Located inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is already one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World. In a park filled with famously scary rides like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, guests might be apprehensive about the level of intensity of this attraction. And this raises the question: is Rise of the Resistance scary? Well, let’s analyze this ride and find out.
How Scary is Rise of the Resistance?
While Rise of the Resistance is intensely immersive and themed, it falls right in the middle of the “scary scale” in comparison to the other rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Let’s explore various aspects of this ride on a “scary scale” of 1 to 10, with a 10 being the absolute scariest.
Theming: Most of the story is set inside Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer, with plenty of other villains and Stormtroopers to be found. The lighting is dark and there are “bad guys” everywhere. It’s quite detailed and looks just like the movies it’s based on. 8/10
Story: The basic plot of this ride is that you are helping Rey and the Resistance on a mission, but you get captured by Kylo Ren and the First Order along the way. Good eventually wins out over evil, but the First Order tries really hard to pry information out of you in the meantime. 7/10
Speed: The main ride vehicle is a trackless dark ride system. It doesn’t go very fast, but it does make a few quick turns. Other portions of this experience involve walking and standing around. 3/10
Drops: There is only one drop on this ride, from a height of about 20 feet. It lasts for about one second and it happens right before the end of the ride. 4/10
“Jump Scares”: Nothing jumps out at you to startle you on this ride. Everything is on a huge, life-sized scale, and you will see things before they approach you. 0/10
Age Appropriate: Very young children will not be able to ride; Rise of the Resistance has a minimum height requirement of 40 inches. It should be appropriate for children ages 5 and up. If they can watch Star Wars movies without fear, Rise of the Resistance probably won’t scare them.
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Rise of the Resistance Theming and Premise
Rise of the Resistance is an original Star Wars storyline and doesn’t recreate any existing scene from a movie. Instead, like the rest of the land it’s set in, it takes place between the stories of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The entire attraction lasts about 18 minutes, with the actual “ride” only a portion of the overall experience.
After the Battle of Crait, depicted in The Last Jedi, most of Resistance members fled to an unknown location, led by General Leia Organa. A smaller group of Resistance supporters created a temporary outpost on Batuu, searching for new recruits. This is where you come in!
Rise of the Resistance Queue
You enter the queue at the Resistance base on Batuu, the planet Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set in. The first section of the queue winds through an outdoor area with a lot of greenery and a small waterfall. You then enter a cavern and will start to see evidence that the Resistance is working there. There are props such as stacked supply boxes and tools scattered throughout this area, and you’ll hear an occasional overhead announcement providing Resistance members with instructions.
Each room of the queue takes you deeper into the cavern, and there are benches built into the walls to allow you a moment to rest your tired feet. There are a few exits throughout the queue, should you change your mind about riding.
You’ll eventually find yourself in the center of the Resistance base, with more props to further the story. Blasters, flight suits, and helmets are all on display, giving Star Wars fans plenty to look at while they wait. At the end of the queue, guests are gathered in large groups to enter the first part of the experience, the pre-show room.
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Rise of the Resistance Pre-Show
In the pre-show room, you’ll receive your mission briefing. An animatronic of BB-8 appears, rolling around trying to get things ready. You are then greeted by a hologram of Rey, who asks you to join the Resistance in their fight against the First Order. She explains that the base on Batuu is no longer safe and they have transports ready to take you to General Leia Organa’s secret base on the planet Pacara. It is vitally important that you keep this base’s location a secret.
Lieutenant Bek and Nein Nunb appear on nearby screens, confirming that they will be transporting you. Rey thanks you for joining the cause and the hologram disappears. Commander Poe Dameron then appears, explaining that he and his X-Wing squadron will be escorting you on your journey. The doors of the pre-show room open and you are ushered to the next part of the experience.
Rise of the Resistance Transport Ship Experience
You enter a courtyard where the transport shuttle is waiting to take you on your mission. Poe’s X-Wing is also parked nearby. Boarding the transport ship, you will see that there are no seats. This part of the experience is standing room only. There are no restraints, but there are bars for you to hold on to in several spots. Animatronic figures of Lieutenant Bek and Nein Nunb sit in the front of the ship, getting ready to take off and communicating with Poe.
The transport ship simulates space travel. The floor rumbles beneath you and there are realistic scenes of space out of the ship’s windows. Many people will not notice that the ship is actually moving in this part; you are rotating very slowly. You will not have to worry about being thrown around or falling over; you’re bumped around less than you would be standing on a bus or monorail.
During your journey, the transport ship is attacked by a group of TIE fighters and then caught in the Star Destroyer’s tractor beam. First Order officers appear on the screens, telling you to prepare for the ship to be boarded – they know that it’s full of Resistance sympathizers! Lieutenant Bek reminds you not to tell the First Order about the secret base you were headed to. The doors open and First Order officers instruct you to exit into the Star Destroyer hangar.
Rise of the Resistance Star Destroyer Experience
Inside the Star Destroyer’s hangar, you will immediately see over 50 animatronic Stormtroopers standing guard, as well as a life size TIE fighter. The scale of everything in this area is enormous. There’s a giant screen simulating the view into space behind the Stormtroopers. You will typically have a moment to take pictures and video in this room before being escorted into the next show space, the detention block.
You are brought down a long hallway and then held for interrogation. Cast Members portraying First Order troops break you off into smaller groups and direct you where to stand. They remain in character for the entire interaction, repeatedly asking you why you were on that transport ship and what you know about the secret Resistance base.
The Cast Members working here are great actors and remain deadly serious. They will play off of the guests’ energy and are more likely to target people that are visibly willing to play along. If you or your child look scared, they will not bother you. Many adults laugh out loud during this part because of how difficult it is to get them to break character. Some kids enjoy “talking back” to these authority figures as well.
Your group is then led into the detention cell. This is a small, dark room shaped like a triangle, with a very high ceiling and no apparent way to escape. Stormtroopers keep watch over you from the catwalk above until Kylo Ren and General Hux arrive. These characters all appear via screen technology, but they are realistic enough to look like actors from the back of the room.
After Kylo Ren and General Hux leave, the lights in the room begin flickering. Someone is cutting a hole into the wall of the cell – the Resistance has blasted their way in to rescue you! This will bring you to the main, traditional “ride” portion of the experience. You’re greeted by Cast Members portraying Resistance members, who hurry you out of the interrogation cell and into a room with two trackless ride vehicles ready for you to board.
Rise of the Resistance Trackless Ride Vehicles
The vehicles consist of two rows with four seats each, with an R5 astromech droid in the front. There are small pouches to hold your loose belongings on the floor by every seat, and they have a decent amount of legroom. You will be restrained by a basic lap seatbelt.
You must be able to transfer from a wheelchair/ECV to experience this part of the attraction. Walt Disney World’s safety guidelines state that expectant mothers should not ride.
Rise of the Resistance Speed and Bumps
The vehicles glide smoothly across the floor; this is not a bumpy ride. They also will not make any sudden “jerky” movements, but will rotate swiftly to make a few quick turns. It is dark throughout this part of the ride, but you will be able to see where you’re going. Nothing will jump out at you, but there will be simulated blasters firing around you. It does not go upside down.
Rise of the Resistance Final Ride Experience
Once you’ve boarded the vehicle, Finn appears to tell you the plan: you’ll be headed to the escape pod bays to return to Batuu. The droids in your vehicles have been re-programmed to bring you to safety. You leave the loading area and ride past empty transport vehicles. Lieutenant Bek instructs your droids to tell the others it’s a prisoner transfer so you can escape undetected.
You enter a hallway where you encounter a First Order probe droid, which almost spots you. Then you turn a corner to head to the turbolifts, but you’re caught by a couple of Stormtroopers on the catwalk above you. They immediately begin shooting their blasters at you, and your vehicle reverses away from them. Lieutenant Bek instructs you to find an alternate route.
You turn another corner and end up in a hangar filled with giant, full-sized AT-ATs. More Stormtroopers appear, firing at your vehicle. An animatronic of Finn tells you to take the lifts down to the escape pods. The droid accidentally sends your vehicle to the upper level, where Stormtroopers aboard the AT-ATs shoot at you.
You travel through the ride with one other vehicle. Sometimes the vehicles will be next to each other but they do eventually split up, creating two slightly different ride experiences. The main difference is that the “front” vehicle comes up close and personal with the probe droid, with the “back” vehicle sees it from a distance. They also go on different elevators on opposite sides of the AT-AT room.
After you get away from the AT-ATs, you find yourself in the Star Destroyer’s bridge, where animatronics of Kylo Ren and General Hux are discussing their plans. They are informed of your escape just as the Resistance fleet arrives and starts to attack the Star Destroyer.
You head down another hallway when Kylo Ren appears again, this time using screen technology. He ignites his lightsaber and starts approaching your vehicle just as the doors to the turbolift close in front of him. He is persistent, though, and jumps onto the roof of the turbolift and starts cutting into it with his lightsaber.
In the next room, you see a few gigantic cannons firing at the Resistance ships outside. You dart around and underneath them, and then Finn orders all Resistance personnel to abandon ship. Kylo Ren catches up with you again. This time, he’s an animatronic. He uses the Force to pull your vehicles closer to him, demanding that you give up the location of the Resistance base. He threatens to destroy you and the Resistance.
Before he can do anything else, a burning TIE Fighter strikes the ship, creating a hole. Kylo Ren is then sucked out into the vacuum of space. A gust of air rushes around you, and you’re able to enter the escape pods. You can see the battle is still in full force outside.
Rise of the Resistance Drops
This is where the one and only drop occurs on Rise of the Resistance. Your escape pod is suddenly “released” from the Star Destroyer so you can return to Batuu safely. You are dropped about 20 feet straight down, and it lasts about one second. Most people will not find this drop overly scary. You are given plenty of warning throughout the storyline that you will be dropped. There is enough warning in the moments immediately before that many people will realize it’s coming.
Many people wonder how intense the drop on Rise of the Resistance is compared to the Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios’ most famous dropping ride. The two are like night and day – Rise of the Resistance is very tame in comparison.
This last portion of the experience is the most like a traditional motion simulator ride as you make the trip back to Batuu. The technology here is similar to Millennium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run or Star Tours, but less intense. You fly over Black Spire Outpost and crash-land nearby. Your vehicles exit the simulator and drive into a hangar, where you see another crashed escape pod. Lieutenant Bek has also made it safely to Batuu and he congratulates you on a job well done. You are welcomed back to Black Spire Outpost as Resistance heroes as you enter an outdoor unloading area.
With Rise of the Resistance, Disney has created an innovative ride experience unlike any other. Many different parts of the experience come together to make an immersive story. They differ in levels of intensity for the rider.
So is Rise of the Resistance scary overall? Well, in my estimation, Rise of the Resistance receives an overall 5/10 on the “scary scale”. It will be the most scary to young children, those afraid of blasting and other loud noises, and those with an intense fear of drops. It offers an entertaining and somewhat thrilling experience for most theme park and Star Wars fans of all ages to enjoy.
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