Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:14 pm
Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:05 pm
As previously mentioned in this post, Star Wars Weekends – one of the most popular month-long events at Walt Disney World Resort – returns to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios galaxy in May and June this year. Today, we’d like to announce two of the talented Star Wars stars that will serve in Celebrity Host roles this year. They are both Star Wars Weekends veterans, so we’re especially excited to welcome them back again.
Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor – who provide the voices of Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, for the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – will join us for the duration of the 2012 event in their host roles.
James is the Official Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2012, and Ashley is Celebrity Host of “Behind the Force,” a show that gives fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
One of the most versatile voice actors today, James not only is famous for the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but many other popular characters from films, television, advertising and video games. He’s the current voice of everyone’s favorite resident of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone, and has a list of character voice credits including Green Arrow, Johnny Test and Ratchet (from the “Ratchet & Clank” video game series), just to name a few.
Ashley, who provides the voice of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s eager Padawan learner, is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She practically grew up (literally) in the middle of the magic. Her father was a longtime Disney Parks cast member and her first plunge in show business was as a parade dancer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s full circle for Ashley; little did she know that the street (Hollywood Blvd.) where she performed in daily parades would someday be the same street where she’d be center stage as one of the featured celebrities in Star Wars Weekends motorcades. In the time since Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted, Ashley also has become a fashion designer and head of her own company, “Her Universe,” that specializes in merchandise and apparel specifically for female sci-fi fans. Look for some of her latest Star Wars-inspired designs this year during Star Wars Weekends.
We’re excited to once again welcome James and Ashley, who entertained Star Wars Weekends audiences last year in their Celebrity Hosts roles, back for another year of galactic fun. We hope you’ll join us!
Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates about the event, special activities and the rest of the Star Wars celebrities that will make appearances each weekend.
Following the post earlier in the week about the return of James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano – Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Celebrity Hosts for Star Wars Weekends, we received a new transmission from an R2 unit that reveals more Star Wars celebrities scheduled to appear this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. The annual event takes place each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.
With Donald Duck doing his best Darth Maul impression in the 2012 event logo, seen here, Star Wars Weekends 2012 will welcome several celebrities from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace for the Force-filled fun. In fact, Donald will have the chance to meet Ray Park, the action star who portrayed Darth Maul, during an extended engagement. Ray (pictured below) is scheduled to appear in both Weekends I and II.
Another 2012 highlight: keep a sharp eye during Weekend IV when bounty hunters — a favorite among many fans — take center stage in their very own weekend (doesn’t that seem appropriate, considering Star Wars bounty hunters generally work on their own anyway?). As an added surprise, Weekend IV will be a “Bonus Boba” weekend! Both actors who portrayed laconic enforcer Boba Fett in the saga — Jeremy Bulloch and Daniel Logan — will appear during the event’s closing weekend.
Each weekend will also feature a visiting celebrity voice actor from the popular animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Here’s the scheduled celebrity lineup for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (subject to change):
Weekend I (May 18 – 20)
Weekend II (May 25- 27)
- Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Weekend III (June 1 -3)
- Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Weekend IV (June 8- 10)
- Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- (Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice talent – currently TBD)
- Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
- Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
- Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
- Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
While most daily events are still being scheduled, we have received a few additional news of note and tips for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (all activities & entertainment subject to change):
That’s the latest for now. Keep checking back as we confirm more scheduled activities for Star Wars Weekends 2012. Do you have any special memories of past Star Wars Weekends or of any of the celebrities that will attend this year? If so, please share in the comments.
- “Hyperspace Hoopla”: This high-energy, one-of-a-kind show is a chance to see some of the famed Star Wars characters performing like never before. It will take place on a stage in front of the Sorcerer Mickey hat on Hollywood Blvd., and is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. each event evening.
- Autograph Opportunities: As always, there is no additional charge for the celebrity autograph sessions at Star Wars Weekends. The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-type system. The meet-and-greet session/autograph opportunities are extremely limited, so guests need to arrive early to receive a FASTPASS. Please refer to this link, which will take you to the official Star Wars Weekends event page on DisneyWorld.com. There, you’ll find more detailed information under “Celebrity Autographs.”
- Star-Studded Event: Keep in mind, autograph opportunities are not the only place to see the celebrities. Star Wars stars take part in fun throughout the day in Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations, the gala “Legends of the Force” parade and more.
Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:36 am
With a new chef who professes that her three favorite spices are “garlic, garlic and garlic,” Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is worth a visit to try some of the newest tastes on the menu.
Chef Beatriz Candelario most recently was chef at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and has been cooking in Walt Disney World Resort restaurants for 15 years. The new Mama Melrose seafood cioppino, created by the kitchen team with Chef Bea’s leadership, is a great example of her love of Mediterranean dishes, a mélange of fresh clams, shrimp, calamari and mussels tossed with fregola pasta in a light tomato broth. The team’s rendition of pork Milanese comes with roasted fingerling potatoes and pancetta vinaigrette – a genuine taste of rustic Italy.
Gnocchi fans will want to try Mama Melrose’s hand-rolled version of the little Italian soft dumplings with seasonal vegetables in a basil pesto, a true Italian comfort food.
Save room for the cool, dreamy tiramisù semifreddo with layers of buttery mascarpone, ladyfingers, and Marsala wine with coffee sauce. “Semifreddo” is Italian for “half cold,” and this luscious dessert is even more delicious than the gooey classic version of tiramisù.
A solid wine list, beer and specialty cocktails make Mama Melrose’s an extra-special spot for lunch or dinner (one entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan). And you also can book the Fantasmic! Meal Package to receive designated seating during the spectacular nighttime show.
Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:44 am
With a new chef who professes that her three favorite spices are “garlic, garlic and garlic,”
Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48 am
Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:42 pm
Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:12 pm
A little while ago, I gave you a peek at some Star Wars Weekends merchandise. Today, I have selected a few of my favorite items coming soon to “Darth’s Mall,” a massive shopping location we’re creating just for Star Wars Weekends.
The striking image of Donald Duck as Darth Maul is a common thread throughout the entire assortment. The artwork above will be used on the two main logo shirts. We will also have shirts with images of Darth Maul from Episode I, including a stunning Passholder exclusive shirt in both men’s and women’s styles. I spent hours around the office, however, wearing one of the best shirts this year — a tee shirt with an image of Darth Vader’s chest, complete with a flowing, detachable cape.
Similar to previous years, there will be open and limited-edition pins, boxed pin sets and a framed pin set. I enjoy the humor found in the “Piece of Death Star” pin (there is not an actual piece, but one can dream). I also like the Chewbacca-inspired, bandolier neck lanyard.
In the Vinylmation galaxy, Maria Clapsis designed six new open edition figures that feature Disney characters portraying Star Wars characters. If you are looking for the second limited release mystery series, you will have to wait until August (trust me, it will be worth it!).
There is a beach towel that looks like the legs of a Jedi Knight (awesome!). There will also be an iPhone 4/4S case, with the fitting edition size of 1,999.
One of the more unique items is an oversized bag that contains a special side pocket to carry either a poster tube (or perhaps a lightsaber!). I also thought the six different phrase buttons were a nice addition this year. Yet I can’t wait to get my Star Tours nametag with my name written in Aurebesh, one of the alphabets used in the Star Wars galaxy.
Finally, we will have three unique action figures including Donald Duck playing Darth Maul and Savage Opress, Darth Maul’s powerful brother from the planet of Dathomir. Savage Opress, who was once also Count Dooku’s secret Sith apprentice, is featured in the animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Also, look for the limited release figure of Rizzo from The Muppets, portraying Jedi Master Yoda.
Tue May 01, 2012 8:40 am
You Don’t Know Jack...Yet
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will immerse Guests in a pirate world.
Opening this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow has elicited something of a legend of its own. The word around the Parks is that this mysterious new attraction will be a first-of-its-kind sensory experience in which Guests will have the chance to be enveloped by the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean® as seen in the four feature films. Sounds intriguing.
To find out more, we had a chance for a friendly “parley” with Jason Roberts, Walt Disney Imagineering Project Manager and Show Producer for the new attraction. “This is going to be an immersive experience,” Jason told us. “We’ll really delve into the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and put our Guests in the middle of it all in new and exciting ways.
“Story is always the most important thing for us at Walt Disney Imagineering,” Jason continued.
“But we’re always looking at new ways to tell the story that our Guests have never seen before. In this attraction, we’ll let you walk in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow. “It’s not ‘the making of’, not ‘behind the scenes’...it is really a first- person experience.”
Jason wouldn’t divulge any of the state-of-the-art special effect trickery used in the attraction, but he did assure us that the attraction is certain to elicit a “Wow! How’d they do that?” from our Guests.
A long-time fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and films, Jason was delighted at his shot to work on the attraction. “We worked with the archives as well as the filmmakers while they were shooting the last movie,” Jason said. “And as a fan, I just loved sitting through those films again and again, going through all the details and leveraging them for this new experience. It’s really been a blast.”
Earlier this week, you may have heard about a new pirate-themed offering coming to Walt Disney World Resort. Well, we can now officially confirm that The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will open this fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Details are still emerging, but the attraction will give guests a chance to become immersed in the world of the four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, and an opening date will be announced later this year.
According to Jason Roberts, show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, “This is going to be an immersive experience. We’ll really delve into the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and put our guests in the middle of it all in new and exciting ways. Story is always the most important thing for us at Walt Disney Imagineering, but we’re always looking at new ways to tell the story that our guests have never seen before. In this attraction, we’ll let you walk in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow. It’s not ‘the making of,’ not ‘behind the scenes’ … it is really a first-person experience. We worked with the archives as well as the filmmakers while they were shooting the last movie. And as a fan, I just loved sitting through those films again and again, going through all the details and leveraging them for this new experience. It’s really been a blast.”
Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for updates on this and other new projects.
Wed May 02, 2012 7:44 am
Wed May 02, 2012 8:04 am