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

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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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Disney Parks’ ‘Let the Memories Begin’ Tour to Launch This Summer

Beginning in Chicago, IL, on May, 30th, 2011, Disney Parks and Resorts will launch a national ‘Let the Memories Begin’ Tour. According to the tour’s website, found at letthememoriesbegintour.com, it sets out to take ‘Disney memory-making into towns across America where children and adults of all ages are enjoying a sample of the magic and fun that people enjoy every day in the Disney Theme Parks.’ The tour will also offer a photo-op for which photos can be claimed online at the site.

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Disney’s ‘Art of Animation Resort’ to Immerse Guests in Animated Film Classics (Concept Art, Room Photos)

IMG_4810 During the Walt Disney Imagineering presentation at the Disney D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World event, Imagineer Gary Hoffman provided new insight into the resort’s newest hotel, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, expected to open in stages, beginning May, 2012.

On the site of what was once destined to be the second half of the Pop Century resort, the Legendary Years, the Art of Animation will allow guests to step into the world of their favorite Disney films and come face to face with their favorite characters from The Little Mermaid and The Lion King and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Cars — with some major exceptions.

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Walt Disney World Launches ‘Senior Class Trip’ Programs Site

Walt Disney World's Senior Class Trip ProgramConsidered the replacement for the Disney Grad Nites program at Walt Disney World (they will continue at Disneyland for now), Walt Disney World has established DisneySeniorClassTrips.com which redirects to the program’s page on the Youth Programs site.

The site, which promises that tickets will be offered soon, offers the opportunity for schools to purchase admission media in bulk at a reduced cost for high school seniors to spend time at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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‘Cars 2′ Disney/Pixar Weekend at Epcot Event Map Now Available

'Cars 2' merchandise exclusive to Disney ParksWalt Disney World has released the official special event park map for the Disney/Pixar Weekend taking place this Friday through Sunday, May 13-15, as part of the final weekend of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

The map, which you can download here as a PDF, offers meet and greet times and locations as well as other special opportunities taking place during the weekend.

In addition, the event map announces that Cars 2 merchandise, exclusive to the theme parks, will be available for purchase at MouseGear, Test Tracks and Pin Central.

Pixar Weekend at Epcot event map

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Disney to Join Forces with SEAL Team Six?; Duffy’s Girlfriend Coming to Parks

It’s an unfortunate pairing, but it appears that the Walt Disney Company has made significant gestures in both honoring the United States Navy’s SEAL Team Six, the counter-terrorism unit responsible for the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden as well bringing Duffy the Disney Bear’s gal pal Shelliemay to the parks, or at least on merchandise.

Several trademarks for SEAL TEAM 6 have been recently applied for, covering areas such as: ‘Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities;’ ‘Toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles (except clothing); hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; snow globes;’ and ‘Clothing, footwear, headgear.’

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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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AMC Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort to Debut Dine-In Option May 16

AMC Theatres® (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, announced today that guests will be able to watch the latest movies while enjoying their favorite food and beverages at AMC Downtown Disney 24 located in Downtown Disney® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fla. AMC Dine-In Theatres, the only theatre of its kind in the Orlando area, debuts at this location May 16 and combines restaurant cuisine and cocktails with AMC’s noted immersive movie theatre experience and hit movies.

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Details Announced for ‘Car Masters Weekend’ at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Walt Disney World has released additional details for what they are calling ‘Car Masters Weekend’ at Downtown Disney West Side at the Walt Disney World Resort from May 13-15, 2011 as part of the Disney/Pixar Weekend. The event, which we first announced in early April coincides with the Walt Disney World stop of the State Farm ‘Agents on a Mission’ Tour.

Activities at Downtown Disney are scheduled to run all three days from 10:30 am through 6:00 pm and will include the following:

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