Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Here's MY "Monstrous Summer" Update!

‘Star Wars’ Weekends Returns to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Galaxy in May and June

Star Wars Weekends, the Force-filled fun-fest that takes place annually at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort galaxy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013.

A celebration of all-things-Star Wars, the special event is included in regular park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Among the features: special Star Wars-themed parades, appearances by Star Wars celebrities, special additions to Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations, limited-edition merchandise, a nightly dance celebration and more.  The centerpiece of the celebration is Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the immersive 3-D attraction that speeds guests through worlds featured in the Star Wars saga.

This year’s event includes a nod to the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which debuted in theaters in May 1983.

Two Star Wars film legends – one who portrayed a villain and one who portrayed a hero – will double the fun in two consecutive weekends.  Action star Ray Park, who portrayed the Sith warrior Darth Maul on the silver screen, is one of the celebrity guests in Weekends I and II.  Actor Warwick Davis, known to Star Wars fans as everyone’s favorite Ewok, Wicket W. Warrick, is one of the guests during Weekends II and III.

Also showcased at the event: the largest collection of official Star Wars characters gathered at any theme park in the world, roaming the areas and posing for meet-and-greet and autograph opportunities in front of themed scenery.

Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

Flower Power Concert Series In Full Bloom

Beauty and beats celebrate spring, as the Flower Power Concert Series continues in Epcot. Check out these acts, rounding out the 75-day 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (subject to change without notice):

May 3-5:                     Tommy Roe (new!)

May 10-12:                 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

May 17-19:                 Starship starring Mickey Thomas

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Need to spiff up your home and garden?  HGTV design gurus will show guests how to make spring colors pop inside and outside their homes each weekend through May 19.

May 3-5 :                    Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”

May 10-12:                         Dan Faires, HGTV.com DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”

May 17-19:                  David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”

Don’t miss the final two special Festival Center weekend events:  May 3-5 is Florida Fresh Weekend featuring state’s bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood; May 10-12 offers a showcase for the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.

For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com.  The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Delicious New Crèmes Glacées

L’Artisan des Glaces, an artisan ice cream and sorbet shop, debuts at the France pavilion in Epcot in mid-June. You’ll want multiple scoops of the 16 yummy flavors, all made in-house with fresh ingredients. For grown-up tastes, ask for a shot of liquor on top – served in a martini glass.

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas

In time for summer, “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” will be a new interactive adventure where Magic Kingdom guests participate in pirate raids throughout Adventureland. Pirate maps lead to fabulous treasures as guests join Captain Jack Sparrow and fight off the Royal Navy, Captain Barbossa, Headhunters, Curses and the greatest threat of all, Calypso the sea goddess. If they help Jack succeed in all the missions, they will be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they face the wrath of the cruel sea…alone. The adventure is divided into 5 different raids, each comprised of a series of interactive tasks. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete all of the tasks in each mission. Guests may complete as many missions as they wish, but only those who complete all of the missions get to become full-fledged pirates under Captain Jack Sparrow.

Wilderness Explorers debuts at Animal Kingdom

Coming soon, Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will be invited to become Wilderness Explorers and experience the park in engaging and challenging ways aimed at deepening their understanding of animals and the natural world we live in. Taking the official pledge, armed with field guides and earning sticker badges along the way as they complete their challenges, guests explore the park at their leisure. Aimed at guests 7-10 but fun for the entire family, Wilderness Explorers will be self-guided and encourage more “up close and personal” time with the animal inhabitants of the park. Wilderness Explorers will be included in Disney’s Animal Kingdom admission.

New Meet-Up with Mickey, Minnie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are scheduled to welcome Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests to their new exploration headquarters, Adventurers Outpost, on Discovery Island, beginning May 12. The all-new indoor retreat is the perfect spot for guests to meet the globetrotting duo as they get ready to set off on their next adventure. Filled with photos and mementos from Mickey’s and Minnie’s travels around the world, Adventurers Outpost invites explorers to gather and share tales from their expeditions around the world at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney Cruise Line Introduces New Port Adventures for 2013 Mediterranean Sailings

Disney Cruise Line invites families to explore the culturally rich and exotic locales of Europe with one-of-a-kind Port Adventures featuring exclusive Disney touches during its 2013 Mediterranean sailings.

Brand-new Signature Collection Port Adventures for the 2013 Mediterranean sailings include:

Venice, Italy - An example of a Disney-exclusive adventure in Venice is the Gondolier for a Day experience, where guests are able to try their hand at piloting a gondola on the city’s lagoon.

Athens, Greece - Disney Cruise Line enhances the experience of visiting the Acropolis, with culturally immersive, hands-on adventures, such as a stop at the Cycladic Museum for a deeper dive into the ancient Aegean and Cyprus cultures.

Greek Isles - When visiting the dazzling island of Mykonos, families venture together to nearby Delos to explore one of the most important mythological and archaeological sites in Greece.

Turkey - From Kusadasi, Turkey, guests can venture to the ancient city of Ephesus which contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean.

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast - On the stunning coast of Croatia in Dubrovnik, Disney Cruise Line guests combine a guided tour of the historic walled city with an inside look at traditional Croatian customs from a celebrated local artist.

Rome, Italy - In Rome, adults are invited to learn the art of creating mosaics from a renowned local artist.

Details on all Disney Cruise Line shore excursions can be found on the Port Adventures section of disneycruise.com.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

Downtown Disney Revs Up for Car Masters Weekend

Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 14-16, 2013. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to meet “Cars 2″ stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar “Cars” filmmaker Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, “test drive” Ridemakerz “Cars” models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.

New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics

In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney, Disney Parks’ line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection, inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle, and Rapunzel is rich in lush colors: soft, pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees “Going (Back) to Disney World”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will launch his first football academy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, June 27-30. Brees, who said those famous words, “I’m going to Disney World” after winning Super Bowl in 2010, will be returning to Disney, and this time will bring a couple friends.

The Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament is expected to attract some of the most highly-ranked high school players in America, along with featuring marquee players and coaches from around the National Football League.

The three day 7-on-7 competition will be run by KSA Events, the nation’s premier host of high school sports events.

Runners Take on The Yeti

Runners face challenges and reach new heights when they take on Expedition Everest Challenge on May 4 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  This nighttime runDisney adventure combines a 5K obstacle run with a scavenger hunt.  Runners compete individually or in teams of two.  All finishers receive the coveted Compass medal.

Expedition Everest Weekend has fun for the entire family.  Younger adventurers can take part in runDisney Kids Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  New this year is the Expedition Everest Family Edition, where teams of up to six people will run a short distance race and then compete in a scavenger hunt throughout the sports complex. For more information, visit runDisney.com.

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