Hi, Everyone! I’m very happy to announce this new weekly article bringing you the best of Disney and what to expect in the week ahead. Since this is new, please let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see added. We’re always really happy to hear your feedback. Now, let’s get started with a look at the best week ever!
The Star Wars Weekends event continues to be popular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but last weekend wasn’t as crowded as expected. I’ve heard rumors that this was because cast member passes were blacked out. In any case, it was nice to see the streets not quite so packed!
If you can believe it, the above photo was taken about an hour before A Conversation With Mark Hamill. I was lucky enough to get a last minute FastPass+ to be in the theater for this event! My best tip for FastPass+ is to not give up. If you’re persistent, most attractions open up eventually. Less than two hours before show time I was able to get a FastPass+ to see Mark Hamill after trying for a week! I encountered a bit of the dark side along the way….
I love the mix of Darth Vader and stroller parking! Since I knew so many of our readers would be interested in Mark Hamill’s show, I took video of the entire thing. It’s a little shaky, so please forgive me. Overall, the show was excellent, and every person in that theater was so excited to be there!
After the show I stopped by to check out the refreshments. (For reporting purposes only, of course.) While everything looks great, it was way too hot to try anything. Maybe that’s why the line was short here while all character meet and greets had lines easily over 30 minutes.
Refreshments are also available inside Darth’s Mall. This Star Wars Weekends shopping area continues to be packed all day long, and it’s filled to the brim with all things Star Wars. Not only are there all sorts of souvenirs, but also customizable phone cases, car decals, custom action figures, and tons of limited edition merchandise. Disney also moved the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet into this building, which is nice considering it gets such a long line.
Dispelling the mindset that nothing is free at Disney is this little Lego X Wing Fighter. These are free to build and take home. All you have to do is wait in line to get yours.
Finally, I also filmed Symphony in the Stars from my favorite spot in the park for you. I really miss the days when there were nightly fireworks at the Studios. I love Fantasmic!, but it just isn’t the same. Now also seems like a good time to mention that my YouTube “channel” is just to link stuff to these blogs. For all the latest information, you should subscribe to the TouringPlans Channel:
Shifting gears over to Downtown Disney, the Marketplace Co-op opened its doors last week. From the moment this was announced online I was really excited to see it open. The mix of merchandise seemed like Disney was listening to what fans want. Now that it’s open, I can tell you it doesn’t disappoint!
Stepping inside you can see that not a ton of work was done to the building, itself, but rather it was just sectioned off into smaller retail booths. D-Tech on Demand is not pictured here, but you know what it looks like if you’ve seen any of the D-Tech displays in the parks. The highlight of this shop are is that custom phone cases are available for Galaxy SG3, SG4, and iPhone 4/5 models.
Beautifully Disney offers the latest Disney themed makeup, but also popular beauty items available in the parks. Notably available is Laila fragrance, which is wildly popular in the Norway section of Epcot. The Trophy Room,not pictured, was my hubby’s favorite shop. It hosts old fashioned sports apparel that most men will find drool worthy.
Zoey and Pickles was a surprisingly cute store! Though the merchandise is all for teens and tweens, I was left wishing I could fit into half the stuff. Just next door, Cherry Tree Lane is more geared towards adults with high end handbags, jewelry, and scarves.
Disney Centerpiece is the crowned jewel of this new shopping spot. It has enough gorgeous and unique Disney Parks merchandise to bankrupt any good Disney fan. There is no way I could picture it all here, but you’ll have to check it out on your next trip!
One sneak peek to dream about, how about an entire display devoted to Orange Bird? Even better, a lot of the items in Disney Centerpiece are practical things that you can use in your home. Somehow, it seems more justified to buy Disney swag you can actually use rather than just display.
My last updates for this week are from the Magic Kingdom, where I finally got to meet Tinker Bell in her new location on Main Street. Stepping inside, you first have to get a little pixie dust:
Once inside, the new location looks great. I also have a huge compliment to pay Tinker Bell. It can be uncomfortable to meet characters as an adult alone at the parks, but she was so nice! I left my meet and greet with a big smile. If only all characters were as lovely at Tink!
I also had to stop by to visit Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Astro Orbiter. Sadly, while they are under refurbishment there’s a big crane sitting smack in the middle of Tomorrowland. It’s an eyesore, but the rides need the work. If you’d like to see all the latest refurbishment information, check it out here.
That’s your news from around the world last week. If you’re heading to Disney World next week, here’s a look at what you can expect:
Weather: More evidence of summer here, as you’ll need to be prepared for every kind of weather. Expect blistering sun with high in the 90’s and afternoon showers. Be sure to pack the sun screen, ponchos, and extra socks. Now might be a good time to make a rain plan.
Upcoming Events this week include the Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney on June 14 & 15. This lively event features tons of cars, street vendors, and the Cars movies playing at AMC Downtown Disney 24.
The Sounds Like Summer Concert series continues at Epcot next week with nightly concerts at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm.
Don’t forget: It’s Tough To Be A Bug! at Animal Kingdom will be going under refurbishment July 7, 2014, giving you just under a month to stop by to see it before it closes.
Lastly, here’s my top tip for next week. If you’ll be driving to Disney World, try to take a spin down World Drive around 9:45pm for the best view of the Symphony in the Stars fireworks. I caught this view by accident last week, and it’s better than any view in the park!
Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!