If you haven’t heard, one of the best rides in Disneyland has had some work done. Star Tours 2 re-opens today with all new tours and about the only use of 3D I can stand. It’s an excellent update to one of my favorite attractions in the park.
Several weeks ago, I got to experience the new flight through the universe of Star Wars on a cast preview day. I couldn’t post then, but since the ride officially opened today, here’s my review. The picture is of one of the posters from the entrance to the park because I couldn’t take pictures or video at the time either.
The new ride takes you through 2 worlds from the entirety of the Star Wars universe, but they change each time you ride. I’ve talked with several friends who’ve also been on the ride, and so far I haven’t talked with anyone who had the same tour we did. Adding an element of randomness to the ride removes aspect of beloved pattern that the original had, but this is not an overall loss. The uncertainty of where you will end up means that each ride could potentially be different and will prevent the ride from becoming stale quickly.
I don’t know what kind of 3D Disney found for this ride, but it’s phenomenal. I normally avoid all 3D because it makes my head hurt and stresses me out, but this ride did neither of those. The 3D did what I’m told it normally does for everyone else – added another layer to the visual to make the ride more immersive and engaging. The ride itself moves quite a bit, more than the original one, so heed their warnings. It wasn’t so rough that it interfered with my ride or my enjoyment
Disney has also done a fantastic job keeping the original ride present without diminishing the beauty and fun of the new. It’s the best example I can think of for an update of a favorite ride, because if you don’t have the ride memorized, you won’t notice the call-backs as out of place. But if you remember where each bolt and panel was, you’ll see how Disney tied them in, and you’ll probably smile with the rest of us at seeing the echoes.
I love the original Star Tours ride in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. It was one of the few fun rides that my whole family would go on when we were little. Then when I got to college, my friends memorized the speech and repeated it with Rex, the droid captain. But Rex has finally been replaced, and now, there are new adventures. And the new version of the ride is fantastic. I think, when those same college friends come back to visit, they will fall in love with this new ride. I know I have, and I can’t wait to see where I go on my next tour.