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Return of a new hope as Star Tours strikes back

By Alex Sferrazza
On April 5, 2012

Ever since it opened at both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in 1987 and 1989 respectively, the attraction "Star Tours" had remained a perennial favorite among guests at both resorts. However, much like the "Star Wars" films, all good things must come to an end and so "Star Tours" closed up shop at both parks in 2010.

Flash forward about a year and the new "Star Tours" attraction, designed by both Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm, was opened to the public in 2011. Featuring new state-of the-art effects and keeping the old attraction's charm and thrills, the new attraction dubbed "Star Tours: The Adventures Continue," creates the one of the best single-attraction experiences money can buy.

The premise is similar to the original. You are a passenger on a "Star Tours" transport vessel. When things go awry, the vessel gets accidentally involved with the conflict against the Galactic Empire, leading the vessel to familiar locations from the "Star Wars" films.

The ride involves two major components. Guests are seated in a modified military flight simulator while the plot and chaos unfolds upon a video screen. The simulators then match the action on screen with the proper corresponding motions.

Just as before, the ride provides thrills that the entire family can enjoy. It's thrilling enough for teenagers to enjoy yet mild enough for the less adventurous to sit through.

"The Adventures Continue" features expected upgrades to the original attraction. The line has been partially re-designed to appear as a security check in for an inter-galactic spaceport with some very funny security droids to "greet" you. The main ride film is entirely new, and the story now takes place in between the two "Star Wars" trilogies. The film is now presented in glorious 3D Hi-Def. The 3D image is so good and the glasses look remarkably similar in quality to those used in IMAX theaters. Despite the expected changes to the plot (C 3PO is now the pilot of the vessel); the ride will be very familiar to fans of the original attraction.

The big hook of the new ride is the new "random ride generator." Unlike the original "Star Tours." This time the journey (film segment shown) will almost always be different. There are eleven various film pieces present in the ride (including events from how exactly the ship goes off course to which planets will be visited on the voyage) but the guest will never see any more than four of them on any one ride. For example you might visit the ice world of Hoth and then enter a battle high above the skies of the city planet Coruscant. The next time you ride, you might visit these same planets or possibly enter a pod-race on the Desert World of Tatooine. Part of the fun is never knowing what to expect.

There are a total of 54 different possible ride combinations and it will take multiple ride troughs to see everything the attraction has in store. Exactly how many depends on your luck but in my case it took ten trips.

"Star Tours: The Adventures Continue" is an absolute dream come true for "Star Wars" fans with plenty of fan service to be found. It is also great ride for the entire family to enjoy together. On the cutting-edge of technology once again, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has proved that they are the home of the absolute best theme park entertainment in the world.

"Star Tours The Adventures Continue" is now boarding at Disneyland Park in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.


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