Disney World grand opens Star Tours 2 in galaxy-sized spectacle featuring George Lucas, Bob Iger, characters

in Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

It will be a day long remembered. Two Jedi fought their way through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, battling laser-blasting Stormtroopers, and ultimately confronting Darth Vader on stage to help open the updated version of Disney’s Star Tours ride. Those two Jedi were revealed to be none other than Star Wars creator George Lucas and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, who joined other celebrities and plenty of characters in welcoming fans to the new version of the popular attraction.

Watch the full grand opening dedication ceremony for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue:

The grand opening of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue began like any Star Wars film with John Williams’ rousing anthem backing a new scroll calling the new story Episode III.V of the Saga.

Star Tours dedication - Disney's Hollywood Studios

A character processional then kicked off the festivities, packed with Star Wars favorites including Boba Fett, Ewoks, Chewbacca, and many more. After gathering on stage to commemorate the launch of Star Tours (the new ride’s story is a prequel to the original), the story began as Lord Vader emerged to put a stop to it all, deciding that touring travelers through his Imperial-policed galaxies was a bad idea.

Star Tours dedication - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Vader placed a force field around the Star Tours entrance, preventing anyone from entering. But it was Jedi Lucas and Jedi Iger who ultimately commanded R2-D2 to blast that force field away, utilizing a giant cannon on stage.

Star Tours dedication - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Tours dedication with George Lucas and Bob Iger - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Tours dedication - Disney's Hollywood Studios

It was a highlight of the event as moments after the initial shots rang out an explosion was seen and most certainly heard from the Star Tours area halfway across the park.

In the end, Darth Vader learned that Disneyland plans to open their new version of Star Tours in California on June 3, 2011, to which he swore that his fight was not over. It sounds like we’ll see part two of this story unfold at the second Star Tours grand opening in two weeks.

It was an exciting dedication ceremony for an equally exciting upgrade to Star Tours, which has run in the same form since the late ’80s. Now guests will fly to

Immediately following the opening ceremony, George Lucas and Bob Iger led a processional of Star Wars characters and celebrities through Disney’s Hollywood Studios, waving to excited and screaming fans along the way. And despite the menacing rows of Stormtroopers, we secured a perfect spot to see it happen.

Watch the Star Tours processional from its grand opening:

Star Tours opening - Star Wars character processional

Star Tours opening - George Lucas and Bob Iger

Star Tours opening - George Lucas and Bob Iger

Star Tours opening - Star Wars character processional

Star Tours opening - Star Wars character processional

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is now officially open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, taking passengers on a journey to destinations in the Star Wars universe never before reached. Each ride aboard the attraction is different. With 11 different possible scenes resulting in 54 combinations, it’s likely that no ride will ever be quite the same. And… now it’s in crisp and clear 3D.

For more about the experience of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, read our spoiler-free review. Or if you want to see even more from the attraction, watch our full video tour of the queue and on the ride and read our spoiler-filled review.

More photos from the Star Tours 2 grand opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:


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    I watched the live webcast online, and the ceremony was great! However, the webcast hosts were very…. unorganized. They seemed to have no clue what they were doing, there were a lot of awkward pauses, and the female host accidently called her male co-host by his real name! Other than that though, everthing else was great!

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    I noticed you skipped all the Rebel Legion in the opening parade. Could you put up the entire parade?

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      Ricky Brigante

      My vantage point for that portion of the opening was not great and I caught more photographers in the shot than the parade itself. But I did take a lot of photos from that parade, all of which are included at the end of this post. Are you looking for someone in particular? I can see if I have a good shot of him or her.

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    ricky…why havent you done a ridethrough of star tours yet?! Youtube is used to 3d blur…So Please do it…for meee, Say it was my idea!

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      Ricky Brigante

      Sorry, Disney does not permit photography on the ride. I’m sure I *could* do it but I will play by their rules.

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