I. Love. Star Tours. The thought of them touching it 5 years ago would have scared the bejesus out of me. Sure, there have always been rumors circling about the outdated ride technology and a possible update to the attraction but isn’t that nostalgia what we love most about the parks? The Pepper’s Ghost effect has been around for hundreds of years and the Fantasyland rides are always among the longest of the lines in the park. Plus, we all know how badly Lucas and Co. messed up the Star Wars world by CG-ing (we coin terms here at Remain Seated Please) everything in lieu of practical effects.
Yet, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue NAILS IT. I was so sad on my final trip to the Endor moon but when the RSP crew got to ride the new attraction for a passholder preview, all of us were stunned. The story varies from ride to ride but at the ride’s core, you are at a Star Tours port awaiting your flight to an undisclosed location. They prep you for your flight on the Star Speeder 1000 by issuing you galactic flight goggles and then send you on your way.
The preflight sequence gives you a glimpse into the workings behind your port’s door. While your ship is being fueled, cleaned, and maintained, C3-P0 follows R2-D2 to your vehicle for a systems check. While our R2 unit is loaded, 3-P0 releases our pilot, Ace, in order to repair our navigation systems prior to takeoff. We then get the normal schpiel about galactic flight regulations and as soon as our star speeder is prepped and has approached the launch platform, the doors open and a steel flight path takes us into our ship.
A flight person gives us our final check and sends us on our way… but without our pilot! C3-P0 is now at the helm and no one at Star Tours is paying attention to his distress calls. This is where the differring stories begin.
There are rumored to be 54 different story combinations, all of which I will not give away but it seems that the stories are broken up into 5 different sections. Each segways into the next seamlessly through clever storytelling by the WDI team. We rode about 10 times over the course of a few days and can say that while it is exciting to have randomized flight sequrnces, there does not seem to be 54 sequences.
Now, a cast member did tell us that during previews not all destinations were being previewed and more destinations like the Endor moon and Geonosis. We have not, however, taken another flight since the ride’s greand re-opening June 3rd of this year and I have not seen anything new come up on any Disney blogs or Twitters. Have you seen them yet?
Even so, the good sequences and destinations are GREAT. Unfortunately, the bad ones are just boring. The CG, however, looks incredible thoughout (sans the preflight sequence. They really bought the farm on that one.) I had to go to Hoth 4 times before I even thought to look for CG environments or elements. For someone as finnicky as I am about such things, that’s a great sign. Fake environments are so distracting and for them to be 3D on top of that is just icing on the cake of diappointment (great band name, by the way). But this ride breaks that mentality. They pulled off great CG, great 3D, and a great story.
I highly recommend this ride for children of all ages. It’s interactive (one of your fellow passengers is a Rebel spy, as it turns out!), funny, gorgeous, and thrilling! There are numerous nods to the original attraction, there are special guests from the Star Wars films that visit you during the ride, and a great randomized ride sequence. The rumors of other destinations like Geonosis and the Endor moon are glimmers of hope that this ride will be more well taken care of by WDI and Lucas this time around (Remember when star tours motion simulator format was sold upon the idea of easy updates and enhancements?)
I loved Star Tours but Star Tours: The Adventures Continue pulls off the greatest feat of all – replacing an amazingly popular E-ticket attraction with something better.