Disney’s Hollywood Studios
3111 World Drive, Orlando, 407-824-4321 or www.disney.go.com
•Opens at 9 a.m. daily.
•Parking is $14, admission is $87.33 plus tax for children ages 10 and older; $78.81 plus tax for ages 3-9.
“Star Wars” Weekends
The Annual “Star Wars” Weekends continue through June 12 at Hollywood Studios. Each weekend will feature James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) as well as different actors on a given weekend. Today and Sunday Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). Daniel Logan (Boba Fett, “Episode II: Attack of the Clones”) and Dave Filoni (supervising director, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”).
ORLANDO — Just in time for Star Wars Weekends, Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened its revamped Star Tours attraction on Friday, adding 3-D effects and other improvements. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Disney president and CEO Bob Iger joined thousands of fans, as well as some favorite characters from the movie, to board Starspeeder 1000 flight motion simulators and journey to far, far away lands such as Tatooine and Coruscant.
In addition to adding 3-D effects, the new Star Tours features R2-D2, Jedi Master Yoda, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and a host of other favorites from the movies.
“. . . We decided to place our storyline between the two sets of Star Wars trilogies, giving the project the working title ‘Star Tours 3.5,’ ” Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president and senior creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, said in a press release. “This time period gave our show team the ability to tap into the very best of the ‘Star Wars’ characters and adventures.
The original Star Tours attraction opened in late 1989, 10 years before the three “Star Wars” prequels were released. The original attraction was powered down in 2010 so Imagineers could begin work on the new version.
The fun begins even before visitors board their craft. C-3PO and R2-D2 greet guests waiting in line, and Animatronic characters add comic relief.
At the end of the line, riders walk through a heat-sensor before boarding their simulator.
“It was fantastic,” said Victor Gory of Toronto, Canada. “When you have been such a fan for 30 years, it just makes it that much better.”
And repeat visits are encouraged. The attraction features more than 50 story combinations, so it’s unlikely a guest will have the same experience twice.
For an added touch, one rider in each ship may be identified as a Rebel spy.
“Star Wars” characters pop up to offer help — or hindrance — during the journey.
Actor Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in the movies, was in Orlando on Friday.
“Wow! Back in the gold suit for the first time since ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ but on this occasion in front of a beloved Starspeeder,” he said in the press release.
While greeting guests Friday, he admitted the costume wasn’t very comfortable.
“It was awful,” he said. “I could see straight ahead for thousands of miles, but you had to be so careful to not bump into other things.”
The revamped attraction will open June 3 at Disneyland in California.
“The ride is so cool,” Fernanda Marino of Orlando said. “Even if you are not a fan you should come out and see it.”
Contact Manderville at 321-242-3613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Star Wars mania at Star Tours grand reopening in Orlando
By Luann MandervilleSpecial to Metromix
May 21, 2011
Disney’s Hollywood Studios