WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE

Over the course of the past week, Disney has dropped tons of details about their new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The land is coming to both Disney World and Disneyland this year. Details about cast member costumes, food and drink offerings, opening dates, and more have been announced. Here is everything we know about whats to come in the new land:

Opening Dates and Details 

  • Galaxy’s Edge is set to open May 21 at Disneyland and August 29 at Disney World.
    • Guests who wish to visit the land in DL between May 21 – June 23 will be required to already have a park ticket and make a no cost reservation in order to control crowds. There is no doubt that the reservations will be hard to come by, as they are limited. Guests staying at any of the three Disneyland resorts during this time frame will have a designated reservation time to visit the land. Guests will only be allotted one reservation per person.
    • Disney World, as of now, will not follow this advanced reservation policy. Capacity will, however, be limited.
  • At the open of both lands, the only attraction that will be open and operating in the land will be Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be opening at a date later in the year on both coasts.
    • There will be no Fastpass+ reservation opportunities available at WDW or DL for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run upon opening.
  • Galaxy’s Edge will not be open or available during Extra Magic Hours or Magic Morning at Disneyland. As of right now, WDW plans to keep the land open in Hollywood Studios during Extra Magic Hours upon opening.
  • Below are some concept art photos of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as provided by D23.

Cast Member Costumes

  • WDW cast members were invited to an exclusive event where they were introduced to the costumes that will be used in the land.
    • There will be unique name tags/badges worn by cast members that are far different than the classic white badges worn by CM’s around the park.
    • The costumes look very layered, heavy, and are created with dark colors. Most costumes include long sleeves and jackets or vests. However, costume ambassadors claim that breathability and the extreme summer temperatures were taken into consideration when creating the costumes.
  • Photo’s of the costumes released by Disney can be found below.

Food and Beverage

  • Food service options in the land will consist of Oga’s Cantina, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, Ronto Roasters, Milk Stand and Kat Saka’s Kettle. 
    • Oga’s Cantina will be a very immersive dining experience that most guests are looking forward to. The restaurant will serve both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as meals for both lunch and dinner. This will be the first ever restaurant in Dinseyland park to sell alcoholic beverages.
    • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo will be another immersive restaurant in the land. This restaurant is described as “fast-casual”, which I’m assuming means a quick-service restaurant. Non-alcoholic beverages as well as lunch and dinner meal options will be served.
    • Ronto Roasters seems to be another quick-service restaurant that will serve barbecue style sandwiches and other finger foods for lunch and dinner.
    • Milk Stand will be a vendor where Disney Imagineers worked hand-in-hand with Lucasfilm to create the iconic blue milk Star Wars drink. The drink will be plant-based to accommodate dietary restrictions. There isn’t much more information on this vendor as of yet.
    • Kat Saka’s Kettle will be a stand in the land where guests can find various flavors of popcorn.
  • No reservations will be taken for any of the dining experiences in the land.
  • The Disney Dining Plan will not be accepted for any food or beverage items at any vendor in the land.
  • Below are some photos of various food and beverage items as provided by D23.

Merchandise

  • There will be plenty immersive merchandise locations in Galaxy’s Edge. Guests will be able to build driods, create lightsabers, and purchase their own Jedi costumes and apparel.
    • Droid Depot will allow guests to create BB-series or R-series droids. The driod’s will be able to interact with elements in the land and respond to guests behaviors. There will also be pre-built droid’s available for purchase.
    • Savi’s Workshop will allow guests to build their own “high quality” lightsaber. Guests will be guided through the process, and will get to chose from a variety of options.
    • Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiques will be a merchandise location where guests can find items from different Star Wars stories. An anamatronic Dok will be at a desk in the merchandise location interacting with the surroundings.
    • The Creature Stall will have various plush creatures available for purchase including  pogs, wampas, and more.
    • Toydarian Toymaker will be another location guests can purchase plush characters from the series as well as wooden and tin toys and instruments.
    • Guests who are a part of the resistance will be able to purchase apparel and accessories from Resistance Supply. 
    • Likewise, if you consider yourself a part of the first order, you will be able to pick up first order apparel and accessories at First Order Cargo.
    • Other apparel and accessories will be available for purchase at Black Spire Outfitters.
  • There has been no word or communication from Disney on whether guests will be able to wear the apparel they purchase from the shops in the land.
  • Everything sold in Galaxy’s Edge was made specifically for the land, therefor will not be available for purchase outside of Galaxy’s Edge.
  • Below are some photos of merchandise that will be available for purchase, as provided by D23.

And there you have it – all we know so far about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! I know personally I am thrilled for this land to open, and I cannot wait to experience it. However, with anticipation and all the hype will come heavy crowds – so, if you plan on visiting the parks to experience this land, be prepared for long waits to just get inside.

Are you excited for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open in Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Let me know down below! I’ll also leave some newly released concept art from Disney and D23 below. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next. See ya real soon!

 

MY UNPOPULAR OPINIONS – DISNEY!

MY UNPOPULAR OPINIONS – DISNEY!

There’s currently a huge Youtube and blog trend about “my unpopular opinions”. My best friend, Emily, just recently posted one on her Youtube channel which got me thinking about my unpopular opinions! For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to “disneyfy” the popular trend by listing a few of my unpopular Disney opinions. So, here we go!

  1. Dole Whip is gross. Maybe it’s because I don’t like pineapple, but I really do not get the hype. I’d so much rather spend my money on regular soft serve ice cream or a bag of cotton candy.
  2. Children should not be allowed on parent’s shoulders during parades, fireworks, stage shows, etc. I completely get why parents do this. However, if as a society we become kind enough to let small children stand in front of us for parades and shows, or decide to all sit down (like they do in Tokyo Disneyland), then everyone could enjoy each show and this wouldn’t be an issue!
  3. I approve of the ticket price increases. In fact, I think prices should continue to increase or something else should be done to limit the crowds at WDW. Once Galaxy’s Edge opens, it’s going to be beyond unbearable to be in the parks. Ticket increases are the only way, in my opinion, the crowds will lower in size.
  4. Pandora- World of Avatar is overhyped. I mean, it is absolutely beautiful to see and experience. I love watching everything illuminate as it gets darker at night. And, Flight of Passage is truly the best WDW ride thus far. However, it’s still overhyped in my opinion. It’s never been something I’ve gone out of my way to see, or planned my vacation around!
  5. I enjoy the All Star resorts. I think it’s more of a nostalgic thing for me, but I really do enjoy all of the All Star resorts! If you’re heading to WDW on a budget and there is availability, these are a great option. Movies is, in my opinion, the best choice out of the three with Music being my least favorite – but each resort has something for everyone.
  6. There is too much of a Star Wars presence in the parks. I understand the licensing issues between WDW and UO, but I would so much rather see a Marvel presence than Star Wars. I get that Disney is trying to target a whole different audience, and I do love Star Wars, but it’s just too much.
  7. Walt Disney World is superior to Disneyland. Before heading to Disneyland, I always craved visiting and experiencing the land that had so much history behind it. I was captivated knowing that Walt worked hand-in-hand with imagineers to create this land where it all began. When I finally had the chance to go in 2016, I was elated. However, I feel like my entire visit was me saying to myself “Wait – this is it?” The intimacy of the parks might be appealing to most, but I absolutely prefer the grand scale of everything at WDW. Sure, a few of their rides are far better than our versions (specifically Small World, Pirates, and Space Mountain) – but those rides don’t make me love our versions and less. Maybe it’s because WDW is my home park and I’ve created so many magical memories here that I’ll cherish forever. I know very few people agree with my opinion, but I’ll absolutely choose WDW over DL any time!

There you have it! A few of my unpopular Disney opinions. Do you have any unpopular Disney opinions? Do you agree or disagree with any of mine? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next. We’ll see ya real soon 🙂

IS WDW STRUGGLING TO FILL ROOMS THIS SUMMER?!

IS WDW STRUGGLING TO FILL ROOMS THIS SUMMER?!

Within the past two weeks (keep in mind – its January), Disney has surprised fans and travel planners by releasing discounts, free dining, and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party tickets. Yes – Halloween tickets. Released. In January. The release of these things may not come as a shock to you, but the timing of these releases says a lot. Is Disney struggling to fill guest rooms this summer?

Let’s backtrack for a second and talk about some background information…

Free dining. Disney releases free dining deals every year. Usually, these free dining deals are released around mid-April, when Disney sees where it’s “weak spots” are in reservations. In the past, guests would receive a free Quick-Service Dining Plan or Disney Dining Plan to guests staying in certain resorts. They were also set, in the past, for times during Disney’s slower periods – usually the beginning of the school year, the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and early December. To get the free dining package, guests would be required to book a room at rack rate with a ticket package.

Room-only discounts. Also during slower times, Disney would release room-only discounts for Florida residents, Annual Passholders, and other guests planning to visit the resorts. Guests would be able to add on tickets and dining to these discounts, but at full price. These discounts would be for select resorts as well, and would range in percentages based on the resort.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Even though the Halloween party starts ridiculously early (mid-August), Disney would hold off on releasing the dates and tickets for this event until at least March or April. The dates of the party would range from August to October, and vary in price depending on the date as well as the day of the week the party fell on.

Now that we covered some background information, let’s take a closer look at 2019. Last week, I released a blog post about 19 Things Coming to WDW in 2019. The biggest item on that list, and what most people are looking forward to, is the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For those of you living under a rock, this is a Star Wars themed land set to open in Hollywood Studios in “late Fall 2019”.Aside from this much anticipated land opening, Fall 2019 and later in the year will bring many other attractions and openings, which you can read all about here: 19 THINGS COMING TO WDW IN 2019!

Now, you might be asking “How is any of this connected?” or “Why are all of these early releases a big deal?” and I have one theory – Disney is hurting for guests during [what is usually] their busiest time of year.

Now, here are the issues with these early releases.

Free dining 2019. The free dining deal that was released much earlier than it has been in recent years is for stays during summer 2019. As mentioned above, Disney releases free dining deals during their slower periods to try and reign in more guests.

Room-only discounts. Now don’t get me wrong, Disney has released room-only discounts in the summer in previous years. However, the discounts available for resorts during summer 2019 are reaching extremely low prices. So low, in fact, that for a stay at the Grand Floridian mid-June, I found a price for $410/night – that’s over $200 less than rack rate for Disney’s flagship resort.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets. I mean, Halloween party tickets released in January.

So, finally, this brings me to my point. Disney has to be hurting to fill rooms in the summer. The summer used to be one of the worst times to visit the parks due to the extreme heat and the overwhelming crowds. However, it was the best time for families to visit due to summer vacations, so people would go regardless. They would never release crazy room discounts or free dining plans, simply because they didn’t need to. People would come regardless of the deals that were available to them.

In my opinion, it is pretty evident that the future opening of Galaxy’s Edge has a large part in these low crowds. This land has been highly anticipate for years, which makes it no surprise that people seem to be holding out their vacations for “late fall”, which is when the land is expected to open. Pair that opening with the fact that fall is a wonderful time to visit the parks due to the weather, the Food and Wine festival in EPCOT running, and the various holidays and parties that come with them – why not hold out until the fall?

Another factor to these discounts being released, and what I theorize as the possible low bookings in WDW, is Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. Disneyland and WDW are opening identical lands, but Disneyland’s opens in summer 2019. It could be possible that people are heading out west for their summer vacations to experience this land instead of waiting until the fall. Regardless, it still means less bookings here in Florida.

What do you think – Is WDW hurting for bookings in the summer? Free dining deals, extreme room-only discounts, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are huge draws for many regulars to the parks, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that Disney is pulling out the “big guns” to try and fill rooms. I’ll be interested to see the crowd levels this summer compared to recent years as well as this fall!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get notified of any future posts. See ya real soon 😉

19 THINGS COMING TO WDW IN 2019!

19 THINGS COMING TO WDW IN 2019!

Although I still can’t believe 2019 is here, we are already a few weeks in. 2019 has been such an anticipated year for the Disney parks, with no exception to WDW itself. Besides the much anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there are a ton of new happenings set for WDW.

Below are 19 new things coming to WDW in 2019 including attractions, lands, restaurants, resorts, and more. As you can expect, with all of these new openings will come heavy, heavy crowds – especially in fall and there after. So, if you’re heading to WDW in 2019, here are some things you can expect!

Magic Kingdom

1. Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration: Last November, Mickey celebrated his 90th birthday. A celebration of this milestone is heading to WDW running January 18 through September 30th. As part of the celebration, guests can expect a new dance party as well as fun and unique food and merchandise offerings.

Hollywood Studios

2. Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Celebration: Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and with it is bringing some much anticipated attractions and events! The celebration will begin May 30th, with several openings to follow.

3. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Probably the most anticipated land to open since its announcement at D23 in 2017, Galaxy’s Edge is almost here. Although we don’t have an exact opening date yet, Disney has announced guests can expect to explore the immersive new land in “late fall”. Below are the new attractions and eateries that will be opening with the park. (There is a very immersive hotel opening attached to the land, but it is not anticipated to open until 2020-2021.)

4. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: On this attraction, guests will be in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. It seems as though there will be a larger-than-life animatronic of Kylo Ren that the ride vehicle will face during the ride. This is the most anticipated attraction in the land!

5. Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run: In an attraction that seems to be a mixture of Mission: Space and Star Tours, guests will be put into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon and work together as a team to navigate the ship.

6. Oga’s Cantina: If you’ve seen the movies in the Star Wars franchise, then Oga’s Cantina  may sound familiar with you. Guests will be able to enter the cantina for eats and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) while being served by characters in the galaxy. This dining experience is sure to be very immersive and a great addition to the park.

7. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: The first ever Mickey and Minnie themed attraction is finally making its way into the Disney parks, taking place of the beloved Great Movie Ride in the Chinese Theater. Guests will hop on Goofy’s locomotive to head to the premier of a new Mickey short-movie in this “2-and-a-half-D” attraction. It is anticipated to open fall 2019.

8. Pixar Place Reimagined to Municiberg: Starting January 18, Pixar Place (which used to be the home to all things Toy Story before the opening of the new land) will be transformed into Municiberg and taken over by the Incredibles! Guests will be offered new meet-and-greet opportunities with Frozone, Mr. Incredible, and even Edna Mode! There will also be a Jack Jack themed scavenger hunt in the alley.

9. Lightning McQueen’s Racing  Academy: Set to open “early 2019”, Lightning McQueen will be putting on a show for guests near Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Along with friends Tow Mater and Cruz Ramirez, McQueen is set to show his fans all about what he’s learned as a racer.

10. Wonderful World of Animation: Lastly, in celebration of 90 years of Mickey, guests can expect a new nighttime spectacular projected on the Chinese theater. The show is set to open May 2019, and will likely replace the current nighttime show Movie Magic. The show will feature lazers and state-of-the-art projections to celebrate 90 years of Disney animation.

EPCOT

11. EPCOT Forever: This new (and temporary) nighttime spectacular is set to begin when Illuminations: Reflections of Earth ends in fall 2019. The show will include lazers, kites, fireworks, and special music and lighting effects. As mentioned, the show will be temporary, and will end when the new permanent nighttime spectacular beings in 2020, A Celebration of Disney Music.

12. Beauty and the Beast Sing Along: In the France pavilion, guests will find a new IP attraction themed to the beloved Beauty and the Beast. The show is being designed with help from Don Hahn, who produced both the animated and live action versions of Beauty and the Beast. As of now, there is no opening date announced.

13. Signature Dining Experience in Japan: Although there is no name to this restaurant or opening date announced, construction is well underway and it is assumed further details will be announced any time now. The new restaurant will be signature dining, which means it will require two credits on the Disney Dining plan.

Disney Springs

14. City Works Eatery and Pour House: Set to open 2019 comes another restaurant and bar in Disney Springs. The Pour House will feature craft beer and American eats, and will offer many screens to watch sporting events including a 165″ television.

15. Jaleo by Jose Andres: This two-story, Spanish style restaurant is set to open winter 2019. Uniquely inspired by an artichoke (yes, an artichoke), the building is set to have no solid walls, and will be completely open to the outside. This table-service restaurant will be considered signature dining, which means it will be a bit pricey and two credits on a DDP.

16. NBA Experience: This is what my fiance is most excited about coming in summer 2019, and a place I know we will spend many, many evenings at in the future. This immersive experience will invite guests into a replica of an NBA arena. Along with dining options, guests can explore a media room and a locker room, partake in a Combine, and a dunk-contest as well as other games and challenges. Construction has been under way for over a year now and this place looks huge, so I am sure it will not disappoint any basketball fans that pay it a visit.

Disney Resorts

17. Disney Skyliner: The new gondola-style mode of transportation is set to open in fall 2019. The new transportation system will connect parks EPCOT and Hollywood Studios to Pop Century, Art of Animation, and Carribean Beach resorts as well as the new Riviera Resort. Although highly anticipated, there are several questions surrounding this system that we won’t have answers to when it opens including – are they air conditioned? What will happen/how will they run (or not run) during rain and thunder/lightning storms? I guess we will wait and see how this pans out when it finally opens!

18. Disney’s Riviera Resort: A new DVC resort is set to open in Fall 2019 – just in time for Galaxy’s Edge! The resort is themed based on Walt’s visits to the European Mediterranean coastline, which sounds beautiful. The resort will hold about 300 units of various types including DVC as well as standard rooms and everything in between.

19. Coronado Springs: Grand Destino Tower and Hotel Expansion: Disney is adding so much to this convention resort that I had to include it in the “new” happenings in 2019. The biggest addition is the 15-story Grand Destino Tower set in the middle of the resort including 545 new guest rooms. The tower is set to open July 2019, and is already taking reservations. Along with the new tower came a rehab of the guest rooms in the rest of the resorts, along with a new table service restaurant.

And, there you have it! 19 new things coming to WDW in 2019. Believe it or not, there is even more coming including the reopening of Rafiki’s Planet Watch, a new dance party in MK, a Lion King celebration in honor of it’s 25th anniversary, and more. It will be a crazy and exciting year for the parks, but also a busy one. Be sure to plan your trips smart, and expect it to be a little crazy – especially toward the end of the year!

Thanks for reading! As always, be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified of any new posts. Hope you enjoyed today’s post, see ya real soon 😉