This Week in Disney News – Anniversaries, Free Dining, and Star Wars

hollywood studios merchIt’s been a very busy week in the world of Disney news, including some major news announced Friday at the Walt Disney World Resort!

But first, since it is Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You!), let’s start this weekly recap with the news that we’ve all been waiting for.

Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced!

That’s right – the disturbance you felt in the Force earlier this week was millions of fans crying out in joy when the cast for Star Wars Episode VII was announced.

Original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) will star in the film, ending months of speculation.

The cast for Star Wars: Episode VII also includes: John Boyega (24: Live Another Day), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films), Domhhall Gleeson (About Time), and Max von Sydow (The Exorcist).

There’s no word yet on character names or a storyline. Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

And since we’re celebrating Star Wars Day today, you have to check out the latest Saturday Style post from our friends at Walt Disney World for Grown Ups.

If all of this isn’t enough Star Wars for you, make sure to visit your local Disney Store today to celebrate May the Fourth! And don’t forget, Star Wars Weekends starts May 16 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Walt Disney World News

The week started out with news that guests at the Walt Disney World Resort can now add more FastPass+ entitlements once they’ve used the first three. Not only can you add more FastPass+ selections, you can also park hop with the FastPass+ – so if you’ve used your FastPasses at the Magic Kingdom and you’re hopping to Epcot, just visit the FastPass+ kiosk in Epcot to add more selections.

May 1 was the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the day was marked with a park re-dedication, a special motorcade featuring popular characters, and a special 25th anniversary cupcake was available for guests to snack on! Happy Birthday to the Studios.

Perhaps some of the biggest news this week was the announcement that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is officially opening on May 28! We’ll have more information on the attraction this week on DisZine.

Other big Walt Disney World news comes from the Animal Kingdom. Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have all the news about the new Harambe Nights event coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer! This hard-ticket special event includes an appetizer party, a performance of The Lion King – Concert in the Wild, and a street party complete with an all-inclusive African-inspired buffet.

Disney Hotels Fans reported on the updates happening at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, including a name change. The resort is going back to the original, opening day name of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. And, if that’s not enough to get you excited about the Poly, the Disney Food Blog reports that Trader Sam’s Grotto is headed to the resort!

Free Dining Returns to Disney World

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World this fall, you might be happy about this news – Free Dining is returning for select dates in September, October, November, and December! The Disney Food Blog has all the details you need to know about Free Dining at Disney World! The offer opens up to the general public on May 7.

In other Disney food news, Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was recently awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award for the 15th year in a row!  There are also some menu changes coming to fan favorites Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney.

While we’re talking about food, you need to check out these adorable Fantasyland salt and pepper shakers featured on Mickey Fix!

As we head into the busy summer season at Walt Disney World, there’s bound to be more exciting news, so keep an eye on DisZine for all the Disney news that’s fit to print!

Tell us what you think about this week’s news? Are you excited about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Will you take advantage of Free Dining this fall? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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