Can you believe Rise of the Resistance is almost FINALLY OPEN?!?!
And even though the Star Wars: Galaxy Edge major headliner doesn’t officially open until tomorrow in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, we got to take our first ride on it TODAY!
To say that Star War: Galaxy’s Edge’s Rise of the Resistance was an ambitious undertaking is putting it mildly, folks!
Our overall, spoiler-free impressions for you? It’s amazing. Truly a unique ride we’ve never seen the likes of before. It’s thrilling, fun, and full of action. This ride did not disappoint! It’s difficult to share much about the ride without giving too much away, but the trackless system, the animatronics, holograms, projections, and sheer scale of the ride all contribute to a really unique adventure. Now, if you REALLY want the details, keep reading! 🙂
SPOILER ALERT! From this point on, we’ll be describing Rise of the Resistance in detail, so if you want your first time on Rise of the Resistance to be a surprise, turn back, young padawan!
First up, the height requirement…
…and what will (later) be the FastPass entrance! FastPass isn’t available for the ride at this time.
A standby line is also available.
The queue navigates you around outside for a bit. Honestly, it gave us Pandora vibes at first!
You’ll make your way into what looks like a carved out cave.
And into the Resistance’s base of operations.
The queue feels like you’re going deeper and deeper into the base as you move along.
We also caught the safety info, for those curious.
First, you’ll encounter BB-8 and a hologram of Rey who will help you establish your role as a recruit of the Resistance and give you your mission to help take down the First Order!
And since you’re no longer safe on Batuu, Rey’s made arrangements to have you and the rest of the recruits transported to General Organa’s top-secret base!
You’ll make your way to the transport ship where Lieutenant Bek will help you escape from Batuu. On one side of the transporter you’ll watch him give commands as his pilot, Nein Nunb, navigates.
On the other end of your transport vessel, you’ll see a “window” where you can watch all the action happening — including when things start to get a little, umm, hairy!
Just before you make the jump to hyperspace, your starcraft picks up an unusual signal. Looks like a number of ships are heading your way!
Lieutenant Bek calls for the shields to be raised, but it’s already too late! You’re outnumbered by swarms of TIE Fighters, and despite the squadron leaders’ best efforts to help you escape, you’re taken into custody by the First Order! You’re caught in the tractor beam of the First Order’s Star Destroyer and about to be boarded.
From here, you’re officially prisoners of the First Order (they know Resistance scum when they see it!) and escorted out of your transport vessel into the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer.
This massive room looks out of the airlock into space and has ships around the room as well as a TON of Stormtroopers lined up at the ready (no falling out of line, guys!).
You’ll hang out in this room for a while. We were free to move around the room until we were instructed to move along.
When we were finally told to move on (we waited a bit!) we moved down halls…
…and more halls…
…to a pre-boarding area for your transport vehicles.
Here, a First Order Officer will demand to know how many prisoners are in your party and queue you up on a certain color line to prepare to be interrogated.
The door will open and you’ll file in by order of color as instructed by the Officer to a holding room to prepare to be questioned.
Stormtroopers look down on you in this small trangularish room. Then Kylo Ren and General Hux come on to the bridge above you. They WILL find out the location of your base. After some menacing words from Kylo, Hux escorts him to the bridge of the ship while they hold you there for the time being…
…but something happens! Red lights flash and you realize a door is being cut into the side of the room! It opens up and you’re SAVED! The Resistance is here to help you get out safely.
From here, you’re hurried into a room with 2 transport vehicles ready to board with the help of the Resistance.
Your trusty pilot, an R5 Astromech Droid, is here to help! As you may remember from waaay back in April when we first caught glimpse of one of Rise of the Resistance’s ride vehicles, each one transports 8 riders at time in two rows of four. And while each seat is outfitted with a seat belt, the vehicle itself is being “guided” by R5!
We waited in this room a long while. We were told we were waiting for the First Order to clear out so it was safe to escape, but the wait was way longer than we would have expected. Finally, a display of Finn shows up to explain he’s here to help you escape and your transport takes off!
The transport zips in every which way. It can move forward, back, and everything in between!
As you hurry down the hall, you’re spotted by a Probe Droid! Luckily, your pilot can turn your vehicle on a dime and gets you out of there before he detects you.
He backs you out and around a corner to escape the droid, but you’re spotted by Stormtroopers! They know you’re not supposed to be here and begin firing!
Your transport hurries away into a bay full of AT-ATs!
Your transport zips around the AT-ATs, taking blaster fire the whole time from Stormtroopers!
But Finn is here! He’s on the side of the room, returning fire! He’s helping you escape!
Just as you’re about to be saved, your transport backs up…then starts to rise!! Finn calls after you to stop, but you keep going until you’re face to face with Stormtroopers in the head of an AT-AT!
You back away quickly and end up on the lower level of the ship’s bridge!
Kylo Ren and General Hux are having a conversation, but Kylo spots you! He’s coming for you, so your transport rushes away!
Kylo begins coming after you, appearing in front of you ready to attack…
You rush away, but he keeps up with you. He’s right above you, cutting into the ceiling with his lightsaber!
You rush off into a row of giant blasters firing out of the ship. This part was really cool! Your R5 droid knows he has to time his moves just right to navigate you between the blasters as they fire! You narrowly dodge being blasted as you pass through the room safely.
As you whiz through, you can see the battle happening outside the ship. Poe Dameron and his team of Resistance fighters are putting up a good fight! As you make it through the room, laser blasts light up the walls!
As you escape the room, there’s Kylo again! He’s caught you! This is the only animatronic Kylo in the ride — the rest are projections.
But the Resistance fighters fire on the ship and the airlock is breached! Kylo begins to be sucked out of the ship and everything begins to collapse in on the opening and fall into space!
Your transport must escape! It zooms over to an escape bay where a door opens.
And your vehicle moves into the escape pod.
But an escape pod’s gotta break loose from the ship to escape, doesn’t it?! Hold on tight! Here’s that drop we’ve heard so much about! How was it?! Not bad! It’s nowhere near as intense at Tower of Terror, but same basic idea. It’s just enough that, if you’re not expecting it, it will give you a little surprise! 😉
Your ship makes it safely away from the Star Destroyer and crashes back to land! From here, you navigate through what kinda looks like a cave into… the outdoors! Poe and Finn inform you that your escape pod landed off target, but you’re safe!
Lieutenant Bek has also crashed here safely congratulates you as you make your way to the exit. Everyone has made it out okay!
And that’s it!
So what did we think?!
WE LOVED IT! Seriously, the scale of this ride alone is so impressive. Between all the holograms, animatronics, and droids this REALLY feels like you’re in the movies. It’s truly the most immersive ride we’ve ever experienced!
The transport vehicle moves so freely that it’s really fun while you escape! Other upcoming rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway have trackless systems, but the level of movement the transports on Rise of the Resistance are capable of is just incredible. As for the ride experience with all the transports, it reminded us a bit of Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland where there are many cars all going around you in different large areas of the ride, but you really don’t notice because you’re so focused on the action directed at you.
There’s so many sounds, lights, and action happening around you! The absence of a track makes it difficult (or rather, impossible!!) to predict which direction you’ll be going! We found the ride isn’t so much scary as it is thrilling. We really don’t think children tall enough to ride will be frightened by it, and the drop isn’t too intense to scare off most riders.
Now, for the only big negative we noticed. We waited. A lot. This ride seems to have many points of failure and we encountered many periods of extended waiting while inside the ride. We hope it’s just early working the kinks out, but once we were off the ride, we noticed shortly after it was closed for periods of time while they got everything working correctly.
The ride is REALLY, really cool and honestly did not disappoint. We think guests are gonna love it.
While Rise of the Resistance opens tomorrow, December 5, at Hollywood Studios, guests will have to wait until January 17, 2020, to experience the Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge version! We’ll be there to cover the grand opening of Disneyland’s Rise of the Resistance when it happens next month — and to see if we can spot any differences between the two!
Are you excited to ride Rise of the Resistance? Let us know when you’ll be heading to Disney World next to experience it!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their media preview of Rise of the Resistance. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ