Monday, July 16, 2012

Attractions: The Art of Plussing (Star Tours, Spaceship Earth, TTA)

             This week’s installment for our series on “Plussing” looks at three different attractions throughout the WDW parks as we attempt to determine if “plussing” is always a positive.  Maybe you can notice the loose theme relating to all three attractions.

Star Tours:  This is the most recent and well publicized attraction to be updated.  The Tour to Endor has been replaced by a host of 54 possible 3D destinations that carry you throughout the entire Star Wars saga.  Alas, Rex (voiced by Pee-Wee Herman) has been replaced by C3PO as the pilot and many portions of the queue have been updated as well.  Though the ride itself has undergone significant changes, there are some very interesting surprises to be found in the queue.  In fact, these changes almost make the queue the first part of a 2-part attraction.  Most notably, the addition of the luggage check droid, which is almost as fun as the ride itself.  Look for a lot of little surprises in this protion of the queue.  Want a real challenge?  Find the homage to the original version found in the queue.  Can you guess what it is?  (Hint: Look for REX, your original pilot)  Click the link here to catch a glimpse at this recent addition.
 Spaceship Earth:  Housed in that large “golf ball” (or geodesic sphere), Spaceship Earth carries us on a tour of advancements in human communication.  One of the most controversial changes to the attraction occurred in 2000, when a 25-story magic wand held by Mickey’s hand was erected next to the geodesic sphere.  This horrific addition (my personal feeling) remained until 2010.  Other than the changes in narration from Vic Perrin to Walter Cronkite, Jeremy Irons and now Judi Dench, the biggest and possibly most enjoyable change came when the new interactive, touch screen ending was added in 2007.  Though I must admit that I can still hear the echos of "Tomorrow’s Child” ringing in my ears.

 TTA:  The biggest change with this attraction seems to be the name.  It is amazing how many fans refuse to accept the name change that took place in 1994.  Also known as the Blue Line, TTA, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Tomorrowland’s Super-Skyway, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, this attraction is still referred to by many fans as the WEDWay PeopleMover.  As for this author, I refer to the attraction as the TTA; but regardless of what you may call it, I love this attraction.  A slow troll through Tomorrowland’s skyway, this attraction not only allows a moment to relax, but provides some of the most unique views offered in WDW – including a glimpse at how Walt originally envisioned EPCOT.  I often imagine Walt himself riding on the TTA, beaming with pride at what he created. 


Let us know what you think.  Have the changes to these attractions been positive?  Who offered the best narration of Spaceship Earth?  What do you call the TTA?  Out of all the possible tours, where would you like to travel on your Star Tour?  Add your comments below.

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