The Force Returns For “Star Wars” Weekends & the Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Star Wars Weekends, the Force-filled fun-fest that takes place annually at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, returns to the Walt Disney World
Resort galaxy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013.
A celebration of all-things-Star Wars, the special event is included in regular park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Among the features: special Star War themed parades, appearances by Star Wars celebrities, special additions to Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations,
limited-edition merchandise, a nightly dance celebration and more. The centerpiece of the celebration is Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the immersive 3-D
attraction that speeds guests through worlds featured in the Star Wars saga.
This year’s event includes a nod to the 30 anniversary of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which debuted in theaters in May 1983.
Two Star Wars film legends – one who portrayed a villain and one who portrayed a hero – will double the fun in two consecutive weekends. Action star Ray Park, who portrayed the Sith warrior Darth Maul on the silver screen, is one of the celebrity guests in Weekends I and II. Actor Warwick Davis, known to Star Wars fans as everyone’s favorite Ewok, Wicket W. Warrick, is one of the guests during Weekends II and III.
Also showcased at the event: the largest collection of official Star Wars characters gathered at any theme park in the world, roaming the areas and posing for meet-and greet and autograph opportunities in front of themed scenery.
For more information about Star Wars Weekends and the latest event updates, guests may check the Disney Parks Blog ( — Keyword: “Star Wars”), the official Star Wars website ( — Keyword: “Disney”) and the official Walt Disney World Resort website ( — Keyword: “Star Wars Weekends”). Star Wars: © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

Flower Power Concert Series In Full Bloom
Beauty and beats celebrate spring, as the Flower Power Concert Series continues in Epcot. Check out these acts, rounding out the 75-day Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (subject to change without notice):
May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)
May 10-12: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
Need to spiff up your home and garden? HGTV design gurus will show guests how to make spring colors pop inside and outside their homes each weekend through May 19.
May 3-5 : Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”
May 10-12: Dan Faires, DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”
May 17-19: David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”
Don’t miss the final two special Festival Center weekend events: May 3-5 is Florida Fresh Weekend featuring state’s bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood; May 10-12
offers a showcase for the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.
For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car
show with a modern twist June 14-16, 2013. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to
meet “Cars 2″ stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar “Cars” filmmaker
Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, “test drive”
Ridemakerz“Cars” models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney,
Disney Parks’ line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection, inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle, and Rapunzel is rich in lush colors: soft,
pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees “Going (Back) to Disney World”
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will launch his first football academy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, June 27-30.
Brees, who said those famous words, “I’m going to Disney World” after winning Super Bowl in 2010, will be returning to Disney, and this time will bring a couple
The Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament is expected to attract some of the most highly-ranked high school players in America, along with featuring marquee players and coaches from around the National Football League.
The three day 7-on-7 competition will be run by KSA Events, the nation’s premier host of high school sports events.

Runners Take on The Yeti
Runners face challenges and reach new heights when they take on Expedition Everest Challenge on May 4 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
This nighttime run Disney adventure combines a 5K obstacle run with a scavenger hunt. Runners compete individually or in teams of two. All finishers receive the coveted Compass medal.
Expedition Everest Weekend has fun for the entire family. Younger adventurers can take part in run Disney Kids Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
New this year is the Expedition Everest Family Edition, where teams of up to six people will run a short distance race and then compete in a scavenger hunt throughout the sports complex. For more information, visit

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Marie Gilmore
Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!