Celebrate Star Wars Day with a look at Disney's new Star Tours rides
By Robert NilesHappy Star Wars Day! (If you don't get why today is Star Wars Day, say today's date to yourself. Then add the words "be with you.") In honor of the occasion, let's take a look at what we have to look forward to within the month as the new versions of Star Tours open at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland.
Published: May 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM
Disney employees install the new marquee for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, in Florida.
The original Star Tours was a flight simulator theater made up to look like a spaceship, which flew a sightseeing tour of the Star Wars galaxy (the name of the sightseeing company was "Star Tours.") But, in grand theme park tradition, something went terribly wrong, and our rookie pilot, Rex (voiced by Paul Reubens, the actor behind Pee Wee Herman), made a wrong turn in the station. Before we knew it, we were dodging asteroids, weaving through an icy comet and even stumbling into the Battle of the Death Star.
In Star Tours 2, we'll be flying with Star Tours once again, this time in 3-D. Our pilot will be C-3PO, though Disney promises that Rex will be part of the attraction. The new destinations will include the pod race on Tatooine, Naboo, the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk, Hoth, Coruscant, and the Death Star above Geonosis.
Rumors have flown that you won't visit all these destinations on the same trip, but that the new Star Tours will feature multiple films, encouraging repeat rides on the attraction. Disney's offering Facebook users the chance to print a customized Star Tours Galactic Passport that includes blank spaces to note the dates you've visited each of the ride's six destinations, further fueling anticipation of multiple film options in the ride.
The timeline seems to make this version of Star Tours a "prequel" to the original, much as the second trilogy served as prequels to the original three Star Wars movies.
Update: Some fans in Florida are posting daily photos and soft opening alerts on Star Tours 2 at www.startours2live.com. Worth a look if you're thinking about heading over to Studios to try to get lucky with a soft opening sneak peek.
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