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Fun Find Friday


August 12, 2016

Location: Backlot, Disney's Hollywood Studios

I know we visited Sci-Fi Dine In recently, but after dining there again last night I discovered something I've walked past several times in my life. After walking into the lobby area there are two different hallways that lead to the dining area. Unlike our last fun find, this week's can be found on the hallway on the right.

Sci Fi

 Before we get to that, let's do a little history about the restaurant and Disney-MGM Studios. When the park first opened up on May 1, 1989, there were only three attractions: The Great Movie Ride, Studio Backlot Tour, and the Magic of Disney Animation. As time would go on, Imagineers did their best to connect various attractions and resstaurants to other portions of the park. Some of these connections were large like the various references to Who Framed Roger Rabbit while others were fairly small and simple, like today's Fun Find Friday.

When Star Tours opened up in late 1989 there weren't a lot of ways to connect it to other sections in the park. Sure, there were a few references to Star Wars in The Great Movie Ride, but overall the attraction stood alone. That is, until April 20th, 1991, the day Sci-Fi Dine-In opened up nearby. With both the attraction and restaurant focusing on a Science Fiction theme, it just made sense that the two would blend together in someway, shape, or form.

Sure, last year the restaurant celebrated Star Wars by having a dining overlay with the films and characters in the restaurant, but what the restaurant really needed was something permanent, which brings us back to that hallway on the right.

While walking down the hallway, guests can find various items scattered in little cubbies on the left-hand side. Towards the end of the hallway two small boxes feature pieces of paper that at first glance don't seem to be anything but random decoration:

Star Tours concept artStar Tours concept art

So what are these pieces of paper exactly? Upon further investigation, guests can see that each picture shown consists of three pictures and words written underneath. In the picture below you can see that the words written state "Rex makes a sharp left bank as we continue our fall. Ahead a crate can be seen entering the room." Above the words the picture on the left features a robot, the picture in the middle looks like a Death Star trench, and the picture on the right is R2D2.

Star Tours Concept Art

This, along with the other drawings are the storyboards for the original Star Tours attraction! Rex was the pilot in the original attraction. Much like the original attraction and the storyboard, Rex was on the left side of the cockpit, while in the middle of the attraction was the screen showcasing where we were, and on the screen on the right was a video featuring R2D2!


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