Disney’s Pop Century Resort: This must be POP!

Disney’s Pop Century Resort holds some great memories for Kelly Christine, and so she is back to share her favorite things and tips about staying here!
Pop Century Resort Sign
As I admitted last week, there are times I don’t stay at DVC resorts. One of those times tends to be when a large group of my friends get together for an event.
Pop Century Resort Inside Lobby
When events like this happen, we tend to rent out a block of rooms together at Pop Century. For the trips that you’re not going to spend much time relaxing, this is a great place for a quality experience at a reasonable price tag.
Pop Century Resort Everything Pop
Disney’s Pop Century Resort just turned 10 years old this past December and is quite a large resort with almost 3000 rooms.
Pop Century Resort Years
The resort is divided up by the later decades of the 20th century and all the pop culture that goes along with it. Originally there was going to be a second half of this resort but instead the buildings were converted into the resort we know as Art of Animation. There is a bridge that connects the resorts so you can see what the other half of the resort became instead.
Pop Century Resort Petals
Some of my favorite memories with friends were made at this resort, we would spend our days running around the resort and our evenings we would takeover a few tables by the pool and laugh until all hours of the night.
Pop Century Resort Decor
When I think back on my trips to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, I remember what happened outside of the parks more than inside the parks.

Tips for Enjoying Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort Brownie
Tip 1: Get a brownie sundae! I’m not a cheesecake fan so I can’t recommend the tie-dyed cheesecake but I can confirm the brownie sundae is delicious.
Pop Century Resort Ping Pong Balls
Tip 2: Play some ping pong! Grab a ping pong ball from the gumball dispensers next to Petals Pool Bar and have some fun!
Pop Century Resort Pool
Tip 3: Unwind by the pool! After the end of a long day, I recommend grabbing a cool beverage (Piña Colava or water are my favorites at Pop) and relaxing with friends. My friends and I didn’t go to a nighttime show most nights and instead enjoyed catching up with each other while unwinding from the day.
Pop Century Resort Walkway
Tip 4: The Pop Century Resort has an AMAZING loop of songs that play, and you will find yourself singing whenever you are out! It is awesome!
Pop Century Resort POP
Have you been to Disney’s Pop Century Resort? What’s your favorite part about staying here? Do you have a favorite tip or memory?
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X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review

X-men-magneto-prisonerAs I’ve mentioned before in some of my posts, I love the X-Men. Wolverine is one of my favorite characters in Marvel movies, but he hasn’t always had the best screen time, especially of late. I am not a comic book fan, but adore the X-Men movies. I have seen them all and own all except the two Wolverine movies oddly enough.

What I like best is when the X-Men are working together as a team. This might be why I don’t find the two Wolverine films as compelling as the ensemble ones (excluding The Last Stand). The new film, X-Men: Days of Future Past came out this past week and was set up with a cut scene at the end of the last Wolverine film. The premise is that there is a war in the near future that will take place and effectively eliminate all mutants, imprison humans who help them, and even humans who will eventually have mutant children or grandchildren.

Without getting into too much of the plot so I don’t completely spoil the movie for you, it falls upon Logan/Wolverine to go back in time through his subconscious and prevent the war from happening. In order to do this, Wolverine must unite Charles Xavier/Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto in a quest to find Raven/Mystique as she plays a key role in the development.

If one recalls, at the end of X-Men: First Class, Charles and Erik were not exactly the best buddies they had previously been. After Erik accidentally paralyzed Charles with a bullet he deflected, he also ran off with Mystique, who Charles loved like a sister. I really liked incorporating the First Class actors, especially Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Ian McKellan as Magneto from the original films. The way they handled the “time travel” was cool and I liked the new and old group of X-Men.

All in all I was happy with the movie. It left me asking questions, but in a good way, like where do they go from here. I got everything out of it that I wanted without knowing that’s what I wanted. I even shed a tear towards the end. Nothing had really been spoiled other than what happened (not how) to one character, but it didn’t ruin the story for me at all. I will definitely buy this when it comes out on blu ray and may even catch it again in the theater. It didn’t hurt that Hugh Jackman was in almost every scene either.

Xmen-wolverine-bullets

 

 

As far as where I would rank this movie in with the other X-Men films, I would put it in the middle. I go back and forth between the first and second films as my favorite, then First Class, then the Wolverine, Last Stand and Origins. I would put this either 3rd or 4th behind either X2 or First Class. For those who have seen it, what did you think of X-Men: Days of Future Past? Where does it rank for you? Where would you like the series to go from here with all that happened in this movie? Let me know in the comments.

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Star Wars Weekends: May 30 – June 1, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is well under way, and with so many great things happening during this special event I thought I would summarize what you will find going on!

Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required for Star Wars Weekends, and availability is limited for some events so get to your destination early! Also listen for updates throughout the day as events may be cancelled at any time!

Star Wars Weekends: May 30 – June 1, 2014

Check out the Star Wars Weekend Guide

for May 30- June 1, 2014 here.

Scheduled Celebrity Appearances

A highlight of Star Wars Weekends is having the chance to get an autograph from an actual Star Wars Celebrity around Echo Lake! Be warned though, this is not something everyone will be able to do so make sure you choose your celebrity wisely and get there extremely early!

Disney FASTPASS Ticket Required 
An extremely limited number of FASTPASS tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to the right of the turnstiles. Based on demand, distribution may begin prior to Park opening. Please note: You must have a FASTPASS ticket to receive an autograph.

To receive a FASTPASS ticket:

  • Join the line of the celebrity you would most like to meet. You may not save a place in line for other party members.
  • While in line, you will receive a wristband. Your wristband along with your theme park ticket or pass will entitle you to receive one autograph FASTPASS ticket. Only one autograph FASTPASS ticket will be distributed per Guest. Each Guest must be present to receive a FASTPASS ticket. You may not get FASTPASS tickets for other members of your party.

After receiving your FASTPASS ticket, continue to wear your wristband. You will need to be wearing your wristband to get an autograph.

 

Your FASTPASS ticket will have a designated autograph return time. Until that time, you may enjoy other Star Wars Weekends activities. At your designated time, proceed to the Celebrity Autograph Location at Echo Lake to show your wristband and present your FASTPASS ticket.

 

Once FASTPASS tickets for visiting celebrities are distributed, we may distribute a limited number of “stand-by” tickets with a return time. “Stand-by” tickets do not guarantee you an autograph.

 

Please note: Receiving a FASTPASS ticket for an autograph at Star Wars Weekend will not restrict you from reserving access with FastPass+ for additional attractions, entertainment and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Star Wars Weekends celebrities for May 30 – June 1, 2014 are:

  • Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
  • John Ratzenberger (Major Bren Derlin – Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger – Star Wars Rebel)

Character Meet and Greets

Star Wars Weekends
Photo: Disney

In addition to an awesome variety of Star Wars Characters that you can find walking throughout the Star Wars Weekends crowds, you can find special meet and greets at the following locations:

  • Meet Disney Pals as Star Wars Stars in Darth’s Mall
  • Meet the Heroes of the Clone Wars Near the Premiere Theater
  • Meet the Dark Side near Darth’s Mall
  • Meet Members of the Jedi Council near Premiere Theater
  • Meet Members of the Rebel Alliance Near Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue

Entertainment

Star Wars Weekends Stormtrooper

Throughout Star Wars Weekends there are some AMAZING opportunities to interact with characters, participate in great shows, and see fireworks that will blow your mind!

  • Stormtroopers at the Gate – Hollywood and Vine Intersection: Watch out for this duo, as their mission is to keep the ‘Rebel Scum’ in line.

  • Boba Fett Patrol: Boba Fett patrols the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage, and this is your chance to get up close and talk to the universe’s most relentless bounty hunter.

  • Stormtrooper Patrol: In addition to Boba Fett, you can find Stormtroopers patrolling and guarding the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage. They might ask you a few questions, so be cool!

  • Legends of the Force:  Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade – 11:30 am: The Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade is filled with Star Wars celebrities, characters, and lots & lots of Stormtroopers! The motorcade begins at the front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and makes its way to the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage with an awesome welcome and photo opportunity.

  • DJ Lobot Dance Party – 7:00 pm: Dance to the tunes that DJ Lobot is spinning in front of the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage.
  • Symphony in the Stars – 9:30 pm: If you haven’t seen fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you are missing out! This year Hyperspace Hoopla (I am crying as I type this) has been replaced with this spectacular fireworks show, and if you have ‘Glow with the Show’ ears you are going to want to bring them along!

  • Padawan Mind Challenge – 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, 4:15 pm, and 6:30 pm: Younglings ages 4-11 will enjoy the Padawan Mind Challenge where your intergalactic hosts ask some fun and interactive Star Wars trivia challenges with a few surprises.

  • Jedi Training Academy – 8:45 am, 9:20 am, 10:05 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:30 pm: Kids under 12 can hone their lightsaber skills at the Jedi Training Academy with extra opportunities than normal during Star Wars Weekends. 

Celebrity Presentations

Star Wars Weeekends

During Star Wars Weekends, the Premiere Theater plays home to some exceptional experiences that include the celebrities visiting the celebration for the weekend.

Make sure that you check to see if there are any FastPass+ available for the following shows!

Some of the scheduled presentations include:

  • Behind the Force – Star Wars:  Rebels – 1:45 pm
    Ashley Eckstein, who is the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, and special guests give a behind-the-scenes “sneak peek” of the upcoming TV show Star Wars: Rebels.

  • Stars of the Saga – 3:30 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, the Star Wars Weekends 2014 host, and special guests share 30 minutes look into the fascinating lives and movie-making adventures with some of the stars from the Star Wars saga. It’s a talk-show format that is full of fun and surprises!

  • Stormtrooper Pre-Show
    Make sure you head to the Premiere Theater15 minutes prior to Stars of the Saga for a unique and immersive pre-show featuring several Imperial Stormtroopers on a special assignment. I always make sure to get to the Theater early to catch this!!!

  • Visit to the Maul starring Ray Park – 5:15
    Learn film and martial arts techniques from the actor who brought Darth Maul to life – the man, the Sith, the legend…Ray Park.  In this unique presentation, the martial arts master performs impressive demonstrations as he reveals his journey to action-star fame.
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor – 7:00 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, gives us a glimpse into the world of voice acting. James performs over 200 popular and iconic characters, and Zoe LOVES this show!

Special Food and Beverage Options

What would a special event at Walt Disney World be without special food and beverage offerings???

httpv://youtu.be/DRiz6NSEFwk

Star Wars Weekends have some pretty awesome ones this year that are only available during event weekends!

  • Darth Vader Cupcake: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade and Darth’s Mall

  • Yoda Cupcake: Available at Backlot Express, Starring Rolls and Darth’s Mall

  • Darth Vader Souvenir Popcorn Bucket with Caramel or Regular Popcorn: Available at Popcorn Carts and Darth’s Mall

  • Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug with Fountain Beverage: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade

** The Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug was temporarily sold out last weekend, so you may want to check for its availability in the park**

  • Admiral Ackbar’s Snackbar in Darth’s Mall featuring a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find additional food, beverage, and alcoholic beverage locations have been added. 

Merchandise

Star Wars Weekends 2014 Darth's Mall

Star Wars Weekends event merchandise can be found in Darth’s Mall sponsored by HP which will be located between Toy Story Mania and the Studios Backlot Tour this year.

Again, be prepared for some crazy lines!!! But the treasures inside are worth the wait!

Once inside you will find limited edition pins, specialty gift cards, artwork, collectibles, and commemorative apparel for the entire family!

In addition to Star Wars Weekends logo’ed items, you will also find the Her Universe line of apparel by Ashley Eckstein.

Star Wars Weekends 2014

I know that we are all stoked about Star Wars Weekends, and can’t wait to share all of the fun! So make sure you are following our adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

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