Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Friday, May 20, 2011

Star Tours’ New 3D Tech


The newly upgraded 3D version of Star Tours officially opens tomorrow in Florida (with non-Cast Member previews beginning in California as well), and people will finally be able to experience Star Wars in 3D. What’s cool about the new Star Tours is that it uses a 3D technology, and glasses, that hasn’t yet been seen in many theaters. This isn’t the ancient two-projector film-based tech that’s used in 3D theme park movies like Captain EO. It’s also not the expensive 3D technology that most movie theaters use. Disney chose to go with Dolby’s new 3D technology that uses just one projector and unique 3D glasses.

Where current theater 3D tech requires the use of an expensive reflective silver screen and usually requires dual projectors; Dolby’s tech can be used on a normal white screen and a single digital projector that can display both 2D and 3D playback. The 3D playback uses an alternate red/blue/green color wheel in addition to the normal red/blue/green color wheel; which is why some people claim that the new Star Tours uses the old 1950′s red/blue style of 3D. It doesn’t but due to a second color wheel in the projector you may see additional colors when you view the screen without 3D glasses on. Basically the color information for each eye is projected at different wavelengths, which the glasses then are able to decode.

The glasses are also new. They aren’t the flimsy cheap polarized lenses that you normally get at a theme park or even a movie theater. Word is that they actually cost about $12 a pair, and they use a curved lens. This can cause some blurring on the edges for people who wear glasses, but they do fit over prescription glasses just fine. The 3D effect with these new glasses is actually clearer and smoother than what you got with traditional flat polarized lenses.

This weekend Disney soft-opened Star Tours 2 in Florida in anticipation for its big opening this coming Friday, and they let a picture of Darth Vader leak out. The pic comes from the beginning of the ride when you’re confronted by either a squad of Stormtroopers or Vader himself. The whole thing is in 3D, which this pic obviously cannot show, and the word from the ride is that the 3D effect is the best ever done in either a theme park ride or movie. The ride even uses Dolby’s new 3D technology (and glasses). These aren’t your typical cheap theme park glasses. Dolby charges theater owners about $12 a pair for them.

Star Tours opens in Florida on Friday, and there will be special previews of the ride for non-Cast Members beginning that day in Anaheim. Expect a lot more later this week.

For a while we’ve known that Star Tours II would naturally feature C-3PO, R2D2, and Admiral Ackbar among two new Droids. Now Disney has officially confirmed that Ackbar would me making an appearance in the ride along with a couple other characters. Darth Vader and Boba Fett will be there along with Stormtroopers and a brand new type of trooper created specifically for the new ride called a “skytrooper”. For the Rebellion, aside from Ackbar; riders will see Yoda and a young Princess Leia on their trip to one of many new destinations.

Star Tours II is scheduled to open in May, and we’re planning on being there opening day and will try to bring you live coverage of all the Star Wars craziness.

lk us on Facebook and Twitter or grab the RSS Feed

Disney has released their official press release announcing the re-opening of Star Tours next month in Florida (and June in Anaheim), and it reveals some new details about the ride. In addition to it describing the new queue people will walk through, it confirms that the new pilot droid Ace will still be seen in the ride, despite C-3PO taking over the piloting duties when you enter the Starspeeder 1000. Here’s the full press release:

‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ Brings Star Wars™ Thrills in 3-D to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.

Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.

With eye-popping 3-D digital filming, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology, guests will be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction. Walt Disney Imagineering worked with Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Industrial Light & Magic – the groundbreaking visual effects division of Lucasfilm – to bring the out-of-this-world attraction to life.

Star Tours, which had thrilled Disney Parks guests since the 1980s, was “powered down” at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010 so Imagineers could begin work on the new attraction.

And in a new twist, guests may be able to enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours.

Just as the Star Wars films immerse movie-goers in storylines that keep them on the edge of their seats, Star Tours will feature multiple stories and scenarios that will hurtle park guests throughout the Star Wars galaxy. And all of the storyline’s twists and turns will be random, affording guests the chance to ride the attraction multiple times.

Whether it’s a battle with Darth Vader and his legion of stormtroopers or a plea from Princess Leia to help her save the Rebellion, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action – literally – in the 3-D, multi-sensory attraction.

Entering the attraction queue area, Star Tours guests walk into a bustling spaceport. The famed Star Wars droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, greet them as the Starspeeder 1000 is prepped for service. Anthony Daniels, the voice of C-3PO and the only actor to appear in every theatrical chapter of the Star Wars Saga, reprises his role as the golden protocol droid. Daniels worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to record new dialogue for the attraction. Guests also are introduced to AC-38, a hotshot droid pilot known simply as “Ace,” and Aly San San (voiced by actress Allison Janney), the “spokesbot” for the spaceport.

After winding through the spaceport, guests board the Starspeeder 1000 spacecraft and prepare for Star Tours Flight #1401. Through a series of mishaps, however, C-3PO finds himself in the pilot’s seat instead of Ace, and it’s up to him and R2-D2 to navigate their passengers through the galaxy. However, the tyrannical Empire is out to stop the Starspeeder at all costs. C-3PO and R2-D2 take the controls and try to outwit and outrun the Imperial forces and a galactic bounty hunter hired to pursue the spaceship and its passengers.

Utilizing the 50+ random story combinations, the Starspeeder then embarks on a wild trip through the galaxy, visiting several planets made famous in the Star Wars films. Among the locations that might provide haven from the Empire’s pursuit are the icy planet of Hoth, the lush jungles of Kashyyyk and the underwater Gungan world of Naboo. And along the way guests may encounter Star Wars characters that offer to help (or hinder) their journey, including Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. “Skytroopers,” a legion of stormtroopers created just for the Star Tours attraction story, might even join in the chase.

In fact, with multiple ways to experience each flight, guests will never know where the Force will take them.

At Walt Disney World Resort, Star Tours opens May 20, 2011, the same day the annual Star Wars Weekends event begins at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends event activities are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

For more information and to purchase theme park tickets or book vacation packages, guests may visit or