The most anticipated Disney attraction of the decade opened nearly a year ago. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance debuted at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios on December 5, 2019 and in Disneyland on January 17, 2020. Headliner ride openings at Disney parks mean long lines, some times for years to follow.
What we didn’t anticipate a year and a half ago was massive worldwide upheaval that would close theme parks and drastically reduce theme park capacity when they reopened again. Of course, this necessitates new ride strategies, especially for Rise of the Resistance. And we are certainly always up for a new challenge!
There are many tricks that guests can use to dodge lines for popular Disney attractions. But basically none of them have ever worked on Rise of the Resistance at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. This attraction queue has been operated like no other Disney has ever offered.
Disney continues to tweak the processes that guests use to get onto the ride. At Disney World, Disney made changes effective November 3, 2020 and December 20, 2020 that are reflected in this guide.
And now that has Disneyland reopened too as of April 30, 2021, there is even another new process to contend with. While it’s very similar to Walt Disney World’s, there are a few minor but ultimately significant Disneyland differences guests need to know about.
So, here are all the details you need to know to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on either Disney coast.
Last updated: June 10, 2021.
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Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Ride Basics (No Spoilers)
Before we dive into the details about how you can best ride Rise of the Resistance, let’s talk ride basics. Don’t worry… there are no spoilers here! Although if you want those, scroll to the end of this post for all the details.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the headline attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It’s the second and final of two attractions in the land, joining the already-open Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The ride opened at Walt Disney World on December 5, 2019 in Galaxy’s Edge within Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It opened January 17, 2020 in California in Disneyland park in the mostly identical Galaxy’s Edge located there.
The attraction has a 40 inch minimum to ride. This is a height that average kids will probably hit somewhere between their 4th and 5th birthdays. The ride physically is no more intense than a combination of Alien Swirling Saucers and Star Tours.
Parents should consider carefully, however, whether younger kids can handle the emotional intensity of a ride that prominently features the Dark Side. The thrill of the attraction won’t scare most kids away. The intensity of being caught in the middle of a conflict between the Resistance and the First Order potentially could.
Depending on who you talk to, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance might just go down in history as the best of Disney Imagineering. The attraction is more than just a thrill ride. It takes guests through multiple scenes all with very difference experiences. Many guests proclaim it to be even better than Disney’s previous best, Avatar Flight of Passage. That’s high praise.
Tips for Riding Rise of the Resistance at Disney World
Disney World’s Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue: Everything You Need To Know
Since opening and for the indefinite future, the ONLY way to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios in Orlando is by securing a place (“boarding group”) in a virtual queue. This is not a virtual queue to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge like Disney advertised for the land’s opening way back in 2019. This virtual queue is different, as it only operates for the single Rise of the Resistance ride and also runs out very quickly.
When the ride debuted, guests had to physically enter Hollywood Studios by scanning a Disney MagicBand or park ticket before they could snag a spot in the virtual queue. For a long time, spots in the queue were offered only first thing in the morning, making for some early rise times for vacationers. This process continued to change and evolve multiple times after Walt Disney World reopened at partial capacity in 2020.
New Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue Process for 2021
In the last few months of 2020, Disney tweaked the process further, giving us the system that has now been in place for all of 2021. There are currently two times a day that Disney guests can get into the virtual queue: 7:00 am or 1:00 pm.
Those two distribution times now operate differently. As if this wasn’t already confusing enough to the average inexperienced Disney traveler… but we will walk you through this so you aren’t confused and don’t mess this up.
Regardless of what time you plan to try to get into the virtual queue, everyone must do the following first:
- Obtain Park Pass reservations for Hollywood Studios: In 2021 (and for the foreseeable future at least through January 2023), Disney World requires reservations to enter any given park on any given day. Make sure everyone in your party has a theme park ticket as well as a Disney Park Pass reservation for Hollywood Studios on the day you plan to go. Be aware that Hollywood Studios has more limited capacity than the other three parks and is usually the hardest reservation to get!
- Set Up My Disney Experience: Before you head to the parks on your vacation, link everyone’s tickets in your traveling party to your My Disney Experience (MDE) app. Turn on push notifications on your phone for the app. Make sure you update to the most recent version of the app too. (Trips with Tykes Tip: Remember to purchase your park tickets in advance from our trusted ticket partner Get Away Today, which will get you the very same tickets that Disney sells but at a discount.)
Once you’ve done the above, if you want to join the virtual queue at the 7:00 am drop time, follow these additional steps:
- Open your My Disney Experience App. Scroll down and look for the image that says “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Request Access with Virtual Queue”. Unlike in previous months, you do not need to be in Hollywood Studios for this to work at 7:00am. It will work from anywhere.
- Click “Join” button as soon as you see it become available. You often need to refresh the MDE app if it doesn’t respond right at 7:00:01 am.
- Assuming you are successful and obtain a boarding group, arrive to Hollywood Studios for the day. Earlier boarding groups should plan to be there by about park opening time.
- Wait for a push notification on your phone to tell you that you are eligible to return to the attraction and ride. You can also check the status of boarding group progress in the app or on signs posted around Hollywood Studios at any time.
- Return to Rise of the Resistance within the return time window given (usually 2 hours long).
If you want to join the virtual queue at the 1:00 pm drop time, all of the same steps apply except one very important difference you must do first. What is that? Unlike at 7:00 am where you can still be in your PJs in your Disney hotel room, you must scan to enter Hollywood Studios first for the virtual queue process to be available to you in the app. Everyone in your party must scan into the park as well. You cannot send a single runner to get boarding groups for everyone.
On January 1, 2021, Disney World brought back park hopping. But under the new rules, park hopping is not permitted until 2:00 pm. That means you cannot hop to Hollywood Studios in time to make this second boarding pass distribution. Only guests with park pass reservations for Hollywood Studios for the day have a shot at either or both of the boarding pass distributions.
Note also that if you don’t have a smartphone or My Disney Experience or it isn’t working for you, there is the alternative to see a member of guest relations to get your boarding group (but really, you need a smartphone and app for the best chances).
Why Guests Can’t Count on Being Able to Ride Rise of the Resistance in 2021
Here’s the catch though. Boarding groups for the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue run out very fast – often in a matter of a second or so. Even with the current reduced park capacity in 2021, everyone who wants to ride Rise of the Resistance can’t. Park hours are much shorter than they used to be, the ride still has breakdowns, and the ride’s capacity isn’t sufficient to accommodate all guests who want to ride each day. All of these things limit the availability of this attraction.
All rows are now fully loaded on Rise of the Resistance with no distancing (previously, plexiglass was used between the two rows of 4 and only 1 group was loaded per row). So capacity is as high as it can be.
Once you actually get a boarding group and are called to ride, how long will you wait in the real queue for Rise of the Resistance? The answer is that is depends – a lot. Some early morning groups may find the ride close to a walk on if they go as soon as their group is called. Some groups may wait quite a bit longer, especially if the ride breaks down at all and backs up the queue.
Watch this space for even more updates as both crowd habits and Disney policies continue to evolve.
Insider Tips for Hacking the Disney World Virtual Queue
Even though there are no guarantees, there are still quite a few tricks and hacks guests can use to improve your chances of getting a boarding group, cut down on the waits, and streamline your vacation logistics. Those include the following:
Monitor when boarding groups are running out. With the attraction’s continued huge demand and the craziness that is everything 2021, everything is changing rapidly at Disney World. What worked last week may not work next.
If you want to find out how fast boarding passes are disappearing, this thread on DisBoards (hundreds of pages!) has been tracking it all since the beginning. Guests write in with their real time reports. Check it close to your trip to find out what is happening on the ground at the moment.
Aim for an Early Boarding Group. We highly recommend making an effort to get a morning boarding group, even it means you have to wake up early and go back to bed for an hour or two. Trying at 7:00am gives you another chance to try again in the afternoon if you don’t luck out. Maximize your odds.
Also, later boarding groups are sometimes at risk of not being able to ride if the attraction goes down for an extended period on a given day.
Try on More Than One Phone: This is kind of a controversial tip because Disney is now actively discouraging it. But now that the playing field is leveled with everyone not needing to enter the parks first thing in the morning, guests with the fastest finger and a lot of luck are the ones rewarded with boarding passes. Tech issues with the MDE app abound and Disney WiFi is iffy, so guests have been trying on two or more smartphones in a travel group for many months to improve their odds. For the most part, this has improved guest success of actually snagging a boarding group. So color us suspicious that Disney’s advice is sound. We will update this post if we begin to see evidence of any problems with this approach.
Reserve Park Passes at Hollywood Studios for More Than 1 Day: This strategy is on a bit higher level of vacation hacking, so approach cautiously if you are a newbie. But if you are going for a longer trip (especially NOT during a busy weekend or holiday period when all Park Passes will book up), consider making Park Pass reservations for Hollywood Studios for two days or more.
If you snag a boarding group that first reservation day at 7:00 am, great. Go to Hollywood Studios that first day and change your second day Hollywood Studios reservation to another park (the other parks usually have more availability). If you strike out that first morning before parks open and can change your Park Pass reservation to another park for that first day, then you have another full day to try again at Hollywood Studios at both 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. Of course, there is always the possibility the other parks run out of Park Pass availability during busier times (as is increasingly the problem in the summer of 2021), so use this strategy with an awareness of the risk and a close watch on crowd levels.
Have a transportation plan. Disney’s boarding pass system drastically improved the transportation backlog that had been happening in late 2020 leading up to park opening times. But even still, however, you don’t want to cut things too close and miss your return window if you obtain a morning boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. With additional distancing required on Disney buses and the Skyliner, you still need to allow extra transportation time. If you have your own car, that is not a bad idea or consider using Uber and Lyft if that works for you (see my guide to Uber Car Seat in Orlando if you have young kids).
Note also that Hollywood Studios is regularly opening its gates 30-45 minutes before official park opening time. If you want to “rope drop” other popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash or Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you still need pretty robust transportation strategy to get to the front of those lines. (Related: Complete Guide to Disney World Transportation)
Go left! There is a place in the inner queue (it will make sense when you’re in the attraction) of Rise of the Resistance where guests have a choice of going left or right. Most guests head right, so go left. It could potentially shave 5-10 minutes off of your wait on the actual attraction when backed up. (Note: with current distancing in place, this doesn’t matter as much at the moment but keep an eye on it.)
Line Skipping Methods that Will NOT Work for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Walt Disney World
If you are a master of line dodging and skipping at Walt Disney World, you may be curious if methods that work for other rides will work for Rise of the Resistance. Let me put those thoughts to rest – they won’t. The only way to ride Rise of the Resistance is in the virtual queue. The following methods simply are not available:
- Fastpass+: Rise of the Resistance does have a Fastpass+ queue and Fastpass+ isn’t currently operating anywhere at Walt Disney World in 2021. At some point, Fastpass+ will return to the parks and it’s possible it might become available for this attraction as well. Stay tuned.
- Extra Magic Hours: In normal times, Disney’s Hollywood Studios offered Extra Magic Hours – extra time for on-property hotel guests to access the park. But EMH is currently not operating. And Rise of the Resistance has never been scheduled to be open during EMH anyway!
- Single Rider Lines: When Rise of the Resistance first opened, we speculated that it could eventually have a single rider queue like the other ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. It probably goes without saying that single rider lines, which look to fill every available seat on an attraction, won’t be at thing for a couple of years to come – maybe never again.
- Standby Lines: Even if you are prepared to show up and wait in line for 5 hours for Rise of the Resistance, you can’t. There is no standby line running for the attraction while the virtual queue is operational. This is far from ideal for anyone who can’t get to the parks super-early and who would be willing to wait awhile to be able to arrive at a time of their choosing, but that’s how it works for now.
- VIP Tours: Hiring a pricey VIP tour guide (a.k.a. “plaid”) is an amazing way to cut the lines at Disney parks for most attractions. But even paying the big bucks won’t get you special access to Rise of the Resistance. The ride is not included on a VIP tour.
Disney’s Disability Access Pass (DAS) is available for Rise of the Resistance but only to guests that get a boarding pass in the virtual queue. (Note that in order to ride the attraction, guests must be able to transfer.)
Disney has offered Rider Switch for this attraction but also only for guests who have a boarding pass for the virtual queue. For all intents and purposes, it isn’t really needed unless the attraction breaks down for an extended period or guests return very late in their return window to the ride. The 2 hour return window is more than enough time for two different groups of riders to go through the queue.
How to Ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland
Disneyland’s Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue: Everything You Need To Know
Disneyland has finally reopened and its virtual queue functions essentially identically to the one at Walt Disney World. The major differences are in who is permitted to try for each slot as well as the release times for the two boarding groups. Specifically, those differences are:
- Boarding groups are released at 7:00 am and 12 noon (instead of 7:00 am and 1:00 pm as in Walt Disney World).
- Only guests with a confirmed Disneyland park reservation for the day may try for the 7:00 am release of boarding groups. Anyone with a park hopper ticket who has scanned into either park for the day may try for the 12 noon drop. This means if you have a park hopper ticket but start your morning in Disney California Adventure, you are eligible for this second drop. And you can hop over to Disneyland park at 1:00 pm for an afternoon or evening ride if you are successful.
- BREAKING UPDATE FOR VISITS AFTER JUNE 4, 2021: Now that Avengers Campus has opened, guests will not be able to hold a boarding group for both Rise of the Resistance and the new Avengers Campus attraction, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, at the same time. Park hopping guests potentially have some tough choices to make!
Regardless of what time you plan to try to get into the virtual queue, everyone must do the following at Disneyland first:
- Obtain Disneyland theme park reservations: In 2021, Disneyland requires reservations to enter any given park on any given day. Make sure everyone in your party has a theme park ticket. Then make your Disneyland theme park reservation. If you have a single park per day ticket, you must reserve Disneyland park to be eligible for the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue that day (this park is running out of reservations first so planning ahead it vital). If you have a park hopper ticket, you can reserve either park as your starting park. Remember though – only guests with Disneyland park starting reservations can try for both the 7am and 12 noon boarding group releases.
- Set Up the Disneyland app: Before you head to the parks on your vacation, link everyone’s tickets in your traveling party to the Disneyland app. Turn on push notifications on your phone for the app. Make sure you update to the most recent version of the app too. (Trips with Tykes Tip: Remember to purchase your park tickets in advance from our trusted ticket partner Get Away Today, which will get you the very same tickets that Disney sells but at a discount.)
Once you’ve done the above, if you want to join the virtual queue at the 7:00 am drop time, follow these additional steps:
- Open the Disneyland App a few minutes before 7:00 am. Scroll down and look for the image that says “Request access with Virtual Queue”. (You can also get to the same place by clicking the three lines in the bottom right corner and then selecting “Virtual Queues.”) Unlike in previous months, you do not need to be physically present in the parks for this to work at 7:00am. It will work from anywhere.
- Click “Join Boarding Group” white button and then quickly toggle to the tab at the top right that says Disneyland. This is where you’ll see the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance option, along with one for Indiana Jones below that. Wait here on this screen as 7:00 am approaches.
- Right before 7:00am, pull down to refresh this page. Repeat quickly until you see the blue “Join” button appear. Click it fast.
- You will then see a screen to “Create Your Party.” The tickets that have valid reservations for the day that you have linked should all be pre-checked (other tickets will appear down below). Quickly confirm and click “join” again.
- Assuming you are successful and obtain a boarding group, arrive to Disneyland park for the day. Earlier boarding groups should plan to be there by about park opening time.
- Wait for a push notification on your phone to tell you that you are eligible to return to the attraction and ride. You can also check the status of boarding group progress in the app.
- Return to Rise of the Resistance within the return time window given. Note that at Disneyland, this is normally only a 1 hour window, unlike at Walt Disney World that normally gives 2 hours. While cast member usually are kind and accommodate guests who are late because they are stuck in another queue or finishing up a meal, it’s safer to be on time.
If you want to join the virtual queue at the 12:00 noon drop time, all of the same steps apply except one very important difference you must do first. What is that? Unlike at 7:00 am where you can still be in your PJs in your hotel room, you must physically scan into one of the two parks for the virtual queue process to be available to you in the app. Everyone in your party must scan into the park as well. You cannot send a single runner to get boarding groups for everyone.
Unlike at Walt Disney World, guests with park hopper tickets who start the morning at Disney California Adventure park CAN try for the noon drop (but not if they are holding an unused boarding group for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure in Avengers Campus).
Line Skipping Methods that Will NOT Work for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland
Just like at Walt Disney World, all the usual line-skipping Disney tricks and hacks you might be used to using will not for Rise of the Resistance. The virtual queue is the ONLY option to ride the attraction. There is:
- no Fastpass or Maxpass
- no Single Rider
- no access during Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in Disneyland park)
- no regular standby line
- and no special VIP guide access.
Guests who want to use Disney’s Disability Access Pass (DAS) or Rider Switch can still do so but must first get a boarding group in the virtual queue in the app like all other guests.
Insider Tips for Hacking the Disneyland Virtual Queue
Many of the same tips and hacks for Rise of the Resistance for Disney World work at Disneyland too. And although it was a bit easier to get boarding groups when Disneyland reopened, its harder now that that parks are increasing capacity and more guests are savvy to the methods to get boarding groups.
Generally speaking, getting a boarding group is still a matter of speed and some luck. Here are the tips that can speed you up and improve that luck:
Practice at Home: Disney keeps changing the systems and screens ever so slightly for its virtual queues, so this gives a major advantage to frequent visitors to who know the latest layout and can move faster than everyone else in the Disneyland app. Even if you are a newbie, you can practice at home to see where the buttons are located and know what you are selecting on each screen so you can move fast. You can go all the way up to the last screen to test it out, even without having an eligible ticket. A few days before your vacation, set an alarm for yourself at 6:59am and 11:59am to quickly test things so you feel comfortable with the process.
Use Multiple Phones: Guests with the fastest finger are the ones who get the boarding groups. Unfortunately, the Disneyland app isn’t always reliable and can fail to refresh or even crash. We therefore recommend anyone with two or more smartphones in their travel group make an effort to try on both phones. Link all your tickets in both phones so the fastest phone will get through first and prevail.
Check If Your Device’s Clock is Accurate: Many phones aren’t properly synched up to the world clock and this can really matter for your chances for virtual queue success. I highly recommend checking to see if you are in sync by going to time.gov on the device you will us to get a boarding group. If your device runs behind the world clock, your best bet is to use another device to monitor the true time to make sure you pull down and refresh at the right split second.
Check Your WiFi (and perhaps Disconnect from Disneyland WiFi): Speedy data is vital in this process. Make sure your hotel has fast Wifi if you are trying from there, and disconnect and use data if it’s spotty. For the noon drop when you are in the parks, Disneyland WiFi can be pretty slow. If you have reliable cell data service in Disneyland park, we recommend disconnecting from the WiFi to speed things up.
Keep monitoring when boarding groups are running out. While most guests have been successful in getting a boarding group as long as they are trying right at the timed drops, we do expect this will eventually get harder as park capacity increase in the weeks that follow. We will be updating this post with more data, so keep checking back.
Have a transportation plan. While you don’t have to get to the parks super early anymore to get a boarding group, Disneyland’s transportation has gotten a bit harder and more complicated, so plan accordingly. You don’t want to cut things too close and miss your return window if you obtain a morning boarding group for Rise of the Resistance.
Disneyland is not currently running parking trams, so you need to be prepared to walk that distance. The parking lot at Mickey & Friends seems to be backing up many days as well, further slowing things down for guests who drive. If you plan to take a hotel shuttle or ART, frequency is lower than before so you may wait loner. Uber/Lyft also have longer wait times.
Note also that the parks are regularly opening their gates 30-45 minutes before official park opening time. If you want to “rope drop” other popular attractions, you still need to be pretty early and have a robust transportation strategy to get to the front of those lines if you aren’t staying within walking distance. (Related: Best Hotels within Walking Distance of Disneyland)
All the Spoilers for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
*****Spoilers Start Here! Proceed at Your Own Risk! *****
If you just can’t wait to hear all the details about Rise of the Resistance, you don’t have to. Here’s a complete spoiler filled play-by-play from the attraction. We’ve broken the attraction up into sections, starting with the queue.
You enter the “hidden” rebel base via an entrance marked by a large turret, which seems quite conspicuous. The queue winds around outside a bit until you enter a series of caves that feel carved out in a rush. As you wind your way through the caves you pass by familiar looking navigational maps, lockers containing Resistance jumpsuits, and assorted weapons caches (presumably there in case of a sudden First Order attack). The queue is understated in a good way. It feels like you’re entered a lived in but hastily constructed Resistance base.
We should note that when the queue stalls out for any extended period of time (due to the ride’s operational issues), Resistance cast members have been coming through the queue with water and carrot sticks. Occasionally, a Resistance hero like Vi Moradi or even Chewbacca might come through – have your MagicBands ready because when we were there they were accompanied by Resistance Photopass photographers!
The queue ends with a cast member asking you how many in your party. You are then invited to enter the next phase of the attraction, the briefing room.
The Briefing Room
(Editor’s Note for 2021: This room is skipped due to distancing requirements right now at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.)
The next room you enter is the briefing room. While it’s technically a pre-show room, it feels much more immersive than that, although describing it doesn’t quite capture the feeling. Again, the room is a cut out cave. A hologram of Rey that looks straight out of the movies briefs you that you need to make a quick escape from Batuu and warns you not to give up the location of the secret Resistance base. But it won’t be easy!
During the briefing you receive some extra intel from Finn, Poe Dameron (who will be escorting your transport), and Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari Resistance fighter who will be with you on your transport. After the briefing is over, you’re rushed outside – and you actually go outside! We felt a huge sense of urgency as we were rushed outside, across a small clearing, and into a fully realized Resistance transport waiting for us.
And just for kicks, Poe’s X-wing is hanging out in the clearing, ready to escort your transport. With good cast members, you really feel a sense of urgency to get into that transport, which really starts ramping up the narrative tension of the attraction.
When you enter the transport, the first thing you’ll notice are two life-size audio animatronics at the front of the transport – the aforementioned Lieutenant Bek and Nien Nunb who you might recognize as having flown the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian in Return of the Jedi.
You quickly take off from Batuu but are attacked by TIE fighters and eventually surrounded and trapped by Star Destroyers. As you are pulled in by a tractor beam, Lieutenant Bek reminds you not to give up the location of the secret Resistance base.
Some people will experience the transport portion of the ride and mistake it for the actual ride. You definitely feel the transport moving and shaking, though obviously it’s nothing too drastic since you don’t need to get strapped in or anything. One tip: if there isn’t room at the front, there is a porthole out the back with a view out the transport window that is as good as the forward view.
After the tractor beam pulls you into the Star Destroyer, your transport is boarded by First Order officers who bark at you to get out and prepare for interrogation!
If you weren’t wowed by the Rey hologram or the Bek animatronic, you’ll be finally wowed when you step into the hangar of a Star Destroyer. Pictures don’t do this room justice – the sheer scale of the hangar bay is mind boggling. You see ships flying outside the hangar and a full platoon of stormtroopers that you’re not quite sure aren’t real. Be sure to take pictures of the TIE fighter and the stormtroopers if the First Order officers don’t bark at you for taking “useless scans.”
This is a good place to note the quality of the First Order officers we experienced when we rode this attraction. They strike the perfect balance of making you feel nervous and doing their actual jobs (moving you along and keeping you safe). They allowed enough time for pictures but still kept the sense of urgency in the attraction alive.
Eventually you are shuttled into a queue to “await processing” and after a few minutes you are lined up to be shot….I mean shuttled into an interrogation room. Again, the quality of the cast members makes it feel like you’re really in trouble – adding to the magic and immersion of the attraction.
When you enter the interrogation room, you’re given a real sense that you’re in trouble. There are stormtroopers looking down on you as if you’re in a cage and eventually General Hux and Kylo Ren himself come and begin demanding the location of the secret Resistance base.
Kylo Ren even begins using the force on you before thankfully he’s called to the bridge. Once he leaves – someone carves a hole in the wall and breaks into your cell – it’s the Resistance! You’re quickly ushered into escape transports that the Resistance has commandeered as Finn himself tells you the escape plan.
It’s all pretty exciting and, again, the sense of urgency to the whole affair is something that has to be experienced. Don’t forget to “supervise your children” as Lieutenant Bek says (how did the kids get caught up in this mess!?).
The escape vehicles are trackless vehicles similar to Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland or Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris (and soon, Epcot). As stated above, the actual movement of the vehicles isn’t super intense, but as you might imagine, the escape gets pretty intense. So let’s get to that escape!
So to make your escape you board a trackless vehicle that can hold up to eight people. Ostensibly, your escape should be simple: you make your way down a turbo lift to some escape pods and you’re home free. But that’d be a pretty boring escape!
So instead of a simple straightforward escape, you run up against everything that could go wrong: stormtroopers, probe droids, even Kylo Ren himself. The pace is frantic and things get pretty intense, but luckily stormtroopers continue to have the worst aim in history. What’s amazing about the ride is how immersive it is – you feel like you’re being chased.
Laser blasts create damage in the walls around you, you dodge and weave everyone who’s chasing you, and you even move vertically to avoid your captors. The effects combined with audio animatronics make you feel like you’re in the middle of a Star Wars battle.
And make no mistake, you are in the middle of a battle. Halfway through the ride you see the Resistance fleet jump out of hyperspace and engage the Star Destroyers and from that point on the ride’s intensity ramps up to a whole new level. Instead of seeing damage from mere blaster fire you now see and feel the damage of this epic space battle going on around you.
Ultimately, you make your way to the escape pods and quickly drop your way back down to Batuu, a combination of Tower of Terror and Star Tours type action that somehow feels both less scary motion wise but more intense thrill wise than either of those individual attractions. Don’t worry, the drop really isn’t in the same ballpark as Tower of Terror, it’s just the easiest way to describe it.
By the time you exit your escape pod on Batuu, you will have experienced one of the most epic attractions ever created. Again, Rise of the Resistance is something that must be experienced firsthand – it’s a culmination of so much of the amazing storytelling that Disney has done throughout its theme parks for decades.
Trust us when we say this – use our tips to get yourself onto this ride. You won’t regret it!
Editor’s Note: This article was co-authored by Joe Cheung and Leslie Harvey. Joe visited Walt Disney World both during the first week of Rise of the Resistance’s opening, again in January 2020, and also in April 2021. Leslie attended the media preview of Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland in January 2020 and has also obtained a boarding group at Disneyland as a regular guest both in February 2020 and then during the April 2021 reopening weekend. Whenever possible, Trips With Tykes endeavors to bring you first-hand travel accounts and not articles written from press releases, research alone, or exclusively from media event access.
About the co-author: Contributing writer Joe Cheung loves traveling with his wife and three children. He has been writing about using miles and points to reduce the cost of family travel on his blog asthejoeflies since his wife was pregnant with their first child. He loves traveling all around the world with a special place in his heart for travel to Asia and all things Disney. When he’s not writing, you can find Joe chatting about Disney World on the Disney planning podcast Disney Deciphered that he and Leslie co-host or chatting about miles and points on his other podcast the Saverocity Observation Deck.