The Force is strong at Walt Disney World’s Disney Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Disney Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World’s Disney Hollywood Studios is getting its ‘Star Wars’ on.

When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas we all knew it wasn’t just to make more movies. Disney wanted the brand so they could incorporate it into their TV shows, video games and theme parks. And it appears fans have been pleased with how Disney has handled their purchase of Star Wars so far.

The Force Awakens is still earning gobs of money and rave reviews at the box office and Disney Infinity 3.0, the latest installment in their video game series, is one of the best games the house of mouse has ever released. But what about the theme parks?

RELATED: Thinking about booking a family trip to Disney World? Check out this hot deal

The Star Wars Launch Bay opened at Walt Disney World’s Disney Hollywood Studios in December and has become a popular spot among guests. It features galleries, props from the movies and photo ops with Star Wars characters, including newest villain Kylo Ren.

Other recent additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include a revamped Star Tours attraction, First Order stormtrooper patrols, a re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, Star Wars-themed food and drinks and the cinematic experience Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.

On top of all that the company announced last week a few more reasons for Star Wars fans to visit the Florida park this year.

The live stage show Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away opens on April 4 and will run multiple times a day. It features classic moments from the Star Wars movies with characters like Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Darth Maul making appearances.

Along with the live show comes the Stormtroopers march, which sees a squad of First Order stormtroopers march in formation from the Star Wars Launch Bay to the Center Stage area. It will happen at various times a day with Captain Phasma leading the march.

And beginning this summer is the next generation fireworks display, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This nightly show, which Disney says is “unprecedented in Disney’s Hollywood Studios history” combines Star Wars-themed music and characters with fireworks, lasers, light projections and other special effects. Disney knows how to do fireworks and from the official description this sounds amazing.

About Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular:

Through these state-of-the-art special effects that project onto the nearby Chinese Theatre and other surrounding buildings, guests will gaze at the twin suns of Tatooine, push through a field of battle droids, navigate through an asteroid field, soar down the trench of the Death Star and deliver the final blow to destroy Starkiller Base. The show, which will unfold through a series of acts, will be punctuated by a tower of fire as well as powerful spotlight beams that create lightsabers in the sky.

Check out some concept art below of more Star Wars-themed attractions planned for both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.

Disney's Star Wars land concept art

Disney's Star Wars land concept art

Disney's Star Wars land concept art

Disney's Star Wars land concept art

Are you excited for all the Star Wars-themed attractions coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at

WestJet now offers direct flight from Waterloo, Ont. to Orlando

Waterloo to Orlando

First flight to Orlando from the Waterloo International Airport departs. (Photo courtesy

WestJet officially launched its weekly direct flight to Orlando, Florida from the Waterloo International Airport on Thursday.

“This is an exciting day for WestJet and our valued, loyal guests in Waterloo Region,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Director of Network and Schedule Planning.

The service departs every Thursday at 9:45 a.m. from Waterloo and lands in Orlando at 12:30 p.m. A return flight leaves Orlando at 2 p.m. and lands in Waterloo at 4:42 p.m. The route runs until April 28, 2016.

Passengers using the service will fly on WestJet’s Next Generation Boeing 737-700 series jet aircraft (which has a 130 seats).

This is great news for travellers in Southern Ontario (especially families heading to Disney World) looking for an alternative to the busy Toronto Pearson International Airport in order to fly south this winter.

RELATED: Thinking about booking a family trip to Disney World? Check out this hot deal

WestJet also offers daily flights between Waterloo and Calgary, Alberta.

For more information on WestJet’s direct Waterloo to Orlando service, visit

Thinking about booking a family trip to Disney World? Check out this hot deal

Disney World

My son and I in front of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida in 2010.

Walt Disney World is one of the most magical places on Earth and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with anything negative to say after a visit. But it’s also one of the most expensive vacation destinations you and your family will ever take. So when there’s a deal to be had, it’s worth sharing.

This offer I recently found is open to Canadian residents only and is good for a family of four to stay “near the magic” at participating Walt Disney Good Neighbor Hotels and Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels in Orlando, Florida for a total of five nights.

Packages start at US$1613 (based on two adults, one child and one junior) and include four days worth of tickets to the park (good for access to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

Your trip must be booked before March 31, 2016 and be completed before July 1, 2016 and must be booked via a Disney World vacation planning expert or travel agent.

For more details on this special offer, visit

Know of a good Disney World deal? Share it in the comments below.