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“Know These 6 Things About Star Tours, You Did Not?”-Yoda

By Cassie

Star Tours is one of the most loved attractions at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The queue is both interesting and relatively quick in off-season, but make sure you choose it for a FastPass+ attraction in the summer and during the Holidays. It is shaded and half indoors making it one of the more comfortable to be in. The ride experience has such a variety that it could be different every time you ride, well, at least the first 50 times you ride.  The experience is randomly selected by the computer.

6. This is the first Disney attraction that is based on a story not written by or adapted by the Disney Company. Disney Imagineers were wanting to use a space flight simulator on an attraction and the popularity of Star Wars was very attractive for use of that concept. The simulator chosen is the same as one used by the US Military on which they train pilots. The cultural phenomenon was immediately attractive to Disney Imagineers.

5. When placing the attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the “story” of the Studios was honored and the attraction is found inside a soundstage, like other attractions in this park. There are multiple sets that combine to form the front of the soundstage, such as the giant AT-AT, the Ewok Village set, photo backdrops, and the stage that holds the Jedi Training show.  After you enter the attraction you even see the back of the set walls, giving it that stage-set feel. It fits very well in this movie-themed Disney Park. While walking by at night look at the Ewok village, from the forest moon of Endor, and notice the camp fires and listen to their hushed conversation. The queue area is a great experience on its own. Star Tours does exist in other Disney Parks but none of them like this soundstage version.

4. 71 Luggage Scans that are hilarious! Droids, droid parts, an Ewok playfully drumming on Stormtrooper armor, Captain EO’s Major Domo, Mickey’s gloves and his Sorcerer’s Hat, Wall-E’s treasures, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Incredible, C3PO parts, additional nods to Star Wars characters and Disney characters and other Disney attractions. You do not get a long look at this great piece of the queue, so when you enter the second room watch it as long as you can.

3. George Lucas had a big hand in creating Star Tours and again on the redesign in 2011. He made decisions on the parts of the attraction that contribute to the over 50 story lines that could emerge. He was very much involved with the design of the set for Star Tours. John Williams who composed the scores for the six original Star Wars films was consulted on the music for the attraction. He chose original score music for the ride. (He declined being a part of writing anything new and for the second version of the ride, Michael Giacchino was eager to compose the music.) Many of the original cast contributed audio for the attraction that gives it a great authentic feeling from the Star Wars films. Attention to the timeline of the films was given when creating the story line and what props, etc. would be seen. The original Star Tours vehicles were referred to as “Starspeeder 3000”, but when the second version was released, it was set in a time before the first original film, so the vehicle is now known as “Starspeeder 1000”.

2. Imagineers’ details:  Just listen to the audio as you are moving along through the queue, did you hear Egroeg Sacul paged? (Read it backwards.) You may hear the owner of license plate “THX 1138” paged to move their speeder. This is the name of George Lucas’ first film in 1971, and has been referred to in the Star Wars films. Check out the boxes moving overhead in the queue, the numbers on them are the birthdays of Imagineers who worked on the attraction. A popular line from the Star Wars films is “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” And you will hear it again at Star Tours. After dark, listen closely for Ewoks having hushed conversation and chants. Enjoy the queue which has posters, Audio-animatronic characters, droids, luggage scans with gags, and a pre-flight video prior to getting your 3-D glasses and being sent to your ride vehicle.

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1. The ride varies each time. Star Tours offers an attraction with 54 different experiences. The attraction chooses your experience, not you. One location you can fly through are the desert canyons of Tatooine. Would you rather visit a Death Star, Nabu, Bespin, Tattooine, Hoth, Kashyyk, Endor, Alderaan or Coruscant? How about meeting your favorite Star Wars character along the way, such as Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Yoda, Imperial Stormtroopers, Admiral Ackbar, Chewbacca or Jar Jar Binks? Well, the ride selects these experiences randomly. You have an inexperienced pilot flying your ship, so that should tell that there will be trouble up ahead. All manner of misfortunes plague you on your journey. This makes for an exciting experience every time you fly! Heads up: one of the guests is chosen by a Cast Member to be the Rebel Spy, you may find yourself playing that role!

Star Wars Weekends, usually held in the spring, is extremely popular and the crowd grows each year. You don’t want to miss this experience if you have Star Wars fans in your party. Hollywood Studios puts on extravagant parades, stars of both the Star Wars films and television, meet and greets, special seminars, Darth’s Mall which is a mega gift shop, special stage shows and fireworks events. It should be noted that many Star Wars characters have been added to Villain’s nights at Hollywood Studios, spreading more meet and greets with them through the year.

Part of the Star Tours attraction is a stage area, set to the left side, where the Jedi Training Academy takes place. Children can be signed up nearby, by their parents early in the day, admitting them to the Academy for a specific show time. The MC is funny and engaging. If your little Jedi wants to be taken seriously, this is a not-to-be-missed experience. This takes place several times a day. Choose early morning or late afternoon to avoid being in a non-shaded area during the hottest part of the day.

Across from Tatooine Traders is a photo op spot complete with a PhotoPass Photographer. An Imperial Speeder waits for kids to sit on to get a shot with the backdrop from a chase scene in Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Tatooine Traders gift shop is representative of a desert outpost in Mos Espa. You will find an amazing amount of Star Wars themed merchandise inside. I hope that when this section of the park is enlarged, that they can create a larger space for all of the great merchandise. The ride empties into the gift shop so shopping in the space can be challenging. You can get a great photo of yourself printed, make your own Light Sabre, or Droids, or purchase any of the funny t-shirts. If you are looking for a Jedi robe, look no further, they are here. Books, specialized Lego sets, play figures, artwork, lanyards, pin sets, Chewbacca hats or backpacks, plush, lunch bags, Star Wars ears, hats, and so much more. Don’t miss shopping in here for your Star Wars fans. There is a smaller souvenir cart nearby with more Jedi merchandise.t.

Attraction Timeline:

1987-opened in Disneyland in Tomorrowland

1989, December 15-opened in Walt Disney World

2007-Jedi Training Academy opens

2011, May 20-WDW redesign called Star Tours-The Adventure Continues (3D) opened at midnight.

 

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.