One of those is not like the others. But it’s true — one of Disney World’s newest and most impressive rides is also one of the most unreliable. But it’s so good that we can’t just recommend you skip it during your vacation. So what should you do when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (inevitably) breaks down during your trip? Here’s a complete guide.
In case you’re very confused right now because you don’t know anything about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we’ll begin with a brief overview of this attraction. For starters, it’s located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars-themed) land. [NOTE: “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” is a super long name — throughout this post, we’ll use “Rise of the Resistance” or even just “Rise” to refer to this attraction.]
It’s also one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World (if not THE most popular ride).
The ride is actually a whole experience that involves moving from vehicle to vehicle and interacting with Star Wars characters like First Order officers and members of the Resistance. We won’t give away too much about the story itself, but just know that it’s one of the most impressive rides that Disney has built to date, in terms of both immersive-ness and technology.
But all of the moving parts and advanced technology come at a price: this ride breaks down a LOT. So what should you do to make sure you’ll still get to ride it? We’re exploring all of your options (and sharing our recommendations for the best ones).
There are a few different possible situations for where you might be when Rise of the Resistance breaks down. You could be on the ride itself, waiting in line, or somewhere else entirely. Let’s start out with what to do if you’re actually on the ride.
If You Were On the Ride
If you are physically on the ride (as in seated in a ride vehicle) when it breaks down, you will likely receive a Lightning Lane pass to return and re-ride it later in the day. Sometimes these passes are also given to guests who are about to board the attraction.
In our experience, we usually see Cast Members give Lightning Lane passes to guests who have made it to the big room where you meet Rey (after the Cast Members ask you “How many in your party?” for the first time). From that point on, it’s likely that you’ll get a pass to skip the line later in the day.
But keep in mind that this free Lightning Lane pass is NOT guaranteed, even if you’re in a ride vehicle when it breaks down. It’s fairly common to receive a free pass in this situation, but a variety of factors will influence the Cast Members’ decision on whether they give out the passes and who they give them to. The time of day, length of the queue, details about the technical difficulties, and more all impact that decision.
If you DO receive a Lightning Lane pass, that means you’ll be able to skip the standby line and wait in a shorter Lightning Lane later on in the day once the ride reopens. This pass will probably be good for redemption at any time during the day (even though most Lightning Lane passes are specific to a certain time).
Sometimes that pass is good for multiple rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which means you can choose to use it on a different attraction instead of Rise of the Resistance. For example, you could skip the line at Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
If you do have the multi-experience pass, you have a new choice: do you want to use it on Rise of the Resistance, or do you want to get on a different popular ride? One option is to wait for a while and see if Rise is even an option later on in the day. If Rise of the Resistance never reopens on that day, you’ll still be able to use the pass on another attraction. Or maybe you’d prefer to hop on Slinky Dog Dash right away and not worry about Rise at all. It’s up to you!
Look at the details of the Lightning Lane pass to see if yours is specific to Rise of the Resistance or if it can be used at other attractions. Keep in mind that — whether it’s good for any ride or just Rise of the Resistance — you will only be able to use it ONCE. So if you’re really hoping to get on Rise, don’t use that pass on a different ride!
If you’re using your Lightning Lane pass to get back on Rise of the Resistance later on, keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app throughout the day to see when the ride reopens. Once you see a wait time next to the ride on the park map feature, that means it’s up and running again.
As soon as the ride reopens, there will likely be a pretty long line for Lightning Lane since a lot of people will have those redemption passes. If you have the time, we recommend waiting a little while longer after the ride’s reopening to let that initial rush of returning guests pass by.
We’re going to say this one more time because it’s important: These free Lightning Lane passes are NOT guaranteed.
If you’re on the ride when it breaks down and you don’t receive a redemption pass, it’s not because the Cast Members don’t love you or don’t know what they’re doing. There are many different factors that influence their decisions, so please do not be rude to them if you don’t get the free pass.
If You Were In Line
Another possible situation is that Rise of the Resistance breaks down when you’re in the queue, but not on the ride itself. If that happens, you will likely NOT be given a free Lightning Lane redemption pass. The attraction probably just won’t have the capacity to accommodate that many guests in the Lightning Lane when it reopens.
In this situation, it might be best to wait out the closure in line (if you have the time). The ride could reopen within an hour (or even sooner), and you don’t want to lose your place in the queue.
This can be a tough call to make, though. We’ve been in line when the ride broke down and reopened within a half hour. We’ve also been in line when the ride broke down and still didn’t reopen within 90 minutes. There’s no way to tell how long the closure will be. Gambling your time in Disney World is not a fun game to play, and we know it’s frustrating. So take a look at your plans for the day and talk with your group about what your priorities are.
If you all really want to ride Rise of the Resistance and you don’t have anywhere pressing to be for a while, give it some time and wait in the queue for a bit. Staying in line could potentially save you a lot of time later on in the day since this attraction gets multi-hour-long wait times. And if a lot of other people are jumping ship, you could be pretty far up in the queue when the ride reopens.
But the ride could also take a LONG time to reopen or even not reopen at all. If you choose to wait it out, you also need to be willing to accept that you (and the Cast Members) have no control over the ride’s reopening. So if you’re on a tight schedule, you may just have to cut your losses and head out. Maybe you’re starting to get hangry (that’s a real thing in Disney World), or maybe you’re not willing to sacrifice other rides for this one. Staying in line might not be worth your time if there are other things you really want to do.
If you do leave the line, your best chance at still getting on the ride without wasting any more time in the park is to hop in line closer to park closing time. Cast Members will let you stay in line and go on the attraction even after the park closes. And sometimes this ride gets shorter wait times in the evening.
Remember that if you get in line just before park closing you do run the risk of the ride breaking down AGAIN, and then you don’t have the option to return later because you’ll just have to leave the park.
If you purchased a Lightning Lane pass for Rise of the Resistance and you’re in the Lightning Lane queue when the ride breaks down, you will likely receive an experience redemption pass that is good for one ride on Rise of the Resistance at any time later on in the day.
If Rise of the Resistance does not reopen at all for the rest of the day, you could be refunded for your initial Lightning Lane purchase (this is not guaranteed, but a Cast Member told us it could happen). But if the ride is open at any point during the day, you will likely not receive a refund (even if you did not ride it at that time).
If You Weren’t On the Ride OR In Line
The final situation you could be in when Rise of the Resistance breaks down is that you’re not in line or on the ride at all. Maybe you’re somewhere else in Hollywood Studios entirely. What then?
First of all, you should keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app to see when the ride reopens. If you can catch it RIGHT when it starts running again, you could get a much shorter wait time than usual.
If that doesn’t work out, you can try the trick we mentioned earlier about hopping in light just before park closing time.
You might also consider purchasing a Lightning Lane pass for later on in the day since the standby line will likely be a much longer wait. Cast Members will prioritize guests in the Lightning Lane when the ride reopens, and there will be a lot more people in that queue since some guests probably received any-time redemption passes.
If you had a Lightning Lane reservation for Rise of the Resistance during the time that the ride broke down, the time on your reservation should change to “any time.” That means you’ll be able to use it at any point that day when Rise reopens. Like we mentioned before, we recommend waiting for a little while after it has reopened to let the initial surge of guests with redemption Lightning Lane passes come down a bit.
But remember that the longer you wait, the higher the risk that Rise will break down again and not be available for the rest of the day.
Other Things to Remember
There are a few more tips and reminders that we wanted to share or reiterate:
- When Rise of the Resistance reopens after being closed for a while, the wait times will likely be higher than normal for both Lightning Lane and standby queues. That’s probably because some people were given redemption passes, which makes that Lightning Lane queue longer than normal. Since Cast Members will prioritize the Lightning Lane, standby takes longer as well.
- For some people, this ride really is worth a multi-hour wait. We know you don’t want to hear it, but (in our humble opinion) this ride can be worth the wait even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan. And if you’re a MAJOR Star Wars fan, there’s really no other experience like it.
- Compensation is not guaranteed. Yes, we mentioned this a few times. Yes, we’re saying it again. Disney does not have to give you a free Lightning Lane pass if the ride breaks down during your vacation. How the Cast Members handle it depends on a lot of things, so really the only thing you can control in that situation is your reaction. The Cast Members helping you off the ride or out of line are not the same people who are in charge of fixing the ride, so please do not take out your frustration on them.
- If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you may want to consider using Early Theme Park Entry to get on this attraction with shorter wait times than normal. Early Theme Park Entry allows guests at Disney-owned hotels (and a few other participating hotels) to enter the theme park a half-hour before other guests. Most people will head straight to Rise of the Resistance, but the lines will still be shorter than they will be later in the day.
- In a similar vein, you can take advantage of Extended Evening Hours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon. This perk is only available to guests at Deluxe hotels in Disney World, and so far it has only been offered at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. But Disney has added Hollywood Studios to the schedule, so soon you’ll be able to plan your stay so that you get some extra time in the evening. And Rise is currently listed as one of the offered attractions.
We’re always sharing our best tips to help you plan an awesome Disney World vacation, so stay tuned with Disney Food Blog!
Click here to see which rides you should AVOID in Disney World if you struggle with motion sickness.
Have you been on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Tell us in the comments if you think this ride is worth the hype!