Just in via Dateline Disney. According to Al Lutz’s latest column on MiceAge, we can all feel safe about continuing to promulgate the rumor that Star Tours will finally receive a long overdue overhaul…
While Disneyland seems relatively quiet by comparison, there are a few surprises proposed for the original park in the next few years. The most promising is the new Star Tours 2.0 makeover that has just recently received its funding green-light from Burbank and is now slated for an arrival in Tomorrowland in the spring of 2011. While that attraction was originally supposed to arrive in spring, 2010, we’d detailed for you in a previous update how a wussy executive team out in Orlando got cold feet at spending as much money on their version as Anaheim had planned to spend on their installation.
Now, I have no way of proving it, but I distinctly remember pushing the idea of a major refurb for Star Tours several years ago. It had a lot to do with the fact that amongst all of the refurb rumors flying around at the time, overhauling Star Tours seemed to make the most sense.
Why? Simple, in the world of business and project management and cost-analysis, a remake of Star Tours seemed the most feasible. You see, nothing is more appealing to a penny-pinching corporate suit (including myself) than the idea of going after “low-hanging fruit.” I know it’s a term that’s so overused these days, but it’s true. While I had no real insight as to the actual capital outlays required to revamp an attraction of this type, just the fact that the attraction relied on newer technologies like computer generated video and “virtual” environments to achieve it’s entertainment value made it a no-brainer in terms of cost in my mind. In other words, think of Star Tours as a very cool, specialized type of flight simulator. There’s a reason airlines and aircraft manufacturers rely on flight simulators… it’s easier to render all types of scenarios in a virtual environment. If it’s computer-based, it’s flexible and easy (read: cheaper) to modify (relatively speaking). I would assume that the same thing holds true for the engineering behind Star Tours.
Little did I know at the time however, that there were other things in play besides cost considerations delaying the anticipated overhaul of this attraction. Things like legal challenges and strained relationships with stake-holders, and of course executives on both coasts jockeying for position. With that in mind, it really is amazing that anything gets done at the park.
At any rate, I really hope this rumor holds true. I’d love to see an update to this excellent attraction.