Update: Disney has announced that there are no plans to close Star Tours when Galaxy’s Edge opens. That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in a year or two…
This one kind of hurts my heart a little bit to even think about. Is Star Tours – The Adventures Continue going to close after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens? There is no official word and this is all speculation on my part, but my guess is that it will, eventually.
Star Tours is my favorite ride at Walt Disney World, and not just because I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan. I love the way that there are different scenarios, so you never know what you are going to get. I think the addition of the Rebel Spy is a lot of fun, I like to try to figure out who is going to be picked ahead of time. I really enjoy the little details that are different that most people don’t know about. (Did you know that there are at least three versions of the Naboo scene?) I love the queue. I think the ride is well done, and it does a great job of making me feel as if I’m really part of a galaxy far, far away for a few minutes.
That said, the two new rides in Galaxy’s Edge should blow Star Tours out of the water. In my opinion, technically Avatar Flight of Passage is a better ride than Star Tours, I just prefer the storyline for Star Tours. Rise of the Resistance is rumored to be far more advanced than Flight of Passage, and Smugglers Run is just going to be pretty cool. Who hasn’t dreamed of flying the Millennium Falcon since 1977? With two far advanced rides around the corner in an entire land based on Star Wars, it doesn’t make sense to keep Star Tours.
My guess is that Star Tours will stay around for a while, at least for a year or two after Galaxy’s Edge opens. Guests are going to need something else to do in the park. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has never had a ton of rides, and it doesn’t make sense to close yet another one. While there will be plenty of people who spend an entire day exploring Batuu, there will be others who want to stay away from the Galaxy’s Edge crowd. Disney needs to make sure that those guests still have something to do.
Then again, there could be plans to use the land that Star Tours is currently located on. If there is a plan in the works for that, then the nearby Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! could also be in danger. That has been rumored to be on the way out for years, but so far the longest running attraction at the park has managed to survive.
Could Disney decide to move Star Tours to a different location? That is a possibility. My first pick would be my yard. We don’t have an HOA, so I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem. Since that is probably not going to happen, maybe the ride could be moved to Tomorrowland. That’s where it’s located at Disneyland, and it fits right in. Another possibility is that maybe they could move it to Future World at Epcot. There’s a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster on the way, adding a bit of Star Wars wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.
Of course, this is all conjecture on my part. No one from Disney has said anything about Star Tours closing. I hope it stays. I’ve ridden it over 250 times. I was there when George Lucas welcomed in the updated version. The original version was great, but I like the current one even more. It reopened in 2011, that’s not really all that long ago. That’s a lot of work to put into something that would be around for only a few years. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is a fun ride, and I hope to be able to blast off with C-3PO and R2-D2 for many years to come.