The revamped Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride at Walt Disney World has already held its grand opening, inviting Star Wars fans from across the galaxy to new destinations in 3D. But hours before that dedication ceremony, 250 lucky fans and their guests were invited by the Disney Parks Blog to preview the new attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And though Star Tours originally first opened years ago at Disneyland in California, it doesn’t officially reopen until June 3, 2011. But that hasn’t stopped excited west coast fans from getting a sneak peek of the new ride, as on the same day as Orlando’s ride opening, Disneyland also held a special preview event. These two fan events allowed thousands to enjoy new trips to Naboo, Coruscant, Tatooine, and beyond.
Orlando’s Star Tours meet-up took place at midnight until 2 a.m. on May 20, 2011. Visitors entered Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park backstage via red carpet and were immediately greeted by Star Wars characters, who stuck around throughout the night. Dessert was served buffet-style, but the highlight of the night was unlimited access to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue with no waiting. It allowed plenty of time to explore the updated queue, watch all the new droids in action along the way, and enjoy multiple trips aboard a Starspeeder 1000. Also part of the event was a Q&A session about the new ride with Walt Disney Imagineers Kathy Rogers and Steven Speigel, hosted by Bree Starlighter, who we previously saw at the traveling Star Tours mall preview.
Enjoy a video recap of the Star Tours midnight meet-up excitement:
Later that same day, Disneyland’s Star Tours meet-up in California was held in Tomorrowland. It was a different sort of gathering, giving free access to Disneyland for the day to more than 2,000 guests, including a ride on Star Tours. Inside the Magic reader Jay West was there when Disneyland first opened the doors to Star Tours 2 and brought his video camera along to capture the excitement.
He shares with us a complete video walkthrough of the Disneyland queue, featuring plenty of fans yelling in excitement for Disney’s cameras.
So take a complete trip around Disneyland’s new version of Star Tours in its first guest preview:
Having now seen the inside of Disneyland’s Star Tours update, it’s possible to compare to Star Tours at Walt Disney World, noting that the majority of the queue and attraction are essentially the same, so riders on both coasts will have the same new Star Wars experience.
Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland offered a sneak peek to eager fans who had been waiting to ride the updated Star Tours since it was first announced at the D23 Expo in 2009. Each meet-up was unique in its own way but ultimately gave Disney guests what is often craved, an exclusive first look at a new ride, leaving many hoping for similarly well-planned and executed events to the many new Disney attractions to come.
Photos from the Star Tours midnight meet-up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
(By Michael Gavin)