Theme Park Bits: Galaxy's Edge After Hours With A Dark Twist, Disney Channel Fan Fest, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Rise of the Resistance won't be available at an upcoming after-hours event.
  • Walt Disney World transportation options are seeing increased prices.
  • And more!
  • August 27 is a long way from now, but some diehard Star Wars fans were fast on the button to buy tickets to the Disneyland After Dark event happening that night. This hard-ticket event will give guests access to a lot of fun and unique offerings in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. ...Oh, but not Rise of the Resistance, the major attraction in that land. Yes, that attraction is not set to be open during the event, which raised the ire of some fans. It's understandable: why pay extra for an event centered around an area without having that area's marquee ride available? This story came out around the same time as the announcement that the event quickly sold out, which doesn't exactly put the onus on Disney to change its operational style. If you want to see that kind of change, don't drop a hundred or so bucks on a special event. That might inspire things to be changed up.

    Disney Channel Fan Fest

    Speaking of fan events, there's almost certainly going to be a massive amount of fans at the next Disney Channel Fan Fest. This year, the Fan Fest will be taking place at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, starting May 9 in Anaheim. If you want to spend more time at the Fan Fest, hopefully you'll be in Orlando in the back half of the month, where the event will recur over three straight weekends. You'll have the chance to take part in special dance parties, trivia challenges, and meet stars from such shows as Raven's Home, Just Roll With It, and more.

    If you are in Orlando this May, hopefully you're taking Disney's Magical Express from the airport to your on-property hotel. If you choose otherwise, you may be spending a bit more for transportation. Aside from the free Magical Express service, you can also drop some cold, hard cash on the Minnie Van service from the airport; the amount has just increased for travel to Port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise, or for traveling to your Disney hotel. Having taken the Magical Express a number of times, let me just emphasize: it's free. The Minnie Van now costs $155 to get to your hotel. Go for the free option.

    Ian & Barley from Disney and Pixar's 'Onward'

    March marks the arrival of the first major Walt Disney Pictures release of the new year, Pixar's Onward. (I was, sadly, not a big fan of the film.) That, of course, means that there will be special meet-and-greet opportunities with characters from the film, specifically leads Ian and Barley (voiced in the film by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt). The duo will be available at both Disney California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland in March; I mention it here mostly because it's kind of weird to see larger-than-life versions of characters from a film that features a sequence playfully mocking such meet-and-greet situations. Pixar biting the hand that feeds them!

    Heading back to Orlando for our final story today, Epcot recently unveiled a brand-new restaurant, the Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts and Barbecue spot in the American pavilion of World Showcase. As we've discussed recently, and as you might have surmised from that mouthful of a name and location, this new BBQ spot is themed to none other than Sam the Eagle from the Muppets. The restaurant is now open to all guests, highlighting foods of all nations (but mostly America). I remain not-thrilled at the proliferation of intellectual property in Epcot, but this is a rare situation where the character fits fairly well with the land. More like this, please.