Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Chewie, We’re Home!

“Chewie, we’re home!” – Han Solo

Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

You’ll soon be able to live movie magic and explore the world of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

A highlight of this new land is the Millennium Falcon where you can climb aboard and operate “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” when it opens tomorrow, May 31, 2019 at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland® Park (and later this year in The Walt Disney World in Florida).*

Combining immersive storytelling with interactive gameplay, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run makes you the protagonist of your own Star Wars adventure in a way never before undertaken by Disney Parks.

Following the story line of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you’ll enter the story after Chewbacca brings the Falcon to Black Spire Outpost for repairs at this spaceport on the edge of the galaxy, where in exchange for some much-needed replacement parts, Chewie is loaning the Falcon to Hondo Ohnaka, a smuggler turned “legitimate” businessman, who is now making good use of the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, guests will take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy. (Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)

When it’s time for your mission to begin, you’ll strap yourself into the Falcon cockpit along with 5 friends, where you’ll each be assigned one of three critical roles: Pilots, Gunners and Flight Engineers.

Disney Parks Blog recently had the opportunity to tour this incredible new attraction with Asa Kalama, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering. Let’s take a look!

This new, immersive land promises to be filled with character the likes of which we have never seen!

Visit us at www.vacationswithcharacter.com for more information or to book your next amazing adventure and be among the first to take control of the Falcon!! #NowMoreThanEver it’s a great time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort!

*Reservations required to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge from May 31 to June 23 at Disneyland Park in California. Theme parks, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.

10 Great Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World This Year!

Spring is in full bloom, but we’ve got some great reasons why you should visit Walt Disney World Resort later this year, courtesy of Disney Travel News! Be sure to read all the way through our blog for all of the details to see why #NowMoreThanEver it’s a great time to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of!

Star Wars new entry, Epcot Food and Wine Group, River's of Light artwork, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party rendering
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

1. New Fireworks Show for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on 36 select nights from Aug. 16-Nov. 1, 2019. This year, the specially ticketed event will include a new Halloween-themed nighttime show featuring state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. The show will take you along for a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house.

Young adults enjoying Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

2. Record Number of Days Set for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

This Epcot® celebration of cuisine, music and more takes place Aug. 29-Nov. 23, 2019 – a record 87 days. During this foodie festival, the park will brim with marketplaces, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and much more.

Epcot Forever rendering
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

3. Last Call for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” as “Epcot Forever” Debuts Oct. 1

For nearly 20 years, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has entertained millions as the nighttime spectacular that has brought each day at Epcot to a thrilling close. Guests have marveled as World Showcase lagoon has come to life with fireworks, fountains and lasers paying homage to the joyful story of humanity and the remarkable achievements of our time. The show’s final night will be Sept. 30, 2019 to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” debuting Oct. 1, 2019. This new show will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot featuring fireworks, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites accompanied by a stirring collection of songs celebrating Epcot.

NBA Experience rendering of basketball game
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

4. Bounce into Fall at Disney Springs with NBA Experience and Special Seasonal Offerings

Basketball is officially “in season” this fall after NBA Experience holds a championship-worthy grand opening Aug. 12, 2019 at Disney Springs®. When you step into this re-creation of a modern NBA arena, you’ll feel what it’s like to be a basketball superstar through 13 unique interactive and hands-on experiences where Disney magic merges with the thrills of the NBA and WNBA.

The fall season is also a great time to enjoy entertainment and shopping at Disney Springs. Colorful backdrops will make great seasonal photos for the entire family, while new fall looks will be available in shops, including Halloween costumes for kids and clothing for adults featuring their favorite Disney characters.

Clients inside of a spaceship as they fly at lightspeed
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

5. Make the Jump to Lightspeed in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

On the heels of its Aug. 29, 2019 grand opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® gives you the chance this fall to live your  own Star Wars stories. While visiting the land, stop for a drink at Oga’s Cantina or discover rare artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other immersive experiences. The groundbreaking attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will give Guests control of the iconic spacecraft as the ship hurtles through space on a smuggling mission.

(Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.)

Skyliner Buckets in the air near Hollywood Studios
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

6. Disney Skyliner Takes Flight

A new mode of transportation will float through the air around Walt Disney World this fall when Disney Skyliner, a state-of-the-art gondola system, begins gliding across the sky. Disney Skyliner will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort (planned to open in mid-December). Select gondolas have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior designs to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with you. Disney Skyliner will offer a new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky.

Rivers of Light rendering
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lights Up at Night

As the sun sets earlier and earlier this fall, “Rivers of Light: We Are One” will come to life on Discovery River in Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. This nighttime show includes dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animation.

Photo of new Grand Destino Resort
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

8. Disney Resort Hotels Have Plenty New to Explore

To welcome fall travelers, there’s always something new at Disney resort hotels. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will greet guests with its new 15-story Gran Destino tower (opening this summer), adding 500-plus guestrooms – including suites and concierge-level services – and crowned by a rooftop restaurant. New waterfront dining and a retail shopping area have come to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, while a mid-December opening is planned for Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera.

Mickey topiary near entrance to Epcot
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

9. 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Marks 10-Year Milestone

This fall’s runDisney race season is a delectable celebration 10 years in the making as the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2019. Filled with a delicious slate of events and Disney magic along every mile, this year’s event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races. During this year’s Disney Fall Feast 5K, you can run, jog or walk your way around Epcot for the first time during this fall event. At the Nov. 3, 2019 post-race party, enjoy after-hours access to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including marketplaces and select Epcot attractions.

And lastly, drum roll please….

Space Theme restaurant rendering
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

10. 2019 Entry Into a New Space-Themed Restaurant Coming to Epcot® at Walt Disney World® Resort

That’s right, the new table-service experience will open later this year adjacent to the Mission: SPACE attraction! No dining experience on Earth can match what’s in store, because this new restaurant will take you into outer space for incredible dining experiences that are “out of this world.”

Patina Restaurant Group will operate the new restaurant, and they’ve developed a menu that features internationally-inspired cuisine, more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer.

Visit us at www.vacationswithcharacter.com for more information or to book your next magical adventure! #NowMoreThanEver it’s a great time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Extra Magic Hours To Include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and More!

There is nothing like staying on property in a Walt Disney Resort Hotel! The grounds are gorgeous, the hotels and restaurants are amazing, your travels are carefree, and you can really leave the world behind within the 47 square miles of this magical place!

A drawing of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge new theme land
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations

Not only this, guests who stay in a Walt Disney World resort or a *participating hotel also receive extra benefits not available to anyone else such as:

  • Free transportation between the airport and your resort via Disney’s Magical Express plush motor coaches
  • Free MagicBands
  • Free complimentary transportation between resorts, theme parks, and Disney Springs
  • The ability to add a Disney Dining Plan
  • Resort room charging privileges
  • Resort Package Delivery
  • Ability to book FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance – well before the general public
  • Discounts to stores and select restaurants
  • Magical Extras
  • Extra Magic Hours

All of these benefits are wonderful in their own ways and make for an extra special and stress-free vacation, however, when you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy select attractions in at least one of the 4 theme parks, before or after regular operating hours. While not all Walt Disney World attractions are available with the Extra Magic Hours benefit, most of the popular attractions are, and we are excited to share Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be included — along with expanded offerings that will be called Extra, Extra Magic Hours.

The Extra, Extra Magic Hours benefit will include expanded daily offerings at three of the theme parks, which includes more time to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as other experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom theme parks.

**Here’s the rundown:

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Daily from Sept. 1-Nov. 2, the park will have Extra, Extra Magic Hours from 6-9 a.m., including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, plus Toy Story Land attractions and select other attractions. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.

(Please note that on Aug. 29-31, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 6 a.m. for all Guests. There will not be Extra, Extra Magic Hours on those days.)   

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park — Extra, Extra Magic Hours will happen daily from Aug. 29-Nov. 2, from 7-8 a.m., featuring Pandora – The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park
  • Magic Kingdom Park —Extra, Extra Magic Hours will happen daily from Aug. 29-Nov. 2, from 7-8 a.m., featuring favorite attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland

If Epcot if your favorite park, don’t worry! Extra Magic Hours will also continue to be available on select days there as well.

If you are visiting this fall, you should know that the Extra, Extra Magic Hours benefit at the Walt Disney World Resort requires a valid theme park admission and hotel ID.  Guests without the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option must spend the day at the same park where they’d like to enjoy the Extra, Extra Magic Hours benefit.

There’s never been a better time to book your vacation to Walt Disney World! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Travel Professionals for a free quote or to book…and let the planning begin!

Vacations with Character® is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

#NowMoreThanEver #VacationsWithCharacter

*The Extra Magic Hours benefit applies to Disney Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Shades of Green® Resort, Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

**Applicable theme park, days and times of operation, attraction and service availability may vary and are subject to change without notice. Subject to capacity and cancellation.