But all did not go as smoothly as Disney World hoped it would.
The major headliner and centerpiece of Hollywood Studios’ new Star Wars-themed land broke down multiple times on December 5th, the day the new attraction was unveiled. After being shrouded in mystery, many Star Wars fans made the pilgrimage to Disney World to see for themselves the attraction being heralded as the “most epic” Disney ride that’s ever been built but were unable to fulfill their destiny.
In the early morning hours on opening day, Disney switched on their Virtual Queue system, a feature on the My Disney Experience app which allows guests who are physically inside the park to virtually reserve a spot in line when crowds are particularly high.
However, these Rise of the Resistance boarding groups went FAST. So quickly, in fact, MANY would-be riders were shut out from riding Rise of the Resistance on its opening day. Many guests lined up to get in at 2 AM that morning, so when boarding groups were opened up, the early bird fans snagged up passes leaving many, many guests arriving later out of luck. Near park opening, boarding groups were all already gone for the day.
But even with a boarding group, a number of guests were unable to ride due to closures throughout the day. How did Disney help these fans who waited to get a precious boarding pass but STILL couldn’t ride? Experiences seem to vary by guest, but in general, it seems they gave out FastPasses+ to ride Rise of the Resistance the very next day, and a complimentary 1-day park hopper for guests who were able to join a Boarding Group on opening day but unable to ride.
One of our friends of DFB was actually evacuated from the ride early on opening day. He told us Rise’s Cast Members stayed in-character the whole time, scanning his “DataBand” (how they referred to his MagicBand) and assigned him a “recovery time” (which he later found out was Star Wars-speak for a FastPass).
While our friend said the use of in-universe terminology to explain the Rise of Resistance’s break down was endearing, it also made the overall evacuation a bit confusing. But several hours later, thanks to his alotted “recovery time” he was able to head straight to the front of the line when Rise of the Resistance had reopened.
While issuing FastPasses seemed to help soften the blow, there was a slight problem this morning as the attraction continued to run into problems.
Did you know there are actually TWO versions of Rise of the Resistance? Find out which one we like better here!
Even today, Rise of the Resistance is continuing to experience operational delays. Another friend of DFB was there and actually boarded the ride, but it experienced a malfunction and guests were evacuated. She was issued a FastPass on her MagicBand to return as well as a return time, but it didn’t show up on My Disney Experience for her. She was able to reboard the ride later with this FastPass…and it broke down again. She was given a paper FastPass the second time and, third times a charm, she was finally able to ride! Whew. That was exhausting even just writing it! 😉
Early this morning Disney, again, began offering boarding groups. But just like yesterday, they were gone very early in the day. Some folks who’d received FastPasses on opening day and returned to use them were informed their boarding group couldn’t be accommodated and were once again issued a FastPass+ to ride Rise the next day and ANOTHER 1-day complimentary park hopper ticket. Again, this seems to be some guests’ experiences and we’re not sure if this was how everyone was handled.
While we never want an attraction to break down (certainly not on its opening day or when it’s this highly anticipated!) this attraction is one of the most complex and innovative rides Disney’s ever built. We hope like with Disney’s Skyliner collision, these wrinkles will be ironed out quickly and Star Wars fans will be able to ride Rise of the Resistance without headaches (and heartbreaks) soon!
Are you surprised by Rise of the Resistance’s frequent breakdowns? Do you think a FastPass+ and complimentary 1-day park hopper ticket is adequate compensation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!