June 22, 2024

Ahsoka, Andor, Mandalorian & Baby Yoda Coming to Star Tours at Disney World & Disneyland!

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Disney has announced new characters and destinations coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Paris. This post shares a look at who, what, and where you'll soon encounter

Disney has announced new characters and destinations coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Paris. This post shares a look at who, what, and where you’ll soon encounter on the Star Wars ride.

Imagineer Scott Trowbridge first teased new stories and characters for Star Tours during Star Wars Celebration almost a year ago in London. Following that, more was teased at Destination D23 last fall–specifically, that former Jedi Knight and rebel spy Ahsoka Tano will become part of the Star Tours attraction in Spring 2024.

Fast-forward to (almost) Spring 2024, and Imagineering has officially announced that, starting April 5, 2024, at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will be taking guests on all-new adventures. These new additions will feature characters and locations from Disney+ series: Ahsoka, Andor, and The Mandalorian.

Your ride with Star Tours – The Adventures Continue begins as a passenger aboard a Starspeeder 1000 which takes off with C-3PO as the accidental pilot. At present, its mission is interrupted by Kylo Ren, Darth Vader or a probe droid looking for a rebel spy.

From there, one of the Star Wars heroes appears during the Star Tours journey via a hologram transmission–this could be Princess Leia, Yoda, Lando Calrissian, Poe Dameron, Admiral Ackbar, Maz Kanata or BB-8. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue currently visits 11 planets in the Star Wars universe: Tatooine, Hoth, Batuu, Coruscant, Kashyyyk, Naboo, Jakku, Crait, Kef Bir, Exegol and Geonosis.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is randomized, allowing for over 140 different ride combinations. (It’s not purely a math problem, as not all of the permutations can appear with one another–the more recently added sequel trilogy segments all occur together, or not at all.)

With these Spring 2024 additions, you’ll have an opportunity to experience one of more than 250 storyline variations aboard the Star Tours attraction, including a visit to the planet Peridea from the Ahsoka series. Unless a lot more is being added than we expect, this number increasing from ~140 to ~250 suggests that there aren’t going to be distinct groupings by era going forward. Instead, it’ll be fully randomized again.

Here’s a look at the trailer that Disney Parks has released for the upcoming Star Tours additions featuring Ahsoka, Mandalorian, and Andor:

Urgent transmissions from Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor, Din Djarin and Grogu (Baby Yoda) may soon be part of your next Starspeeder flight. These iconic characters will continue to add to the galaxy of stories aboard Disney’s first Star Wars attraction.

Also starting April 5, Season of the Force will arrive at Disneyland for a limited time through June 2, 2024, with Hyperspace Mountain, themed food and beverage, merchandise and more. Debuting during the celebration, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will provide a fresh perspective on the fireworks above Disneyland park on select nights, with galactic music sweeping through the spires.

Turning to commentary, I have to start by acknowledging and appreciating the love that Star Tours continues to receive. It’s fairly easy to tell which attractions are favorites within the company, as they’re the ones that Imagineering keeps tinkering with. Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are obvious (and unsurprising) in this regard, but Star Tours is another that gets a surprising amount of love.

Part of that is probably because Imagineering can get funding from studio marketing budgets for updates that cross-promote whatever’s on Disney+ or in theaters. Part of it is probably because the Star Tours video clips are easier to update than, say, Soarin’ or Avatar Flight of Passage or Toy Story Mania.

(Quick side note: I saw some people surprised that Soarin’ Around the World wasn’t updated with the a new World Celebration flyover when it was brought back to EPCOT. CommuniCore Hall isn’t done yet, though. We’re still looking at about a year from now for a new ending once factoring in the completion of construction, filming, editing, etc. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it never happens–but I’d really be shocked if it’s done before early 2025.)

Regardless of the reason, I’m very pleased that Star Tours – The Adventures Continue receives so much love after the OG Star Tours was neglected for so long. I know some fans of the original miss it, but I think that’s a lot of nostalgia talking. Before being replaced, there were rumors for over a decade about updates, and the original looked woefully out of date. It’s missed now, but at the time, fan consensus was that it was long overdue for a replacement.

For my part, I absolutely adore Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. It’s one of those attractions that I don’t make a point of doing every visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disneyland, and honestly, pretty much only ride when testing strategy or doing rope drop runs (which is fairly often–but still).

Every time I do Star Tours, I’m reminded of how good it is. I’ve really enjoyed all of the additions over the years, which keep it relevant and fresh. And I’m really looking forward to Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor, Din Djarin and Grogu being added–even if I only have passing knowledge of the first two characters. (I know, I know–I should really watch Andor. I’ve heard lots of great things from people whose opinions I trust.)

I love Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and think it’s a better overall experience from start to finish, but the ride portion of Star Tours blows it away. Imagine how great Smugglers Run could be if it combined the settings of Star Tours with the interactivity and complete package of the Millennium Falcon?!

Instead, Smugglers Run is the Star Wars equivalent of working for UPS. (For those who enjoy deliveryman simulators, might I suggest Death Stranding?) Heck, the asteroid field delay scene is better than the actual core gameplay of Smugglers Run! But I digress. 

Speaking of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, I really hope these updates to Star Tours are just the start of something, and there are bigger plans for the fully-fledged land. I’ve mentioned this in a few other posts, so I won’t rehash it all here.

It would certainly seem that more is planned, as Imagineering tested ‘duckling droids’ late last year, and then released photos of Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro and CEO Bob Iger inspecting the droids. At the time, that seemed below Bob’s pay grade–he had a laundry list of items on his plate while attempting to turn around the company (and its stock price).

However, he has made Walt Disney World and Disneyland a priority, recognizing they’re one of the company’s few bright spots and potential growth engines. (Related: Disney Plans to Double Investment to $60 Billion in Disney World, Disneyland & Beyond.)

My hope is that this part of a bigger picture plan to do a soft reboot and relaunch of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. There are a number of reasons for this, from Galactic Starcruiser closing to the strengths of Avengers Campus being evident to Disney not having much in the near-term and needing stop-gap ways to keep guests coming to the parks.

There’s also the aforementioned Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Again, the package there is fantastic. Going inside the ship and cockpit are pure wish fulfillment. It’s the mission and setting of the gameplay that I find underwhelming. (I actually like Hondo Ohnaka and the Ohnaka Transport Solutions conceit, so characters and story aren’t the issue for me.) The mission is the part that’s easier to change, and now that Disney has a stake in and partnership with Epic Games, it would make sense for Imagineering and Lucasfilm to create something new in Unreal Engine.

For his part, Josh D’Amaro has hinted in recent interviews that he wants to bring back atmospheric entertainment Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but hasn’t committed to anything. Performers from Starcruiser are one way to accomplish this; droids are another. Those two relatively simple things would both breathe new life into the land and bring it more closely in-line with its original vision, before elements were cut due to concerns about crowds and/or a desire to put them behind the Starcruiser paywall.

Speaking of Starcruiser, there are no immediate plans to do anything with the building. It’s our understanding that it’ll essentially be mothballed for the near term. They’re not going to demolish it, but Imagineering also is not going to get in there and immediately start construction on something new. (Related: Why Walt Disney World Will NOT Reimagine Starcruiser Into a Star Wars Hotel.)

There have been more and more rumblings revolving around a future dinner show, which indicate that Walt Disney World is exploring ideas for a Star Wars dinner show (and maybe more). Again, this would be something that was originally intended for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The space was set aside for it.

With the benefit of zero inside knowledge, our bet is a dinner show held inside Starcruiser that ‘departs’ from Galaxy’s Edge is launched at some point late this year or in 2025 at Walt Disney World. Should that go well, we’d expect construction to begin on a proper venue inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a dinner show to open in 2026 at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where an announcement is made at the 2024 D23 Expo about a soft reboot of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to launch the land to exciting new time periods and places–breaking the sacred timeline (but tastefully!) and using the setting of the land as a jumping off point for new adventures. (I know this is controversial with fans and I’m not looking to relitigate that argument. See Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Needs to Break the Rules for my take on all of that.)

It may seem like an eternity ago at this point, but there were credible rumors of this back in late 2019. At the time, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was underperforming expectations and there was already a desire to “fix” it to better comport with guest expectations and generate interest. Obviously, it’s been a few years for then and other events “intervened” back in 2020 to prevent any changes from happening.

Fast-forward four years, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is no longer new. Not only that, but after Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, there’s nothing major in the pipeline. As we’ve previously pointed out, Disney construction timelines being what they are, the company will necessarily have to rely on entertainment, overlays or reimaginings as the tentpoles for their big marketing pushes in 2025 and probably 2026.

A reboot of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge could offer exactly that. In addition to droids and performers, there’s also tangible technology that was produced for Starcruiser via Imagineering R&D that Walt Disney World and Disneyland might want to reuse in the land. New entertainment could be created for the catwalks in the land, Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and elsewhere.

They could also do a new mission for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run. Add to that a land that feels more lived-in thanks to droids, more performers, and timeline tweaks…and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge could be reinvented. I wouldn’t even be surprised if its given a new name–everyone calls it “Star Wars Land” anyway, so it’s not like the “Galaxy’s Edge” subtitle is a strong brand.

It shouldn’t be too difficult for Imagineering to take the lessons learned and convince company leadership to invest more into Star Wars Land. It’d be worth the investment as a marketable addition that generates new interest. It’s also simply the smart move–Imagineering had this mostly right from the beginning, and guests would love that version of the land even more. Of course, all of this is speculative and wishful thinking. Back in Realityland, we’re excited to enjoy new stories and characters coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue on April 5, 2024!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor, Din Djarin and Grogu coming to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue? Do you prefer Star Tours or Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run? Is a soft reboot of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge a realistic 2024 D23 Expo announcement, or is this wishful thinking? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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