When a “Star Wars” film comes out, aside from exotic planetary locations, sweet space vehicles and pitched battles and action sequences that are to be expected, another element of the franchise to watch out for is the latest alien creatures. From humanoids to little winged or four-legged critters, seeing non-human entities in “Star Wars” best sells what it’s like in a galaxy far, far away.
Even in the polarizing Sequel Trilogy entry “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi,” unsettled franchise fans may have had a decent enough reception for Porgs, the constantly-screeching flightless birds from Luke Skywalker’s hideaway planet of Acht-to.
These annoying yet adorable things are the focus of a new virtual-reality experience to be made available on the Magic Leap One VR headset. Developed by the ILMxLAB branch of Lucasfilm, this VR experience applies the “virtual pet-raising” genre onto the “Star Wars” universe, with a Porg as the pet.
Titled “Project Porg,” the experience puts the VR player in the role of impromptu caretaker, having been entrusted by Chewbacca with a Porg and a care device, along with a C-3PO message serving as instruction guide. Good care for the Porg will allow it to grow and eventually hatch offspring.
According to ILMxLAB chief executive Vicki Dobbs Beck, the virtual actions required to care for the Porg has similarities to procedures in caring for any household pet. In addition, the “Project Porg” experience is connected online, allowing players to “take” their Porg to public locations with Magic Leap access. One possible venue might be the “Star Wars” area Galaxy’s Edge, close to opening in both Disneyland Park and Disney World.
“Project Porg” on Magic Leap is not the only VR project that the “Star Wars” creative company is working on. They also have the episodic VR series “Vader Immortal” which runs on the Oculus Rift.
In the happiest places on Earth, no matter which specific parts of them you may happen to be, there’s always a festival going on. Whether it’s the string of festivities there always seems to be in Disney World’s EPCOT, or a more natural sequence of special events, Disney theme parks won’t let you down celebration-wise.
Take for instance this flash from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. They’ve got a reminder of the major multi-day festivals that will be going on at the early months of 2019 at Disney California Adventure. And while this is a short list, we’ll be sure to add important, necessary details so you’d know what to expect when dropping in at the DCA to celebrate New Year’s:
Festival of the Holidays (until January 6) – Just because the year has turned doesn’t mean DCA can’t squeeze a few more days to see the yuletide season of 2018 off
Lunar New Year at DCA (January 25 to February 17) – take part in the grand welcome for the Chinese New Year. Since it’ll be the Year of the Earth Pig, the Three Little Pigs will take center stage, along with the return of the always-anticipated Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
Food and Wine Festival (March 1 to April 23) – giving a respectful yet fun tip of the hat to the agricultural industries of the state, it will be even better than before thanks to Disneyland Resort expanding the Sip and Savor 2019 Pass not just to the annual pass-holders but to everybody coming to Disney California Adventure to partake in the occasion.
All these DCA festivals as spring comes next year will also have the ever-present Festival Marketplaces offering merchandise to fit the event and commemorate your visit. Plan your trip to Disneyland Resort soon.
The news about a new expansion area for Disney theme parks around the world that is inspired by Lucasfilm’s Star Wars saga, and that of similar areas but themed after Marvel, may have dominated recent park-related news for Disney. It’s come to the point perhaps that new in-development attractions under Disney in general are overlooked.
But there are indeed new attractions that even now are under construction in Tokyo Disneyland, looking forward to opening sometime in the year 2020. The centerpiece of the new additions is a Beauty and the Beast indoor ride opening in Fantasyland over there. Here’s a list of these attractions headed for Tokyo in due time:
Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Tale – indoor spinning cup ride with scenes from the movie, housed inside a replica of the Beast’s castle, with all major characters featured in animatronic form
La Taverne de Gaston – new Fantasyland restaurant
Fantasyland Forest Theatre – 1,500 seat capacity indoor stage for Disney musical productions
Happy Ride with Baymax – Big Hero 6-inspired ride opening in Tomorrowland
The Big Pop – new Tomorrowland popcorn shop
These new in-development attractions will make visiting Tokyo Disneyland new again for returning guests, and will inspire more first-time visitors to come.
If anybody told somebody from videogame developer Square Enix that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the greatest crossover franchise ever, they might politely ask the speaker to hold whatever beverage they had on hand. That’s because Disney and Square Enix have been working on the Kingdom Hearts game series, crossing characters from the House of Mouse and S-E’s Final Fantasy games, for many years now.
And the long-arching saga of King Mickey Mouse and the Keyblade wielders is set to continue in Kingdom Hearts III arriving January 2019. To whet gamers’ appetites however, Disney and Square Enix will be opening a limited-time attraction and exhibit at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World: the Kingdom Hearts Experience.
Said Kingdom Hearts Experience will be centered around one thing fans of the RPG franchise have been clamoring for: a playable demo of the game featuring Sora, Donald and Goofy on their cross-dimensional adventures in the worlds of Frozen, Big Hero 6, Toy Story and more, as promised in the official Kingdom Hearts Twitter page.
But that’s not all. We’re making a list of what the whole Experience can offer.
Kingdom Hearts IIIdemo
Keyblade replica exhibit
Game artwork gallery
Preorder digital kiosks
Kingdom Heartsmerchandise booth
The Kingdom Hearts Experience will run from December 14 to January 31, making the holidays the perfect time to visit Disney World if you’re a console RP-gamer. The Kingdom Hearts III game from Square Enix will be released on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 25.
Next year, Disney and Pixar are going to blend the latter’s recognizable franchises with the sport of golf, and it’s going to happen Down Under. You read right; a Disney-Pixar mini-golf course will be opened for a month in Melbourne, inviting families for a putting good time on the green.
The so-called “Pixar Putt” will have guests take on a whimsical golfing experience with a course and holes inspired by various Disney-Pixar properties and characters. The fun is for all ages and the challenges can be adjusted accordingly. Here’s a list of what to expect from Pixar Putt in Melbourne:
Pixar Putt will run one month, from January 4 to February 3, 2019.
The Pixar Putt course will be set up at River Terrace, Federation Square, close to Princes Walk and the Yarra River.
There are two course options available: a shorter 30-40-minute 9-hole course or the full 18 holes taking from 1 to 1.5 hours; each run is for groups of 4.
Pixar Putt will provide all the golfing equipment needed; just bring yourself in suitable golfing gear.
Tickets can be booked at Pixar Putt’s ticket booth from 10 AM to 5 PM, or online at pixarputt.com.au
Tickets are needed for guests of at least 3 years old; child ticket rates are for until age 14, with the rest being priced as adult tickets.
Family ticket packages for Pixar Putt are in groups of 4, either 2 adults-2 children or 1 adult-3 children.
Aside from the golf course itself, Pixar Putt will also be offering Disney-Pixar merchandise on site with some exclusive items not to be found anywhere else.
Since Pixar Putt is outdoors, they will extend validity of paid tickets in case the session is rained out, up to the following seven days.
For more information on Pixar Putt, Australians and tourists to Melbourne can check out the limited event’s official website. Tickets can also be booked there.
Even in theme park complexes like Walt Disney World there are companies doing business performing necessary services for the endless number of guests coming every day. That includes banks, shops, and even some rental services that provide strollers for parents with young children. And Fantasy Stroller Company has a way to stand out from others.
Though not affiliated to Disney itself, Fantasy Stroller has created two Disney-inspired designs for their children’s strollers that will tickle the fantastical or sci-fi fancies of very young fans. Here’s a list of themed strollers they have to offer guests going to Walt Disney World
Cinderella Carriage – for the little Princesses ($132)
Millennium Falcon – for the young heroes of the Rebel Alliance ($130)
The prices quoted above will make the strollers available to guests for 8 hours, to be delivered by Fantasy Strollers to Disney World upon request. For more details, visit their official Facebook page and official website now.
Next year, Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World will become home to the biggest theme park area based on the epic space opera franchise of Star Wars. This area, to be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will be identical in features on both locations, and will definitely be hits with guests.
Information released thus far reveals at least three significant attractions for Galaxy’s Edge. Two of them are rides and the third being the background music that will be piped into the area all day. Disney Parks and Resorts even released promo videos for all three:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – trackless dark ride into a Resistance-First Order battle
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – cockpit simulator ride for family-sized groups
Everybody knows the D23 Expos, where the House of Mouse showcases what new surprises are in store for their fans across their wide company portfolio, from the theme parks, to films and TV shows to other forms of media. It happens every other year, for being such a major occasion.
But what does Disney do in the years without D23? They hold another expo for the public. It’s called Destination D and it was held last week. Where D23 is more on the media, Destination D had a greater focus on theme park attractions, and they had lots to share. Note that most of these attractions won’t open until 2019:
Guardians of the Galaxy (roller coaster)
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (dark ride)
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – France Pavilion
Circle-Vision 360 Viewing Screens – new update (China Pavilion) and new film (Canada Pavilion)
Replacement Show for “Illuminations” Presentation – 2020 debut; Disney properties spotlight
“Epcot Forever” Fireworks Show
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run – “hyper-real” cockpit ride experience
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – trackless ride into Resistance- First Order battle, featuring Kylo Ren
New Star Wars musical pieces from John Williams for Galaxy’s Edge
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Other
Wonderful World of Animation – projection-mapping nighttime spectacular showcase, 2019 debut
In just a matter of days it’ll be November 18, the day Steamboat Willie premiered in theaters back in 1928. This is taken as the official birthdate of the cartoon short’s star, Walt Disney’s most iconic creation: Mickey Mouse. His 90th anniversary’s being celebrated by Disney theme parks all over.
Aside from the wave of Mickey merchandise like clothing and accessories, there’re also a lot of food items themed after the world’s most famous mouse that can be had at Disneyland and Walt Disney World if you know where to go. We’ll try to help you out with this list:
Christmastime is almost upon us, and already the holiday decorations are coming out everywhere even this early. Walt Disney World is no exception, as it has started to pretty up its Disney Springs outdoor commercial and entertainment complex with a yuletide motif that’s still unmistakably of the House of Mouse.
To wit, one of its central attractions is the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. Set up at the area that was once the Marketplace bus loop, it features a score of Disney-themed Christmas trees with favorite characters from popular movies either inside lantern-like ornaments or decorating the branches by themselves.
The trees are laid out in an easily followed path that’s also dotted with stores selling specialty drinks, snacks and merchandise, and other photo-op spots aide from the trees themselves.
Here’s a list of the featured Disney themed Christmas trees:
Alice in Wonderland
The Jungle Book
The Haunted Mansion
The Princess and the Frog
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail is open seven days a week, from 11 AM to 11 PM, for all the Holiday Season.