Friday, June 17, 2011

Magical Blogorail: I Always Run First To...

Welcome to those of you joining me from A World View and those of you who have just hopped aboard. I am the final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

This month's topic is “What attraction do you always run to first at Disney and why?” Ridge has just returned from two weekends in a row at Star Wars Weekends. As you might imagine, he makes a beeline for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Now that Star Tours is back open and better than ever, it is definitely my "I gotta do this now and probably several more times today" attraction at WDW. If you haven’t seen it, ridden it, read about it, watched a YouTube video of it or have just been living under a rock for the last couple of months, I will be glad to fill you in on the awesomeness and immersive experience that is Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Star Tours has always been one of my favorite attractions since the first time I rode it. After that I was hooked for life, even when it became apparent that it wasn’t exactly being kept up as well as it should have been. Now the new Star Tours is open and being there for opening weekend was worth the wait.

If you don’t want to hear some spoilers then give up now because I will tell you about a few of my new favorite things. First I am happy that the Ewok Village is still intact. Inside the queue is still the same basic set up with the Star Speeder being repainted and the Calamarians offering some new screens to look at. C3PO is nice and shiny and has a fancy new screen behind him too. Walking into the old droid room, it is no longer the conveyer system and is now more of a real spaceport with the old goose droids now repurposed as TSA agents. One is on the lower level scanning luggage and having a grand time. He has no idea what he is looking at in the bags and making comments on the passersby. The other droid is located just before you enter the loading area and is checking each guest with a thermal imaging camera. To me he sounds like the droid version of Patrick Warburton and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he recorded the track. In the corner when you first walk into the room with the TSA agents, on your left is REX marked as defective and if you get to stand near him long enough he says some of his script from the previous incarnation. There are lots and lots of things to be distracted by in this room and the lines might just accommodate you being able to check it all out.

Now to the bread and butter and why I’m making this attraction a top priority: variety and most excellent CGI and 3D graphics. Your Star Speeder hasn’t changed, although if I understand right there were some modifications to the ride structure to add a new axis of motion for the side to side wiggle. Seats, seatbelts, and the preflight spiel are all still about the same; they just look far better on the new preflight video. Once inside the magic happens by donning your 3D glasses and the front blast shield is lowered to revel your pilot: C3PO? As you guessed it, the safe and efficient travel promised by Star Tours is anything but. Someone is going to be coming to your transport and asking if a rebel spy is on board then the mayhem ensues. I rode five times and once I was the rebel spy! It actually was a good picture of me, wish they sold that at the gift shop. The GCI by Lucas Film Limited is nothing but the best and I really think it is 3D the way 3D should be everywhere. There were no cheap 3D tricks (waka waka) unless you get to see Naboo but that is soooo worth it. Best way I can say it; Visually Stunning. The planets I have seen were all beautifully rendered. The hologram effect is totally boss and having a CGI Princess Leia telling me I was the only hope was magic and my nerd levels went off the charts. There is just so much that can be said about the attraction and so far I have nothing negative other than after being open to the public for two days, the paint was already peeling from the walls. I mean, really people, that’s why we can’t have nice things and if you can’t act right, I’m turning you over to Vader because I find your lack of respect disturbing.

The planets that I made the jump into hyperspace for were Tatooine for the pod races, which the first time I saw this it was amazing, I rode the first two times with my mouth agape because I had NO idea it was going to live up to the hype I had seen on twitter all the way down to Disney. After I saw the pod races again I was tired because they are not my favorite part of Episode I and were tiring to watch no less cool though. Then I saw Hoth where the rebel base was being attacked and we were hit in classic style and almost crashed before R2 was able to restart the engines and jump us away. The next time I rode I saw Kashyyyk the Wookie planet, here two storm troopers are chasing a Wookie on speeder bikes and R2 blasts them after the Wookie has a little mishap. The planets we saw at the end were Geonosis with the Death Star over head and Boba Fett gunning us down. Naboo with a trip under water to see the Gungan City before making to the destination in a grand style. Let us not forget about Coruscant with its busy skyways and wrong way traffic. Oh, the combinations are awesome and seem to have been well written to cross over ok, there is continuity problems but I don't care. The ride is fantastic.

To see all of Ridge's pictures from Star Tours click here for the Flickr stream.

Below is a video Ridge took of one of the "TSA" droids.

Thank you for joining us this month. We will be back July 15th with an all new theme, though keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, head over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our blogorail members’ blogs and our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ WDW Backstage
2nd Stop ~ Makin’ Memories
3rd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
4th Stop ~ A World View
Final Stop ~ Growing Up Disney


  1. I never was much on the original Star Tours, but I look forward to seeing the new version!

  2. This is a really great post about the attraction; it is clearly a favorite and on its way to being the number one visit at the park.

  3. my husband and I got SO NAUSEATED on the original Star Tours ride the first time we rode it together we never rode it again, hahah! I'm sure he will ride the re-done one, but I'm gonna just stayyyy awayyyy. hahah!

  4. I can't WAIT to see the new Star Tours in a few weeks!!!

  5. Great post - I can't wait to check out the Star Tours ride! My dad and I loved the old ride, and I can't wait to see how they have improved all the graphics.


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