Rise of the Resistance Blasts Into Disneyland – Review

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Rise of the Resistance recruits view of when they're captured.

If you’ve missed out on what Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has to offer, then there’s a brand new opportunity for you. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the pinnacle of theme park attractions. The new ride opened in the Magic Kingdom of Disneyworld last year. The Disneyland attraction opened earlier this month, on January 17th. If you’re a fan of anything Star Wars or Disney’s theme parks, this ride is one hundred percent for you.

Let’s dig into the ride.

Before You Ride

If you want to get on the ride in the coming weeks, hopefully not months, it’s a special protocol. Brand new for a Disneyland ride in my experience, you don’t simply line up for hours. You have to be at the park when they open. Using the Disneyland app, you’ll see a big spread for Rise of the Resistance. Once opening strikes, you can sign up for a boarding group.

BB-8 briefing new Rise of the Resistance recruits.
BB-8 letting the new recruits what to do.

Once you’re in the app and signed up, your boarding group will come up. I was placed into boarding group 17, which fired off about an hour and 15 minutes after the park opened. I was a lucky one, and so the whole process is a bit of a turn-off. Hopefully Disney can refine it so that people don’t have to show up right at opening. Hearing people cheer and scream as the park opened was a bit of a crazy experience especially at Disneyland. The only other way that I heard you could get on the ride was to go to a special kiosk in Tomorrow Land as the park opened.

The app notifies you when your boarding group is close and when they call yours out. So there’s no need to camp out around the ride. You can go off and have your adventures and then come back for the main event of Disneyland.

*SPOILERS FOR Rise of the Resistance AHEAD*
Rise of the Resistance Turret Entrance
Turret at Rise of Resistance ride at Galaxy’s Edge. (Image: Gamespot)

The ride is set between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. So our characters are still fresh in their fight against the First Order. All the new main characters from the new trilogy are present. You’re greeted by Rey and BB-8 before you board your drop ship. The whole voyage is led by Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari Resistance Leader. As you’re guided through the queue after your boarding group is called, the ride is the most immersive experience since Indiana Jones Adventure.

You’re taken through the snaking tunnels of the forgotten ruins outside Black Spire Outpost. The immersive queue made the wait, which was only about 25 minutes for my boarding group, seem almost like nothing. You’re brought deeper and deeper into the old ruins until you get to the Resistance base. The secret of where the base is, is the whole crux of the ride’s story.

You’re brought onto a Resistance cargo ship after you’re briefed by Rey and BB-8. The whole next scene is part of the ride. Poe Dameron, Bek, and a squadron of X-Wing’s lead you out of the base. The whole thing is movie-quality. With screens in the front and back of the ship, you’re attacked by First Order TIE Fighters. The CGI for this sequence and the whole ride was done by Industrial Light and Magic. It’s fantastic, and top-notch work for a theme park ride.

Rise of the Resistance Poe's X-Wing
Poe’s X-Wing waiting for take-off.

The Next Section of Rise of the Resistance

Unfortunately, you’re captured by the First Order before you can escape. Here is where Finn comes on the video-com screen. He relays that you can escape the Star Destroyer by reaching the escape pods. A battalion of Resistance troops led by him will clear your path. Even worse for the new recruits to the Resistance is that Kylo Ren is on this ship as well. Once you’re loaded up, a First Order officer leads you off your transport. This next section of the ride was jaw dropping. An entire battalion of Stormtroopers stands before you. You truly feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer about to be taken for interrogation. It’s one of the best and most immersive experiences on the ride.

You’re finally loaded up in a group and put into your interrogation cell. Kylo Ren and General Hux try to get the location of the secret Resistance base from you. At the last minute, the wall is blasted open and Resistance operatives help you out and onto the ride vehicle.

Without spoiling the whole Rise of the Resistance, this next section is the best any theme park can offer for an indoor ride. It takes you and places you right into the middle of what could be a section of the movies. You feel right there with animatronics, screens, blasters, drops, speedy getaways, and anything else that you can imagine going into a Star Wars ride.

A True Marvel Of Theme Park Technology

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the biggest achievements in theme park rides in human history. It’s that good of an experience. It’ll make even the most gristled, hateful, Star Wars fan crack a dumb smile. The whole experience lasts about 15 minutes. You’ll be wanting to hop right back in to go on again to see if there was anything you missed. That’s the only issue right now, is you’re basically limited to riding it once a day for the time being. That doesn’t change how amazing and intricate that Rise of the Resistance is though.

The ride is worth a day at Disneyland alone. This is one that people will be marveling about for years to come. If this is the future of Disney rides, they’re in good hands. It’s a view to what could be coming from Marvel at Disney parks. Rise of the Resistance something that I’ll definitely be coming back to Disneyland for.

For more on Rise of the Resistance, Star Wars, Disneyland, or anything else pop culture related, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

If you want more Star Wars news or content, go to StarWars.com


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