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NEWS - Kylo Ren coming to Disney Parks, Tokyo DisneySea 15th anniversary and more closures at DHS
DisneyDan  Friday, January 15, 2016 4:31:51 PM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog announced that Kylo Ren, the main villain of the new "Star Wars - Force Awakens" movie, will be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park in California. Kylo Ren will feature at the Star Wars Launch Bay at both parks, replacing Darth Vader. It is not currently known if he will also appear at the Disney Visa meet 'n' greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios, replacing Darth Vader when he appears there, too. This is really exciting news for Star Wars fans, and fans of the new movie, as it will, for the first time, bring a permanent meet 'n' greet featuring a character from the Force Awakens to the parks (outside of the randomly roaming First Order Stormtroopers and the ticketed event last month). Although no definite start date was given, the Parks Blog state "February", which of course is just two weeks away now. Chewbacca will be remaining at the Light Side meet 'n' greet in both Launch Bays for the time being.

Before we move onto some other news from Hollywood Studios, sticking with Star Wars, Captain Phasma was aboard the Disney Cruise Line this week for the special Star Wars themed sailings. This marks her first public appearance for meet 'n' greets. C-3PO (complete with his red arm from the new movie) a Gamorrean Guard and other Star Wars characters were spotted on board also.

The Disney Parks Blog also confirmed today that the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be closing permanently on April 2nd, to make way for the new Toy Story Land. Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater already left their greeting location at the park earlier this month, and therefore April 2nd will mark McQueen's final appearance at the park, as he races off into the sunset once the show closes for the last time. Along with the show closure the Parks Blog mention that other areas of the Streets of America will be closing for the new developments, and while they don't say specifically say this, it is widely anticipated that this will include the Monsters Inc. greeting. This will mean that Mike will no longer appear at any Disney Park worldwide, and Disney California Adventure will be the only place you can meet Sulley. Along similar lines, when McQueen and Mater departed, as did Phineas and Ferb, who were right next door at their movie set location. With their departure back to Danville, you can no longer find Phineas and Ferb at any Disney Park worldwide on a regular basis.

The Oriental Land Company this week announced their plans for the 15th anniversary of Tokyo DisneySea, which as with everything they do, sounds like it will be incredible.

From from April 15, 2016, through March 17, 2017, you will be able to experience "Tokyo DisneySea15th Anniversary: The Year of Wishes", which will feature a brand new harbour show, special greetings and more!

"Crystal Wishes Journey" will be the new daytime harbour show, which will feature Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Chip, Dale, Clarice, Goofy, Max, Duffy, ShellieMay and Gelatoni (Duffy's cat friend, who debuted at the park this week).
The official release states the following:

"The Disney Characters are wearing a "Crystal of Wishes," each with a different color that symbolizes his or her individual wish. Minnie Mouse has a red crystal which symbolizes love, Donald Duck has a blue crystal for friendship, and Goofy’s wish for energy is represented by a green crystal. Their wishes are presented to the Guests in the form of song and dance. All the wishes form the clear crystal worn by Mickey Mouse. When Mickey wishes for the well being of his dear friends, and to be able to continue the journey with them, the excitement builds up even more for the Disney Friends, the dancers and the Guests as everyone’s wishes come together. In the show’s finale when everyone’s wishes combine, kites soar above Mediterranean Harbor, pyrotechnics burst out from the clear crystal at the center of the harbor and everyone celebrates the start of new journeys for the 15th anniversary year."

The immensely popular "Big Band Beat" will receive an update for the anniversary - the first change since the show opened in July 2006. There will be new costumes for the characters, and a new scene featuring Goofy, as well as all new music.

The Hangar Stage in Lost River Delta will open a brand new show titled "Out of Shadowland", which does not feature any characters (like its predecessor), but will take guests on a musical journey through the world of shadows. It should be noted that while the rest of the anniversary entertainment will begin on 15th April, this new show will not debut until 9th July.

Finally for the 15th anniversary, there will be a special greeting that will take place in American Waterfront, that will feature Mickey and friends arriving aboard the Big City Vehicles, wearing their special 15th anniversary outfits. Other details about how this will take place - whether this will be a meet 'n' greet with lines, with the strange Tokyo ticket system, or randomly roaming - is yet to be announced.

Of course, in typical Tokyo fashion, there will be special food, merchandise and decorations for the event.

Finally, I wanted to mention something from earlier this week, when I shared some interesting revelations about character greetings, entertainment and character dining for the brand new Shanghai Disney Resort which is set to open on June 16th this year. You can check out all the details here on the Character Central blog.

Why not also read my recent Hong Kong Disneyland trip report? Part one can be read here, and part two can be read here.

Have a great weekend everyone,

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