I’m a big fan of simulations and simulation style amusement rides. Couple that with my Star Wars fanaticism, then the revamped Star Tours ride is an obvious destination choice while in Florida. The original ride debuted January of 1987 in Disneyland California and was long overdue for an upgrade.
On August 14, 2010 I was fortunate enough to attend Celebration V‘s “Last Tour To Endor” special event which allowed us to ride the original Star Tours ride until midnight. As you can see from this photo, it was quite an exciting and very enjoyable time! I was more than a bit disappointed when I saw no special event for the new Star Tours on the Celebration VI agenda.
So we added it on our own! I will freely admit that I was bit giddy going there, and I was NOT disappointed. The ride itself is now in 3-D and was digitally created to be a sharp fully immersive environment. Most importantly, although the actual simulators did not change, the que line and lobby were all redone and there is a new pre-roll video that sets up what is about to happen on the ride itself. The premise is that you are going on a touring run, but due to a technical glitch your ship is accidentally being piloted by none other than the goldenrod C3PO. Upon take off your ship is scanned and onboard is none other than a Rebel Spy! They actually show a still photo of someone on the ride with you, and that indeed was a VERY neat minor detail that made the experience of running across one planet, receiving a holographic order from the Rebel Alliance, and then running across two more planets all the more enjoyable. Needless to say, I loved it!
One of the panels during Celebration VI was actually about the design and development of the new Star Tours ride. Besides learning that the actual simulators themselves were not changed out, I found their story arcing extremely interesting. There are, for all intense purposes, 54 possible combinations of the ride. 2 Intros x 3 First stages X 3 possible holographic transmissions x 3 Second planets x 3 Final planets/landings= 54 possible rides. One of the guys on the panel said that someone figured out that you would need to ride it 200+ times to see very different version!
So if you’re in the Orlando area, definitely consider diverting yourself to ride Star Tours: The Adventure Continues!