Star Tours Grand Opening Ceremony

Friday May 20th marks a big day in Disney themepark history. It’s the official opening for the first 3D motion simulator attraction. Star Tours – The Adventures Continues. A lot of big names are expected (Anthony Daniels, George Lucas, Bob Iger to name a few) and the legions of fans are many. To add an extra level of craziness to the big event, it’s the first day of Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

They’ve added a queue to the Streets of New York (excuse me, America) that looks like it could stretch for hours. At least they’ve provided shade, fans, and a big screen TV for some entertainment value. The stand-by queue will probably be a little longer than expected because they’re also doing fast pass today.

Which leads me to a small bit of excitement. I have two Star Tours 2.0 Fast passes for the first person who finds me in Disney’s Hollywood Studios today.

In the meantime, check back throughout the day as I’ll be adding photos and more details of the event to this post.

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The park has prepared for a 6 hour queue. However as of 12:15 the wait was only 100 minutes in standby. That will likely be a lot longer tomorrow since it’s a Saturday.

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The had a big screen on a truck for overflow crowds at the grand opening ceremony.

More images from the grand opening below the jump:

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Even before the ceremony guests were queued up to be among the first to ride the attraction after its official opening.

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This year Star Wars Weekends has a great stage.

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I loved that the new ride has its own pre-roll. I think I caught it all on film, check later when I have video.

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Anthony Daniels and C-3PO on stage at the same time. This led to a few funny moments.
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George Lucas and Bob Iger made a great entrance and opened the ride in grand galactic style.

The ceremony was proceeded by a procession that featured the 501st Legion along with Disney’s cadre of Disney Characters.

A better picture of Anthony Daniels on stage

Bob and George entered with lightsabers drawn and defeated the darkside of the force.

One more shot of all the VIPs up on stage. And that does it for my coverage today. Look for lots more over the coming week.

I still have those fastpasses to giveaway if you can find me in the park today. Enjoy Star Tours without the Standby wait.

Now, if I can only make it to Naboo!

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8 Responses to Star Tours Grand Opening Ceremony

  1. Beth says:

    I wish I was in Florida today! Well, let’s be honest, I always wish I was at WDW, but today especially!

  2. Connie says:

    They say that the ride will be identical in both Parks but I doubt it – there has to be some difference, LOL. I’ll let you know as I am one of the lucky ones to preview the attraction at Disneyland before it opens to the public.

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  5. Lisa Carter says:

    Great pictures! It looks like it was a lot of fun to see the Opening Ceremonies with George Lucas and the others. I hope they do the same for us at Disneyland! I will also be one of the lucky ones to preview the Star Tours in Disneyland. Can’t wait!!

  6. Milford Hutsell says:

    Got to ride 4 times yesterday, did not see them ever use that cue area in The Streets Of America. They expected the wait times to get to 3-4 hours yesterday and they never did. The merchandise tent however had a steady 2 hour wait all day yesterday.

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  8. Spokker says:

    “They say that the ride will be identical in both Parks but I doubt it – there has to be some difference, LOL.”

    Why would there be a difference? Disney has stated that visitors have been demanding a “One Disney” experience that is homogeneous across all parks.

    I’ve always enjoyed those differences between rides at say, Magic Kingdom and rides at Disneyland. It could be the same ride, but different takes on the same thing. Big Thunder is a good example. There is a difference between the two attractions that geologists will appreciate.

    Sad that this concept of differences is not in the future of Disney theme parks.

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