lazypadawan: (Default)
Are plans underway to convert a section of Disneyland Paris into a "Star Wars Land" to open in 2015?

http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-land-rumored-open-disneyland-paris-2015/

If this is true, WOWWWW!!! I'm there!
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!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Watch the video on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/StarTours?ref=ts

And follow the live "commentary" on my Twitter, @lazypadawan.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Star Tours' Facebook was re-running footage from the 20-minute opener all day in case you missed it. (If you want my ongoing commentary, check out @lazypadawan on Twitter.)

As an aside, TFN’s MandyBu saw a new trailer for CW Season 4 at one of the SW Weekends presentations. Somebody has to get that on YouTube, right?

As I noted on my Facebook page, the event itself was a bit ho-di-do but I’m sure it was really fun for the crowd in attendance. Amazing to think I was at that park for SW-related events two years in a row but I somehow manage to miss this. Go figure. I was also a little surprised that more SW alumni were not present. Were they all busy washing their hair that day? I only say this because I remember Papa George, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher coming out for Star Tours 1.0’s Florida inaugural in 1990.

The Disneyland opening though is in two weeks. Maybe with its proximity to Hollywood, we’ll see some more of the movie alumni, more CW people, and more non-SW celebrities show up.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Can't make it to Florida for tomorrow's Star Tours re-opening? You can watch the festivities live stream here at 10:15 a.m. EST:

http://www.facebook.com/StarTours

That's about the time I roll into work. My employer frowns upon live stream but hey, I'm pretty much the only person around at 7:15 a.m., heh heh.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Walt Disney World's Disney Hollywood Park is running test rides with the public now throughout the week before its official opening on Friday. Check out what people had to say...and looky here, they have Ahsoka in her new outfit now:

http://www.rebelscum.com/story/front/Star_Tours_The_Adventures_Continue_Review_138213.asp

http://www.rebelscum.com/story/front/More_Details_From_Star_Tours_138217.asp
lazypadawan: (Default)
So says the Disney Parks Blog:

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/02/from-under-the-sea-to-galaxies-far-far-away-opening-dates-are-set-for-a-soundsational-summer-at-disneyland-resort/

That's just a couple of weeks after its Florida counterpart. Wonder if they'll have a big to-do at the park like they did with the original Star Tours. I guess I'll have to make the journey to the Mouse House this summer.
lazypadawan: (Default)
It looks like the F-state will get the new and refurbished Star Tours II first...Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World plans to cut the ribbon on the ride May 20. Conveniently just in time for Star Wars Weekends!

http://www.starwars.com/fans/events/startoursdate/index.html

Given that Disneyland closed its Star Tours first, I'm surprised Disney's Hollywood Studios will open sooner.
lazypadawan: (Default)
There's video of the entire Star Tours portion of the presentation:



And here's starwars.com's write-up:

http://www.starwars.com/fans/events/news20090912/index.html

It looks like there will be more than just podracing. I've always thought what would be cool would be the opportunity to visit a wide array of planets...a speeder chase just like the one in AOTC, the podrace from TPM, buzzing around AT-ATs in TESB, racing through Endor's forests a la ROTJ, dodging Naboo's sea creatures, etc.. It looks like this is what they're shooting for in this ride!

I remember the openings for Star Tours at Disneyland and Walt Disney World were huge. George Lucas attended both openings, and I know for certain Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill went to the Florida one. So the re-opening will be awesomecakes for sure! You can bet I'll be at Disneyland for that one, even if I have to disguise myself as a trash can to get in.
lazypadawan: (Default)
At last Twitter is good for something. Here are what the tweets are saying from the D23 Expo:

JediLarryB: "Star Tours II Opens in 2011 with podracing in 3D"

Narniaexpert: "Expo Disney Parks Reveals New Star Tours in 2011 and WDW Fantasyland Expansion in 2012"

Blue22pr: "New Star Tours has been confirmed! Closes in October 2010, reopens in 2011!"

Here's a photo of the promotional poster:

http://twitpic.com/hh28c

Here's the trailer shown:



More updates as I get them!

Update:

Here's a screenshot from POParitaville:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2Be3wdjcCTQ/SqvtIbMLSEI/AAAAAAAAADM/h0uX333hL_U/s1600-h/star_tours_5120.jpg

Update 2:27 p.m. PST

TFN has posted the official news release:

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Star_Tours_II_3D_Coming_In_2011_126383.asp

STII will be at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. No word on if/when Star Tours in Disneyland Paris will be revamped.

Two more versions of the STII poster:

http://twitpic.com/hhofk

http://twitpic.com/hhsrx
lazypadawan: (Default)
The signs definitely point toward something big at the upcoming D23 Expo, a big convention for Disney-philes set for September 10-13 in scenic Anaheim, CA, near the Mouse House West.

1. Orlando Sci-Fi Examiner Larraine Stacy posted on August 18 that the D23 Expo's official site lists George Lucas as a guest. I've looked around the site (http://d23.disney.go.com/expo) and didn't see any announcement about that. He's not listed as a keynote speaker or as a guest at any of the presentations. However, he could be coming in to collect a Legends of Disney award or something. We'll see.

2. TFN posted on August 18 that 501st members will be at the convention, including "a squadron of stormtroopers" on Saturday, September 12.

3. The D23 Expo site noted that Jay Rasulo, the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will deliver an address on Saturday, September 12. Specifically, "Rasulo will share some 'behind-the-magic' details as he pulls the back the curtain on several new projects--including the 12-acre Cars Land that's set to open at Disney's California Adventure in 2012."

http://d23.disney.go.com/expo/pavilions/waltdisneyparksandresorts.html

4. TFN posted recently a tip from a fan who gleaned some info from a Disney Cast Member while visiting Disney World. The Disney employee said that Star Tours will close soon for a revamp and re-open in 2011.

5. Rumors were posted in May that new footage for the ride was being shot in Hollywood.

Club Jade entertained the possibility that they're going to announce Celebration V going to Orlando, but unless it's going to be held at a Disney park itself, why at D23? And why Orlando when D23 is in Anaheim? (Another rumored site for CV, by the way.)

Nah, it's too much buildup for a convention announcement that only 30,000 SW geeks care about. It's also too much buildup for any kind of announcement about Disney Star Wars Weekends 2010 and it's way too early...they never announce anything until January or February.

If Rasulo is there to talk about new projects at the parks the same day there just happens to be a bunch of 501st guys scheduled to appear, and after all of these rumors that have been around for months, it points to one only thing...a formal announcement of Star Tours 2.0.
lazypadawan: (Default)
There have been rumors for a while that they are planning to revamp Disney's popular Star Tours ride. The last rumor said that new footage was being filmed a couple of months ago. Now TFN has posted a story from a fan who just visited the ride at Walt Disney World. According to this fan, a Disney cast member told him that the revamp will be in 2011, they will have to remove the simulators from the ride to upgrade them, and that "Captain Rex," the droid voiced by Paul Reubens, was being removed from the ride. Interesting. Read it here and decide for yourself if it's real or bravo sierra:

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Star_Tours_20_Update_124909.asp
lazypadawan: (Default)
http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Star_Tours_20_Shooting_In_Production_122722.asp

There have been rumors about Star Tours getting an update or makeover for years, all of which panned out to nothing. So we'll have to see if this is actually true. If it is, well, that might justify a trip to Disneyland ;). It sounds like they're not only adding prequel elements, they're also focusing on fanboy faves like Boba Fett and Admiral "It's A Trap" Ackbar. If it were up to me, you would go to a different destination each ride and it's random where you go. This would encourage multiple rides. Imagineers, give me a call!

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