Newly crowned “American Idol” Lee DeWyze takes a celebratory ride May 31, 2010 with Mickey Mouse through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Following his win on the “American Idol” season finale last week in Los Angeles, DeWyze looked into TV cameras and shouted “I’m Going to Disney World!” as part of Disney’s famous television commercial. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Lee DeWyze (right) autographs a poster for fan Ashley Lowe (left) from Orlando, Fla., May 31, 2010 at “The American Idol Experience” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In addition to the parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, DeWyze made a surprise appearance on-stage at “The American Idol Experience,” the theme park’s attraction based on the hit TV show. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
A couple of brief refurbishment updates for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World.
First, we realize we caused some shockwaves when we first announced way back in March that Toy Story Mania would be closing for a refurb in mid-August. Many confused this with the recent TS3 additions that have already taken place, but the refurb is something completely different (reportedly something to do with unloading gates). And while Disney Parks has yet to confirm it, a recent tweet from DHS cast member @PaulChadkin confirms our announcement with a minor date change. According to Paul, the new dates for the refurb are August 16 through August 28 (opening on the 29th). Given this new announcement from another source we consider to be extremely credible, we will be updating ReSearch with these new dates.
Paul also announces the temporary closure of Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream which is scheduled to close on August 16 as well, but won’t re-open until November 3.
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!
UPDATE: 06/02/10 – Updated with official correct dates as per Disney
The guidemap for the first weekend of the 2010 Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort has now been made available online.
Half the park is split between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire as usual with the Star Wars Weekends merchandise shops finding themselves amongst the Siths. At Boba’s Bounty, one will find merchandise exclusive to the event while Darkside Depot will offer more traditional fare.
Weekend #1 (May 21 – 23) features SWW hosts Jeremy Bulloch and Ashley Eckstein along with fellow Star Wars celebs Temuera Morrison, Daniel Logan and Dee Bradley Baker. As usual, FASTPASSes will be required to attend the celebrity meet & greet opportunities (but not required for the Star Wars characters themselves) and can be obtained outside the main entrance of the park (distribution may begin prior to park opening).
Here are the details for the first weekend as well as the map for the 2010 Star Wars Weekends event, courtesy of WDWMagic.com.
Disney Parks has just released this tv ad that’s running in the Orlando market to promote Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which commences at Walt Disney World this Friday, May 21.
A brief update on the fate of the Power Rangers meet & greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As we reported yesterday, Disney has sold the Power Rangers property back to Haim Saban, the creator of the franchise.
As a result, word has widely spread earlier today that the Power Rangers meet & greet opportunity at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort will see its last day on August 7, 2010.
At this time, there are no rumors of substance as to who may replace them if any, but the likeliest candidate is probably Phineas and Ferb who would be more or less at home on the Streets of America and are likely to show up in the parks on a full time basis eventually, but they were not expected to appear prior to October 1.
The recent years have not been kind to the meet & greet residents of the mean Streets of America who have included Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater (who had been moved several times before finding a permanent home in the parks) and Kim Possible with Ron Stoppable who have ceased appearing in the parks altogether.
In addition to announcing the personal appearance of R2-MK at Star Wars Weekends this year, Disney Parks has also confirmed closure dates for the Star Tours attraction at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
As we already advised back in March, the attraction is scheduled to close on September 8 with an expected re-opening date of May 20, 2011 in Orlando while the Anaheim version will close much earlier than originally anticipated on July 27 with an expected re-opening date of May 10, 2011.
Originally acquired by Disney when it acquired then Fox Family Worldwide (the network channel now known as ABC Family) back in 2001, the Power Rangers have received mixed messages from its master. Despite its immense popularity and several seasons (‘generations’) being produced by Disney, the series struggled to find its way in the Disney family, mostly for its perceived portrayal of violence in fantasy fighting.
The show, which would seem most at home on Disney XD, ultimately found itself restricted to Saturday morning programming on ABC. RPM was the last original season produced by Disney in 2009 with Disney opting to following it by re-running the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) series instead of producing new shows.
The deal announced today will return the property, including all seventeen seasons, to its original creator, Haim Saban, and his corporate entity, Saban Capital Group. Saban plans on producing a new season of the franchise which will air on the Nickelodeon network.
Currently, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort offers several daily meet & greet opportunities with Power Rangers from multiple generations. At this time it is unclear whether they will continue to appear as a result of the sale, but it’s probably not likely that they will.
Below is our gallery of photos from Lotso’s parade debut in which he replaced Little Bo Peep. Please excuse some of the duplicates as we had some issues uploading the photos and some are still missing. Otherwise, please sit back, relax and enjoy!
[SinglePic not found]Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 began greeting guests at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park this morning and we were pleased to be amongst the first to welcome him to the World. Although we were warned that he would make his first appearance at 10:30, several guests showed up as close to the park’s 9 am opening as possible to stake their place in line. In fact, it wouldn’t be until around 9:45, when the queue already began wrapping around the corner that it would even see its first guest under the age of 15 (or so).
The time cushion gave us plenty of time to explore the queue which was transformed into Sunnyside Daycare, a strong departure from the traditional display of artwork from the film. Instead, one is treated to artwork by the students along one wall with bulletin board notices against another, pseudo-windows looking out to the playground and the front of the building, technicolor handprints along the wall’s border (and the occasional footprint) and video monitors alerting parents to the latest school news.
The set itself — the school’s Butterfly Room — also features some enhancements beyond the typical fare. Like the UP set that preceded it in which one could spot Kevin popping in from either side or could pick up a real hose to pretend to be holding down the house, the Toy Story 3 Sunnyside Daycare set features a couple of animated elements including a green army man going up and down on a yo-yo like a .. well, a yo-yo.
But perhaps the greatest innovation here is one that can’t be readily seen. Sources have advised us that Lotso is able to switch the position of his eyebrows to go into an angry mode but other sources have informed us that he’s under strict orders to not flaunt this skill until at least the release of the film (despite the fact that Lotso is readily advertised by the banner outside as both smiling and frowning).
Sources have also informed us that Disney costuming had in fact been working on a method of working in a strawberry scent but this appears to have not made the cut. Lotso informed us directly that he simply doesn’t smell. This is probably for the best anyway since one might suspect that by the end of the day, Lotso may end up drool and sweat-scented anyway. So consider this your warning and keep your sniffing to a minimum.
He is very soft however. Which makes sense since he’s a hugger after all (but he won’t object to the occasional handshake either).
We inquired about any PhotoPass enhancements available for his arrival and were unfortunately able to secure an answer, so if anyone does find out, please let us know. We did confirm that he does autograph however so we’ve included his love-filled sample below as part of the gallery.
Lotso (short for Lots-o’-Huggin’) will be making his in-park debut on Sunday, May 9 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where he will be meeting & greeting guests in an area of the Animation Building made up to look like Sunnyside Daycare. In addition, he’ll also be appearing in the Pixar parades at both resorts: Block Party Bash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Pixar Play! at Disney California Adventure.
Inside the Magic, who managed to snag the photo before it was pulled and was where we got the photo from, also reports that there was a video of Lotso accompanying the post.