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Star Tours Soft Opening

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On Monday, May 16, I was lucky enough to be at Studios while they were testing, or soft opening, Star Tours. This was huge for me. I loved the original attraction and it's among some of my first Disney memories.

I won't spoil anything but I'll provide some generic details.

The new signs look fantastic.

Signs

Sign

The attraction poster looked great from the queue.

Attraction poster

The safety sign remains much the same.

Safety sign

Inside the attraction, there was a very strict no photography policy until the attraction officially opens.

The "hot set" theme of Star Tours is gone. From the moment you enter the attraction, you're in Star Tours' port, ready to begin your travels to any of their destinations. If you haven't already chosen a destination, there is an arrival and departure guide to help you. Additional information is shown on this screen as well. The layout of the inside is largely the same. Only, now, it's the new Starspeeder 1000 is waiting for you. C-3PO has been polished until he absolutely shines.

When you turn the corner, you enter Star Tours security. You are "scanned" and a droid shows the contents of "someone's" luggage. Be sure to watch the screen. You never know what you'll see. To the left are some droids. Look closely and you should spot some very familiar faces.

Once you get up the ramp, you're into the boarding area. The gates are now A-F instead of 1-6. You are directed to a gate and asked to pick up a pair of 3D glasses. The glasses are very nice looking (they are black and resemble eye glasses) and very comfortable to wear. They are not like the PhilharMagic or Toy Story Midway Mania 3D glasses at all.

You're still sorted into rows much like the original Star Tours. The new pre-boarding loading video has several humorous moments so be sure to watch it.

The ride itself is very smooth. The graphics are top-notch and crystal clear. The effects, like going into hyperspace and such, felt more realistic but it didn't throw you around as much as the original Star Tours did. The 3D is incredibly realistic and not at all hokey. The 3D effects are used to show depth more than to have things randomly pop out at you. That's not to say, however, that there may not be a few things that pop...

The new Star Tours is a randomized experience. There are 54 possible combinations of the beginning, first destination, middle and end. At the Destination D event, they told us that you would have to ride for six continuous hours in order to experience them all.

We were able to ride Star Tours a total of 5 times in a row. The first three times were essentially walk-ons. FastPasses were being distributed since it was a full test.

FastPasses

Since the ride does not officially open until May 20, testing can be stopped at any time.

Testing sign

To sum up how I felt about the new Star Tours: WOW!!!!!! I went into the ride for the first time with no expectations and just... WOW!!! Every time we rode, our speeder clapped and cheered at the end. Disney and Lucasfilm should be very, very proud of this ride. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get to experience it.

Keep an eye on AllEars on and around May 20 for more Star Tours coverage. :)

May the Force be with you!

The previous post in this blog was D23's Destination D: Day 2.

The next post in this blog is Disney World: What's New, What's Next May 11-16, 2011.

Comments (5)

Jason:

I can't wait to see this attraction. I too am a huge Star Wars fan, growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. Thanks for the preview.

Peggy:

My son and I rode the new Star Tours on Sunday, May 15. We arrived at DH studios about 10:30 or so, just to spend a few hours before it was time to head home. The line was 30 minutes, stand by only, but it moved very quickly and there was so much to look at in line. We were so excited when we saw the ride was open, there was no mention of it on the guide map. My 7 year old son is a huge Star Wars fan and LOVED it. My only negative is that I felt a little sick after the ride, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who gets motion sickness.

Steve:

Thanks Ashley for the spoiler free review! Just enough info to get me excited about the ride for my next visit, without giving everything away!

Karen:

Thanks for the preview. The fact that you rode this five times may answer this, but what are your thoughts (and the thoughts of others reading this) regarding the motion sickness potential of the new ride? In that respect, how does it compare to the old version or other motion simulator rides?

ASHLEY:
We had no problems with motion sickness after riding the new Star Tours. I never heard other guests complaining of motion sickness but that certainly doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

I think that this version of Star Tours is MUCH smoother than the original version. You don't get tossed around as much so that made it easier for me to go on the ride multiple times.

Cedric:

Karen,
My little sister also felt a little dizzy when we rode it this past weekend during the soft opening, but it wasn't so bad that she refused to ride it again. We're thinking that it was more because of the new 3D glasses. I was fine until the fourth time. I will say that with the different ride experiences, there a potential for a wide range of ride intensities.
~Cedric

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was D23's Destination D: Day 2.

The next post in this blog is Disney World: What's New, What's Next May 11-16, 2011.

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