We begin the December edition of the Newswire at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the dates for Star Wars Weekends have recently been announced! The 2015 incarnation of Star Wars Weekends is set to kickoff on Friday, May 15th, with festivities set to wrap up on Sunday, June 14th. As with last year’s event, the 2015 edition has been expanded to a five-weekend extravaganza. No other information has been announced at this point as far as specific events or possible attending celebrities, but I’ll be sure to report any imperial announcements or rebel activity right here on the Newswire! Here’s a look at the full dates for all five weekends:
Weekend I: Fri May 15th- Sun May 17th
Weekend II: Fri May 22nd- Sun May 24th
Weekend III: Fri May 29th- Sun May 31st
Weekend IV: Fri June 5th- Sun June 7th
Weekend V: Fri June 12th- Sun June 14th
There’s more news to report on Star Wars Weekends, as two special Character Dining options will be returning to DHS this May as well. Let’s begin at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, where Imperial Forces will once again be invading the restaurant each morning for the Star Wars Dine-In Intergalactic Breakfast! The power of the Dark Side will be hard to resist, as you dine amongst some of the baddest villains in the Galaxy. The walk-around character list is set to include Stormtroopers and Imperial Guards, Jawas, Bounty Hunter scum like Boba Fett and Greedo, and of course, the evilest Sith Lord to ever rise from the sands of Tatooine: Darth Vader! Classic American breakfast cuisine will be on the menu, and vintage Star Wars trailers and movie clips will grace the restaurant’s big screen during the meal. The pricing for the Star Wars Dine-In Intergalactic Breakfast is $49.99 for adults and $31.99 for kids ages 3-9. These prices include tax, but do not include gratuity.
Moving over to Hollywood and Vine, we find our second Star Wars Character Dining experience: Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine! Beginning at 4pm, you can join Mickey and his pals for an unforgettable dinner from a Galaxy not so far, far, away! The character list includes Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewok Chip n’ Dale, and dinner options will consist of the classic buffet items usually offered at Hollywood and Vine. The pricing for Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine is $57.99 for adults, and $34.99 for kids ages 3-9. These prices include tax, but do not include gratuity.
But here’s the best part about these two Character Dining experiences… you can book them SEVEN days a week during the Star Wars Weekend dates! Last year, these dining options were only offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during Star Wars Weekends. But for 2015, you can book either meal any day of the week between Monday, May 4th and Sunday June 14th.
There’s one more bit of news to report out of DHS, and for this one it’s time to head over to The Great Movie Ride. A partnership was recently inked with Turner Classic Movies (TCM), as the channel will now sponsor the attraction. The ride layout and show scenes aren’t scheduled to undergo any changes, the only exception being the TCM name being featured throughout (ala General Electric when they were sponsoring Carousel of Progress and Horizons). So don’t worry, we won’t be losing the Duke and Clint upon their horses, Indy will still be lurking at the temple, and we’ll still happily follow the Yellow Brick Road, as all of the classic scenes we’ve grown to love over the last 25 years are set to remain unchanged. But there will be some major changes coming to the attraction’s finale scene. TCM will also be producing a brand new pre-show as well. The changes are set to take place by Spring 2015, which coincidentally will also coincide with the timetable for the Sorcerer Hat removal.
Time to hop over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom now, as there’s news to report on a new sit down dining option coming to Discovery Island in 2015! The new dining spot will be located in the area next to Pizzafari, as expansion work is now underway at the existing restaurant for this conversion. Once completed, the area will house two unique dining choices under one roof: quick-service dining at Pizzafari in one half of the building, and an all-new sit-down experience (theme and name yet to be announced) will occupy the other half. I for one am very excited about this, as we will be gaining a new and much needed dining option for DAK. As soon as there’s any news on the theme, name, menu, or opening date, I’ll be sure to report it all here on the Newswire!
Time to hop over to Epcot now, as there’s news to report on the dining front at Morocco. Spice Road Table has recently converted from a walk-up quick service spot to a sit-down reservation style restaurant. No major menu or decor changes are expected to occur, as this move is simply designed to bolster attendance at the restaurant.
Time to board the monorail and make our way over to Magic Kingdom now, as it’s time for the Rumor of the Month! For this one, let’s venture over to Fantasyland’s Be Our Guest Restaurant. The rumor mill has been scorching lately with strong rumblings of a breakfast offering coming soon to Be Our Guest! Advance Dining Reservations are showing 8am-10am bookings available for the restaurant beginning March 2015. There’s no word yet as to whether this is just a temporary offering for the busy Spring Break Season or if it’s going to be a permanent fixture. Adding breakfast hours daily would be a huge plus for two main reasons. First, Be Our Guest is extremely crowded for quick service lunch, and even harder to book for dinner. So adding a third meal at the restaurant will allow many more Guests an opportunity to enjoy the restaurant daily. The second reason this makes sense is simply the lack of sit-down breakfast options currently offered at MK. You have A Buffet with Character at the Crystal Palace and you have Cinderella’s Royal Table. Just two options. But a Be Our Guest table service breakfast would add a third option to the mix. Haha, I’m already starting to drool just thinking about some of the possible menu items!
Let’s stick with the Character Dining theme with an update on the upcoming refurbishment to Cinderella’s Royal Table. As I reported way back in the July edition of the Newswire, the restaurant will be closing down for a duration of two months from Monday, January 5th through Friday, March 6th. Well it looks as if there will be an additional Princess Dining option available at the nearby Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. During the closure to Cinderella’s Royal Table, Guests can book a breakfast/brunch at Citrico’s. Hours run from 8am to 2:20pm at a cost of $49.99 for adults and $31.99 for kids ages 3-9. Just as with Cinderella’s Royal Table, Princesses such as Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel, and Snow White will be mingling from table to table for autographs and pictures. Another tradition will be making its way over as well, as kids (and kids at heart) will receive special wands and swords for the Magical Wishing Ceremony. And of course, Cinderella herself will be on hand to greet her Guests as they arrive. The Cinderella Brunch at Citrico’s will run from Thursday, January 8th through Tuesday March 3rd, and reservations are currently available for booking online or via phone at (407) WDW-DINE.
Our final bit of news today takes us across Seven Seas Lagoon to the shores of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. There’s a name change to report over at Club Disney, as it was recently re-christened Lilo’s Playhouse. Originally known as the Neverland Club, the supervised dinner buffet for children was refurbished and re/themed to Club Disney back in June of this year. But less than six months later, another name change has taken place. This change makes sense from a theming standpoint, as Lilo is a fixture at the Polynesian, appearing each morning alongside her pal Stitch at the Best Friends Breakfast inside the Great Ceremonial House.
Well, that’s gonna do it for the December edition of the Newswire, but I’ll be back again next month with lots more news, notes, and happenings from Walt’s beloved Florida Project!
Don Myers covers news and recent events in Walt Disney World. He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history! Don was also a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine, submitting over 30 articles and 7 cover stories for the publication.
(Photos c/o Disney)