by Orange Bird Devo
Since May 25, 1977 the Star Wars films have transported audiences into the Star Wars Universe. The original trilogy of Star Wars films became so popular that Disney began plans to bring a Star Wars themed attraction to their theme parks. George Lucas and Disney collaborated and opened Star Tours at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in January of 1987. Star Tours was so popular at Disneyland that Disney created a version of the attraction for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Which at the time was called Disney MGM Studios). As Star Wars kept gaining popularity, Disney decided to update Star Tours to be able to coincide with the release of new Star Wars films and TV shows. The updated and current version of the attraction is called Star Tours- The Adventures Continue. It opened in both Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World in 2011. So now that we’ve covered the history of Star Tours let’s blast off to the galaxy far far away and see what adventures are in store at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Star Tours the Adventures Continue is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Echo Lake section of the park. Other attractions in Echo Lake include Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Jedi Training Academy, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Star Tours is a 3-D motion simulator attraction. Due to the nature of this type of attraction expectant mothers, anyone who has preexisting medical conditions, and those with motion sickness should skip this attraction. Guests must also be at least 40 inches tall to ride.
Orange Bird Devo Tip: If you would like to minimize you wait time for Star Tours I would recommend visiting this attraction in the morning or late evening. These are usually the quietest times at this attraction because most guests arrive at the park between the hours of 10am and 1pm. You can also make a Fastpass reservation for Star Tours. Hollywood Studios has a tiered Fastpass system so I would highly recommend checking out JollyFrogger Diva’s article, A First Timer’s Guide to Fastpass +.
Your Journey Before the Journey- One of the best parts of a Disney attraction is that the Imagineers add extra detail to the queue of the attraction. The best part of a Disney attraction is that the story begins from the moment you enter the queue to the moment you exit the attraction (which most of the time is through a gift shop). The Star tours queue is set up as a spaceport terminal and you the guest are placed in the role of a space tourist. There are a few things in the Star Tours queue that you should look out for next time you are there.
- You have taken your first step into a larger world- As you enter the spaceport you will notice a large screen. This screen informs space tourists of flight statuses, weather forecasts, and advertisements to visit many areas in the Star Wars universe. Seeing this screen will show space tourists how large the world of Star Wars actually is.
- It’s a Trap!- Don’t worry there isn’t an actual trap but if you look up as you walk into the queue you will find Admiral Ackbar who is famous for saying “It’s a Trap” in Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
- Luggage Security – Later in the queue you will see security droids scanning luggage. You will notice screens that show what is inside the luggage. If you look closely you will see some familiar objects. There are many different objects, however my personal favorite is Sorcerer Mickey’s hat.
- These are the Droids you’re looking for- There are many droids in the Star Wars universe. The two most famous droids are C3PO and R2D2, who have appeared in all seven Star Wars films to date. You can find C3PO and R2D2 at the beginning of the queue with the Starspeeder 1000. However there is another droid here that gets overlooked by many guests. This droid is named Rex and he appears toward the end of the queue. You may ask why Rex is so important. Well Rex was the captain for the original Star Wars attraction and even though he has been replaced by C3PO in the current version of the attraction, Rex is still honored by Imagineers by being placed in the queue.
The Adventure Begins! – Once you reach the end of the queue you are ready to enter your Starspeeder 1000. The Starspeeder 1000 is the motion simulator vehicle that will transport you to many different places in the Star Wars universe. After you have taken your seat the Starspeeder takes off. However there is one problem, the captain isn’t on board yet. You are then greeted by C3PO and R2D2 who are now the leaders of this Star Tours adventure. The main story unfolds as your Starspeeder is carrying a Rebel spy that is wanted by the Galactic Empire. After being stopped by the Empire, your Starspeeder takes off trying to save the rebel spy. After you get away from the Empire, your adventure continues. However each time you ride Star Tours your adventure might change. Star Tours is set up to give you a different experience every time. There are many combinations of planets, characters, and stories that you can experience. For example you may run into characters such as Darth Vader and Yoda or you may visit planets such as Endor and Jakku. Every ride is a different experience and as the Star Wars universe develops, so does the attraction.
Orange Bird Devo Tip: Would you like to be the spy for the Rebellion? The good news is you have a chance! One guest on the attraction is selected randomly to be the rebel spy. To increase your chances to be the rebel spy try interacting with the cast members. Many cast members enjoy talking to guests and some are even big Star Wars fans.
Star Tours is a perfect attraction for Star Wars fans of all ages as well as those who are experiencing Star Wars for the first time. I hope you enjoy your continuing adventures on Star Tours and may the force be with you.
Would you like to experience your own Star Tours Adventure at Disney World? Thinking of planning a Disney World vacation? Be sure to use Patricia at All for Dreams Travel, the official travel agent of Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos.
A special thanks to Soarin’ Diva and Dopey Diva for providing the pictures for this article.