Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios introduced the Rise of the Resistance ride as part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. One month later, in January 2020, Disneyland opened its version of it. State-of-the-art technology makes it one of the most advanced attractions ever dreamed up by the Imagineers at Disney. Here is everything you need to know about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Combining aspects of a trackless dark ride, a motion simulator, and a drop ride, Rise of the Resistance has enough changes to keep its riders guessing throughout its run. There are amazing projected images, advanced sound effects, and breathtaking animatronics. Star Wars fans will be pulled into the middle of that galaxy far, far away, and taken for a ride they will never forget.
- Waiting in Line
- Rise of the Resistance
- Ride Technology
- Ride Details
- How Long is the Line for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
- Is Rise of the Resistance Kid Friendly?
- Special Accommodations
- When is the Best Time To Visit?
- While You’re There…
Waiting in Line
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. As with many rides at Disney parks, this one starts when you get in line. Located in a cave outside the Black Spire Outpost, riders become members of the Resistance as they prepare to battle with the First Order.
BB-8 and Rey give those in the queue instructions to meet with General Leia Organa. As you move your way through, you will see some of the famous ships you’ve seen since childhood, like X-wings. You gradually move to a transport ship that will take you into space.
A Star Destroyer commanded by the First Order intercepts your transport and takes you into custody. Guests are escorted to a hangar bay where stormtroopers surround them. Kylo Ren can be heard discussing their interrogation with General Hux just before Finn comes in and leads you to an escape pod.
Rise of the Resistance
The story picks up when the ride begins. Riders are in escape pods, being pursued by stormtroopers. Through various rooms, they are shot at by blasters, chased by AT-ATs, and even come into contact with Kylo Ren. An animatronic version of him uses the Force to stop the pods, and he demands they tell him what they know about the Resistance base.
Kylo Ren is nearly blown into space when the Star Destroyer is hit by a TIE fighter. The transports move on, and the ride becomes a motion simulator as you escape the Star Destroyer. Then the riders experience a sudden vertical drop as they are ejected from their escape pods and sent back to the planet’s surface.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was announced at the D23 Expo in 2015. Many of the actors return to reprise their roles from the movies. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Kipsang Rotich all starred in either voice roles or appeared on screen. The CGI sequences were created by Industrial Light and Magic, the same company that worked on the films. And the ride features music composed by John Williams.
It took three years to construct the attraction. Crews overcame a myriad of technical and physical challenges. It is the largest ride ever built at a Disney park and contains 65 animatronic figures. It opened to the media and select guests in December 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Many actors from both the original trilogy, as well as the new films, were in attendance.
Being the most advanced theme park ride ever built, Rise of the Resistance has many aspects that make it feel like a real adventure for every visitor. Disney’s Imagineers took aspects of many of their most popular attractions and put them into a seamless experience like several rides in one. And adding in the video and animatronic elements that Disney has always excelled at has ensured it will be a popular draw to their parks for years to come.
Among the most famous rides Disney Parks has ever had is Star Tours. It used motion simulator technology to take its riders on an adventure through space and some of the iconic locations in the Star Wars films. The ride carriage can be moved in multiple directions making the riders feel as if they are soaring through the air or shaking in an earthquake.
A motion simulator sits on a platform and can provide six degrees of movement. The platform sits on a series of jacks that operate independently, giving it realistic motion. These motions are synchronized with a visual display representing the atmosphere designers want to immerse the riders in.
In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, this platform holds the transport you take from the planet’s surface to space. It eventually gets intercepted by a star destroyer. The platform’s motion simulator gives the appropriate movement to make those things seem realistic. The platform rotates as guests watch the messages from a hologram of Rey on a screen. They exit onto the destroyer, making it seem that they have been transported to another location.
Trackless Dark Vehicles
Another ride that has been popular for decades is The Haunted Mansion. It is a dark ride, meaning guests ride individual vehicles that take them through scenes with a lot of animation and special effects. Disney is known for this, and The Haunted Mansion is their most popular because people ride Doom Buggies through the attraction.
A Trackless Dark Vehicle ride takes guests in individual vehicles that are seemingly self-controlled. An underground cable or some other means may guide them. In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the escape pods guests are taken to are led by Wi-Fi and a local RFID-based positioning system. The computer senses where it is in the ride and waits until the scene finishes before the pods progress. It also keeps an appropriate distance between the pods to the front and back.
Drop Tower Dark Ride
Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. It is one of the most popular drop tower dark rides ever made. Riders are taken to the top of a nearly 200-foot tower and dropped. The riders experience freefall for several seconds, followed by rapid deceleration. There was a version of this ride in Disney California Adventure, but it has recently been converted to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.
In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests experience a vertical drop after escaping from Kylo Ren. It takes them to the end of the ride, where they find themselves back on the planet of Batuu.
Video and Lights
The video component of Disney rides is what sets them apart from most other theme parks. Rarely do they make a ride that is just a roller coaster or just a dark ride. They incorporate video and lighting effects to make it more of an immersive experience for their guests.
In Rise of the Resistance, this begins in the ride queue and leads them into the transport. A video of Rey giving the guests their mission information appears to be a hologram. The effect is accomplished by an OLED video display projected behind a one-way mirror.
The scene then shows Kylo Ren and General Hux discussing interrogating the ride guests. The Musion effect is used for this. It uses forced perspective and layers of video screens to give the illusion that a video is three-dimensional. It makes the characters look as if they are there in the room. Projectors have been added to the set to place shadows on the characters and make them look even more realistic.
Blasters look realistic by using the persistence of vision effect. It causes the perception of the object you are looking at to continue after the image is gone. It is the reason a strobe light seems to leave ghost images in your vision after it is gone. The illusion that the beams from the blasters and lasers are moving through the air is done using LEDs.
Kylo Ren appears again in the ride. This time he is a projection, but his lightsaber is real. It is a light spinning rapidly and gives the illusion that he is cutting through the roof of the vehicle.
There are a lot of animatronics throughout the ride. Some are simple like the R5 droid mounted to the front of the ride vehicle. Others are much more complex, like many droids and other characters guests will encounter. Many of them have robotic and video aspects, adding to the illusion of realism. For instance, the animatronic Kylo Ren uses multiple effects.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, one of the four theme parks that make up Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It can also be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Both versions of the ride are part of Galaxy’s Edge, an immersive Star Wars land designed to make guests feel they are experiencing their favorite aspects of the Star Wars films.
Most people who have visited Rise of the Resistance have timed the ride between 15-18 minutes. That takes into account the show that guests experience after boarding the transport and going through all of the elements of the ride.
The ride could take a little longer if there is a delay or a technical problem, but you can count on at least a 15-minute experience when you go. That is one of the longest rides at any Disney park.
The vehicle you will ride in holds eight passengers with two rows of four seats. It does not follow a track, so it may feel different each time you ride. There are aspects of the ride where you are not in the vehicle since there are multiple systems that make up Rise of the Resistance. The R5 droid mounted to the front of your transport will guide you throughout.
How Long is the Line for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular rides at any of the Disney theme parks. You will have to stand in line for a while to get your chance to experience it. Wait times can fluctuate from 1-3 hours, depending on the time of day. The later in the day you go, the longer you will probably be waiting.
Disney Resort hotel guests have access to the My Disney Experience app. It allows you to use Lightning Lane to skip the line. It will cost up to $15 per person for this perk. You can only select two premium attractions per day. But if you are keen on riding, it could save you hours of waiting.
Is Rise of the Resistance Kid Friendly?
A height requirement of 40 inches is in place to ensure the safety of guests. That is comparable to the requirements that many other Disney rides have. It is motion intense, making it important that everyone can fit safely in the vehicle.
Rise of the Resistance means to satisfy children of all ages. With breathtaking visual effects and beautifully realistic animatronic figures, it will be a ride that your children will love. Prepare to ride it more than once while you visit Galaxy’s Edge.
Does the Ride Cause Motion Sickness?
Rise of the Resistance does not spin ride guests, and there are no upside-down loops or jerky movements. There are multiple ride systems and aspects that simulate movement and depth. If any of those things cause motion sickness, you may experience some on the ride. However, each part of the ride is over quickly, and the next part may not affect you.
Disney theme parks are dedicated to giving an enjoyable experience to all guests. Having small children or disabilities will not prevent you from being able to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Parents with multiple children often run into an issue when visiting theme parks. Which parent gets to ride the attraction with their older children and who stays behind with the ones who are too small? Disney offers the Rider Switch program, also known as Child Swap.
Speak to a cast member when you get in line. They will allow one of the parents to use the Lightning Lane to ride. That will get them through quickly so they can keep the small children while the other parent rides.
If you require a wheelchair or mobility scooter, you can stay in it throughout the pre-show and early portions of the ride. Once it is time to board the ride vehicles, cast members will assist you in your transfer. If you cannot load into the vehicle, you will have to exit at that point, but you will have a chance to experience everything up to that point.
Disability Access Service
Some guests are not able to wait in line due to disabilities. You can register for Disability Access Service (DAS) before you arrive at the park. It will give you access to My Disney Experience to make reservations for many popular attractions, including Rise of the Resistance.
Make a reservation any time during the day with the app, and you will receive a reservation time. Once you arrive at the ride, go to Lightning Lane and a cast member will help you get checked in. Keep in mind that everyone in your group must be in the park when you make your reservation, so be sure everyone shows up.
When is the Best Time To Visit?
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days of the week to visit Galaxy’s Edge and all its attractions, including Rise of the Resistance. This gets you away from the weekend groups. Disney parks are the most crowded during the late spring and summer months since that is when most schools are out. You may have to wait for less if you go during the late fall and winter.
One thing Disney never fails to succeed in is merchandising. Rest assured, you will have ample opportunities to buy souvenirs of your experience once the ride ends. Throughout Galaxy’s Edge, you will find places where you can purchase t-shirts, hats, cups, backpacks, and many other things emblazoned with the name of the ride and images of things you saw inside. You can even get a toy playset of the ride vehicle and the accompanying R5 droid.
While You’re There…
As long as you are visiting Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to ride Star Wars: Millennium Falcon-Smugglers Run and experience what it’s like to make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.
And don’t forget to try some of the food and drinks that are only available at the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. Get some of Luke’s blue milk or a Toydaria Swirl!
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the most detailed and technologically advanced theme park rides ever built. It is an immersive experience that takes Star Wars fans into the films. You will feel what it is like to be chased by stormtroopers, come face to face with Kylo Ren, and do battle in outer space. Make plans to go to Orlando, Florida, or Anaheim, California, and dive into this remarkable ride.
And may the Force be with you!
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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