MickeyBlog News Star Wars and More Edition
Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast updates headline the latest edition of MickeyBlog News. This is a great week to be a Disney fan, my friends! Let’s get you all caught up.
Do You Like Star Wars? Then Read on…
Presuming that you said yes, we have a lot of attention-grabbing news. For starters, the new Star Wars Episode IX teaser is out. Whoops, I suppose I should say that the first teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now online, and the biggest reveal is clearly the film title.
We also learned that a fight between a Jedi and a spaceship may not go the way that you’d expect. Oh, and the Emperor’s haunting cackle punctuates the proceedings. It’s the type of commercial that reminds everyone why they fell in love with Star Wars in the first place.
Speaking of which, 2019 might as well go down as the Year of Star Wars. In addition to the climactic events of the ninth film in the franchise, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We learned more about key features of the themed land this week.
At Star Wars Celebration Chicago, Disney unveiled dazzling new Star Wars park merchandise. Disney also settled a previous debate. Questions had arisen about whether Coke products would be available at Star Wars Land due to the immersive theming problems created by Coke packaging.
Guess what! It turns out that Galaxy’s Edge WILL sell Coke products, but they’ll look different from any that you’ve ever seen before. Disney’s created special packaging that will maintain the illusion of Black Spire Outpost. Imagine a Coke bottle in the shape of BB-8, and you’ll understand why these beauties might become collector’s items. When you order a Coke at Disneyland, you WILL smile.
The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t the only Star Wars trailer released over the past few days. Gamers have plenty of reason to get excited, as Respawn Entertainment, the developers of the mega-hit, Apex Legends, unveiled footage from their next game. It’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and it looks like this…
Trust only in The Force, my friends. This game comes out on November 15th, meaning that the Star Wars franchise will own theme parks, movie theaters, AND videogame consoles in the final quarter of 2019. Oh wait, that’s not all!
Disney also discussed their plans for Disney+, the upcoming over-the-top streaming service. An anchor part of this new product is the first Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The producers of the show hosted a panel to discuss the project, and they exhibited the first-ever footage.
Robert Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced that no Star Wars films are in pre-production at the moment. The entire focus of the franchise after Rise of the Skywalker is The Mandalorian. It will carry the Star Wars mantle for the next few years.
Summarizing, Disney just revealed how Star Wars will dominate all forms of entertainment from August through December of this year. 2019 will be the best year ever for Star Wars fans.
The Best Disney Lounge Ever?
MickeyBlog loves to cover Disney rumors, but some of them seem so far-fetched that we struggle to take them seriously. For example, when I heard that a popular lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa would close in favor of a character-themed establishment, I was understandably skeptical. Disney’s never done that before on the scale the rumor indicated…but it’s true!
Disney plans to take the space from Mizner’s Lounge and the men’s apparel store, Commander Porter’s, and turn it into a themed bar and lounge. And the theme is Beauty and the Beast!!! Disney promises “four unique spaces” including a library modeled after the one that Belle loves in the movie(s). The theming is so detailed that the giant chandelier hanging from the ceiling has the same shape and color configuration as Belle’s ball gown!
A garden room is also part of the themed bar and lounge. Disney’s Parks Blog suggests that it’s a “a whimsical space that draws its inspiration from the enchanted forest surrounding Beast’s castle.” Better yet, the Beauty and the Beast area will have an outdoor patio similar to Beast’s garden terrace.
Folks, the Grand Floridian is already one of the best places to eat and drink at Walt Disney World. The addition of a legitimate Disney Princess-themed bar and lounge will make it that much better. This is incredible news for fans of Beauty and the Beast, which is pretty much all of us.
While Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast grabbed most of the media attention this week, plenty of other announcements indicated recent/impending improvements at Disney theme parks.
Let’s start overseas and then work our way back to the United States. At Tokyo Disneyland, Cinderella Castle is about to undergo a refurb. Starting on October 1st, park officials must obstruct some of the views of the castle in order to improve its quality. This update should require approximately six months to complete.
At Disneyland Paris, one of the best and most popular attractions is finally about to return. Imagineers have labored on Phantom Manor, their equivalent of Haunted Mansion, since January of 2018. This spooky, western themed take on the premise is ready to show its changes.
Starting on May 3rd, guests will finally learn the true identity of the Phantom, a carefully guarded secret until now. Disney’s promised several changes to the attraction, and so its return is highly anticipated.
At Disneyland Resort, the MaxPass system improved this week. When Imagineers first introduced the system, some attractions weren’t open yet. A handful of them received their own FastPass systems, ones that weren’t tied to the main one. Over the years, frequent Disneyland guests have known which FastPasses they can book as “extras” beyond the allotted number.
Disney finally addressed this loophole this week, at least partially. They added the two nighttime shows, Fantasmic! and World of Color, to the MaxPass system. Park visitors who pay for this service previously had to get paper FastPasses to book the evening presentations. Now, they’re available to book just like anything else!
Over at Walt Disney World, the ESPN Wide World of Sports just gave caffeine addicts some great news. Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company has opened in the space previously occupied by the old Welcome Center. They’ve even added a thematic new beverage called the Game Changer, a shot of expresso with a twist.
Inside the parks, Aladdin will arrive on April 19th. Well, kind of. Disney will display sneak previews of the upcoming live-action adaptation of their animated classic at Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’ll also screen at Disneyland’s Main Street Opera House in Town Square. Formerly, Disney California Adventure hosted such previews, but that space is being used for Mickey’s PhilHarmagic now.
Speaking of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we previously discussed the introduction of the Guest Experience Team at Magic Kingdom. This specialized team of cast members aids park guests in booking FastPasses, finding attractions, and many other issues that arise during a visit.
The program proved so successful that park strategists have added a Guest Experience Team at Hollywood Studios, too. Whenever you have trouble and are in need of help, seek out these cast members. They’re actually located in most themed lands at the park, and so you should have no trouble finding one.
Finally, tickets are now on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It’s one of the best ticketed events at Walt Disney World, and you really ought to go this year. After all, you can do this party AND visit Star Wars Land. That sounds like the holiday vacation of your dreams, doesn’t it? Speak to an agent at MickeyTravels today to book the trip that will help you win the holidays for your family!