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As Walt Disney World Resort gears up for the start of the 18-month 50th anniversary celebration, which starts tomorrow, Oct. 1, 2021, we have a few new perks in store for your clients.

By now you’ve heard about the new light displays throughout the Disney parks, the new “Earidecent” costumes for the characters, even about the opening of the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

But, there are other new attractions coming your way. First, there’s the Guardians of the Galaxy Wonders of Zandars Pavillion, which is expected to open in 2022, and the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience, which is planned to open next spring on March 1, 2022. Bookings for this the 2-night vacation experience will open on Oct. 28, 2021.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Experience

Walt Disney World Resorts
Galactic guestroom. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resorts.)

During this new experience, Walt Disney World Resort guests will get to live out their own Star Wars adventure as they see, feel and live Star Wars. They will start by traveling the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon starcruiser, stay in well-appointed cabins and experience the entertainment and dining, plus visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Throughout the journey, guests’ choices will determine their own personal adventures as they interact with characters, crew and passengers they meet as they become part of the action and Star Wars saga. Each decision the guests make will affect how their personal stories unfold.

Through viewports, guests will see themselves leave their world behind as they jump to hyperspace and draw closer to the Halcyon starcruiser. When the Launch Pod docks with the starcruiser and the airlock opens, guests will step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin their journey. They’ll get to learn the ancient ways of the lightsaber and face off against a training remote, where guests may discover their own connection with the Force. Then, they’ll visit the starcruiser’s Bridge to learn about its systems and how to operate them, including a chance to try out the ship’s weapons and defense systems—skills that may come in handy during a journey through this adventure-filled galaxy. Guests will find refreshments each day in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. This bright and welcoming hall will offer breakfast and lunch to passengers before transitioning each evening into a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins. One night’s dinner will feature a live performance from a galactic superstar.

Stories will continue to play out during a visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where guests from the starcruiser to Black Spire Outpost for their planetside excursion to Batuu, and actions they take while on the planet may then have ramifications when they return to the ship, helping determine how their stories play out.

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Amed-Up Technology

Walt Disney World Resorts
Celebrating 50 years of Disney magic. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resorts.)

Also new for the 50th anniversary celebration, is an amped-up MagicBand experience with the introduction of MagicBand+, as well as the new Hey Disney Voice Assistant.

Walt Disney World Resorts
The new MagicBand+. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resorts.)

The new upgraded MagicBand+ allows guests to have a more immersive experience throughout Walt Disney World Resort. The new bands will have all the same features as the original, plus a few more perks. Once guests enter the theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition—all of which enhance the parks’ immersive storytelling. Guest will also be able to play like a bounty hunter in a galaxy far away and find virtual bounties throughout Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; interact with the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection golden sculptures throughout the parks, and experience nighttime sepctaculars in new ways as the bands light up and complement the showcases. More functions for the new MagicBand+ will be revealed in the future; and will be available for purchase next year. It will be also be available at a discounted, pre-arrival price for Disney Resorts hotels guests, as well as new and renewing Walt Disney World Annual Passholders.

In addition, Disney has partnered with Amazon Echo to offer its guests its own voice assistant using Alexa technology. Using “Hey Disney!” this voice assistant will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, which will bring Disney characters and stories to life.

Walt Disney World Resorts
The new “Hey Disney!” virtual assistant outfitted in Mickey’s classic red shorts. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resorts.)

“Hey Disney!” will begin rolling out at Disney Resort hotel guestrooms across Walt Disney World in 2022. Access will be offered as an optional, complimentary feature during guest stays. Using “Hey Disney!,” guests will be able to get weather forecasts, set timers, and also get information for park openings, Disney bus schedules, order room amenities, and more with the help of popular characters such as Mickey, Olaf, C-3PO, and more.

“Hey Disney!” also features an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than a thousand interactions such as hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions, and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations.

For those who want to experience this Disney Magic at home, “Hey Disney!” will be available for purchase through supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store, as well as two new exclusive Mickey-inspired stands for the Echo Show 5 featuring either the iconic Mickey ears with the 50th anniversary celebration outfit (which will be displayed in Disney Resort hotel rooms) or his classic red shorts.

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