I’ve always loved Star Tours. In 1989, it opened in what was, at the time, my favorite Park. Though I loved the 20s and 30s style of the Park, I freely admit that it sorely needed rides, and Star Tours was just the thing.
Like Body Wars (another favorite), Star Tours offered the thrills of a roller coaster without the danger of anything that might trigger my anxiety. It captured my imagination—not because I was especially enamored of Star Wars but because it evoked air travel. Because it was built like an actual airport/starport, complete with security and baggage, when it first opened, I was young enough that I thought the Starspeeder in the queue actually moved into the loading area and we rode on that exact one! I guess the footage they show of the speeders launching convinced young me.
Then one day, I boarded the attraction with my mother, and I was seated at the end of the row. The cast member tried to close the doors, but they wouldn’t close. She tried again, and that was when I realized that some of my stomach—what I like to call my “autonomous outlying region”—was hanging over the armrest, preventing the door from closing. Before the CM or any of the other guests realized what was happening, I scooted out of my seat and out the open door. The doors closed behind me, and a Starspeeder full of guests was off to tour space, leaving me behind.
I was humiliated and ashamed. It was one of the most devastating moments of my life.
Cut to 20 years late – my weight has fluctuated, but after a 160lb loss in the past two years, I’m back to that younger-me weight. I decided to give the attraction another try. I was really scared that I wouldn’t fit.
But I did fit. And the doors closed, and it was … well, it was really like a whole new attraction. Since the last time I was aboard, Disney had redone the projections—in fact, I think the attraction had gone through two major refurbs since my last ride.
I literally felt like a kid again. On my first ride through, we ran over JarJar, and that was wonderful. The second time, we flew through a crashed Star Destroyer—it ended up being a scene from the then-unreleased blockbuster The Force Awakens. Everything felt new, exciting and action packed. As someone who grew up in the Parks, it was awesome to re-experience something for the first time, to see things in a new light.
I’m very much looking forward to riding it again!
Have you ever “taken back” an attraction at WDW? Tell us about it in the comments!