The first reviews of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue have appeared online, after the highly-anticipated attraction was "soft opened" at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The updated simulator ride, often dubbed Star Tours 2, is not due to officially open to the public until May 20, 2011. However, dozens of guests were able to experience it over the weekend as Disney temporarily opened it in order to test it out ahead of its opening day. Although the taking photos and videos was banned during the preview, a number of reviews have since been posted to the web.
Like the original ride, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is based on the Star Wars movie series. The attraction features 54 different possible experiences, meaning that guests will take a different "journey" almost every time they ride it. Different combinations of storylines are generated at random, helping to keep riders guessing what will happen next. The ride uses an updated version of the original Star Tours simulator system, which operated at Disney Hollywood Studios for more than two decades.
Ricky Brigante of Inside the Magic is effusive in his praise of the updated Star Tours, saying: "Having visited five of the six destinations and seen several of the other elements, I can safely say that this version of Star Tours is an amazing improvement over the version that dated back to the 1980s. All the fun of the Star Wars film saga is packed into the roughly five-minute ride."
WDWMagic's review is equally positive, focusing on the new digital 3D projection technology employed by the ride: "Within seconds of the show starting, you forget you are looking at a screen, and really believe you are looking through the window of the Star Speeder. The 3D is marvelously utilized. Unlike many 3D attractions which I feel tend to overuse the 3D effects, Star Tours uses the 3D to simply recreate a realistic looking scene rather than for shock value - and wow does it deliver. I could talk about this display for a long time, but let us say you have to see it to believe it - it's amazing."
A review posted to the MiceChat forums also praises the ride, although it does express some reservations about the use of CGI special effects: "The ride is really well done. It's a new experience. Star Wars fans will enjoy it, whether you're a fan of the prequels or not. The CGI in the ride is pretty good, but not the strongest at times. It does feel like the [Star Wars] prequels at times. The 3D is REALLY good. Best I've seen ever. Really. It's that good. The glasses are comfy and fit almost any size head. I was glad to be able to ride it before the lines get really bad. But it's absolutely worth the wait."
Although video recording was prohibited during the soft opening, My Travelling Mouse did manage to capture a brief video of one of the droids that features in the queue for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which is embedded below:
Star Tours closed at Disneyland on July 27, with Disney's Hollywood Studios' version closing on September 8 (the original version continues to operate at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris). Disneyland's version of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is due to open on June 3, 2011.
For full details of the highly-anticipated attraction, read our in-depth preview of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
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