New Posters for ‘Star Wars Weekends’ Flaunt the Force’s Lighter Side

Darth Maul receives an updated look on this poster promoting Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood StudiosEver wonder what it would be like to parallel park an AT-AT Walker, how Disney’s horticulturists really create all those neat character topiaries for the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival or what benefits having a couple of extra arms yields you at the parks?

Then look no further at the new batch of Orlando International Airport posters promoting this year’s Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Studios Central has them all which also includes a makeover for Darth Maul (pictured) and Chewbacca along with Yoda, General Grievous and Darth Vader.

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‘Toy Story 3′ Inspires New Game and New Characters for ‘Toy Story Mania!’ Attraction

Dino Darts at Toy Story Midway ManiaNew characters from the soon-to-be-released Disney•Pixar film “Toy Story 3” are being added to the joyful, toy-full adventure of Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  In addition to playing with new characters in Toy Story Mania!, there will be opportunities in both parks for up-close fun with another all-new character from “Toy Story 3” – Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. He’s the bossman at Sunnyside Daycare in the highly anticipated animated feature film.

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‘Flying’ Under the Radar, ‘Dining with an Imagineer’ Dinner Option Returns

Thanks to the Disney Food Blog, we have learned that the fabulous and exclusive ‘Dining with an Imagineer’  program is once again offering the dinner option, this time at the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. Although the program has always offered a lunch option at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, Hollywood Brown Derby, the dinner has been touch-and-go, last offered at Artist Point, but some time ago.

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Walt Disney World Character Brief: Bolt Makes Awesome Return as UP Toons Take Off

Sorry, Carl, but you’re being evicted from the Animation Building at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and no number of balloons are going to save you now. The final date for the UP crew of Carl Fredricksen, Russell and Dug is May 1. On May 9, Lotso from Toy Story 3 will be taking that spot as previously reported. We hear that Lotso’s backdrop will be that of the Sunnyside Daycare.

Thanks to @PaulChadkin, we have learned that while Muppet*Vision 3D is closed for its upgrade from tomorrow through May 14, Jessie from Toy Story and Bolt from Bolt will be making rare appearances, greeting the crowds.

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Character Changes Coming to Disney World for April/May 2010: Ariel’s Grotto Closes, Lotso Arrives

Prince Eric with Ariel during a Pirate and Princess Party at the Magic Kingdom in 2007Although most character meet & greets at the Walt Disney World Resort are fairly standard from day to day, there are a couple of times per year when there are significant changes. These changes usually occur in April/May and September/October. In 2010, these changes are further complicated by the closure of Toontown and the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. Since we’re already getting into April, it’s time to take a look at some of the expected upcoming changes.

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The Kingdom Keepers Return to Guide Guests Through the Disney Parks by Day – and Protect the Parks from Disney Villains at Night

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadows by Ridley PearsonFive teenagers – the Kingdom Keepers – have been transformed into Disney Holographic Images (DHIs) that thrill guests as they guide them through each of the Disney parks. In truth, the Disney Imagineers created the DHIs to protect Disney’s theme parks from the Overtakers, classic Disney villains, who are trying to seize the parks and use them for their own evil agendas. Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers book series follows these heroes on behind-the-scenes adventures in the magical world of the Disney parks – and in Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow, the action happens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. (Disney-Hyperion Books, ages 10 and up, $17.99)

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Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2010 Update – More Exclusive Merchandise and New Characters

Annual Passholder and DVC Member Exclusive Star Wars Weekends 2010 PinsStar Wars Weekends 2010 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort is slowly creeping upon us and the news is starting to seep in. So far we’ve learned about the extremely limited edition and extremely awesome Stitch as the Emperor’s Hologram action figure (buy us ten!), the celebrity guest list and little more.

Today, the tides have changed a bit (probably due to the Forest Moon of Endor) and we have news from the Disney Parks blog on upcoming SWW exclusive pins, including Annual Passholder and — for the very first time — DVC Member exclusive items as well as special pins and sets commemorating the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back.

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WDW Refurb Update: Star Tours Closure Earlier Than Anticipated, Toy Story Mania

We have received a tip on upcoming closures for Star Tours and Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These are not from official Disney sources but we believe they are credible enough to pass along to you. Should we find out alternate information in the future, we will update and post in the Refurbs category not to mention on ReSearch! Disclaimer aside, on with the mega-news.

Our source informs us that Star Tours will close on September 8. This is earlier than announced by former Disney Parks and Resort Chairman Jay Rasulo at last year’s D23 Expo, but not unexpected. It’s also scheduled to take place after Celebration V, which takes place in Orlando this year, ends in mid-August.

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WDW Refurb Update: Rock’n'Roller Coaster Closure in May

We have been advised that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closed for refurbishment beginning on May 15 and re-open on May 21.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Details for 2010 Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Announced

The Walt Disney World resort has announced the details for the upcoming Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon events taking place October 1 – 3, 2010.

On Friday, October 1, 2010, the Disney’s Kids’ Races will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex beginning at 4 pm for children ages 8 and under. Registration includes: Commemorative T-shirt; Personalized Bib (Must register by September 3, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of refreshments; Commemorative finisher medallion.

Race details and age groups are as follows:

  • 12 months and under – Diaper Dash for crawlers
  • 1 – 3 years old – 100m dash
  • 4 – 6 years old – 200m dash
  • 7 – 8 years old – 400m dash

On Saturday, October 2, at 7:00 am will be the Mickey’s Halloween Family Fun Run 5K. The only 5K run to take place inside the Magic Kingdom, runners are encouraged to dress in costume (with safety in mind) as they travel along the course filled with Halloween-themed entertainment. Registration includes: Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the night of Sunday, October 3, 2010; Commemorative Champion® T-shirt; * Goody Bag; Personalized Bib (must register by August 2, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of race refreshments; Commemorative 5K finisher medallion.

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