The day is finally here, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is now open in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the most ambitious, most epic attraction ever to come to a theme park. We’re going to share with you everything you need to know about this ground-breaking new ride!
In this post you will find all the details about the Rise of the Resistance ride including: opening, ride vehicle, a walk-through of the attraction, capacity, and length.
We’re also going to share with you our thoughts and a review on the new ride after having finally gotten a chance to ride it! Make sure to scroll down to that subheading to see just exactly what we think of Rise of the Resistance and if it lives up to expectations.
If you want to see everything that happens on the ride, we have a Rise of the Resistance Full Ride POV Video showing the entire attraction from start to finish!
Please read our Using Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups and Virtual Queue if you are looking for information about how to ride Rise of the Resistance, and a detailed look at the whole reservation process.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Overview
- Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Status: Opened December 5, 2019 (Disney World); January 17, 2019 (Disneyland)
- Ride Type: Simulator, Trackless
- Thrill Level: Medium
- FastPass: Not at first, but eventually yes.
- Ride Length: 15-20 Minutes
- Height Requirement: 40 inches
- Capacity: TBD
To find out more about the Rise of the Resistance ride opening and a full walkthrough of the attraction, please keep reading further down where we explain it in greater detail.
- Be sure to read our guide on how to use boarding groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for a detailed explanation on how to ride it during your visit to Galaxy’s Edge.
News (UPDATED 1/17/19)
Seeing that Rise of the Resistance is now open, tons of news has been dropping over the last few weeks about the ride.
The biggest, of course, is that the Disneyland version has just opened up January 17, 2020. That means that now both versions of the ride are fully operational and open to the public.
Rise of the Resistance Using Virtual Queue (In Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Once Open)
After weeks of operations for Rise of the Resistance, Disney is continuing to use the virtual queue and boarding groups in Hollywood Studios, and Disney has also implemented the same system with the Disneyland version and using the virtual queue there too.
The Virtual Queue allows guests to reserve a place in line without having to actually wait in line. They do this by getting into boarding groups which then determine at what time they can ride Rise of the Resistance.
This has decreased the time guests have to wait in line, but it also means that the attraction “sells out” all its reservations shortly after opening every day. That means if you arrive too late after park opening, there is a good chance you won’t get a boarding pass that day.
This has continued since the opening in Hollywood Studios, and will for the days and weeks to come, on both coasts. Read the following posts which will give you a summary of how the system works and help you to be able to ride:
- Click here if you are interested in reading about crowd predictions and boarding groups at Disneyland’s Rise of the Resistance.
What is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
You’ve heard the excitement about this new “Star Wars Ride” everyone has been hyping up, but you’re probably wondering: What kind of a ride is Rise of the Resistance?
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the newest attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World and Disneyland. It’s the most ambitious and immersive ride that Disney has ever built, and is more like an experience rather than only a ride. It completely sucks you in for the entire more than 15-minute long experience from start to finish!
The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction in Galaxy’s Edge is the ride I’ve been looking forward to more than any other ride coming to the Disney parks in the next few years. Now after having ridden it, I am completely speechless!!
What Type of Ride System Does it Have?
Immediately we think of a roller coaster when talking about a thrilling ride in a Disney Park, but it isn’t a roller coaster at all, not even close.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is on a scale like nothing else you’ve ever seen in a theme park attraction. It has 18 show areas and 4 ride system types in all bringing guests through the biggest attraction show building they’ve ever created.
In fact, one of its ride systems is completely trackless, which means it can move around the show floor smoothly and seamlessly and you don’t know which direction you are going in. This creates an element of surprise with every ride through it.
Rise of the Resistance is set up with a 3-Act Structure:
- Act 1: The caves systems of Batuu and ride Pre-Show
- Act 2: Ascent into space aboard the I-TS shuttle
- Act 3: Escape from the Star Destroyer
To give you an idea though about how detailed this interior is, there are more than 65 state-of-the-art animatronic figures, including the Droids and Stormtroopers. That makes it one of the attractions with the most amount of animatronics ever, behind “It’s a Small World.”
Which Parks is it Located in?
Thankfully Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not coming to only one park, but it will be located in both Galaxy’s Edge lands, one Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and also in Disneyland Park.
If the ride is a success, it’s very possible Disney will build Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland Paris and at least one of the Asian Disney parks too. A lot is riding on it to be a big hit and Disney has gone all-in on this one.
Is Rise of the Resistance the Only Ride in Galaxy’s Edge?
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, is just one of the 2 attractions in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. The other is called Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Here guests can step on board the iconic Millennium Falcon and take control of the ship, actually flying it and working together as a team to complete the mission given.
Smugglers Run is located on the opposite side of Galaxy’s Edge, in the center of Black Spire Outpost. You can read more details about the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run here, including our full walk-through and review.
So far it sounds awesome, but how long is the ride time for Rise of the Resistance? It’s hard to calculate the exact ride length, but one thing is for sure…this ride is long, one of the longest in Disney World and Disneyland.
From our experience riding it, Rise of the Resistance is about 18 minutes long. That takes into consideration the pre-show before boarding the shuttle and all ride elements. Sometimes it is slightly longer due to short delays, but if everything is running smooth, 18 minutes is what you can expect.
A while back when Disney Parks President Bob Chapek was interviewed for the Galaxy’s Edge special on Freeform TV, he indicated that Rise of the Resistance was going to be at least 15 minutes long.
These are his exact words from the special:
“Imagine being chased for 15 minutes by Kylo Ren and the First Order. Lightsabers everywhere, stormtroopers coming after you. It’s going to be fantastic!”
Some initial reports had Rise of the Resistance being more than 20+ minutes long. While it doesn’t quite reach that level, we think it is more than long enough and you definitely feel like you got enough time in the attraction space.
The ride vehicle for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has 2 rows of 4 people for a total of 8 passengers. It even has an R5 droid in the front who will be your guide throughout the adventure:
It uses trackless technology like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure coming to Epcot and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which means that the vehicle doesn’t have a visible path it will take, making it much more unpredictable.
Expect lots of unexpected twists and turns with the potential of a different experience every time you ride it. I’ve been in this ride vehicle, and I can say it really adds a lot to the ride experience because there is no track and therefore you can’t prepare yourself for what’s coming next. That means more surprises and more re-rideability for everyone.
Now we can see exactly how the ride vehicle for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance looks from end of the attraction:
The ride vehicle is practically identical to the model from D23 Expo, just a bit darker:
Keep in mind there are 4 ride systems for Rise of the Resistance, but this ride vehicle will be the primary one you travel around the star destroyer with. It then also connects with two of the other ride systems, working hand in hand to deliver this realistic simulation.
From what Disney Imagineers have said, there are 38 total ride cars and 36 cars can be in the “show space” at one time. Even though there are so many cars, you only see other riders briefly see each other during the loading/unloading process, and in one or two scenes during the ride.
Even though Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is fun for the whole family, keep in mind that not all will be able to experience at least one of the attractions. There is a minimum 40-inch height requirement for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride in both Hollywood Studios and Disneyland.
Rise of the Resistance having a height requirement of 40 inches means, unfortunately, your smaller family members won’t be able to ride. This is not out of the norm as it’s the same height requirement you find on other Disney attractions like: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Soarin’ and Test Track.
In comparison, riders have to be 38 inches tall to ride Smugglers Run.
Rise of the Resistance is a moderately intense ride, and not something you want to do if you have severe health problems. You can find the height requirement on a sign stationed outside of the attraction entrance.
It states: “Join us on an exhilarating mission to stop The First Order! This mission includes rapid motion, sudden stops, sharp turns, and a swift drop as you evade capture from The First Order.”
It then goes on to read that the minimum height requirement for Rise of the Resistance is 40 inches.
This is a bit surprising seeing as the attraction is based on the same trackless ride system found in the Ratatouille ride in Disneyland Paris for example. However, there are no “drops” on that ride. Trust me, otherwise, my wife would never have done it!
How Scary is the Rise of the Resistance Ride?
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a moderately scary ride, but not as scary as Expedition Everest or Tower of Terror. That said, you should be prepared for loud blasts, explosions, and intense battle scenes.
Something else to keep in mind is Star Wars Rise of the Resistance does have a “drop” in the escape pod that brings you back down to Batuu from the star destroyer. It isn’t anything too crazy, but it is just intense enough that not all guests will be able to handle it.
How high is the drop? The final drop on Rise of the Resistance is between 10 and 20 feet, though because of special effects it can feel like more.
It is a straight down drop like in Tower of Terror, only not nearly that high. 20 feet isn’t huge, but it isn’t small either so keep this all in mind when bringing little kids who frighten easily or big adults who do the same. 😉
A lot of people thought it was going to make the ride scary, but personally I don’t think it’s intense enough and almost everyone will be able to handle it no problem.
Will this Ride Make Me Sick?
This depends on what type of rides make you sick. There are many different ride systems throughout Rise of the Resistance, but none of them are overly fast or do jerky motions which you might normally think of getting sick from.
The main ride vehicle does slide through the hallways, turning the car in unexpected ways, but we never felt that it was overly fast and didn’t make us sick at all. It’s not like riding the Tea Cups for example.
Of course, you want to consult the board at the front of the ride entrance to read any warnings regarding health.
Riders must be in good health without high blood pressure, heart, neck or back issues. Motion sickness or other conditions may occur if you have a sensitivity to rapid motion, sudden turns, abrupt stops, and a “swift drop!”
Expectant mothers should not ride and children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by a person aged 14 or older.
Does Rise of the Resistance Have a Drop?
There is one small drop at the end of the attraction, but it’s not overly high, only about 10-20 feet. It’s over so quickly that you don’t even realize it’s happening before it’s already over.
Even if you don’t like drops, this is not something to be concerned about as it’s very small.
Does it Go Upside Down?
There are no loops or inversions in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so if that makes you nervous, there is no need to worry about this attraction.
Is Rise of the Resistance Kid-Friendly?
There is a height requirement of 40 inches, but Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is definitely kid-friendly. There are a lot of amazing animatronic figures, special effects, blasts and vehicles to look at which children will love.
If your kids are Star Wars fans, this is the ultimate ride for them!
Can I Opt-Out of Riding Once in the Queue?
If for some reason you get in the attraction queue and change your mind about riding Rise of the Resistance, you can opt-out and tell a Cast Member there at the end that you prefer not riding.
If you don’t want to ride the final part in the actual ride vehicle, it will at least give you an opportunity to see the pre-show, the space shuttle, and the Star Destroyer hangar bay. At that point just tell a Cast Member you don’t want to do the rest of the ride.
Does Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Have FastPass?
It will definitely have FastPass and FastPass+ options available in the future, but the Rise of the Resistance attraction will not have FastPass in either Disney World or Disneyland when it first opens up.
This is the same thing they did with the Millennium Falcon for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. That ride still doesn’t have a FastPass option either, but both Galaxy’s Edge rides will eventually.
Right now Disney is using the Virtual Queue and boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance. How long they continue to do this remains to be seen.
Does Rise of the Resistance Have a Single Rider Line?
While Rise of the Resistance does have a Single Rider line, at this time they are not using it. In the future this will change, but for the time being, even single riders have to get into a boarding group and go through the queue like the rest of the guests.
Does it Have Rider Switch?
For parents visiting Rise of the Resistance with small children, Disney offers the Rider Switch program (also called “Child Swap”) to allow both adults to ride.
This allows you to take turns with one person going on the ride and the other staying behind with your little one, and then switching, all the while not having to wait the full time in queue.
You will need to get a boarding pass as usual, but then when you arrive at the queue, see a Cast Member for more assistance.
How Long is the Attraction Queue?
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has one of the most interesting and detailed ride queues we’ve ever seen in a theme park and it will keep you busy for the entirety of your wait.
Once you get into the queue from the entrance, the wait is not very long. Right now Disney is using a virtual queue and boarding groups instead of a traditional stand-by line, and wait times are usually between 30 and 40 minutes.
Just because you might ride around Disney in a wheelchair or scooter, doesn’t mean you can’t experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance like everybody else. Disney is more than happy to accommodate guests who have special needs.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is accessible for ECV’s, Wheelchairs, and any other accessibility device.
The entire attraction queue is ECV-friendly and guests can stay in their wheelchairs, scooters or other accessibility devices up until the actual ride vehicle portion of the attraction. This includes the pre-show, space shuttle and Star Destroyer hanger portions of Rise of the Resistance.
- Just ask assistance from a Cast Member and they will then direct you to the loading area.
Guests can use ECVs (scooters, essentially) and wheelchairs up until boarding the ride vehicle and then must transfer. If you’re unable to transfer from your ECV you can still enjoy the in-queue interactivity, initial capture, and scope out the Stormtroopers in the airlock hangar, but you’ll be required to take the last chance exit before boarding the actual “ride” portion.
Does Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Accommodate Disability Access Service (DAS) card?
The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).
The DAS Card is accepted on Rise of the Resistance but there are a limited amount of riders it will take each day.
Guests using the DAS card still need to go through the same Virtual Queue Boarding Group System as all the other guests in the park. That means every member of your group must be present in Hollywood Studios to make a reservation.
Once your boarding group is called, go to the FastPass return line and you will be accommodated through the attraction queue.
What Characters are in Rise of the Resistance?
One of the cool parts about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride is that it’s full of your favorite characters from the actual Star Wars films. These are not voice doubles either, they got the actual same actors you see in the Star Wars films to reprise their roles for the ride. Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac all make appearances.
The characters on Rise of the Resistance come in the form of animatronics, holograms, videos and live actors.
Here is the list of characters that we know about so far that are in Rise of the Resistance:
- Poe Dameron
- Kylo Ren
- Nien Nunb
- Lieutenant Bek
- General Hux
- Vi Moradi
- Hundreds of Stormtroopers
- Dozens of First Order Officers
If you’re wondering who Vi Moradi is, she’s the resistance spy hiding in Black Spire Outpost that the stormtroopers and Kylo Ren are always looking for. She has a role in the new Star Wars attraction and welcomes guests while warning them of the dangers that lie ahead. I think this is a really cool idea to introduce a new character to the Star Wars universe through a ride and also have her walking around the land!
BB-8 and Rey play a big role in the pre-show for the ride, and Poe Dameron and Nien Nunb accompany you on your mission. While up in the First Order star destroyer in Rise of the Resistance you’ll run into Kylo Ren and dozens of stormtroopers who will be chasing you and trying to stop you from escaping.
Finn also has a big in the ride and has a secret plan for you to escape.
Here’s a look at the Kylo Ren animatronic that has been made for the ride:
This is one of the most impressive animatronic figures ever built and is part of the new A1000 series model which is a revolutionary step forward in AA figure design. These new audio-animatronics use “pancake” motors, making or much more realistic human-like movements.
Disney has also partnered up with Panasonic to develop custom-made projectors and lenses which increase lifelikeness throughout the ride and have you wondering which characters are real people and which fake.
If you want to read more about the roles these characters play in Star Wars Rise of the Resistance then read the walkthrough further down.
Ride Layout and Walkthrough
The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride is HUGE and it’s essentially 4 attractions built into 1 with guests boarding various ride vehicles, transports, and even walking the halls of a Star Destroyer as a prisoner.
We going to give you a walkthrough of the Rise of the Resistance Ride and share details and photos of every scene throughout the attraction.
Just as a warning, the below description is quite detailed so if you don’t want to know anything and would rather be surprised when visiting Galaxy’s Edge yourself, now is the time to back out.
Ok, everyone ready? Let’s start with the ride queue:
Everything starts outside the giant show building on the planet of Batuu where Galaxy’s Edge is based and a Resistance outpost. Of course, the Resistance is going to have an encounter with the First Order and that’s where you step in. Here outside the attraction is where your journey will begin.
In the model, you can see the layout for how every section of the ride is.
The backstory for Galaxy’s Edge is that the Resistance has built a new base on the remote planet of Batuu by carving out a cavern which is thousands of years old with lasers, to form their new base. It’s located just on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost giving it natural camouflage so as not to be discovered easily by First Order Troops.
To enter the queue you pass through the turret station outside:
In the future Rise of the resistance will have a FastPass system and a single rider option, though neither FastPass or single rider is currently available since the ride’s opening. They will both be available in the future however because as you can see in the model above, a FastPass scanner is set up on the right side and the line is divided.
Here is what the real attraction turnstiles look like and where you will enter:
Once you pass through the turnstiles your journey begins and the attraction queue winds back and forth outside for a considerable amount of time. This is a good place to look at the mountains from the outside that you will soon be entering.
As you follow the path you enter into the first part of the caverns and behind a waterfall visible from the outside. You immediately get the sense you are about to stumble upon something special.
As you enter the caverns, the beginnings of a Resistance base are immediately present. There are crates with supplies, wires running along the ceiling and exposed air ventilation systems.
Each room takes you deeper and deeper inside the cavern, and closer to the center of the Resistance base. Tools for maintaining the infrastructure are on crates:
There are rolled-up wires and cables:
There are dozens of crates filled with supplies for the mission:
Pipes line the ceiling:
The level of detail you find inside the queue is unparalleled!
One of my favorite additions is the benches built into the walls. Throughout the queue, there are multiple spots where you can take a minute to rest your feet as you are waiting in line. And the way Imagineering designed them is brilliant as they fit flawlessly into the theming of the queue.
Eventually, you make it into the heart of the base where you find the war rooms and the armory.
This board holds the Resistance plans and looks just like what you see in the Rebel/Resistance bases from the Star Wars films:
I’m very impressed with the walls, which have a very similar look and feel to what you find in the Smugglers Run queue. The lines in the concrete make it look like the Resistance has carved through the mountain, and the walls look like they are crumbling apart:
There are even supports in the tunnel to keep the ceiling up:
You can also look down to see the amazing details on the floor, like these tracks in the pavement:
Next, we make it into the armory where Resistance forces come to gather equipment before going on missions or when defending the base:
These cages are filled with various blaster models that would thrill any Star Wars nut:
Each room is filled with Easter Eggs to explore and you could walk through here dozens of times and still not see everything:
The new Play Disney Parks app interacts with Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in both the Rise of the Resistance and Smugglers Run attraction queues. By playing you’ll learn more about the attractions which will help you to complete your mission and make the experience all the more interactive.
Also in the armory are the flight suits and battle attire Resistance forces wear:
Where can I get a suit like this??
Pilot helmets can also be found and if you look closely, you can see how many enemy ships they’ve shot down:
We’ve almost made it to the mission briefing. Here toward the end of the queue, FastPass+ and Standby lines merge together in another war room, and you are then gathered to wait in groups of 45-55 people in front of large blaster doors before entering:
Once the door opens, it’s time to start the show!
Star Wars Rise of the Resistance is a revolutionary ride and the next chapter in how queues and pre-shows are integrated into a ride. This is the highest form of immersion and the ride and story start from the pre-show.
This is where the mission briefing gets underway and a BB-8 animatronic droid appears who prepares you for your briefing.
To the right of BB-8, a Hologram of Rey appears asking you to join their cause in fighting the First Order.
This is your first exposure to the many characters throughout Rise of the Resistance as Rey, Finn, Poe and other characters from the new series play a big part in this attraction. I love hearing the voices of the actual actors that play those roles in the films and it adds something special to the ride.
The Rey hologram is done well, if not a touch small considering the room. The technology works well though and the color and clarity of the image is spot on.
Also in this room, you get a mission briefing from Lieutenant Bek and Nien Nunb who will be piloting the shuttle you will be taking for your secret mission. I liked the way they were transmitted through the screens in front and it felt like a real mission briefing.
You then find out the news that Poe Dameron will be personally escorting you on your mission in his X-Wing…no safer hands to be in!
The doors open up and you enter the courtyard where your transport shuttle will be taking you to your mission:
If you look to the right, you’ll see Poe’s X-Wing parked on the side:
Poe Dameron’s X-Wing is the black and orange one we’ve seen photos of and can only be seen in the queue for Rise of the Resistance, you can’t see it from anywhere else in Galaxy’s Edge.
The scale and size of both ships is made to scale, and they are very impressive to look at. While not as big, they are built realistically like the Millennium Falcon over in Black Spire Outpost.
Walk through the courtyard and head to the shuttle and wait for the doors to open. This is where your mission, and the fun begins!
You may remember this is the same shuttle that we saw at the Galaxy’s Edge model in Hollywood Studios two years before opening:
The official name is an Intersystem Transport Ship, or I-TS.
Here is what it looks like life-sized:
Guests enter the side door of the shuttle which holds between 30-50 passengers.
Once you enter the shuttle you see a Nien Nunb animatronic figure waiting at the wheel to take you to your mission, and also Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari communications officer.
One thing that is different from most rides is that you won’t be sitting down in the shuttle, you’ll be standing for the whole ride.
Here is a look at the inside of the shuttle, no seats to be found:
Take off commences and a very realistic space travel simulation begins. The amazing part though is how realistic all of this is. The shuttle simulates space travel and does a very convincing to make you feel like you are traveling through space. You can even feel the ground shaking underneath their feet as the ship takes off to bring you to your mission.
I thought the simulation would be a bit stronger so I was worried that standing up wouldn’t be the best idea, but you immediately understand this is not a simulation on the level of Smugglers Run or Star Tours. Don’t expect something that shakes you around that much.
The shuttle has those realistic windows that make it look as if you were looking out into space, and are really cool to look at during all phases of the ride and give you different views and action during the take-off, flying and capture parts.
These windows are very well done, and the graphics they use to portray space are top-notch. I can’t wait to see these windows in action in the Space 220 restaurant and onboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel!
Of course, things go wrong and the shuttle gets intercepted by a First Order Star Destroyer, being sucked into its bay with a tractor beam. You even get General Hux on the video screen telling you to lower your shields and prepare to be boarded!
I was so excited by this part because it really imitates some of the great moments in the Star Wars films, and you get the same feeling those characters must have had during that time. I was also excited because I knew what was coming up next…the big payoff!
Disney Imagineers pull off one of the first “tricks” they play on guests during Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and has been likened to the Haunted Mansion’s “stretching room” scene. Of course, you entered the shuttle from the ground level and think the shuttle is moving and rising in height, but it never leaves the ground.
The shuttle is actually on a giant turntable and unknowingly to guests, it slowly rotates the pre-show space shuttle vehicle 180 degrees. When the doors to the shuttle open you find yourself in the middle of a gigantic, First Order star destroyer bay! Looking back on early construction photos of the Rise of the Resistance attraction, you can see the mechanism which will make this trick possible.
Imagine opening the shuttle door and seeing this scene!
Once you enter the Star Destroyer hanger is where things really start to get crazy! The scale of everything in this room is INSANE and bigger than anything ever seen in a Disney ride. The room is filled with 50 stormtroopers, and even a TIE Fighter mounted on the wall ready for action.
I have personally stepped into this space, and I can attest to the fact that it’s bigger than any attraction room Disney has ever built before and makes you feel like you are right there. I was speechless when I stepped onto that Star Destroyer floor for the first time.
The outer space look Disney makes possible using screen technology, and a giant high-definition screen over 100 feet long which will even simulate open space through the hanger door with First Order ships flying by!
The other effects are made possible by the giant props Disney has created for this room, and the over 50 stormtroopers present, some animatronic and some real actors.
If you watch the stormtroopers closely, some of them even turn their heads slightly to watch you as you file by. A truly creepy and incredibly awesome touch!
From here you are brought into the next show space, a long detention hallway that brings to mind a scene out of the films. The walls look authenticly First Order and all the details are here. Look at the intricate details, even in the ceiling above you:
At the end of the hallway, you’ll find the detention block, where you will be held for interrogation. Most of the First Order troops in this area are actors, and they play the parts brilliantly.
They are dead-serious in their roles as First Order bad-guys, and I had to laugh out loud because of how mean some of them were. Tremendous job here!
You are then split up into smaller groups of 16 guests and lead down the hallway to your detention cell, awaiting interrogation. I thought the transition here was super smooth, not a lot of wait time, and cast members do an awesome job of keeping everyone organized.
Groups are organized by color and then lead into the cells.
The cells are a strange, triangular shape, with a very tall ceiling, and seemingly no way out. Looking up you’ll see stormtroopers keeping guard over your until Kylo Ren and General Hux arrive.
This effect is done using screen technology, and we have to say, it’s done well. The figures are convincing and since it’s done far enough away, you have to wonder if they could perhaps be actors.
A really cool touch is the variable movements of the stormtroopers on top. One time through we were forced to wait a solid 3-4 minutes for the interrogation to begin. In the meantime the stormtrooper watching us kept getting agitated, moving nervously, shaking his head, moving his gun, all the while clanking his armor around. It had everyone laughing, and was a humorous touch.
After the interrogation is over and it looks like you’re never getting out of there, rescue arrives! One panel of the wall lights up and is blasted away by Resistance troops on the other side of the wall who have infiltrated the Star Destroyer to get you out!
In this room two of the trackless ride vehicles are waiting to help you escape!
The Ride vehicles have an “onboard droid that reacts to its surroundings” and is your guide on this crazy ride through the spaceship hallways.
Here are the ride floor prints for Rise of the Resistance. There are 2 floors, and this gives you an idea of the layout. Floor 1:
All of this will be done in your ride vehicle that we showed you earlier.
You’ll board your ride vehicles, and ride through the halls looking to escape. Each vehicle holds 8 people and you’ll be traveling through the star destroyer 2 vehicles at a time, yours and right alongside another one. Along the way, you’ll run into a whole bunch of stormtroopers, human and animatronic, through which you’ll have to fight your way out!
Disney has even developed a technology that simulates laser blasts moving through the air, so get ready to do a lot of ducking to dodge the incoming Stormtrooper fire.
Stormtroopers appear overhead on walkways and are constantly barraging your vehicles with laser fire, all the while causing major damage to the walls of the hallways.
One of the coolest scenes in the whole Rise of the Resistance ride though is when you make it into the room Disney has built holding 2 giant AT-AT walkers! When they find you trying to escape, they open fire on you.
Just how big are they? Look at these cool shots from inside the Rise of the Resistance attraction, taken back when the construction was in the early stages:
These are the giant AT-AT walkers that will stand in your way as you try to escape!
Here’s what it is like as you enter the room with the AT-ATs:
Your vehicles winds in and around the feet of the AT-ATs, until jumping into an elevator to the next floor up. This whole effect works amazingly well, and in executed to perfection, with your car just narrowly missing taking damage from the heavy laser fire.
In the room with the AT-ATs the two trackless vehicles become separated, and Finn arrives to provide cover fire as you escape. Each vehicle goes up a separate elevator shaft on opposite sides of the room, where you are transferred up 40 feet into the second floor of the attraction building.
At various points in the attraction, you will actually have an encounter with Kylo Ren. In fact, Kylo will make multiple appearances throughout the ride, chasing after and trying to stop you from escaping.
The first encounter happens when you arrive at the ship bridge where he and General Hux are having a conversation and you see dozens of Resistance ships arrive in front of them to rescue you.
Your vehicle frantically leaves the room, only to be chased down by Kylo. The figure appears out of nowhere, and Kylo ignites his lightsaber in rage. Just when you think you’ve escaped down the elevator, Kylo jumps on top, slicing his blade through the elevator ceiling. This was one of my favorite effects and a very scary moment!
Back down on the bottom floor, there is a gun room and an amazing scene outside the windows as the ion cannons trade fire with the incoming Resistance ships, and TIE Fighters and X-Wings to battle. The laser effects are awesome and completely mesmerizing to watch, just one of the many.
You’ll even see some massive laser cannons firing on the Resistance ships up-close from inside the Star Destroyer!
The last and climactic confrontation with Kylo Ren happens here. Kylo threatens and it seems as if you are trapped, when suddenly the wall explodes behind him, causing him to be knocked off balance. The ceiling falls down around him, giving you just enough time to make your way towards the escape pods to leave the ship before The Resistance blows the whole thing up.
Your vehicle drives into a loading bay, where it connects with the escape pod, to fly back down to Batuu. You can even see your droid still in front, at the controls.
This might be the most epic and thrilling part of the ride as there is a “drop” here while the escape pods fly back down. There will be only 1 drop in the escape pod, and it’s only 10-20 feet high, so not quite as scary as we had thought it might be before riding.
Disney has created an advanced simulation for this part of the ride which makes you feel like you are being jettisoned from the star destroyer. Don’t worry though, it’s not overly intense and nothing like Tower of Terror. The vast majority of guests will be able to handle it no problem. In fact, I was hoping for something that was more intense than this.
You are launched out of the star destroyer and get a view of the battle you just left.
Here is a look at what the escape pod is supposed to look like outside:
You can see the nose of another escape pod sticking out from the wreck which has landed back down on Batuu when you leave the attraction:
This pod has Lieutenant Bek inside as he has also made it safely off the star destroyer:
Here is a look at the inside of the unloading area where you make your crash landing:
Once you arrive on Batuu, you will then be recognized as a Resistance hero and having had an instrumental part in taking down the First Order!
VIDEO: Full Ride POV
If you don’t mind spoilers and want to see this attraction in action, then watch our Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Full Ride POV Video. In the video we show each show scene and you can see all the surprises.
Just be warned it contains spoilers!
Here is the Rise of the Resistance ride video.
When is the Rise of the Resistance Ride Opening?
So this all sounds fantastic, but When does Rise of the Resistance open? Unfortunately, the epic ride did not open with the grand opening of either Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland on May 31 nor Disney World on August 29. Those are being called: “Phase 1” of Galaxy’s Edge.
Instead, Rise of the Resistance opens during the “Phase 2” part of Galaxy’s Edge. Thankfully as you are reading this post, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is already open in Walt Disney World. It opened on December 5, 2019.
That means that the waiting is over if you are going to Disney World soon.
While close, Rise of the Resistance is not yet open in Disneyland, but we don’t have long to wait. The opening date there is:
Disneyland: January 17, 2019
But wait, didn’t Galaxy’s Edge open in Disneyland before the one in Hollywood Studios? Now you’re telling me it opened first in Disney World??
It is shocking and the fact that Star Wars: Rise of the resistance opened first in Walt Disney World was a big surprise to many, seeing as Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland has been open since May 31, and the Disney World only since August 29. They had a whole three months more than the Hollywood Studios version of the ride to get it ready, and yet it’s opening 1 month later?
Disney hasn’t given an official reason for the bigger delay at Disneyland, but the extra time apparently doesn’t matter. I’m not sure what the exact problem with the Rise of the Resistance ride in Disneyland is and why there’s a difference between the two but we have a couple of things it could be that we’ll get into later.
Ironically December 5 is Walt Disney’s birthday so no doubt Disney chose this date with a specific purpose in mind.
The Delayed Opening
A couple of months back Disney CEO Bob Iger made the shocking announcement during a conference call where the Galaxy’s Edge opening dates were announced. The phone call was already filled with bombs once we found out Galaxy’s Edge was opening earlier than previously thought, but finding out the epic Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction was delayed was certainly a huge pill to swallow.
Both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions of the attraction.
In fact, Galaxy’s Edge is opening in two phases, and Rise of the Resistance was not included in the initial openings in either park. The first phase included Oga’s Cantina, Docking Bay 7, the other food kiosks, shops and the other attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
However, separate openings for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance were scheduled for Phase 2.
Why Was Rise of the Resistance Delayed?
There are multiple reasons for the delay, but the main reason was that Disney was having trouble with the trackless ride system for Rise of the Resistance, and couldn’t get it ready in time for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s been very problematic, and difficult to keep running correctly for long periods of time.
Even on opening day in Hollywood Studios and since then, Rise of the Resistance has had some problems staying open and has experienced short closures.
The problem is with 4 different ride systems in play, all working together, if one of them goes down, the whole ride goes down. So keeping such a complex system working in unison has been a challenge.
Another reason was that there just wasn’t enough manpower to go around to do the work quickly enough. All hands were on deck to get the rest of Galaxy’s Edge ready in time for the opening in Disneyland and Disney World, and there just weren’t enough workers to finish RotR in time.
Lastly, the ride vehicles themselves are a big reason for the delay. Apparently the ride vehicles were not fitted for ADA originally which has led to a complicated process of cutting the doors in half and adding hinges so they can open properly. Since there are 38 ride vehicles to do this with, we’re talking about months of work.
I’m not sure why this wasn’t thought of to begin with, and it’s been a big waste of time and money to fix it…
Since then we’ve seen Rise of the Resistance open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and we are patiently awaiting the January 17, 2020 opening in Disneyland.
My only concern before opening was being able to keep Rise of the Resistance working properly, and for a long period of time without too much downtime. I definitely don’t want to have another Hagrid’s coaster on our hands here.
This has been a problem somewhat in Hollywood Studios up to this point with downtime happening every day.
The last thing you want is to make a trip all the way to Disney for this ride, only to have it close every day. Imagine waking up early to get in line for a boarding pass, only to get evacuated and not be able to ride!
This was the reason for the delay to begin with and Disney wanted to test it out as much as possible before opening it.
I’m just hoping now that Rise of the Resistance is open, they’ve worked out all the kinks in it and things go as smoothly as possible. There are so many moving parts in this attraction, a big part of the reason for the delay has been trying to get everything perfect for guests.
Will there be Soft Openings for Rise of the Resistance?
The ride’s opening in Hollywood Studios has already come and gone without an Annual Passholder preview or soft opening. However, just recently, Disney has announced that Disneyland Cast Members will be the first ones to ride the West coast version of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
They will be part of the Cast Member previews starting January 8th and lasting through January 17th, 2020.
Disney will use the Cast Members to try out how the Virtual Queue works here, and fix any bugs they might come across.
With Rise of the Resistance being so complex, Disney will still continue to do testing non-stop until the official opening and will use all remaining time to make the opening in Disneyland a bit smoother than the Hollywood Studios version, hopefully with less ride downtime.
At this point, it doesn’t look like there will be any Disneyland Annual Passholder soft openings, but we’ll update you if something changes.
Wait Times and Touring Strategy
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an incredible attraction, but how long are those wait times and what type of touring strategy should you use to best see the ride?
Since the attraction has only been open for a short time, it’s hard to predict just how long the wait time will be on a regular basis. Looking back at previous attraction debuts can give us an idea of what to expect.
There have been some very long wait times for E-Ticket attraction openings in Walt Disney World recently. Frozen Ever After, Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash and Smugglers Run all had wait times of 5+ hours on opening day, and most sustained high wait times months or more after.
With the amount of hype this ride got before opening and the early success already, Rise of the Resistance might break wait time records in the short-term and long-term future.
Disney has chosen to employ its Virtual Queue system for Rise of the Resistance, and so far it has been extremely popular. In the first couple of weeks of operation, Disney was forced to open the park hours before the official opening time, and all boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance were sold out before 9 am.
Since then Disney has slightly modified this plan and is now opening the park early, but opening the boarding groups at the same time the park officially opens.
These changes have drastically modified any touring strategy you might have thought about using previously and has made keeping up with it an almost daily occurrence.
In the future, Disney will get rid of the Virtual Queue for this ride, but projecting how long the queue will be after opening day and in the coming months for Rise of the Resistance is where things get tricky.
In busy times of the year, even more than 2 years after opening, Flight of Passage has been able to consistently draw lines of 2-3+ hours on a daily basis, and 1-2 hours during less busy times. At least as much should be expected for this ride.
We already told you that FastPass+ won’t be an option for Rise of the Resistance when it opens, which means getting there early.
Make sure to read our Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups Guide for more information.
Rope-dropping RotR and How Early You Need to Be There
Now we’re going to give you some general strategy for rope dropping Rise of the Resistance and tell you what time you should be there in the coming days and months.
If you are going to be in Disney World in the coming months you basically have three options:
- Go to Hollywood Studios and experience Rise of the Resistance
- Go to Hollywood Studios and skip Rise of the Resistance
- Or, Don’t go to Hollywood Studios and go to another park.
Some Disney fans wanted to avoid Galaxy’s Edge when it first opened and will also want to avoid Rise of the Resistance for some time. We are adamant that if even if you don’t like Star Wars, this is a must-ride attraction and should not be skipped. However, to have success, you just need to have a good plan.
At times during the first couple of weeks of operation, Hollywood Studios opened as much as 2 and 3 hours EARLIER than the listed opening time. That means if the park had a listed 9 am opening time, there was a good chance it was already open by 6 or 7 am.
The problem then is that all those guests entering the park in the early morning started booking their reservations for Rise of the Resistance, and by the original park opening time all the boarding passes are already gone for the day.
Disney has since changed this and they are now only letting guests in about 30 to 45 minutes before the official opening time. They have changed the Virtual Queue and Boarding Group process and made it fairer for all guests.
Now they are only allowing guests to enter boarding groups at the official park opening. This negates a bit of the need to arrive hours early, and as long as you are through the tap points at the park entrance before park opening, you have just as much chance as anyone else to get a boarding pass.
Also the addition of “Backup Boarding Groups” has also changed the strategy for riding, and has made it much easier for guests.
For the last few times when there has been a 7 am opening, the normal groups have been selling out about 45 minutes after park opening. The backup groups however, have still been available until roughly 9:30 am.
You are not guaranteed to ride if you are in a backup group, but Disney has been improving ride capacity greatly since the opening and the boarding groups have reached all the way up to 192 so far!
Still, to get a backup boarding group, you need to be there in the morning before 9:30 am when they tend to sell out. Then depending on how high your number is, you can decide whether to stay in the park and do other things or come back later in the evening.
Seeing this is the current situation, our advice is still to go to bed early the night before and get to Hollywood Studios early, you just don’t have to get there at 4 am anymore. Our advice is to be there 1 hour before opening, in order to give yourself enough time to get through security and into the park before the opening.
If Hollywood Studios is opening at 7 am on the day you want to go, don’t expect to come walking up to the gate at 7:00 am and get right on.
Nothing would be worse than to take your family vacation to Walt Disney World thinking to be able to ride Rise of the Resistance, only to show up in the park and all the boarding passes are gone.
Show up 1 hour earlier than the listed time to be safe and secure a spot on the ride.
That will give you enough time to make it ahead of the majority of the crowds and be in one of the guaranteed boarding groups to ride Rise of the Resistance that day.
Technically you can come later (up until 9:30 am) and score one of those backup passes, but again, there is no guarantee Disney will serve guests in your backup group if the ride is running slower than normal that day. Plus, if you are planning on touring the whole park and doing other things, you don’t want a backup group. You need to use that time for touring other attractions in the park before the crowds come in.
In that case for a 7 am opening, we still say to be there by 6 am, especially during the busy season. If it’s a 6 am opening, be there by 5 am.
*This is a fluid situation however and things are changing almost on a daily basis.
Read our Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups and Virtual Queue Guide for more detailed instructions.
Also to keep in mind, even if you show up early, you can’t ride it multiple times because Disney has limited the amount of times you can ride it for the moment, but you will still be more likely to get on the ride.
Here is our current touring recommendation for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance –
- Show up 1 hour before park opening.
- Once you enter the park, immediately look to see if the Virtual Queue is open using My Disney Experience.
- Keep checking My Disney Experience to join a boarding group. This should be right around the listed park opening time.
- Once you get your boarding group number, go off and do some of the other Hollywood Studios attractions on your list while you wait for your turn to be called.
- When your boarding number is called and your turn is ready, you have 2 hours to return. Come back on the later side and use that time to do some other attractions.
- If your number is more than 80, there is even time to leave the park and come back later.
- Once you are ready, head to Galaxy’s Edge to ride the attraction.
- Continue to do the other tasks on your to-do list
This should give you the best opportunity to do Rise of the Resistance and whatever else you want to get done in Hollywood Studios.
I know getting up early is going to be a pain, and not ideal when on vacation, but it’s going to help save you more time in the long run, and if you really want to guarantee you get to ride this attraction, you honestly don’t have a choice.
Disney has said there aren’t any special extra magic hours for the attraction at this point, which might seem strange at first, but is being done for a reason. There are Evening Extra Magic Hours but Star Wars Rise of the Resistance is not currently running during that time. Most likely they want to save some of that as a spill-over in case there were delays during the day.
Disney also wants to balance having huge crowds in line for their ground-breaking new attraction, but at the same time not scare away half of the visitors who are afraid of the large crowds. It’s a balancing act which they should do a better job with this time around.
We’ll keep an eye on this and continue to update our rope-dropping strategy for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in the weeks to come.
If you would like to know more about how long you can expect to wait for other attractions and experiences in Galaxy’s Edge, and how to avoid the lines, check out our Star Wars Land Wait Times Guide.
I think it’s safe to say that the demise of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was greatly overestimated. It’s almost impossible for an attraction such as this to actually live up to the hype that it was given beforehand. When you follow the progress of a new ride for years, more often than not it ends up disappointing, even if it is a good ride. I can firmly say, that’s not the case here.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was everything we hoped it would turn out to be, and more!
As I’m thinking about it, it would be a disservice to even call this a ride. It’s an adventure. An experience. I don’t know what it is exactly, only that I love it and want to go on it over and over again.
Disney needed a win to shut up the Star Wars Land haters, and boy are they silent now. Anyone who thought that Galaxy’s Edge was going to be a flop was on some strong stuff and they look pretty silly right now.
What We Love about Rise of the Resistance
This is a long list and there isn’t much we don’t love about it.
While we were initially thrown off by the Virtual Queue showing up on opening day (it should have been obvious in hindsight), we have to say Disney has figured out a nearly flawless system to get people into the attraction in the most painless way possible.
Yes, there were a few kinks to work out on opening day, and a ride of this magnitude is bound to have a few hiccups now and then, but going through the boarding process is seamless and easy. Also, the fact that you don’t have to wait in line for 7+ hours like I feared, is a huge plus and means that you can spend your valuable vacation time on other rides in the meantime.
Queue – Let’s get into the ride queue. While not quite as good as Flight of Passage or Smugglers Run, this is still an amazing work of art and gets you immersed in the story right from the beginning. I love all the details with the tools, crates, pipes and then into the armory where you find the blasters and flight suits.
A great touch to the queue are also the many benches located throughout, which give guests a chance to sit down and take a load off if the line slows down.
Storytelling – Disney does a tremendous job selling the story for Rise of the Resistance, and makes you believe you are part of the secret mission you are about to go on. Some other Disney attractions are fun to ride, but lacking in story. That is not true with Rise of the Resistance.
One of the big pluses was the way they bring you from room to room, and making you feel a sense of urgency while doing it. The story is easy to follow and compelling. You feel like you are really part of the Resistance, and for a minute you wonder if you really will be able to pull this thing off.
The attraction is built as a 3-Act show, with the intro, the middle and the climactic end, and it does that better than any attraction we’ve been on.
Pre-Show – The pre-show is pretty cool and we like having BB-8 in there, though he probably could have had a bigger role. The hologram of Rey however, was sharp and looked realistic like the ones from the Star Wars films do.
Music – A huge part of the attraction is the killer soundtrack. This really made you get in the mood as you can hear some classic Star Wars music in each area, selling to you the idea that you are in a movie.
Variety of Ride Systems – You are never bored here because you are always finding some new ride system to get into, which keeps you on your toes the whole time. Though the best part is when you get to the trackless vehicle, all the others in between were fun and definitely added to the ride.
Size – The fact that Disney Imagineering was able to pull off something this big is almost unbelievable. I knew it was big going in, but until you step inside that Star Destroyer hangar bay, you have no idea the size and scope of this attraction.
Then in the AT-AT room, they are equally as impressive and built to-size. You feel like a little ant under their feet and wonder how they could be so big.
Characters – Both the audio-animatronics and live actors were spot-on and incredible to witness. The actors who play the First Order officers in the detention block, are incredibly believable and really mean! I had to hold back multiple times from laughing because their one-liners were so good.
The characters on screens and as animatronics were so realistic, many in our group thought they were real people playing the roles and not fake. All of this puts you into the story and sells everything perfectly.
What Could Have Been Better
Now that we’ve gushed all over it, Rise of the Resistance is not a perfect attraction and does have some flaws.
Consistency of the Ride – The biggest problem we have with Rise of the Resistance is that at this time is just not a consistent and reliable ride experience. Of course, there are always bugs, especially with a ride this big, but at times the amount of stops or the ride actually shutting down can diminish the experience.
Almost every day so far the ride has experienced significant downtime, with guests being evacuated off the attraction. When there are technical problems this also creates long pauses in the action which can be distracting and take you out of “the moment.”
On our first ride through, we were lucky enough to do the entire experience from start to finish without interruptions, and it was brilliant. On our second time through, however, there were two large pauses in the experience that would have drastically affected our thoughts if we hadn’t already gone through once before.
I’m sure these will get ironed out the more Disney is able to test the attraction and fix these bugs.
More Thrills – Though it’s not a boring attraction by any means, we were actually hoping that it would be a bit more intense than the final product. The shuttle ride at the beginning is fairly tame and it’s not even necessary to hold on to the handles during space travel.
The final scene which we heard so much about, especially “the drop,” turned out to be nothing more than a speed bump and not scary at all. We know Disney was aiming to please everyone with this ride, but we would have liked to see these parts just a tad more intense to offer more thrills.
Longer – Let me be clear, you can’t call any 18-minute attraction short, and there is definitely a lot to see and do here, but our favorite part was inside the trackless ride vehicle, and that lasts just over 4 minutes long. We were having so much fun that it felt like we were just getting started when we entered the escape pod and jettisoned from the Star Destroyer.
The truth is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is hard to put into words. You can compare it to a million other attractions (it is a mix of many), but until you experience it yourself, it’s impossible to quantify in words.
So is it the absolute best attraction in Walt Disney World? That’s a tough question for me and I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment and make some rash decision only because of the excitement of it being so new.
That being the case, we say yes. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the best attraction currently in Walt Disney World, and only rivaled by Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure in Shanghai Disneyland for the title of best theme park attraction in the world.
Previously I would have said Flight of Passage is the best in WDW, and while they are close, RotR wins out by the slimmest of margins. (See the Subheading Below for a RotR vs Flight of Passage comparison). This might change the more I think about it, but as of now we’re sticking to our opinion and saying it’s true.
Even if you don’t agree with us 100%, it’s undeniable that it’s at least one of the top attractions in Disney World. Disney knocked this one out of the park and it will be a must-do ride for years to come!
Is it Worth It?
After reading all the procedures and strategies required just to get on the attraction, is it worth all the effort? Is it really that good?
To us, this is the most complete, and most immersive attraction we’ve ever experienced. Even though I’m not a morning person by any means, even I don’t have a problem waking up to get in line by 6 am to ride this thing.
It’s something that just has to be experienced to understand fully.
Will I like Rise of the Resistance Even if I Don’t Like Star Wars?
You don’t need to be a fan of the Star Wars franchise to enjoy the Rise of the Resistance ride. I fell asleep during Avatar, and Flight of Passage is one of my favorite theme park attractions of all time!
This ride is so immersive, there are so many cool effects and it’s all done on a scale that has never been seen before that even if you’ve never seen a Star Wars film, you will still like Rise of the Resistance.
There is no reason if you are in Disney World not to go, and it’s a must-experience ride for everyone!
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance vs. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Comparing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is inevitable because they are the only two attractions in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, it’s not much of a comparison and Rise of the Resistance is the vastly superior attraction.
They are both based on the Star Wars franchise, and they both have aspects of flight simulation. But that’s where the similarities stop.
These are the differences between the two Star Wars rides:
- Smugglers Run is interactive and Rise of the Resistance is passive – Smugglers Run is more like a video game and your participation has an outcome if the mission goes well. While you do interact with characters in Rise of the Resistance, what you do doesn’t matter. That said, Rise does an incredible job of making you feel like you are part of the story.
- Ride Systems – Rise of the Resistance is a mix of ride systems and is a supped-up dark ride at its core. Smugglers Run is a straight flight simulator.
- Size and Scope – Smugglers Run feels much smaller and more intimate, whereas Rise of the Resistance is the biggest attraction Disney has ever built.
- Queues – The queue for the Rise of the Resistance ride takes you into an ancient cavern where the Resistance has built a secret base. Smugglers Run takes you into a mechanic shop and on the iconic Millennium Falcon.
Which ride is more fun? We’re going with Rise of the Resistance all the way! Even though we love Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, this attraction is just on a whole other level.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was always supposed to be the main E-Ticket attraction in Galaxy’s Edge. The only reason Smugglers Run has been thought of that way is because it was the only ride operational when Galaxy’s Edge opened. Rise was made to be the crown jewel all along.
Now that’s not to say that every aspect of Rise of the Resistance is superior to Smugglers Run. For example, we prefer the ride queue for Smugglers Run more. Even though the Resistance base is cool and all, nothing beats the feeling of stepping on board the Millenium Falcon and chilling for a while in the Main Hold.
That said, if you are in Galaxy’s Edge and only have time for one attraction, make it Rise of the Resistance.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance vs. Flight of Passage
This is where the comparisons get trickier. Since opening in 2017, Flight of Passage has been the most popular attraction in Walt Disney World and naturally will be compared to the Rise of the Resistance ride. How do they stack up?
They are both vastly different attractions. You are suspended in mid-air on a banshee on Flight of Passage, but all the action takes place on a screen. Rise of the Resistance does have some screens, but the majority of the ride takes place in an actual set, with real props, audio-animatronics and some live actors too.
Here are some aspects of each ride and which one we feel does a better job in that area:
Queue – Flight of Passage. As cool as it is to walk inside a Resistance base, we actually like the Flight of Passage queue slightly better. We love the transition and story that is told going from the caves, through the bioluminescent forest, to the ACE lab and testing facility. Plus the blue Na’vi in the tank still blows our minds!
Pre-Show – Rise. Where are we counting the pre-show as being here? Even if you aren’t including the hanger bay and detention cells, I’ll give BB-8 and Rey the advantage over the videos in Flight.
Storytelling/Immersiveness – Rise. Flight of Passage tells a story through the experience of flying. While that is cool, Rise of the Resistance is the most immersive ride experience anywhere. The way you are brought from room to room and the way the story follows you, is truly incredible!
Thrills – Flight of Passage. Our one critique with Rise of the Resistance is we thought it could have been slightly more thrilling. It’s trying to appeal to the entire family, but we would have enjoyed it more if it were just a bit more intense. Flight of Passage, on the other hand, has big drops, sharp turns and gives you the exhilaration of flying.
Re-Rideability – Both rides can be experienced time and time again. Flight of Passage never gets old to us, but we give a slight edge to Rise. The paths you take through the Star Destroyer are slightly different depending on which car you are sitting in, plus there are so many different details to look at inside the ride, it would take dozens of times to see them all.
Uniqueness and Fun Factor – Tie. Rise of the Resistance is perhaps the most unique attraction ever experienced before. However, in almost 3 years we’ve never walked off Flight of Passage without a huge smile on our face either. We say push.
Overall both rides are amazing, and we hate to have to choose. However, if forced to pick we give the slight edge to Rise of the Resistance, an attraction unlike anything else that’s been created in a theme park.
Should I Visit Rise of the Resistance in 2020? In 2021?
We get how great this attraction is, but when is the best time to visit it? Wen will the crowds die down? Should you book your trip to Disney World for Rise of the Resistance in 2020? 2021? Or wait even longer?
We feel strongly that the Rise of the Resistance ride needs to be experienced ASAP. Here’s why…
Crowds Will Not Get Shorter Anytime Soon – I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the crowds for Rise of the Resistance are not going anywhere. Yes, crowds were low for Galaxys’ Edge during the first months, but a large part of guests was waiting to go, specifically, so they could experience this ride.
Flight of Passage still has lines 3-4 hours long during the busy periods of the year, and we’re talking about Star Wars here.
Crowds are not going to be lower in 2020, one because of people coming just for this ride, but also Disney is opening up two other big attractions, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot.
2021 will be no better with all the 50th Anniversary hoopla being planned, plus even more new attractions. You could risk waiting until 2022, but we don’t know what will be happening then, and it’s just as likely you’ll hit huge crowds there too.
Changes to the Ride – Right now Rise of the Resistance is brand new and everything is working great. However, at some point, especially when a ride is this complex, things are bound to break. It’s not a guarantee though that Disney will get around to fixing them soon, if ever (hello Yeti).
Honestly Rise of the Resistance is worth it as a ride, to be experienced now. You might as well go as soon as you can while it is running in perfect condition and before the crowds get even bigger.
Yes, Rise of the Resistance is now open! It opened December 5, 2019 in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is opening January 17, 2020 in Disneyland Park.
Rise of the Resistance isn’t like going on It’s a Small World, that’s for sure. It is an intense ride with very realistic battle scenes with laser fire, explosions, and loud noises. There’s also a “drop” during the ride, but not in the Tower of Terror category.
Riders for this attraction must be at least 40 inches tall and not have any serious medical issues.
It will have 4 different ride systems, all different and all forming one epic storytelling experience.
Right now there is no FastPass option for Rise of the Resistance. That will change in the future as they did build a FastPass queue. Right now they are using the Virtual Queue system which replaces the need for FastPass.
Unfortunately at this time, there is no single rider option for Rise of the Resistance. That will most likely change in the future as the infrastructure is in place for one.
No, it’s a combination of different ride systems, but a roller coaster is not one of them.
No, Rise of the Resistance is not a 3D attraction. However, it does utilize screens in many scenes throughout the attraction. Don’t worry though if those 3D glasses make you motion-sick, there is no need for them here.
This is a mostly indoor attraction and does not close when there is bad weather, it’s raining or there are thunderstorms. There is one outdoor part, but even that is covered by a roof so you won’t get wet.
Unfortunately at this time Rise of the Resistance does not have an on-ride photo or use PhotoPass. There are plenty of amazing spots where you can take photos though, so get ready for some awesome selfies.
Water fountains can be found in the queue for Rise of the Resistance, and you can drink water if thirsty.
While there aren’t restrooms technically inside the queue, you can be escorted to the restrooms by a Cast Member without losing your place in line.
Other Rise of the Resistance News
Hollywood Studios Changes Opening Hours
Disney has been changing the Hollywood Studios opening procedure and park operating hours almost daily from the time Rise of the Resistance has opened.
For most days in December, that means a 7 am opening time, and some days as early as 6 am. Early park hours continue also into January. They have also been changing at what time guests can start entering the virtual queue.
Read our Hollywood Studios Hours post for more info.
Guests Limited to One Ride Per Day for Rise of the Resistance
Only days after the ride’s opening and selling out of reservations for the virtual queue every day, Disney has announced that guests will be now limited to one ride per day for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
In the first 3 days of operation, guests could make multiple reservations for a boarding pass for the attraction, allowing them to ride Rise of the Resistance multiple times during the same day. Guests could even make their second reservation before finishing the ride.
Now on the My Disney Experience app, it stops you from joining a boarding group if you have already been in a previous one that day.
Why is this a problem you ask? It may have something to do with boarding groups filling up BEFORE the official park opening times. On Sunday, December 8, the official listed opening time for Hollywood Stuiods was 8 am, yet boarding groups were filled up by 7:54 am!
This should open up more spaces for guests who have not yet had a chance to ride Rise of the Resistance. We applaud Disney for making this move and think it’s the fairest decision all around for everyone.
We’ll keep you updated if something changes.
No Extra Magic Hours
If you’re going to Walt Disney World in the coming weeks and months, there is some big news that will affect your touring plan for visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Galaxy’s Edge.
Originally Disney had reported that its new mega-attraction, “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” will not be open during Extra Magic Hours.
There will be no Morning Extra Magic Hours and Disney has switched all Extra Magic Hours in Hollywood Studios until the evening, instead opting to just open the park earlier than previously announced.
All these changes make it a bit difficult to strategize how to attack this new ride.
Of course, initially, this was a disappointment to some guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, because Extra Magic Hours helps you to take advantage of more hours in the parks and it’s a bit confusing as to how to plan, seeing as Disney has been opening the attraction early.
What is the reason Disney originally made the decision to not have it in Extra Magic Hours? Disney hasn’t given an exact answer to the reason why, however it’s been difficult for Disney to keep Rise of the Resistance running for long extended periods of time due to the many moving parts, ride systems and animatronics it has. It seems like Disney is taking precautions to try not to overtax the ride during its initial opening phase.
This will also allow Disney some operating room for the ride in case it goes down temporarily throughout the day, still allowing guests to ride later on.
We’ve seen other new Orlando theme park rides have trouble staying opening recently as has been the case with the Hagrid’s coaster in Universal. That has gotten so much bad press for mechanical problems, Disney does not want to repeat the same story. It’s likely that Disney operations need as much time as possible to run through the maintenance checks and fix any bugs during the initial operating period.
That said, at least Rise of the Resistance has been open super early for guests, and we’ll continue to monitor the situation to keep you updated in the coming days if something changes.
No Special Treatment for VIP Tours on Rise of the Resistance
If you’ve ever done a Disney World VIP Tour, you’ll know that one of the great advantages it has is that you can skip the lines of whatever attraction you want to ride. Speaking with some Disney Cast Members however in Hollywood Studios, they confirmed that this will not be the case with Rise of the Resistance.
Guests that are part of a VIP Tour will NOT be able to skip the lines for Rise of the Resistance like all the other attractions and will have to wait in line. This is surprising to us, especially considering the extremely high price tag these tours go for.
That does it for now, we hope you’ve learned everything you need to know about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and we hope you are just as excited about it as we are. Make sure to keep checking back as we’ll update you with any new info we have!
Also for more info on Star Wars Land in general, read our Complete Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a detailed look at the attractions, dining, planning, and touring strategies.
I want to know what you think about the details of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge…
- What part are you most excited about?
- Which attraction in Galaxy’s Edge do you think will be the best?
Let us know in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media. I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂
Need help planning your Disney Vacation? Contact René from Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs. All of the agents there are certified Disney Travel Agents and are super helpful with all your planning needs. I highly recommend them and the best part about it is they are FREE to use!