Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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The Comedy Warehouse Brings Laughs to Disney’s Hollywood Studios™

Walt Disney World® Resort has always been a place full of laughter. From entertainment to rides, and everything in between, smiles are not a rarity when you are on property!

However, on September 27th, 2008 Walt Disney World® Resort lost one of their ‘laughter’ staples when Downtown Disney® Pleasure Island area closed all of their nightclubs. In doing so, Comedy Warehouse opened their doors for a final time.

Comedy Warehouse was a nightclub at Downtown Disney® Pleasure Island that featured an improv comedy troupe. It was originally the home to the parody show “Forbidden Disney”; before introducing the improve comedy troupe to keep things fresh.

Last year, fans of the former Comedy Warehouse were given a special treat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ as the cast reunited for a special show that ran for 7 days called “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special”. The special show was met by capacity crowds every day.

Now, Comedy Warehouse fans have something else to look forward to, and it is something you won’t want to miss even if this is your first introduction to the improv comedy troupe. “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” is returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ again this year! Sure, there are plenty of things to make you smile and laugh at Walt Disney World® Resort, but this show is a must for the whole family!

“The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ at the end of this year, and this time for an extended 14 days! The show will run from December 23rd through January 5th in the Premier Theatre.

The best part? “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” is included in your regular Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ park admission! Now that’s nothing to laugh about!

“’The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special’ is like a family reunion of the Cast of the Comedy Warehouse,” said Show Director Chris Oyen. “We’re so happy to be able to bring everyone together again for the holiday season and to put on this show. It’s a gift from our family to yours.”

If you are heading to Walt Disney World® Resort during the busy Christmas season, this is one ‘must’ that you don’t want to miss. And if you are looking for another ‘excuse’ to head to Walt Disney World® Resort, well you are welcome! Our Magic Makers® are ready to help you get there!

This Year’s ‘Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights’ A Little ‘Goofy’

This Friday, the holiday season will officially start at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® when The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is lit for the first time this season! Included with standard admission to the park, the show has become a holiday tradition since 1995. The simply breathtaking seasonal display is made up of more than 5 million glittering LED Christmas lights that Disney Imagineers have perfectly synchronized to holiday music.

The Walt Disney World® Resort has announced that this year, Santa Goofy will join the fun inside his very own Winter Wonderland. This area will serve as a meet and greet area during The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Also added this year is an eighth song for the lights to sync to, a special arrangement of “Winter Wonderland” by Creative Entertainment Music Director Dan Stamper.

If you’ve never seen The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, it is something that you must do! Pictures are not able to truly capture just how amazing it is. It will run Nov. 9 through Jan. 6.

Dates Announced for the 2012 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Disney’s Hollywood Studios® will shine bright again this holiday season! A Walt Disney World® Holiday tradition since 1995, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will take place Nov. 9, 2012 – Jan. 4, 2013.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is a holiday display featuring millions of glittering lights all synchronized to seasonal music. The display was started by Jennings Osborne at his home in Arkansas. The once modest display grew a little more and more over the years until Osborne’s display was just too much for his modest Arkansas neighborhood. In 1995, the Walt Disney World® Resort became the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer. Totally blanketing the Streets of America inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, the display puts on a “show” approximately every 10 minutes as the lights dance to the music.

Every year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® planners “plus” the display by adding new lights, audio, decorations and effects. In just a few months, we will get to see what is new with this year’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

“The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow” to Open this Fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Capt Jack SparrowArrr, this news will be pleasin’ to the ears of Pirates fans!

Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the addition of The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™. Scheduled to open to guests sometime this fall, very few details on the attraction have been released. It is said that the attraction will immerse guests in the world of the four Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, Jason Roberts, said

“This is going to be an immersive experience. We’ll really delve into the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and put our guests in the middle of it all in new and exciting ways. Story is always the most important thing for us at Walt Disney Imagineering, but we’re always looking at new ways to tell the story that our guests have never seen before. In this attraction, we’ll let you walk in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow. It’s not ‘the making of,’ not ‘behind the scenes’ … it is really a first-person experience. We worked with the archives as well as the filmmakers while they were shooting the last movie. And as a fan, I just loved sitting through those films again and again, going through all the details and leveraging them for this new experience. It’s really been a blast.”

We will bring you more details about The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction as they become available. The attraction will replace the former Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian exhibit in Soundstage 4 that closed previously.

Fantastic Fantasmic! Meal Experiences

Fantasmic Dinner Package

By Magic Maker® Heather Straight

Lights. Music. Pyrotechnics. Dancing. Lasers. Giant animatronic dragons. Video projected on massive screens of water. Good triumphing over evil.  The Fantasmic!  Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ in Florida and Disneyland® Park in California are nighttime extravaganzas that are the very best of Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort entertainment and showmanship, and a highlight of every vacation for my family.  No matter how many times I see the show, I never fail to get goose bumps and tear up at the crucial moment when Sorcerer Mickey…well, I won’t give away the ending, but it’s a spectacle you don’t want to miss.

The shows are so popular that it can be tough to get a seat for the action.  People begin lining up to grab a spot 60-90 minutes before show time (even longer during peak travel seasons). You can avoid the line and have a tasty meal by taking advantage of a Fantasmic! Meal Experience.

Walt Disney World Resort® Dining Options

At Walt Disney World® Resort, Fantasmic! Show plays at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ to packed crowds.  There are bleachers for sitting and some standing room at the back when the seats have all been filled (which they do for nearly every show!).  There are no bad seats here, but if you want to guarantee yourself a seat without a very long wait in line before the show, then a Fantasmic! Meal Experience is the way to go.  You’ll enjoy lunch or dinner and then get a voucher to enter the Reserved Section of the amphitheater. The restaurant choices are:

  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano – available for lunch or dinner, and only 1 Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
  • Hollywood & Vine – this buffet meal is available only for dinner, and is also just 1 Table Service credit on the dining plan
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby – this signature dining experience is available for lunch or dinner Fantasmic! packages, and is 2 Table Service credits on the Disney Dining Plan (or 1 credit on the Deluxe Dining Plan)

We’ve tried a Fantasmic! Meal Experience at all three restaurants; my kids’ favorite was the Hollywood & Vine buffet, but my husband and I really loved the ambiance and amazing food at The Hollywood Brown Derby (it makes for an excellent romantic diner option). These packages are very popular, especially during peak seasons; your Magic Maker can help you reserve one 180 days prior to the start of your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation. A credit card hold is required.

Disneyland® Resort Dining Options

The original home of Fantasmic! Show, the show is performed right in the middle of the action at the Disneyland® Park on the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island.  There is no seating available here, just first-come, first-served standing room only (although if you arrive early enough to stake out a spot right in front, you can sit on the ground and still see the show).  If you want a chair, then the Premium Seating Dessert Package is for you.  At $60 per person, this is one of the most decadent things you can do to enhance your Disneyland® Park experience!

After you check-in with a Cast Member at a podium just across from Haunted Mansion® Attraction (we were directed to “look for the churro cart!”), you’ll be led to reserved, elevated seats front and center, with unobstructed views of the Rivers of America.  After you make yourself comfortable, another Cast Member will bring each of you a huge box filled with desserts.  Ours included mini key lime pie, cheesecake, fruit tart, and brownies, cookies, chocolate truffles, a selection of cheeses and crackers, and fruit.  It was so much food that even after I stuffed myself to bursting, I still had over half leftover to take back to the hotel (which I may have eaten for breakfast, but I’ll never tell!).  The Cast Member will also offer you all you can drink hot chocolate, coffee, hot tea, bottled water, or Coke products, and he or she will continue to serve you throughout the show.   Our view of the show was spectacular, and we felt extremely pampered.

Disneyland® Resort also offers dining packages for the wildly popular World of Color show that takes place in front of Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure® Park.  We opted for the picnic, which you can pick up for lunch or dinner.  You have a choice of several different meals that are conveniently packed into boxes and a souvenir reusable bag, and they have a great picnic area with tables and chairs.  They also offer two table service options for the World of Color package:

  • Ariel’s Grotto: 3-course dinner (great seafood choices, although the character don’t appear during dinner)
  • Wine Country Trattoria: lunch or dinner

All of these options include a ticket for the World of Color Viewing Area, and the prices range from $15.99 to $39.99.  Your Magic Maker can reserve one of these packages for you 30 days prior to your Disneyland® Resort vacation.  Full payment is required at the time of booking for both the Fantasmic! Show and World of Color packages.

Phineas and Ferb at Walt Disney World

Phineas and Ferb Meet and Greet

Originally scheduled to be out mid-May, the Phineas and Ferb play and greet was pushed back for a few weeks, while the boys finished school.  As of yesterday, the boys officially made their debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

The experience centers around Phineas and Ferb spending time in Florida to make a movie and guests are invited to meet them between takes. It all begins with the duo making a rockin’ entrance before taking pictures and signing autographs.

This experience is more than a traditional character meet-and-greet, dubbed a “play-and-greet,” as guests are invited to participate in short movie-related games while waiting for their chance to meet Phineas and Ferb. You can meet the pair on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ backlot near the exit to Muppet*Vision 3D.  Are you planning to see them on your next Walt Disney World® vacation?

Star Wars Weekend

Star Wars Weekend- Disney's Hollywood Studios

By Heather Straight, Magic Maker®

I suppose it was inevitable that my children would be Star Wars™ fanatics.  Their mother has always been a fan, and their father is, well, let’s just say the man watches a lot of sci-fi.  So it’s no surprise we have two young boys who spend much of their free time pretending to be Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who have Star Wars™ bedsheets, lunch boxes and movie posters on their walls.  They spend quality time with dad building the Millennium Falcon and X-Wing fighters from Legos, and I’ve lost track of the number of light sabers we have in the house.  It must be at least 8, not including the closet full of foam models fashioned from pool noodles and duct tape that were a party favor from the last force-inspired birthday party.

It was for these reasons that I decided to surprise them all last June with a trip to Star Wars™ Weekends at the Walt Disney World® Resort.  We’d always wanted to visit during these special weekends, because it was as if they had invented the whole thing just for our family.  What could be better than the Disney Parks AND Jedis, Wookiees and Darth Vader?  Mickey Mouse dressed up as Luke Skywalker?  Boba Fett wandering the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios™?  Priceless! With a little bit of planning, it’s a great trip for Star Wars™ fans, young and old.

Star Wars™ Weekends happen every weekend from mid-May to mid-June (this year they’re scheduled for every Friday-Sunday, May 20 through June 12).  So is all the hype about Star Wars™ Weekend worth it?  You bet it is!  From the moment we arrived and saw Storm Troopers up on the gates of Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ taunting guests, we knew we were in for a good time.  Some of the highlights you won’t want to miss:

  1. Jedi Training Academy – our six-year-old nearly died and went to heaven when he made it into one of the shows and fought Darth Vader.  They take 30 kids per show, so my advice is to arrive in time for Rope Drop and head to the sign up location (which will be listed in the Star Wars™ Weekends special event map).  You get in line for a special FastPass that will list the show time your kids are in, and you report back about 20 minutes before it begins.  Kids ages 4-12 are welcome to participate, and the show is fun for kids of all ages to watch.
  2. The opening show – get to the gates of Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ early, about 30-45 minutes before the official park opening.  Storm Troopers appear on top of the gates, and fun ensues.
  3. The parade – we staked out a spot about 40 minutes early so we had front row seats for every imaginable Star Wars™ character AND three celebrities in this fantastic parade.  I mean, who doesn’t love seeing R2-D2 rolling along, followed by legions of Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, along with stars from the movies and the animated series.
  4. Hyperspace Hoopla – Darth Vader dancing to “Beat It,” complete with sequined glove.  Need I say more?  This hilarious “dance party with the Star Wars™ stars” that closes the day is a laugh riot.  Every year they change things up a bit with new dance routines.  This is a tremendously popular show, so I’d suggest getting to the last Jedi Training Academy show of the day a little early to get a good spot, watch that show and then wait for Hoopla to begin shortly after.
  5. The atmosphere – roaming the park with strains of Star Wars™ music piped through the speakers, stumbling upon bounty hunters, Tuscan Raiders and bargaining with Jawas was so much fun.  Around every turn was something else to see and another character to interact with.

Other highlights of this special event include autograph opportunities with Star Wars™ stars, talks/Q&A sessions given by the celebrities, special merchandise, photo opportunities with popular characters, and much more.  If you have a Star Wars™ fan in the family, this is definitely the event for you!  Don’t forget to your camera, because great photos are waiting around every turn.

Click here to request a quote to plan your vacation to this special event at the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Remember when planning that this annual event happens this year every
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday May 20-June 11, 2011.

Read more about Star Wars™ Weekend by clicking here.

Have you visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ for this iconic weekend?
Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ required.
Appearances and entertainment subject to change without notice.
Star Wars © 2008 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

‘The American Idol Experience’ Brings Pop Culture Phenomenon to Walt Disney World® Resort

AMERICAN IDOL EXPERIENCE ATTRACTION OPENS AT DISNEY WORLDLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With all the thrills and suspense that have made it a television and pop culture phenomenon, “American Idol” comes to Walt Disney World® Resort in a groundbreaking new attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

“The American Idol Experience” captures the energy and excitement of the TV series, with some guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios auditioning to take the spotlight onstage, while fellow guests cheer them on from the audience and vote for their favorite singer with instant results.

“Disney parks are all about making dreams come true, and that’s exactly what will happen at ‘The American Idol Experience,’ ” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Whether they are onstage singing or in the audience cheering on their favorite performer, our guests will feel immersed in a world of instant stardom.”

Each show takes place in a 1,000-seat indoor theater that features the twirling neon signs and a multi-layered backdrop inspired by the actual “American Idol” set in California. Building on its hallmark of attention to detail, Walt Disney Imagineering worked with the Hollywood set designer who designed the actual TV show set for “American Idol.” The newly designed venue is the most technologically advanced theater found at Walt Disney World® Resort.

Designed to reflect the best and brightest elements of the TV show, “The American Idol Experience” includes an audition process open to Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests 14 and older (audition slots are limited and interested guests are encouraged to arrive early). These guests perform live in front of a Disney’s Hollywood Studios casting director for the opportunity to be cast in one of the preliminary theme park shows that same day.

Performers with the highest votes during the preliminary shows return for a high-energy grand finale show that same evening. After their encore performances, the big moment arrives. It’s a super-charged, eye-popping scene as audience votes are tallied, the other performers drop off, music builds and the spotlight shines down, amid a blizzard of confetti, on the day’s top singer. In addition to their new-found theme park fame, the top vote-getter receives “The American Idol Experience” Dream Ticket, which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the “American Idol” television show. And every member of the audience can take a bow, too, because they had a role in deciding that day’s star.

“The American Idol Experience” is the newest attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The showbiz-inspired theme park immerses guests in the glamour of show business with thrilling attractions, Broadway-style shows, world-class atmosphere entertainment and interactive film, music, television and radio production facilities.

ABC Super Soap Weekend 2008

Check out celebrities from your favorite ABC Daytime dramas (All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital) as they step off of your TV screen and into Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ for a star-studded weekend. Experience Celebrity Motorcades and Star Conversations! Then, take advantage of “On Location” Autographs and check out all the hot hunks and daytime divas of ABC. Be sure to attend the ABC Super Soap Weekend. It’s a truly soap-a-licious weekend!

2008 EVENT DATES: Nov. 14-15, 2008

ENTERTAINMENT HIGHLIGHTS: (subject to change)

  • SUPER SOAP TALK SHOW
    Get the “Total” scoop at the ABC TV Theater for the Wide World of Soaps Live! talk show featuring the ABC Daytime soap stars LIVE on stage throughout the day! Enjoy an exclusive look at show clips and sneak previews of upcoming episodes and find out more about your favorite actors. Ask the stars what you’ve always wanted to know!
  • STREET JAM NIGHTIME ENTERTAINMENT
    Party each evening following the Grand Motorcade at the Colgate® Total® Street Jam – an incredible star-filled concert!
  • “ON LOCATION” AUTOGRAPHS
    Get “up close and personal” with your favorite ABC soap stars at special locations throughout the park.
  • CELEBRITY MOTORCADES AND STAR CONVERSATIONS
    See all the Daytime glamour of the ABC soap stars in “Hollywood style” celebrity motorcades all day long. Each motorcade travels up Hollywood Boulevard to the Sorcerer’s Hat stage and is followed by a fascinating conversation with the stars on stage.
  • “I WANNA BE A SOAP STAR”
    Join in the fun of SOAPnet’s “I Wanna Be A Soap Star”, where selected contestants will compete for their showbiz break to perform in an on-stage scene with one of ABC’s hottest hunks.
  • SOAP CENTRAL
    Don’t miss your chance to purchase show costumes, props, and other “one of a kind” items direct from the sets of your favorite ABC soaps.