A Twitter tipster told TheForce.Net that Hollywood Studios employees are being asked to cancel vacation plans for the grand debut of the new Star Tours because Disney wants “all hands on deck” due to George Lucas attending. It’s only a rumor so don’t get your hopes up, but if you’re planning to attend in Orlando, be forewarned.
The relaunched ride – which features C-3PO in the driver’s seat – will reopen at Florida’s Walt Disney World on May 20, 2011. Learn more about the “reimagined” attraction at the official Disney Parks blog.
I’m hearing that the Disneyland (California) version will reopen May 17, but that’s yet to be officially confirmed.
UPDATE 2/27: The DisneyParks blog says that the Disneyland Star Tours will reopen on June 3.
Photo thanks to Mianakenobi @ Flickr!
The LA Times reports that the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California is planning on opening a Star Wars themed area in Miniland within the park on March 31, 2011. The area will include 2,000 Lego models covering all six films and The Clone Wars. While the park already has a few life-size Lego characters, additional dioramas showcasing Naboo, Geonosis, Kashyyyk, Mustafar, Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and Christophsis will be constructed. Coming off of a top attendance record for last year, Legoland hopes to break that record with the new Star Wars area this year, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which also goes in depth on what the planetary dioramas will depict.
On hand for the official announcement at Legoland were costumed members from Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion. Legoland isn’t the only theme park with Star Wars attractions opening this year – Disneyland and Disney World will both be re-opening the revamped Star Tours: The Adventure Continues for the summer.
California a little too far to reach? Legoland Denmark and Germany will also be getting the Star Wars areas later in the year.
A few Celebration videos to tide you over through our travel/recovery period. First up, The Clone Wars S3 trailer, above. Below, a commercial played in the ‘Star Tours’ queue for the revamped ride. (I hope someone bought those Ewoks some beers.)
Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios created a fantastic evening with their Last Tour to Endor party, commemorating the last day of the Star Tours attraction. Fans were treated to their final rides on the Starspeeder 3000 before it closed for a revamp as well as some unique other experiences.
The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular hosted a one-night-only special mashup show called “Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom” where two fan film makers combine Indiana Jones and Star Wars in making the ultimate fan film. Special cameo performances were made in the three shows by such stars as Seth Green, Mark Hamill, Warwick Davis, Anthony Daniels, Jaime King, and Jeremy Bulloch. George Lucas attended the second show, where Seth Green announced that Anthony Daniels would be voice acting in the third Robot Chicken Star Wars special.
Also brought out was some shows from Star Wars weekends: the Jedi Academy training and the Star Wars dance contest. The evening was capped off by a supremely awesome fireworks show set to Star Wars music. “Duel of the Fates” and the assault on the Death Star were my favorites.
The ‘lost’ Star Wars artwork of Ralph McQuarrie will be on display at Celebration. The pieces – discovered due to a furnace repair too late to make The Art of Ralph McQuarrie – include “design work on characters, creatures, spacecraft, weapons and worlds.”
Disney is taking the old Star Tours up for one last go-round as a part of the Celebration festivities. But is the ride worth $75, even with the nostalgia factor and extra events? Still, I doubt they’ll have trouble selling tickets.
The DisneylandNews Twitter says: “Disney Parks is going to do things with “Star Tours” that have never been done before in theme park attractions.” I’m also hearing on Twitter that it won’t JUST be pod racing,
but not from any of the official sources yet. The OC Register blog is now reporting:
In a press conference after the presentation, Rasulo said new destinations, like the one shown, would be part of the new Star Tours. Rasulo said the ride would undergo physical changes, but the simulator carriages would remain. Riders will don 3D glasses for the new experience.
That’s what TFN is speculating, based on word that costumed Star Wars fans and “Imperial dignitaries” will be in attendance at Disney’s D23 Expo next month. (Disney World Star Tours photo by Michael Sauers.)
And while I’m not sure I want to face the possibility, we have heard Orlando (aka ground zero for Disney World) brought up in the list of sites that were being considered for C5. Not that I’m encouraging anyone to get their hopes up (again,) but you never know… (SERIOUSLY: Do not count on it. I’m just grasping at straws here.)