed food and beverage items.

Characters from across the Star Wars galaxy will also be onboard for interactions, photos and also may be seen patrolling the decks. And, in “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and use their new-found skill in a final face off with Darth Vader.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy seven-night cruises sailing from Port Canaveral on Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8 and 15, 2017.

Departing Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18; March 4, 18; April 1 and 15, 2017, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Departing Jan. 14, 28; Feb. 11, 25; March 11, 25; and April 8, 2017, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

Click here for a free quote and for more information.

Save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort this summer!

Save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort this summer!
Save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort this summer!

Ready to vacation at Walt Disney World? Book now and you can save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights June 12 -August 25, 2016 when you book by June 10, 2016.

Booking Window:
March 14 – June 10, 2016

Travel Window:
June 12 – August 25, 2016

Plus, you can receive an exclusive “Awaken Summer” graphic MagicBand when you upgrade to a room and Theme Park package with a minimum 2-day Magic Your Way Ticket.**

This summer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the magic of nature will come to life during Rivers of Light and other incredible nighttime experiences. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Force will be unleashed with the all-new Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and Star Wars Launch Bay. At Epcot, Frozen is arriving with new immersive journeys on Frozen Ever After and the Royal Sommerhus. At Disney Springs, the new eclectic mix of boutiques, eateries and entertainment is expanding all throughout the summer. With even more new and exciting experiences coming to Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, this unforgettable summer has something for everyone!

Click here for a free quote! I’m happy to help you plan your Magical vacation!

 

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, Disney’s Port Orleans-French Quarter. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resorts.

** Option to choose a unique ‘Awaken Summer’ MagicBand with the purchase of a room and minimum 2-day ticket package; If Guest does not customize band, they will default to the unique band

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren at Disney Parks

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren at Disney Parks
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren at Disney Parks

Every day at Disney Parks, Guests step into Star Wars experiences such as Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and Star Wars Launch Bay, where they come face to face with some of the greatest heroes and villains of the saga. Starting in February, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disneyland Park in California or Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will transport Guests to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.

As seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a dark warrior with a mysterious past. Kylo Ren is strong with the Force and serves as a leader of the First Order, seeking to destroy the New Republic, the Resistance and the legacy of the Jedi.

Star Wars Launch Bay is designed to showcase a variety of Star Wars characters over time. In addition to Kylo Ren, Guests may also come across a garrison of First Order Stormtroopers or the heroic Wookiee, Chewbacca, holed up in a secret Resistance base.

 

Star Tours debuted on this day in 1987

This is Captain Rex, from the cockpit, as he appeared in Star Tours in 1992
This is Captain Rex, from the cockpit, as he appeared in Star Tours in 1992

A long time ago… Star Tours took flight at Disneyland with a 60 hour party! It was on this day in 1987 that Guests were first able to hop aboard a Starspeeder 3000 for an exhilarating trip to Endor, even if that meant waiting in a line which stretched from Tomorrowland, down Main Street, and past the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln theater. The new attraction replaced Adventure Thru Inner Space, and rather than inner space, would now blast off Guests to outer space. Although the lines for the popular new thrill ride subsided throughout the sixty hours, Guests were also able to enjoy such things as the new Captain EO 3-D film, eat at the all new Big Thunder Barbecue, enjoy the new Golden Horseshoe Jamboree stage show, or get caught up in the upbeat Totally Minnie parade. Although the new updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue debuted five years ago, here are some of my photos I took back when the original was just five years old.

 

This is what Star Tours looked like in 1992, notice CircleVision at the right, which would alternate 360 degree movies "American Journeys" and "Wonders of China"
This is what Star Tours looked like in 1992, notice CircleVision at the right, which would alternate 360 degree movies “American Journeys” and “Wonders of China” would alternate each day.
When Star Tours opened in 1987, Captain Rex piloted the Starspeeder until C-3PO took over the duties in 2011. Rex was voiced by Paul Rubens, better known as Pee-Wee Herman
When Star Tours opened in 1987, Captain Rex piloted the Starspeeder until C-3PO took over the duties in 2011. Rex was voiced by Paul Rubens, better known as Pee-Wee Herman

 

Star Wars Christmas record album

"Christmas in the Stars" Star Wars Christmas record album
“Christmas in the Stars” Star Wars Christmas record album

Somehow, it seemed appropriate to post this cover of the 1980 record album, “Christmas in the Stars.” Released on both record album and cassette, this album featured Anthony Daniels, reprising his role of C-3PO from “Star Wars.” It featured such classics very interesting songs such as “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and who can ever forget “What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)”, which made it to the Billboard top 100 songs! According to one newspaper, that called the album, “The funniest Christmas album since the Chipmunks, claims that the dialogue in the album was taken from a script by George Lucas.

Here’s a taste of the album, featuring C-3PO singing the title song, “Christmas in the Stars.

Lastly, below is an ad featuring “Christmas in the Stars,” right next to one of my personal favorites, “John Denver and the Muppets.” Notice the top of the ad mentions “Disney Christmas albums” and despite that no Disney albums are shown, the two of albums pictured below it are “Star Wars” and the Muppets, both of which would be owned by Disney in years to come. It coincidentally appears

Star Wars and Muppets Christmas records ad
Star Wars and Muppets Christmas records ad

TONIGHT: Watch Star-Wars themed fireworks live, “Symphony in the Stars”

Star Wars-themed “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Star Wars-themed “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular”
debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Tonight, the Star Wars-themed “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show will blast off for the first time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and you can watch it live online! This new show is the latest in a number of Star Wars offerings debuting this month at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including Star Wars Launch Bay and Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

For a first-hand look at this dazzling Star Wars-themed fireworks display, head over to the Disney Parks blog tonight,  December, 18 at 11 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. PST) to watch a live stream of the first show.

In addition, beginning January 5, 2016, you can experience the fireworks from a reserved viewing area during a special dessert party – “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party.” In addition to Star Wars-themed desserts and drinks, receive a souvenir stein featuring one of the most beloved Star Wars characters, Chewbacca. The dessert party costs $69 for adults and $39 for children. Tax and gratuity are included. Advance reservations are recommended, so contact me for details…and may the Force be with you!

Season of the Force starts TODAY at Disneyland Park in California

Disneyland park in California is celebrating all things Star Wars with the Season of the Force starting today in Tomorrowland. Season of the Force will take you to a galaxy far, far away with these special experiences.

Star Wars Launch Bay at Tomorrowland in Disneyland
Star Wars Launch Bay at Tomorrowland in Disneyland

Star Wars Launch Bay

This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and much more.

Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences

  • Dark Side – Encounter one of the most iconic villains from Star Wars, Darth Vader
  • Light Side – Fly casual at this makeshift Rebel base, and meet the most famous co-pilot in the galaxy, Chewbacca.
Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries
Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries

Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries

  • Dark Side Gallery – Get a look at authentic pieces of stormtrooper armor as well as famous Sith lightsabers once wielded by masters of the dark side.
  • Light Side Gallery – Explore a gallery filled with Rebel flight helmets and lightsabers once wielded by Jedi Knights.
  • Preview Gallery – See items built exclusively for Star Wars Launch Bay by the same prop makers who worked on the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

 

Starship Gallery – Discover models of famous starships from throughout the Star Wars saga.

Join the Battle in the Star Wars Game Center – Play the latest games from the Star Wars galaxy, including Disney Infinity 3.0 – featuring park-exclusive Toy Box levels.

 

Hyperspace Mountain and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
Hyperspace Mountain and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi

Hyperspace Mountain
Guests will launch into a galaxy far, far away aboard Hyperspace Mountain, finding themselves in an action-packed battle between Rebel X-wings and Imperial TIE fighters.

 

Star Wars: Path of the Jedi

Relive Luke Skywalker’s path to becoming a Jedi in a film that recaptures favorite Star Wars moments on the big screen. The Tomorrowland Theater presents Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, an exclusive cinematic event.

 

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Here is a sneak peek of the the new Starspeeder 1000 Experience on Star Tours.

 

The Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland Terrace)Galactic Grill

Choose the dark side or the light at this new themed food and beverage location. In the space that currently hosts Tomorrowland Terrace, the Galactic Grill will serve up specialty menu items inspired by both sides of the Force. Here is a look at some of the menu options:

Galactic Grill New Menu Items
Galactic Grill New Menu Items

Breakfast

  • Darth Tamale – Blue corn tamale with scrambled eggs and chorizo, red chili sauce and tomatillo

Lunch and Dinner

  • First Order Specialty Burger – Angus beef and chorizo patty topped with fried cherry peppers, spicy-lime aioli on dark bun

Desserts

  • The Pastry Menace – Éclair with milk chocolate filling and a hint of cayenne pepper

 

Collectibles

BB-8 sipper an TIE Fighter premium popcorn buckets are now available for purchase.

Star Wars collectible sipper and popcorn containe
Star Wars collectible sipper and popcorn container

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
Opening December 8, guests will experience a twist on the Jedi Training experience when they encounter new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.

Choose your side when Season of the Force now in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California! Click here for current Disneyland Resort special offers as well as other Disney destination offers.

 

CODE.org, Disney, and Star Wars launch 2015 Hour of Code “Build-Your-Own-Game” Tutorial

The third-annual global Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, begins this December.
The third-annual global Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, begins this December.

This week, Code.org unveiled a Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial featuring Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 as well as Rey and BB-8 from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This online lesson kicks off the third-annual global Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015.

I am a mother who homeschools my two boys and each year, my children participate in The Hour of Code. Code.org’s vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Not only are my boys learning about computer programming, they are having so much fun in the process.

Here is just one of the examples where participants can program the Star Wars characters.
Here is just one of the examples where participants can program the Star Wars characters.

Thanks to Disney and Star Wars, students will learn to write code that allows them to create fun challenges and games using Star Wars characters. Participants will join forces with Rey to guide BB-8 through a space mission, then team up with Princess Leia to build their own game featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. Students will also be able to play their completed games on smartphones, and share them with friends and family through a unique link.

Code.org’s new “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” lesson for the Hour of Code aims to nurture creativity and teach logic and problem solving through basic computer programming. There is an introductory tutorial introducing users to the coding language JavaScript.

Using the block techniques makes programming fun for all ages.
Using the block techniques makes programming fun for all ages.

My 5th grade son found it not only easy to understand, but did not want to stop until he finished all 15 puzzles. For the last puzzle, he was able to program his own Star Wars game using R2-D2 and Stormtroopers. He then emailed me a link so I can play, too! “I really liked creating my own game,” said Henson Wolf, 5th grader. “Learning how functions work in the earlier puzzles helped me a lot, otherwise I couldn’t control the character’s entrances.”

The Hour of Code is designed not only for beginner and younger students, it is also great for high school students. Arnie Wolf, 9th grader, told me what he liked about programming, “I loved how I could change the characters of my game because of coding. In fact, I added 40 Stormtroopers for a challenging level in my game.”

There are two versions of the introductory tutorial: one introduces for the first time in a Code.org lesson, and lets them create a game in their Internet browser using Code.org’s unique blocks-to-text programming environment. For beginner and younger students, a tablet-friendly drag-and-drop version will be available in the next few weeks.

You can see a beta version of Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” lesson here. And don’t forget to sign up to participate in this year’s Hour of Code event: http://HourOfCode.com.

Happy programming!

Above are screen examples of the programming workspace.
Above are screen examples of the programming screen.

© Code.org, 2015. Code.org®, the CODE logo and Hour of Code® are trademarks of Code.org.

Star Wars “Season of the Force” starts 11/16/15 at Disneyland

Ride Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagined Space Mountain attraction
Ride Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagined Space Mountain attraction

Disney announced earlier this year that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will breaking ground next year for elaborate new Star Wars-themed lands, with expansions over 14 acres each.

If you can’t wait for new land, beginning on November 16, 2015, Season of the Force begins at Disneyland park. Below are some of the experiences you may enjoy:

Ride Hyperspace Mountain – For a limited time, Space Mountain will become Hyperspace Mountain, where you’ll get the chance to X-wing Starfighter battle.

Enjoy a new scene while riding Star Tours-  Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

View classic Star Wars scenes – Revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films at the Tomorrowland Theater.

Star Wars Launch Bay coming to Disneyland this November
Star Wars Launch Bay coming to Disneyland this November

Visit Star Wars Launch Bay-  This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and much more.

Coming in December, experience a twist on the Jedi Training experience when you will encounter new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.

Sign up for my Email Updates to learn of new Star Wars updates.

 

 

 

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