Disney launches new 3D attraction at theme park

Disney’s revamped ”Star Tours” ride officially took flight this morning at Disneyland with none other than Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers on hand to launch the attraction.

In a pre-show for press, a lightsaber battle between several Jedi knights and Darth Vader ended with a clever reveal of Disney parks and resorts chairman Thomas Staggs under the hood of one of the heroes.

By noon, those in line had to wait four hours to board the ride.

Despite Anaheim being in their backyard, ride didn’t bring out Disney chief Bob Iger or George Lucas, due to scheduling issues. The two flew to Orlando for the premiere of the same ride at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios on May 20.

But thousands of eager fans were certainly present, thronging Tomorrowland in full force for the chance to be the first in California to ride the attraction.

”Star Tours , The Adventures Continue” is a new 3D attraction that updates the previous ride with new footage of more than 50 story combinations, making it difficult to experience the same five minute trip through the various ”Star Wars” films, settings and characters twice.

First ride opened in 1987 and hadn’t been updated much since. Four of Disney’s theme parks feature the ride.

Walt Disney Imagineering designed the new ride with Lucasfilm Ltd. and Industrial Light and Magic.

Disney unveiled ”The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” at California Adventure Thursday, the latest attraction to open as part of the park’s $1 billion upgrade.

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