Even though Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance only opened in 2019, it’s already being ranked among the greats such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Disney’s latest and possibly greatest stands upon the shoulders of these attractions that have come before while offering a whole new level of immersion and state-of-the-art technology.
Naturally, Rise of the Resistance is an absolute must-do for many Disney World guests these days; and so, after several adventures of my own to that galaxy far, far away, I’ve compiled Five Things You Should Know About Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
1. It’s Not a Ride; It’s an Experience
In a time where IP-based coasters are the name of the game, the Imagineers flipped the script with Rise of the Resistance. There are no high-speed launches, no inversions, and no massive drops (just a small one!). At its most intense, Rise of the Resistance is a simulator a la Star Tours; and throughout most of the ride time, it’s most akin to a dark ride.
So why is it so exciting? The thrill comes from the immersion. While guests are being recruited to the Resistance, experiencing a simulated flight into space, and then being led captive through a Star Destroyer, there are no seats. No restraints. Guests are free to walk around and look in whatever direction they choose. This is a 360-degree experience, and the guests are the stars of their own Star Wars adventure.
For the next phase of the attraction, guests board trackless ride vehicles and the immersion only continues as they move through multiple, massive sets complete with life-size AT-AT walkers, take on simulated blaster fire that leaves behind damage, and encounter fluid audio-animatronics and other ride effects all to the soundtrack of John Williams’ iconic score.
Unlike other attractions, it’s not the motion of the ride vehicle that creates the thrill. It’s what you’re experiencing. That’s why Rise of the Resistance isn’t a ride; it’s an experience.
2. Getting a Boarding Group is a Gamble
Even before Disney suspended FastPass+, Rise of the Resistance used a completely different system as its only way to ride – a virtual queue. In order to gain access to the virtual queue, guests must join a boarding group through the My Disney Experience app.
Currently, boarding passes are distributed two times a day: at 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The problem? Boarding groups fill up in about a minute. The app will distribute backup boarding groups, but guests in those groups will only be called to ride if all of the initial planned boarding groups have already been called. The other problem? Rise of the Resistance is prone to occasional breakdowns so there are no guarantees that you will get to ride, even if you do get a boarding group.
Here’s step-by-step directions on how to get one of those coveted Rise of the Resistance boarding groups.
3. It’s a Long Ride
While successfully getting a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance can be a hassle, this ride offers a lot of bang for your buck! The entire experience, which consists of various experiences, typically spans about 18 minutes! It’s something to be aware of when planning your day, and it also serves as a great reminder that you’re guaranteed a lot of Star Wars for your effort.
4. Kids Must Be 40″ Tall to Ride
Parents, particularly parents of aspiring Padawans, should know that kids must be at least 40″ tall to ride. This is good news since Disney’s other uber-popular attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage, has a height requirement of 44″.
5. The Ride Employs Multiple Ride Systems
Part of the reason why Rise of the Resistance is an experience is due to the fact it utilizes multiple ride systems. Throughout the entire experience, guests ride two simulators, a trackless vehicle, and are lifted both up and down. There’s also a small drop towards the end, but it’s super quick.
BONUS: It’s Set Between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker
Rise of the Resistance puts guests in the middle of a Star Wars adventure, but which adventure and when? There are currently 11 live-action Star Wars films, and 9 of those films consist of the Skywalker Saga that spanned three generations of a famous Force-sensitive family. So even if you’re a casual fan of Star Wars, you gotta wonder just whose story are you being dropped into.
The answer is that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is set between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker with guests being recruited to the Resistance, as opposed to the Rebel Alliance, and where the big baddie is Kylo Ren instead of Darth Vader or Palpatine. This is also true of Galaxy’s Edge as a whole since you spot Rey and Kylo Ren roaming about during your visit.
Is Rise of the Resistance on your to-do list? Let us know in the comments!
First published October 17, 2020. Updated April 25, 2021.