Archive for the ‘Star Tours’ Category

Disney Adds New Locations for Star Wars Droid Factory

Droid Factory

The first Star Wars Droid Factory opened last year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. A Droid Factory is a place full of miscellaneous astromech droid figurine parts which allows you to customize your own figure. This is similar version of a “build-a-bear” kiosk found in many places, including zoos, science centers and other attractions.

The Droid Factory must have been popular, because Disney has decided to open one at Downtown Disney, also located in Orlando, and one at the Disneyland park in California! Link

These “factories” are great for all Star Wars fans, but especially for kids. My kids love them! It’s one of the first places they run to!

A Visit To Star Tours

As part of my vacation to Florida and eventual visit to the Star Wars Celebration VI, my family and I stopped over at Disney for a day. Of course, I had to see the new Star Tours! As a former resident of Florida, the uncooperative weather was no surprise to me. It was hot, humid and rained the entire day. The rain was a welcome break from the heat, so we just walked around in it like most other people there. A great way to get out of the weather was Star Tours!

Click on images for larger sizes:

The iconic entrance to Star Tours.

Me in front of the walker!

Star Tours sign on the building.

Star Tours was my only reason for visiting the Hollywood Studios. I’ve been there so many times, I didn’t even need the park map. :) As I reached the large AT-AT, I was still excited as though this was my first time. The hour-long line queue didn’t bother me, as it gave me time to soak in all the visuals. The structure of the line queue is still the same, but a large screen above displays the different destinations the ride offers. Also in the opening room are two Mon Calamari above, along with C-3PO and R2-D2. The droids provide funny bantering as they tinker with a spaceship like the one you’re about to ride.

C-3PO at the controls.

R2 works on a StarSpeeder 1000.

Later in line, we were pleased to find Darth Vader and a couple of Stormtroopers available for photos. Other droids are in the background; one that checks out luggage contents and another that scans visitors. As we made our way into the loading area, there are containers that contain the 3D glasses you’ll need to view the new scenes inside the simulator.

Darth Vader and a few Stormtroopers make an appearance inside.

A stack of 3D glasses.

The new Star Wars the ride has randomly chosen destinations during each viewing. My destinations were Hoth and Geonosis. The CG and 3D elements were superb; The best I’ve ever seen. Adding the motion makes this simulation an awesome experience for anyone, especially Star Wars fans. After the ride the exit takes you to the entrance of Tatooine Traders, a Star Wars gift shop.

The entrance to the Tatooine Traders gift shop as you exit the ride.

Many of the remnants of the older Star Tours version remain, which in my opinion is a great thing. It’s nice to see older parts of the ride along with the new purely for nostalgic reasons. Star Wars fans: You want to experience the new version of Star Tours. It’s a no-brainer.

Star Tours Latest Announcements

Star Tours Latest Announcements


  • There is now an official Star Tours Facebook page! [Link]


  • New Star Tours article from the LA Times. [Link][Via]


  • Disneyland renovations update from Endor Express, with awesome photos! [Link]


  • Opening date for Star Tours Disneyland has been announced: June 3rd. [Link]


  • The Orlando Sentinel has posted a rendering of the new Star Tours ride at Disney Hollywood Studios. [Link]

    In an exciting scene from the new Star Tours, guests aboard Starspeeders will join in a high-speed pod race through the desert canyons of Tatooine.


  • Disney Parks Blog has given us another update about the upcoming new Star Tours attraction, this time revealing more character appearances. Sounds like it’ll be a full roster. [Link]

    Well, it wouldn’t be a Star Wars adventure without Darth Vader. The Dark Lord of the Sith will be accompanied by legions of stormtroopers and some new “skytroopers,” designed especially for our show. Boba Fett, everyone’s favorite bounty hunter, also will be after us, as well as an assortment of nasty droids and creatures.

    Balancing out the villains are some classic good guys – and even a princess! Master Yoda, Admiral Ackbar (pictured above in a still image from “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”) and Princess Leia will appear in the show to help guide our adventures. We may even run into Chewbacca along the way!


  • The May 20, 2011 launch date was announced today by Walt Disney World president Meg Crofton, “just in time for Star Wars Weekends.”

    As part of a media gathering Tuesday night to celebrate the launch of the Disney Dream, Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton combined the magic of Disney and the power of the Force to reveal the Grand Opening date for the new Star Tours attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Meg announced that the 3-D attraction will make its galactic debut May 20.


  • With a whole new ride comes a whole new main character – 3PO! It was announced today that the iconic droid will be at the controls… but that actually doesn’t sound very comforting, or safe. Awesome! [Link]

    I thought this was amusing…

    our initial plans were for our flight to be piloted by AC-38 better known as “Ace.” However, in discussions with George Lucas during the course of our production, we decided to take the story in a very different direction.

    But of course, George. But of course. :)

    This week, our Imagineering team begins installation of the Audio-Animatronics figures into the Starspeeder cabins at Disneyland park, and next month at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

    The rides are scheduled to open the middle of next year.

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