This Week In Disney: Railroads, more Star Wars, festival eats, and a great finale

disneyland railroad

The Disneyland Railroad reopened last Saturday after 18 months of refurbishments! John Lasseter was particularly excited, as you can see below.

Tom Sawyer Island and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes are also back for guests to enjoy.

Back on the east coast, sad times at Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios. Reports from Cast Members indicate that the Jawas will no longer be roaming about. The little scrap-seekers made their last appearance on July 29 and have gone back to Tatooine.

The Universe of Energy is entering its last week of operation, and commemorative merch is here. Those t-shirts are pretty clever. Has anyone heard a reaction from Ellen DeGeneres on her ride’s closure?

The Disney Parks Blog hosted a pretty amazing meetup last Friday to celebrate the Great Movie Ride, also closing Aug. 13. A lucky 200 readers got to actually walk through the attraction and snag some pretty great photos.

Minnie Vans officially launched this week in a partnership with Lyft. We’re eager to check this out on our next visit to WDW.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be here before we know it—the festival opens Aug. 31 this year! Pam Brandon talks about nine new dishes for the parks blog.

And finally… This one is shamelessly self-promotional, but I wrote a story for Out of Office by Mic this week about the Star Wars resort Disney is developing and the future of fantasy immersion in travel.

I got to have some delightfully nerdy conversations with Len Testa, Robert Niles, and Sue Pisaturo. Thanks to all three for their time!