Exterior refurbishment continues at Star Tours in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Aug 07, 2023 in "Star Tours - The Adventures Continue"

Star Tours exterior refurbishment - August 7 2023
Posted: Monday August 7, 2023 9:21am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Construction walls are up around Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios for an exterior refurbishment.

Scrims have been in place around the Endor Forest since late July, with work underway on refreshing the mural.

Star Tours remains open as normal during the refurbishment.

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DCBakerAug 30, 2023

Photos from today with the scrims removed.

DisneyFanatic12Aug 08, 2023

I don’t know if they would want Sci-Fi and the main entrance street to Galexy’s Edge torn down and replaced (as there is a lot of money sitting in each as well as them all generating money and the Grand Avenue being fairly new), but I do think that the Muppets area could be overtaken. That could extend Galaxy’s Edge to Star Tours, which could then exit into Galaxy’s Edge (remember when the final scene on Star Tours was landing on Batuu?). IMO, I don’t see them ever moving the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge, as it doesn’t fit the highly immersive feel of the other attractions, but I could see Star Tours exiting into Galaxy’s Edge (or breaking into two exits, one to gift shop and one to Galexy’s Edge). As a wild card, they could increase the popularity significantly by redoing it to be a little more immersive as a space port. In doing so, the ride portion of Star Tours could remain similar if not the same, but the landing scene would be permanently landing on Batuu. That could give guests a highly immersive way to get to Galexy’s Edge… just a thought :)

DisneyFanatic12Aug 08, 2023

Waited in line for it the other day and multiple different groups commented on how the back sides of the sets were unfinished. All said something along the lines of, “I guess Disney didn’t think anyone would look behind them!” I agree that it’s in dilemma, but US had the same issue with Mummy. Their solution was to increase the theming at the entrance so it was unmistakably supposed to be a movie set. There are MANY signs/props/lights and even a video to explain to guests that it is a movie set. Star Tours doesn’t need all that, but they could have a sign and some “show lights” and other props to make it more obvious that it’s a “live movie set”.

celluloidAug 08, 2023

It is an easy ride for operations. It has a decent capacity when fully staffed and everything running. Which helps the Genie Plus justification of people purchasing and distributing crowds. It can also lower its staffing and operations and still operate with a reduced capacity so easily.

Bleed0rangeAug 07, 2023

I feel like they could just repurpose the simulators for a new ride in GE. I’m okay with letting go of Star Tours at this point.

celluloidAug 07, 2023

I heard they were going to redo the ATAT to look like the Max Factor building.

bmr1591Aug 07, 2023

I don't disagree, but I think it's just a matter of waiting for them to pull the trigger of letting Galaxy's Edge overtake that entire side of the park. When that happens, they'll recreate that area to fit better.

Marc Davis FanAug 07, 2023

Right! And this seems to be exactly what many guests think! Considering that Disney (supposedly) prides itself in immersive/transportive environments, they should view this as an embarrassment that needs to be fixed ASAP (better late than never). It's similar to the "buildings and painted sky" flat backdrop in the "Hollywood Land" area of Disney California Adventure: that made sense when the area was supposed to be a movie set, but now...?

Bleed0rangeAug 07, 2023

It would be confusing for someone who didn’t understand what the park used to be like. It would just look unfinished haha.

Marc Davis FanAug 07, 2023

They really need to change the approach/"story" of the Star Tours exterior. It used to be clear that it was a movie set, considering the previously-clearer theme of that area of the park as well as the various indicators (the signage, the director's chair). Now that they're trying to move away from the "behind-the-scenes of the movies" theme, though, Star Tours is in limbo: it's no longer obviously a "movie set," but at the same time it's clearly not a full-realized environment (it has a flat backdrop that ends at a wall, and a one-sided AT-AT, for goodness' sake!). This creates the same problem as Dino-Rama: guests think Disney just built it "on the cheap," not bothering to build complete sets or an immersive environment, and just plunking it down like old-style Universal rides. I've actually seen guests commenting (in a YouTube video) with things like "they didn't bother finishing the back of the AT-AT, lol." I think Disney needs to make one of two choices here: Easy option: lean back into the "movie set" theme for the facade, with a few props/signs that indicate it to be a set (movie lighting/camera rigs, a new "hot set" sign, etc). While the park is no longer supposed to be a "working studio," it is still supposed to be the moviemaking parts of Hollywood, so a movie set would be perfectly reasonable (certainly more than a halfway-built environment with no explanation). More involved option: redo the exterior into Los Angeles / Hollywood buildings (e.g., yet another "theater"), such that the guests transition into the world of Star Wars upon entering the structure.