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Author Archives: John Donahue

First Look: Slinky Dog Dash Ride Vehicle Arrives At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

First Look: Slinky Dog Dash Ride Vehicle Arrives At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Slinky Dog Dash attraction, currently under construction in Toy Story Land, celebrated a major milestone today – National Slinky Day – with the reveal of the coaster’s first Slinky Dog ride vehicle.

Slinky Dog Dash is one of two major attractions coming to Toy Story Land, a 11-acre expansion that’s set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Summer 2018. In Toy Story Land, guests will shrink to the size of a toy and explore the world of Andy’s backyard on two fun family attractions – Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.

 

Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster themed as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys. The attraction’s ride vehicles, inspired by the character of Slinky in the film, will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops Andy has created to stretch Slinky’s coils to the max.

The second attraction, Alien Swirling Saucers, is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle using “The Claw.”

Check out the video above for a look at the warm welcome the new ride vehicle received.

Force Friday II Merchandise Event Coming to Disney Parks on September 1

Force Friday II Merchandise Event Coming to Disney Parks on September 1

We are delighted to announce Force Friday II is coming to Disney Parks!

New Star Wars themed merchandise and more will land in our galaxy at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on September 1, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. (Midnight).*

The Force Friday II event is your opportunity to be among the first to purchase new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Last Jedi themed merchandise, including unique products found only at Disney Parks.

 

Please see details below if you are planning to attend this free event in California or Florida.

Disneyland Resort – World of Disney Store, Downtown Disney District
Pre-registration for the Force Friday II event is required for guests attending the event in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.

Registration will be accepted only on DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning August 24 at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) / 2:00 p.m. (Eastern).

Once registered, guests will receive additional instructions via email. Doors open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1.

Walt Disney World Resort – World of Disney, Disney Springs

For guests attending the event at Disney Springs, registration for Force Friday II will take place outside the World of Disney store entrance across from Basin on August 31 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Guests will be given a numbered wristband on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a wristband is received, guests are invited to return to World of Disney by 11:30 p.m. where they will be lined up in sequential order. Doors open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1.

Please park in the Lime Parking Garage at Disney Springs for shopping convenience.

Set your hyperspace coordinates for this merchandise event in preparation of the highly anticipated film release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15.

May the Force Be With You!

*Event subject to change.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

The rustic Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is open again, one of those spots favored by vacationers looking for a creative, quick bite that’s above average. Located in the main building with patio seating near Copper Creek Springs pool area, it’s a convenient stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with spacious seating inside – or get your food to go and head outdoors as the weather cools.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

For the first time, Roaring Fork is offering specialty beverages like the Gold Rush Latte (vanilla latte with caramel) previously featured in Territory Lounge, and now on the daily breakfast menu.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

Lunch and dinner is served from 11 a.m.-midnight, and the big winner on the new menu is Chef Michael Bersell’s Brisket Burger with cheddar, cranberry barbecue sauce, cast-iron onions and frisée served on a sweet brioche bun. Or try the Grilled Chicken on Focaccia with roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella. A Gourmet Grilled Cheese features cheddar, arugula, tomato and onion jam on multi-grain bread.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

Flatbreads are back with two new options: Fennel Sausage and Pepperoni with caramelized onion and goat cheese, or an Asiago Grilled Chicken topped with peppers and onions.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

Fans of the popular Wilderness Salad with chicken, walnuts, apples and cheddar will still find both in the grab ‘n go area – or they can be made to order.

Popular Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Gets a Makeover, but Favorites Remain on Menu

Roaring Fork is open daily.

Four Horrific Original Houses Revealed For Halloween Horror Nights 2017

Four Horrific Original Houses Revealed For Halloween Horror Nights 2017

Welcome back to the Halloween Horror Nights campfire. In the distance, we hear the call of The Festival of the Deadliest. As opening night closes in, the call grows stronger, drawing us all into its seductive grasp. The chilling celebration of blood and bone is about to begin at Universal Orlando Resort.

It is time to unleash the Original Houses and the secrets they contain. So gather ‘round the campfire for our final chilling stories.

Scarecrow: The Reaping

Since the great dustbowl, an abandoned farmhouse stands in Nebraska. The bountiful fields ravaged by the farmers’ plows have spurred anger in the Land. Scarecrow guardians have risen from the blood soaked soil to seek revenge. The harvest that will be reaped this season is you.

Hive

We’re huge fans of those little-known 1980s horror movies, and we wanted to make you feel as if you’re in those movies. The story takes everything that is sexy, beautiful or cool about vampires and flushes it down the toilet. These Nosferatu are nasty, animalistic, and vicious. It’s the type of house that will make you cling to your date all the way to the exit…if you make it that far.

Dead Waters

We have had houses that later became scare zones in the streets of Universal Studios Florida. This is one of the first times, in recent memory, that a scare zone has influenced a house. For Halloween Horror Nights 24, we had the Bayou of Blood scare zone. It was so strong in character and story that we had to revisit its story again.

We’re excited to have you explore the Dead Waters of the Voodoo Queen and her hellish realm. Trust me…you’ll freak out when you see the half sunken riverboat and the skeletal remains of her victims close in.

The Fallen

It’s the ancient battle between good and evil. The Fallen are flying, jumping, and crawling up from the kingdom of darkness and laying waste to all who cross their path of destruction. These creatures are awesome…and yes, I did say flying. This house is a mix between beauty and decay, high screech and deep roar, and delivers more surprises than I can fit in this paragraph.

These stories are just the beginning. They only lack one thing—you. Come and be a part of these tales before the firelight dies out and we are plunged into darkness. The Festival of the Deadliest is almost here…and it’s enticing lights are pulling us to our wondrous doom.

Get your tickets now and come be a part of the celebration of blood and bone. You know you want to (Cue evil laughter).

WARNING: Event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. No costumes or masks allowed.

World Showcase to Feature New and Returning Musical Acts During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

World Showcase to Feature New and Returning Musical Acts During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The delicious bites available in the record 35 Marketplaces at the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival aren’t the only treats you’ll find at the park this fall! We’ve also got an exciting lineup of live entertainment planned. In addition to the “Eat to the Beat” Concert Series, featuring 11 new artists, you’ll also want to look for authentic performers throughout World Showcase, with some new acts and returning favorites.

Suroît – New to Epcot, this renowned band hails from Canada’s Magdalen Islands in eastern Quebec. For four decades, their infectious sound has embraced influences from Cajun, Celtic, bluegrass and rock music. Join Suroît on the Mill Stage at the Canada pavilion, August 31 – October 1.

World Showcase to Feature New and Returning Musical Acts During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Margret Almer & The Bavarian Band – World-famous yodeler Margret Almer makes an encore appearance at Epcot this fall. She’ll be performing with The Bavarian Band at the Germany pavilion, beginning August 31 and continuing through the holiday season.

Musique Aramenco – Another returning favorite takes the stage at the Morocco pavilion September 1 – December 30. Musique Aramenco presents a fusion of traditional and modern Moroccan music.

Bodh’aktan – Back by popular demand, Bodh’aktan mixes Quebecois, folk and polka to make fantastic rock and dance music. After rocking stages across Quebec, the United States and Europe, this incredibly popular, kilted band is returning for an Epcot encore at the Canada pavilion October 2 – 22.

World Showcase to Feature New and Returning Musical Acts During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Raffy – This musical quartet makes their Epcot debut October 23 – November 26 on the Mill Stage. Raffy’s infectious energy has been embraced across Canada through a live tour, appearances on television and radio airplay of their first hit single.

This fall, you’ll have lots of reasons to head out to World Showcase for all the singing, dancing, sipping and dining during the 22nd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

For the First Time Ever, Walt Disney World Restaurants Are on the Menu for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

For the First Time Ever, Walt Disney World Restaurants Are on the Menu for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

As part of the one of the most-anticipated dining events in Central Florida, for the first time, select Walt Disney World restaurants are part of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month that kicks off August 25 and runs through October 1.

For the First Time Ever, Walt Disney World Restaurants Are on the Menu for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Magical Dining Month celebrates Orlando’s amazing culinary scene and gives us a chance to showcase the talent of Disney chefs with special prix fixe dinners. Participating Walt Disney World Resort hotel restaurants include:

Magical Dining Month menus feature three courses for $35 per person, including appetizer, entrée and dessert and cannot be combined with other offers, packages or discounts. One dollar from each meal supports Freedom Ride and BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.

For the First Time Ever, Walt Disney World Restaurants Are on the Menu for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

To view all participating restaurant’s menus, go to Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, select an area and restaurant, then click on the fork.

To make a reservation for the Disney restaurants, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planners. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

My Disney Experience’s Mobile Order Feature Expands to 15 Locations at Walt Disney World Resort

My Disney Experience’s Mobile Order Feature Expands to 15 Locations at Walt Disney World Resort

Now, it’s easier than ever to personalize your Walt Disney World Resort experience through the My Disney Experience app. My Disney Experience continues to add new features – including the new Mobile Order and Online Mobile Check-in at Disney Resort hotels – while still helping guests plan their vacation experience and make changes on the go through helpful tools like online ticket purchasing, FastPass+, Disney PhotoPass and more.

With the great feedback we’re hearing from guests about how easy and convenient it is to use Mobile Order, we’re pleased to share that the Mobile Order service is now available at 15 locations throughout Walt Disney World theme parks and at Disney Springs. The new service saves you time when ordering meals at quick-service restaurants by allowing you to order on demand, pay in advance and skip the line, and not have mealtime interfere with time spent enjoying all of the other attractions and experiences throughout the resort.

To use Mobile Order, sign in to the My Disney Experience app and tap the “Order Food” button, which lists restaurants that offer the service. Browse restaurant menus, select items, customize your order and prepay, all right through the app. Then, when you arrive at the restaurant, just tap “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” in the app, which notifies the kitchen to prepare your meal. When it’s ready, a notification will alert you to pick up your meal from the “Mobile Order Pick Up” area in the restaurant. Here are the 15 restaurants that currently offer Mobile Order:

Magic Kingdom Park:
Columbia Harbour House
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe
Pinocchio Village Haus
Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant*

Epcot:
Electric Umbrella
Liberty Inn

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
ABC Commissary
Backlot Express
PizzeRizzo

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Flame Tree Barbecue
Pizzafari
Restaurantosaurus
Satu’li Canteen

Disney Springs:
D-Luxe Burger

*Location operates seasonally.

The only form of payment currently accepted through Mobile Order is credit card, but we’re working on adding more payment options soon. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier.

What’s the best news? Disney plans to continue expanding the service to even more locations across Walt Disney World Resort throughout the year.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

Recently, Walt Disney Imagineering and the project teams responsible for bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to life at Disneyland park celebrated a major milestone — the topping out of the tallest peak in the 14-acre land.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

Rising to 130 feet, the steel that makes up the highest point in the new land was put in place as the design and construction teams celebrated the tradition.

 

Another part of this longtime construction tradition is when signatures are placed on the steel beam, and for this topping out every Disneyland Resort cast member was invited to take part! This isn’t the only way our cast members are getting involved.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

Soon, a selected team of cast members will lend their expertise to the process of bringing the land’s two signature attractions to life. They will offer their unique knowledge of our parks, attractions and operations to inform and influence how the immersive attractions allow guests to experience Star Wars in their own way.

As you can see in the photo below, progress continues on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort where the remote trading port continues to take shape at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

As announced recently at D23 Expo, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later that year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Construction Milestone Celebrated at Disneyland Park

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

Halloween on the High Seas will transform Disney Cruise Line ships into a ghoulish wonderland starting in September through the end of October, and there are haunted adventures to be had by each and every one of you! From joining the spine-chilling Sing and Scream to gathering around the Pumpkin Tree for mysterious fun, you won’t want to miss this Halloween celebration!

Here are just some of my favorite ways to celebrate the spookiest time of year onboard a Disney ship:

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

1. Experience the Mysterious Pumpkin Trees
Each ship’s Pumpkin Tree is unique, with Grim on the Disney Dream, Muckelbones on the Disney Fantasy, Bog on the Disney Wonder and Reap on the Disney Magic. Watch these trees magically transform from eerie and barren into the life of the party with sprouting Jack-O-Lanterns and flickering lights.

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

2. Dance the Night Away at a Mouse-Querade
Join your favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween best for Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party. This spooky costume party features games, dancing and of course, lots of candy!

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

3. Sing and Scream with Jack & Sally
During A Nightmare Before Christmas – Sing and Scream, enjoy an interactive movie experience and be immersed in the infamous Halloween Town. Afterwards, meet the couple that was “simply meant to be” in a special meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

4. Indulge in Eerie Eats
Our bone-ifed genius chefs have conjured up some yummy eats and tasty treats for you this Halloween. Make the day’s celebration extra special with indulgences like the not-so-scary Spider Cake and Spooky Juice.

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

5. Live to Tell the Tales
After a night of thrills and chills, gather on the upper decks for Haunted Stories of the Sea. A mysterious sea captain will guide the way and tell the tales of the legends who once sailed the high seas many moons ago.

Spooky Fun During Halloween on the High Seas Aboard Disney Cruise Line

6. Halloween Isn’t Just for Kids
Keep the fun going late at night in the ship’s nighttime entertainment district. With an adults-only costume contest and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor, the party doesn’t stop when the little ones head to the youth clubs!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a costume and set sail for a spooky fun time during Halloween on the High Seas aboard the Disney Dream starting Sept. 4, Disney Fantasy starting Sept. 2, Disney Wonder starting Sept. 15 and Disney Magic starting Sept. 27. Happy Haunting!

Experience Frozen on Broadway with Adventures by Disney in 2018

Experience Frozen on Broadway with Adventures by Disney in 2018

We are excited to announce that in 2018 guests on the Adventures by Disney New York City Long Weekend trip will be able to experience the excitement of Disney’s newest Broadway musical, Frozen.

You’re invited to discover that love is a force of nature as the beloved story of Anna and Elsa comes to life on the Great White Way next year. This all new production, created for the Broadway stage by a Tony and Oscar Award-winning team, features state-of-the-art stagecraft and more than twice as many songs as the original film.

Not only will you be able to see this magical new musical but also take part in a Broadway Theater Workshop where you’ll go into a rehearsal studio and learn the music and dance steps from one of your favorite songs in the show. So, get ready to “let it go” and leave your inhibitions at the door!

Your adventure through the Big Apple doesn’t stop there. You’ll unravel the history of New York by visiting the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and go behind-the-scenes of “Good Morning America,” for an exclusive look at one of ABC’s longest-running live shows!

Reservations Open Today for Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Reservations Open Today for Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There’s a sweet new way to take in the spectacular sights and sounds of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios—the new Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience package.

Guests will check-in and pick up a delicious snack box, which features a mix of sweet and savory items, at the Fantasmic! theater prior to show time. A special light-up credential will allow Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience guests to enter the special reserved viewing area.

The adult box features chocolate-covered strawberries, cheesecake, a chocolate cupcake, apple crisp, California trail mix and cheese and crackers. Kids will enjoy chocolate pudding with crushed chocolate cookies and gummy worms, confetti popcorn, grapes and a vanilla cake bite which features the star of Fantasmic! — Sorcerer Mickey. Guests will also receive a bottle of water and a specialty alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage in a light-up keepsake Fantasmic! cup.

The Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience is another great offering from the Enchanting Extras Collection, which allows guests to enhance their Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Cost is $39 for adults and $19 for children ages 3-9. Reservations can be made by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.

Trick ‘r Treat And The Purge To Haunt The Streets Of Halloween Horror Nights

Trick ‘r Treat And The Purge To Haunt The Streets Of Halloween Horror Nights

There is one aspect of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights no one can escape… the SCARE ZONES. They’re the first and last things you’ll experience, and it’s Universal Studio Orlando’s chance to make sure there is no way to hide from the scares.

This Halloween Horror Nights, we’re inviting you to join the celebration of blood and bone at what can only be called The Festival of the Deadliest – an ancient tradition from the depths of where nightmares are born.

A gathering of the most unearthly, hellish terrors has emerged from the darkest corners of despair. It calls to those who long for the thrill of the scare and wish to have their fears made real. You’ll be drawn like moths to a flame, and once you join this hallowed celebration, your nightmares will never end.

You’ll find the heart of the Festival on the streets of Hollywood in Universal Studios Florida, but its claws have spread throughout Horror Nights. Here’s what awaits you every night…

Trick ‘r Treat

First up, it’s time to make sure everyone understands the rules of this haunted holiday. Get a proper Halloween education in our Central Park scare zone inspired by the film Trick ‘r TreatUniversal is excited to have Sam visit and make sure we follow the rules of Halloween.

Trick ‘r Treat And The Purge To Haunt The Streets Of Halloween Horror Nights

The Purge

Next up, you have a returning story to New York streets with The Purge. This time, the approach was to create a zone that showed how Universal thinks the events of a Purge night might play out in their streets.

There are some fan favorites returning such as our auction and a very polite gentleman. We also have some new surprises in store. For example, how do you clean up all the mayhem on the streets during a Purge night? Visit the clean-crew up crew with their trusty wood chipper to find out. Just don’t get too close…

Altars of Horror

Near the front gate, on Avenue of the Stars, you have Altars of Horror. For us, this zone is very exciting because Universal is bringing something to the streets for horror fans that they have never done before.

In this zone, they’re taking some of the larger than life characters featured in this year’s houses, and letting them have their own scare zone. A lot of work goes into bringing these iconic film characters to life in our houses. Now you’ll have the opportunity to get an even better look at them.

Invasion!

Set in a time decades ago, the docks in San Francisco find themselves the victim of an INVASION! Visitors from far beyond have crashed their vessel, and are now wreaking havoc on the streets of San Francisco.

They aren’t just here to destroy; these invaders are also on a mission to learn everything they can about us humans. Careful, or you may find yourself on the experiment table at the mercy of an alien scientist.

Trick ‘r Treat And The Purge To Haunt The Streets Of Halloween Horror Nights

Roaming Hordes

Lastly, no Halloween Horror Nights would be complete without roaming hordes. This time, it’s the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the chainsaw. Unhappy with how popular culture has made clowns scary, this grotesque gang of gigglers has risen from the grave determined to show the world that if you want scary clowns, they’re going to make sure you get your worst nightmare.

ACADEMY OF VILLAINS: AFTERLIFE

But wait! There’s more. The question is, “can you handle more?” we’re happy to share ACADEMY OF VILLAINS: AFTERLIFE will be returning to put on an all-new killer performance. This group of powerhouse artists will make you bear witness to what happens after we leave this life. They’re going to give you one mind-blowing and shocking dance performance that will escort you from this world to the great beyond.

Pick up your tickets today—we’ll see you out on the streets!

More Details on Grand Avenue, Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

More Details on Grand Avenue, Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As many Disney parks fans are aware, two new lands – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land – are currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But today we’re sharing a look at another area of the park that’s undergoing its own transformation.

Muppets Courtyard, along with a portion of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by Walt Disney Imagineering to become a new area called Grand Avenue. Inspired by the revitalization and the vibrant culture of present-day downtown Los Angeles, Grand Avenue is where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. Guests will soon see facades for “merchants” appearing in this area for a music shop, loft apartments, a tailor and more, with each window on the street featuring charming displays.

More Details on Grand Avenue, Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A highlight of Grand Avenue is sure to be BaseLine Tap House, which takes over a former F&B location. This new corner pub will feature California beers and wines along with a selection of small bites.

More Details on Grand Avenue, Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The current Muppets Courtyard will become Grand Park, an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.

Guests can already see changes in the area, with the Muppets theater being renamed “Grand Arts Theatre” and boasting a brand-new marquee. But, not to worry – Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang continue to star in their hilarious and irreverent “Muppet*Vision 3D” show.

Grand Avenue will be opening to guests this fall.

New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID recently announced the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season, giving Star Wars fans the opportunity to step beyond reality and into a galaxy far, far away.

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division, created this first of its kind experience, in collaboration with The VOID. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. Guests will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi sensory experience as they interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of the division. “Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year.

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Nothing beats a fall visit to Walt Disney World Resort. In just a few weeks, the season will return early, giving guests more time than ever to experience favorite festivals, parties and more.

Here’s what’s on tap this fall at Walt Disney World Resort.

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties Begin Aug. 25 – This guest-favorite fall event will return to Magic Kingdom Park on select nights, beginning Aug. 25. This hard-ticket event features Halloween decor, special entertainment, Disney characters in costumes, trick-or-treating (for all ages!), Disney attractions, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, and so much more. This year’s event dates are: Aug. 25 and 29; Sept. 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29; Oct.1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31; and Nov. 1, 2017. Guests are also welcome to dress up for the event (be sure to double-check the park’s costume guidelines before you go).

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Returns Aug. 31 – This year’s festival will offer 75 days of culinary fun that will include: 35 global marketplaces (including five new ones!), a selection of 39 new marketplace dishes, 65 new cocktail selections, 225 Eat to the Beat concerts and much more. ABC’s “The Chew,” will also return to broadcast five episodes from the festival this year. For a full look at what to expect at this year’s festival, click here.

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25The Great Irish Hooley Returns Sept. 1-4 – The 6th Great Irish Hooley music festival will return to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs in just a few weeks. Celebrating Irish song, dance, food and drink, the Great Irish Hooley kicks off performances beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, and continues each day and night through late Monday and into the wee hours. This year’s Hooley entertainment headliners include: Elevation, Lisa Canny Band, Gary O’Meara Band, The Raglan Roots Coalition, Jake Richardson, Over the Bar, Rollickin’ Rua and Aaron O’Sullivan. The Raglan Road Irish Dancers, as well as champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating, will also share their talents on stage.

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Disney Night of Joy Returns Sept. 8-9 – The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will again host Disney Night of Joy, two evenings filled with joyous gospel, hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary music. This year’s lineup includes performances by artists like TobyMac, MercyMe, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and many others. Browse the full lineup here and grab tickets now.

Which fall offering are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

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