Star Wars fans flock to Disneyland’s newly opened Rise of Resistance ride


Hundreds of people lined up in the esplanade outside the gates of Disneyland starting at two in the morning on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.  There were numerous Youtube personalities, such as “Freshbaked” and “Theme Park Obsession,” to name a few. Disneyland employees opened the gates to the park and began scanning people in at 6 a.m., over an hour before they usually allow people in.

The rest of the guests filtered in throughout the morning, but almost everyone was eagerly awaiting for eight in the morning when boarding passes could be made.  At 7:58, most of the guests were standing on Main Street USA, constantly refreshing the home screen on the Disney app. At 8, there was a chorus of cheers and frustrated exclamations as people either got into a boarding group or didn’t.

Disney has worked to make it so that there is an equal opportunity for everyone trying to get on the ride.  The system is referred to as “boarding groups”, and everyone rushes to the Disneyland app, and clicks on “join a boarding group.”  The app has a lottery system to assign groups based on the size of a group, even distribution of people in each group, etc. making it completely random what boarding group each party lands in.  This eliminates any bias, as well as discourages people from showing up at the park unnecessarily early.

Throughout the day, boarding groups are called back to the ride, much like the current FastPass system.  Despite adding people to boarding groups as high as 123, there typically aren’t more than 116 boarding groups in one day, usually, there is significantly less than that.  This is due to the fact that the ride has many moving parts, and is prone to breaking down. Often times, when the ride breaks down, there has to be a whole reboot on all of the sensors, which takes about an hour.

Once you make it onto the ride, you enter into an incredibly immersive experience.  The queue is similar to Indiana Jones, with the winding rock cavern path. As you walk through the line, you are meant to be walking through the resistance base on Batuu.  The first part of the ride is a pre-show, with a hologram of Rey instructing the “new recruits” on their mission objectives. After she provides you with your mission, you are moved to a transport ship, which works much like Star Tours does.

The ride takes you into a First Order Star Destroyer, which has been constructed to scale.  You are then directed through the destroyer by cast members who are in character of First Order imperial officers.  Upon reaching the loading area, groups are lined up on four different colors. The First Order lieutenants then direct the resistance groups into an interrogation room, where the groups are then rescued by other resistance members.  This is where the real ride begins.

Each group is directed to a transport run by an R5 unit based on the color they were assigned, loaded in, and then the escape attempt begins.  The goal is to reach escape pods and to get to them in which the transports end up having to move through much of the star destroyer to avoid run-ins with stormtroopers and Kylo Ren.

The ride is a totally immersive 30-45 minute experience and is every fan’s dream when it comes to realism.  As one of the most technologically advanced rides in the world, it is bound to have some kinks, but at the end of the day, it’s worth taking a stab at getting a boarding pass.

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