Alas, it has finally come to an end. As of today, Star Tours has taken its last trip to Endor. What is Star Tours you may ask? Why, let me tell you. Star Tours was a ride featured at 4/5 of Disney’s theme parks (Florida, California, Paris, and Tokyo). After scrapping a few ideas for something new, Disney decided to pair with George Lucas and create a Star Wars themed ride. The ride opened in 1986 as the first attraction at Disneyland to not use Disney created imagery. The cost of the 4 military grade flight simulators was $500,000 each while the cost of the entire project was $32 million; almost double the cost of the entire park back in 1955.
This ride was Star Wars from start to finish. As soon as you stepped into line, you felt part of the Star Wars universe. They surrounded you with familiar characters such as C3P0 and R2-D2 and their oh-so-familiar banter. There were also some lesser known characters for those hardcore Star Wars nerds out there. The props used while waiting in line were props from the original movies modified to fit the needs of the ride. I can tell you right now, that waiting in line for this ride was actually something I enjoyed. I know, I’m a total nerd.
The ride itself was so much fun! The simulators they used actually threw you around and made you feel like you were in a space ship. The basic plot is that you’re on a tour to go to the Endor moon (where the Ewoks live if you remember Return of the Jedi) when everything that can possibly go wrong, does. There are Imperial Star Destroyers, Tie-Fighters, X-Wings, comets, and yes, even the Death Star. Why tell you about it when I can just show you?
Ah, yes… the memories. So, why are they closing the ride? Your answer: because they are making it better! New footage is already being filmed for the revamped ride. Named Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, it is set to re-open May 2011. Fans lucky enough to go to Star Wars Celebration V got a sneak peek of a “commercial” for the new Star Tours ride. They previewed visits to Endor, Bespin, and Aldneraan. They are also going to be filming in digital high definition for a more life like experience. Rumor of new simulator system with 6 degrees of freedom (as compared to the old ones with 4 degrees) has been thrown around. a Oooooh, I can’t wait for the new ride! I do loves me some Star Wars! I’ll see you guys there!