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In Photos: Original Star Tours lives on at Disneyland Paris

Star Tours entrance

Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios will see the debut of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue in spring 2011, replacing the classic Star Tours attraction that endured for two decades. However, across the Atlantic Ocean at Disneyland Paris, the original ride continues to operate - and we thought now would be a great time to revisit it.

The original Star Tours first opened at California's Disneyland back in 1987, with the Disneyland Paris version opening alongside the rest of the park in 1992. Located in the futuristic Discoveryland area, it features a different exterior to the US versions but is broadly identical on the inside, which includes a well-themed queue line and the attraction itself.

Star Tours pioneered the use of flight-simulator technology in theme park attractions, using it to take riders for a spin through some of sci-fi's most famous locations. Based on a ficticious "intergalactic tours" operator, the attraction sees guests boarding a spacecraft piloted by an android. The tour soon goes awry - with the craft getting caught up in a battle between the Rebel Alliance and the evil Galactic Empire.

Although it remains very popular (we saw wait times of over an hour during our recent trip to Disneyland Paris), Star Tours has increasingly come under fire from fans for being outdated in recent years. This eventually prompted Disney to announce its replacement (at its US parks) in September 2009, and you can find out more about the new version in our in-depth preview of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Cash-strapped Disneyland Paris won't be replacing its version of Star Tours just yet, which meant we had the opportunity to revisit the original ride ahead of reviews of the follow-up appearing on the site next year. You can take a walk down memory lane with us through the photos below.

Exterior views

X-Wing fighter

An impressive recreation of an X-Wing fighter sits alongside the Star Tours entrance.

Star Tours entrance view

The popular ride can still draw a crowd and features a FASTPASS station.

Star Tours ride building

The futuristic-looking post-ride area houses an arcade, with the requisite selection of Star Wars games all present.

Checking-in for a flight with Star Tours

Star Tours entrance sign

The entrance sign for the "boarding terminal" has a retro 1980s-feel to it.

Star map

A map shows the flight's destination - the moon of Endor.

Pre-ride video

A pre-show video shows off some of the sights Star Tours guests can expect to see.

Flight control tower

Members of the Mon Calamari species are in charge of flight control.

C-3PO

C-3PO prepares a Starspeeder for its flight. He'll play a bigger role as the pilot in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Starspeeder image

R2-D2 also helps out in getting the craft ready for take-off.

Meeting the droids

Droid maintenance image

Guests take a detour through a droid maintenance area.

Animatronic droid

The droids are a perfect match for Disney's animatronic expertise.

Starspeeder 3000 diagram

Guests travel aboard a Starspeeder 3000. In Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (which takes place before the original Star Tours), they will be "downgraded" to a Starspeeder 1000.

Entrance to gates

There are multiple simulators, each with its own boarding "gate" ("porte" in French).

Entrance gate

One of the gates awaits its passengers.

Guests watching pre-show

A pre-show video gives guests an overview of the safety features of the Starspeeder.

Disembarking on Endor

Star Tours posters

Posters provide guests with a teaser of potential future Star Tours journeys.

Arcade droid

A friendly droid welcomes guests into the post-ride arcade area.

The Adventures Continue...

As much as we love the original Star Tours attraction, it does feel a little dated these days. We're excited to see what Disney can achieve by combining the huge storytelling potential of the Star Wars universe with updated modern technology - and we hope to see Star Tours: The Adventures Continue make its way to Disneyland Paris in the near future.

Star Wars fans don't have too long left to wait to find out whether the successor to Star Tours will live up to expectations. Be sure to look out for our in-depth reviews of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios in spring 2011.

You can see all of our photos of the original attraction at Disneyland Paris in our Star Tours gallery.


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