The first time you are immersed in the world of Star Wars you are taken aback by the sheer imagination that transports you to new spaces beyond your own conceptions yet familiar enough for you to want to be there yourself. Sure someone could say, “ride Star Tours and relive your favorite scenes from the classic movies,” but once you have ridden this newly revamped attraction you will realize Disney Imagineers and Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic have something much greater in store for you. This journey into the epic landscapes from Star Wars stands on its own and will be the most epic Star Wars experience anyone will be able to enjoy for the foreseeable future. It is amazing, it is fun and it is Star Tours the way most of us (including Disney Imagineers) have always wished it could be.
The queue of the attraction has been refreshed with a much cleaner “new airport” feel which is in line with the storyline which now takes place as a bridge between Episode III and Episode IV. As you walk in you will notice the beautifully polished StarSpeeder 1000 as well as C-3PO and his famed companion R2-D2. The flight board now displays vistas from your potential Star Tours excursions in what can only be described as stunning HD. As you stroll into the next room be on the lookout for some familiar friends from the original Star Tours attraction. Walt Disney Imagineers clearly put a lot of thought into making this ride repeatable, not only with the 54 possible ride combinations (yes 54!) but also by placing many hidden nods to the original Star Tours along with other details.
As you proceed to the loading bays you will notice the newly designed 3D glasses that are implemented on this attraction and truly set it apart from any 3D you have ever seen (perhaps even Avatar). Standing in your loading bay awaiting to board your StarSpeeder 1000 you will notice the screens providing safety information have also received the HD bump but more importantly the video features some droids being quite mischievous while providing you with comical relief.
By now the anticipation for the ride is at an all-time-high and soon you will realize that even so, you will find the attraction lives up to the incredible expectations you had for it. Once inside the cabin you will notice not much has changed though everything has clearly been refreshed but the magic doesn’t truly appear till your StarSpeeder 1000 sheds its shield and lets you peer out its window onto the Star Wars Universe.
From the moment the ride gets going, you know this isn’t going to be your average Star Tours adventure because leading your StarSpeeder 1000 is none other than C-3PO. Quickly you glide from one adventure to the next, meeting with familiar characters ranging from Darth Vader and Storm Troopers to Jedi Master Yoda and Princess Leia. By now you will be filled with goosebumps as you can’t help but believe you are now in the middle of the action because the 3D is not a gimmick but crystal clear imagery that enhances the experience and makes you want to relive it again and again as soon as you are able to stop clapping at the end of the ride.
When 3D effects are used in their more typical “in your face” moments, they are done with extreme precision. One such example would be when Jedi Master Yoda appears as a hologram within your vehicle as he delivers an all important message to you. The window of your StarSpeeder might see some action as well 😉 .
Star Tours 2 is non stop adventure, non stop fun and with near endless repeatability it has truly become another must-ride on your Disney vacation in a park (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) that so desperately needs a boost of incredible attractions. Luckily it may have just gotten 54.