Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance doesn’t open until tomorrow, but I got to preview it today thanks to the nice folks at Disney Media Relations!

Rise of the Resistance is touted as one of the most ambitious and technologically advanced attractions that Disney has ever created.  After having seen it myself, I can see why it has that reputation.

This immersive experience is done on a cinematic scale. It’s hard to tell where fantasy ends and reality begins and vice versa.

This thrilling adventure combines multiple ride systems, character encounters, and a climactic battle with the First Order to put you in the story! Rise of the Resistance is also one of the longest-running attractions Disney has ever created.

The Queue

The queue has lots of rock work. It feels like you’re walking through a cave or some extraterrestrial land formations, which is fitting because you’re in a temporary encampment along the outskirts of Batuu. The queue line leads you deeper into the forest among crumbling remains of an ancient civilization. You might even hear military communications along the way if you listen closely.

There are several ships in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You can see some of these ships in the Rise of the Resistance attraction. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There are several ships in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You can see some of these ships in the Rise of the Resistance attraction. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Poe Dameron’s X-Wing Starfighter. Poe escorts guests off Batuu as they attempt to rendezvous with General Leia Organa Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Poe Dameron’s X-Wing Starfighter. Poe escorts guests off Batuu as they attempt to rendezvous with General Leia Organa Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

As you go deeper into the base, you move from crudely cut rock to storage boxes and containers and finally to more sophisticated items like screens, suits, etc.

As you move through the queue, you’ll see flight suits and other military equipment inside the Resistance encampment. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

As you move through the queue, you’ll see flight suits and other military equipment inside the Resistance encampment. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The queue sets the stage for the rest of the attraction. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The queue sets the stage for the rest of the attraction. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The queue, which has a FastPass+ and a Standby line, is very long.

Interestingly, Disney built some ledges into the rockwork that could serve as a kind of seating.

Interestingly, Disney built some ledges into the rockwork that could serve as a kind of seating.

Check out see many more details on the Rise of the Resistance queue.

Mission Briefing

The first thing you’ll experience after exiting the queue is the Mission Briefing room. This is pretty similar to mission briefings on other attractions – it sets the stage for the story.  It also offers an improved immersive experience including a hologram of Rey.

Rey tells you that you will be heading to meet General Leia.

BB-8 greets guests inside the makeshift briefing room. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BB-8 greets guests inside the makeshift briefing room. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

From the briefing room, you go through a partially outdoor area to board the transport ship where you’ll meet Lieutenant Bek.

Intersystem Transport Ship

The Intersystem Transport Ship (I-TS) is the first ride vehicle you’ll board. She ship holds about 40 people  This is a standing-room-only 3D experience with Lieutenant Bak. Fortunately, you don’t need 3D glasses for this ride!

The journey begins on board a full-size transport shuttle, the Intersystem Transport Ship, which will blast you and the other Resistance recruits off of Batuu. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The journey begins on board a full-size transport shuttle, the Intersystem Transport Ship, which will blast you and the other Resistance recruits off of Batuu. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari Resistance officer, speaks with guests aboard an Intersystem Transport Ship as they blast off Batuu. He warns you to lower their shields and prepare to be boarded. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari Resistance officer, speaks with guests aboard an Intersystem Transport Ship as they blast off Batuu. He warns you to lower their shields and prepare to be boarded. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll feel like you’re lifting off the surface of Batuu and soaring into space with Poe Dameron in his X-Wing Starfighter.

The transport ship moves, but gently. You can hang onto the bars while standing during your journey.

The transport ship moves, but gently. You can hang onto the bars while standing during your journey.

The transport ship has a view from the front as well as the rear. This is the view out the rear window.

The transport ship has a view from the front as well as the rear. This is the view out the rear window.

Uh-oh! Before you can gain full-speed, you’re caught into a tractor beam of the Star Destroy and pulled into a hangar bay.

Star Destroyer Hangar Bay

After leaving the transport ship and board the Star Destroyer, you’ll first enter the hangar bay of the enemy ship.

A First Order Patrol officer is standing at the door as it opens and informs you that you are now prisoners of the First Order and demands that you get off your ship. 

A First Order Patrol officer is standing at the door as it opens and informs you that you are now prisoners of the First Order and demands that you get off your ship.

Disney took care of every detail. When you get off of the transport ship, be sure to look back at the ride vehicle you just got off of!

Disney took care of every detail. When you get off of the transport ship, be sure to look back at the ride vehicle you just got off of!

First Order troops and Stormtroopers patrol the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

First Order troops and Stormtroopers patrol the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The hangar bay is very large. The Stormtroopers are life-sized, and there's plenty of space around and above them.

The hangar bay is very large. The Stormtroopers are life-sized, and there’s plenty of space around and above them.

Fifty menacing First Order Stormtroopers await guests as they arrive in the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fifty menacing First Order Stormtroopers await guests as they arrive in the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A First Order Stormtrooper stands guard in the Star Destroyer hangar bay beneath a docked TIE fighter. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A First Order Stormtrooper stands guard in the Star Destroyer hangar bay beneath a docked TIE fighter. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Star Destroyer Corridor & Interrogation Room

After leaving the hangar bay, you’re greeted by First Order patrol troops. They point you in the direction of the Interrogation room. This is the point where they ask you how many people are in your party like other attractions. These Cast Member “troops” refer to guests as sympathizers.

Inside the interrogation room, a Stormtrooper is on guard then Kylo Ren appears. He warns, “You have what I want. You know the location of the secret base, and I will take it from you.” He then tells the patrol to “Keep the Prisoners here; I will return to finish this personally.”

The Cast Members in this attraction have adopted appropriate personalities, but not all of the characters are real. The patrol officer and Kylo Ren in the interrogation room, while they look very real, are actually on a very large screen. What’s interesting and makes it very convincing is that lighting effects show shadows on the grates above as the characters on the screen are walking around.

While Kylo Ren is threatening his prisoners, the Resistance is busy trying to rescue you. In fact, someone from the resistance uses a laser to cut through the wall, which turns golden, heats up, and breaks open. You are rushed onto the adjoining room.

Attraction

From the Interrogation Room, you’ll be moved into a trackless ride vehicle. The vehicle is actually “Prisoner Transport”, but it seems that the Resistance has commandeered the vehicle by reprogramming the droids to help you escape. You’re in for a wild ride! The vehicles do a delicate though chaotic “dance” to evade the First Order command and escape.

First Order R5-Series astromech droids pilot troop transports on board the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

First Order R5-Series astromech droids pilot troop transports on board the Star Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll soon realize that the Resistance is working to help you escape but first, you’ll go through a climactic battle between the Resistance and the First Order.

Watch out! You’ve stumbled into the bridge of the Star Destroyer, and Kylo Ren spots you! Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Watch out! You’ve stumbled into the bridge of the Star Destroyer, and Kylo Ren spots you! Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll also encounter more Stormtroopers as you try to escape the hold of the First Order. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll also encounter more Stormtroopers as you try to escape the hold of the First Order. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The ride vehicle backs away from the Stormtroopers, but you can see their laser shots coming towards you with lighting effects on the ceiling. There’s even some sparking when the shots hit the wall and damage.

Guests race past massive AT-AT walkers aboard the First Order Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Guests race past massive AT-AT walkers aboard the First Order Destroyer. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There are two large AT-AT walkers. Your vehicle swirls beneath them and eventually rises up so you can see the control room inside. The drivers spot you from the control room, and they shoot at you. As the vehicles drive, each vehicle sees different things, so your ride is different every time.

You’ll see Kylo Ren a total of three times throughout the attraction including here when Kylo Ren brandishes his iconic red lightsaber. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll see Kylo Ren a total of three times throughout the attraction including here when Kylo Ren brandishes his iconic red lightsaber. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You escape Kylo Ren one more, but he makes a final attempt to catch you by cutting through the ceiling with his signature red lightsaber.

The vehicles move very fast but strategically because the large turbolasers are shooting at the Resistance ships trying to save you. These guns are about 15 feet tall, and they recoil when they shoot, so your little ride vehicle has to move carefully through to avoid the recoil.

Before you escape, you’ll dodge huge turbolaser cannons. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Before you escape, you’ll dodge huge turbolaser cannons. Photo credits (C) Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In yet another room (the bridge), the Resistance blows out some windows, and you suddenly feel a vacuum. The audio-animatronic Kylo Ren tries not to be pulled out into space.

Finally, you make it to the escape pod! You hear a click as your vehicle clips in. There’s a window looking out into space, and you feel a drop as you move away from the Star Destroyer. This motion simulator moves and turns as you drive through space to escape the hold of the First Order and rendezvous with the Resistance.

Finally, you’ll board a First-Order Short-Range Evacuation Vehicle, also know as an escape pod. This is a kind of drop sequence similar to <a href=

The ride finishes with your escape pod landing back on Batuu. Bek welcomes you back.

Even the exit is themed!

Even the exit is themed!

In total, the ride is about 18 minutes long give or take a few minutes depending on delays in any of the areas.

My Thoughts…

Disney has said that Rise of the Resistance blurs the lines between queue, pre-show, and attraction all while staying authentic to the Star Wars story. While I couldn’t quite conceive how this would happen, I am happy to say that this is exactly what I experienced while riding Rise of the Resistance!

The experience is so real even down to the Cast Members who have taken on the personalities of Resistance comrades or First Order guards. As I was walking through taking pictures, I was asked by a First Order guard if I was sending photos back to the Resistance. This helps with the immersion.

The first time I rode, it was a lot to process and take in.  It literally left me speechless.  Just like in a Star Wars film, there is action, motion, music, and surprise around every turn.

I expect very long lines for this attraction. Just as is the cast with Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, there is no FastPass+ available at this time.  There is no word on when FastPass might become available.

Rise of the Resistance sets a new bar for themed entertainment and combines what I consider to be the three keys of a Disney attraction:  story, theme, and technology.  It does so as a scale and complexity never before attempted.  It all comes together in an attraction that is sure to thrill crowds for years to come, and redefines what an attraction can be.

Rise of the Resistance opens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios tomorrow, December 5th, 2019 and in Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge on January 17th, 2020.  You might want to get in line now.

Are you excited to ride Rise of the Resistance?