The original Star Tours ride opened at Disney in Orlando on December 15, 1989. Last week, George Lucas and Disney teamed up for an updated version of their beloved ride… and I was there! Check out my full report from the exclusive press party including pics!
The official press party began with a peek backstage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where we were greeted by Chewbacca, some Ewoks, Queen Amidala and others! The group of us were led to a red carpet where greeters applauded our arrival, the strains of John Williams’ classic score blaring from the background.
Once inside the park, there were aliens and characters from all over the galaxy: we were able to take our pictures with Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers, Gamorrean Guards, Greedo, Luke, Leia and many, many others! We were treated to drinks like the Jedi Mind Trick and the Skywalker. There was even a working Probot! Anthony Daniels, the voice of C3Po, mingled with the guests and graciously took pictures!
But let’s get to the meat of the story: the ride!
The Star Tours update was a very long time in coming. The original version was never updated in the 21 years that it was around. Fans like me were promised new locations and destinations for a very long time and we finally got our answer. The Starspeeder has been updated and there have been some slight tweaks to the “waiting line” on the way to the ride. You’re still treated to R2 and C3PO as well as a tourism video, detailing many of the destinations you could see if you take a vacation with “Star Tours!”
Once you enter your Starspeeder 1000 (which looks exactly like the Starspeeder 3000), you’re treated to a familiar introductory speech by the your Disney Cast member. From that point on, it’s a completely different experience! This time around, your captain is C3PO who, once again, accidentally takes off on the Starspeeder. The best part about the ride is that many different locations were created and you’re never sure which of them you’re going to get.
There are four different segments to the ride, with various options for each:
A) Introduction: You’re either going to get stopped by Stormtroopers (which also allows you to see the Millenium Falcon) or by Lord Darth Vader! Once you escape their attack, you shoot into hyperspace to find yourself at…
B) Planet Option 1: Tatooine, where you’ll be thrown into a podrace; Hoth, where you’ll be thrown into the ground battle with AT-AT’s; or Kashyyyk, where you’ll find yourself in the middle of the Wookiee battle that includes speeder bikes!
C) Hologram Options: After that, you’ll get information about your mission from one of the Star Wars characters! Be on the look-out for Princess Leia, Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) or Admiral Ackbar!
D) Planet Option 2: And finally, you go into hyperspace again to find yourself on another planet: look out for Naboo, where you’ll go underwater (and see the ever-annoying Jar-Jar Binks); Coruscant, where you’ll find yourself a part of the battle from the beginning of the Revenge of the Sith; and the Death Star, which is currently under construction!
I cannot recommend the ride highly enough! I went with two friends, one of which didn’t even know the story of Star Wars, and both absolutely LOVED it! So even if you’re a Star Wars fan or just love motion-simulator rides, this one is sure to impress!