What do fans expect from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

December 2, 2019, 8:48 PM · No more excuses. After this week, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be complete at the Walt Disney World Resort. The highly anticipated anchor attraction of Disney's multi-billion-dollar Star Wars land - Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance - opens to the public on Thursday, months after the rest of the project.

Galaxy's Edge's debut at Disneyland last spring led to disappointing attendance, and the land's opening at the end of the summer in Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida didn't exactly pack in the crowds like many expected/feared, either. The word from Disney was that many fans were waiting for the complete experience before booking their trips. That means Rise of the Resistance.

Will this new attraction - perhaps the most technically ambitious theme park ride ever built - make everyone forget about the first few months with Galaxy's Edge and instead remember this land as nothing but a rousing success? Will it drive record traffic to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as Disney surely intended for an investment of this size? What will it take for you to consider this new ride a success?

I am here in Orlando to cover the media event for Rise of the Resistance and am planning to publish my review on Wednesday morning. Until then, I've collected all of my previous Galaxy's Edge videos for you in a playlist, to re-live the Star Wars land story up until now.

But before I share my opinion on Rise of the Resistance on Wednesday, I would like to hear what expectation you have for this ride. So let's put that up for a vote.

In the comments, please share more detail about your expectations for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and how you believe that it, ultimately, should be judged.

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Replies (56)

December 2, 2019 at 9:06 PM

Hope they hit it out of the park with this ride. Galaxy's Edge looks fantastic, but, like many people, I was never overly excited about the Smuggler's Run ride. It looks fun, but I've been able to ride a Star Wars simulator for years. It was the idea of an immersive Star Wars dark ride that always got me excited.
I'm hoping that is what was keeping guests away, waiting for the full experience. Reviews of GE have been generally positive, with a vocal group of "not my Star Wars" complaints, along with "just an stylized shopping mall" criticism.
I can't see why this ride couldn't push the land past Pandora levels of popularity, and start approaching the love and respect that Harry Potter's lands receive.
Any-which-way, I'm still over 12 months away before I will be able to judge for myself.

December 2, 2019 at 11:03 PM

The whole experience seems like it was modeled after Escape From Gringotts, which went up against huge expectations and I think ends up leaving guests too cold. I have a feeling that guests will prefer the pure exhilaration of Flight of Passage over Resistance when it comes to the most popular ride at Disney World.

December 3, 2019 at 1:37 AM

I'd say that it needs to have at least as long a wait time as Frozen when it first opened, which was, from what I remember, 4 hours long for months. If the wait time is 2 hours or less within the first week, then it is definitely a failure. We were on Smuggler's Run during the second week of its opening and the wait time was 30 minutes at night. We actually waited 20 minutes one night.

Regardless of its wait time, however, I don't see how Rise of the Resistance can make Galaxy's Edge popular when it isn't. The most people will do is to crowd around the ride, waiting to get on. They are still not going to care about the rest of the Land if they don't care now.

The biggest competition that Galaxy's Edge had, when I was at WDW, was Magic Kingdom. Every time I went to the bus stop at Pop Century any time of the day, I saw an MK bus stopped there and a crowd of people trying to get on it. The Hollywood Studios bus stop? Not even half as crowded. People are just not going to waste time going to Galaxy's Edge because that's just 2 rides total. The rest of Hollywood Studios have another handful of rides. Compare that to Magic Kingdom, which has so many rides! In fact, even Epcot is a big threat. One night I was walking around the lake, and there were so many people that I couldn't walk as fast as I wanted. All those people should have been at Galaxy's Edge and not be blocking my way, but they weren't! When I finally got out of there, I went to Galaxy's Edge, and it wasn't near as crowded as Epcot, though there were some people in it. But I could have easily walked fast through it if I wanted to.

The real question is, will Rise of the Resistance be as popular as Flight of Passage? It has to be, for all the money and effort that went into it. If it isn't, then it is definitely a failure, just like the rest of Galaxy's Edge.

I remember Smuggler's Run started the first day with a 300 minute wait, but towards the end of the day, the wait was 80 minutes. I am waiting to compare waiting times of RotR and FoP, because that will be the definitely answer to the question of RotR's success.

December 3, 2019 at 2:25 AM

Surely wait time has no bearing whatsoever on whether a ride is good or great or anything else? Frozen had such huge wait times because it is an incredibly low capacity ride themed to an incredibly popular IP. For a pleasant little boat ride it has insane levels of waiting but it says more about the insistence of young children than it does the success or otherwise of the ride.

Smugglers Run has a massive capacity and has operated almost flawlessly since day one, thus processing massive numbers of people. It's hard to see how that can be considered anything other than a sucess. Hagrids was supposed to be a people-eater but is still, 6 months down the line, operating at approximately half capacity, thus creating lines way longer than they should be. But to my mind that's a failure, not a measure of success.

From what I've read RotR is also a huge people-eater so if, (and that's the question), IF if runs without too much downtime it should be able to swallow up huge amounts of people without creating ridiculously long lines.

December 3, 2019 at 3:11 AM

Given the enormous cost, the level of hype, and the technology that has gone into Rise of the Resistance, it needs to achieve four things in order for me to consider it a success:

1. The attraction needs to be at least on par with the best Disney has created when it comes to theming and detail. I'm using Indiana Jones Adventure and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as the standards here...if it's at least as well themed, it passes.

2. The attraction needs to offer an experience that cannot be found on any other attraction at Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort. It doesn't have to be the best experience at the resort, but it needs to be a unique experience. If it features a combination not found on other attractions but still doesn't bring anything new to the table, that is not a pass in my book.

3. The attraction needs to feel authentic. While riding, it should feel like you're really escaping a Star Destroyer, and when characters appear it should seem as if they're really there. Convincing screen effects are satisfactory here, but if you're just stopping and watching action take place on a screen it doesn't meet this standard.

4. The attraction needs to be repeatable. It needs to be something that someone can ride several times in the same vacation and still be excited and impressed by every single time. A ride that is awesome the first time but loses a lot of appeal on subsequent rides would be a massive disappointment in my book.

That's it. I don't care if the ride opens with a 4 hour wait or a 20 minute wait. I don't care if the ride goes down a half dozen times (though if that's the case, I'd deem it a failure if not corrected by a few months into operation). I don't care if the story seems cliche, or if it doesn't line up with what I think should be in the Star Wars Universe. As long as Rise of the Resistance meets the above four criteria, I'd consider it a successful addition.

December 3, 2019 at 4:52 AM

Let's hope that the money spent and hype associated with Galaxy's Edge it is a massive step-up from the Millennium Falcon, which is utter pants! Having queued for over an hour for it a couple of weeks ago I was hugely disappointed as it is no more than an elaborate simulator which was around 20+ years ago.

Disney need a genuine E-ticket attraction to justify the hype and investment otherwise GE will be a flop.

GE is no Potter land and they have come nowhere near competing with Universal Creative.

Diagon Alley v Galaxy's Edge - no competition I am afraid.

December 3, 2019 at 6:23 AM

I'm mostly with AJ here, and based on what we've seen so far, I think it will hit those criteria. WDW does not have a trackless dark ride, and this appears to be "Star Wars meets Mystic Manor" in terms of concept, which is certainly new for WDW. [SPOILER] The resort has simulators and drop rides, but not doing both at the same time, so I'm confident that will feel like a new experience and provide a suitably thrilling finale. [END SPOILER]

I'm going to post a review of the ride on Friday after riding it Thursday night, provided it doesn't go down for the evening before I can get on board. As for wait times, please remember that this ride does not have FastPass, meaning a 120 minute wait for RotR would be a 240 minute wait on FoP (and probably longer, as RotR seems like it will be far more efficient).

And no, ProfPlum, the technology behind Falcon is astoundingly groundbreaking, as the first simulator that renders in real time *and* matches rider-controlled movement to the actions on the screen. Blows my mind every time.

December 3, 2019 at 6:52 AM

The most expansive land created by the biggest theme park company in the world got a lackluster reaction. Disney overestimated the popularity of the brand they bought and what they did with it. One billion dollars was invested.
Even if this ride is pushing the needle it remains that the land on it's own couldn't pull in the audience. That trend can also be seen with Avatar, 1 great ride, nice looking land but it can hold the guests after the ride.
I expect this ride to be amazing, in how Disney hyped it up for so money years. I hope the land and rides will react on how you do, as promised many times, and we can finally see that promise come true. I hope the wait time won't be 10+ hours otherwise Bob Chapek has to eat his words. And I hope people will be as enthusiastic about this ride as I, and many other guests where, about Hagrid's.
I for one won't visit the ride, I hate what Disney has done to Star Wars and this ride has the new trilogy all over it. But to anyone else, have a good one.

December 3, 2019 at 6:55 AM

As far as comparisons go, I am not sure any are fair. Gringots I think is excellent, and certainly is one of the best attractions on earth and may be some of my family member's favorite. Does it have to be better than that? No. I don't think Avatar FoP is all that, just a Soarin on wings, but it is undoubtedly a massive success. It looks like this will place you inside a Star Wars movie, which is exactly what this land is supposed to do. I don't care if it is Dinsosaur+Tower of Terror if it does what it plans to do. I agree with AJ, that it needs to live up to multiple experiences, which is why Pirates and the Haunted Mansion are timeless. You can get tired of Gringots unless you soak in the queue. Same with Forbidden Journey, which I consider the pinnacle of theme park design. I don't think it has to surpass any of those. It simply needs to tell its story in the confines of the land. If it allows you to soak in the experience as you go through the queue and is as long as they say, then I bet they will pull it off and the land. If you are not a Star Wars fan, then you may not care.

The other parks will still have massive crowds. I have been a huge fan my entire life, but I am not going to go to WDW and not also go to the World Showcase, Magic Kingdom, and experience all the other things the place has to offer. And I wish they would remove FP+ on Avatar just for one day so people would see just how must shorter the wait would really be.

December 3, 2019 at 7:03 AM

ProfPlum ..... did you actually ride MFSR at SWGE in DHS ?? I only ask, because I totally agree with evanW ... it's a truly amazing ride, and worthy of far more than "utter pants" !! You must have been an engineer ??

As for RotR ... 18mins is a long time to be on a ride, so it better be darn good from the first to last minute. I can't see it being a repeatable ride, as MFSR is, so once people have been thru once I don't see too many willing to go another 18mins thru what will be the exact same thing. Now if there were different scenarios that would be different.

No way will this be a FofP beater. The sheer elegance of that ride will still make it tops at WDW. Hype is one thing, reality is another and I stand by my statement that eventually MFSR will see longer lines than RotR.

As a passholder, FP+ can't come quickly enough to the 2 rides in SWGE. Maybe that will all happen when M&M's train ride opens in the Spring.

December 3, 2019 at 7:14 AM

Makorider, no! Join the anti-FP+ movement! They keep making the app harder and harder to use for APs looking for same-day FPs (the November 17 update removing the Modify function has my blood boiling), while Falcon's standby line moves at such a fast clip that the wait flies by. No FP+ means no insanely boring and lengthy standby waits!

I also don't agree that RotR won't be repeatable or that it won't have a longer line than Falcon (it's likely to have lower capacity, for one, and it's the more hyped of the two rides). There's so much detail to take in, I'm personally anticipating going several times in January once the Christmas crowds leave to absorb it all. Think of it like a Haunted Mansion or a Pirates in that sense. The 18 minutes is misleading, too, as most of that will be spent on the pre-show. The actual ride portion is supposed to be about 4-5 minutes in length.

December 3, 2019 at 7:49 AM

@makorider - I know as an AP, you'd much rather have FP+ available so you can pick and choose which days to pop in to ride, but for most guests to WDW, FP+ is a scourge on their vacations and I would hope that the lack of FP+ on the Galaxy's Edge attractions at their onset forces Disney to realize how much the system gums up their operations.

As far as being repeatable, I think the lines will eliminate some of the desire for guests' to re-ride RotR. If you think about it, FoP is nearly 15 minutes in length when you consider the time it takes from the initial sort (prior to the pre-show) until you're off the attraction. That attraction is identical every time you ride it, but people can't seem to get enough of it (we plan to ride it at least 4 times on our next trip in January), but you can only experience it so many times because the lines are so long (mostly because of FP+ and the inability of the system to operate all 4 theaters simultaneously). Star Tours was pretty much the same experience when it first opened at Disneyland (rotating scenes weren't introduced until the "The Adventures Continue" in 2010), yet guests queued up for hours to ride the simulator over and over again. I don't think the length or the static experience will lessen people's desire to re-ride RotR if it is as good as Disney has touted. There's also the blurring of the line between when waiting for the attraction ends and where the actual experience begins. Disney would have you believe that the attraction begins as soon as you walk by the turret at the ride's entrance, but when do guests really feel like the ride has started - when they board that first standing transport, which is really just a sorting and queuing mechanism (like Haunted Mansion's Stretch Room), or does it start when you sit in those dark ride vehicles, which sounds like will only last for about 5-8 minutes including the drop sequence?

I think linking the success of an attraction to the length of the lines is short sighted. Line lengths are affected by a number of factors, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with popularity. As has been noted, RotR has reportedly been designed with a staggering amount of capacity (rumored at upwards of 2,000 pph), so if an already small-ish park with a limited lineup of attractions (and FP+ tiering that hinders guests from experiencing all of the top rides in a single day) can't generate 4+ hour lines consistently, is that really a failure of the attraction/land, or an overall failure of the park, its layout/design, and an efficient, people-eater of a ride? There's also breakdowns and technical issues that can artificially inflate lines, similar to what has happened to Hagrid's. People seem to be downplaying the popularity of MFSR because lines have settled into the 45-60 minute range, far below FoP, but the reality is that MFSR rarely breaks down, and has such efficient operations that it has been running at maximum capacity from day 1, reducing the need for guests to sprint to it first thing in the morning (instead SDD has become the preferred "rope drop" ride because of the coaster's more limited capacity), meaning that shorter early morning lines (and lack of FP+) keep waits manageable and steady throughout the day.

If RotR is to be successful, this extra wait for its debut has to be worth it not only in the quality of the experience but the reliability of the systems. Disney can't screw this debut up, and the attraction MUST be able to meet demand with minimal downtime and technical difficulties. Don't forget, some guests in California got goaded into purchasing expensive APs to avoid blackouts introduced explicitly for Galaxy's Edge, but will have waited 8 months for the marquee attraction to open, so there's a lot of pressure of Disney to make this attraction deliver. I have little doubt that the experience will deliver based on what has been revealed thus far. It really sounds like Imagineers examined Star Trek: The Experience, which was an incredibly immersive multi-platform experience, to develop RotR. If Disney can meet or exceed what was done at the Las Vegas Hilton, they will have a huge hit on their hands. The only thing that will hamper the success of the attraction will be downtime.

December 3, 2019 at 7:52 AM

Poo-eeeee …. you will never sway me off FP+ ….. LOL …. :) Best thing since the proverbial sliced bread. The latest app change was a system shock that’s for sure, but apart from the change time kicking you back out to ‘continue’ if there isn’t another time available, it’s working just fine. I’m trying to persuade the app people to change that, but from their replies I don’t see much hope. It’s that extra step I talked about when I first wrote about the change.

If there is one thing I dislike about the FP+ system it’s the need to clear two 2nd tier rides before I can get back on a top tier. I like to ride Slinky and TofT when I’m at DHS, but I spend more time trying to get rid of those pesky other 2 than getting another tier one ride.

Now there’s a thing ….. I would love to be able to miss the FofP & MFSR pre-shows. Yes the FP+ line at MFSR will dump you into the Hondo pre-show.

For all you FP+ haters, you’d better get used to the idea that the 2 SWGE rides at DHS will eventually end up part of the ‘system’. Will it increase the standby line wait time ? It’s going to be interesting to see, as we will have had months of no FP+ to compare times before and after.

I'm at BGT on Thursday, so I may drop into DHS on my way home as rumour has it the drones will be flying. If the wait time for RotR is less than 90mins, I may wait ..... but then again if MFSR is less than 15mins .... decisions ... decisions ... :)

December 3, 2019 at 7:56 AM

From a review posted by CNN (NO SPOILERS): "It was two weeks ahead of the launch, when I became the first reporter to experience the attraction. Despite the anticipation and buzz around the ride, no one outside of those who built "Rise" knew what to really expect. But my expectations were certainly met — and then some."

The article continues: "When people talk about Disney magic, that's what they mean: environments and experiences created with such commitment to detail that you momentarily lose yourself in the story. The density of characters, sets, vehicles and effects — all driven by a clear narrative arc — condensed the emotions of a whole Star Wars movie into a tidy immersive experience. The intricacy begged the question: How did Disney do it?"

"This was exactly the thrill ride I was looking for.”

December 3, 2019 at 8:35 AM

I'd recommend take a look at a recent post on...

https://disneyandmore.blogspot.com/2019/12/discover-lucasport-other-star-wars-land.html

...about an original Star Wars concept, back before Star Tours. While I'm excited about RoTR, can't help but think something like the roller coaster mentioned here would have been better. The scale seems far more impressive and would have added that kinetic energy that GE needs (that SDD adds to TSL).

Epcot is getting a track-less ride next year as it is - Can't help but question why WDW is opening two similar rides mechanics so close together. Danger that RoTR will make Ratatouille dated or that Ratatouille will run smoother (being less complex). No doubt there will be comparisons. Ratatouille has shown in Paris it's an excellent ride and good enough to corner of the market.

Using BB8, Kylo Ren, etc will help RoTR though. It does look like it's going to be a must-see ride. This is meant to the main attraction of the land and we should be excited. Disney has earned enough respect and goodwill over the years with it's rides and designs, that we should have hope.

...just have a niggling fear that the ride will be overly complex and break down to many times. Fingers crossed in a few days we are all gushing over the ride, not seeing complaints about reliability.

December 3, 2019 at 10:37 AM

Makorider, spot on! I was at the back as an Engineer. Utterly pointless and a waste of an hour. It may be slightly enjoyable as a Pilot but I am not going to change my thoughts.

Surely it should be the same experience and "thrill" for everybody....??

No doubt if there is such a disparity of experiences between a Pilot and an Engineer it is only a matter of time before Disney insist on an additional charge to be a Pilot.

December 3, 2019 at 9:09 AM

It’s finally here, the completion of Star Wars land!
I’ll be there later this month, and then back to DHS next year for the opening of MMRR! Great to almost have DHS back on top of my favorite WDW park list!

December 3, 2019 at 9:46 AM

ProfPlum .... it's a whole new ride in the pilots seat, and if you ever visit again, just tell the CM at the card distribution point you want to be a pilot, and they will duly oblige. As a guesstimate .... the single rider line will 80% of the time put you as an engineer, 19.99% as a gunner and .01% as a pilot. I'm an avid gamer, so to fly the Falcon in the pilots seat is great fun, and I'll do it over and over again if I get the chance. (Usually late in the evenings)

I don't see me riding RotR over and over again as a comparison, but hey, maybe I'm wrong. Hopefully I'll find out this week. Although if it's the dreaded virtual boarding I'll keep on driving along I4 till I get home.

December 3, 2019 at 9:53 AM

As a matter of interest why is not acceptable for Disney to have more than one attraction using the same ride mechanism? In Magic Kingdom you've got The Little Mermaid and Haunted Mansion, both omni-movers, you've got Pirates and Jungle Cruise, both boat-rides. You've got Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, both coasters. Honestly does it matter if we have two, tree or more trackless rides? It's whether each ride offers something individual that matters, not whether it's unique. There's a big difference.

December 3, 2019 at 10:39 AM

I think there's something to be said for not duplicating ride systems in the same park and/or resort. However, while RotR may utilize trackless ride vehicles, similar to the ones that will be employed on Ratatouille, those same vehicles are being used in a very different way on RotR by linking into a motion base AND into a drop shaft. Dynamically, the sensations generated on RotR are going to be VERY different than what guests will experience on Ratatouille. This is not a Body Wars/Star Tours scenario where the same exact ride system is used with different theming, this will be two completely different applications of the technology to create two very different experiences.

@makorider - I see your point in regards to FP+, but don't you think the system would be better served if guests didn't have to make reservations until they walked through the park gates? I think FP has a place and is a good system to allow guests access to popular attractions without suffocating waits. However, the obsessive pre-planning and mishigas that Disney has concocted with the 30-day (for off-site), 60-day (for on-site) and now 90-day (for Concierge with upcharge) advanced access to the system has done nothing but made things worse. Having visited Disneyland over the summer and utilized the resort's upcharge MaxPass system, it was liberating to not be beholden to a plan that was locked into place 60 days earlier. The angst and frustration that we just went through last week to procure out FP+ reservations for our January WDW trip was annoying (seems that the system always takes a dump on Tuesday mornings, which was the day our advanced window opened). While we would still likely follow a elaborately constructed plan even if you didn't pick FP+ attractions in advance, not having to worry about it until we were walking through the park gates would be far less stressful and a huge improvement over what FP+ has become at WDW. The only advantage of FP+ is that there are enough oblivious/ignorant guests out there that don't know how the system works or how to use it to their advantage, meaning those that do are able to exert an even greater advantage than MaxPass offers.

The tier system at DHS is quite possibly the dumbest move of all time with FP+. People are picking up FP+s for attractions they have no intentions of experiencing (guilty as charged) just to clear the deck for the chance of getting a FP for another Tier 1 attraction. This doesn't help ANYONE, and makes Disney think that attractions are more popular than they actually are because FP demand is high, even though no one is actually riding or watching the shows. It was a problem when TSL opened and put ASS as a Tier 1, but then Disney doubled down on it by putting every other ride in the park (aside from Star Tours, which has now become a nearly impossible get before 2 PM unless you're staying onsite) on Tier 1. As time passes, it seems that every decision Disney makes regarding FP+ makes the system WORSE, not better. The only thing that would fix it now would be to get rid of it altogether or move to a MaxPass-type system. We all know that will NEVER happen, because Disney rarely rolls anything back, because it would be an admission that the system is a failure.

December 3, 2019 at 10:39 AM

Makorider, thank you. Consider it done!

December 3, 2019 at 11:18 AM

Russell .... agreed, nothing aggravates me more than the dumbest of dumb tier systems at DHS. I'd almost take a MK system over that, but then again, maybe not.

I used to book Slinky, Aerosmith and TofT, now I have to 'waste' the 2 lower ones to get, if I'm lucky, one other top tier in an evening visit. It's easy for a day trip, but frustrating in the dwindling time frame of FP+ in the last few park hours.

I'm sure it will all change with the opening of M&M's train ride. I really can't see Disney opening that ride with no fast pass ?? but who knows.

I understand the frustration for you guys who come here on vacation and are scrambling to book FP+ rides 60/30 days in advance. The evening before is when I start to look (for top tiers), and 95% of my changing (not modifying .. LOL :) .. ) is done day-of.

As an example to the "oblivious/ignorant" comment. I went to DAK the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The night before I'd found a FofP for 9:10am. I usually loop round the park and walk past the Lion King building, under the bridge by club 33 and up to Pandora that way. As I rounded the bend at the top I was confronted by the end of the FofP line !!! I asked the CM if the ride was working, and she said yes, but it was 180mins from that point. That was at around 9:30. I flew over Pandora, and within an hour and a half I was back on another Banshee. I thought then .... those people at the end of the line would still not have ridden it once !?! Crazy stuff. I snagged another FP+ later, so rode FofP 3 times that day, and even cancelled another one for later in the afternoon.

Sometimes it's good to have those oblivious people .... :)


Good luck ProfPlum. I mentioned the single rider line just in case you thought about trying that route to get on the ride. It can be a walk-on sometimes, but the CM's say they are not supposed to give out pilot seats for the single rider line.

December 3, 2019 at 11:30 AM

Just popping in to say Galaxy's Edge is one of Disney's worst decisions of all time. Beautiful themeing wasted on a terrible attraction (Smuggler's Run) and significantly upcharged experiences. RotR will need to be the next "big thing" in themed design to change my mind, because as of now, Galaxy's Edge is nothing more than an elaborate money-pit meant to suck as much money out of SW nerds as possible while offering virtually no attraction value. A massive disappointment all around and it's effectively eaten up the remainder of available property for future expansion (at least at Disneyland). It's so bad it's actually making me wish Eisner was back just so he could have green-lit Tony Baxter's Discovery Bay--which would have been infinitely more entertaining and enduring.

SW as an IP is in a bit of trouble. If the rumors are true about the last sequel, it may turn a large portion of the fanbase on any future "Disney Wars" projects.

December 3, 2019 at 11:42 AM

"SW as an IP is in a bit of trouble"

I wish I had that kind of multi-million/billion dollar 'trouble'.....

December 3, 2019 at 11:46 AM

I'm not impressed with GE so far, but I have high hopes for RotR. It looks like it has the potential to be the most immersive attraction to date.

A few concerns. 18 minutes is a long time, and looking at the size of the show building, I think this means that this "thrill ride" will go very slow for most of the journey. That said, there may be effects that give the illusion of motion throughout. I hope it doesn't essentially ride-though like a theme queue, where you just stop and see a bunch of scenes you could have experienced as part of a walk-through themed queue.

I'm looking forwarding to trying it soon.

I have to say that so far, with the exception of the lightsaber building experience, GE has disappointed me greatly. It was neat to see the MF, but the ride was only so-so.

December 3, 2019 at 12:03 PM

For it to be a success, it needs to be the new The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and set a new bar for dark rides that others will chase for a long, long time. And I think it will.

December 3, 2019 at 12:10 PM

"I understand the frustration for you guys who come here on vacation and are scrambling to book FP+ rides 60/30 days in advance. The evening before is when I start to look (for top tiers), and 95% of my changing (not modifying .. LOL :) .. ) is done day-of."

But you have the luxury as an AP to go another day if there aren't any FP+s for rides you want. For people on vacation, they probably only get one shot to get on the attractions they want. So why in the world does Disney put that stress on guests 60 days before they ever set foot in a WDW park? I guess Disney would argue that by having those FPs taken care of in advance, it lets you feel at ease that you will get to ride some of your favorite attractions without having to wait. The problem is that the system doesn't really help the majority of guests, and is more burden than it is benefit, and every change Disney has made to the system since FP+ took over from the old paper system has only made things worse.

@Blake - What is so terrible about MFSR? I think it's a great attraction, especially considering that it is the second tier attraction to RotR. As far as being "an elaborate money-pit", since when has a Disney park (or Star Wars in general) been anything other than a mechanism to separate people from their money. Businesses make investments to generate revenue, not for kudos and awards. Every theme park on the planet exists to make money, and every addition to an existing park is put in to increase that flow of cash.

@DBCooper - I'm not sure if you've read any of the specific details about RotR, but I don't think you need to worry about a slow-moving walk-through style attraction. I don't want to give anything away here if you don't want to be spoiled, but RotR will be like going on multiple different attractions experienced back to back.

December 3, 2019 at 12:35 PM

@Russell - MFSR is a worse version of both Star Tours and Mission: Space. It attempts to combine elements of both but fails miserably at both. Its "gaming" elements are incredibly mundane and amount to nothing more than some basic button pressing or stick moving--like Guitar Hero only not nearly as fun, engaging, challenging, or impactful on the overall experience. If you are sitting in any seat other than the pilot's seat, you can barely see through the glass panes (which also reflect glares from all of the interior buttons and lights). The plot is thin and uninspiring and the entire experience was overall terrible. It's as if Disney tried to copy Universal Creative but ran out of money half way through and said "Screw it, let's light some buttons up and have people press it to give the illusion of interactivity". It is, quite frankly, a prime example of lazy attraction development. When your queue is better than the actual ride, you know there's a problem.

As far as it being a money-pit, all of the other "attractions" or "experiences" in the land require significant investment. Want to experience building your own light saber? $200. Want to build your own droid? $100. Want to drink at a SW cantina/bar? At least $14 on top of a minimum 60 minute wait (if I didn't have a reservation).

While it is true that Disney has always designed parks to suck money out of people, no other land requires upcharges to experience their interactive offerings. I don't have to pay a separate entrance fee to walk through the Nautilis at DLP or buy a princess outfit for my daughters if they want to meet the any of the princess at the Royal Hall at DLR. There's no pay wall to try any of the things I can do (or could do) at Innoventions (no matter how outdated they may be) or to sample cokes from around the world at EPCOT (has this gone away yet?). All of these things are included with my ticket price. While I understand that part of the appeal is getting to keep the item you make at GE (Either a light saber or a droid), having an option available to people who simply want to experience these things should be a no brainer--especially considering the high price tags associated with it. If I theoretically was a huge SW fan and I wanted to experience EVERYTHING that GE offers I would be have to dish out AT LEAST $428 (Value Day admission @ $104+$100 Droid+$200 Light Saber+$14 for Drink at Cantina). This is assuming you would go to the park on a value day and does not factor tax or any OTHER expenses you may incur during your visit--which, if I'm a big SW fan--I'm probably going to be spending another $100 on merch and food alone. This is insane.

December 3, 2019 at 1:33 PM

What do fans expect from SW:RotR?

SW fans expect to be blown away by being immersed in Star Wars and a vocal minority will still express disappointment because they aren't following some original trilogy character.

Disney fans will be confused and slightly underwhelmed but swear it was the greatest ride ever invented! (other than Mansion, Pirates, or JC... )

Universal fans will quietly hope this is a better/evolved Spiderman ride but end up talking about the technical marvels at Universal Orlando and change the subject to Nintendo.

ThemeParkInsider readers will enjoy the attraction immensely.

ThemeParkInsider commenters will tribe-up into pro and anti Disney groups that randomly split into fighting among age ranges.

I'm excited to see this ride. Eventually I'll get free time to check it out.

Love you all!

Edit Corrected Tribe up to Tribe-up (Thanks TH)

December 3, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Shouldn't "tribe-up" be hyphenated?

December 3, 2019 at 1:02 PM

RumbleMike
I suspect that Nostradamus has nothing on your ability to predict the future.

December 3, 2019 at 1:09 PM

I completely agree with you Blake about the significant upcharges for droids and lightsabers. However, I'd much rather pay for those experience to guarantee that I can get in (and get a high quality souvenir in the process) than have to queue up for them like Olivander's. I strongly believe that at some point the well will dry up on these experiences, and Disney will eventually allow guests to experience them for free minus the physical souvenir - They can't lower the price because that would affect the quality of the souvenir, and frankly the lightsabers are worth every penny of the $200 price tag. I agree that Oga's is a total cash grab, and after our experience in Disneyland over the summer, we haven't made a reservation for it at DHS during our visit in January (granted you can get alcohol elsewhere in Galaxy's Edge in Florida, while in California Oga's is the ONLY public bar inside Disneyland). Again, I think this is something else that will eventually settle down in terms of demand, and while I doubt Disney will ever drop the prices for drinks here, the prices may hold steady when price increases are implemented elsewhere, creating the illusion of a price drop.

Let's face it, Disney has been working to maximize revenue over the past decade. You talk about all of the upcharges in Galaxy's Edge as if they're some new development when in reality Disney has been laying the groundwork for this for years. Dessert parties, early entry hard tickets, late hours hard ticket events, VIPs tours, and on and on, everything has an upcharge at Disney now. Yes, you can walk into a Disney park with just a standard admission and ride the rides, see the shows, and enjoy a nice day with your family, but more and more, Disney is foisting these add-on into the equation that give guests better access or exclusive access to attractions while slowly degrading the experience for those who choose not to pay the upcharge. Yes, it is insane, but people are buying it, and Disney is going to keep selling it until the guests stop shelling out for it.

FWIW, there are still plenty of other "free" entertainment within Galaxy's Edge. There are the character interactions, interactions with the CMs, photo areas (watch Episode 4 of the Imagineering Story and find out how Disney learned that every dot on the map is immensely important, especially for photo ops), and general people-watching/role playing. This is beyond the Datapad stuff that could occupy you for hours if you really want. So while it does seem like a lot of stuff within Galaxy's Edge has a price tag associated with it, there's definitely more than a few hours' worth of stuff to do without spending a penny beyond your admission ticket.

I think you're overplaying MFSR. The attraction was meant as the second tier attraction in the land (the Navi'i River Journey to Flight of Passage), not an anchor, e-ticket style attraction. When you look at it from that perspective, MFSR is quite an achievement. It's on par in terms of quality and experience with most e-ticket attractions, and I think because of that and the fact that it opened months before RotR, many guests raised expectations far too high for the ride. I would agree that the experience is not as good at the "back of the bus" (I still haven't ridden in a pilot's seat), but if you put it against any Disney d-ticket, it blows them all away, along with quite a few e-tickets too. The level of detail throughout the attraction (I will agree that the queue is so good, it somewhat oversells the attraction with the level of exacting detail) is incredible, and far beyond any previous second-tier attraction. The interactivity is a bonus, and for me filled a desire that was always unfulfilled on Mission Space.

December 3, 2019 at 1:11 PM

I echo AJ Statement in regarding to how long can the ride hold up before issues start to arise. I get it. I remember all the cool line stuff when Indy first open and the Expedition Everest Yeti before it became the disco Yeti. Now that I'm older and no longer chasing the "I can't miss out" crowds, my perspective have changed. All I can remember from the last time I went to disneyland about 2 years ago is having a few things broken when I first rode on cars. A broken down Indy ride, twice! A broken down Big Thunder Mountain. As prices continue to rise I'm more on the side of "I paid this much to experience something that is half working". True, the park is more popular than ever and it's crazy packed which can cause maintenance issues. But there's something about trying to explain to a relative who only saw the disco yeti and they look at you funny when you tell them how it's not the same experience! I don't plan on going to Disneyland for another two years, so if this ride can be working 100% when I do go, that's a success for me! I'm old school in that I don't need all these fancy tech to impress me and be charged an arm and a leg. I can have a blast paying way less and go to Knotts and enjoy ALL WORKING RIDES, and WAY SHORTER LINES! Don't get me wrong, my grandpa was a Disney nut and I think I've been to Disneyland at least 30 times in my lifetime but my most fondest theme park memory was going to Cedar Point, Holiday World, Hersey Park, Busch Gardens, Kings Island. I mean yeah if everything is in working order great, but it just seems the more fancy they get the more issue they encounter. AND i am aware new coasters are not all perfect as well. LOL

December 3, 2019 at 1:12 PM

@Blake - Bravo on perhaps the first well-argued and engaging negative review of Falcon I have read, even if you're a bit hyperbolic with your pejoratives. I don't agree with most of it, obviously; I am not a gamer, but (or maybe because of that) I found the gaming portion of the ride enormously fun, particularly in the pilot seat. I have been Engineer more frequently than the other roles due to the single rider line, and I have no issue seeing everything that's happening from the back row. I actually quite enjoy Engineer, as you can mostly sit back and watch the action unfold. I remain endlessly impressed by the ride's real-time rendering along with pretty seamless matching motion. I do wish the controls were a bit more responsive or that the story were a bit more interesting, but I think the ride accomplishes what it wants to with aplomb. Riding with my fiancee and four of our friends last week, where we could shout commands and play along with the story together, was among my favorite experiences ever at a Disney park.

I'm more with you on Galaxy's Edge not featuring enough to do that does not require an extreme upcharge. I've been at least half a dozen times and I haven't done a single one of the upcharge experiences (lightsaber, droid, or cantina). More "free" entertainment is clearly necessary for the land. Rise of the Resistance should help tremendously, though, and I think it's going to hit the massive expectations placed upon it.

As for the IP in general and Disney's treatment of the films, while there are certain criticisms to be had, I actually think Star Wars has been way more creatively interesting than Marvel over the past five years. And as for those who disliked The Last Jedi due to its casting, I personally would love to see that toxic group of Star Wars "fans" leave the fandom, but that's just me.

December 3, 2019 at 1:57 PM

@Russell - Yes, upcharge experiences are becoming far too common at the Disney Parks. It's a trend that probably won't stop any time soon. It's still something that I have an issue with. Still, most of those upcharges are for experiences that have been offered for years now (VIP/Guided Tours, Dessert Parties, etc.) or for experiences which are held after hours and are advertised well in advanced. It's a different animal when it comes to the stuff at GE.

As far as Smuggler's Run being a solid D-Ticket, I beg to differ. While I understand that it is meant to play second fiddle to RotR, it's still completely underwhelming as a ride experience. I would gladly ride any of the FL dark rides, Buzz, Subs, etc. over Smuggler's Run. In my opinion, they are built with far more ambition, creativity, and "soul" than Smuggler's Run. To each their own, but I honestly think Smuggler's Run may be the worst Imagineering effort (at least from an actual ride experience perspective) since the Budget Pooh ride we got at DLR. It is literally an inferior version of Star Tours--which itself is already outdated as a ride concept.

@evanweston - I'm not a big SW fan, but The Last Jedi was terrible for a number of reasons. Casting is just the tip of the iceberg and while there isn't an issue with the casting, per se, most of the complaints stem around the intent, behind the casting. Esentially the directors and producers put ideology before story and work backwards from that point and it shows....oh how it shows.

December 3, 2019 at 1:56 PM

Russell ... does Disney really put the stress on people 60 days out, or do people at 60 days out put the stress on themselves ... ?? Yes, I can go anytime, and yes, a lot of my visits to any of the 4 parks are FP+ driven, but I'm not opening the app at exactly 7am, 30 days out to see what fast passes I can get. I know what I want, won't be available.

evanW …. “enormously fun” … exactly. It’s a fun ride, nothing more, nothing less. The more I fly as pilot, the more I enjoy it. I talk to the crew in the holding area, and once they know I’ve piloted the Falcon before, the more interactive they seem willing to be. As you no doubt know, a good crew makes for a really enjoyable ride, a bad crew can be just as enjoyable, but a hell of a lot rougher …. :) One day we’ll break the 12,000 credits and then it’s onwards and upwards to 13,000. I still wish they had a score board outside the ride like test track though.

I will say that lately I've seen fewer people walking round with light sabers. Still as many droid boxes, but $200 light sabers, not so much. Oga's is a walk in, or short wait time, most days.

December 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM

I saw a fun blog bit on "things you'd have been laughed at for saying in 2009". One nice bit: "Telling someone there would be brand new Star Wars movies NOT made by George Lucas and an entire Star Wars land...and yet some fans would claim they were worse than the prequels and Lucas should have stayed around."

Again, I've been part of this fandom since I was 2 years old and I've seen the toxic parts existing long before the Internet came to be. It always turns and shifts such as how it used to be "you can't be a real fan unless you think the prequels ruined your childhood." Now it's "you can't be a real fan if you like the Disney stuff." Again, it's astounding how folks forget just seven years ago, the franchise was stagnat and resting in the past and then Disney comes along, brings in new movies and suddenly the backlash of "they ruined it."

I don't mind folks who dislike the new films any more than the prequels, that's their right. It's when they start spewing hate on the actress playing Rose so she quits social media and firing off these "SJW Agenda" things that makes the fandom look bad. One of the best summations was when Frank Oz talked of how Last Jedi was good movie and Yoda was in character...and fans literally said "all you did was create, perform and voice the character, you don't know him like we do."

Getting to this, I'll add one more prediction to @RumbleMike's great list:

"There will be a few minor bugs which haters will claim is proof it's a disaster and must be torn down as if it's the first Disney attraction in history to ever have that happen."

December 3, 2019 at 2:01 PM

@Makorider I actually enjoy going on it with first-timers a lot, but my best experience as a single rider was when I lucked into getting grouped with a bunch of hardcore fans, and the left pilot actually hit the brakes button on time! I didn't even know it was possible, but that's the hardest bump on the ride and the only one that shakes me up a bit, I was thrilled not to have to experience it!

December 3, 2019 at 2:09 PM

@Makorider: "Does Disney really put the stress on people 60 days out, or do people at 60 days out put the stress on themselves ... ??"

Oh, folks have been stressing themselves out about Disney early on since it opened. Back in early 1990s, my family lived in Jacksonville so we could take advantage of Florida resident deals for quick WDW trips and often playing by ear. Starting in '96 when we moved back to Chicago, we did at least one big family trip a year and yes, planning it out a lot was huge. Yet I recall the old Birnbaum books openly stating how the worst thing to do is stress out planning it so much in advance as everyone wants the "perfect" trip and ignores how sometimes, letting it flow is much better.

December 3, 2019 at 2:17 PM

@MikeW - From your keyboard to Baby Yoda's ears!!

@makorider - You're so right that much of the stress is self induced, but Disney is still creating the artificial construct that is FP+. People stress out 30/60/90 days in advance because Disney empowers them. Then when they don't get the attractions they want, they spend the next 1-3 months worrying about how long they'll have to wait in line for the rides they didn't get FPs for. It's stupid, yes, because inevitably additional slots are released the day of, but it's an unnecessary construct that Disney creates for absolutely no reason.

December 3, 2019 at 2:18 PM

@evanW ... I'm a left pilot, so you'd be OK with me as I also know when to hit the brake button .. :) It's a few seconds thing though, so you need to be on the ball.

Agreed .... it makes a big difference, especially for someone like me who's always trying to better their high score.

I hope when they redo test track next month, they change the scoring methodology. How to get 232 is too well known these days.

December 3, 2019 at 2:18 PM

First time we tried a wekeend trip in winter, we worried not fitting in enough (keep in mind, this was 1992 so just the three main parks). We found some of the best stuff wasn't rushing from ride to ride but taking time to walk, explore World Showcase, some quiet corners and be able to get lucky for a short wait time for a big ride. Again, trying to plan out every single minute months in advance just adds to the stress of a WDW trip, not make it better.

December 3, 2019 at 2:27 PM

I should ride with you Makorider, I prefer the right pilot because I am a child and get a huge kick out of pulling the lever to take us to lightspeed, haha!

The other funny thing about stressing out to plan your trip is that so many people even among the general public have absorbed the usual tricks in the internet age. Rope drop very often isn't a good strategy anymore! Everyone does it! For RotR I am avoiding the mad early morning rush like the plague and dropping by in the evening, where I expect to wait about two hours (praying for no downtime, I agree with Russell that the potential high amount of downtime is the only thing that can really derail the attraction).

December 3, 2019 at 3:36 PM

@evanweston: Now feeling my age as I can recall the pre-Internet era when you had to check the big charts on Main Street for wait times coming by radio and when in line figuring "ah, stick with it, might just be worse later."

December 3, 2019 at 2:41 PM

evanW .... If there's no virtual boarding I'll call into SWGE late Thursday afternoon on my way home from BGT. So if you see an old guy walking round in a green/gray Fury 325 t-shirt ... it's me .... :)

December 3, 2019 at 2:51 PM

Just went on Fury for the first time last month. Absolutely sensational roller coaster, couldn't believe it actually lived up to the hype. Ended up as my #3 out of 211, first new entry into my top 5 since 2012.

If Rise of the Resistance is as good a dark ride as Fury 325 is a roller coaster, we'll be in good shape!

December 3, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Hmmmm .... Fury is my #1 out of c160 .... so what's your #1 & #2 ??

December 3, 2019 at 2:59 PM

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure is my #1 and has been since 2007, the only coaster or attraction I've ever been on that I'd rate as a perfect 5 stars. Maverick at Cedar Point is my #2. Fury's front half is remarkable, maybe the most sheerly thrilling coaster I've ever been on, but it loses *just* enough after the trim to make it end a touch weaker than it starts, along with having its weakest elements at the back. Still better than I ever imagined a B&M could be.

December 3, 2019 at 3:11 PM

While there have been a few comments on the state of Star Wars, I think the brand is, at this point, bigger than the i individual movies. Before the new trilogy, a large percentage of fans bemoaned the prequels & how "Lucas ruined the franchise".....Now it's "Disney ruined the franchise".

While everyone is certainly welcome to their opinions...(and in this day & age, social media & the internet gives a voice for EVERYONE to share the thoughts, feelings, Monday morning quarterbacking expertise & more).

There was talk that the Last Jedi destroyed the franchise & people were "never coming back", yet Rise of the SkyWalker broke presale records (selling more tix in its first hour that EndGame) & Disney + was reportedly adding nearly a million new subscribers daily....with the (arguably) flagship original series, The Mandalorian...which was the most streamed series (of all streaming providers) last week. Baby Yoda is a new pop culture phenom......so much Disney rushed out some merch to compete with all the unofficial product that has hit the m market.

If Rise of The Skywalker turns out to be "horrible".....that STILL wouldn't destroy the franchise. The brand is bigger than an individual movie.

The diehard fan is often mentioned, but many times the "casual Star War fan" is forgotten. There are tons of people who will watch every single Star Wars film, but aren't that invested to care if there is supposed SWJ elements or who'll stage a personal "boycott" of the brand because of what they think Disney has done to it.

The SW brand has ups & down, but it's too ingrained into the public conscious at this point.

December 3, 2019 at 3:31 PM

@Jay R: It's like Marvel in a way, folks caliming "Captain Marvel turned people away" and even that ridiculous theory that Disney bought up theaters to make it look more successful (as if the other studios wouldn't be howling about that). And now how the new movies will "turn folks away forever." Meanwhile, the Black Widow trailer just hit and they're going wild over it.

Also, you nail something I've noticed majorly over the years: More than any other fandom, Star Wars fans seem to think that the hardcore folks are the huge majority. There was a backlash Disney wasn't using the Expanded Universe which ingores how roughly 99 percent of non-book readers have never heard of Mara Jade, the Vong, Chewie dying, etc and following that history mixed with a new generation would have been a huge turn-off ("wait, Chewie died? When? Han and Leia had twins, one went evil and was killed, when did that happen? When did Republic and Empire make a peace treaty, who are these Vong guys?")

It can be like that with Marvel as you still get ultra comic purists complaining about the changes made, ignoring how a lot of stuff wouldn't work for casual audiences. But too many Star Wars ultra-fans forget that just because they live and breathe every ounce of the franchise doesn't mean everyon else does which also plays into the Galaxy's Edge reaction.

December 3, 2019 at 5:33 PM

Never been to Great Adventure, maybe one of these days I'll go to try El Toro. Agree on Maverick though. Can't wait to get back to CP next year.

Can't wait for Gwazi either. It's going to be a stellar 2020 for coasters and new rides.

I hope Robert has his winter gear !! It's a cool Orlando at the moment.

December 3, 2019 at 7:17 PM

I read this entire conversation and I just have to say that its amazing to see the whole flow of this. It went from - "yeah I'm excited" to - "man GE and SW sucks" to now other theme parks and the SW fandom. Oh I love theme park nerds, especially Star Wars theme park nerds. Love the huge full on argument paragraph essays y'all wrote too haha.

December 3, 2019 at 8:16 PM

The wait times will be long, of course, but it`s silly to say something like "if they`re under two hours, the ride is a bust." The wait times probably will be longer than that, but the ride is supposed to be a voracious people eater, with no FP to slow down the line, so yes, it can be a great ride without having utterly insane wait times.

As for sky high expectations...that`s a bit silly, too. Yes, the advance hype is nuts, but that`s not coming from Disney, it`s coming from sites like this, for the most part. I always temper my expectations before experiencing something new. If it`s a good ride, I`ll be happy to experience it. If I enjoy it, then I don`t have to compare it to Shanghai Pirates, or any other world beater.

December 3, 2019 at 8:25 PM

I thought Last Jedi was great, and I would be happy to argue that point to anybody. Star Wars has not been ruined, and Disney has done wonders with their movies. You may not like all of them, but you cannot deny their success. My only gripe about the company is one point with the theme parks, and it has been touched on above with the awful system at WDW. It was mentioned above that they don't admit mistakes, but they used to. In watching the Imagineering Story that point was made several times. No wine at Euro Disney? They fixed that. Of course it is not a billion dollar system, but switching to the MaxPass could still use the arm band technology, which I think is convenient is other areas. Although, has there ever been a family of four than never had at least one issue with a door lock? I also disagree about the money pit comments. I want to give them my money. But I want to do so with quality items. That is why I like Potter and dislike Avatar. My whole family has walked away with wands, wizard items, etc. Nobody has purchased a cheap, plastic Pandora item.

December 4, 2019 at 1:10 PM

@MikeW Totally agree!!

December 4, 2019 at 8:20 PM

@evanweston
> I actually quite enjoy Engineer, as you can mostly sit back and watch the action unfold.
> I do wish the controls were a bit more responsive

Did you realize the one affects the other? If the engineer leaves damage unresolved, it makes the pilot's job more difficult.

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