One of the most eagerly anticipated attractions to ever be unveiled at Walt Disney World is finally open! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is now welcoming guests at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And the wait will be worth it. Disney’s newest ride is nothing short of ground-breaking, and it’s the most ambitious and immersive attraction ever to grace WDW. So what exactly is it, and what do you need to know before riding? Read on to find out!
1. More Than Just a Ride
Rise of the Resistance takes you on a dangerous secret mission for the Resistance, assisted by some of your favorite Star Wars heroes, including Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8. The actors from the newest Star Wars trilogy reprise their roles for the ride, and many of the scenes for the ride were filmed while the movies were being filmed. There are an unbelievable 18 show areas and 4 different kinds of ride systems, divided into 3 acts, woven together seamlessly, making this an experience more than a ride. You’ll journey through the caves of Batuu before venturing out to space in the I-TS shuttle, and finally you’ll escape from the Star Destroyer – if you can!
2. No FastPass+ or Extra Magic Hours – For Now
For the moment, Rise of the Resistance isn’t eligible for FastPass+ reservations, and isn’t included in Extra Magic Hours. This probably isn’t much of a surprise to most guests, since Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run isn’t part of the FastPass+ either (although it is eligible for Extra Magic Hours). We’re hopeful that at some point in the future, this will change, once initial demand for the ride has subsided. In fact, we’ve heard reports that even though the ride isn’t technically part of Extra Magic Hours, guests have actually found it open well before official opening hours, so you never know!
3. Virtual Queue
So, without Fastpass+, how can you ride the newest attraction in Galaxy’s Edge? Well, Disney is employing a virtual queue system and boarding groups, and since there is no standby line at all for Rise of the Resistance, this is the only way you’ll be able to ride. Try to arrive at Hollywood Studios as early as you can, because once all the boarding groups for the day are filled up, you won’t be able to snag a spot. All the members of your party need to be in the park for you to join a boarding group, and you can do so using the My Disney Experience App, or visit a Guest Experience kiosk. When you’ve joined a boarding group, you’ll be given a boarding group number, and you’ll be contacted when it’s time to return.
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4. Different Points of View
You’ll want to ride Rise of the Resistance more than once. There’s so much to see and experience that it’s just impossible to absorb it all in one go – but there’s another important reason you’ll want to ride multiple times. Your ride experience will actually change significantly depending on which car and seat you ride in, and what time of day. There are distinctly different viewpoints and details to be seen throughout the ride, which means every time you ride, it’s a new adventure!
Rise of the Resistance is one of the longest rides in both Disney World and Disneyland. From pre-show through to the end of the ride, expect your experience to last somewhere around 18 minutes – without delays or ride malfunctions, of course, of which there have been plenty as Disney works out the inevitable kinks in the attraction. The length of the ride is part of what makes the experience so intense and amazing – who wouldn’t want to be chased through the galaxy by the First Order for over 15 minutes?
6. Height Requirement
If your little ones can ride Splash Mountain, Test Track and Big Thunder Mountain, then they’ll be able to Rise of the Resistance. Like many other WDW attractions, this ride has a minimum height requirement of 40 inches. If you have a budding Jedi who doesn’t quite measure up, you can always try riding Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, which has a minimum height requirement of 38 inches.
7. Trackless Technology
One of the ride systems in Rise of the Resistance uses trackless technology, meaning the ride vehicle moves smoothly along the show floor without visible tracks. This makes the experience even more exciting, because you can’t see the path the vehicle will take, and you have no idea what’s coming next. Ride vehicles have two rows of four people, and there’s an R5 Droid at the front to guide you through the ride. Even though dozens of ride cars can be inside Rise of Resistance at any given moment, there are only a couple of times you can see other riders, making you feel completely immersed in the world around you.
8. Audio-Animatronics and Special Effects
Black Spire Outpost in Galaxy’s Edge is astounding in its attention to detail, so it’s no surprise that Rise of the Resistance is, too. Just how detailed is the attraction? For one thing, there are upwards of 65 Audio-Animatronic figures throughout the ride, including Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers and Droids. And these Audio-Animatronics are some of the most advanced ever created by Disney. You’ll also experience plenty of special effects while you’re riding Rise of the Resistance, including explosions, lightsaber slashes and blaster bolts. It all combines to make the battle around you seem absolutely real!