Disney offers a fresh peek inside Rise of the Resistance

November 29, 2019, 1:51 PM · We are less than one week now from the long-anticipated opening of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride inside Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios. To officially send off the Hype Train from the station, Disney today released a fresh look from inside the ride and its queue, including some new on-ride video.

I will be in Orlando for the ride's grand opening on Wednesday night, in advance of its anticipated opening to the public on Thursday. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for our on-ride video and interviews next week, as well as coverage of the opening ceremony. Oh, and expect a few surprises along the way, too. (I also will be covering Epcot's Festival of the Holidays, which opened today.)

Disney invited me to walk through part of the Rise of the Resistance last summer, and I expect this new ride to be the highlight of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land. (Stop reading now if you want to avoid spoilers.) The adventure begins in the Resistance camp on the edge of the Black Spire Outpost, on the Galaxy's Edge planet of Batuu. Passing a gun turret at the queue entrance, you will wind through the Resistance base, eventually making your way into a briefing room where an animatronic BB8 and a "holo-transmission" of Rey will welcome you to the Resistance and tell you about the plan to meet General Leia Organa at another Resistance base — one that must be kept secret from the First Order.

From there, your group walks past Poe Dameron's Black One X-wing to board an Intersystem Transport Ship to meet General Organa. Piloted by Nien Nunb, the I-TS gets caught in a First Order Star Destroyer's tractor beam, and you are brought into the ship's hangar bay — a jaw-dropping practical set piece filled with 50 stormtroopers and a docked TIE fighter. That's where you will try to make your escape via eight-passenger First Order Fleet Transports piloted by reprogrammed R5-series astromech droids.

The trackless ride vehicles carry you through additional practical sets, where Disney promises encounters with Kylo Ren and General Hux, as well as full-sized AT-AT walkers, turbolaser cannons, and the Star Destroyer's bridge.

Eventually, you make it to an escape pod, which launches from the Star Destroyer, transporting you back to Batuu.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance comprises four ride systems: the IT-S transport, the trackless First Order Fleet Transports, a motion base that the transport vehicle drives onto as it enters the escape pod, and a drop shaft that creates the effect of dropping from the Star Destroyer. The last three ride systems all work together, as you remain seated within the transport vehicle during each of those sequences.

That makes Rise of the Resistance one of the more, if not the most, technically complex theme attraction systems ever developed. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see how it all comes together... and to share that experience with all of you here on Theme Park Insider.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens officially next Thursday, December 5 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida and on January 17, 2020 at Disneyland in California.

Planning a Disney visit Ready to visit? For tickets to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, visit our officially authorized Disneyland tickets and Orlando-area attraction tickets pages.

Replies (10)

November 29, 2019 at 2:45 PM

Gonna just repost my thoughts from the discussion forum since this is a live post, but just to add from this new video: who the heck is that narrator? My guess is it's the Mon Calamari character (not Ackbar, as he's dead) from the transport vehicle that we saw in the ABC preview. I was under the impression Finn would narrate the ride, but it seems like he'll just pop up at key moments. Anyhoo...

Can only speak for myself but as an AP I have never been more excited for the debut of any Disney attraction than this one, and I anticipate it becoming the best theme park ride in the United States. It's a trackless dark ride with an ambitious pre-show and a motion simulator/physical drop finale, filled with elaborately detailed sets and what seems to be a fairly compelling storyline. It sounds like they've nailed the idea of placing guests right in the middle of a Star Wars movie. The preview for it on the ABC Thanksgiving show only made me more excited, though if you're looking to avoid spoilers it shows basically the entire ride.

Between Falcon's insane throughput, the new factor of RotR, and my guess at the respective quality of the rides, I also think it's fairly insane to think that Millennium Falcon will have the longer queue, but we've been wrong about virtually every crowd prediction for Galaxy's Edge so far, so I guess we'll see. FWIW (very little, probably), I think it will open Thursday morning to about a 5-6 hour wait and then calm down to 2-3 hours in the evening, followed by a solid 120-150 minute posted wait for the rest of December. The real wait will probably be about 60-75% that length. No FP+ means double the queue capacity!

Not entirely on topic, but I was in GE last night and I'm starting to warm up to the place a bit more. We talk a lot about the lack of streetmosphere or interactivity, which is part of what I think everyone's main issue is: there's relatively little to do if you're not willing or able to spend money. It's a fair criticism and one I share, but it is Disney's prerogative to charge whatever they wish and the customer's prerogative to pay or not pay it. But just spending time in GE is starting to bring me a little more joy; we ended up just walking through it a couple times and taking in the sights. The detail is overwhelming. Chewbacca hid from some Stormtroopers behind one of our party while we were waiting for a Ronto wrap. I tried the Green Milk (it wasn't bad! better than the blue if you don't like sweets as much). Falcon sat between 75-90 minutes most of the day, but it was down to a posted 40 during the utterly wretched Jingle Bell Jingle BAM show, and we ended up waiting about 25 before the pre-show. I get the mixed reviews from people who don't enjoy simulators, but for me it remains a top 5 attraction at WDW after at least a dozen rides. All things considered, I'm pretty happy with Galaxy's Edge as is once RotR is open, even if I'd be absolutely thrilled to see more live entertainment and interactivity added. But Disney is never going to get the majority of guests to LARP, and it was silly for them to think they could.

November 29, 2019 at 3:15 PM

From Disney's press release, the narrator is a new character: "Lieutenant Bek is a Mon Calamari Resistance officer who helps guide the Resistance recruits through their harrowing journey."

November 29, 2019 at 7:31 PM

All advance word on ROTR suggests that it will be awesome. The only problem is that, reportedly, it has been having a LOT of technical issues -- maybe one reason it won`t be included in EMH. Hopefully it won`t have all the issues that Hagrid`s coaster did at IOA (is that ride fully operational yet?).

What the heck is LARP??

November 29, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Live Action Role Playing, basically how Disney wants guests to imagine themselves as characters in the Star Wars universe "living out your Star Wars story" and play-act within the land. I appreciate the ambition and the desire to do something new, enough that I'm willing to give the land a pass on a lot of things, but I don't think most theme park guests are interested in participating in that. To make matters worse, they're in a weird half-space with it, where there probably isn't enough interaction for a true LARPer to get a whole lot out of it while others are put off by GE not being a typical theme park land.

November 30, 2019 at 12:59 AM

I hope the opening of this is successful, as I've heard it is coming right down to the wire. The attraction looks amazing, and if it delivers on what is promised this will be the best theme park attraction in North America. I'm looking forward to hearing reactions once everyone gets to ride, but it's going to be tough to avoid spoilers until I can experience it in late January out in California (you bet I'll be there the first non-block out day I have off work).

November 30, 2019 at 6:57 PM

I get the technical concerns. I rode Expedition Everest when it first opened so I got to see the very impressive working Yeti before it became a joke.

Thing is, these concerns are always common for major Disney rides. I keep pointing out that if the Internet had existed in 1980s, we'd be hearing stories of problems and delays on Captain Eo, Star Tours and Splash Mountain to make them all look much worse than they were. And let's not forget how many years it took to finally get Test Track going. So I expect some bugs but sure Disney knows to keep them smooth for such an E-ticket ride.

December 2, 2019 at 8:11 AM

Who will be there at 5 am on Thursday morning? We should take a TPI READERS photo!

December 2, 2019 at 9:03 AM

Hagrids is 70 per cent operational by my guess. I was with family trying to ride Hagrid three days in mid-November. It opened late one day, and always stopped accepting waiters by 4-5PM. I waited 70 minutes in a posted 90 minute wait. It slowed at two "stations", and got fully stopped 50 feet from the end for 15 minutes.

One morning, 8 family arrived 815 at gate, in line by 845, off ride by 915.

Another morning, 6 family arrived 800 at gate, in line by 900, all the way till seeing loading area, and ride stopped. They waited for re-start until 1015 and left line.

Of 15 who rode Hagrid, 14 said it put smile on face for hours!

It still seems like sensor and/or user interface issues. Safety sensors stop ride, sometimes troubleshot quickly, other times hard-stops require deeper investigation using hard-to-use tools (my GUESS, no inside info). I would wonder if these diagnostic delays will occur with RoR?

December 2, 2019 at 9:55 AM

Can't wait--though I'll have to as we won't be heading out to Disneyland until next October. As Robert stated in another post, it's great to see Disney and Universal going for it with these rides. Expected technical issues aside, this one should be a masterpiece.

December 2, 2019 at 5:58 PM

It`s not necessary to participate in the role playing in order to enjoy GE. We loved touring the land, watching the walk around characters and show in front of the Tie Fighter, taking pics and doing the Falcon ride.

I might experience ROTR at Disneyland first, but if it suffers from persistent breakdowns, I`m going to wait until they iron out the bugs.

Thanks for the update re. Hagrid`s coaster.

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