EXCLUSIVE: Inside the New ‘Star Tours’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Major Spoilers)

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In honor of Star Wars Day (May the 4th), our spies with the Rebel Alliance have checked in with us regarding some strange goings-on over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. Apparently there is some new company calling itself ‘Star Tours’ which promises to take travelers on a trip around the universe. Reports are still preliminary at this stage, but apparently the Empire is pleased with the changes that will soon affect us all, perhaps in some ways we shall never even know about.

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Star Wars Weekends 2011 Celebrity Lineup Announced

Star Wars Weekends 2001 at Disney's Hollywood StudiosThe official Disney Parks blog has revealed the full line-up of celebrities attending this year’s Star Wars Weekends event taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 20 through June 12, 2011.

Once again, Jedi Mickey and Princess Leia Minnie will be joined by some of the brightest stars from the saga. Celebrity Hosts for the event this year are James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Ashley (seen in the photo above with R2-MK and Jedi Mickey) will host “Clone Wars: Behind the Force,” a closer look inside the popular animated TV series. James will present another event-first: he will star in a one-man show that showcases some of the many voices he has performed throughout his career, including those from The Clone Wars.

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First Look: ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ Annual Passholder Merchandise

Earlier today, Disney Parks announced just some of the new merchandise coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts this summer in anticipation of the grand opening of ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (May 20) and Disneyland (June 3). Although some Annual Passholder exclusive merchandise was mentioned and hinted at (and shown in one case), here is additional information on the passholder exclusives:

Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Exclusive Star Tours 2.0 PinLimited to an edition size of 2000, this Walt Disney World Annual passholder exclusive Star Tours 2 pin features a hinged door that, when closed, shows the Star Tours logo, and the Starspeeder 1000 when opened. It will retail for 15.95

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Speculation: Will ‘Star Tours II’ be Disney’s PhotoPass Enabled?

'Star Tours II: The Adventure Continues' Destinations BoardYesterday, 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).

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Boba Fett Hunts Down StarSpeeder 1000 in New ‘Star Tours II’ Concept Art

Concept art for 'Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues'In an email to annual passholders, Walt Disney World continued to spread news of the May 20th launch of ‘Star Tours — The Adventure Continues’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Associated with the news item was this image which features the StarSpeeder 1000 tour shuttle on the run from Boba Fett who’s actively firing at the ship. In the background looms what will become the impenetrable Death Star.

The news nibble also alludes to a special annual passholder event to-be-announced tied to the re-opening of the attraction as well as links to the attraction’s official page which promises that a confrontation with the popular bounty hunter is just one of the promising opportunities in the attraction.

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D23 to Offer Star Tours ‘Final Flight’ Event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Sept. 7

Following in the footsteps of the ‘Final Flight’ event at Disneyland, in which D23 members were invited to enter the park after hours to ride Star Tours for the final time before it closes for its refurb and transition into Star Tours 2: The Adventure Begins, D23 has announced a ‘Final Flight’ for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World on September 7. The attraction is currently scheduled to re-open on May 17, 2011.

Guests will check in at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning at 8:30 pm and will receive their commemorative boarding pass for their trip. According to the event’s page, the event will consist of just visiting the attraction.

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Photo: George Lucas and Jon Stewart are True ‘Star Tour de Forces’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

George Lucas and friends at Disney Hollywood Studios' 'Last Tour to Endor' (Todd Anderson/Disney) Star Wars creator and filmmaker George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters (left): Princess Leia-Minnie, R2-MK, Darth Goofy,  Jedi Mickey and Stormtrooper Donald on Aug. 14, 2010 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Lucas is in central Florida for “Star Wars Celebration V,” the official Lucasfilm fan event that is taking place this week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. He visited Walt Disney World Resort to attend Disney’s “Last Tour to Endor” special event.

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Limited Edition Boba Fett Disney Racer Celebration V Exclusive Announced

StarWars.com has announced that Disney Parks will offer a limited-edition Boba Fett Disney Racer for purchase at Celebration V. The collectible is nickel-plated and will be limited to just 500 pieces.

Limited Edition (500) Boba Fett Disney Racer for Celebration V

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Star Wars Meets Indiana Jones in Special Presentation at ‘Last Tour to Endor’ Event at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney Imagineer and show writer Jason Surrell offers just a tad more information than he has already shared with us for The Last Tour to Endor hard-ticketed event taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World on August 14.

One of the event’s festivities will be a ‘mash-up’ live-action stunt show in which Indiana Jones meets Star Wars. The show is appropriately titled ‘Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom: A Fan Film of ‘Epic’ Proportions.’ The following clip from Walt Disney World provides the few details available:

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Star Tours’ ‘StarSpeeder 1000′ Limited Edition Collectible Available at Star Wars Celebration V

Star Tour StarSpeeder 1000 Limited Edition (10,000) Collectible at Celebration VDisney Theme Parks merchandise has posted a page advertising many of the Disney collectibles that will be available exclusively to attendees at the Star Wars Celebration V event taking place in Orlando, August 12-15.

Among the items is a limited edition (10,000 pieces) ‘sneak preview’ collectible of the Star Tours StarSpeeder 1000. As many Star Tours enthusiasts know already, the Star Tours company currently operates the StarSpeeder 3000, a descendant of the 1000 model. As Star Tours II includes material inspired by Episodes 1-3, the vehicle itself will also regress to the earlier 1000 model, so this collectible gives those attending Celebration V a sneak peek at the ‘new’ ride vehicle. It will retail for $24.95.

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