‘May the 7th be with you,’ is probably something you won’t be hearing a lot of next year, but just a few days after The Walt Disney Company announced its intentions to acquire Lucasfilm to produce new Star Wars films, the Tokyo Disney Resort has announced it will hold its grand opening for ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ on May 7, 2013 — just a few days after ‘Star Wars Day’ on May the 4th.
Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
The heart-tugging, original feel-good series, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” returns to ABC with four special holiday-themed episodes. The first episode will premiere Monday, November 26 at 9:01 pm ET, immediately following the ‘Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars’ Performance Finale on the ABC Television Network. The remaining three episodes will air on the following three Mondays, December 3, December 10 and December 17.
Guest host Jenny McCarthy visits the Watson Family of Knoxville, TN in a special Thanksgiving-themed show. The Watson family has adopted children and runs a home for single mothers in need called Restoration House. The episode features a visit to the ‘Wipeout’ set and an appearance by UFC Champion fighter Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced its newest special exhibition, ‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ on view from September 27, 2012 to April 28, 2013 in the Museum’s Theater Gallery. Curated by WDFM Registrar and Curatorial Assistant Anel Muller, the exhibition explores the evolution of stop motion animation in the United States — especially in special effects, television, and film — while examining some of the key milestones and innovators including Willis O’ Brien (King Kong), Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Art Clokey (‘Gumby’), Ray Harryhausen (It Came From Beneath the Sea), Henry Selick (Coraline and James and the Giant Peach), Phil Tippett (Star Wars and Jurassic Park) and more.
The official StarWarsCelebration.com website for Celebration VI, being held August 23 – 26, 2012 at the Orange County convention center in Orlando, FL has been updated with participation information from Disney Parks and Resorts.
In addition to anticipated items such as new Droid Factory pieces and the second series of Star Wars Vinylmation, Disney Theme Park merchandise (booth 331) has announced at least two show exclusives (pictured above). The Princess Leia Hologram Vinylmation figure is a show-exclusive variant, limited to an edition size of 2,500 pieces and retails for $18.95. Also available will be a limited edition die-cast set celebrating the 25th anniversary of Star Tours. The set features both the Starspeeder 3000 and the Starspeeder 1000 and will be priced at 19.95.
What do you get the Star Wars fan that has everything? Studios Central is reporting that Star Wars Weekends (weekends May 18 through June 10, 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will be offering a ‘Carbon Freeze Me’ opportunity in which guests can be digitally scanned to produce a likeness of themselves frozen in carbonite.
The site reports the experience will be offered inside ‘Sounds Dangerous’ and will cost $99.95. The final product will be delivered via mail within 3 – 4 weeks.
Via the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has released further details for its upcoming Star Wars Weekends celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for weekends between May 18 and June 19, 2012. In addition to the previous announcement regarding James Arnold Taylor acting as the Star Wars Weekends’ celebrity host and Ashley Eckstein as the host of the ‘Behind the Force’ special presentations, the following celebrities and autograph FASTPASS information has been released:
Weekend I (May 18 – 20)
- Ray Park – (Darth Maul, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Oriental Land Company, owner and operator of Tokyo Disneyland, has announced that it will be following in the footsteps of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts and will be updating its ‘Star Tours’ attraction in Tomorrowland. With an estimated cost of 7 billion yen (approximately $91 million US), ‘Star Tours: The Adventure Continues’ is expected to open in spring 2013.
From the initial announcement, it does not appear that the attraction will differ from that of the recent makeover at the Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Just yesterday, the attraction redo was recognized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and will receive a Thea Award for its refresh.
On 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).
This coming holiday, Disney invites audiences of all ages to make Prep & Landing (the all-new modern classic Christmas tale) part of their family’s ‘must own’ holiday-viewing collection! Arriving to DVD on November 22, 2011 (now available for pre-order), ‘Prep & Landing’ is the perfect blend of Christmas spirit, humor and entertaining characters that will keep the entire family grinning from ear-to-ear. Complete with two new bonus shorts — ‘Tiny’s Big Adventure’ and ‘Operation Secret Santa’ (which features Betty White as the voice of Mrs. Clause) -– ‘Prep & Landing’ will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and $24.99 in Canada. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for all ages!