‘Star Wars’ Author Timothy Zahn to Offer Signing at Walt Disney World, October 14

'Heir to the Empire' 20th Anniversary Edition by Timothy ZahnOn Friday, October 14, 2011, noted author Timothy Zahn will be on hand to sign his latest Star Wars novel, Choices of One as well as the 20th anniversary edition of the best-seller, Heir to the Empire.

Zahn will be at The Writer’s Stop located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from 1 – 3 pm. As always, theme park admission is not included and items must be purchased at the event (no personal items).

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Tower of Terror Joins Disney PhotoPass System at Walt Disney World

Tower of Terror, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort,, has become the third attraction to allow guests to place their photos directly on the Disney PhotoPass system, according to cast member @BellHopDave (who provides a photo of the options). Like Space Mountain, the ability to add the Tower of Terror photo to PhotoPass requires a paid purchase and it seems to be fairly identical to the Space Mountain options and prices, save for no mention of the USB drive option.

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Ink & Paint Cel Release for ‘Key to the Kingdom’ Celebrating Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

'Key to the Kingdom' Ink & Paint CelOn Saturday, September 3, join Disney Design Group Artist Costa Alavezos and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Key to the Kingdom entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. The celaptures the essence of wonder and excitement that comprised the magical kingdom since it opened its gates on October 1, 1971.

The talented Ink & Paint team hand painted the iconic Mickey Mouse and loveable Pluto onto each Key to the Kingdom cel in this celebratory limited release.

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WDW Refurb Update: Studio Backlot Tour, HISTK Playground Closures in September

The official Walt Disney World website has begun listing closures for both the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure’ and the ‘Studio Backlot Tour’ beginning on September 4, 2011 and re-opening on September 25.

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! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!

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WDW Refurb Update: Tough to be a Bug, Shooting Arcade, Mermaid Extension and More

We have a bunch of refurbishment/closure updates at the Walt Disney World Resort to share with you today, starting with the Magic Kingdom, where the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade will be closed beginning today and expected to re-open on October 1, 2011.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the 4D attraction, It’s Tough to be a Bug, is scheduled to close on August 15, 2011 and also expected to re-open on October 1.

We previously announced that Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be going dark beginning August 15, but according to the official Walt Disney World site, that date may have been moved forward to August 13. It’s still expected to re-open on September 4.

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PHOTOS: ‘American Idol’ Scotty McCreery Performs at Walt Disney World

American Idol Scotty McCreery with Minnie and Mickey Mouse (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Newly crowned “American Idol” Scotty McCreery poses May 30, 2011 with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in front of “The American Idol Experience” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  McCreery was honored in a parade at the Disney theme park and performed his new song, “I Love You This Big.”  On Wednesday, the 17-year-old singer was crowned the new “American Idol” on the season finale which was viewed by an estimated 29.3 million people.

Photo by Matt Stroshane,  courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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Photo/Video: ‘Star Tours 2.0′ Grand Opening with George Lucas and Bob Iger

Bob Iger and George Lucas at 'Star Tours' opening (Todd Anderson/Disney)Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger (left) talks with Star Wars creator George Lucas as they walk through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. May 20, 2011 during grand opening ceremonies for “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction based on the “Star Wars” films. The attraction, which features more than 50 possible random ride experiences, opened May 20, 2011 at Walt Disney World in Florida and will open June 3, 2011 at Disneyland Resort in California. Photo by Todd Anderson.

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Star Wars Creator George Lucas and Disney’s Bob Iger Launch Star Tours Attraction at Walt Disney World

Star WarsTM creator George Lucas and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger wielded lightsabers amid a legion of stormtroopers Friday to open “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D adventure at Walt Disney World Resort.

A cast of hundreds of Star Wars characters and performers – including Anthony Daniels, who has played the golden droid C-3PO since the first film debuted in 1977 – converged on Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the launch of the attraction destined to send millions of guests on virtual journeys throughout the Star Wars galaxy.

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Star Tours’ Limited Edition ‘Launch Collection 2011′ FIRST LOOK

Star Tours Rebel Spy adult tee

Admittedly some of these tees have been flaunted by Disney Parks already, but many are being seen here for the first time anywhere (as far as we know). They are the collection identified on their sleeve as the ‘Star Tours Launch Collection 2011′ in honor of the introduction of ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ coming to Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 20, 2011 and Disneyland on June 6, 2011.

The tees, which should be available at both resorts, are likely to also be offered online at DisneyStore.com.

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EXCLUSIVE: Inside the New ‘Star Tours’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Major Spoilers)

In honor of Star Wars Day (May the 4th), our spies with the Rebel Alliance have checked in with us regarding some strange goings-on over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. Apparently there is some new company calling itself ‘Star Tours’ which promises to take travelers on a trip around the universe. Reports are still preliminary at this stage, but apparently the Empire is pleased with the changes that will soon affect us all, perhaps in some ways we shall never even know about.

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