The Results Are In: Virtuoso® Best of the Best Awards Honor The World’s Top Hotels Of 2015

International luxury travel network Virtuoso® announced the winners of its coveted 2015 Best of the Best hotel awards this past Thursday night at the 27th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference. The 11 winners, all participants in the renowned Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts Program, include Ashford Castle in Ireland as Hotel of the Year.

Most Innovative Guest Experience: - Red Carpet Ready at The Peninsula Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills, California)

Most Innovative Guest Experience: – Red Carpet Ready at The Peninsula Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills, California) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Most Innovative Guest Experience (tie): Corcovado Sunrise Picnic at Belmond Copacabana Palace (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Most Innovative Guest Experience (tie): Corcovado Sunrise Picnic at Belmond, Copacabana Palace (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Sustainable Tourism: The Brando (Arue, French Polynesia)

Sustainable Tourism: The Brando (Arue, French Polynesia)

One To Watch: Rosewood Beijing (Beijing, China)

One To Watch: Rosewood Beijing (Beijing, China)

Travel is one of the best ways to spend your free time, but you’re a busy person. You could spend hours researching hotels, cruises, tours, and flight schedules yourself, or you could turn to a professional. Virtuoso travel advisors have the connections and expertise to help you plan your next trip – and every trip. (A Bullet Point Guide To What You’ll Get Meet Your Advisor)

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 370 agency members with more than 9,800 elite travel advisors in 30 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access

Best Family Program:  Four Reasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando, Florida)

Best Family Program: Four Reasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando, Florida) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Best Design: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)

Best Design: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Best Bar: The Connaught (London, United Kingdom)

Best Bar: The Connaught (London, United Kingdom) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

With a diverse portfolio of nearly 1,100 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in more than 100 countries, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is revered as the industry’s most prestigious hotel program. Founded in 1992, the program is also the luxury travel industry’s longest-running, with more five-star properties than any other.

Best Restaurant: Epicure, Le Bristol Paris (Paris, France)

Best Restaurant: Epicure, Le Bristol Paris (Paris, France) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Best Spa: The Dolder Grand (Zurich, Switzerland)

Best Spa: The Dolder Grand (Zurich, Switzerland) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Hotel Of The Year: Ashford Castle (County Mayo, Ireland)

Hotel Of The Year: Ashford Castle (County Mayo, Ireland) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

Hotelier of the Year: Antonio Sersale, Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)

Hotelier of the Year: Antonio Sersale, Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.virtuoso.com)

The Best of the Best winners were revealed during the Hotels & Resorts Dinner before more than 1,500 of luxury travel’s brightest stars.

The categories and winners are:

Hotel of the Year: Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Galway, Ireland

Hotelier of the Year: Antonio Sersale, Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy

Best Achievement in Design: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, Japan

Best Culinary Experience: Epicure, Le Bristol Paris, France

Best Family Program: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, USA

Best Spa: Dolder Grand Spa, The Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland

Most Innovative Guest Experience (tie): Corcovado Experience, Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Red Carpet Ready, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, California, USA

Sustainable Tourism Leadership – Hotels: The Brando, French Polynesia

One to Watch: Rosewood Beijing, China

Virtuoso surveyed its 370 agencies and their more than 9,800 elite travel advisors to decide the Best of the Best winners in ten categories, ranging from the most innovative guest experience to top hotel and hotelier of the year. Virtuoso’s expert advisors also initially nominated exceptional hotels for the awards. Editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, then researched the advisor suggestions and selected final nominees in each category.

When your competitive set includes the greatest hotels in the world, being named the best within your given category is truly a feat, and we are honored to recognize these 11 winners as both exceptional standouts as well as incredible partners to the Virtuoso network,” says Albert Herrera, senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso. “Virtuoso travel advisors have exacting standards for their clients and to declare these hotels as the Best of the Best means each epitomizes the highest level of luxury hospitality. Their achievements showcase the very hallmark of this network-creating lifelong memories and enriching human connections through travel.

Adventures Await with New Go! Go! Smart Playsets from VTech®

Acclaimed Toddler Line Expands with New Wheels, Animals and Friends

VTech® is a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children. As a pioneer in the learning toy category, the company develops high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children’s development and make learning fun. Since its launch four years ago, VTech’s award-winning Go! Go! Smart line has provided engaging, innovative experiences to young children with an irresistible blend of technology and established play patterns, delivering multi-sensory learning to maximize toddler fun.

The Go! Go! Smart line lets toddlers discover cause-and-effect learning as they engage in imaginative role play and develop fine motor skills with help from fun, friendly vehicles, animals and figures. For the first time, the growing collection of Go! Go! Smart Wheels includes remote control vehicles and advanced mechanical play, giving little ones a chance to take control of the action. Following a well-received launch last year, Go! Go! Smart Animals is expanding further with new farm animals and playsets, offering more ways for kids to go wild with learning. And Go! Go! Smart Friends feature special MagicPoint™ technology that brings the unique characters and playsets to life with lights, sounds, music and motion. Additionally, the Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home™ includes VTech’s innovative MagicChat™ feature which allows two figures to chat and sing songs together. With a variety of track pieces that easily snap together and connect all the Go! Go! Smart playsets, kids can maximize their play experiences and have fun as they learn.

In a run-up to the upcoming Holiday gift-giving season, the company announces its expansion of Go! Go! Smart Wheels®, Go! Go! Smart Animals® and Go! Go! Smart Friends® ranges, bringing the total to nearly 75 different playsets, accessories, animals, vehicles and figures in the collection for children ages 1 to 5 years.

Play serves an important role in a child’s development and learning,” states Dr. Deborah Libby, Early Childhood Reading and Language Expert and VTech Expert Panel Member. “Play ideally begins early and continues throughout a child’s life, helping them learn, think, socialize, problem solve and ultimately have fun. VTech has made a commitment to developing toys that are entertaining, exposing children to important learning concepts. The Go! Go! Smart line offers toddlers endless opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate play while introducing key early learning concepts such as letters, words, colors, counting and much more.

Highlights of the Go! Go! Smart lines include:

Adventures await with new Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Ultimate RC Speedway™ from VTech®

Adventures await with new Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Ultimate RC Speedway™ from VTech®

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Ultimate RC Speedway™: Zip around the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate RC Speedway, and speed through four action zones and over nine SmartPoint locations using the steering wheel-shaped remote control for an exciting interactive experience with the RC SmartPoint® Racer! The speedway is 4.5 feet of interchangeable tracks and features a stunt ramp, elevator, movable gears, starting flags and track switches that are all triggered by the RC race car. Ralph and his race car entertain your little one with a light-up driver button that activates playful music and fun sounds. He also teaches the letter “R” and the vehicle’s name. Get another RC SmartPoint Racer (sold separately) and race a friend! Winner of a 2015 NAPPA Silver Award. (MSRP: $59.99)

New Go! Go! Smart Animals® Grow & Learn Farm™ from VTech®.

New Go! Go! Smart Animals® Grow & Learn Farm™ from VTech®.

Go! Go! Smart Animals® Grow & Learn Farm™: Get growing at the Go! Go! Smart Animals Grow & Learn Farm. This colorful farm has an electronic barn that introduces colors, numbers, and vegetables. Roll Reggie the SmartPoint® rooster over the seven SmartPoint locations to hear different phrases, music or fun sound effects. Then twist the watering can to watch the garden “grow.” You can also connect the tracks to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals playsets (sold separately)! Winner of a 2015 NAPPA Gold Award. (MSRP: $39.99)

New Go! Go! Smart Friends® Busy Sounds Discovery Home from VTech®

New Go! Go! Smart Friends® Busy Sounds Discovery Home from VTech®

Go! Go! Smart Friends® Busy Sounds Discovery Home™: Explore the Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home with Miss Norah! The interactive house features seven MagicPoint™ locations that encourage imaginative play and emphasize cause and effect relationships. Simply place Miss Norah on one of the MagicPoint locations to experience her friendly personality, motion, lights and more. Put Miss Norah in the elevator and watch as the elevator magically moves up and down. Activate the MagicChat™ feature in the playroom, and hear Miss Norah and other MagicPoint characters (sold separately) chat and sing with each other. Miss Norah also responds to other MagicPoint locations on Go! Go! Smart Friends accessories and playsets (each sold separately). Press Miss Norah’s light-up button, and she will come to life by introducing herself, sharing the things she likes to do and singing two sing-along songs. It’s playtime where friendship leads to learning! (MSRP: $44.99)

With a rich, almost 35 year history, VTech has not only established itself as a learning authority but also consistently remains at the forefront of innovation with multiple award-winning products such as the InnoTab® MAX, VTech’s first children’s tablet with Android™ learning content, Kidizoom® Smartwatch, the first smartwatch for kids with a built-in camera, InnoTab® 3S, MobiGo®, V.Reader® and V.Smile®. The Learning Lodge®, VTech’s comprehensive app store, features a robust library of more than 800 educational and entertaining games, e-Books, music and videos with engaging age-appropriate content across the widest variety of curricula, with content expanding to offer even more titles. The company also has a broad range of award-winning infant and preschool products available in 25 different languages worldwide, with more than 100 new products introduced every year.

Bob The Builder™ Is Back With Brand New Content and a New Look

There’s still no job too big or small for Bob and the Gang, as they approach every job with positivity, enthusiasm and their catch phrase “Can we build it? Yes we can!

Bob the Builder has been entertaining pre-schoolers the world over for the past 16 years with his antics in the seaside harbor town of Fixham, bringing the world of construction to life in an inspiring and meaningful way. Bob the Builder and his machine team are always ready to tackle any project. As they hammer out the solutions that lead to a job well done, Bob and the team demonstrate the power of positive-thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and follow-through. Most importantly, from start to finish, the team always shows that The Fun Is In Getting It Done!

Available to view for the first time, fans of everyone’s favorite construction hero Bob the Builder; can now take a first look at the exciting content from the brand new series featuring an all-new look and first-class celebrity voice cast.

Bob The Builder and Group

Bob The Builder and Group

(Bob the Builder is produced by HIT Entertainment with animation services provided by Canadian based digital animation company Mainframe, a division of Rainmaker Entertainment.)

With a range of consumer products due to hit stores in late 2016, pre-schoolers will also be able to fully immerse themselves in Bob’s world even when they aren’t enjoying the teams’ on screen antics.

Bob the Builder has been broadcast in over 175 countries and translated into 40 languages, was launched in CGI in 2010 producing 40 episodes across two series and has received numerous awards including a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Animation’ in 2003, BBC’s ‘Top Selling Single’ in 2001 and two Parents’ Choice Awards, both in 2008. Bob the Builder has also achieved two number 1 hit singles in the UK pop charts selling over 1.4 million copies.jungle_book_xlg

For the upcoming new CGI-animated series launching on Channel 5’s Milkshake from 1st September 2015 at 7.20am, Bob the Builder has been given his biggest re-vamp in the show’s history with a modern look and feel. The new series will see Bob the Builder continuing its long tradition of telling fun and interesting stories through positivity and teamwork with exciting characters, relatable locations and an aspirational hero. The new-look Bob is still the same Bob that audiences know and love though. His dungarees might have been replaced with a hi-vis jacket but his chunky boots, yellow hard hat and checked shirt all remain, ensuring TV’s best-loved builder remains just as recognizable as ever. With his trusty tool belt now jam-packed with all manner of handy kit, Bob is ready to go… No project is too big, no problem too hard to solve. Continue reading

Toys”R”Us® Debut Toys Based On New Series, DreamWorks Animation’s DINOTRUX, Premiering This Week On Netflix® 

dinotrux

Toys”R”Us® will be the first retailer to debut toys this fall based on DreamWorks Animation‘s upcoming Netflix original series, DINOTRUX. Beginning Thursday, October 1, shoppers will find this all-new line of ferociously fun playthings from Mattel, including playsets, vehicles and more, in Toys”R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com. For little fans eager to check out products featuring Ty Rux, Revvit and the rest of the show’s prehistoric pals, select items will be available for pre-order at Toysrus.com beginning this week.DTRUX_FINAL

On Friday, August 14, DreamWorks Animation debuted DINOTRUX, an action-packed show based on the award-winning children’s book series by Chris Gall. The show welcomes little ones to a prehistoric world of giant creatures that are half dinosaur and half construction vehicle, including a massive Tyrannosaurus Trux and his best friend, Revvit, a razor-sharp Reptool. The Dinotrux and Reptools come together for the first time ever in the Mechazoic era to build a bigger and better world, while battling against the forces of D-Structs.

DINOTRUX playsets and vehicles from Mattel that will be available exclusively at Toys”R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com this fall include:

DINOTRUX Mega Chompin™ Ty Rux
Little ones will have a roaring good time with Ty Rux. This half-dinosaur, half-construction vehicle comes to life with kid-activated lights and sounds. Ty Rux encourages interactive play through his many exciting features, including a chomping mouth, swinging wrecking ball tail and large rolling tires. 3 “AA” batteries required (not included). Ages 3 years and up.

DINOTRUX Playset Assortment
These exciting scene packs expand little ones’ prehistoric fun by recreating a key location from the show. Kids can choose from two playsets, each of which comes with a DINOTRUX vehicle and environment specific to that character’s personality and ‘truck-ability’. The Smash & Slide Construction Site features the heroic Ty Rux with his signature wrecking ball tail, complete with hidden plans from Reptool friends. The Rock & Load Skate Park features awesome ramps for the action loving character, Ton-Ton. Each playset has movable parts and accessories that help tell the story of its unique location, making it the perfect place to carry out exciting DINOTRUX construction missions. No batteries required. Ages 3 years and up.

DINOTRUX Construction vs. Destruction Mega Pack™
The half-dinosaur, half-construction vehicle creatures from DINOTRUX have arrived in one ferocious pack. Kids will roar when they find four of their favorite characters featured in authentic detail from the show. Includes twoDINOTRUX vehicles and three Reptools for a multipack that boosts character variety and storytelling possibilities. No batteries required. Ages 3 years and up.

DINOTRUX Diecast Character Assortment
Kids will love this exciting assortment of vehicles, which come in a variety of sizes and characters. Fans can choose from a 2-pack of smaller-scale Reptools or larger mid-size scale characters, including Ty Rux, Garby, Revvit and more, featuring rolling wheels for easy push-around play and movements unique to their on-screen personality and special abilities. Kids will love collecting them all to build out their own prehistoric world of DINOTRUX. No batteries required. Ages 4 years and up.

DINOTRUX Garby
Prehistoric playmates will have a ferociously fun time with Garby, a half-dinosaur, half-construction vehicle creature from DINOTRUX. Garby comes in large-scale so fans can act out the most heavy-duty missions from the show. Kid-powered motion triggers Garby to display unique and humorous movements, like the ability to feed him a piece of ore and then see it shoot out of his backside. Moving him up, down, backward or forward will prompt him to say sounds and phrases. Garby also has rolling wheels for push-around play. 3 LR44 batteries required (included). Ages 3 years and up.

DINOTRUX Pull Back N’ GO
This assortment of prehistoric pals smash, swing and chomp their way to a ferociously fun time. Kids can choose from three of their favorite half-dinosaur, half-construction characters, Ty Rux, Ton-Ton or D-Structs. Each character vehicle comes ready to rumble with rolling wheels and a pullback motor to rev-up the tail-smashing and jaw-chomping action. Kids can collect all three to build out the ultimate prehistoric world of DINOTRUX and their favorite scenes from the show. No batteries required. Ages 3 years and up.

DINOTRUX Revvit
Reptool Revvit is ready to roll into playtime on wheels that mimic his movement from the animated DINOTRUX show. Complete with unique sounds and phrases, he features a tail-activated spinning drill head with interchangeable bits and a measuring tape tongue. 3 “LR44” batteries required (included). Ages 3 years and up.

We are thrilled to work alongside our partners at DreamWorks Animation and Mattel to be the exclusive destination for this highly anticipated property, bringing the DINOTRUX  line of fun, innovative toys to our customers before they’re available anywhere else,” said Melody Young, Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Toys”R”Us, U.S. As the authority on toys, we have the unique ability to bring these kid-favorite characters to life at retail, and will showcase DINOTRUX toys at the front of all our stores nationwide throughout the month of October.”

“Toys”R”Us is the perfect launch partner for DINOTRUX toys, and we are excited to bring the epic adventures of these characters to life onscreen and off,” said Tim Erickson, Global Head of Licensing, DreamWorks Animation. “With Mattel, we’ve developed an awesome range of toys for action-packed playtime that will have kids building and battling alongside this lovable gang of DINOTRUX.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

At the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. This announcement marks an unprecedented time of growth in the company, with exciting developments happening around the world – from Disneyland Resort’s Diamond Celebration to the anticipated opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in China.

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney's largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney's largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

These authentic lands will have two signature attractions. Along with the thrilling battle experience, another attraction puts guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.

rom the D23 Expo comes a new commemorative poster for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens featuring artwork by Drew Struzan.

From the D23 Expo comes a new commemorative poster for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens featuring artwork by Drew Struzan.

Sharing concept images of the proposed Star Wars-themed lands, Iger said, “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney's largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced at D23 EXPO 2015 that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort -- This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind the scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings.  Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

The Walt Disney Company Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort — This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind the scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. (Disney Parks) (PRNewsFoto/The Walt Disney Company)

D23 is the official Disney fan club and hosts a yearly convention. Named in honor of the year 1923, when Walt Disney left Kansas City, headed for Hollywood and founded what would become the Disney Studios, D23 celebrates the wonder and excitement that began that year and has only increased over the decades as Disney’s stories, characters, songs, and experiences have continued to capture imaginations the world over.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, located on Lantau Island. A sixth resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, is currently under construction in Pudong New District, Shanghai. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club; Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa; Adventures by Disney, and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions.

The announcement did not include plans to extend (or expand) future Star Wars-themed attractions in the other properties and/or on Disney Cruise Line ships. With the latest movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set to open in early December 2015, it’s a safe bet that, much like the extremely successful Frozen franchise, that would eventually be the case.

The partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm dates back to 1987, when the successful Star Tours attraction, inspired by George Lucas‘s legendary Star Wars film series, opened at Disneyland. The attraction was then redesigned, emerging as “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” in 2011 and featuring more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility to visit five different planets. Disney later announced plans to acquire Lucasfilms and closed the deal in December 2012, with a closing total value of approximately $4.06 billion.

Lucasfilm’s assets include its massively popular Star Wars franchise, operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production, as well as a substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies. It operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound.