Rise of the Resistance is more of an experience than a ride. This attraction is not the typical Disney ride where you sit in a ride vehicle and view from afar. The ride itself happens in stages and each stage is its own experience. The entire attraction is about 20 minutes in length. I took my 8-year old daughter along and she said it was like being in the movie. This ride is more geared toward Star Wars fans. If you aren’t a fan of this franchise I wouldn’t suggest this ride to you. Rise takes the immersion experience that Galaxy’s Edge offers and elevates it to another level. The other attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, Smuggler’s Run can be enjoyed by anyone and greatly appreciated by fans but, Rise is a different story.
Rise of the Resistance is located in the front of the Galaxy’s Edge area. As soon as you walk into the area it is to the left. Just like all the other attractions, restaurants, and shops, in Galaxy’s Edge, it is not labeled with a sign. If you enter from Toy Story Land, you’ll find the attraction across from the X-Wing at the Resistance Base.
Rise of the Resistance is a hidden Resistance base. The base itself is built into caves that are hidden from sight so that the First Order isn’t able to find it. The entrance does have an air-defense gun tower but the atmosphere gives the appearance that the area is abandoned. When you enter the caves leading into the base there are many Resistance supplies including x-wing flight suits, blasters, and helmets. These supplies are stored in metal cages throughout the queue. There are also various crates and shipping containers. If you are bored in line there are many QR codes that can be scanned with the Disney Play app throughout the queue.
The ride begins by entering a briefing room with BB-8. After a few minutes, Rey appears as a hologram and briefs you on the mission. The First Order has discovered the Resistance base on Batuu and as a new Resistance recruit, you are being shuttled off-planet with the help of Rey, Finn, and Poe. You and the group of recruits you are with are loaded onto a transport and transported off of Batuu by Lt. Beck. As you are making your way off-planet suddenly your transport is caught the tractor beam of a Star Destroyer!
Your transport is boarded by the First Order and you are taken inside the Star Destroyer and escorted to a holding cell so that you can be interrogated by the First Order. While in the cell General Hux and Kylo Ren appear. They both threaten your group to tell them the location of the Resistance base. Just when all hope seems lost, the wall of the cell appears to open up by being cut open. On the other side are two members of the Resistance. They usher you are your group onto ride vehicles controlled by an R5 droid. The droid drives the vehicle through the Star Destroyer so that you and your group can escape before you are caught by the First Order.
Throughout the chase, your vehicle is shot out by Stormtroopers with blasters and AT-AT’s. Kylo Ren is also hot on your trail with his lightsaber in hand. One of the coolest special effects on this ride is the blaster fire. The stormtroopers shoot at you and of course like any stormtrooper would they miss and hit the wall. As the blaster bolt hits the wall the wall actually appears damaged. This effect can be seen in a few different areas of the ride. Kylo Ren also uses his lightsaber at one point to cut through the ceiling just above your vehicle. The Disney Imagineers really went above and beyond with the special effects on this ride. R5 drives your vehicle to an escape pod where you will experience a sudden drop as your escape pod separates from the Star Destroyer. Your escape pod then crash lands back on Batuu where you briefly meet with Lt. Beck and then exit the ride.
An important detail to note is that the battle that takes place on this ride as a result of you and your group being captured results in a loss for the First Order. This loss also results in General Hux being demoted, causing him to turn and begin spying for the Resistance.
Our family loves this ride! We are all huge Star Wars fans and this ride gives us the experience of being in the movie. Going on this ride is not an easy process with the boarding group system but we feel that it is totally worth the hassle and the wait. We have two 8-years olds and both of them loved it!
We do have one critique of the ride. The animatronics on the ride are not that great. The Stormtrooper’s heads move awkwardly and seem very robotic. On Smuggler’s Run, the animatronic of Hondo Ohnaka is so incredibly lifelike that seeing the ones on Rise was disappointing. The worst ones were of General Hux and Kylo Ren. At one point on the ride, you are looking up at them from your ride vehicle. They have their backs to you. They do a little half turn and you can see that Hux looks nothing like he should. Kylo Ren and Hux are both stiff and seem very robotic.
9/10 – Fantastic!
This ride a mix of all the different ride technologies that Disney has to offer. There is nothing else like it on Disney property. The ride is much more of an experience than a ride. You are transported to the Star Wars universe and get to experience what that would be like first hand. Truly incredible!