Inside Look at Disney World's Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Ride

Stormtroopers for Walt Disney World's Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Photo via Disney) (Walt Disney World)
Brooke McDonald
by Brooke McDonald
Last updated: 4:47 PM ET, Wed December 4, 2019

The Epic Rise of the Resistance Ride

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has been open at Disneyland in Anaheim since May 31 and at Walt Disney World in Orlando since August 29, but after riding Rise of the Resistance, the land's epic showpiece attraction that opens to the public tomorrow, Dec. 5, its clear that only now can guests fully experience this groundbreaking land the way its creators intended.

In one fell swoop, the truly mind-blowing attraction is a resounding one-two punch to critics. From groundbreaking special effects to some of the most advanced audio-animatronics ever created to film nods at every turn, including roles played by the original film actors, this is more than just 'your Star Wars story.' It's the ultimate Star Wars story. Here's why.

Your favorite Star Wars heroes recruit you to their cause - and it's like they're really there

Here's the premise: The Resistance has been gaining strength, but Finn and a band of Resistance fighters have infiltrated a First Order star destroyer and have learned it's headed for Batuu. Rey appears by holo-transmission, explaining to recruits that they must leave Batuu by transport shuttle and join General Leia Organa at a secret Resistance camp off-planet.

You're in good hands with BB-8 and your co-pilots

Also joining you in the Ready Room are BB-8 and, by transmission, your transport shuttle co-pilots Nien Nunb (how's that for a throwback to the original trilogy?!) and new character Lieutenant Bek, a Mon Calamari who would do Admiral Ackbar proud.

Poe's X-wing will stop you in your tracks

Resistance Commander Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and a squadron of X-wings will guide you to your destination. Pause to marvel at his ship before you board the Intersystem Transport Ship (I-TS).

Your transport shuttle journey is like a ride within a ride

Board the I-TS and launch into a 360-degree ride experience piloted by Nien Nunb and Lieutenant Bek, easily the most impressive animatronic on the whole attraction. You're off to a good start with Poe and an X-wing squadron as your escorts, but then things take a turn…

Step aboard a star destroyer - and prepare to have your mind blown

You'll probably have a bad feeling about this one… We don't want to give too much away, but you'll find yourself in the hands of the First Order, and face to face with 50 stormtroopers. The size and scale of this room is mind-boggling and you'll feel like you just stepped into a Star Wars Movie.

If only Poe and Finn were here to hijack that TIE fighter...

Get your camera ready because in addition to the stormtroopers that fill the sprawling space, there's also a docked TIE fighter that looks ready to take off.

Now that you're in the clutches of the First Order, things start to get really dicey

We don't want to give too much away, but let's just say this is when things get real.

The characters are all so lifelike, it's nearly impossible to tell illusion from reality

The interweaving of holograms, projections, animatronics and live cast members to drive the plotline is truly staggering. One of these characters is a projection and the other is a human-can you tell the difference?

The trackless ride vehicles provide an unexpected thrill

Dubbed "some of the most advanced ever used in a Disney attraction," the trackless ride vehicles whip you around unpredictably. Watch out for those AT-ATs!

The Dark Side is strong with this ride

From the intimidating interrogation room to more than a few appearances by Kylo Ren himself, the power of the Dark Side brings a thrilling intensity to every scene.

Old-school Star Wars fans will get all the feels

Star Wars purists will appreciate numerous nods to the original trilogy-from Nien Nunb to classic one-liners to a probe droid reminiscent of the one on Hoth, but with some slick upgrades.

The queue will keep you entertained

There's no way around it-with an epic attraction will likely come epic wait times. Luckily, the standby queue is an intricate labyrinth of striking detail. Launch the Play Disney Parks App and find plenty of interactive fun to keep you busy. The best part? As you weave deep into the base through passageways cut from stone, you'll find plenty of spots to sit and rest your feet!

The Music Will Move You

Early critiques of Galaxy's Edge have bemoaned the fact that John Williams' iconic soundtracks from the films are largely absent from the land itself. Rise of the Resistance remedies this in a big way. An original score composed by Williams for the attraction weaves melodies old and new and serves to really dial up the emotions. Rey's theme draws you in as she begs you to save her cause, "March of the Resistance" gets the adrenaline pumping as Poe helps guide your transport shuttle off Batuu, and danger and excitement are heightened by First Order and classic Star Wars melodies. Williams' music propels this experience from scene to scene from start to finish.

No amount of spoilers can ruin this experience

It may seem like I've shared a lot here, but nothing will prepare you for all that this ride delivers. I've ridden it five times and hardly feel I've scratched the surface. It's an experience that absolutely cannot be missed.

TravelPulse was on the scene as the newest ride at Walt Disney World officially opened.

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