New Adventure from Star Wars: The Last Jedi Coming to Star Tours This Fall

Earlier this year Disney told us about a thrilling new adventure coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios that will place guests in the middle of an epic battle. The action takes place on the planet of Crait, which we got our first glimpse of in the teaser trailer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi earlier this year.

Today Disney has announced that this exciting new sequence, inspired by the latest film in the Star Wars saga, will debut at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 17, at Disneyland Paris November 22, and, as previously announced, at Tokyo Disneyland December 15!

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Disneyland Cancels runDisney Races Beginning in 2018; Unclear When They Will Come Back

runDisney announced today that it is canceling its half marathon and other race events at Disneyland Resort beginning in 2018.

Races at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain in place.

A Disneyland spokesman said construction of the 14-acre Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, along with future development projects lined up around the resort area such as The Disneyland Eastern Gateway and a new four-diamond Disney hotel in the northern part of Downtown Disney, would affect future races since runners traverse a course in and around the Disneyland Resort.

“While construction for the next several years will impact our ability to deliver the runDisney experience our guests love, we are excited about our future as the Disneyland Resort continues one of its largest multi-year expansions,” said George Savvas, a Disneyland spokesman. “For fans who love to be part of runDisney events, we will continue to offer races at our other properties around the world in 2018.”

The races bring in an estimated 25,000 people paying upwards of $195 to participate in a half marathon run. The races, usually held during off-peak seasons, are a boon to the local economy, generating $20 million to $30 million in revenue to Orange County, according to Disney.

Savvas did not know when runDisney would come back to hold races at the Anaheim parks again. He said runners who pre-registered for race events in 2018 will receive a refund.

The cancellation comes as no surprise for eager runners who were looking forward to participating in one of the four race weekends held annually at Disneyland.

Chatter and rumors on social media, Disney fan blogs, and other websites about the future of runDisney races at Disneyland grew rampant when about seven months ago Disney postponed registration for its popular Light Side Star Wars themed running event slated for January at the Anaheim theme parks.

An Anaheim spokesman said typically Disney gives the city three to four months advance notice before a race weekend. Disney needs permission from the city to arrange the closing of some freeway off ramps, streets and provide additional police. City staff said Disney had not filed for any permits.

RunDisney is part of the Walt Disney Co.’s sports division and has grown to become one of the nation’s largest race organizers. RunDisney holds eight series of races such as marathons, half marathons, 10k, 5k and a kid’s race at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

The unique course location – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure – and themes such as Star Wars, Avengers, and Tinkerbell give seasoned runners and non-runners an opportunity to enjoy a one-of-a-kind running experience through the two theme parks and surrounding areas in Anaheim. Disney also holds several other events that weekend such as a Health and Fitness Expo, a kids’ race, and pasta at the park.

As part of the experience, many runners dress in a Disney costume. Local high school bands play. Darth Vader, Thor, Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters greet and high-four guests.

Peter Henry, 40, from San Diego, said he’s disappointed that runDisney is canceling its Disneyland races. As someone who has participated in runDisney events since 2015, he looked forward to the runs every year. Training for the races helped him lose 15 pounds.

“I wanted to create my own tradition,” said Henry, who has participated in the last three Star Wars races. “So many people look forward to these races but we were kept in the dark since March. There’s a lot of preparation – from training, to rooms, to flights – that go on to be part of this. I understand what Disney has to do but I just wish they had better communication.”

Savvas said the Disney team had considered and weighed various possibilities to keep the runDisney events but ultimately, could not come up with a plan.

Disneyland will host its last runDisney event for the year on Nov. 9 -12, the Super Heroes Half Marathon weekend.

From the Orange County Register

Dream Boutique Opens in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

From Belle to Moana, Minnie Mouse and more, now there’s something for every little dreamer at the Dream Boutique opening this weekend in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.

The Dream Boutique offers a wide variety of character apparel, stylish accessories, trendy headwear and other products created for Disney Parks. The location also carries role play costumes complete with matching accessories inspired by favorite Disney Princesses. A variety of plush and toys round out the product assortment found in this dreamy location.

This newly reimagined space is a merchandise-only location.

Guests ages 3-12 seeking royal transformations into elegant princesses or shining knights, should visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique located inside Disneyland. Reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique can be made up to 60 days in advance and are highly recommended. To book an appointment with a Fairy Godmother-in-training, please call (714) 781-STYLE or (714) 781-7895.

‘Chef Oscar’ Martinez, Longest-Tenured Disneyland Cast Member, Retires

After more than 60 years serving up magic and memories at The Happiest Place on Earth, Carnation Café chef Oscar Martinez retired on September 27.

Oscar began working at Disneyland on December 29, 1956 – a year after the park opened. Oscar originally worked as a busboy and later a grill cook in Fantasyland quick-service locations that sold hamburgers, hot dogs and chili. Moving to Carnation Café in 1967, Oscar has been a staple on Main Street, U.S.A., making famous his recipe for breakfast potatoes.

It is those potatoes and Oscar’s warm personality that have made him a favorite among our guests, with many stopping by the cafe daily to see him. As Sam from San Diego says, “Chef Oscar is one of those magic cast members who make the Carnation Café one of my favorite places in Disneyland.” Dawn from Las Vegas agrees, “We have been going to Disneyland for years! Every single time we go straight to the Carnation Café to have breakfast and visit with Chef Oscar.”

When asked what his fondest memories were of his time at the resort, first was seeing Walt Disney walk the park. To a young Oscar, Walt Disney seemed larger than life. Also among his favorite memories is working with and training many new cast members, including grill cooks for Tokyo Disneyland.

“Oscar has created magic for more than 60 years at the Disneyland Resort,” said Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier. “He has been an icon to our guests and an inspiration to our cast. We are honored to have worked with him, and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Oscar plans to travel, visit with family, and just relax in retirement. Cheers to you, Oscar!

New Halloween Fun, Thrills and Villainous Décor Cast a Spell at Disney California Adventure Park

For the first time, Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is also taking over Disney California Adventure Park, with areas such as Buena Vista Street and Cars Land getting all dressed up for holiday fun. The recently-opened Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction gets some additional thrills as it transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark each night. Additional attractions will receive spooky fun updates, and there will be plenty of Halloween decorations, themed food and beverage, eerie merchandise and more. Combined with favorite Halloween traditions at Disneyland Park including Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Pumpkin Festival on Main Street, U.S.A., Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is now twice as much fun.

Halloween excitement begins as guests first enter Disney California Adventure. An oversized, shadowy silhouette of Oogie Boogie, the villainous boogeyman from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” ominously leers over guests passing through the main entrance. In a spooky but fun moment, Oogie appears to unleash a swarm of bats which sound as if they fly down Buena Vista Street towards Hollywood Land, Cars Land and beyond. Guests will even see the bats circling the tower of the Carthay Circle Theatre.

Cars Land Haul-O-Ween

Everyone’s favorite Cars characters have transformed Radiator Springs into their own Haul-O-Ween celebration. Scary the “Scare-car” greets guests at the entrance of Route 66 for a special photo opportunity. Each of the Cars has decorated its establishment for the season. With Fillmore showing off his Jack-Oil-Lanterns and ghostly folk art, Sarge displaying his “pump-kins,” and a Spider-Car spinning webs all over the outside of Flo’s V8 Café, the town of Radiator Springs will indeed be transformed into Radiator Screams!

Two of the attractions also have been transformed for Halloween for the first time. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. Expect to hear some creepy, new songs and fun haunted twists on other hits, including “Monster Truck Smash” and “Welcome to Radiator Screams” as guests whirl around the graveyard. Additionally, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, an all-new spooktacular dance celebration where Luigi and Guido entertain the cugini (cousins) with Halloween twists to traditional Italian festival songs like the “Terror-antella,” “The Chop Top of Carsoli” and more. It’s hair-raising fun … for a limited time!

Also, for the first time, the Cars characters will be donning their Halloween “car-stumes” as they greet guests and prepare to go “trunk-or-treating.” Mater will be wearing his vampire or “van-pire” outfit, while Lightning McQueen is dressed as a super hero. Cruz Ramirez, Red the Fire Truck and DJ get dressed up as a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, respectively.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark

Fans were thrilled when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened in May at Disney California Adventure Park, and now they’re in for a scary Halloween treat as the attraction is transformed nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. During the day, guests continue to experience the excitement, fun and six different ride experiences on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! However, each evening the attraction transforms from Mission: BREAKOUT! to Monsters After Dark. The Collector’s Fortress goes dark, alarms sound and all-new lighting on the exterior of the Fortress alerts guests that something inside has gone awry.

As guests enter the Lobby of the Fortress, they will be startled by flashing alarms and creepy sounds – warning signs that creatures have escaped their vitrines (glass cages) and all kinds of chaos is erupting. The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant, Apheta, tries to keep calm by reassuring guests that all is in order, and this is just a momentary setback.

In keeping with the dark humor of the experience, an all-new 1970s-style punk rock song, “Monsters After Dark,” enhances the thrill of the experience. The song was written especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

Buena Vista Street Halloween Décor

Along Buena Vista Street, guests will enjoy Halloween decorations in store windows and in Carthay Circle, they’ll see a new 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman himself, holding up his jack-o’-lantern head to the sky. New, themed background music further creates the appropriately eerie, but still fun, mood.

Mickey and his friends also will be in the area, donning their period-appropriate Halloween costumes, such as a bat for Mickey Mouse, a ghost for Goofy and a witch for Daisy Duck – all in playful fun, of course.

Frighteningly Refreshing Food and Beverages

Throughout the park, Halloween-themed food and beverage offerings will include:

  • Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream) – white chocolate-raspberry swirl ice cream with raspberry splatter, blood-red sprinkles, whipped cream and bat wing cookie;
  • Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream) – a black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry spun ice cream topped with popping candy and drops of raspberry sauce;
  • Sleepy Hollow Cupcake (Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe) – red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, raspberry drizzle and Headless Horseman chocolate decoration;
  • Green Apple Spell Lemonade (Smokejumpers Grill) – lemonade, green apple syrup and cherry drops;
  • Monstermallow Donut (Schmoozies) – flaky, croissant donut in the shape of Mike Wazowski from “Monster, Inc.,” filled with marshmallow cream;
  • “Ghost”-ly Pepper Nachos (Cove Bar) – ghost pepper-marinated flank steak with green tortilla chips, topped with ghost pepper cheese sauce, black beans and avocado-tomatillo salsa;
  • Pumpkin Raisin Bread Pudding and Anchor Blood Orange Blondie (Pacific Wharf Café);
  • Slow Burnin’ Mac & Cheese Cone (Cozy Cone Motel) – fresh-cooked pasta with spicy red pepper cheese sauce, served in a Black Cauldron Cone and topped with crushed chile-cheese puffs;
  • Car-achnid Pot Pie (Flo’s V8 Café) – chicken pot pie with dried cranberries and butter-crust spider; and
  • Purple, green and orange-colored Churros, Mickey Bat Cookies and Candy Corn Cotton Candy (locations throughout the park).

Mickey’s Halloween Party Mix-In

Disney California Adventure also will be featured for the first time as part of the pre-party mix-in for Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event that features special entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, and trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland. This year, a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party has even greater value as guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during the three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland Park.

Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party may be purchased online and on mobile devices at Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4400.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Returns with Popular Festival of Holidays and ‘World of Color – Season of Light

The Happiest Place on Earth gets merrier once again when Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 10, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018. This festive season includes the return of favorite holiday experiences, including Festival of Holidays, “World of Color – Season of Light,” and the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular.

Guests plan their seasonal visits year after year to experience beloved Holiday traditions, from snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., to glistening décor, Disney-themed treats, holiday entertainment and the one-of-a-kind transformations that create “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday.

At Disney California Adventure

  • The nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – Season of Light” celebrates the warm and heartfelt spirit of the holidays as it illuminates Paradise Bay with a sparkling winter fantasy combining classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films.
  • Festival of Holidays” brings the spirit of the season to life through delicious food and special entertainment, including the popular “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” A new twist to this celebration presents the popular Festive Foods Marketplace with a mix of holiday comfort dishes that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions.
  • Santa Claus, with a sleigh full of mischievous elves, appears at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, where guests of all ages will join the festive fun with a series of holiday-themed activities along the trail.
  • For the residents of Cars Land, holiday decorating begins with the whimsical “Snowcar” that greets guests on the road to Radiator Springs. Each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more – also gets a holiday makeover that reflects the personality of its “Cars” character resident.
  • “a bug’s land” transforms for the holidays, too, as Flik and his bug friends deck their land with oversized lights and ornaments.
  • A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments.

At Disneyland

  • FestSleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle returns with magical nighttime snowfall moments that conclude with “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks and its stirring snowfall finale.
  • Guests will be enchanted by the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. It’s 60 feet tall and filled with nearly 1,800 ornaments. This festive backdrop is a popular location for holiday photos.
  • Disney characters celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching “tin soldiers” and holiday cheer. Santa, who makes a jolly appearance in the parade, also will be found welcoming guests at his special location in Critter Country.
  • Disneyland guests definitely will want to experience the popular seasonal transformations of these park attractions:
    • “it’s a small world” becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday with children around the world enjoying the distinctive holiday traditions of their countries.
    • Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday,* with Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” causing a collision between Christmas and Halloween.

The Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, holiday displays, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus.

*Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Announced as Name for Star Wars Lands

On Saturday at D23 Expo 2017, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, revealed the official name of the Star Wars-inspired lands that are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and shared details on the immersive experiences guests will be able to enjoy when the lands open in 2019

The lands, both called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.

The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.

One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.

The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!

Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.

And speaking of the cantina, here guests will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. (No further opening dates have been announced yet.)

Disney MaxPass to Debut July 19 at Disneyland Resort

Today the Disneyland Resort announced that Disney MaxPass will launch July 19 at the Disneyland Resort! Disney MaxPass will help guests to maximize their experience at the Disneyland Resort by providing unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads from the day, and by enabling the convenience of mobile Disney FASTPASS booking and redemption times while in the theme parks through the Disneyland App. If guests are not already registered for a Disney account, registration is fast and simple. Download the app and follow the prompts to register for an account.

Disney MaxPass will be offered for an introductory price of $10 a day. Guests may purchase Disney MaxPass when they purchase their ticket, or as an add-on through the Disneyland App once they enter either theme park. Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders also will have the option of purchasing Disney MaxPass for the life of their current passport for $75. Signature Plus passholders will receive Disney MaxPass at no additional cost, as part of their annual passport entitlement.

Since Disneyland announced Disney MaxPass in January, they have added two additional Disney FASTPASS locations at Toy Story Mania and Matterhorn Bobsleds, bringing the total number of attractions to 16. Guests will continue to have the option of Disney FASTPASS service at no additional cost by obtaining a Disney FASTPASS return time with their park admission ticket at attraction Disney FASTPASS kiosks.

The introduction of Disney MaxPass is part of Disney’s ongoing commitment to providing guests with opportunities to customize their experiences and make it even easier than ever to create unforgettable memories.

Guests are strongly advised to check the day’s FASTPASS ticket availability and other Park details before purchasing Disney MaxPass or using a Park ticket with Disney MaxPass as FASTPASS tickets for your preferred attractions may not be available at the time of purchase or use. FASTPASS tickets are limited and availability is not guaranteed. FASTPASS tickets may be obtained only while you are in the Parks and may not be available for entertainment through Disney MaxPass. An experience that does not have Disney FASTPASS availability at a kiosk will not be available using Disney MaxPass. The Disney MaxPass benefit will expire at the end of the day or when the Passport it is associated with expires, as applicable. Disney MaxPass is nonrefundable, nontransferable, may not be redeemed for cash and is subject to other restrictions. Price, terms, entitlements, attractions and entertainment are subject to change or cancellation without notice. Passholders who purchase the Disney MaxPass benefit may not use the value of any separate ticket media toward the purchase price of Disney MaxPass.

 

Disney Parks Unveils the Star Wars Land Model

As we know two Star Wars-inspired lands are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Tonight, Disney Parks showed off the first detailed look at the model of this new land, which will be on display this weekend at the 2017 D23 Expo.

Star Wars Land Model Video

Both Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

 

Disney Making Changes to Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland Paris, Changes to Follow at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom

When Pirates of the Caribbean re-opens at Disneyland Paris on July 24, guests will discover new surprises as well as a band of new buccaneers. The blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” films provided the inspiration for Disney’s Imagineering team to come up with new twists and turns in our story, and a chance to introduce new characters and magic to this classic attraction.

Captain Barbossa, from the blockbuster films, will appear in the attraction for the first time, joining a skeletal crew in a scene unique to Disneyland Paris. Also, ghostly visages of Davy Jones and Blackbeard will warn that “dead men DO tell tales!”

Throughout the attraction, Disney has enhanced the show with new Audio-Animatronics figures, costumes, special effects, lighting and sound, including some of the now-classic musical themes from the films. Of course, the classic “A Pirates Life for Me!” song will continue to underscore the attraction.

Guest will even discover that a familiar character is playing a new role joining the pirates ranks and helping the local townspeople “unload” their valuables at the Mercado auction.

On this side of the pond, at Magic Kingdom park and Disneyland park, it’s a pirate’s life for a favorite redhead—beginning in 2018, after an already-planned refurbishment, the redhead is trading her fashionable bonnet for a pirate’s hat. Guests will now see her joining the pirates’ ranks and helping the locals “unload” their valuables at the Mercado auction.

Here is a view an artist’s rendering of the new Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort scenes:


Kathy Mangum, senior vice president, Atlantic Region Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, said, “Our team thought long and hard about how best to update this scene. Given the redhead has long been a fan favorite, we wanted to keep her as a pivotal part of the story, so we made her a plundering pirate! We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by Marc Davis, X Atencio, and the other Disney Legends who first brought this classic to life.”

Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar said of this new story twist, “Pirates of the Caribbean has always represented great Disney Park storytelling; it has set the standard for the theme park industry for half a century! But it’s a story you can continue to add fun to, with great characters in new ‘performances.’ That’s what the Imagineers have done with this new auction scene—it’s like a theatre show with a new act.”

The Disney Legend continued, “To me, the Imagineers are simply reflecting what Walt started the day Disneyland opened—making changes that create exciting new experiences for our guests. I can’t think of a single attraction that has not been enhanced and improved, some over and over again. Change is a ‘tradition’ at Disneyland that today’s Imagineers practice—they learned it from their mentors, many of them Walt’s original team of storytellers and designers—the Disney Legends.”

Disneyland Paris guests will also discover some changes to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, re-opening as Captain Jack’s. It seems that Captain Jack won the restaurant in a wager and is now welcoming pirates of all ages to relax over a drink and hot meal. The interior of the restaurant has been re-themed and the establishment has been staffed with a fun-loving band of pirates.

The adventures set sail on July 24 in Adventureland at Disneyland Paris.

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