A brand new Star Wars-themed virtual reality experience is coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts later this year. The immersive, multi-player format will debut this holiday season at Disney Springs in Orlando Florida and Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California.
According to Variety.com, “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” was produced by ILMxLab, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, in cooperation with The Void. ““At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” said ILMxLab’s executive in charge Vicki Dobbs Beck. “Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding ‘Star Wars’ adventure.”
The article goes on to say ,The Void is one of a number of startups looking to take virtual reality out of the living room, and into special experience centers where consumers can walk around, open doors, and pick up props. The company debuted with a “Ghost Busters” VR experience at Madame Tussauds in New York’s Times Square a year ago, and has since opened locations in Toronto and Dubai as well as at its corporate headquarter in Lindon, Utah.
Beginning today August 1, Mobile Order, the service which allows guests the convenience of ordering and paying for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience App, is available at Electric Umbrella in Epcot.
In case you aren’t familiar, Mobile Order offers a huge convenience to park guests. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they can tap the “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up their meal at a designated window.
Liberty Inn, located at the American Adventure Pavilion in World Showcase, is also slated to receive Mobile Order on August 7. The service has already debuted at many Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom restaurants as well as D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs.
Please note Mobile Orders can only accept credit cards for payment right now and not the Disney Dining Plan. Also, the service is not currently able to offer Annual Passholder or Tables in Wonderland discounts. These discounts can only be applied at the counter.
A couple weeks ago, it was announced at the D23 Expo that Toy Story Land would open next summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And it looks like things are right on track as Disney announced today that the final piece of track was installed for the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster.
Walt Disney Imagineering shared the photo above, which was taken just as the final piece of red track was lowered into place.
In Toy Story Land, guests will shrink to the size of a toy and explore the world of Andy’s backyard. Fitting with the theme, Slinky Dog Dash will appear to be a coaster track that Andy has built all over his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit – as well as some of his other favorite toys.
Check out the video below to hear what Disney Imagineers have to say about this milestone.
October 1 marks a special occasion at Epcot this year because the theme park will celebrate its 35th Anniversary at Walt Disney World Resort. To commemorate this special occasion, the Disney Parks Merchandise team will release a retro-inspired merchandise collection that “captures the essence of a spirited phrase from Epcot’s beginnings”
Eric Caszatt, Creative Manager with the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Creative Group, has shared his insights about how research played an important role when designing artwork for this collection.
“Many of the artists on my team are long-time Epcot fans,” explained Eric. “We wanted the art to have a distinct vintage feeling, and take its cues from artwork, logos, signage, and in-park graphics found in the early 1980s. We also referenced actual merchandise released during the first few years of operation. Many products then did not incorporate Disney characters into the artwork with the exception of Figment from the Journey Into Imagination attraction. I’m excited to see several products being released this fall can trace their heritage back to those original items.”
One of the art team’s most noticeable nods to original Epcot is their use of five colors – purple, pink, red, orange, and gold. These colors were prominently featured on a variety of opening year products, from license plates to coffee mugs to jewelry boxes (you can see some of those items in this article). The anniversary artwork has the same colors with more muted tones, further enhancing the vintage look of items.
Eric said some products may include “EPCOT Center” in their designs. The art team used the theme park’s original name when a new item was directly inspired by an original merchandise product such as the youth and women’s “35” T-shirts, or the long sleeve shirt with Spaceship Earth graphic.
Fans of Figment will be delighted to find several items with the loveable purple dragon. Look for a simulated leather backpack, a wristlet, a logo pin, and apparel.
Other products have incorporated the EPCOT Center logo that “symbolizes unity, fellowship and harmony around the world.” Guests will also find original Future World pavilion logos on select products such as a baseball cap or a mystery pin set.
The Epcot 35th Anniversary collection will be released in late September in select locations throughout Epcot. Guests may also find select items via the Shop Disney Parks app once released.
By now, you might have seen the adorable new Minnie vans which have been transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort. Today, Disney announced the Minnie Van Service is now available for guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.
The Minnie Van Service is a collaboration with Lyft, the US’ fastest growing rideshare service, guests at these resorts can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from the Lyft app on their smartphone. With Minnie Van service, Disney cast members will then whisk you away to wherever you want to be at Walt Disney World Resort. This service accommodates up to six guests and provides two versatile car seats so even the tiniest of passengers can travel in style!
Minnie Van service will be available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (subject to change). Guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts can learn more by visiting their Bell Services desk.