“Guest Room” Episode 14: Star Wars , Star Tours, and Star Source…code, Hondas, Hyenas, and Holiday

In this episode of “Guest Room” on ENN, the Ears News Network, we talk about the Star Wars “Season of the Force” event at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We also talk about the update to “Star Tours” and a new Star Wars theme for a website that teaches programming to students.

On a non-Star Wars front we tell you about a new sponsor for Autopia in Disneyland and some new hyenas in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We round it out with news of a Thanksgiving event for selected Cast Members.

Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/earsnewsnet/gr-episode14.mp3


Parker Byrd – Chris Laning
Erin Dole – Paige Laning

Intro Music:

“The Whip” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Fauxmercial Music: 

“Volatile Reaction” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Star Wars , Star Tours, and Star Source…code, Hondas, Hyenas, and Holiday.

Hello and welcome to the November 30th edition of “Guest Room” on ENN, the Ears News Network, bringing you Disney news you won’t believe…..and probably shouldn’t. Happy Cyber Monday. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and a productive Black Friday. I’m Parker Byrd.

And I’m Erin Dole…

‘Tis the Season….of the Force that is . On November 16th, Disneyland officially opened its “Season of the Force” event. Several elements make up this new event.

The first is Star Wars Launch Bay which gives guests a chance to visit Star Wars characters, check out special exhibits and get some behind the scenes looks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie.

The second is Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, the newest incarnation of the former “Jedi Training Academy”. This version adds new characters including ones from the Star Wars Rebels animated series.

The third is “Hyperspace Mountain”, a Star Wars themed overlay to the popular coaster attraction “Space Mountain”.

The fourth is a new addition to Star Tours which we will discuss in more detail a just minute.

The “Season of the Force” will launch officially on December 1st at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and will contain many of the same features with an addition of a new Star Wars fireworks presentation entitled “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular”.

Despite a myriad of rumors within the Disney Blogosphere, there will be no Star Wars overlay to the Tower Of Terror. Even though Disney Imagineers Alderan away with the idea, they Disney could not settle on a good concept. They first tried “Tower of the Force”…choked that one! And then they tried “Cloud City Air Shaft of Terror” but it too didn’t work……… so they went…. hands off.

As Erin mentioned a moment ago, the Star Tours attractions in both Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida are currently running a new sequence “inspired” by the upcoming new Star Wars, the Force Awakens film. While Star Tours generally runs a random sequence with over 50 possibilities, for the next few months the new sequence will be the only one run, ensuring as many fans as possible can see it. However, the film, which has prided itself on secrecy won’t open until December 18th, which has led some to wonder if the new sequence contains spoilers….and if so…will those be leaked to hungry Star Wars fans world wide.

Disney spokesperson, Ann Akinsky Walker, has confirmed to ENN that the sequence does include several things which would be considered “spoilers”. However, she added that precautions are being taken to mitigate the danger of those details being leaked. Guests will be required to check their cell phones and cameras as they enter the attraction. This is to prevent them from recording…or even Periscoping the scene. But, those electronics will be returned when the guests leave the attraction….which is expected to be at 12:01am on December 18th.

Those with questions about this policy should see Quester Relations…..uh…I mean Guest Relations.


Last month, Code.org, a non-profit website that offers online tutorials to teach computer programming, or “coding” to students, recently launched Star Wars themed coding tutorials.

One of the tutorials, geared to ages 6-10, allows students to create Star Wars games. They do so by dragging around blocks of actions, like “Move Up” or “Move Down”.

The tutorial geared to ages 11 on up also allows students to create Star Wars programs by dragging around blocks of code in the common programming language called Javascript.

Though given this is Star Wars…maybe they should call it “Jawa Script”!

“Jawa Script” really Erin?

Hey…I tried. Maybe I should have gone with “Jabba Script”, or “JarJar Script”…or….

More news, and none of it Stars Wars, right after this.


ANNOUNCER: Swimming, surfing, kayaking, and jet skiing are great ways to have fun in the ocean. But its time you try extereme water sports.

PRODUCER: Could you give that a little more depth?


PRODUCER: Thank You.

ANNOUNCER: Imagine diving to the depths of Davy Jones Locker!

PRODUCER: Great eliteration!

ANNOUNCER: Exploring an enchanting electrifying undersea environment.

PRODUCER: Liking it.

ANNOUNCER: Coming face to face with the astoudning variety of creatures who call it home!

PRODUCER: Now sell it!

ANNOUNCER: Don’t be the boring guy or girl next door who just plays on top of the water. Take the plunge! Go deep or go home!


ANNOUNCER: Find your nerve! Find yourself! And most importantly…Find NEMO!

PRODUCER: Bring it home.

ANNOUNCER: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage… only at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

PRODUCER: Can you make up a tag for me.

ANNOUNCER: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Taking you nearly 20,000 Leagues….(sung) Under the Sea…………how was that?

PRODUCER: Wrong on so many levels!

(Podcast resumes)

Welcome back to ENN, the Ears News Network. The website MousePlanet reported earlier this month that the Autopia attraction at Disneyland is getting a new sponsor. Honda, which was recently forced out of Innoventions, due to the pending takeover of that area by the forthcoming Star Wars Land, has agreed to sponsor the attraction which allows guests to drive cars through a winding course.

The partnership will bring about cosmetic changes to the attraction including new paint schemes and signage as well as a change to attraction related merchandise. Starting January 1st all Autopia themed items will be available for no money down! (Disclaimer voice) For qualified buyers based on 0.9% APR for 36 months .

Earlier this month, the Disney Parks Blog reported that a pair of spotted hyenas were added to the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The pair is similar to the hyenas which were the bullies and villains in the animated movie “The Lion King”.

But as the blog post points out their villainy is just bad press. In reality hyenas are a very powerful species with a unique social structure that ranks all the females in their “clan” as a higher status than all of the males in the clan……(pause)…as it should be.

Now the new pair will only be available for brief periods of the day as they are still adjusting to the Savannah. While sightings have been limited so far neither one of them appears to have a “scar”.

But one thing is for sure, the pair of hyenas is a great addition to Kilimanjaro safari and that is no laughing matter.

And finally Phil Graham, an EPCOT cast member from Plymouth, Massachusetts, and one of the original American Adventure cast members, sent us an email about a really cool event that took place on Thanksgiving.

Phil writes that early in the evening on Thanksgiving, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald each went to one of the parks and randomly selected cast members who were invited to a special Thanksgiving feast, which took place after the parks closed. Phil was selected by Minnie who personally escorted him to the event.

According to Phil, the room was festively decorated and more than ample amounts of the traditional Thanksgiving fare could be had.

Toward the end of the meal, Mickey stood up and asked that they go around the table and say what each of them were thankful for.

Mickey lead it off by saying he was thankful for all the boys and girls of all ages who came to visit the parks. Minnie said she was thankful for all the wonderful cast members who made that visit so magical for all the guests.Goofy, for his part, said that he was thankful for all the family and friends that make each of our lives so special.

The rest of guests at the table in turn vocalized what they were thankful for. Phil writes that it was an interesting study to see the wide variety of what people found gratitude in….particularly Donald.

What was Donald thankful for? That they were all eating turkey……..and not roasted Duck.

And that’s all for this edition of ENN’s “Guest Room”. If you would like to comment on this episode or would like to send along a news story for us to look into drop us an email at guestroom@earsnews.net.

You can listen to this and future episodes by finding us in the iTunes store and now on Stitcher, just search on Ears News Network. Details can be found on the “How to Listen” page at EarsNews.net. There you can find links to our Facebook page and Twitter account as well.

So until next time, for my co-host Erin Dole and me, Parker Byrd, thanks for listening to the Ears News Network, the mistrusted name in Disney news. Goodbye everybody.

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