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.

Disneyland Announces Return Dates for ‘Fantasmic!,’ Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad

This summer, iconic Disneyland park attractions make their return with the reopening of “Fantasmic!,” the Rivers of America attractions and the Disneyland Railroad. We know these classic attractions – many of which have delighted guests since the park’s opening day – are very special to Disneyland park fans, and we are excited to celebrate their return.

For 25 years, “Fantasmic!” has taken Disneyland park guests on a journey into Mickey Mouse’simagination, and its return on July 17 – in celebration of the park’s 62nd anniversary – will bring new magic to this beloved nighttime spectacular! The treasured Disneyland park experience guests have loved for years, complete with its original fanfare and theme song, will be taken to brilliant new heights. New mist screens will combine with innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology for brighter and more vibrant visuals than ever before, and the show will feature new scenes inspired by Disney animated classics such as “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

Also this summer, the classic Rivers of America attractions will reopen, starting with Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island this Friday, June 16, followed by Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbiaand Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes on July 29. For decades, guests have traveled the landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers: the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande; each carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, natural forests and wildlife. The return of these watercraft will bring even more breathtaking views for guests to discover, including an enhanced adventure featuring the new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by five picturesque waterfalls. Last year, we shared the artist’s rendering above, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering, showing the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America, which will feature a beautiful new waterfront.

This new waterfront will also include several elevated trestles over which the Disneyland Railroad will travel when it reopens along with the Rivers of America attractions on July 29. An icon for more than 60 years, the Disneyland Railroad holds a special place in the hearts of our guests, and we are excited to take them on the grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom once again. This classic experience will also feature new and enhanced adventures! For the very first time, the Disneyland Railroad will make a left-hand turn to continue around Disneyland park, and I’m excited to tell you that Walt Disney’s legendary dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World have been carefully restored to their original splendor, with a bit of new magic added to both!

Don’t miss this iconic summer as some of your favorite attractions return to Disneyland.

Disneyland is Renovating Adventureland to Ease Crowd Congestion

The adventure of walking through Adventureland at Disneyland should get easier in a few weeks.

Park officials confirmed plans to close two shops, move another, and create an indoor dining space for the Bengal Barbecue Restaurant to make walking in the area smoother for visitors.

Regular park visitors have long known that the area between the restaurant and the entrance to the Indiana Jones attraction is one of the most congested areas to walk through on almost any day.

Along with that choke point, strollers are parked in the middle of the walkway, creating an additional bottleneck.

To ease the congestion, the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and South Seas Traders shops, both next to the restaurant, will close Monday, June 12, to begin conversion into an indoor seating area. Park officials said the space will also be air conditioned.

Another part of the project calls for the Tropical Imports shop to close Thursday, June 29. That shop sells fresh fruits and a variety of drinks and is located next to the exit to the Jungle Cruise.

It will move into a space adjacent to the Bengal Barbecue, and the space it vacates will become the stroller parking for the area, moving it out of the middle of the walkway.

Additionally, the park plans to remove a planter near the barbecue to improve crowd flow.

Plans call for the barbecue, which opened in 1992, to remain open for the entire project, which is expected to be complete by the end of June.

The restaurant offers skewers of barbecued meat and vegetables, among other items.

It occupies a space that previously housed an orange juice bar run by Sunkist. When Sunkist left the park, Disney Imagineers at the park were tasked with coming up with ideas for a new food operation for the space.

“We came up with a back story that a tree in Adventureland was struck by lightning, hollowed out the tree and left a permanent fire,” said Steve Feicht, the Imagineering art director on the project.

Feicht helped design the facility, including the fake tree that serves as the barbecue. On one side of the tree, which sits behind the order counter, are three monkeys carved into it just like the ones depicted as “See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil.”

“The rest of our back story was that traders in the area found the smoldering tree and decided to turn it into a barbecue,” Feicht said.

The restaurant has long been popular with visitors and there is frequently a line to order the skewers. But its location across from the Indiana Jones attraction has long been a choke point for crowds that also has to make their way around the entrance to the Tarzan’s Treehouse attraction to get to New Orleans Square and points beyond.

Besides the regular menu, the restaurant is also serving some special menu items for a limited time that include an Ahi Poke Spring Roll, a hummus trio and a tropical drink called a “Jungle Julep,” a slush made with grape, orange, pineapple and lemon.

Original article by Mark Eades in the Orange County Register

Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions Return to Disneyland Park this Summer with New Magic

When the iconic Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America attractions return to Disneyland this summer, guests will discover new magic aboard these classic experiences. As we first shared last year, and seen in the artist’s rendering below (courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering), the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America will feature a beautiful new waterfront and an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.

The Rivers of America will continue to celebrate the Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri and Rio Grande rivers, enhanced now with a new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by thundering waterfalls – signaling the return of large waterfalls to the rivers. Longtime Disneyland park fans will remember Big Thunder River Waterfall and Twin Sisters Waterfall; five spectacular new waterfalls along the Rivers of America harken back to these favorites – all on display for guests aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.

Guests will also experience these features from aboard the Disneyland Railroad, which will travel across the rocks on a trestle that will even extend onto the river, providing a breathtaking view of the new waterfalls. And, for the first time ever, the Disneyland Railroad will be making a left-hand turn as it circles the park.

The Indian Village Found Along the Rivers of America

In addition to the new waterfalls, Disneyland park fans will spot some familiar faces along the Rivers of America as well as throwbacks to Frontierland’s past. The Indian Village, now in a new location, will include a more prominently featured Shaman, seen telling the story of how the hummingbird taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

Disneyland to Debut New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience

There’s a new way to take in the Tomorrowland skyline at Disneyland, from a unique point of view! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort, a new lounge experience will debut in Tomorrowland on May 26.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

The new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience features retro décor and desserts—both sweet and savory, as well as both hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge area will be open to guests from 8-10 p.m. If a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse right from your seat.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

Your interstellar snack box will include:

  • Mickey Cloud Cake: Cream-filled sponge cake
  • Chocolate Eclipse: Cream-filled chocolate cake drenched in chocolate
  • Coconut Comet: Coconut-strawberry iced sponge cake filled with cream
  • Planetary Pie: Mini cherry-filled pie
  • Moon Rocks: Boursin herbed cheese, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, chives, pimentos, bacon

Cost is $45 for ages 3 and older, tax included. Reservations are now open, and can be booked by visiting Disneyland.com/dining or by calling 714-781-DINE.

Classic Space Mountain to Return to Disneyland June 1st

Get ready to initiate power transfer in 3…2…1… when the classic Space Mountain returns to Disneyland June 1! Just days after we mark the 40th anniversary of this Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again for their intergalactic adventure.

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland began soon after. The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.

You are clear for launch starting June 1 with the return of Space Mountain at Disneyland.

Disney Parks Imagineers and Lucasfilm Share Details of Their Collaboration on Star Wars-Themed Lands

At a panel discussion today at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando entitled Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making, creative minds from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering discussed their unique partnership and shared additional details about the new galactic lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Everyone in the room got to experience the excitement and commitment this team is bringing to this project.

Here’s a look at a video shared at today’s event which gives some insight into this incredible collaboration.

Star Wars Land Video

The team shared exciting new details about the story behind this mysterious destination somewhere on the Outer Rim — lying on the edge of the Unknown Regions. The remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

Star Wars-Themed Lands at Disney Parks

Unusual characters from across the galaxy have landed here, preferring the “no questions asked” environment as well as easy access to exotic supplies and an abundant supply of ready rogues looking to join a crew for their next adventure.

As Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced last month, Star Wars-themed lands are scheduled to open in 2019. There will be more exciting updates to share as work progresses on each of these lands.

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