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Monthly Archives: May 2009

“KRIS IS… AMERICAN IDOL!”: 2009 American Idol Kris Allen is “Going to Disney World!”

kris-_ai_300“KRIS IS… AMERICAN IDOL!”: Kris Allen is photographed May 20, 2009 after taping the famed Disney Parks “I’m Going to Disney World!” commercial at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, immediately after being crowned the newest “American Idol” in the show’s star-studded season finale. Allen’s appearance in the Disney spot celebrates the new “American Idol Experience” theme park attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida. Not only does the newly crowned Idol shout “I’m Going to Disney World!” at the spot’s conclusion, his voice also is featured throughout the ad as he performs the classic Disney song, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Allen is only the second singer in Disney’s “What Are You Going To Do Next?” campaign history to appear in the iconic commercial. (Paul Hiffmeyer, photographer)

Feel the Force at Disney’s Hollywood Studios During Star Wars Weekends 2009 – On Now

starwarsweekendslogo300LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 22-June 14, 2009, Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes the temporary home for a band of out-of-this-world characters, including Wookiees, Sith, droids, Jedi, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Rodians.  Dates are May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7 and June 12-14.

A giant, “A to Z” gathering of Star Wars characters – from Anakin Skywalker to Zam Wesell – will roam the streets of the theme park during meet-and-greet sessions.  Jedi Training Academy – one of the interactive entertainment experiences featured in the theme park – takes place throughout the day on the event’s main stage and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader.
Also featured: the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, special Star Wars parades, rides on the famed Star Tours attraction, and autograph sessions and star conversations with famous Star Wars actors and creative geniuses.
stormtroopers300Star Wars Weekends At-a-Glance
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays  May 22-June 14, 2009
Celebrity Host
Jay Laga’aia (“Captain Typho”) with special guest Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka Tano”)
A Galaxy of Photo Opportunities – Encounter more than 50 Star Wars characters from the entire saga. From Darth Vader to Darth Maul and Greedo to Chewbacca, you’ll find heroes, bounty hunters, droids and villains from throughout the galaxy.
Celebrities from Star Wars will attend each weekend and participate in:
  • Autograph Sessions
  • Legends of the Force – Star Wars themed motorcade
  • Stars of the Saga – Talk Show and Q&A hosted by Jay Laga’aia

Clone Wars: Behind the Force – A behind-the-scenes show that explores the excitement of Star Wars: The Clone Wars led by Ashley Eckstein,the talented voice behind “Ahsoka Tano.”
In addition to being the voice of “Ahsoka Tano” in The Clone Wars TV series and feature film, she has appeared on shows such as “That’s So Raven” and in films including “Sydney White,” which starred Amanda Bynes. She and her husband, Major League Baseball player David Eckstein (a two-time All Star who won the 2006 World Series MVP Award), were married at Walt Disney World Resort in 2005.

jediacademy300Jedi Training Academy – Each young “Obi-wanna-be” who is chosen will learn a lightsaber combination as they prepare to face the dark side!
Star Tours Attraction –Blast your starspeeder through the ultimate Star Wars adventure.
Padawan Mind Challenge – Kids under 12 can test their wits before the Jedi Council!
Hyperspace Hoopla – Star Wars characters and guests gather for an entertaining conclusion to each day’s events.
Wicket’s Warehouse – Shop a galaxy of Star Wars themed and limited-edition merchandise developed just for Star Wars Weekends 2009.

Weekend Celebrities

Weekend 1 (May 22-24)

Ray Park (“Darth Maul”)
Warwick Davis (“Wicket the Ewok”)
James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

vader300Weekend 2 (May 29-31)
Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”)
Matthew Wood (“General Grievous”)

Weekend 3 (June 5-7)
Jeremy Bulloch (“Boba Fett”)
David Prowse (“Darth Vader”)
Matt Lanter (voice of Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

Weekend 4 (June 12-14)
Dave Filoni (Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Temuera Morrison (“Jango Fett”)
** Guest appearances in Clone Wars: Behind The Force presentations

Event activities are included in theme park admission.  Appearances and entertainment subject to change without notice. 

Hall of Presidents to Reopen in July

hall3001LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A July reopening is planned for the Hall of Presidents, an iconic attraction in Magic Kingdom.  An Audio-Animatronics version of President Barack Obama will join representations of the previous 43 presidents of the United States as part of an attraction that has been celebrating American history since Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971.  Disney Imagineers also are updating a broad array of show elements.

Sail With Disney Channel Stars

dcsas_220x115You can sail with popular Disney Channel stars this summer aboard the Disney Wonder® Cruise Ship during the first-ever “Disney Channel Summer at Sea,” presented by Kodak.

Popular stars from Disney Channel shows like “Hannah Montana,” “Sonny With a Chance,” “JONAS,” “The Suite Life on Deck,” “Camp Rock,” “High School Musical” and “Hatching Pete” will join Guests on 3- and 4-night cruises beginning July 9 through Aug. 2, 2009.

All eight sailings are available to book now with special fan activities included in the prevailing cruise rate.

During the voyages, Disney Channel stars will help pump up the volume during onboard deck parties and join Guests for Q&A and autograph sessions as well as preview screenings of Disney Channel programming.

The onboard fun culminates with a “Party with the Stars” event, an evening in which Guests are invited to join the stars for a special musical performance by a Disney recording artist.

Each cruise will include multiple Disney Channel stars. Among those scheduled, with more to be announced shortly, are:

3-Night Disney Channel Summer At Sea Cruise
Sail Dates and Appearance Schedule*

July 9 to 12, 2009 – Tiffany Thornton (Sonny with a Chance) and Nicole Anderson (JONAS)
July 16 to 19, 2009 – Jason Earles (Hannah Montana)
July 23 to 26, 2009 – Jason Dolley (Hatching Pete)
July 30 to August 2, 2009 – Debby Ryan (The Suite Life on Deck)

4-Night Disney Channel Summer at Sea Cruise
Sail Dates and Appearance Schedule*

July 12 to 16, 2009 – Tiffany Thornton (Sonny with a Chance) and Nicole Anderson (JONAS)
July 19 to 23, 2009 – Musical Act Mitchel Musso and Jason Earles (Hanna Montana)
July 26 to 30, 2009 – Jason Dolley (Hatching Pete)
August 2 to 6, 2009 – Alyson Stoner (Camp Rock)