Speculation: Will ‘Star Tours II’ be Disney’s PhotoPass Enabled?
Yesterday, Disney Parks announced that new destinations in the newly revamped ‘Star Tours: The Adventure Continues’ attraction include Naboo, Kashyyyk, Hoth and the Death Star, in addition to previously announced Tatooine and Coruscant, but it’s what wasn’t publicly announced that caught our attention.
Recently, Disney Parks and Resorts registered several domain names, all of which variations on STARTOURSPHOTOS.COM (STARTOURSPHOTOS.NET, STARTOURSPHOTOS.ORG, STARTOURPHOTO.COM, STARTOURPHOTOS.COM) and even the Spanish equivalent, STARTOURSFOTOS.COM (FOTOSSTARTOURS.COM, FOTOSTARTOURS.COM, STARTOURSFOTO.COM).
This strongly suggests that photos will become an option on the attraction, although exactly how, is unclear at this time. Certainly one of the key elements to a proper ride photo is a physical reaction to a moment of surprise such as sudden acceleration or drop, so that doesn’t immediately seem to lend itself to the Star Speeder vehicles we already know. Or, it may be possible that a special photo-op may be available involving some sort of special effect, only time will tell.
Time will also tell if the ride photo (should it even exist) will be part of the Disney’s PhotoPass system. Currently only two attractions between both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort use PhotoPass, and both (Test Track, Space Mountain) are at Walt Disney World. As it were, Space Mountain initially used Kodak’s system which is completely separate and even now requires an additional purchase to place it on PhotoPass. The existing contracts and play-nice-with-Kodak mentality have made it difficult to incorporate PhotoPass on additional attractions, but if photos do come to Star Tours, the fact that its content is licensed from LucasFilm may give it additional leverage to be free of Kodak’s restraints. Then again, it may not. The fact that Disney has registered domain names specifically for this apparent functionality could also suggest that PhotoPass may not be involved at all, but that photos may be purchased separately online, post-vacation.
‘Star Tours II: The Adventure Continues’ is scheduled to re-open on May 20 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World (for Star Wars Weekends) and June 3 at Disneyland.