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WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

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One thing that’s always struck me is our commitment to regularly reviewing the experiences we provide to our guests and challenging ourselves to bring new opportunities to life. Occasionally, this results in something coming to an end, as is the case with what I’m sharing today. In order to focus our efforts on ESPN’s growing year-round presence at Walt Disney World Resort, we have decided to no longer host ESPN The Weekend.


As you may know, the event was first created in 2004 in support of ESPN’s 25th anniversary and, along with ESPN Club, served as ESPN’s first significant presence here. While the event has continued for seven more successful years, our relationship with ESPN has evolved significantly and positively. This has resulted in new branding for the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, new opportunities for millions of athletes, coaches and fans, and hundreds of hours of ESPN programming, making our guests part of the show. In addition, the sports complex has become home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, which is the official development hub for ESPN’s 3D network.


Moving forward, our focus will be on creating events like the new ESPN RISE Girls Showcase and the ESPN RISE Games, which provide a stage for tens of thousands of athletes from around the country, and providing opportunities for guests to be part of events they’ve only before watched on television, such as the Home Depot College Football Awards and the Old Spice Classic.


We have just scratched the surface of what Walt Disney World and ESPN can do together and look forward to sharing information about new projects as they progress.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel like I'm kinda late to the party but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents even though I'm just echoing what most have already said.


I got to ride the DL Star Tours 3 times this last weekend and I loved it to death!


Naboo as said before was probably my favorite destination. I also got Hoth, Tatooine, and Kashyyyk on my other rides.


In hindsight I don't know why I was so worried about C-3PO being the new pilot. They storyline for that was very well done.


I can't wait to go back and ride it a few more times!

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  • 3 months later...

There was some conversation in Chat tonight regarding the "Rebel Spy" thing. IM'd a CM friend who is also a trainer at Star Tours, and this is the explanation:


We pick the spy after we launch the cabin. You know when we stop in the middle of the cabin and get your attention? Thats when the picture is taken. If you want to get picked as the spy, you need to be looking forward when we do our spiel and not be wearing your glasses or even have them on top of your head


So it's kind-of "Random", but there are criteria.


Good to know.

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A few days ago, I stopped by Disney's Hollywood Studios (as a part of my Disney spree of the the last month or so) to go with a friend that hadn't been to the park in years. Along the way we saw some of the attractions most of the regulars make an effort to skip, and not surprisingly enough, I continued to play around with my new camera!


It had been a few years since I had given the Backlot Tour a go, so I didn't mind stopping in.


Hadn't seen this in a while...




Burst mode makes this entire pre-show worthwhile.


The captain darn-near disappeared beneath the wave!


I still don't miss World of Motion that much.


This gem was fresh out of the production building on the backlot. I'd take a guess that this is destined for New Fantasyland...


What's this?


They must be storing it here until the club reopens.


That giant white wall was recently used as the support for the painting of the mural which will soon be found in the loading station of The Little Mermaid in New Fantasyland.


The Block Party Bash cones are currently parked on the backlot since they aren't being used in Countdown to Fun.


Kind of a cool topiary...


Still fun after all these years.


Walt's plane sits on the backlot, though it won't likely fly again.


Muppet mania has consumed the park.


Phineas & Ferb has become a popular staple in the park's meet and greet lineup.


They are in the holiday spirit already!


And they pack in quite a line!


"No you don't, Ethan! Ethan, NO YOU DON'T!"


My friend's desire to ride everything in the park was a great excuse for me to take photos where I could.


I'm loving the detail all over again!


Still the greatest Tower of Terror on the planet!


Quite a view!


They were filming a special message for the viewers of the Christmas Day Parade.


Never really stopped to look at this before.


Burst mode is my friend.


Love this ride!


The little details that count...


Always gives me a good expression to walk away with.


In case you were looking for some strong Yuletide Cheer.


Double fisting hot chocolate while waiting for the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights lighting ceremony.


She got to flip the switch.


I'm always impressed by this spectacle...


Hi! I'm Adam. I like LEDs.


(That's Light Emitting Diodes, in case you didn't know!)


The canopy on the secondary street was upgraded this year with an insanely impressive set of lights.


A look at the Spectacle from one end to the other.


Several different patterns could be seen on the canopy throughout the night.


I can't help but stare...


The plaza around the entrance to Lights, Motors, Action! is also lit up!


Seriously amazing!


Proper Representation Found!


In case you were wondering what I was showing you.


This year, the windows were given LCD displays that show off new animations (with the occasional appearance of an elf from the Disney short "Prep & Landing").


Santa rides into the night to go deliver presents before my Hannukah bush!


Playing with the camera's settings a bit. This photo was supposedly meant for a larger print.


Captain Rex says "The Earth says Hello!"

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What says “holidays” better than laughter? At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, laughter will ring out thanks to a special family comedy show scheduled for a limited run at the ABC Sound Studio (theatre) in the heart of the park.


From December 25 through December 31, “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” will present the best of improvisational comedy as performers – including alumni from the Comedy Warehouse on Pleasure Island – take suggestions from Guests and add their own brand of humor, right on the spot.


The performers hilariously reinvent holiday classics based on suggestions they solicit from the audience, including holiday songs, stories, poems and movie scenarios. Show times (subject to change) are 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. daily.


”The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” is included in park admission.

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So I went back to Disney's Hollywood Studios again yesterday, and sure enough, I noticed a few new things and took some photos here and there.


The park's main Christmas tree sits right outside of the bag check booths at the entrance.


The 'Let the Memories Begin!' sign has been updated to advertise the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.


Soundworks, the old post-show experience for Sounds Dangerous is now being used as a sign up location for padawans in the Jedi Training Academy.


It's a pretty simple setup.


No changes to the interior and its former theme have been made.


I don't think that there is another Soundworks booth to experience.


Sign for your reminiscence.


Dim over here.


Padawans at work.


The new Starspeeder 1000 toy is now for sale.


One Man's Dream has a few interesting pieces...


Grizzly Gulch looks amazing!


Really, it does!


Gonna be awesome!


For the animatronic coming to New Fantasyland.



Stopped by to visit Indy!


Love this effect!


That's a wrap!

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For those around Orlando during the holidays, come and check me out at Sounds Dangerous as I re-unite with the cast of Comedy Warehouse!


More details here:



And the shows I will be playing are as follows:

Friday December 30th 3:45, 4:45, and 5:45pm

Saturday December 31st 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm


NOTE: The Studios usually fills to capacity for Dec 31st, so if you are planning on going that day, get there early!


Hope to see you at a show!


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Awesome! This should be a lot of fun for those who are fortunate enough to get in on those nights, the comedy warehouse was always a favorite of mine.


First The Adventurers Club cast reunites for an evening, now the Comedy Warehouse cast is doing a couple of shows..... maybe Disney is secretly planning resurrecting Pleasure Island at Hollywood Studios? Might actually give me a reason to go back.

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So yesterday's visit solved a little mystery I'd had since the D23 Expo this past Summer...


Time for a Mainstreet Electrical Parade tribute Fun Fact!


During my Summer D23 Expo trip, I found this MSE-1T Star Tours action figure for sale in a collector's hall. I'd never seen any of these "characters" in Star Tours, so the figure was a mystery to me.


It turns out, that not only were these little robots featured in the original ride's queue but...


They've actually been retained as a part of the queue for the new ride!


Found in storage crates along with Captain Rex and other Star Tours droids in transit, these figures were from the original queue.


Why the peculiar droid design for MSE-1T?


Well this droid was designed as a clever tribute to the Mainstreet Electrical Parade! Fun Fact delivered!

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So a few days ago (December 26th), I had the chance to visit the parks once again to see the craziness of the holiday season. As this year's crowds have shown, the parks are remarkably busy, so much so that Disney is pulling out all of the stops to manage the crowds while carrying out the holiday business.


This year's holiday season comes with the addition of several temporary offerings, including a revived Comedy Warehouse (of Pleasure Island fame), several food carts borrowed from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, as well as the Premier Theater showing holiday cartoons to help quell the huge crowds.


The Comedy Warehouse is returning for a week to help deal with the crowds at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The new take on the old Pleasure Island improv show comes with the return of the former club's alumni, but features a new family friendly show with a holiday focus.


The show is being held in the ABC Sound Studio Theater, the former home to Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey, and before that, the Monster Sound Show.


For the first time since the Star Tours re-opening event, the theater's marquee has been reprogrammed to let people know about the new show.


In my one showing that I saw, there was little to come from the audience...


But it certainly did have its funny moments.


Some minor theming has been added to mask the area that the comedians stay in in between acts.


Proper representation found!


Projections for the back of the theater were added for the show.


A few holiday elements were also added to the soundstage.


I'm not sure if this chicken holds any significance, but one sat atop the Christmas tree, and the other on the windowsill of the break area.


All alumni of the former club at Pleasure Island, many of these familiar faces have been found elsewhere in the parks during the last few years.


With a holiday twist.


Our pianist for the show...


The show started with some improv singing...


Then two volunteers from the crowd were called up to lend words to a "fill in the blank" sketch.


Again with a holiday twist, he incorporated the opening verse of "Twas the night before Christmas."


Things got a little heated.


He was thoroughly entertained!


The next sketch was formed on the suggestion from the audience member to focus on pickles. Represented here was a girl scout who had just earned her merit badge on pickling, a pickle farmer and the leader of the Mrs. Pickle Pageant.


The pickle farmer decided to share with us a list of every animal that likes pickles, which according to him was all of them.




Then there was more singing!


Finale pose!


I continue to do this for the love of Larry.


France's Food & Wine Festival booth appeared outside of the American Idol/Superstar Television theater.


Lots of interesting options here!


Since we planned on eating waffle sandwiches at Magic Kingdom that day (see the Magic Kingdom Discussion Thread for details on that), we skipped this.


That being said, it all looked very good!


The Magic of Disney Animation recently added a "campus map" to make it seem more like an actual animation studio.


The Premier Theater at the end of the Streets of America was showing holiday cartoons throughout the day.


A nice mix of shows for everyone.


The Italian Food & Wine Festival booth also has been borrowed for the holiday season.


This food looked tasty too!


This stage is all ready for its New Years Eve offerings.


Guess where we are!


I am quite the artist.


The Magic of Disney Animation building now sports an early poster for Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc.


Somehow, the friend I was with dragged me in to see Disney Junior Live on Stage!


The show, most recently reformatted to become Disney Junior after many years as Playhouse Disney Live.


The characters are meticulously designed and are impressively articulated, which was a surprise for me.


Little Einsteins are a part of the show.


Jake and the Neverland Pirates are also involved.


What better way to end a photo report than with free gold doubloons?


You're welcome!

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  • 4 weeks later...

In the midst of all of the resort-wide rescheduling due to the visit of President Barack Obama, Disney's Hollywood Studios offered a special showing of its very rare fireworks show, Rock the Night, most often seen on New Year's Eve. The show features the park's well known Mulch, Sweat & Shears band rocking out in sync with some great music and an incredible arsenal of fireworks.


Let me say this: If you haven't seen fireworks like these at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you're missing out! This show definitely gives Wishes a run for its money!


While at the park, I also stopped by to check out the latest changes since the holidays were finally over.




The Christmas tree at the entrance to the park is once again gone.


A sign out front declared the special offering's occurrence, but it wasn't feature on any of the printed times guides or park maps.


Yep. Sounds Dangerous still technically exists... At least until Star Wars Weekends comes back around.


The tip board had the fireworks show listed.


That being said, it was still pretty vague when telling what to expect.


Mulch Sweat n' Shears must've been performing for a good five hours with only a few breaks, because they were basically on stage the entire evening.


The screen outside of The American Idol Experience was also rigged up to broadcast the entire stage show, as well as the fireworks.


The Sounds Dangerous programming for the ABC Sound Studio marquee was back after it was reprogrammed for the Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special.


The Comedy Warehouse stickers were also removed from the info boards.


What kind of visit to Hollywood Studios would it be without a ride on the amazing Star Tours?


You'll find the brakes some day old buddy!


My favorite part of the pre show video... So clever!


I recognize four residents of Mos Eisley, a wookie, a Mon Calamari, a Twi'lec and a kid bound to turn around using a 19th century camera complete with exploding-powder flash.


On my flight, I was accused of being the rebel spy... Visited the wookie planet... Visited by Princess Leia via hologram... Chased by a bounty hunter with sonic bombs... Passed the Mighty Microscope and then got laughed at by some rebel pilot in the hanger as we safely landed. I certainly expected some free Wookie Cookies after such a terrible experience, but Star Tours is definitely the US Airways of space travel, so no luck.


Most of the wiring from the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights has been removed, save for a few pieces.


It's nice to see the buildings looking normal again, as much as I do love the lights (especially the ones used this year).


All of the extra holiday theming has been removed, and the Streets of America are nearly back to normal.


The corner where the gigantic Christmas tree and the lighting box are kept is still being worked on.


This piece normally takes a while to build up, so taking it down is expected to go slowly as well.


The awesome light canopy from the Osbourne Lights is completely gone. If they figure out a way to upgrade it any more, I may never need to see the rest of the lights on the Streets of America. That canopy was amazing!




The Nativity Scene is also gone.




The holiday drinks at the Backlot Express bar are no longer being served and the more standard offerings have returned!


Due to the fireworks, most of the back section of the park closed at 5:30 pm, only reopening for Extra Magic Hours guests after the fireworks were over.


I doubt we'll ever seen the Luxo Jr. animatronic return, but I really hope they find a way to bring him back.


The Great Movie Ride closed at 5:30 pm as well.


Toy Story Mania, One Man's Dream, Great Movie Ride, and all of the Animation Courtyard attractions closed early to prepare for the show.


One thing was truly impressive about this evening's show... Before the fireworks even began (and I mean hours before), Mulch Sweat n' Shears' rock show featured an impressive collection of fireworks and pyro that went off quite frequently.


And they used a lot of pyro this evening!


When the area was ready to be closed off, Cast Members escorted guests away from the areas, slowly moving them out into the main plaza where they could see the fireworks or go to Sunset Boulevard.


These fireworks went off long before the fireworks began.


And the band is actually really great together.


In lightest day,

In blackest night,

No evil shall escape my sight.


Let those who worship evil's might,

Beware my power, Purple Lantern's light!


Just in case you forgot where you were.


He didn't like my Purple Lantern joke.


Hey Pleasure Island fans! Does this effect remind you of Mannequins?


Time for the show to begin! (Watch the video at the beginning of the post to see for yourself!)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cast members were informed of the following yesterday. WDW Parks will be enforcing the one hour window on all Fast Passes


Disney's FASTPASS service return time reminder



In order to provide the best experience possible for everyone at our theme parks, all Walt Disney World Guests will be expected to return within their Disney's FASTPASS return time window, effective March 7.


Disney's FASTPASS service plays an important role in our Guests' ability to enjoy their visit to one of our Walt Disney World theme parks, and our ability to provide this great service is dependent upon Guests returning during the designated window. The vast majority of our Guests are aware of their return times and arrive in the window printed on the Disney's FASTPASS ticket.


As more Guests choose to take advantage of this feature, we want to provide the same opportunity to everyone. By asking all Guests to return within the window printed on their pass, more Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this great service.


This is not a change, but simply a reminder of our existing policy. All Cast Members are expected to adhere to this policy when visiting the parks as Guests.

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  • 4 weeks later...

ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter as most of you know was a frightening ride at Walt Disney World that provided the feeling of an alien walking around you in a closed environment. The ride was closed due to the parents complaining about the ride being too intense for kids despite the fact that there were multiple age restriction warnings posted.


This idea however was started way back in the day, due to the popularity of the movie "Alien". The ride was going to be themed to the movie "Alien", this idea however was declined as it wouldn't fit in the Disney environment, Star Tours was built instead,


Now the new move Prometheus comes out in 2012, a prequel to the movie "Alien". A though came over me, what if they opened up "Alien", or "Prometheus" at MGM studios. The same technology as the ET Alien Encounter, but themed to the movie Prometheus, or Alien? The warnings would still be enforced, but I don't think it would be as big of a deal due to the fact that Disney Studios is mainly a park consisting of teen based rides. Tower of Terror is a tamer attraction, but still consist of an eerie theme, if TOT can manage could Alien manage to survive in the park? What do you think?

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It will never ever happen. Frankly I don't really see the point of the this thread because Disney is not promoting Promethius in the parks. They learned their lesson, because despite the fact that from a technical and psychological aspect it was amazing that an attraction could cause that much fear it is just not Disney and they won't go back down that path again. It is the same reason why (Stateside) you will never see a "haunted" halloween attraction at Disney. It just does not fit into their demographic. Tower of Terror is not at all a comparison because it is "eerie" as you said, but you are not benig stalked by a man eating alien. Furthermore Disney has(in the past) said that Magic Kingdom is their family park... that has always been known... so it will never come back. You also said Hollywood studios is a more teen based park and brought up tower of terror, but from what I have read(I never went on Alien Encounter) it was one of the the scariest rides ever. Tower of terror is a drop ride with awesome effects... very different.

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I wasn't implying that they MIGHT put in the attraction. It was merely a question on what do you think happen IF they did. Disney Studios is Hollywood Studios, I was never talking about them placing the attraction at Magic Kingdom> The point of this thread is for people to post their opinions regarding there predictions on how the long the ride would last, the GP's reaction, etc. Thanks for your response none the less.

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the ghost, did you ever experience Alien Encounter for yourself? Because the title "one of the scariest rides ever" is far from the truth and an overwhelming overstatement. It's Tough to Be a Bug, with its over-sized cascading spiders and attacking hornets, is far scarier than anything Alien Encounter could manage.


To keep the conversation on DHS and not MK and Alien Encounter, I could definitely see an alien-themed ride at the park in the next decade. Not themed to Prometheus though, but instead John Carter (and, therefore, probably a lot less frightening).


Oh, and just a side note regarding Alien Encounter, if you watch a POV on YouTube or elsewhere, you will hear screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. Lots and lots of pre-recorded screaming. Don't let that fool you into thinking it was any more frightening than it truly was.

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  • 5 weeks later...



As previously mentioned in this post, Star Wars Weekends – one of the most popular month-long events at Walt Disney World Resort – returns to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios galaxy in May and June this year. Today, we’d like to announce two of the talented Star Wars stars that will serve in Celebrity Host roles this year. They are both Star Wars Weekends veterans, so we’re especially excited to welcome them back again.


Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor – who provide the voices of Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, for the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – will join us for the duration of the 2012 event in their host roles.


James is the Official Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2012, and Ashley is Celebrity Host of “Behind the Force,” a show that gives fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Star Wars: The Clone Wars.


One of the most versatile voice actors today, James not only is famous for the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but many other popular characters from films, television, advertising and video games. He’s the current voice of everyone’s favorite resident of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone, and has a list of character voice credits including Green Arrow, Johnny Test and Ratchet (from the “Ratchet & Clank” video game series), just to name a few.


Ashley, who provides the voice of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s eager Padawan learner, is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She practically grew up (literally) in the middle of the magic. Her father was a longtime Disney Parks cast member and her first plunge in show business was as a parade dancer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s full circle for Ashley; little did she know that the street (Hollywood Blvd.) where she performed in daily parades would someday be the same street where she’d be center stage as one of the featured celebrities in Star Wars Weekends motorcades. In the time since Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted, Ashley also has become a fashion designer and head of her own company, “Her Universe,” that specializes in merchandise and apparel specifically for female sci-fi fans. Look for some of her latest Star Wars-inspired designs this year during Star Wars Weekends.


We’re excited to once again welcome James and Ashley, who entertained Star Wars Weekends audiences last year in their Celebrity Hosts roles, back for another year of galactic fun. We hope you’ll join us!


Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates about the event, special activities and the rest of the Star Wars celebrities that will make appearances each weekend.




Following the post earlier in the week about the return of James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano – Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Celebrity Hosts for Star Wars Weekends, we received a new transmission from an R2 unit that reveals more Star Wars celebrities scheduled to appear this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. The annual event takes place each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.

With Donald Duck doing his best Darth Maul impression in the 2012 event logo, seen here, Star Wars Weekends 2012 will welcome several celebrities from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace for the Force-filled fun. In fact, Donald will have the chance to meet Ray Park, the action star who portrayed Darth Maul, during an extended engagement. Ray (pictured below) is scheduled to appear in both Weekends I and II.


Another 2012 highlight: keep a sharp eye during Weekend IV when bounty hunters — a favorite among many fans — take center stage in their very own weekend (doesn’t that seem appropriate, considering Star Wars bounty hunters generally work on their own anyway?). As an added surprise, Weekend IV will be a “Bonus Boba” weekend! Both actors who portrayed laconic enforcer Boba Fett in the saga — Jeremy Bulloch and Daniel Logan — will appear during the event’s closing weekend.

Each weekend will also feature a visiting celebrity voice actor from the popular animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.


Here’s the scheduled celebrity lineup for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (subject to change):


Weekend I (May 18 – 20)

  • Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend II (May 25- 27)

  • Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend III (June 1 -3)

  • Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • (Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice talent – currently TBD)

Weekend IV (June 8- 10)

  • Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
  • Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)


While most daily events are still being scheduled, we have received a few additional news of note and tips for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (all activities & entertainment subject to change):


  • “Hyperspace Hoopla”: This high-energy, one-of-a-kind show is a chance to see some of the famed Star Wars characters performing like never before. It will take place on a stage in front of the Sorcerer Mickey hat on Hollywood Blvd., and is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. each event evening.
  • Autograph Opportunities: As always, there is no additional charge for the celebrity autograph sessions at Star Wars Weekends. The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-type system. The meet-and-greet session/autograph opportunities are extremely limited, so guests need to arrive early to receive a FASTPASS. Please refer to this link, which will take you to the official Star Wars Weekends event page on DisneyWorld.com. There, you’ll find more detailed information under “Celebrity Autographs.”
  • Star-Studded Event: Keep in mind, autograph opportunities are not the only place to see the celebrities. Star Wars stars take part in fun throughout the day in Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations, the gala “Legends of the Force” parade and more.

That’s the latest for now. Keep checking back as we confirm more scheduled activities for Star Wars Weekends 2012. Do you have any special memories of past Star Wars Weekends or of any of the celebrities that will attend this year? If so, please share in the comments.



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  • 3 weeks later...



With a new chef who professes that her three favorite spices are “garlic, garlic and garlic,” Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is worth a visit to try some of the newest tastes on the menu.


Chef Beatriz Candelario most recently was chef at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and has been cooking in Walt Disney World Resort restaurants for 15 years. The new Mama Melrose seafood cioppino, created by the kitchen team with Chef Bea’s leadership, is a great example of her love of Mediterranean dishes, a mélange of fresh clams, shrimp, calamari and mussels tossed with fregola pasta in a light tomato broth. The team’s rendition of pork Milanese comes with roasted fingerling potatoes and pancetta vinaigrette – a genuine taste of rustic Italy.


Gnocchi fans will want to try Mama Melrose’s hand-rolled version of the little Italian soft dumplings with seasonal vegetables in a basil pesto, a true Italian comfort food.


Save room for the cool, dreamy tiramisù semifreddo with layers of buttery mascarpone, ladyfingers, and Marsala wine with coffee sauce. “Semifreddo” is Italian for “half cold,” and this luscious dessert is even more delicious than the gooey classic version of tiramisù.


A solid wine list, beer and specialty cocktails make Mama Melrose’s an extra-special spot for lunch or dinner (one entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan). And you also can book the Fantasmic! Meal Package to receive designated seating during the spectacular nighttime show.





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Not a fan of cioppino (don't care for shellfish), but bring on the pork Milanese (and the garlic, garlic, and garlic). The best meal I ever had there was last fall--the wild-mushroom-and arugula flatbread with goat cheese was great.

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