Star Tours Disneyland Relaunch: T-Minus Three Weeks

Categories: Dishney
To say that Disneyland's old Star Tours ride (which originally opened in the park in 1987) was a little dated doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Sure, some of the park's attractions are brought back with an admitted sense of nostalgia attached to them. Occasionally, enough time has passed for them to become kitschy and "cool again." Other times, all it takes is the unexpected death of a pop icon to give Disney a kick in the proverbial nostalgic pants: Captain EO was brought back to Disneyland in July 2010, a little more than one year after Michael Jackson's death and sixteen years after it was first pulled amidst Jackson's sex scandals.

But the old Star Tours ride was different. And what wonders will the new Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride behold?

Towards the end there, Star Tours felt neither nostalgic nor kitschy nor "cool again." It was dated in a bad way, even down to the Pee-wee Herman-esque robot pilot Captain RX-24 (as voiced by Paul Reubens). Even beyond that, it was scary. The ride sounded like it was literally going to fall apart. It felt fragile, as if at any minute the motion simulator would snap off its hinges and send me (and 39 other passengers) crashing to either a horrible death or a million-dollar settlement for paralysis. Either way, no good.

But in just three weeks, on Friday, June 3, all of that will change at Disneyland when the brand-new Star Tours opens. (Note: The same ride will debut even earlier, May 20th, at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.) Appropriately titled Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, it's reportedly a new (and hopefully sturdier) take on the old ride.

From Disney's recent press release:

Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald, who worked on the original Star Tours back in the mid '80s, talks about re-imagining the new show. "We actually began planning the redesign over 10 years ago ... a year before Episode I was complete. Fans were eager to see some changes, but after learning that Episodes II and III were in the works, we decided the update would have to wait. In order to create the ultimate Star Wars attraction for our Parks, George [Lucas] needed to finish his saga so we could include the best of all the films."
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland
Actor Anthony Daniels, as C-3PO from the Star Wars saga, poses on the set of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
The Starspeeder 1000s (formerly known as the Starspeeder 3000s, as this new ride is a prequel to its predecessor) will look different as well with upgraded interior dashboards and onboard monitors. This is good to hear as some fans had feared the new ride would just be a new movie thrown into the old attraction.

The film itself will not only be in 3D but its storyline will branch out and become randomized, allowing each ride (or at least fifty-four different rides) to become its own unique adventure.

"For the very first time, we utilized technology that selects one of 54 different story combinations so each ride's really a surprise. Guests never know where they'll go."
But the best part will be the addition of classic "Star Wars" characters to the film including Darth Vader, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia and Boba Fett, among others. Sigh... and yes, that "among others" does include Jar Jar Binks; but it also includes Frank Oz reprising the role of Yoda, so it kind of evens out. Almost.

And besides, I'm willing to look past Jar Jar Binks as long as the ride itself doesn't sound like a box full of rocks as it moves around. I'll take Jar Jar Binks over being a millionaire paraplegic any day of the week.

Actually, let me think on that for a second....

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Just road the new Star Tours today at Disneyland on Memorial Day. Yes it is now open. Here is my review:1. The whole remodel could have been done in 5 days.2. They created a new area to line up in a dark room before you enter the original waiting area. The new dark room pre-waiting area shows the kind of imagination that todays employees of Disney have. none.3. They added nothing to the pre-ride experience but to remove items. what? yes the remodel simply removed some robots and the overhead conveyor system that added some movement while waiting in line.4. The whole remodel comprises of two new screens. One in the waiting area where R2D2 is and a new screen on the ride itself.5. Thats it. Same old seat belts. Same old seats. Too cheap to replace them. I think they are 30+ years old now. They look it.6. And now you have to wear glasses to go on the ride. This takes away from feeling like you are actually part of a real space adventure for those who dont wear glasses.7. Oh ya, I think they put in some new rugs...or they simply cleaned them.

The ride is a fail as far as creating a new experience or any investment in actually making improvements. All this time to remodel to simply put in a 3d movie? what a joke and a lie by the the guy that said they planned this for 10 years. not.


yay i will ride it 54 times! time to renew my disney pass :D

Bill T.
Bill T.

I must say that I appreciate the OCR writers' unapologetic coverage of Disneyland. I enjoy a visit to the park myself.


That's BS! if you don't like the ride don't get on it you piece of shit!

Bill T.
Bill T.

Of course you understand that it will be randomized, we'll need to ride it 'way more than 54 times to see all of the permutations. Am I just dense (unobservant?) but are most the of the I. J. variants minor differences in dialogue only? I've never noticed significant differences but then I haven't ridden it nearly as many times as I have, say, P. o. t. C. 

Bill T.
Bill T.

On second thought, yes there are 54 permutations but they are composed of only 11 unique clips: 2 beginnings, 3 first mid, 3 second mid, 3 endings. So technically, there ARE "... 54 different story combinations ..." (2X3X3X3 = 54), but the actual variety is more limited than that would imply. Of course, unless they have found a way for the interplay to contribute in a manner that I can't imagine (probably surprises you, not that there is creativity that I can't imagine but that I would admit it   ;-)  ). Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to the new ride, I am just some what suspicious of what appears, at first look, to be a bit hypey. The length of the experience is significant also, apparently in excess of 4 minutes.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Ooops! Maximum apologies, my face is completely red! 

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