Being a Cast Member comes along with many benefits and privileges, among them getting to preview new enhancements, shows, and attractions. Last night was no exception as I got the opportunity to ride the upgrade of Star Tours at Hollywood Studios! Star Tours is today’s review.
It is going to be difficult to actually review this attraction because I rode it only once, and one has to ride it SEVERAL times in order to visit all the worlds and at least see all the scenarios (for a total of 56 possible outcomes). So let’s start with the queue line. The entrance to the ride looks very similar to it’s precessor. R2 and 3PO are working on a speeder. Mon Calamari are in the control room. So why is it more beautiful?! Because it’s darker, the floor is carpeted, and new videos on the giant screen make you feel like you really have walked into a spaceport. As you continue into what used to be the droid repair room, you’ll notice it’s a now a security room, with actual body scanners checking the passengers! DON’T WORRY IT’S NOT LIKE THE TVA BODY SCANNERS!!! It’s merely infrared :laugh: But the droids are checking all passengers and the belongings coming through their own x-ray, further selling the validity you are at a spaceport. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for an homage to Rex, the former droid captain of the original Star Tours. Finally, it’s time to pick up your 3-D glasses and enter the loading dock to your spacecraft.
Not to give any surprises away, but you do have a new captain! Well, sort of, he kind of didn’t get off the ride in time. No, I will not reveal who your captain is, although you Star Wars geeks probably already know. The ride begins! Again, because there are so many possible outcomes, I won’t get into my personal journey, but the animation was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! Everything was so crystal clear it was so very hard to believe it was all CGI. Another thing that was wonderful was the surround sound in the cabin. The movement of the ride is much smoother now, but still has its jarring moments. There are 3 parts: a beginning, middle and end. All 3 are randomly chosen, so one will never know what the ride will be. But you’ll know when the ride is done when whatever bursts through the “glass” of your cruiser and into the cabin!
Star Tours is back with a vengeance. I thoroughly enjoyed the enhancements. My one complaint about my journey itself was that the audio, although surround sound, was way too low, and I couldn’t hear all what the captain and other people on the screen were saying all the time, and I know it’s partly because my cabin of CMs were hootin and hollering and loving the ride so much. But the effects were so amazing, the ride didn’t leave me woozy, and I loved, loved, LOVED the video from the projection.
Be forewarned, this ride will be harder to get on than Toy Story Mania for a while. Opening day is next Friday, and after our grand procession opening ceremony, I expect no less than a 4-hour wait for the attraction. As a project captain for Star Wars Weekends this year, my hands are going to be completely filled taking care of the thousands of guests coming for this event and ride, but it’ll be worth it to see their smiling faces when they get off the ride that has come from a galaxy far, far away and will hopefully regain it’s title of greatest simulator in the world.
Final Score: 9/10! One combination down, 55 more to go…