With Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance finally opened, we know there are some people who want to know everything about the ride ahead of time. As one of Disney’s biggest, most technical and most immersive attractions ever, there were always going to be some surprises along the way that were meant to blow the minds of guests.
So, I’m happy to spoil everything about Rise of the Resistance for anyone who can’t wait any longer.
But first…if you happened to get here by accident, here’s a link to the Spoiler-Free review of Rise of the Resistance.
I’ll even put a picture in so you don’t accidentally read anything you don’t want to know about the ride.
All done? You’re here for the spoilers for sure? Excellent. Lauren loves spoilers too, so she would be proud of you. Also, I went into this ride without any prior knowledge. I wanted my first ride-through to be without the burden of taking pictures, so unfortunately, the pictures are limited here. Expect more photos when we ride Rise of the Resistance again.
What is the Ride Like?
In the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission. You get to be one of those recruits. Once you are through the initial queue (yes, I said initial queue…but more on that later), you will enter a room where your mission will be delivered to you. Inside the room, BB-8 is there to greet you, zipping around high off the ground. This is when you know things are about to get serious.
An incoming transmission from Rey appears like the holograms we have seen in Star Wars movies. I’m still blown away by how realistic this part feels and the attraction has barely begun. The hologram transmission has Rey telling you that it’s no longer safe on Batuu as Resistance members (including Finn) have infiltrated a First Order Star Destroyer that is on its way to you. You will board a transport to General Leia Organa’s secret base. More of the mission is divulged to you through the lieutenant who is responsible for commanding your transport and you’ll see Poe prepare for his escort mission of your transport.
Once you, the new recruits are prepped, you are sent outside to the waiting transport. That’s right…outside. A small outdoor area shows you Poe’s X-wing with BB-8 ready for takeoff and across the way is your transport vessel. Cast Members are there to guide you inside once the doors open.
Inside the transport is an incredible animatronic of your lieutennant commander and the pilot for the vessel. Once the doors close, you are instructed to hold onto the hand-rails in the ship as you are about to take off. In both the front and back of the ship, there are screens that show your ascent into space and you do feel some gentle motion as you are flying.
Suddenly, TIE fighters are detected and your X-Wing escorts have to engage them in an ultimately losing battle. Poe tells you he’ll send help to rescue you and then retreats to safety. In the meantime, your vessel is caught in a tractor beam that pulls you into a waiting Star Destroyer.
When the doors to your transport open again, you are informed by a member of the First Order that your vessel is now property of the First Order and you are to be sent for processing. It’s here that you walk out into the main hangar that Disney has shown already.
It’s enormous…There’s a garrison of about 50 stormtroopers, with just enough movement to give you the impression that they are all real. To the left is a small vehicle similar to the one you will enter shortly. To the right is a full-sized TIE fighter in the hangar. At the back of the hangar (or front, depending on how you look at it), you see space. Not just stars and whatnot, but starships passing by the star destroyer. The whole hangar behind the storm troopers is one of the biggest screens I’ve seen up close.
Guests (or in this case, prisoners) are allowed to walk around the hangar and it is a good opportunity to take photos before heading on to processing. There is a small hallway with two sides where you are currently instructed to choose either side and head onwards. It’s worth noting that if you choose to linger too long in the hangar, there will be another batch of prisoners arriving shortly after you. I would recommend that you take about a minute for photos and general bewilderment before moving on to processing.
Just so we’re clear here, this is a second queue. You have just accomplished the first 40% of the ride and now you have to wait a little longer. This is because they are splitting the crowd into groups of 16 for interrogation. There are still incredible details to see during your wait, including a few more storm troopers.
The Cast Members here are what really keep the immersion going for the attraction. They play their parts quite well as they sneer and speak condescendingly towards prisoners. They make it clear you are resistance scum and they are in the right. We waited another 10-15 minutes here, but your times may vary. Once you are placed in a group of 16, you are ready to proceed.
Your 16-member group is sent into an interrogation cell. It’s a little close-quarters as the room narrows. Once inside, turn around and look above you as a Stormtrooper is watching over you. It took me a few glances to realize that this is a projection, not an animatronic, but it looks great. Shortly after you’re inside, Kylo Ren comes to begin the interrogation process. Whenever he uses the force against you, the lights change and the sound creates a vibration that certainly makes you feel uneasy.
Fortunately for you, he is called to the bridge and moments after you are left alone, the wall beside you is cut away and Resistance members are there to break you out. You are loaded into the trackless vehicles with “reprogrammed” droids who will get you to safety.
This is where the action starts and where some would consider the ride has officially begun (I’m not in that crowd as I think all of it could be considered the ride). Your droids take you through a series of larger rooms and you move quite quickly here so it can be difficult to see everything after only one ride-through. Stormtroopers who catch on to your escape will fire laser blasters in your direction and you will see the blasts to the side and overhead with some clever Imagineering going on.
In your vehicles, you’ll quickly find yourselves facing down full-sized AT-AT walkers where you catch a glimpse of Finn in a Stormtrooper uniform helping provide cover fire. He tells you to take the lifts down to the escape pods, but instead, you find yourself going up. Depending on which vehicle you are in, you may be facing down the laser cannons of the AT-ATs.
In an attempt to find another way out, your vehicles inadvertently end up on the bridge of the Star Destroyer where you see animatronics of Kylo Ren and General Hux. Upon discovering you are there, Kylo Ren begins his attempt to capture you again. As you escape, you can even see his lightsaber pierce the ceiling above you.
A race past some heavy-duty ion cannons brings you close to your goal of reaching the escape pods.
Just as you are about to enter a large doorway, it closes and you see Kylo Ren using the force to hold your vehicles in place. A well-timed blast from a friendly ship blows a hole in the star destroyer just behind Ren and it causes enough of a distraction for you to escape.
Around another corner you’re just about to enter the escape pod as your vehicle latches in place. The screen in front shows the bottom of the Star Destroyer and after a few seconds, you drop (not Tower of Terror drop, but enough that you feel a short free-fall). Thanks to Poe clearing a path for you, your pod can make an emergency landing back on Batuu. It’s a little off-course, but that’s okay. Your droid will drive your vehicle out of the pod and over to your exit point where Resistance Cast Members are there to help you exit the ride.
It’s worth noting that the vehicles actually move outside, in a covered area that looks a bit like a wreck from all of the pods crash-landing. It’s a seamless transition back to Batuu and Galaxy’s Edge.
This attraction is one of the largest that Disney has ever created. There are multiple ride systems that are unlike anything you have experienced at a Disney Park.
I have told friends that it’s sort of like Disney Imagineering took a ton of their innovative tricks and put them all into this one ride. The effects have you wondering how they accomplished these incredible feats of technology.
Disney says this attraction experience is around 18 minutes long. That also makes it one of the longest attractions they have created.
I found that each element of the ride brought more and more awe and wonder out of me as I couldn’t get over how incredible the ride looks. Having left the attraction, I can say it took me quite a while to process everything I had seen.
We’ve all seen pictures of the hangar bay where a garrison of stormtroopers are lined up. There are full-sized AT-AT walkers and a full-sized Tie Fighter as well. That alone would have been enough to captivate me. In reality, there is so much more going on. The animatronics are on point, the special effects are so immersive and it left me wanting to ride it again immediately.
Depending on which vehicle you get into (your group of 16 loads into two), you will have a slightly different experience. There are parts where both vehicles split up and see different things before you come back together to meet the same characters.
I loved the detail and the level of Imagineering that went into creating this totally unique attraction. It truly is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. As a Star Wars fan, I was blown away by the sheer size of the attraction. I’ve never felt closer to being in the stories than I was on Rise of the Resistance.
This is a masterpiece of storytelling, musical scores and visual effects all wrapped up in one attraction. I don’t want to build the hype too much, because I wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed that they’re not actually cutting up anyone with a real-life lightsaber (spoiler alert…you don’t). Instead, go into the ride expecting to experience something new and go in with the same wide-eyed awe that you had the first time you experienced anything Star Wars-related.
Do you need more spoilers?
Head over to YouTube and search Rise of the Resistance ride-through…you’ll see it all there! Happy spoiling!
If you’d like to learn more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to check our our Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Guide for details on attractions, dining, merchandise and more!