Will Rise of the Resistance Rise?

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With the hours counting down until the opening day for Rise of the Resistance at Walt Disney World, there’s a lot of excitement, anticipation, and uncertainty about this attraction. We know that Disney has said that it’s groundbreaking and exceptionally ambitious. We know that Disney has a lot riding on it opening and opening on time. The media invites are out, promotional materials prominently display December 5 as opening day, and a live stream has been advertised for the opening. Imagine the heads that will roll if you threw a party and the reason for the party wasn’t working. This would be a public relations nightmare.

So why the nervousness?

Several subtle clues point to the likelihood that things are not going smoothly. There have been no cast, DVC, or AP previews for this attraction. Compare that with Pandora and its two attractions and entire land having previews. VIP tours scheduled for December 5 have been told that Rise of the Resistance is not an attraction available for selection that day. Disney has announced that Rise of the Resistance will not be available for Extra Magic Hours. It will not be available for FastPass+ reservations for the known future. At Disneyland, they even widened the emergency exit access gates, presumably because they expect that a lot of people will be moving through there frequently. (In other words, they’ve built a contingency plan for when they have to “dump the queue”, i.e., ask thousands of people in line to leave, because the ride has broken down.)

Does this mean it won’t open at Walt Disney World on December 5? 

It is highly unlikely that the ride won’t open as planned on December 5. As noted above, Disney has a lot riding on this. What is likely is that we’ll see a situation similar to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort, where a ride opened….and closed. And closed early. And opened late. And may have days when it didn’t open at all. In short, be prepared for several weeks of huge variability in the operating schedule for Rise of the Resistance, and don’t be surprised for long lines and lots of unexpected downtime.

I really, really, really want to ride this ride. What do you suggest?

(Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)

Wait a few months for the bugs to be worked out. If that’s not an option, arrive early and be prepared to wait through unexpected downtime. How early? Disney likely will note within the next day or so what time the Studios parking lot will open. Expect that most Disney transportation will not run that early (so forget about Skyliner, Friendship boats, or bus service). Your best bet is to drive or take a ride-share (or walk if you’re staying at a Crescent Lake resort). Pack your patience. Be kind to Cast Members — no matter how rough a day you’re having, rest assured that their day isn’t going any better! A little kindness goes a long way, but the person holding the “Line Starts Here” sign can’t magically open the ride with a wave of that sign.

We’ll be covering opening day from Rise of the Resistance. Have any questions in the meantime? Let us know in the comments.

Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited nine-year-old daughter.

7 thoughts on “Will Rise of the Resistance Rise?

  • December 3, 2019 at 8:00 am
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    So how are they having the que and the media event that night? Will they cut off the que at some point during the day in order to have the media event? Where do you think the line will wrap around? Do you have any tips on long long long line queing?

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  • December 3, 2019 at 9:01 am
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    This is unfortunate to hear. It sounds like the ride needs a bit more QA before they announced the opening date for it. Perhaps a date in January would have been more ideal to give cast members time to test the ride more thoroughly and identify issues that the ride is having along with fixes for them. I do hope for a smooth opening however that may be in the coming days. And great point about being nice to the cast members too! Remember, you are at the happiest place on earth, after all!

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  • December 3, 2019 at 11:21 am
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    The big media event/premiere is on the 4th. All of Galaxy’s Edge is closing early to accommodate the event. RotR opens to the public on the 5th. There will be a short livestream of the dedication on the 5th for parks blog junkies, but that won’t interfere with the queue and ride operation.

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  • December 3, 2019 at 11:27 am
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    @Albert: All credible reporting on this has indicated that announcing Dec 5th as the opening date was dictated by WDW management, regardless of whether or not the ride was ready to prime time. The fear was that, if they announced a 2020 opening date, holiday attendance and hotel bookings would falter and they’d lose out on all those sweet “peak” dollars.

    Management would rather have Christmastime guests angry about frequent ride breakdowns than have fewer Christmastime guests.

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  • December 3, 2019 at 11:52 am
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    The media event is in the evening on Wednesday, December 4. Rise of the Resistance does not open to the public until the next day (Friday, December 5).

    Since Rise of the Resistance is not open on December 4, it will not be impacted by the media event. However, the rest of Galaxy’s Edge land appears to be closing [to the public] at 4:00 PM on December 4. I suspect Disney will direct guests to exit the land as they finish their rides/food/drink after 4:00 PM.

    Moving forward, Disney has its never-used “Boarding Group” system (basically, get a same-day time slot when you can enter the land) that it could employ if the land gets too crowded, and I feel like there is plenty of space for folks to queue-up for Rise of the Resistance.

    Disney has not released any information about special queuing procedures, so we’ll see what happens later this week. My guess is the process will be pretty obvious (like a Cast Member with an “End of Line” sign) as you enter the land and that Cast Members will be around if you have questions. Plus, numerous bloggers and/or news sources will likely be reporting on what’s happening.

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  • December 3, 2019 at 1:26 pm
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    @Andy – That’s true, good call. That makes sense from a business standpoint. I didn’t think of it like that. When it comes to dollars and sense, that’s totally logical. Hopefully the problems are minimal!

    Reply

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