Disney plans a ‘significant’ Star Wars presence in parks. The first plans will be revealed next year.
Rumor: Disney’s Indiana Jones stunt show closing to make room for more Star Wars. Construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is apparently expected to begin in 2015. They’re also closing the American Idol Experience (there was a American Idol Experience? Gag.) to make room for this same project. An announcement is expected “in the coming weeks/months.”
Yesterday brought the picture, today a video.
Mark Hamill wields a lightsaber again at Disney World. You’re welcome, Luklovers.
Disneyland is hosting a Star Wars half marathon in January. Registration opens on June 10.
Mark Hamill will be attending his first Star Wars Weekend this year, Disney Parks announced today. He’ll be at Disney World June 6-8, or Weekend IV.
That seems like it could be right smack in the middle of Episode VII filming, so naturally the speculation has ramped up, confirmation or no confirmation. What does this say about his (presumed) shooting schedule? Could the details waiting to be revealed be waiting on casting announcements? So much buzzing, I’m getting a headache.
One thing is for sure: Lucasfilm and Disney can probably afford the airfare between London and Orlando, or Orlando and anywhere else. (We can say one thing: Hamill recorded a live podcast in Los Angeles on Tuesday.)
Our most popular post by far this week has been the one on the issue of Expanded Universe costumers and the Star Wars Weekends parade at Disney World. There have been a number of updates over several days, but nothing truly definitive enough to start a fresh post with… Check in now to make sure you’re up to date!
Word on the streets (well, the message boards) is that Disney has told the 501st and Rebel Legions that certain Expanded Universe characters are “not being allowed to march” in the Star Wars Weekend Motorcade. The only character we know for sure at this time is Mara Jade, but it’s easy to guess at several others from there. Nanci Tosche Station has thoughts.
One big question: Would this apply to characters from other eras who haven’t crossed over into tv or movies, like the Old Republic, or does it only affect post-Return of the Jedi characters who may in the path of the sequels?
Although this means certain costumers (including quite a few women) will no longer be able to march in the official parade, certain means of quiet protest have been suggested: Attendees can still dress in costumes or don EU character shirts.
UPDATE: TFN’s Eric Geller reached out the Lucasfilm on this, and they told him “that neither Disney nor LFL ordered a prohibition on EU characters in the SW Weekends parade.” Tosche Station maintains they’ve heard otherwise from 501st members, although no one is yet sure how high at Disney the orders may come from.
UPDATE #2: More explanation…
Time to start planning your summer vacation around Star Wars! Walt Disney World has announced the 2014 schedule of Star Wars Weekends, including the expansion to a fifth weekend and the addition of nightly fireworks.
Held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Weekends (each Fri-Sun from mid-May to mid-June) will be hosted by fan favorite voice actor James Arnold Taylor. This year’s theme, “Join the Rebellion,” looks to loosely tie into the launch of Rebels.
Sadly, Dunc’s favorite part of Star Wars Weekends will not be returning – the Hyperspace Hoopla show has been retired. The Star Wars dance-off stage show has done its last boogie and will be replaced with new shows and the Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. No word yet on whether Disney World will be doing a May the 4th event.
Planning out the rest of your travel itinerary?
- Legoland California in Carlsbad is having its annual Star Wars Days on the last weekend of March. No word yet on whether Legoland Florida will have its own Star Wars Days, which it first started at the Winter Haven park last year for May the 4th.
- Star Wars Identities, the traveling museum exhibition using Star Wars saga to explore the notion of identity, has just started its tour stop at the CITÉ DU CINEMA in Paris, and will continue to June 30, 2014.
- Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, the traveling museum exhibition linking real world archaeology to our favorite adventurer, is back in 2014, with its second US stop, at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, from March 8 to August 10, and then it will spend the winter in Canada at the Telus World of Science Edmonton from October 11 to March 8, 2015.
- Want some Star Trek instead? io9 shows off theme park concept art for a Star Trek themed land that will open at Paramount Park Murcia (Spain) at the end of 2015, with a Starfleet Academy / Federation headquarters design. Start saving up your latinum for the trip to southeast Spain!
As we’ve been reporting, the makeover of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland with a new Star Wars spaceport feel has another step forward, but only a small step. MiceAge, which has been the primary source of Disneyland expansion rumors, has reported that the “first phase of the Star Wars makeover of Tomorrowland did get the green light from Burbank in December.”
However, they go on to report that the first phase, of re-doing the front half of the Anaheim’s Tomorrowland area as a Star Wars-themed spaceport, as well as the second phase of creating a bunch of new attractions for a Star Wars land, might be on hold due to funding, and that on-hold state has allowed the design team to switch from just original trilogy elements to incorporating things from Episode VII:
The Imagineers assigned to the Star Wars Tomorrowland project have now been debriefed on the characters and plotlines coming for Star Wars Episode VII that opens in theaters in about two years. …. Those key [original trilogy based] attractions are all still part of phase two, but they are being layered or tweaked to include references from Episode VII that will be released in theaters at least 18 months before any of those attractions open.
As for bringing more Star Wars to Orlando? The word is that it “appears to be simply cancelled for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”
With Episode VII scheduled to open December 2015, that “at least 18 month” timeframe puts into June 2017 or later.