Walt Disney World

Dateline Disney - May-June 2008
In This Edition:
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios: Grab those lightsabers and get ready for Star Wars Weekends; Twilight Zone™Tower of Terror named "Best Ride in America"
  • Epcot: Flower & Garden Festival brings even more fun in the sun; Groove with favorite tribute bands during the Sounds Like Summer concert series
  • Magic Kingdom: Seven more nights of swashbuckling pirates and pretty princesses during Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party in May-June
  • Disney's Wide World of Sports: Women rule during Minnie Marathon Weekend
    The Power of the Force is with Disney's Hollywood Studios Each Weekend in June during Star Wars Weekends

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Guests of all ages can get into the Star Wars spirit during Star Wars Weekends, a family-friendly fan-fest scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays June 6-29 at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

    With the Star Tours thrill attraction serving as the centerpiece of the celebration, the event fills Disney's Hollywood Studios with more than 50 Star Wars characters from the entire saga, including the evil Sith Darth Vader and Darth Maul, Greedo, Queen Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, R2-D2, the loveable Wookiee Chewbacca, Twi'leks, Rodians and every hero, heroine, droid and villain in between. Jedi Mickey Mouse has even been known to make an appearance.

    Star Wars Weekends features a variety of activities such as: "Behind the Force," an insider's look at the making of the films; "Padawan Mind Challenge," allowing kids under 12 to test their wits before the Jedi Council; "Legends of the Force," a motorcade featuring favorite Star Wars celebrities; and "Jedi Training Academy," where young Jedi-wannabes can learn lightsaber battle techniques and test their newfound skills against Darth Vader or Darth Maul.

    Star Wars celebrities are on hand each weekend for photos, Q&A, autograph sessions and Hollywood-style motorcades. All four weekends, Star Wars actor Warwick Davis (who portrayed "Wicket the Ewok") will serve as celebrity emcee and host of the event.

    Other celebrities scheduled to appear include (subject to change):

  • June 6-8: Jeremy Bulloch ("Boba Fett") and Daniel Logan (young "Boba Fett")
  • June 13-15: Peter Mayhew ("Chewbacca") and David Prowse ("Darth Vader")
  • June 20-22: Amy Allen ("Aayla Secura") and Matthew Wood ("General Grievous")
  • June 27-29: Dave Filoni (director of the upcoming "Star Wars: The Clone Wars")

    The Star Wars Weekends fun is included with regular admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

    May Weekends Bloom with Themed Fun during Epcot Flower Festival

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Weekends in May sprout themed surprises for guests as the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival wraps up a 75-day run at Walt Disney World Resort.

    Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse continue to wow guests with their towering "Fun in the Sun" beach topiary at the park's main entrance. After this "don't miss" photo op, guests can marvel at Japanese and Chinese bonsai exhibits, explore Peter Pan's Never Land Garden, learn how to "go green" at the Green Garden, and experience this lineup of special weekend fun:

  • May 2-4 -- Check out the bounty during the ultimate Florida Farmer's Market weekend, featuring the freshest produce from Apalachicola to Zellwood.
  • May 9-11 -- Everything's Coming Up Roses during the weekend dedicated to all things mom. Families can celebrate mom with a special Mother's Day Brunch at World ShowPlace on Sunday, May 11 (407/WDW-DINE). The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will also showcase their finest floral displays.
  • May 16-18 -- Who doesn't love a Garden Party, complete with Disney character hosts? Guests can also meet more than 30 artisans who've handcrafted dolls and teddy bears during the 20th Teddy Bear & Doll event May 17 and 18 at World ShowPlace.
  • May 23-25 -- Children's "Fun in the Sun" activities are in full swing with relay races, beanbag tosses and other fun during Outdoor Living weekend.
  • May 31-June 1 -- The Festival Farewell features a happy ending to 75 days of bloomin' fun. It's a final chance to see awe-inspiring topiaries and gardening exhibits and to hear pop favorite Tony Orlando "tie a yellow ribbon" to wrap up the Flower Power concert series. Surprise craft activities let kids enjoy end-of-festival fun.

    The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular Epcot admission.

    Flower Power Rocks on Through June 1 During Flowerfest at Epcot

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Thirty million colorful blooms set the scene for unforgettable Flower Power concert performances at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival through June 1. Two hit bands make their Flower Power debut in May -- The Searchers and The Cowsills. Past favorites, including Davy Jones and Arlo Guthrie, return to strike a nostalgic chord with pop tunes of the 1960s and '70s.

    Flower Power concerts keep on rockin' daily at America Gardens Theatre at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. and are included with regular Epcot admission. The lineup (subject to change):

  • May 1-3 -- Arlo Guthrie "Alice's Restaurant"
  • May 4-5 -- The Searchers (NEW) "Bumble Bee"
  • May 6-10 -- The Tokens "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
  • May 11-15 -- Davy Jones "Daydream Believer"
  • May 16-17 -- Jose Feliciano "Light My Fire"
  • May 18-20 -- Felix Cavaliere's Rascals "Good Lovin'"
  • May 21-24 -- Gary Puckett "Over You"
  • May 25-27 -- The Cowsills (NEW)"The Rain, the Park, and Other Things"
  • May 28-June 1 -- Tony Orlando "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"

    Great Gardeners Plant New Ideas Each Weekend in May at Epcot

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Be a frugal gourmet and harvest your landscape. Connect heavenly flower and plant scents to a favorite perfume. Weave nature into all aspects of your life. Those are just some of the subjects that will be discussed through June 1 during the Great American Gardener series, which rolls out fresh gardening ideas each Friday-Sunday at noon and 3 p.m. in the Garden Town festival center at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Here's the lineup:

  • Tom MacCubbin (May 2-4): Whole Garden Foods -- Florida garden writer and media personality Tom MacCubbin shares how to get more from your landscape by growing foods you can put on the table.
  • Raymond Western (May 9-11): Plants and Perfume -- Guerlain perfume expert Raymond Western explores the relationship between plants and perfume.
  • Robert Bowden (May 16-18): Maximizing Weekend Gardening -- Gardening expert, author and director of Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Bowden discusses plants with unusual textures, habits and colors for weekend fun with the home landscape.
  • Melinda Myers (May 23-25): Saving Space -- TV host a nationally known gardening expert, Myers shares simple, creative ideas for packing a lot of garden into a small space or creating an intimate garden within a large lot.
  • Jon Carloftis (May 31-June 1): Integrating Nature Inside and Out -- Author of First A Garden and Beyond the Windowsill, Carloftis offers insightful tips to integrate plants and nature in every aspect of life -- from interior spaces to urbanscapes.

    The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular Epcot admission.

    Minnie Marathon Weekend in May Features Variety of Runs Plus Expo

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney's Minnie Marathon Weekend presented by Lady Foot Locker, May 2-4, is a celebration of fitness at Walt Disney World Resort that includes an expo, 5K and 15K runs, and Heelys Kids' Race & Roll events. Registration is currently open for all races.

    Events taking place during the weekend include:

  • Disney's Minnie Marathon Weekend Expo (May 2, 12 noon-7 p.m.; May 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Taking place at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, the Expo features representatives from the running industry exhibiting, answering questions and selling the latest in products and services.
  • Go Red for Women 5K (May 3, 7 a.m.). Runners and walkers will make their way around both Future World and World Showcase at Epcot, finishing just outside the theme park. All participants must be 8 years or older, and be able to maintain a 15-minute per mile pace. Entry fee is $35. The 5K benefits the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement.
  • Disney's Women Run the World 15K (May 4, 6:15 a.m.). After running through Disney's Animal Kingdom, race participants will chart a route through Disney's Hollywood Studios, past Disney's Yacht Club and Disney's Beach Club resorts and through Epcot. Runners must be 11 years or older and able to maintain a 15-minute per mile pace. Entry fee is $50.
  • Disney's Kids' Races presented by Heelys (May 3, 8:15 a.m.; May 4, 8:45 a.m.). The highlight of the races is the Heelys Kids' Race & Roll, where kids ages 8-14 can show off their skills while competing in a 200-meter combination race and obstacle course. Other events for children ages 11 and under range from the 800-meter run to the 100-meter dash. All Kids' Races will take place in the Epcot parking lot. Entry fee is $5.

    Online registration for all races is available through April 30 at www.disneyminniemaration.com. At the time of registration for the 5K and 15K, participants may also purchase a specially priced theme park ticket for admission to either Disney's Animal Kingdom or Epcot for an additional $35.

    Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Grooves Throughout June at Epcot

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Get the family together and groove along with classic rock tunes during the Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot. Featuring a lineup of rockin' bands covering timeless tunes like "Dancing Queen" by ABBA and "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, Sounds Like Summer concerts take place daily starting on June 9.

    All concerts are at the America Gardens Theatre, at 5:45, 7 and 8 p.m., and are included with regular Epcot admission. The lineup for June (subject to change):

  • June 9-15 -- 2U -- A Tribute to U2
  • June 16-22 -- Stayin' Alive -- A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • June 23-29 -- Hotel California -- Eagles Tribute Band
  • June 30-July 10 -- Bjorn Again -- ABBA Tribute Band

    Pirates and Princesses Invade Magic Kingdom this Summer With After-Hours Party Fit for All

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Step into your favorite fairy tale or adventure as the worlds of plundering pirates and fair maidens unite during Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party -- continuing for seven extra nights this May and June in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. The popular after-hours event gives park-goers a last chance to join in the merriment during its encore May 2, 9, 16, 21, 26, 31 and June 4.

    A treasure map leads buccaneers and pretty princesses on a trek through Magic Kingdom seeking adventures and encounters with favorite Disney characters. Youngsters can explore themed pirate coves and princess courts, enjoy special entertainment and dance parties, plus favorite Magic Kingdom attractions are open throughout the evening's festivities.

    The centerpiece of the after-hours event is the nightly "Enchanted Adventures Parade," a colorful cavalcade starring a 39-foot pirate ship with swinging and sword-fighting mates. The night's finale is the dazzling "Magic, Music, and Mayhem" fireworks spectacular orchestrated to an original musical score.

    Mickey's Pirate and Princes Party takes place after regular theme park hours -- from 7 p.m. to midnight.

    Theme Park Fans, Beverage Industry Experts Cheer Disney World

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The fans and experts have had their say, proclaiming Walt Disney World Resort the home of both the best ride and best libations in the country:

  • The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios was recently voted "Best Ride in America" by users of Theme Park Insider Web site (www.themeparkinsider.com). The popular attraction at Walt Disney World Resort, which sends guests plummeting 13 floors in an out-of-control elevator, beat out 63 other attractions in a three-week "March Madness"-style match-up of favorite rides and attractions from theme parks across the country. Theme Park Insider Editor Robert Niles said users cited the attraction's "addictive random drop sequences, which reward repeat riders with unique experiences" as a contributing factor to the win.
  • Walt Disney World Resort was honored with two Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence by Cheers Magazine, a leading beverage industry trade publication. Top honors were bestowed in "Best Chain Overall Beverage Program" and "Best Chain Signature Drink" for the Blue "Glow-Tini."
  • Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
    Specializing in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Vacations
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