Everything You Need to Know About Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on Walt Disney World’s newest attraction Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance!

What is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Matt Stroshane, photographer (c) Disney

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is Walt Disney World’s latest groundbreaking attraction and arguably the crown jewel of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Rise of the Resistance attraction is unique in that it offers multiple ride experiences through multiple ride systems. It’s part dark ride, part simulator, part walk-through, and even includes a small elevator drop and a trackless ride system!

These multiple ride experiences are used to simulate the experience of guests leaving the planet of Batuu, being captured by the First Order, and then making their escape.

Where is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction is located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests entering the land from Grand Avenue will find the attraction’s entrance to their left upon entry and marked by a large gun turret.

What is the History of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

At the 2015 D23 Expo in Anaheim, fans learned that a Star Wars themed land was coming to both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. It was here fans were also told about an attraction which would place guests in the middle of a battle with the First Order.

©Disney

In 2018, Disney revealed the battle attraction’s name would be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. However, a little over two months away from the grand opening of Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney announced Rise of the Resistance would not open with the land. In fact, the attraction wouldn’t be available for the grand opening of Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge either.

Instead, Rise of the Resistance was rescheduled to open at Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge on December 5, 2019, and then at Disneyland on January 17, 2020.

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

The queue for Rise of the Resistance winds through a forest and past waterfalls before leading into a cave system which has been converted into a Resistance base. It’s a long, detailed queue which, in true Disney fashion, contributes to the attraction’s story.

Guests can scan items in the queue with the Datapad via MyDisneyExperience app. There are also water fountains and carved out benches where guests can sit.

What are the Ride Vehicles Like for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Kent Phillips, photographer, (c) Disney

While part of the pre-show is a simulator, the actual ride vehicle is a trackless ride vehicle piloted by a droid. Each vehicle contains two rows of four seats each for a capacity of eight guests. However, two separate vehicles will travel together throughout the ride.

The rows have individual separate seats fitted next to one another with individual safety belts.

What Do You Need to Know About the Ride Experience for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Matt Stroshane, photographer, (c) Disney

WARNING: Possible Spoilers!

There are two pre-show experiences. During the first, guests encounter an audio-animatronic BB-8 while a hologram transmission of Rey explains your mission as new recruits. For the second pre-show, guests board a shuttle which simulates take-off, movement through space, and being fired upon in a battle. Throughout this experience, guests are standing but there are handrails.

Kent Phillips, photographer, (c) Disney

According to the ride’s story, the shuttle is caught in a tractor beam and captured by a Star Destroyer. When the shuttle doors open, guests enter the ship’s cavernous hangar and life-size Stormtroopers.

Matt Stroshane, photographer, (c) Disney

After guests are escorted to a cell to await Kylo Ren’s interrogation, the Resistance provides an escape, and guests are ushered aboard a trackless ride vehicle piloted by an R5 unit droid.

Guests assigned to the color red and blue will load into the front vehicle. Those who receive orange and white will load into the second. These two vehicles offer slightly different ride perspectives. For instance, those riding in the front vehicle will be the closest to some of the action and have a slightly different encounter with an AT-AT.

Matt Stroshane, photographer, (c) Disney

During the journey through the ship to the escape pods, guests encounter Stormtrooper fire, life-size AT-ATs, and are pursued by Kylo Ren. It’s a dark ride experience but in a 360-degree immersive environment with incredible audio-animatronics.

Steven Diaz, photographer, (c) Disney

Finally the trackless ride vehicle moves into an escape pod which serves as a simulator in the style of Star Tours. As the escape pod drops into space, guests experience a small drop too. It’s not a long plunge like Tower of Terror, but rather a mini drop. Guests watch via screen as their pod moves through a space battle and then down into Batuu before it crash lands safe and sound.

The experience spans about 18 minutes.

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Guests must transfer from a wheelchair/ECV to experience the actual ride portion of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Guests can experience the queue and pre-shows, including the Star Destroyer hangar, but they’ll be required to exit the attraction if they can’t transfer to the ride vehicle. See a Cast Member for further details and instruction.

What Do You Need to Know About Health and Safety Advisories for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.

Steven Diaz, photographer, (c) Disney

Even though Rise of the Resistance is a combo of a dark ride and simulator, the immersive nature and tone are what make it thrilling. The process of being captured, the presence of Stormtroopers and stern First Order Cast Members, being fired upon, and then pursued by a lifelike and intimidating Kylo Ren can be scary and a little too much for some guests and children.

What are the Height Restrictions for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Guests must be at least 40 in. tall to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance currently does not offer FastPass+. However, there are FastPass+ touch points in the queue so this looks to change in the future.

At the time of writing, guests must join a boarding party on the MyDisneyExperience app or at an in-park kiosk in order to enter the queue for Rise of the Resistance.

Does Weather Affect Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.

This attraction is indoors and out of the elements so weather shouldn’t be an issue. If the queue is extended outside the building, guests waiting to ride will be out in the weather.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?

We expect Rise of the Resistance to be the most popular ride in the park, but we also expect some operational issues during its first few months of life. Your ability to ride at present will be determined by your ability to get a low boarding group number, and boarding group numbers can fill up quickly even before the official park opening time.

Also note that the fact that you’re in a boarding group does not guarantee access to the attraction: operational issues or other factors may make it impossible for Disney to grant access to all boarding groups each day. If you would like to ride Rise of the Resistance, we recommend that you join a boarding group immediately upon entering Disney’s Hollywood Studios and be prepared to return at some point later in the day.

Did I answer all of your questions about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

13 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

  • December 8, 2019 at 11:11 am
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    Thank you for the information. We will be there on Dec 16th and are planning to ride this first thing in the morning. Do all of us need to have the Disney app in order to join the group? If yes, how can we link all parties together to join the same group? Thanks

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    I’ve been following the “How we did yesterday” section of Touringplans.com, and with your current algorithm, your predictions seem way off. Yesterday was predicted a 9, but actual crowd recorded as a 2. I’m sure you are in the middle of a change in the algorithm to account for boarding groups, but how crowded does the park really seem? Question for not just the touring plans gurus, but others as well.

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  • December 8, 2019 at 11:52 am
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    We did HS on Wed (Dec 4) to enjoy the park pre-ride opening and then did the park Thursday morning for the opening. The crowds were significantly higher on Thursday and we left after lunch. The Boarding Pass system really alters the algorithm because you can roam the whole park and even leave the park until your time to get in the actual line. I think your best bet is to stick with the tried and true and be there as early as possible and then clear out later, after you’ve ridden ROTR. And it’s a MUST!

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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    I’ve often joked, when passing by Flight of Passage, “who looks at the sign that says 220 minutes and says, ‘hey, looks great to me, i’m getting in line!'” Ya ya, I know locals, maybe. Am I seeing correctly that the virtual queue could be Disney’s solution to the line overload problem? I for one would certainly wait until later in the afternoon or evening BEFORE GETTING IN LINE rather than wait hundreds of minutes in line.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 3:06 pm
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    I think one per park would be good to have a virtual queue. But certainly not more than that. With two virtual queues on major rides, it would be likely that you could only go on one or the other on a particular day. Best case scenario would be one in the morning at RD and one in the late evening.

    I would not be surprised to see a virtual queue come to Epcot when the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster opens as well as Magic Kingdom when the Tron coaster opens. Heck, in the meantime maybe they could implement it at Flight of Passage!

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 7:39 pm
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    I guess a virtual queue is essentially an in person fast pass. I would think that Disney will open every major ride this way from now on, it has made for a very smooth opening. After a period of time, say 6 months, they could start regular fast pass and reduce the queues but still have no standby as long as the ride is overloaded. Anyway, my only point was to say that I’d love this system on one or two major rides because you don’t wait for three hours in line, genius.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 7:46 pm
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    Exactly. When people aren’t in line for 3 hours, they are spending 3 hours elsewhere on property shopping or eating. A virtual queue just became the new norm for new attraction openings at WDW!

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  • December 9, 2019 at 7:26 am
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    Would love some info on how to get a boarding group through the app? Is it in the FP+ part of the app?

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  • December 9, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    We are planning to go to DHS on the 21st and would like to arrive early to get a boarding group. We aren’t staying on the property so how early does the parking lot open if the official opening is 8am?

    Reply
  • December 9, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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    Great question! Currently the option to join a boarding group is visible on the main page of the MyDisneyExperience app. However, you must be inside the park in order to join a group.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2019 at 12:01 am
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    Great question! At least one person needs to have the app; however, to experience it together, everyone will need to be part of the same Family & Friends list on the app if this isn’t already the case. Guests age 13 and older will need a Disney account if they don’t have one to join the group. Once you send out an invite for them to join your Family & Friends list, they will need to accept the invite via the email they used for their Disney account. You can create a profile for a child under 13 years without the need for an email invite. Here’s a link offering more questions and answers about this topic: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/family-friends/

    Reply
  • December 11, 2019 at 11:13 am
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    We are going the week of December 20.
    How early does the parking lot open at HS if opening says 8am?

    Reply

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