TPG gets first look at Disney’s new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction

Dec 4, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Close your eyes and imagine a theme park attraction. Maybe you conjure up thoughts of a giant roller coaster, or a dark, indoor amusement ride. Maybe you’re picturing actors in a stage show, or a virtual reality flying experience.

Disney’s brand new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction, located within Galaxy’s Edge, is none of that. But it’s also all of those things and more.

In the build up to its much-anticipated opening, Galaxy’s Edge, a Star Wars-themed land located within both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, promised to be an immersive and interactive experience that makes you feel as if you’re truly on the far away planet of Batuu.

While the land is visually stunning, there was a strong argument that it wasn’t yet a home run. At a minimum, there simply wasn’t a ton to do in Galaxy’s Edge without spending (lots) of extra money on droid or lightsaber creation; drinking space cocktails in Oga’s Cantina; on the rows of available merchandise; or on a roasted sausage wrap. The one previously open ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, is pretty fun if you’re the pilot and have a crew in the ship that’s into the experience. But for all its strengths, it wasn’t strong enough to carry the expectations of the land on its own.

Related: TPG guide to Disney World

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The main attraction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was always going to be Rise of the Resistance, which officially opens at Disney World on Thursday, Dec. 5, and on Friday, Jan. 17 at Disneyland. But TPG was invited to attend a media preview ride of the attraction today, and we’re here to say … it’s good. Really good. When it works.

Not knowing at all what to expect when I walked into the attraction, I was left fully speechless by the time the ride was over. Only, it wasn’t just a ride. It was a multipart experience that follows through on the promise of immersing guests in the world of Star Wars.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Stop reading here if you want to be as surprised as I was on my first ride.

You sure you want to keep reading?

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

OK, for those of you still here, you’ll likely start your Rise of the Resistance journey by requesting a boarding position via the My Disney Experience app. At least for now, Disney is utilizing virtual queueing for this attraction instead of creating a very long line.

Be sure and request a boarding position as soon as you enter Hollywood Studios, as slots of the day fill up early. FastPass+, Extra Magic Hours or VIP tour access are not available for this attraction. Also know that the park has been opening in advance of the posted opening times. When your turn arrives, you’ll enter the physical queue and first encounter BB-8, Poe and Rey (via hologram) who will recruit you to join the Resistance in its battle against the First Order. This part of the ride is in a room, similar to the first part of many rides you’ve likely experienced before.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Next, you enter a standing room-only ship that takes you through space (and actually moves). Unfortunately, the ship is intercepted by the bad guys and, via a tractor beam, you’re captured by the First Order.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

As the doors to the next portion of the ride open, you’re greeted by a legion of stormtroopers and other (very bossy) members of the First Order. This is where things get really impressive: The massive scale of the room and the realistic movements of the stormtroopers make you feel as if you’re truly on a star ship. Heck, maybe we were. This is Disney after all.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Then, you’re marched in a single-file line to your cell. Granted, this is still a media preview, but Disney cast members 100% owned their roles and weren’t just ushering you through the ride — they made you feel as if you were truly a prisoner.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Thankfully, the Resistance doesn’t leave you to rot in a trash compactor, but instead rescues you on a disguised prisoner transport vehicle. At this point, you’re already spent about 15-minutes in the attraction — and you’re just getting onto the main ride vehicle.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The fun picks up as the seated trackless ride vehicle barely evades blasters, red-hot lightsabers coming through the walls, Kylo Ren himself and more. I refuse to spoil everything, but you aren’t just watching a battle unfold: You’re in it, and will only barely escape by flying through space and landing on friendly soil.

The Rise of the Resistance attraction has it all, and to call it a ride is a disservice. It’s an experience that will thrill, entertain and take you to a universe far, far away.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
My reaction after a first ride on Rise of the Resistance (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Now, the bad news.

Such an action-packed, complex and technologically advanced attraction wasn’t without a few hiccups. Our first ride early in the preview day was met with a couple of delays as Disney’s Imagineers and cast members continued to work out kinks. In addition to delays going from one scene to the next, we had to disembark our first ride vehicle and experience the attraction from another launch room.

Related: How to use points to buy Disney tickets

Later in the preview day, the attraction went down for a couple of hours. With the official opening day set for tomorrow, our concern isn’t whether people will love Rise of the Resistance — it’s simply whether it will work reliably enough to keep the virtual lines moving.

Check out The Points Guy Instagram account for more from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, as well as full updates to the TPG Guide to Galaxy’s Edge as soon as the attraction officially opens.

Featured photo courtesy of author. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.