Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is still 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 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, length, and many other FAQs you might have.
We’re also going to share with you our thoughts and a review on the new ride after having gotten a chance to ride it dozens of times! 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!
(UPDATE) – Rise of the Resistance has paused use of the virtual queue as of September 23, 2021, and has moved to a standby queue. It is also available as a Lightning Lane individual attraction purchase with the new Disney Genie service.
(If you already know the basics of Rise of the Resistance, you can skip down to the Wait Times & Touring Strategy section of this post for the latest tips on how to ride without waiting long.)
Before we get started, here are our other most important posts about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance that will help you plan your trip:
- Using the Standby Queue for Rise of the Resistance – A full look at what it’s like, wait times, review, walkthrough, and tips for using the standby queue.
- When it occasionally uses the virtual queue, read our guide on how to use boarding groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for a detailed explanation of how to ride it during your visit to Galaxy’s Edge and a detailed look at the whole reservation process.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest updates on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance including riding strategies, as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!
Table of Contents
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
- Virtual Queue: No, only on special occasions
- Lightning Lane: Yes, as an individual attraction purchase
- FastPass: No, FastPass is Retired
- Ride Length: 15-20 Minutes
- Height Requirement: 40 inches
- Capacity: 1,500 – 1,700 per hour
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.
UPDATED – Latest Rise of the Resistance Riding Options
Since September 2021, guests no longer need to use the virtual queue to ride Rise of the Resistance as they did for the first 2 years of the ride’s existence. That means no more waking up early to book a boarding group on your phone, you can get in line like for most of the other attractions.
Riding Rise of the Resistance is often the reason guests visit Disneyland or Disney’s Hollywood Studios and staying on top of the latest riding procedure is paramount to getting a chance to ride it.
We’ll go into them more later on, but right now there are 2 ways to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney World:
- Standby Queue – This is the traditional way that most theme park attractions work. You get in line and you wait there until it’s your turn to ride. Nothing is required ahead of time, just show up and ride.
- Individual Lightning Lane – This is a paid replacement for FastPass and lets each guest purchase a one-time pass that lets them skip the standby queue and get on the ride without much waiting.
Remember, not too long ago, Disney announced its new Disney Genie service which eliminated FastPass and offers a paid reservation system for the most popular attractions in the theme parks.
As part of this new system, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now has a paid access option where guests are guaranteed a spot on the ride. This is done as an Individual Lightning Lane purchase.
Right now it costs between $15 and $25 per person to ride Rise of the Resistance using the Individual Lightning Lane purchase. This is due to date-based pricing where the prices are adjustable and can change depending on the dates or time of the year.
Rise of the Resistance still uses the standby queue system for whoever does not want to pay to ride this attraction, but the Lightning Lane lets guests skip the standby line instead of waiting for hours in the queue.
In his original interview with D23, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro commented on the paid access for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
He told guests to “Think about Rise of the Resistance. It’s a highly demanded attraction.” He commented on ever since the beginning when it was using the virtual queue, Disney tried to “get as many people on there as we can, but inevitably someone is disappointed.”
This may seem like good news for guests who were tired of using the virtual queue and boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance, but while giving guests more options is a good thing, this hasn’t necessarily helped more people to ride Rise of the Resistance each day.
Adding paid access only means that they will take away some of the spots from the guests waiting in line queue, and prioritize it for guests willing to pay. For example, if the normal ride capacity is 18,000-20,000 per day, Disney might take 1,000 of those spots and make them available as paid options instead.
In fact, during the holidays and other busy times of the year when the parks have been packed, the line for Rise of the Resistance moves slower than ever.
Of course, this has brought new issues as the line for Rise of the Resistance is over 2+ hours long on a regular basis. So while you may not have to wake up at 7:00 am to book a boarding pass on your phone, you will now end up spending a big part of the day waiting in line.
That’s why during the busiest times of the year, it is often worth it for you to buy a Lighting Lane and it can save hours of waiting. They aren’t always easy to get though, and they usually, sell out each morning within a few minutes.
Honestly, it’s almost just as chaotic as it used to be for the virtual queue, but now you have to pay to skip the line!
It’s important to note that when Disney made the announcement, they did say they are “pausing” the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance, which means it’s always possible they could bring it back at some point in the future if it’s more advantageous. For example, it is using the virtual queue during the Jollywood Nights event during the holiday season.
For now, we’ll just have to live with a mix of the standby queue and the Individual Lightning Lane purchases and see what the coming months bring.
Keep reading for more info on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and stay tuned for more updates as things change with this attraction.
Read the following posts which will give you a summary of how the system works and help you to be able to ride:
- Using the Standby Queue for Rise of the Resistance
- Using Boarding Groups for Rise of the Resistance
- Virtual Queue in Disney World
- Click here if you are interested in reading about Disneyland’s Rise of the Resistance.
What is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
You’ve heard the excitement about the “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 latest 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 was looking forward to more than any other ride coming to the Disney parks in the last several years. Now after having ridden it dozens of times, I am still speechless!!
It’s definitely among the best new Disney World attractions, and in our opinion, it is number 1!
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, 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 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 only found in one park, but it is located in both Galaxy’s Edge lands, one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, and also in Disneyland Park.
With the massive success it has seen so far, it’s very possible Disney could eventually build Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland Paris and at least one of the Asian Disney parks too. Disney hit a home run with this attraction and it has paid off for going 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.
There 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 former Disney Parks President Bob Chapek was interviewed for the Galaxy’s Edge special on Freeform TV, he had 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 in 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 countless times, 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.
Here we can see exactly how the ride vehicle for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance looks at the 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 in Rise of the Resistance, but this ride vehicle is 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 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 with 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 to ride.
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 Genie+?
The Rise of the Resistance attraction does not use Genie+, however, it does offer Individual Lightning Lane purchases as a paid option.
The old FastPass system has been discontinued permanently in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and has been replaced with the Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Both options let you skip the queue and will save you time instead of waiting in line at various attractions.
Genie+ gives you access to a group of attractions, whereas the most popular attractions in each park are reserved for single ride purchases with the Lightning Lane.
Seeing that Rise of the Resistance is the most popular ride in the park, it is not included in the group of Genie+ attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, instead, it is an Individual Lightning Lane purchase.
Right now an Individual Lightning Lane pass for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance costs $15-$25 per person. That means for a family of 4 it costs $60-$100 for one ride.
Keep in mind that right now Disney is using a standby queue for Rise of the resistance and it has retired the virtual queue and boarding groups for this ride, at least for the time being. If that continues, it remains to be seen.
The Disney Genie service is mostly a trip planning service, but it does not give access to Rise of the Resistance. More details on that coming soon.
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 the standby queue or get a Lightning Lane pass 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 ones and then switching, all the while not having to wait the full time in queue.
When you arrive, see a Cast Member for more assistance and tell them you want to use the Rider Switch program. One person will still need to wait in the standby queue as usual, but the other person will go through the Lightning Lane queue for a much quicker entrance.
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 time can be 2 hours long or even more.
Right now Disney is using a standby queue instead of the virtual queue and boarding groups it used for the first 2 years. That’s why the wait times have increased so much lately.
Most of the time waiting in the queue will be in traditional switchbacks outside in the elements and there won’t be much theming. Once you get inside the queue becomes much more interesting, in fact, it’s one of our all-time favorites.
From the time you get inside, it’s about another 30-40 minutes from there depending on how well the ride is running on that day.
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 ECVs, 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 for 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)?
Disability Access Service is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).
DAS is accepted on Rise of the Resistance but there are a limited amount of riders it will take each day.
Keep in mind the changes that Disney has made to the DAS system:
- Guests now have the option of pre-arrival DAS registration before their vacation begins, as well as the traditional registrations at Walt Disney World
- Booking ride reservations from My Disney Experience instead of in-person at the attraction entrance.
- Up to 2 bonus ride reservations for each day of your trip made ahead of time.
Guests using DAS can make a reservation at any time throughout the day, as long as there are still reservations available. These tend to go very quickly though, so make this a priority attraction.
Remember, every member of your group must be present in Hollywood Studios before you can make a reservation, so make sure everyone who wants to ride shows up when the park opens so you don’t miss your window.
Once your return time is called, go to the Lightning Lane queue and you will be able to enter 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
- Over 50+ 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 that 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:
Rise of the Resistance now has the Lightning Lane, and in the future, they will have a single rider option, to allow guests to move through more quickly. You can see their location in the model above, (at that time it was a FastPass lane) on the right side where the line is divided.
Here is what the real attraction turnstiles look like and where you 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, Lightning Lane 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 are 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 are 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 begin!
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, with 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 job 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. These windows are also equally as impressive at the Space 220 restaurant and the now closed 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 authentically 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 every time I have to laugh out loud because of how mean some of them are. What a tremendous job here!
You are then split up into smaller groups of 16 guests and led 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 the 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 vehicle 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 is 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 onto 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 is 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 with 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.
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?
With the amount of hype this ride got before opening and the first few years of its opening, Rise of the Resistance has become a topic of controversy among fans, especially when it was using the Virtual Queue system with boarding groups.
Some Disney fans wanted to avoid Galaxy’s Edge when it first opened and will also want to avoid Rise of the Resistance at this 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 definitely need to have a good plan.
If you are going to be in Disney World in the coming months want to ride Rise of the Resistance, you basically have three options:
- Rope Drop Hollywood Studios with Early Theme Park Entry
- Do a Normal Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios
- Use a Lightning Lane Purchase to Skip the Line
Disney has since switched to a standby queue and lines are as long as we originally thought they would be. While they are long, they have dropped off a bit in the past year or so.
- While the average wait time the first two years was between 115-120 minutes now it’s dropped down to about 87 minutes.
At most attractions, we see a big slowdown later in the day, but that is not the case with Rise of the Resistance. Long wait times start in the morning and continue throughout the entire day and up until late in the evening. You can go to thrill-data.com for the latest wait times as they are tracked daily.
Since it’s not included in the Genie+ lineup of attractions, getting paid access through the Disney genie+ and Lightning Lanes is the only way to skip the line. Lightning Lane reservations can sell out within minutes, or sometimes seconds of opening up each day.
All these changes have drastically modified any touring strategy you might have previously used, and have made keeping up with it an almost daily occurrence. That’s why we’ve come up with some good tips and strategies to help you ride it as easily as possible.
Also, read our Hollywood Studios Touring Plans Guide where you can see specific 1 and 2-Day Itineraries for visiting the park. (Our Hollywood Studios touring plan is currently being updated.)
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 aren’t familiar with the term, “rope dropping” is basically showing up to a theme park before the park actually opens. You are there when the “rope drops.”
This is always a fantastic strategy for getting the highest number of attractions done in a day when visiting any Disney theme park. This lets you ride some of the most popular attractions first thing in the morning before the majority of visitors arrive, and it will save you some major time.
You can rope drop Hollywood Studios in 2 ways:
- Normal Rope Drop
- Early Theme Park Entry
Before we get into specifics for Rise of the Resistance, it will also be helpful if you read our Hollywood Studios Rope Drop Guide which will give you a good overall strategy for all the attractions in the park.
Normal Rope Drop
In the past, you could show up about an hour before the official park opening and have a big advantage over other guests showing up later and riding a bunch of attractions in the first hour. Unfortunately, traditional rope-dropping doesn’t work as well right now as it used to because of the new Early Theme Park Entry that Disney has introduced.
Guests using a normal rope drop strategy will arrive at the park that already has thousands of guests inside and in line for the best attractions. And in Hollywood Studios that means a huge percentage of people are running straight for Rise of the Resistance.
The times we have tried to rope drop Rise without Early Theme Park Entry, we’ve had to wait at least 90 minutes, but waits of 120-150 minutes are more likely.
If you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can’t use Early Theme Park Entry, and any advantage you had by rope-dropping the park has essentially vanished.
Use Early Theme Park Entry
Back in September 2021, Disney introduced the Early Theme Park Entry program. This replaced Extra Magic Hours and offers a big advantage to Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests who are willing to show up early at the parks.
Instead of letting guests into each theme park 1 hour early once per week, this change lets guests into all 4 theme parks 30 minutes early, every day of the week.
For Rise of the Resistance, that means you can show up at Hollywood Studios before the official park opening, and run straight for Rise of the Resistance and get there before the majority of other guests.
This is a big reason why we recommend staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, even if many of the other advantages have disappeared in recent years.
How Early Should You Get There?
At times during the first couple of weeks of operation when Rise was still using the virtual queue, Hollywood Studios opened as much as 2 and 3 hours EARLIER than the listed opening time. That meant if the park had a listed 9 am opening time, there was a good chance it was already open by 6 or 7 am.
This meant that some guests (myself included sadly), would show up at 5:00 am to ride.
Thankfully, since switching to the standby queue, those days are over, and there is no need to wake up that early anymore. However, you still should plan on getting an early start if you want to take advantage of rope drop.
Even though with Early Theme Park Entry Hollywood Studios should open 30 minutes before the official listed opening time, they start letting guests in the gate much earlier than that. From our experience, it’s more like 45 minutes earlier than the listed time.
With this in mind, we recommend arriving at Hollywood Studios 60 minutes before the scheduled opening time.
Since the real advantage of rope drop is being one of the first few hundred people in the park, the early risers will have much more success than even guests who show up only 30 minutes before opening. This will make a huge difference, trust us.
We’ll keep an eye on this and continue to update our updated rope-dropping strategy for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in the weeks to come.
Using the Lightning Lane
If you don’t want to use the standby queue and wait in a long line, and instead are willing to pay to ride Rise of the Resistance, you can make an Individual Lightning Lane purchase using My Disney Experience.
Individual Lightning Lane selections can save you some serious time and get you from the entrance of the queue all the way on the ride in only a few minutes.
The first thing you need to know is that Lightning Lane purchases for Rise of the Resistance open each day at 7:00 am, but only for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or partner hotels. Guests staying at an off-site hotel can start making reservations at the park opening (8:00 am or 9:00 am).
Lightning Lane selections for Rise of the Resistance run out early each morning so depending on how crowded the park is that day, you may not be able to get one when you go. This is especially true for guests staying off-site as often by 9:00 am there are no Lightning Lane selections left.
If you can’t get a Lightning Lane, you will need to use our rope dropping strategy we outlined for you in previous paragraphs, or you can go late in the evening.
To ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance with an Individual Lightning Lane costs between $15-$25 per person. If you are a family of 4 it will cost you $60-$100 depending on the date you visit.
Even though it is a lot of money, we recommend using the Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance if you can. Normally, we don’t recommend spending extra money for Genie+ or the Lightning Lane, but this is one ride where it’s actually worth it.
It’s the safest way to make sure you and your family get to ride it, and if it is your first time, you definitely don’t want to miss this experience. Plus, you can use the 2-3 hours you would otherwise spend in line waiting here, to ride something else.
- TIP: We still recommend utilizing a rope drop strategy even if you purchase a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance. Rope drop will always be the most efficient way of doing the highest number of attractions in one day.
Step-by-Step Booking Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance
Here is what you need to do to give you the best chance to score an Individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance:
- Log in to My Disney Experience 5 minutes before 7:00 am on the day you are going to the park. (9:00 am if you are not staying at a Disney World Resort hotel)
- Once you enter the app, navigate to the Menu button at the bottom of the screen and click “Tip Board”.
- Make sure Hollywood Studios is the selected park for that day. If it is not, click the “Change Park” button and select Hollywood Studios.
- Find Rise of the Resistance in the list of attractions. At 7:00 am, click the box for “Individual Lightning Lane.” There is shows the next available return window and purchase price.
- On the next screen, select your preferred return time and select all members of your party who will be riding Rise of the Resistance. If they are not there, click the “Edit” button to add them in.
- Once your party is confirmed click “Continue” at the bottom of the screen.
- On the final screen, check the “Terms and Conditions” box and then click the “Purchase” button to finalize the acquisition.
- You will then see your Lightning Lane reservation for Rise of the Resistance in the “Tip Board” or under “My Day.”
- Once your return window arrives, you have a one-hour window to ride the attraction. If your return time says 1:00 pm, that means you have from 1:00-2:00 pm to return.
Make sure to read our post on How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions for more info on booking them.
All of these tips should give you the best opportunity to do Rise of the Resistance and put you in a position to get more done in Hollywood Studios that day.
I know getting up early to make reservations or to rope drop the park is a pain, and not ideal when on vacation, but it’s necessary to give yourself the best chance to ride. However, if you are getting a Lightning Lane pass, you don’t even have to leave your hotel room, just wake up and jump on your phone.
If you really want to guarantee you get to ride this attraction, you honestly don’t have a choice. Plus it’s not even THAT early, not like actually being at the park at 5:00 am, like in early 2020.
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.
What to Do If Rise of the Resistance Breaks Down?
Unfortunately, this is still a common occurrence as Rise of the Resistance breaks down on a regular basis. There are just so many moving parts and it’s such a complex ride system that it happens from time to time.
So what should you do if Rise breaks down while you are there? The answer depends on if you are in the standby queue or if you have a Lightning Lane.
If you are in line with a Lightning Lane pass when it breaks down, you will be automatically given another pass to ride at any time during that same day. Once the ride opens back up, you can return at any time and get in the Lightning Lane once again. The pass gets linked to your account in My Disney Experience.
If for some reason Rise of the Resistance never reopens that day, you will be given a full refund for your Individual Lightning Lane purchase. If it reopens and you don’t come back and ride, you will not be refunded your money. This is the case even if you miss coming back for a dining reservation or any other booked experience.
If you are in the Standby Queue when Rise breaks down, things get a bit trickier. As a general rule, I would recommend waiting for 10-15 minutes to see if the line starts moving again. If you have waited 2-3 hours already and are almost to the end of the line, I might wait longer.
When deciding to leave the line, keep checking its status in My Disney Experience as often as you can so you can get back in the queue as soon as it comes back online.
Try to stick as close by as possible and see if it reopens. Take a walk around Galaxy’s Edge and explore this incredible land, grab a ronto wrap at Ronto Roasters if you are hungry, or check out some of the shops in the marketplace.
Plan Multiple Hollywood Studios Days
We recommend doing this if you have never ridden Rise of the Resistance before. As we just went over, it’s possible that Rise of the Resistance breaks down when you are there, and never reopens that day.
If you only have one day planned at Hollywood Studios during your trip, you are going to be pretty upset you didn’t get to ride it. That’s why we recommend doing multiple Hollywood Studios days, or at least partial ones.
If your budget allows, you can extend your trip long enough to fit in Hollywood Studios twice. You could also purchase the park hopper option on your theme park tickets which would allow you to visit another park in the morning, then return here later in the day (or vice versa).
This will increase your probability of riding which is our main goal.
Stay at a Disney World Hotel
This is going to help you big time. No matter if you are buying a Lightning Lane pass or doing the standby queue, staying on-site at Disney World will give you the best opportunities to ride.
If you are staying on-site, you can use Early Theme Park Entry as we discussed, and get into the park earlier than people staying off-site. That means you have fewer people to deal with in line.
If you are trying to buy a Lightning Lane pass, you also have the advantage as the booking window opens at 7:00 am, whereas for others it opens when the park opens.
Trust us, the more advantages you can get, the more likely you’ll get to ride Rise of the Resistance, without having to wait in a super long line.
Use Two Phones
If you are using Genie+ at Hollywood Studios and trying to get a Lightning Lane pass for Rise of the Resistance, you might run into some trouble with only one person doing all the work.
This is because you can start booking both Rise and all the Genie+ attractions at exactly 7:00 am, which means if you are a one-person show, you have to choose which one to do first. This is especially true if you are trying to book Slinky Dog Dash with Genie+
I’ve tried to do both on my own, and a few times I’ve only been able to book one of them with the other selling out almost instantly. That’s why we recommend having at least two people try. Have one person go for a Genie+ reservation like Slinky Dog and the other a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance.
Don’t Make an Early Lightning Lane Reservation Time
If you are in the system at 7:00 am, you will likely have your choice of Lightning Lane return times throughout the day. You can choose a return time in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Avoid making a Lightning Lane reservation with a return time first thing in the morning. This is the least crowded the park will be for the entire day, so take advantage of it and ride some of the other attractions while they have shorter wait times.
Our recommendation is ideally to choose a return time in the afternoon. This is when crowd levels throughout Hollywood Studios reach their peak, and it’s a perfect time to skip the queue for Rise.
The early in the evening is also better than the morning, just remember, if the ride shuts down with technical issues in the evening, it might not come back online. So make it early evening rather than later.
Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, so if the only remaining Lightning Lane reservation is in the morning, take it. Just try to get an afternoon or early evening one if possible.
Ride Standby Late in the Day
If you don’t want to pay for a Lightning Lane pass on Rise of the Resistance, you have two choices that will get you the lowest wait time possible: Go early in the morning, or late in the evening.
We already went over how to rope drop Rise, but if you are like us and don’t like to wake up early in the morning, going late in the evening might be an even better option.
Rope dropping can lead to short wait times, but only if you are really one of the first few hundred people in line. If you aren’t, you will still be stuck waiting 1-2 hours.
Instead, we’ve often found the shortest wait times when we make Rise of the Resistance our last ride of the day. Even if the posted wait times outside the attraction are usually still 120 minutes or more right before the park’s closing, when you actually get in line, it’s usually a fraction of that.
Often Disney will post longer wait times at the end of the day to discourage guests from getting in line, but those times often don’t correlate with the actual wait times.
If Hollywood Studios closes at 9:00 pm on the day of your visit, try waiting until 8:55 pm to get in line. If you do you will likely be rewarded, sometimes with even a walk-on. This is one of our favorite strategies!
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.
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 is 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 make 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, that 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.
Long Wait Times – When Disney started using the Virtual Queue on opening day, it was a struggle for most people, and we have never seen so many frustrated guests before in a Disney park. The only good thing about it was that if you got a boarding pass, you didn’t have to wait in line.
Now that Rise is using the standby queue, long wait times are back once again. Wait times are in the 2-3 hour range on normal days. Now we think that Rise of the Resistance is likely the best attraction at Disney World, but we don’t want to wait 3 hours to ride it.
And unless you are willing to pay for a Lightning Lane, that is a very real possibility when you visit. Disney needs to do a better job delivering a reliable experience, which brings us to our next point.
Consistency of the Ride – The biggest problem we have with Rise of the Resistance is that at this time is that it isn’t as consistent and reliable of a ride experience as it needs to be. Of course, there are always bugs, especially with a ride this big, but at times the number 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.
In the many times since, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes there are big delays, and sometimes certain special effects in the ride are not working. 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’ve wrestled with it quite a bit the last few years since it opened.
That being the case, we say yes. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the best attraction currently in Walt Disney World, and is only rivaled by Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure in Shanghai Disneyland and a few others for the title of best theme park attraction in the world.
Previously I would have said that Flight of Passage is the best in WDW, and while they are definitely close, RotR wins out by the slimmest of margins. (See the Subheading Below for a RotR vs Flight of Passage comparison.)
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 a boarding group at 7 am to ride this thing.
I wasn’t even upset when you had to actually be in line at the park at 6:00 am. Thankfully, that’s not necessary anymore, but I’d still do it. It’s THAT good and 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.
It definitely ranks among the best rides in Hollywood Studios, without a doubt. 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 of 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.
When Did Rise of the Resistance Ride Open?
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 or Disney World on August 29. Those were “Phase 1” of Galaxy’s Edge.
Instead, Rise of the Resistance opened during the “Phase 2” part of Galaxy’s Edge. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened in Walt Disney World on December 5, 2019. It then opened in Disneyland park on January 17, 2020.
That means that the waiting is over if you are going to either Disney World or Disneyland!
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 opened 1 month later?
Disney didn’t give an official reason for the bigger delay at Disneyland, but the extra time apparently didn’t matter. I’m not sure what the exact problem with the Rise of the Resistance ride in Disneyland was and why there was 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 opened 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 in both parks, Rise of the Resistance has had some problems staying open and has experienced short closures often and on a daily basis.
The problem was 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 for the delayed opening 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 both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and 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 didn’t want to have another Hagrid’s coaster on our hands here.
As it turns out, this has been a problem in Hollywood Studios and Disneyland up to this point, with downtime happening almost every day. On some days in the past, they have even delayed the opening for up to 7 hours because of technical issues behind the scenes.
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.
Now that Rise of the Resistance is open, they have been slowly working out all the kinks in it and things will start to go more smoothly soon. However, even after years now, the ride regularly has issues and needs to shut down from time to time.
There are so many moving parts in this attraction, and Disney has been trying to get everything perfect for guests.
Should I Visit Rise of the Resistance in 2024?
We get how great this attraction is, but when is the best time to visit it? When will the crowds die down? Should you book your trip to Disney World for Rise of the Resistance in 2024 or 2025? Or wait even longer?
Now is a great time to go to experience Rise of the Resistance. Lines have simmered down and the ‘newness’ of this attraction has dampened. If you are seriously thinking about visiting Disney World, then we feel strongly that the Rise of the Resistance ride needs to be experienced ASAP. Here’s why…
Of course, this depends on how often you go to WDW, and we are saying this if you only go every 3-5 years or longer.
Crowds Will Not Get Shorter Anytime Soon – While they have diminished a bit in the last few years since opening, l we can’t imagine then dropping off room much more than they already have. Rise of the Resistance will continue to be the main E-Ticket attraction for Hollywood Studios for the foreseeable future.
While other new additions such as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway have helped a bit with crowd control for Rise of the Resistance, we anticipate it will still continue to be at least 60 minute waits at almost all times of the year.
If you’re trying to figure out the best time to visit, take a look at our updated Crowd Calendar.
Changes to the Ride – Right now Rise of the Resistance is still relatively new and everything is working pretty well. Yes, there are maintenance issues, but those will probably never fully go away. Some of the animatronics figures break down, but maintenance crews always get them back up.
However, at some point, especially when a ride is this complex, things are bound to break for long periods of time. 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!
Yes, Rise of the Resistance is Open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park. It opened December 5, 2019, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on 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 Genie+ option for Rise of the Resistance. However, you can purchase an Individual Lightning Lane which will let you skip the standby line, as long as you are willing to pay. It is no longer using the Virtual Queue system nor FastPass, which has been discontinued.
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.
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, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we have the latest info for Rise of the Resistance, plus other Disney Vacation Planning Tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter
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 is your favorite?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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My name is Ziggy and I love Disney, everything Disney! I grew up on Disney and it has and continues to be a huge part of my life. I started young when my parents took me to Disney World when I was 18 months old. Little did they know that would be the first of an uncountable number of trips we would take. I have so many amazing memories going to Disney with my family and friends and it has been interwoven into my DNA.