“A long time ago… in a Disney theme park not so far away!”
On January 9th, 1987, Disneyland became one with the force and opened its beloved Star Tours attraction! Though the ride has evolved over the years, Disneyland’s Star Tours was the first ride that partnered the world of Star Wars with Disney. The ride took you to the planet of Endor – but you had to hop onto a Starspeeder first!
The opening ceremony featured Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, several Ewoks, and, of course, Darth Vader and Imperial stormtroopers. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse joined C-3PO, then-Chairman and-CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner, and George Lucas for the official ribbon cutting of the new Star Tours attraction.
The ride was brought to life by Walt Disney Imagineering, George Lucas and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). For those who cherish the films, Star Tours “was the first time guests could truly step into a Star Wars story.” It was because of this partnership and the concept of Star Tours that we now have the amazing Star Wars worlds and rides we have today!
Star Wars has become almost completely immersed within the Disney Parks. We now can see the true success of this humble ride with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – which can be found at both the Disneyland and Disney World parks! Fun fact: Galaxy’s Edge is the “largest single-themed land in Disney Parks history”! To some, this may go without saying, but it is a true testament to what Star Tours started.
If it wasn’t for the success of Star Tours, there wouldn’t have been the mass popularity and expansions that have made their way to the other Disney Parks around the world. Be sure to check out Star Wars rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris!
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