Thousands of people are expected to be in attendance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 20. Not just because it’s the first day of Star Wars Weekends, but because that is the day that the updated Star Tours attraction will re-open to the public.
It closed September 7, 2010, for the first renovations since the ride first opened in December of 1989. When Star Tours reopens on May 20, the actual layout inside will be similar to what it used to be, just freshened up. It’s the storyline that will have changed.
In the original version of the attraction, guests were always taken on a botched tour to the forest planet of Endor. In the updated version, there are 54 combinations of the trip, all filmed in 3-D.
Once aboard the Starspeeder 1000, guests will embark on a wild trip through the galaxy, visiting several planets made famous in the Star Wars films. Among the locations that might provide haven from the Empire’s pursuit are the icy planet of Hoth, the lush jungles of Kashyyyk and the underwater Gungan world of Naboo. And along the way guests may encounter Star Wars characters that offer to help (or hinder) their journey, including Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. “Skytroopers,” a legion of stormtroopers created just for the Star Tours attraction story, might even join in the chase.
This means every trip could be different from the one before it, and riders will not know which one they’ll be on until it’s done. I think that’s very cool!
The grand re-opening ceremony starts at 10am on May 20, and I’ve heard that among the galaxy’s dignitaries set to attend will be Star Wars creator, George Lucas, himself.
If you can’t attend, though, Walt Disney World has announced they will be live streaming the entire ceremony online, via their blog, Star Tours Facebook page and the Disney Parks YouTube page. All require a device that supports Flash.
If you need something to tide you over until next Friday, the Orlando Sentinel has an early peek inside Star Tours.
[All photos courtesy of Walt Disney World]
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