Walt Disney World News
- News from
Around the World
- Calendar of Events
- Dateline Disney
- Disney Season
- Rehabs and Closures
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Season Summer 2011
Disney Parks Guests Can Venture to Planets
Coruscant and Tatooine -- and Beyond
More Castaway Cay Fun, Alaska Cruises, Nighttime Shows also on Schedule
Talk about making vacation memories: In summer 2011, guests at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will begin embarking on adventures to places no one has ever gone -- to the planets Coruscant and Tatooine, located in a galaxy as far away as imagination can carry you.
Or how about this: Vacationers on a Disney Dream cruise can embark on itineraries during which they get to bask in the fun and sun of Disney Cruise Line's most popular port of call not once but twice. Or this: Disney Wonder cruise guests can venture to the "Land of the Midnight Sun."
And back in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park, guests can revel in the memories they've made, during a new nighttime show, "The Magic, The Memories, and You!"
Here are some of the details about what's in store:
Star Tours launches new itineraries ... and more
From the time Star Tours debuted at Disneyland Park in 1987 and at Walt Disney World Resort in 1989 until the attraction went dark for "reimagining" in fall 2010, guests embarked on a journey to the Moon of Endor and beyond, with a trainee pilot named REX at the controls of 40-passenger Starspeeder 3000 spacecraft.
Now the Star Tours attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida (scheduled to reopen May 20) and at Disneyland Park in California (scheduled to reopen in June) puts a whole new twist on virtual space travel with Starspeeder 1000 craft -- predating the Starspeeder 3000 because the new show depicts an earlier chapter of the Star Wars saga than the original Star Tours did. But fear not: Techno-wizards are equipping passengers on the 1000 with the ability to experience the new adventure in eye-popping 3D -- wherever that adventure may take them.
The destination is not necessarily what guests expect -- unless they expect the unexpected -- as C-3PO, a new pilot (by accident) takes the controls for a journey to the "metropolitan" planet Coruscant (pronounced /'k???s?nt/) or to Tatooine (pronounced tætu'in), an arid planet on the "Outer Rim," or to some other planet within Star Wars' mythical universe. Even the outcome of the adventure may change from one "launch" to the next.
A 'dream come true' for fans of Castaway Cay, Alaska
The comments of Disney Cruise Line veteran cruisers make it clear: On itineraries to the Bahamas and Caribbean, a guest favorite is Castaway Cay, the cruise line's private island. A common remark is that "it would be nice to have more time" at the remote paradise surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters as far as the eye can see.
Between May 29 and August 20, 2011, that vacation wish will be fulfilled on a dozen 5-night Disney Dream sailings out of Port Canaveral, Fla. Each 5-night cruise will include two stops at Castaway Cay separated by a day at sea and a day at Nassau. The new, 4,000-passenger ship will embark on 5-night cruises on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Meanwhile, the Disney Wonder will be repositioned from the Port of Los Angeles to Vancouver, B.C., where it will embark on 7-night Alaska sailings between May 3 and August 30, 2011. The seven-night cruises call on Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, and mark the first time ever that Disney Cruise Line will sail to Alaska.
Guests will experience breathtaking natural vistas, an abundance of wildlife and the rich history and customs of Alaska's native culture. Available Port Adventures include a fun scavenger hunt through the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp in Skagway that sets the stage for a gold-panning expedition joined by beloved Disney characters, and the Glacier Dog Musher-for-a-Day experience in Juneau during which guests travel by helicopter over the massive Juneau Icefield where they will tour a sled dog camp and explore behind-the-scenes areas including the kennel, living quarters and veterinary clinic. Mushers and their dog teams then take guests out on the snow-capped glacier for an unforgettable sled trip through the pristine wilderness.
A dramatically different experience beckons back in the Bahamas, where 1000-acre Castaway Cay features powdery white sand beaches under foot, swaying palm trees and beautiful tropical flowers, providing the ultimate escape, whether a guest is seeking adventure, relaxation or quality time with the family.
Flying high above the island on a parasail adventure, snorkeling in a 12-acre lagoon, casting off on a fishing tour, building sand castles on the beach, bicycling around the island or swimming with Southern Stingrays are just a few of the activities that every member of the family can enjoy. There are water slides, rental watercraft, and enough other splashing-good fun that Castaway Cay has been depicted as "a water park with an ocean."
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500.
Filling the night with memories
"The Magic, The Memories, and You!", a dramatic new projection show filled with special effects and magic, transforms Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort and "it's a small world" at Disneyland Resort into shimmering canvases for images of guests and the memories they made that day at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park.
In the nighttime spectacle, as many as 500 photos of guests -- captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers in the park that day as guests create memories "smiling for the castle" -- are projected larger-than-life among the spires and turrets of Cinderella Castle and on the towers and landmark replicas of "it's a small world." The show also features video and thousands of additional photos displayed on the iconic buildings by 16 projectors -- all accompanied by stirring music and punctuated by fireworks.
The ten-minute experience dazzles park guests in ways never before experienced, themed to beloved Disney stories and with playful animated sequences that seem to defy the architecture of the buildings -- and even "bring the architecture to life," said Alan Bruun, associate creative director, Walt Disney World Entertainment. The spectacle is scheduled most nights with up to two shows per night depending on theme park operating hours and other special ticketed events.
So what else is new?
At Walt Disney World Resort, a "soft adventure" and three new entertainment experiences also are debuting in 2011 in time for summer vacation:
- Guests wanting to venture off the beaten path at Disney's Animal Kingdom have the chance during a new, immersive, add-on experience, Wild Africa Trek, that takes a small group of adventurers on personalized, guided excursions that include a bushwalk through unexplored areas of the forest along with over-landing in customized vehicles across an animal-filled savanna. On these expert-led treks, extended time is spent observing and learning about the wildlife. Reservations for Wild Africa Trek (ages 8 and up) can be arranged by calling 407/939-8687. More information: disneyworld.com/disneyafricatrek.
- Ever since 'Playhouse Disney--Live on Stage!' premiered in 2001, it has been a chance for younger guests to experience Disney Channel friends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. As that circle of TV friends has grown and changed, the Disney entertainment gurus have endeavored to make those new friends part of the vacation fun, too. So here come Jake and the Never Land Pirates as part of Disney Junior--Live on Stage! The show also includes current favorites from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins. Guests should check their Times Guide for show times.
- Favorite Pixar pals perform in an all-new Disney's Hollywood Studios parade, Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!, showcasing appearances by four characters not previously featured -- Remy and Emile from "Ratatouille" and Carl and Russell from "UP." The parade is performed to a new musical track from the current Pixar parade at Disney California Adventure. The new show replaces "Block Party Bash," which was presented between March 2008 and January 2011.
- Guests will be able to take part in an energetic and fun-filled meet-and-play experience with Phineas & Ferb at Disney's Hollywood Studios (scheduled to begin in May). Phineas and Ferb -- from the popular television show of the same name -- "know what they're gonna do today": they are going to make a movie all about their crazy adventures. With the help of guests and movie director Cletus Filmore, they will recreate some of their favorite moments...unless they are taking a break to meet with their adoring fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. The fun will take place near the exit to MuppetVision 3-D.
- With the premiere of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Disney California Adventure will take guests "under the sea" to experience magnificent scenes and magical songs from the popular motion picture. The attraction represents the next big milestone in the ongoing expansion of the park.
- At Disneyland Park, Mickey's Soundsational Parade will stomp, clang and drum its way down Main Street, U.S.A. Musicians, dancers and Disney characters join together in the explosive music festival that will bring to life some of the most beloved melodies from Disney films.