Initial reactions are in: Disney’s new Star Wars ride rocks


This week, Disney’s long-awaited new Star Wars ride will open at Walt Disney World. According to one CNN reporter, it’s awesome.

“Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” is set to open at the Galaxy’s Edge park in Orlando on Thursday. The ride is expected to be a cornerstone attraction going forward, given its innovative and groundbreaking design. 

Rise of the Resistance is a big piece of Disney’s $1 billion Galaxy’s Edge expansion. The new park area opened on May 31 at Disney World and Disneyland. However, many have taken a wait-and-see approach before putting George Lucas’ world at the center of family vacation plans. With the new ride, this may change. 

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The Force is Strong with the Resistance

“Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” is unlike any other ride in the world. The attraction uses a variety of proprietary effects, custom-made projectors, and animatronic figures to take guests on an 18-minute adventure across the galaxy. The ride’s primary vehicle is powered by five million lines of code, which enables it to navigate without a defined track.

Rise of the Resistance plays out in a three-part story involving the First Order, Kylo Ren, and an army of stormtroopers. Riders are taken through various sequences and find themselves dodging blaster fire and lightsaber swings. 

Scott Trowbridge, the genius behind much of Galaxy’s Edge, summarizes the experience in one sentence. “Spaceships and aliens and stormtroopers and lightsabers and droids and all in one attraction.” Known as Imagineer, Trowbridge has been working on Rise of the Resistance for 5 years. It appears his hard work will now pay off. 

A Slow Start for Galaxy’s Edge

Disney hopes Rise of the Resistance will provide a much-needed boost to Galaxy’s Edge. Although the Star Wars-themed area has been profitable, attendance came in below expectations in Q3. Disney even had to cut employee hours over the summer as crowds were thinner than anticipated.

Galaxy’s Edge has garnered praise for its immersive experiences, easter eggs, and retail stores. On the downside, guests have only been able to ride one attraction, a motion simulator called “Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.” For many, the park didn’t meet the crazy hype. 

Rise of the Resistance opens a new chapter for Galaxy’s Edge, which will offer more high-tech experiences going forward. Holograms, lasers, and audio-animatronics are already everywhere. Now, Disney is redefining what the concept of an “immersive” experience is all about. 

Star Wars Dominating the Holiday Season

The opening of Rise of the Resistance adds another headline to a Star Wars-heavy holiday season. Last month, “The Mandalorian” dropped with Disney+ featuring one of the cutest characters ever created for television. So far, people love the live-action spin-off.

On December 20, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will end a multi-decade saga that has changed the world forever. J.J. Abrams is back in the director’s chair to close out the Skywalker storyline that began back in 1977. The sure-fire blockbuster is a must-see, especially for those on the west coast who have to wait until January 17 for Rise of the Resistance to open at Disneyland.

Times are good for Star Wars lovers right now…surely the Force remains strong with them.