Poe Dameron’s X-wing starfighter, Black One, appears in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opening Dec. 5, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Jan. 17, 2020, at Disneyland Park in California.
(Kent Phillips, courtesy Disney Parks)
When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened earlier this summer, Disney expected record-breaking crowds. However, many visitors apparently delayed their vacations until the second, marquee attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, debuted on Thursday at Walt Disney World.
At 20 minutes, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the longest rides at any Disney Park, and it more than lives up to the hype — there are four different ride systems, life-like animatronic figures, massive set pieces and thousands of special effects.
Guests come face to face with First Order Supreme Leader Kylo Ren as they stumble into the bridge of a Star Destroyer in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
(Steven Diaz, courtesy Disney Parks)
Fans of the current “Star Wars” trilogy will appreciate seeing characters Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe Dameron and Domhnall Gleeson, who all reprise their roles and recorded original scenes and audio for the attraction. Many of the scenes were filmed during the production of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
But the true stars of the attraction are the Disney ride operators who adopt personas of Resistance troops or First Order officers. Just try to get those First Order troops to break character and laugh — you may end up in a detention cell.
Rey (portrayed by Daisy Ridley) briefs new recruits on the upcoming mission in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
In addition to the cinematic story arc, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance incorporates next-generation theme park technology.
After boarding the transport ship and getting briefed by a sophisticated alien animatronic Lieutenant Bek, it feels as though you’re launched into space. During an escape from the massive hangar bay in the midst of a raging space battle, the trackless ride vehicle encounters 50-foot-tall AT-AT walkers, dodges laser blasts and cannons, and simulates a crash-landing drop back to the planet surface. Although, some of the most sophisticated technology features are the audio-animatronic figures — these are no singing pirates.
At times, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is overwhelming with the number of details, sounds and simultaneous effects. However, that adds to the ride’s repeatability. The trackless ride vehicle can move in all directions and follows different paths through the attraction. That ability allows for different experiences and observed details each time you ride.
Guests race past massive AT-AT walkers aboard a First Order Star Destroyer as part of the groundbreaking new attraction.
(Matt Stroshane, courtesy Disney Parks)
Now that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has opened at Walt Disney World, crowds are flocking to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. To ensure you experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you may want to devote multiple vacation days to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to maximize your chances, and get a hotel close to the entrance — the closest hotel to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, and there’s a walking path from the resort to the park entrance. Or try to snag a spot at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, a Westin Marriott brand hotel that receives all Disney benefits including Fastpass , Extra Magic Hours and Resort Transportation, but is not a Disney-owned Resort (although it is on Disney property), and usually offers a good deal on room rates.