Just prior to the January 9, 1987 grand opening of the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland, the park was still aglitter from the miles of garland, hundreds of wreaths and thousands of sparkling lights celebrating the Yuletide season. But it was a new year, and this state-of-the-art Tomorrowland attraction, created in cooperation with George Lucas and hosted by Audio-Animatronics® Star Wars droids C-3PO and R2-D2, was truly out of this world.
Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia were on hand for the big premiere, and a decked-out Minnie Mouse, C-3PO, then chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner, George Lucas, and Mickey participated in the exciting silver-wand ribbon-cutting ceremony.
A January 1987 Disneyland press release, written in late 1986, heralded the new attraction, proclaiming, “Star Tours starts out as an easygoing vacation getaway and quickly turns into a thrilling adventure of universal proportions. Featuring a mode of transportation never before utilized in a theme park attraction, Star Tours will create a sense of realism that will allow guests to actually live the outer-space adventures they have only seen before.” And how!
The Star Tours universe would soon expand even further, blasting off at Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 1989 and at Disneyland Paris in 1992.