ANAHEIM, CA — Disneyland Resort’s groundbreaking immersive ride experience, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opens to the public Friday, and a preview event proved to Patch that this highly anticipated ride was well worth the wait.
Watch full ride video below.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the most extensive themed area to open at Disneyland since Disney California Adventure, opened to the public in May, introducing park guests to the world of Batuu—an intergalactic space-port filled with the usual scoundrels, droids and soldiers created for the film franchise. Imagineers gave life to the backdrop, buildings, and characters that dwell there. Since then, fans of Disney and “Star Wars” now can tour the strange world and even interact with its elements through an app designed for that purpose.
“Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is epic, immersive storytelling on a massive scale,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “(The ride) puts guests at the heart of their very own ‘Star Wars’ adventure, and is the most advanced, action-packed attraction Disney has ever created.”
One thing becomes clear when you hear the Imagineers describe their thought process: They live every moment of their job in vivid detail. They scour film sets; handle props; meet actors, directors and composers; and they probably understand the world of ‘Star Wars’ creator/writer/director/ producer George Lucas better than anyone.
Rise of the Resistance will be the first attraction you see when entering Batuu from the Frontier Land entrance. Keep an eye out — R2D2, Rey, Chewbacca and other, less-friendly characters (stormtroopers) may be wandering around while you wait.
First of all: The ride is massive.
Your experience begins in the waiting area, made more comfortable by allowing you built-in bench seating, walls to lean against, and making sure there is much to look at and experience while you remain in the queue. Once you are ushered into a large semi-outdoor waiting area, it is just a few moments until you are loaded onto a transport vehicle. Confronted with handrails at ready access, you realize that this is the start of the adventure.
Also keep an eye out for familiar faces along the way, on video monitors, holograms, and animatronic figures. (Prepare for spoilers, with apologies.)
From there, things go from hopeful to hopeless as the First Order hijacks your transport. Yes, you are diverted from your destination — a new rebel base — to a Star Destroyer, where you meet stormtroopers, soldiers and perhaps even Kylo Ren.
Note: None of them will be happy to see you.
The atmosphere is oppressive and eerie, but have hope! If you are lucky, resistance soldiers will find you and break you out.
And that starts the next leg of your journey, into an enormous soundstage, or your personal “Star Wars” adventure, whatever your imagination will allow.
There are thrills and chills — blaster battles and lightsaber threats galore. You come face to face with an Imperial Walker and even enormous, green-laser-blasting cannons. Everything a fan would expect and more, this ride is worth every moment you will stand in line.
Academy Award-winning composer John Williams created the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge symphonic suite, which gives theatrical feeling to the entire experience to its conclusion.
The sound effects what one would expect of IMAX theatrics.
However, it is the Disneyland cast members within the ride who bring the ride to life.
The cast members garbed in First Order uniforms, walk the glossy black hallways, sneering properly at obvious Resistance fans. They become characters who make the ride flow, enhancing your experience while you wait for the next leg of your journey, on both the First Order and Resistance sides of things.
Each attraction worker tackled their tasks with enthusiasm. They sparked that bit of Disney magic that so many have come to know and enjoy.
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