Star Tours at Disneyland Resort opened in 1987 and is an excellent example of a simulator ride, where guests sit on a hydraulically-moved platform on rows of seats, facing a static projection screen. .
A highly-themed queue-line leads to a series of waiting lines, where guests eventually walk through a doorway, across a retractable bridge and onto a military-grade simulator (Star Tours in 1986 had four of these simulators at a cost of $500,000 each). After the movie, guests leave across another bridge and then back through a neutrally-themed exit line.
The simulators were originally built by Redifussion Simulation in England – patented as the Advanced Technology Leisure Application Simulator (ATLAS).
The original ride film was projected from a 70mm film projector underneath the cockpit barrier onto a rear projection screen via a mirror. The film was held in a sealed loop box which kept the film moving continuously over a series of rollers to reduce the chance of the film being scratched or damaged.
- Patent 5161104 for the retractable bridges
- Patent 576427A1 for flight simulator (Rediffusion Simulation)
Current Pre-show videos, queue line and ride films
Original Ride Film (4 minutes)
Behind the Scenes view of the simulator in action