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News: Disney Unveils Updates to Star Tours & More at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The end is here. The ninth and final movie in the Star Wars Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, officially released on December 20, 2019. Disney invited us out for a special fan event at the AMC Theater at Disney Springs on Thursday evening for the evening premiere. We then visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios very early on Friday to check out the new Star Wars offerings at the park. Check out all the details below.





 

1 – Fan Event at AMC Theaters at Disney Springs

Disney Springs and AMC Theaters roll out the red carpet for the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for a special fan event on Thursday, December 19. In attendance were local fans in some pretty amazing costumes. We met with Rebel forces and First Order forces alike. It was a whole lot of fun. Check out some of the photos below.

 

After we met with the fans, we headed inside for the premiere of the film. I’ve been a Star Wars fan all of my life and had high expectations for the film. I did not care for The Last Jedi, so I wondered how I would enjoy the movie. While I know there have been mixed reactions to the film, my daughter and I really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was a satisfying end to the saga. It’s not my favorite Star Wars movie, and not my favorite movie of the year (that would belong to Avengers: Endgame), but it was a good movie that I think probably doesn’t deserve the heaps of negative criticism it is receiving. I’m certainly not a movie critic, I’m just a sci-fi/fantasy female geek, who enjoyed the film. I hope you’ll go see it and draw your own conclusions.





 

2 – New Scenes Inspired by the Film Now at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Star Tours – The Adventures Continues has received an update! Following the tradition to change the destination scenes when a new Star Wars movie is released, the attraction now has two new scenes from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Disney cast member Tom Fitzgerald shares more below:

As fans head to theaters for the epic conclusion to the Star Wars Skywalker saga, guests at Disney Parks around the world will be boarding Starspeeders and heading to exciting destinations inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Over the years, C-3PO and R2-D2 have taken Star Tours passengers to some pretty amazing destinations, and the adventure on the surface of the ocean moon Kef Bir is one of the wildest we’ve ever created with our partners at Industrial Light & Magic!

The updated adventures will include an urgent transmission from none other than Lando Calrissian to join in the battle to end all battles!

It’s been an incredible Star Tours journey (starting a long time ago in a Disney Park far, far away — well, actually not far from Walt Disney Imagineering, at Disneyland in Anaheim.) Since then, we’ve had a great time adding new sequences to keep Star Tours – The Adventures Continue relevant with the evolving film saga, and even more exciting for you to experience!

With the new Rise of Skywalker updates, Star Tours now offers you more than 100 storytelling combinations (but don’t worry, for the next few months we’ll exclusively feature the destinations inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker).

Today we’re also excited to share with you the new attraction poster for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.  As you’ll see, the Starspeeder is in for some epic adventures this time around, and we can’t wait for you to experience them yourself!

Credit: Disney

3 – New Film & Props at Star Wars: Launch Bay

Over at Star Wars: Launch Bay, there are also changes following the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. First, you’ll want to take note of the new banner over the signage for Star Wars: Launch Bay. Since the attraction has been open, a First Order symbol with a red background has been over the sign. Now, the symbol for the Resistance with a blue background is hanging. I was very excited to see this change.

Also, the “Meet the Makers” film is entirely new. During this ten-minute film, you’ll hear from Star Wars creators about the most recent projects in the Star Wars Universe. Information is shared about the latest movie, The Mandalorian, video games, virtual reality, TV shows, and more. The film hasn’t been updated since The Last Jedi was released two years ago, so it’s nice to get an update to this film and learn about all of the projects.

Finally, at Star Wars: Launch Bay, you’ll be able to see props from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in the “Preview Gallery.” We had a chance to speak with Disney cast members, Ali Manion and Shawn Slater, about the changes. While some of the props are replicas, there are authentic props on loan from Lucas Film. In the gallery, you’ll have a chance to see a Sith Trooper costume, Poe Dameron’s costume, some helmets from the Knights of Ren, and more. See photos below of some of the new items.

 

4 – Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance Merchandise

As you might expect, you’ll also find some exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance and Star Tours merchandise available at Walt Disney World. Disney cast member, Amanda Rubinos Luna, walks us through some of the merchandise in the video below.

 

5 – Updated ‘Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular’ Coming in 2020

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular has been on a holiday hiatus for the nightly showings of “Jingle Bell! Jingle Bam!” When the evening spectacular returns in 2020, the show will include scenes from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We are looking forward to seeing these new scenes!

6 – Star Wars Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Now is a great time to be a Star Wars fan, especially at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There is so much to see and experience at the park where you can live out your own Star Wars story. From exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to the Jedi Training Academy to ending your day with Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, there is so much Star Wars fun to be had! We’ve put together a complete guide on how to have a Star Wars day. Click here for the 15 ways to have a Star Wars day at Walt Disney World.

Check out our Instagram Story highlight with lots of photos and video from the event!



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About Cindy E. Nykamp

After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Cindy wears many hats for DisneyLists.com. As a content creator, she has written over six hundred articles providing news, tips, planning and more, for trips to Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line to our followers. She directs a team of authors to bring our fans up to date information so that they can have the best Disney vacation experience. Cindy manages DisneyLists.com's Instagram account, sharing photos and videos to bring some Disney magic into our followers feeds. She is also our chief photographer and has her photos featured on the official Walt Disney World Instagram account. Finally, Cindy regularly represents DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, she gets an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World and passes this information and tips to our followers.