Star Tours 2 News
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ Brings Star Wars Thrills in 3-D to Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park
Press release from Disney:
The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.
Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.
With eye-popping 3-D digital filming, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology, guests will be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction. Walt Disney Imagineering worked with Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Industrial Light & Magic – the groundbreaking visual effects division of Lucasfilm – to bring the out-of-this-world attraction to life.
Star Tours, which had thrilled Disney Parks guests since the 1980s, was “powered down” at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010 so Imagineers could begin work on the new attraction.
And in a new twist, guests may be able to enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours.
Just as the Star Wars films immerse movie-goers in storylines that keep them on the edge of their seats, Star Tours will feature multiple stories and scenarios that will hurtle park guests throughout the Star Wars galaxy. And all of the storyline’s twists and turns will be random, affording guests the chance to ride the attraction multiple times.
Whether it’s a battle with Darth Vader and his legion of stormtroopers or a plea from Princess Leia to help her save the Rebellion, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action – literally – in the 3-D, multi-sensory attraction.
Entering the attraction queue area, Star Tours guests walk into a bustling spaceport. The famed Star Wars droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, greet them as the Starspeeder 1000 is prepped for service. Anthony Daniels, the voice of C-3PO and the only actor to appear in every theatrical chapter of the Star Wars Saga, reprises his role as the golden protocol droid. Daniels worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to record new dialogue for the attraction. Guests also are introduced to AC-38, a hotshot droid pilot known simply as “Ace,” and Aly San San (voiced by actress Allison Janney), the “spokesbot” for the spaceport.
After winding through the spaceport, guests board the Starspeeder 1000 spacecraft and prepare for Star Tours Flight #1401. Through a series of mishaps, however, C-3PO finds himself in the pilot’s seat instead of Ace, and it’s up to him and R2-D2 to navigate their passengers through the galaxy. However, the tyrannical Empire is out to stop the Starspeeder at all costs. C-3PO and R2-D2 take the controls and try to outwit and outrun the Imperial forces and a galactic bounty hunter hired to pursue the spaceship and its passengers.
Utilizing the 50+ random story combinations, the Starspeeder then embarks 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.
In fact, with multiple ways to experience each flight, guests will never know where the Force will take them.
At Walt Disney World Resort, Star Tours opens May 20, 2011, the same day the annual Star Wars Weekends event begins at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends event activities are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.
I had the opportunity to interview “Bree Starlighter” (who I believe will be a Star Tours pre-show character) at the Aventura Mall Sneak Peek event. This is the report of my on-record, in character interview.
On Saturday, April 16, at the Star Tours Sneak Peek at Aventura Mall, I was granted an exclusive interview with Bree Starlighter, the Chief Holocommunications Officer of Star Tours. Star Tours will be opening their very first hub here on Earth on May 20. While Starlighter said she was very excited about this, she seemed a bit strained, which I originally assumed was from the stress of the upcoming launch. I asked her if we would be seeing her on launch day, and she said most definitely, and implied that she would be around quite a bit. I went on to talk to the self proclaimed “Princess of PR” about the new hub.
Starlighter said Star Tours will be offering 54 different travel packages, including visits to Alderaan (which was just voted “Safest Planet in the Galaxy by Hyperspace Traveller magazine), Hoth, Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant and more. According to her, Star Tours is the only star line that makes daily, non-stop trips to the Wookiee planet, Kashyyyk.
They are pleased to be offering so many destinations since maintaining free travel around the galaxy is highly important to them.
Starlighter went on to say that Star Tours has all brand new ships, the StarSpeeder 1000, that were manufactured on the planet Corellia. Although the exact manufacturer was not mentioned, it is safe to assume they were produced by Corellian Engineering Corperation. The Corellians are well known for their ship-buliding prowess, so I’m sure we can expect a top-of-the-line fleet of starships.
While on board, passengers will receive special glasses to wear during their journey so that they can see everything clearly and fully appreciate the amazing intergalactic sights. Starliner says this is necessary for a couple of reasons. First, the interplanetary atmospheric changes can make seeing difficult. Also, there can be other elements that impair vision, such as the twin suns of Tatooine.
When discussing vision difficulties, Starlighter brought up C-3PO (who was also in attendance at the event, along with R2-D2). He is a very shiny droid, and apparently sometimes the light reflecting off of him gets in to the pilot’s eyes and they have trouble seeing clearly as well. When I tried to ask her about that more, she deflected the question and continued to talk about C-3PO. She said that he is instrumental in their flights, and always keeps things on target, but that he is also very “type A” and meticulous, “which is why he is so good at his job.” She also mentioned that R2-D2 is an integral part of what they are doing at Star Tours and that he is “very bright” and an asset to the company.
While most of the interview went very well, and I got some great information, there were also some strained moments that tell us Star Tours could be having some rough times leading up to the launch. For example, Starlighter mentioned that the Empire has been very involved in space travel but that Star Tours is very happy with their involvement and think it’s “great.” Also, “the Empire is fully supportive of free travel and there should be no issues at all from them.” I asked her if she expected issues with them and she got very stiff, and a bit manic, and said “Of course we don’t expect any issues! The Empire is great! Their involvement is great! The Emperor is great! Everything is great!”
Starlighter also mentioned at one point that “Darth Vader visits often, but no problems yet.” She then quickly corrected herself and said, “I mean, of course there are no problems! Everything is great! Darth Vader is great!” He came up again later in the interview and she said “We haven’t had to many run-in’s with Vader...err, I mean, NO run-in’s with Vader! None at all! And if we did, it would be great! Because he is great!” She even described him as “a positive force for change.” She said that Vader is merely trying to ensure that everyone has a “perfect galaxy to live in, and who wouldn’t want to live in a perfect galaxy?” Also, according to Starlighter, everything he is doing is “great and not at all ‘dark’.”
Any time the Empire, the Emperor, or Darth Vader was mentioned, Starlighter had a very pronounced facial tic, her left eye kept twitching. She seemed very uneasy during these periods, and reluctant to say anything besides that they were “great.” In fact, several times she made sure I had written down that she thinks everything is “great.”
While no one knows the inner workings of the Star Tours corporation currently, one could hazard a guess that maybe things aren’t so “great” after all? What does all that mean for the company? Will this effect the launch of the new hub on May 20th? Is the Empire keeping a closer watch on Star Tours than should be necessary? Are they too involved? How does Starliner really feel about the Empire’s involvement and what they are doing? While I don’t know what all this could mean for Star Tours, I certainly can’t wait to find out.
Check out Video of Bree Starlighter from yesterdays event here.
That's right, Yoda. You're looking pretty awesome in your StarToursLive.com Gear, even at age 900.
Here's the video we took at the first Star Tours Sneak Peek Event which took place today in Miami. It features a host "Bree Starlighter" (we confirmed her last name is Starlighter), and features your favorite droids and mine C-3PO and R2-D2. They seem to be the same droids that take place in Star Wars Weekends.
Thanks to a cryptic sign with a QR code at the Star Tours Sneak Peek event today, we found out about m.startoursmobile.com, a mobile website featuring more attraction teasers, including destination information, characters, the teaser video released last summer, and free background images for the attraction.
Here was the sign that led us to the site:
Here's the main page:
In addition to including some blurbs about the Destinations (with images similar to the ones released yesterday via their Facebook page), it also asks you to Meet the Characters, including Yoda, Darth Vader, C-3PO, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and Princess Leia (all of which were previously known to be a part of the attraction).
Perhaps the coolest things offered (other pushing the WDW hotel reservation number, of course), are four free background images: C-3PO, Yoda, Darth, and Bartholomew the Starspeeder (for lack of a better name). Interestingly, they seem to be continuing to go with the "3-D" sub-title on these, instead of "The Adventures Continue" (except for the Starspeeder background). Click on each for a full-sized version!
What do you think of these? C-3PO looks to be saying "I COME IN PEACE!" Yoda looks particularly epic; Darth seems peeved. I can't tell the expression on Bartholomew's face.
Also be sure to check out Inside the Magic's coverage, who astutely noticed:
Note that in the background of Yoda’s image are other space vehicles, with different paint schemes than the Star Tours brand Starspeeder 1000. These are likely competing space tourism companies, as revealed at Star Wars Celebration V.
ARE YOU GETTING EXCITED YET!?
Researcher Scarlett managed to make it down to the Adventura Mall today in Miami to check out the first FL Star Tours Sneak Peek event.
Here are a bunch of pictures from the event:
The line (Scarlett was the first for Rope Drop, of course). The event started at 11am, not 10am as we previously heard:
The mall setup before the event started:
Star Tours Mickey Ears!
Go check out http://m.startoursmobile.com for a special mobile-friendly look at Star Tours 2:
The planet postcards and destinations:
Closer up look at the details and the scrambled destinations (see here for previously planets):
C-3PO and R2-D2 made a special appearence:
More pictures of the event setup.
The FREE picture with Jedi Mickey and the folder it came in.
What do you think: are you going to make it out to one of the next three events?
On Saturday, April 16, the Aventura Mall in Miami, FL is hosting a Sneak Peek for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The event is being held at Center Court from 10am until 6pm. It will feature some Star Wars and Disney characters as well as provide guests an opportunity to see some of the destinations from the attraction. Researcher Scarlett will be there to cover the event in the morning and then will be hosting a meet up at noon. If you are going to be there, find her (look for the cranberry-colored TouringPlans.com t-shirt) and meet up with fellow fans to discuss the latest Star Tours news. Let us know on Plancast if you will be joining us. Hope to see you there!
Get more meetup information and count yourself in! http://plancast.com/p/4wyr
Just received my StarToursLive.com t-shirt and hat today! The shirts aren't bad, but the baseball cap is awesome (it's printed, not embroidered).
(note the Empire DVD in the background)
Want your own? Check out our Spreadshirt site. Star Tours is coming!!
We believe the above photos, previously unreleased, are actual ride footage as guests would see in the attraction. However, as noted by @WDWNTom, they look a lot like movie/book imagery, and may not be from Star Tours. The other images in the Facebook album, however, we've seen before:
What do you think of these planets? Which would you like to visit first?
DisneyParks has launched an official Facebook fan page for Star Tours: facebook.com/StarTours:
They've also announced an event called the Florida Sneak Peek Event that'll take place in four malls across Florida, presumably to spur locals to head to Walt Disney World and visit the attraction when it arrives. Interestingly, the call it "Star Tours 3-D" in the facebook profile picture. The text reads:
Star Tours-The Adventures Continue, launched May 20th at Disney's Hollywood Studios, but this is your chance to learn about Star Tours... see some of our exciting destinations and meet some out-of-this galaxy characters like R2-D2, C-3PO - plus Jedi Mickey and Leia Minnie!
The Dates and Locations listed are:
Saturday, April 16th (TOMORROW!) - Aventura Mall - Miami
Saturday, April 30th - Orange Park Mall - Jacksonville
Saturday, May 7th - Westfield Citrus Park Mall - Tampa
Saturday, May 14th - The Florida Mall - Orlando
No word on times yet, or when Disney is going to launch this officially via the Disney Parks Blog or via Twitter.
We're working on having someone in Miami report from this event! If you can help us out, let us know.
Hat tip to @BanksLee for the find.
UPDATE:: We're going to be at the first event, and we're doing a meetup
UPDATE:: Check out the photos and coverage of the event!