March goes away, and April comes flowering in. You know what that means? At the end of the month is my birthday, and I turn…well…it’s not really important how old I’ll be. In fact the older you get the less you care about birthdays. Funny how that works out. But I really hate getting older. I honestly do. Some people say to just take it and grow old gracefully, but to hell with that. I know, I’m not as old as some of you out there…I can just hear you saying “Well, when I was your age…back in my day…and I looked down and I was standing on my own ti——–“. Yeah, I know you’ve been there, it’s been a blast. But doesn’t mean I have to like getting older, nor do I have to look forward to it. My kids are turning into people, my parents are turning into old people, and me…I’m turning into my parents. Aging sucks. And I’m just at the start of it.
Get off my theme park news’s lawn you darn whippersnappers!
Star Wars Weekends will happen again this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While there isn’t a complete line up list, two of the main headliners have been released. Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor will both play host during the event. They provide voices of some of the characters on Cartoon Network’s The Clone Wars. Because there are no movies, live action TV shows or anything else, the majority of the Star Wars Celebs will be from the cartoon show. Also a more detailed list of celebs have been released:
Weekend I (May 18 – 20)
Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Weekend II (May 25- 27)
Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Weekend III (June 1 -3)
Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
(Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice talent – currently TBD)
Weekend IV (June 8- 10)
Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
While most daily events are still being scheduled, we have received a few additional news of note and tips for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (all activities & entertainment subject to change):
“Hyperspace Hoopla”: This high-energy, one-of-a-kind show is a chance to see some of the famed Star Wars characters performing like never before. It will take place on a stage in front of the Sorcerer Mickey hat on Hollywood Blvd., and is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. each event evening.
Autograph Opportunities: As always, there is no additional charge for the celebrity autograph sessions at Star Wars Weekends. The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-type system. The meet-and-greet session/autograph opportunities are extremely limited, so guests need to arrive early to receive a FASTPASS. Please refer to this link, which will take you to the official Star Wars Weekends event page on DisneyWorld.com. There, you’ll find more detailed information under “Celebrity Autographs.”
Star-Studded Event: Keep in mind, autograph opportunities are not the only place to see the celebrities. Star Wars stars take part in fun throughout the day in Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations, the gala “Legends of the Force” parade and more.
One of the coolest things about parks like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Universal Studios Florida, are the characters that randomly walk around and interact with guests. When Buena Vista Street at Disney’s California Adventure opens this June, those types of characters will be roaming around. Red Car News Boys, inspired from the Newsies musical and film will be interacting and singing to guests. Also performing will be Five and Dime in Carthay Circle. More details
Tutto Gusto will open in Epcot’s Italy pavilion in May. It takes over part of the existing restaurants lobby and will feature a small plate menu, wines and beer. It’s meant to be a smaller more intimate eatery that has the feel of an Italian Wine Cellar. Full story
Destination D will return to Disneyland this year, and will feature the classic animation of Disney. Also on hand will be nightly performances from Dick Van Dyke and Alan Menken. Full story
While other consoles will have Epic Mickey 2, the Nintendo 3DS will get Epic Mickey:Power of Illusion. It will be exclusively for the 3DS and will feature a special drawing and painting feature that will turn the players drawings into 2D classic Disney characters. Full story
Star Trek the Experience was a one of a kind attraction that paid off dearly for not only the Star Trek franchise, but also for Paramount. While it is now closed and gone, it’s interesting to think what COULD have been. The Star Trek Experience launched in 1998, but it was way back in 1992 that an entirely different experience was proposed to help bolster the Downtown Las Vegas economy. A full size Starship Enterprise would have been built and would have included several different ride experiences such as the high speed elevators. Sadly, it was decided that if the attraction was a flop, it would have done more damage to Paramount than John Carter did to Disney. So they opted out of it.
In this day and age where theme parks are spending big money to make huge experiences, not just rides, would it be possible to see a concept like this? Harry Potter opened up a whole bunch of doors for the theme park world….so how about it, would you like to see the Starship Enterprise come to life? Read more
Zip lines are becoming a huge rage in local amusements. So the next step in that rage? The zip line rollercoaster. The coaster is about 1000 feet long, lasts about a minute and is just you and line dangling you 65 feet above the ground. The Rattlesnake is now open at Florida Eco Safaris. Full story
The Mummy, starring Brendon Fraser is getting the reboot treatment. Okay to be fair, it was originally starring Boris Karloff…but the huge 1999 action adventure film was bigger, and spawned two sequels and a roller coaster. So what could we see in a new adventure? Hopefully better looking CGI mummies, and a bigger more bad assed ride. Full story
The Snow White film “Mirror mirror” starring Julia Roberts opened this weekend, and blew. The other Snow White film-Snow White and the Huntsman is opening up later this year. The early reviews as well as word of mouth is increasingly positive. So positive that Universal is trying to get a franchise started starring the Huntsman in other films such as Red Riding Hood. Could you imagine an army of werewolves? And the only one who can save them is The Huntsman. I can also picture a series of rides based on this as well…oh the fun we could have. Full story
For those fans of Men In Black-Alien Attack, it sounds like the new video game designed to tie into the movie will tie more so into the theme park attraction instead. MIB-Alien Crisis pits gamers as an MIB agent in training who uncovers a huge plot to invade Earth. You will have split screen two player options, as well as a 4 person “hot seat” where gamers get to ride around the city. Sound familiar enough? More details
Ride of the Day
So the original plan to tape people while the ascended the huge tower and then watch their faces as they dropped in terror backfired for BGW and Mach Tower was delayed damn near five months. There has been a serious lack of good POV’s for the ride, and this is about the most complete I could find. So…Mach Tower at Busch Gardens Williamsburg…despite being shot with a potato…is your ride of the day