Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland park) was honored by the Themed Entertainment Association at the 18th Annual Thea Awards with the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Attraction Refresh.
The committee commented on Disney's achievement in the attraction update, "The refreshed attraction has succeeded both operationally and with the extremely loyal Star Wars fan base. For the guests, the most compelling feature is the variable content that affords multiple storylines, locations and characters. This element of surprise is driving multi-generational audiences to return again and again to get a shot at exploring different vistas into many realms of the Star Wars Galaxy. Today’s audience expectations for a high tech science-fantasy world as renowned as Star Wars far surpass the analogue entertainment world that existed back in1987 when Disney originated this granddaddy of simulators that became an industry template. To achieve a breakthrough experience, all new ‘state of the art’ 3D digital media systems were a given, but what really brings Star Tours: The Adventures Continue to life is a unique branching story structure employing multiple destinations and characters. This non-traditional storytelling device evokes curiosity by providing 54 potential show experiences resulting in a dramatic increase in attraction repeatability. To bring a layer of personalization and relevance, image capture systems are used to integrate riders into the varied story branches. All of this is fed into multiple motion programs designed for each random sequence, creating a multiplicity of kinetics for the 54 distinct profiles and unique real-time guest integrations. While the major components create the guest ‘wows’ every nook and cranny along the pre-show queue likewise received new story elements and advanced special effects. This has extended the experience of this ‘galaxy far, far away’ way beyond the doors of the Starspeeder 1000 and repositions the total experience firmly in a new century."