Photo and video highlights from the Star Tours - The Adventures Continue opening at Disneylandby MousePlanet Staff, contributing writer
Photos by Frank Anzalone
Video by Jeff Moxley and Steven Ng
Walt Disney World debuted their version of the Star Tours - The Adventures Continue attraction two weeks ago with a huge production number featuring Disney CEO Bob Iger, Star Wars creator George Lucas, actor Anthony Daniels (who has portrayed C-3PO in every Star Wars movie), over one hundred walk-around characters portraying Star Wars characters and a big pyrotechnic finale. Having failed to destroy the Star Tours base in Florida, Darth Vader told his stormtroopers to set course for the "Anaheim galaxy," where another version of the 3D ride would open on June 3.
By comparison, the Disneyland opening was a much smaller, much less spectacular affair, with no Star Wars celebrity appearances, few characters (Star Wars Weekends offers Walt Disney World's entertainment department many more options than were available to the Disneyland team).
Outside the freshly painted Star Tours building, the stage was set for the opening ceremony. As Stormtroopers stood watch from the Rocket Rods track, Darth Vader and a "Jedi Master" dueled for the final seat on flight 6311 to Tatooine. After Lord Vader was defeated, the Jedi Master was revealed to be Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs, who then used his light saber to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs duels with Darth Vader at the grand opening ceremony for the updated, 3-D version of Star Tours at the Disneyland Resort on June 3, 2011. Video by Jeff Moxley and Steven Ng.
After the ceremony, Staggs, Disneyland Resort president George Kalogridis, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts president of worldwide operations Al Weiss, Walt Disney Imagineering executive vice president and senior creative executive Tom Fitzgerald and Walt Disney Imagineering senior show producer Kathy Rogers all took the stage to pose for photos with Darth Vader.
Imagineer Steve Roach takes Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix on Star Tours - The Adventures Continue at Disneyland.