Perhaps no other attraction in all of Disney’s Hollywood Studios of Walt Disney World has as much of a devoted fan base as does Star Tours. Now, a large reason for those adoring fans is the subject matter presented in the attraction – a ride based on the mega-movie franchise Star Wars that was originally created by George Lucas.
The original Hollywood Studios attraction opened on December 15, 1989, a few months after the park itself opened. The ride was actually based on one at Disneyland in California that had opened three years earlier. However, both of these original attractions are actually closed as of the time of this writing. Both are in the process of being upgraded to the new Star Tours: The Adventure Continues announced back in 2009. Disney has listed a grand re-opening of the upgraded attraction for May 20, 2011 for the new Hollywood Studios version.
While the new version will undoubtedly be quite exciting and offer visuals and other effects never before seen, for the sake of this review, we will concentrate on the classic version. The original ride was constructed using military grade ride simulators that were purchased by Disney.
Adding to the simulation mechanism was a short storyline that guests were boarding a tour vehicle that would take them to the moon of Endor. Of course, all does not go as planned.
First, the guests are informed that their pilot droid (RX-24, or Rex) is on his maiden voyage. This should be your first clue that trouble may occur. Then, a more familiar R2-D2 is loaded and the tour shuttle takes off with a few bumps and scrapes along the way.
Once “in flight,” the jump to light speed is taken, but Rex overshoots Endor and you end up in a bumpy comet cluster. That is not the worst of your troubles as you leave the cluster only to find your tour in a battle zone between a Star Destroyer and rebel forces.
Now, under the protection of the x-wing fighters, your shuttle accompanies them on the famed attack on the Death Star. Mission complete, you return to your hanger and the ride is over.
Those who love Star Wars will love the attraction and those who love simulator rides will love the attraction. However, those who do not like bumpy rides or those rides taking place in an enclosed environment will want to skip this ride.
For more videos and reviews of Disney rides, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.
Thanks to ArcyFatal who provided the video shown above.