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Tony Baxter, Senior VP Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, recently chatted with the ForceCast, one of the more respected Star Wars fan podcasts, about Star Tours. They discussed the new version a bit, but Baxter was really excited to explore some of the history of the original Star Tours attraction, including tidbits I’ve never heard before.

You can listen to it here, or I’ve included some of my notes below the jump:


Bob Iger, George Lucas, and Anthony Daniels enjoy a first ride on Star Tours after the dedication ceremony

When Star Wars Episode One was under production 14 years ago, word leaked out from George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic that they were working on a segment, based on the pod-racing segment, that they wanted to use to update Star Tours at Disneyland. At the time I remember thinking that, it was nice to know that someone remembered how Star Tours was designed to be easily updated with new destinations all the time. Alas, nothing happened at the attraction, but there was a new hope in the air.

I started to let myself dream about what an updated Star Tours would be like. It would have multiple destinations, new characters from the films, include some of the best sets from the movies, and utilize 3D technology. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue meets all my dreams and more.

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: