Despite its ongoing technical issues, Rise is an awesome experience. It’s a technical masterpiece in theme park entertainment, especially if you are a Star Wars fan, but as with all masterpieces there are flaws, so I thought I’d list what I think could have been done to make it even better.
The entrance to Rise is at best OK, no Millennium Falcon to walk by, and no workshop to admire as you wind your way along the queue line. If you listen closely there is a story unfolding, but I don’t think there will be many people who listen to what’s being said. I’m not sure how many will even take note of the artifacts. Maybe when there’s a 2-3 hour standby line, that will become more of a ‘thing’ that people will see. As usual with the FP+ line, all of that is missed.
The stirring start with BB8 & Rey is a great introduction. “May the force be with us” echoes in our ears as we walk outside towards the transporter. Here I see the first problem. There is no cover, and even though it’s a short walk, come the Orlando summer afternoon thunderstorms, you are going to get wet, very wet. It’s a good photo spot as well, with BB8 in an X-wing all ready to go.
I think they missed the boat with the transporter. You wander in, and shortly after get attacked by TIE fighters. Yet we’re all calmly standing-by watching the ensuing battle going on around us. The back window view is much better than thru the front. And yes, “battle” ….. nothing happens on the ride. We’re just ho-humming along. This should have been a moving simulator with seated passengers. Actually make it feel as if they are in the battle, as standing and watching what’s going on doesn’t quite cut it.
OK, so we get captured and are awe struck by the assembly of storm troopers. But when you’ve done it a few times, it’s a Meh at best, and you move on thru. What they needed here was some of those storm troopers to be actual moving CM’s. Yeah I know, what a concept :) They could get up close and personal, and bark out orders, keeping everyone in line. They could even take one or 2 of the prisoners and interrogate them, maybe march them off behind the scenes, but to be quickly moved thru and put back in line. Certainly after the storm trooper room, you are led to one of the worst areas of the ride anyway, so for those “lucky” enough to be marched away, it may be a welcome relief to be out of the very slow moving queue line waiting to board the ride. I know the logistics of all of that are tricky, but it’s something I think they should have considered.
So now we are stuck. Stuck in a very slow moving line that will eventually dump us out into an area where we are glared at by poor CM’s who are trying to be tough, but it’s all very embarrassing really. Maybe if they hadn’t got their Disney name tags it would be a little better ?? The old adage …. “it seemed like a good idea at the time” springs to mind here. It’s all so very ho-hum, and the times I’ve been thru, there is very little interaction between CMs and guests. How about having a few random CMs in line, and when we’re in the waiting-to-be-transported away area, have them break ranks, and the ‘guards’ chase them down and carry them away. Maybe even a “gun” fight. Just little things like that would make it a so much better experience. You don’t even need the rogue CMs to be there every walk thru, just once in a while and something to break up the monotony of that portion of the ride.
We now have a quick little chit-chat by Kylo Ren before we are “freed” by the resistance. How the hell did they get in there in the first place?? The other thing I wonder is how many of the people going thru the ride at that point actually know they are being freed by the good guys. It’s not overly obvious, and you could easily be caught up with everything else going on. Once you get seated in the ride vehicle, the vast eternal plan starts to become apparent.
And off we go ……… on a rather bizarre loop de loop back and forth to dead ends and back, until we find our way out of the enemy ship. Sure we get shot at, and the resistance is there shooting back, but for what purpose? We’re not going to get hit. Little lighted up areas showing damage is a bit odd. Maybe a few parts actually flying off the walls and ride vehicle would have helped. As with the storm trooper room, the first time you go past the AT-AT’s it’s “wow” but 2nd and 3rd time, it’s ….. here we go again. So we are treated to some stirring Star Wars music as we slip and slide, go backwards and forwards, watch an ensuing battle thru the windows, say hello and goodbye to Kylo Ren, and then we reach a hole in the starship, where we ever-so gently drop into space. And poof, in a blink of an eye, we are back on land.
Despite my criticisms, I genuinely like Rise …. but I don’t see it as a multiple ride-per-day attraction like MFSR. I will argue for MFSR against ROTR any day. Yes, you go thru the same areas, but if you’ve been on it multiple times like I have, you know there’s a big difference between a good and bad crew. It’s fun ….. and the queue line is light years ahead of the one for Rise.