Jan. 29th, 2012

lazypadawan: (Default)
Yesterday I dropped by the Mouse House West for the express purpose of going on Star Tours 2.0. It was my ambition to visit both Star Tours attractions within one year; the plan is to visit the Mouse House East in August when I'm in town for Celebration VI. Finally, the opportunity came up and I went for it.

It was a better-than-actual-summer day yesterday in SoCal, with clear skies and warm temperatures. This drew out every annual passholder in Orange and Los Angeles counties, so the place got pretty crowded fairly quickly. This meant I could go on the ride only a couple of times, because I hate waiting. It's like sitting in a traffic jam. The problem with the Fastpasses is that unless you're walking in right when the park opens, your "pass" could be for several hours later, when you want to be on your way home so you don't get stuck in traffic.

I'll cut to the chase. The exterior looks exactly the same as it did before, though I think the pointless standing room is new. After a long time of spazzy kids continually bumping into me (were they drinking Red Bull and eating Pixy Stix on the way to the park?), I finally got inside the attraction itself and split away from the annoying kids. The waiting area inside the attraction looks the same, only with Threepio and Artoo prominently featured. The big screen now has new Star Tours video, departure/arrival info with a bunch of new planets, and weather reports. What's cool is that the weather and departure/arrival stuff are in English and Aurebesh. Sweet. I noticed there's Rex, the captain of the original Star Tours attraction, just out of a packing crate. There's also a new "security" area.

The pre-boarding video is all new and the droid Aly San San repeats some of the safety info in Spanish. I don't know if this is exclusive to Disneyland.

The inside of the simulator is exactly the same, only with Threepio instead of Rex. The ride itself though...whoa! Totally different.

The way it works is there's a Rebel spy (some tourist chosen at random) on the ship and some stormies try and stop it from taking off. Artoo says, "Eff that" and you flee off into space, following the Millennium Falcon into a space battle. You go into hyperspace (yeah!) and from there you visit two different planets. Artoo and Threepio pilot as though they'd had several droid margaritas before flying. On the first go-round, it was Kashyyyk first and Coruscant. Look for a cameo from Chewbacca on Kashyyyk! On Coruscant, you have the fun of going straight down. On each trip, a different character appears in holographic form, and the first time, it was Yoda.

After buying a few things in the Star Traders gift shop (of course), I got back in line and waited almost an hour. Ugh, that was excruciating. Anyway, the second time I got to visit Hoth and Naboo, with a cameo from Admiral Ackbar. Some guy yelled, "It's a trap!" Hoth was crazy! You almost get stomped by an AT-AT, you ride on an avalanche, and you fall off a cliff. Naboo rocks! The trip through the planet core and the end of the ride (not spoiling) are totally worth it. The 3D works more to enhance the ride than to dominate it, but the Naboo sequence definitely makes the most of the 3D.

From what I understand--and correct me if I'm wrong--Darth Vader only appears occasionally and Princess Leia's holo is a "rare" appearance. Didn't see either on my two rides. I guess I'll have to see if I encounter them and experience the Tatooine sequence in Orlando this summer.

As much as I loved the original Star Tours, this version is better in every way. It takes full advantage of the latest technology and the much-more expanded Star Wars universe. Bravo, Disney imagineers and Papa George!

Ouch!

Jan. 29th, 2012 06:26 pm
lazypadawan: (brothers)
I still cannot believe a family program features a cartoon guy kneeing another cartoon guy in the cartoon nuts. Star Wars, no less!



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