The hype for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is getting bigger by the day. Now that new details about the immersive part of the Disneyland and Disney World theme parks have been revealed, some fans were worried that Disney may be planning to take Star Tours out of thr original park. However, Disney has no plans of doing so and the ride will remain open well after Galaxy's Edge debuts this summer in California and fall in Florida.
Star Tours is not located near where Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is being completed, but Disney is still going to keep it open. The move makes sense, especially since the ride is still one of the most crowded attractions at the park. There have also been whispers of a possible update to coincide with the grand opening of Galaxy's Edge, though that seems a bit far-fetched. Both Disneyland and Disney World updated Star Tours back in 2011 after shutting the ride down for nearly a year, so it seems that updating it takes a bit longer than just throwing in a new simulation.
Star Tours first opened to the public in 1987 and was the first non-Disney ride to ever be included in the parks. The Star Wars and Disney relationship started back when George Lucas worked on Captain EO, the 3D musical starring Michael Jackson, at California's Disneyland. The ride was originally going to be based on the 1979 Disney movie Blackhole, but the movie was not as successful as they had hoped and the cost to finish building was just too much money. However, the military simulators had already been purchased, so Disney had to do something with them.
George Lucas agreed to make Star Tours a reality and set out to work with Industrial Light & Magic to make the video portion of the ride, which was originally a visit to Endor with some unexpected stops along the way. After the video was complete, an engineer sat in the simulators with a joystick to synch the movements of the ride to the video. The whole process cost $32 million, which at the time was double what it cost to build all of Disneyland in 1955.
Star Tours opened to the public on January 9th, 1987 and to celebrate, Disneyland kept the park open for a marathon 60 hours to accommodate Star Wars fans from all over the world. In addition to the California and Florida parks, the ride was built at Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Tokyo. The international versions of the ride have since closed, but the North American versions are still going with an update that puts them after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. There's about to be a whole lot more Star Wars at Disneyland coming in the next few months and it's going to be very crowded, so plan accordingly. io9 was the first to reveal that Disney is keeping Star Tours open.