I got a bad feeling about this... err, I mean I got a great feeling about this secret history of Star Tours! We're going to a galaxy far, far away and learning about the ride based on one of the most famous film franchises of all time, "Star Wars." So board your own Millennium Falcon and soar through the stars for the secret history of Star Tours!
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The Secret History of Star Tours
Did you know that Star Tours was originally to be a simulator based on the Disney film "The Black Hole"? In fact, the idea of a simulator ride at Disneyland goes back as far as the planning for the never-built Discovery Bay. However, the technology in the 1970s just wasn't up to par for this type of attraction. According to TheDisneyBlog.com, Disney Imagineers ended up approaching George Lucas (Disney also established a partnership with Lucas) with the idea of Star Tours.
Of course, Lucas approved and Imagineers, including Tony Baxter, got straight to work designing the attraction! The ride structure was to be created from four military-grade flight simulators. While Imagineers were designing and creating the ride itself, Lucas and his team got busy producing the first-person perspective film that guests would experience on the ride.
In my personal opinion, the person that had the most fun during the process of creating Star Tours is the programmer who got to synchronize the simulator's movements with the film! This programmer sat inside the simulator and used a joystick to do this. Can this be my job when I grow up?!
Finally, the first Star Tours attraction opened to the public at Disneyland Park on January 9, 1987. To celebrate this grand opening, many guests dressed as favorite Star Wars characters and Disneyland even stayed opened for a special 60-hour marathon! I hope something awesome like this happens once Star Wars Land debuts!
It didn't take long for the Star Wars attraction to make its way to Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland in 1989. Star Tours also debuted at Disneyland Paris just a few years later in 1992.
Star Tours Fun Facts
- The popular Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple at Disney's Hollywood Studios takes place right outside of Star Tours! Younglings train and learn to use the Force to defeat the Dark Side.
- Via D23, in 2011 at Disneyland, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, the attraction was redesigned as Star Tours - The Adventures Continue and added more than 50 different story outcomes with five different planets! The ride was also redesigned to include experiences from the Star Wars prequels.
- According to TheDisneyBlog.com, when an idea for a Star Wars attraction was in the works, Baxter started creating a plan for a roller coaster!
- Listen for the tribute to George Lucas on Star Tours's queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios! An imaginary person named Egroeg Sacul is paged.
- Via WDWForGrownUps.com, also keep a lookout for images of George Lucas and John Lasseter that flash by as the droid scans guests in the queue.
- Anthony Daniels, who voices C-3PO, is the only actor that appears in every Star Wars film. He even voices C-3PO on the attraction!
What was your experience like on Star Tours - The Adventure Continues? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to check out our more Secret History of Disney Rides posts: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, The Great Movie Ride and Rock 'n Roller Coaster.