Celebrities Appearances Announced for 2010 Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Artwork for 2010 Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood StudiosBeginning May 21st and running every Friday-Sun through June 13, this year’s annual Star Wars Weekends pays special tribute to The Empire Strikes Back which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

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Photo: Olympian and DWTS Champ Shawn Johnson Goes Toe-to-toe with Minnie Mouse

Shawn Johnson with Minnie Mouse at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson poses Feb. 27, 2010 with Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Johnson, a past champion on ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” series, was at Walt Disney World appearing at “ESPN The Weekend,” a sports fan festival held annually at the theme park. She also was a special celebrity guest for the grand “re-launch” of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall to Greet Fans at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Feb 26

To commemorate the opening of the Champion Custom Tee Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports located at the Walt Disney World resort, Steelers’ running back and Champion brand ambassador Rashard Mendenhall will greet guests on Friday, February 26 at the Champion Sports Zone at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Mendenhall will be greeting his fans from 12 – 2 pm. No purchase is required to meet with Mendenhall, however admission to the park is required.

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WDW Refurb Update: Muppet*Vision 3D Closed End of April – Mid May

Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now currently scheduled to be closed from April 24 through May 14.

Without a reason for the closure, one might suspect that this is the upgrade Disney announced during D23 that Muppet fans have been waiting for in which the attraction will receive a new digital print. With rumors swirling around that Star Tours will close for its anticipated upgrade shortly after Star Wars Weekends concludes, it also seems an appropriate time to tend to Muppet*Vision so that the number of unavailable attractions is mitigated.

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Rock’n’Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Adds New Drop: The Queue

In a foreshadow of what may be to come with the dueling Dumbos in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, a new queueless system is being tested at Rock’n’Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World as reported today on Twitter by Studios Central and Touring Plans.

Guests obtain a boarding group pass and are free to hang out in the area which provides entertainment via a live DJ and video games while waiting for their group to board the attraction.

FASTPASSes for the attraction were still made available but were being distributed over at the Tower of Terror. The single rider line was still available as well.

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American Idol Experience February 12 Media Event Videos

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disneys American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disney's American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

If you missed the simulcast of the blue carpet event here on Stitch Kingdom, please do not fret. (Okay, you can fret just a little bit). Coming soon is most of the raw footage from the event so you can catch all of your favorite American Idol (and Disney) stars as they graced the blue carpet prior to the main event.

Videos after the jump. (more…)

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Largest-Ever Gathering of ‘American Idol’ Winners Joins in Premiere of Attraction at Walt Disney World

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie (c) Copyright Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With the largest-ever gathering of “American Idol” winners joining in the celebration, Walt Disney World Resort Thursday night raised the curtain on “The American Idol Experience,” a new attraction capturing the energy and excitement of the hit TV show.

Thursday’s grand premiere, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, was attended by all seven winners of the series, from season-one winner Kelly Clarkson to season-seven champion David Cook. Joining Cook and Clarkson were Jordin Sparks (season six), Taylor Hicks (five), Carrie Underwood (four), Fantasia Barrino (three) and Ruben Studdard (two). (more…)

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Deacon Follows Suit (and Files Suit) on Tower of Terror

It’s just not a good week for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that UK residents Leanne Deacon and her mother have filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney World following a 2005 incident in which Deacon suffered from eventual cardiac arrest and a brain hemorrhage which required emergency surgery. The suit, which is claiming unspecified damages exceeding $15,000, claims that Walt Disney World was behaving as a ‘common carrier’ and thus was subjected to specific regulations guaranteeing guests’ safety. The suit also cites that Disney failed to present ample warnings and safety restraints. For it’s part, Walt Disney World conducted a full inspection of the attraction that same evening, even inviting oversight from the Florida Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection and found the attraction to be operating successfully. In Florida, amusement parks of a certain size (which includes Walt Disney World) are not regulated by the state. (more…)

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David Cook’s GMA Performance … Almost

A scheduled live performance by David Cook to air on Good Morning America this morning didn’t go quite as planned when problems causing the audio to intermittently cut out forced the aired performance to end prematurely.

With any luck, I will soon have video from GMA available featuring what little of the performance there was as well as an additional tour of the new American Idol Experience through the eyes of ABC weatherman Sam Champion and Cook’s colleague, David Archuletta.

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Mooty Sues Disney For Breach of Contract Over Tower of Terror

As an update to a widely reported incident several months ago, Denise Mooty of Florida has gone ahead and petitioned the circuit court of Osceola County to bring forth a trial against Walt Disney World and several of its cast members for breach of contract, false arrest and emotional distress. According to the complaint, she is seeking undefined damages in excess of $15,000.

In the complaint, which you can read (more…)

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