Disney Cruise Line Reveals All New Star Wars Day at Sea Experiences

Brand new experiences featuring the Dark Side, the Resistance, the droids and more are coming to the Disney Fantasy when Star Wars Day at Sea returns on 15 special sailings this January through April. Check out some of the new out-of-this-galaxy experiences that are setting sail:

The Dark Side

  • To kick off Star Wars Day at Sea celebrations, in a one-time experience the night before the event, Darth Vader and Stormtroopers will march into the ship’s atrium for an Imperial takeover.
  • Kylo Ren will appear in “Jedi Training Academy,” where young Jedi-in-training summon their courage and the Force to face off against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.

The Resistance

  • Rey will take the stage in the “Summon the Force” nighttime deck show that celebrates great moments from across the Star Wars galaxy including iconic characters and new favorites, complete with an epic fireworks finale accompanied by John Williams’ iconic music.
  • In “Porgs Onboard! Scavenger Hunt,” Chewbacca needs your help to track the Porgs that have been wreaking havoc throughout the ship. You’ll find and decode secret messages to solve a ship-wide quest and be greeted by everyone’s favorite Wookiee at the end of your adventure.
  • In the days leading up to the epic celebration, check out all of the Star Wars feature films in the Buena Vista Theatre, culminating in a showing of the newest film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Fun for the whole family

  • New in 2018, you are guaranteed a time to meet and take photographs with C-3PO and R2-D2, Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Before you even step onboard, you have the chance to reserve these character encounters online under the My Disney Cruise section of disneycruise.com.
  • Guests can step into the saga and pose with a life-size replica of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite, as well as other cool Star Wars-themed backdrops.
  • In Star Wars Drawing Academy, guests can learn to draw some of their favorite Star Warscharacters and a new character from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Is it a Porg? You’ll just have to wait and see!
  • Star Wars-themed interactive games, trivia and activities for the whole family will be hosted by your Disney cruise staff on the pool deck and in the D Lounge.

These are the droids you’re looking for

  • C-3PO will make an appearance in Star Wars: Command Post in Disney’s Oceaneer Club. During a special activity, children train to be members of the Resistance and fend off the First Order. C-3PO pays a visit to check on their training and further human-cyborg relations.
  • Droid Racing is a fast-paced activity that the whole family will enjoy where guests can race BB-Unit droids around a course in the ship’s atrium.
  • In a hands-on activity for families, everyone tests their skills to become master droid builders and create an intergalactic droid.

All of these cool new experiences are included in a Star Wars Day at Sea cruise, and just some of the ways you can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars galaxy.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Kenny Baker, Actor Behind R2-D2 Dies at Age 81

The British actor who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has died at the age of 81 after a long illness.

Kenny Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, shot to fame in 1977 when he first played the robot character.

He went on to play the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as the three Star Wars prequels from 1999 to 2005.

Baker also appeared in a number of other much-loved films in the 1980s, including The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.

His niece, Abigail Shield, paid tribute to her uncle. She told the Guardian: “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Baker and Shield’s father, Ian, grew up in Birmingham. She said: “When he was a child, he was told that he probably wouldn’t survive through puberty, being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”

Baker met his wife Eileen after an appearance on the Michael Parkinson TV chat show. She wrote in and said she was a little person too and wanted to meet him. “They got married soon after,” Shield said. “Sadly she died of epilepsy about 20 years ago.”

Shield added: “He had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair. He was very poorly for a long time. He was asked to go out to LA for the new Star Wars premiere but he was told he was too ill to travel. Luckily he did manage to meet George Lucas again when he came to Manchester.”

From The Guardian

 

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shatters Global Box Office Records

Star Wars - The-Force-Awakens

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered box office records with an estimated $517 million in worldwide ticket sales through Sunday, a staggering debut that re-established the celebrated space saga as a global phenomenon under Walt Disney Co.

The first “Star Wars” film in a decade recorded the biggest domestic opening in Hollywood’s history, collecting $238 million over the weekend in the United States and Canada. It also set records in Britain, Australia, Russia and elsewhere as fans embraced a new chapter in the galactic battle between good and evil.

Thousands joined a mock lightsaber battle in Los Angeles, where an Australian couple married in line for the film. President Obama ended a news conference on Friday saying he needed to head to a White House screening of the movie, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton closed Saturday’s Democratic debate saying, “May the Force be with you.”

“I don’t think ever in the history of movies has their been more hype leading up to release of a film,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co. “This is a huge, huge win.”

The film’s financial and critical success mark a victory for Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger’s strategy of acquiring proven brands, including Pixar Animation and comic book powerhouse Marvel, to fuel Disney’s entertainment empire.

Disney purchased “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012 as part of his bet on big-budget films.

Movie theater attendance in the United States and Canada, the world’s largest film market, has barely changed in a decade as online and mobile platforms exploded. Subscribers to Disney’s sports powerhouse, ESPN, have shrunk, a much-noted sign of pressure on traditional media. The turnout for “Star Wars” is an encouraging result for Disney, rival media companies and movie theaters.

“We have so many options for entertainment, yet look at where everyone is flocking this weekend – to the multiplex,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box office tracking firm Rentrak. “Disney has this down to a science.”

Global sales for “Force Awakens” finished second only to the dinosaur film “Jurassic World,” which in its June opening garnered $525 million worldwide, including China, where the “Star Wars” film will not open for weeks. “Jurassic World” took $208.8 million at domestic theaters in its first weekend.

“Force Awakens” is the seventh installment in the epic science-fiction franchise created by George Lucas in 1977.

Filmgoers reveled in the return to the “Star Wars” galaxy, dressing as Jedi or Sith, carrying lightsabers and cheering when classic characters such as Princess Leia or Chewbacca appeared on screen. Theaters added showtimes to meet demand.

Disney plans four “Star Wars” movies through 2019, plus major expansions at its U.S. theme parks to incorporate the droids, spaceships and otherworldly creatures of the universe Lucas invented. “Force Awakens” toys, clothing, home accessories and video games already pervade stores ahead of Christmas.

A Reuters Breakingviews analysis last week calculated that Disney may be on track to triple its Lucasfilm investment and earn an average of $669 million off the franchise in each of the next six years.

Nostalgia, plus a carefully planned, months-long release of film trailers and character profiles boosted interest. Disney, which spent more than $200 million to make “Force Awakens,” also created intrigue by keeping the plot largely secret.

Critics lauded the movie’s throwback feel, doses of humor and the performances of newcomers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. Audiences awarded an “A” grade in polling by survey firm CinemaScore.

Disney took steps to attract more women and girls to the series, including casting Ridley as the star and running commercials during shows such as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Forty-two percent of the weekend’s domestic audience was female, Disney said.

“Force Awakens” could become the highest-grossing movie of all time, box office analysts said. “Avatar” holds that title with $2.8 billion in global sales.

The wild card is China, the world’s second-largest movie market, where “Force Awakens” opens Jan. 9. The last “Star Wars” movie in 2005 collected just $9 million there. Disney made an effort to build buzz, placing 500 miniature Stormtroopers at the Great Wall and striking a deal to stream the six earlier “Star Wars” films through video service Tencent.