How to Ride Rise of the Resistance: A Complete Guide

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Want to ride one of the best rides in all of Disney World? Well, you and everyone else. If you want to get on this hot ride, you need to understand how to ride Rise of the Resistance.

This post is designed to be a comprehensive guide to the Rise of the Resistance ride. We’ll take a look at the details about the ride, how to ride it, and a look at whether all of this work is even worth it.

It’s a complex ride with a lot of moving parts, but trust me, you want to know how to get on Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Preferably without waiting forever, but there’s no guarantee with that one (updated July 12, 2022)!

Rise of the Resistance Ride Details

Before we get to the nitty gritty of how to ride Rise of the Resistance, it would probably help if you knew about the ride first, wouldn’t it?

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened up in Disney World on December 5, 2019 and then over a month later in Disneyland on January 17, 2020.

And then I think we all know what happened a couple months after that. When Disney World reopened after lockdown, Rise of the Resistance was the hottest game in town.

One thing I want to mention, is that this is a spoiler free discussion. As far as I’m concerned, this ride, and most others, should be experienced with minimal knowledge of what’s going to happen.

It makes your overall enjoyment of the ride that much better.

What is the ride about?

Ready for the most vague description I can come up with? Remember, I promised a spoiler-free review!

In general, the Rise of the Resistance ride puts you in the middle of a fight between the First Order and the Resistance.

Rise of the Resistance Location

There are actually two different places you can ride Rise of the Resistance: Hollywood Studios at Disney World (Florida) and at Disneyland (California).

This post focuses solely on how to ride the Rise of the Resistance ride located in Hollywood Studios.

More specifically, Rise of the Resistance is located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest section of Hollywood Studios.

Just a note, while you’re there, make sure to take the time to fully explore the land. It’s a work of art and an immersive experience. Galaxy’s Edge is an attraction all in and of itself.

Before you go, make sure you look over this Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge guide so you know everything there is to experience.

What type of Ride is Rise of the Resistance?

Rise of the Resistance is a trackless dark ride. It’s the height of ride technology and has a lot of moving parts.

What this ultimately means is that there’s no visible track. This allows the ride vehicle to move about in a more unpredictable manner.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this increases the suspense and enjoyment. Ultimately, the vehicles moves in a smooth and deliberate way, almost like a dance.

It’s pretty darn cool.

This also means that the ride vehicles can each follow slightly different paths, creating a different experience each time. I’ve noticed different details each time I’ve ridden it.

Ride Vehicle

Rise of the Resistance ride vehicle with Storm Troopers in the background

The ride vehicle holds a total of 8 people across two rows, four in front, four in back. Each vehicle has an R5 droid in front who is the “driver” of the vehicle.

The restraint is a simple seat belt across your lap.

Rise of the Resistance Height Requirement

There is a height requirement for Rise of the Resistance. Guests must be 40″ tall in order to ride. This allows most kids able to ride from a relatively early age.

Rise of the Resistance Ride Intensity

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a moderately intense ride. Most of the intensity in the ride is related to the action and the scene combined with the sudden movements of the ride car.

The ride could be a little scary for younger children, but in general is suitable for everyone.

Queue

Rise of the resistance image BB8

The queue for Rise of the Resistance is long, but very detailed. The outside portion of the queue is pretty ho-hum. Just the typical switchbacks.

However, once you get inside, the queue becomes way more detailed and interesting, helping to pass the time a lot better.

As with most of the other new rides at Disney World, they make use of “pre-shows” in order to move people through the line in such a way that makes it feel like the attraction has already started.

This is doubly so on Rise of the Resistance. There are various components of the experience that you encounter before you ever get on the ride vehicle.

This is sheer brilliance on Disney’s part because it really helps to cut down on the feel of the wait time.

These “pre-shows” also do a very good job of setting up the story in a dramatic way the truly enhances the whole attraction.

How to Ride Rise of the Resistance

Now that you know a bit more about the ride itself, let’s take a look at how to get on Rise of the Resistance.

Once upon a time, the only way to ride Rise of the Resistance was to use the virtual queue to get a boarding pass. I know this tends to be an unpopular opinion, but I am a freaking virtual queue ninja, so I was able to get a boarding group with minimal fuss.

Once they took away the virtual queue, I was not a happy camper. I simply don’t wait in line for rides for long periods of time. It’s just not in my DNA.

But, it is what it is. Time to adapt and learn the other ways to get on the Rise of the Resistance ride.

Standby Line

I think this one is pretty self explanatory. This is the good old fashioned strategy of getting into the line and waiting on it until you get to the ride.

However, it’s not quite that simple. Because nothing at Disney ever is.

Simply put, Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World. This equates to extremely long standby lines.

This is complicated even more by the fact that Rise of the Resistance is known to break down fairly often. There is a lot of technology involved in this ride, over many different mediums.

If the ride goes down while you’re in line, expect to be there a while.

It is reasonable to assume that you will wait around 2 hours, or possibly more, to get on the ride. That is, unless you use some strategies to cut that wait time down. But more on that later.

Is there a single rider line for Rise of the Resistance?

Unfortunately, no, there is no single rider line for Rise of the Resistance at this time. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be one at some point in the future, but it sure doesn’t exist right now.

Can you use rider swap on Rise of the Resistance?

Yes, you most certainly can use rider swap on Rise of the Resistance.

What is rider swap, you ask? This comes in handy for groups that have children who are either too short or too scared to ride. This allows one parent to ride with all willing and eligible children while the other parent stays with the other kid(s).

All members involved in the rider switch need to approach cast members at the ride entrance. The group riding second is given a rider swap ride entitlement in My Disney Experience.

Group 1 will enter the line (whether standby or Lightning Lane, depending on which your group is using) while Group 2 goes and waits.

Once the first parent gets off the ride, the second parent is able to enter the ride by showing cast members their rider switch entitlement. At this point, they are allowed entry via Lightning Lane so the wait isn’t as long.

The adult in Group 2 who waited while Group 1 rode is able to bring one person from Group 1 on the ride with them. Let me tell you, my daughter absolutely loves this feature, allowing her to get on the ride twice.

Rey on Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios

Lightning Lane

Last fall, Disney released the new pay to play option for getting on rides. This is done through the new Disney Genie portion of the My Disney Experience app.

Just as a quick summary, this is the paid version of the old FastPass system. It doesn’t work in the exact same way, but it’s the same basic idea: this allows you to go through a separate entrance and cut in front of the people in the standby line.

This separate entrance is called the Lightning Lane.

There are two options for Lightning Lane: Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane access.

Rise of the Resistance is eligible for Individual Lightning Lane access. What this means is you can pay a fee for each person in your group to book Lightning Lane access.

The exact amount of the price per person varies depending on the ride and time of the year. For Rise of the Resistance, plan to spend around $15 person.

Clearly, if you have a large group, this option can get pretty darn expensive. But is it worth it? It might be.

A note about rider switch for Lightning Lane rides: if you are using rider switch on a Lightning Lane ride, ALL members of the group who want to ride must have the paid Lightning Lane. You can’t pay for just Group 1 and then let Group 2 ride for free.

Best Ways to Ride Rise of the Resistance with Lower Wait times

So now you understand that your options for getting onto Rise of the Resistance are either standby or via Lightning Lane. But let’s face it, what we all want to know is, what are the best ways to ride ride Rise of the Resistance without waiting in line for hours and hours.

I’m going to rank these in a specific order starting with your best option and winding up with your worst. For the purposes of this post, I’m qualifying that the “best” options allow you to ride with minimal wait.

1. Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane

Listen, I’m not a fan of the fact that you now have to pay for what we essentially got for free with the FastPass system. And in most situations my goal is to try to get on all my rides without shelling out extra cash.

My big exception is for Rise of the Resistance. If you only want to pay for one ride out of pocket, this is the one ride I would choose.

Rise of the Resistance is quite frankly the most sought after ride in Disney World. Because of this the wait is almost always longer than most other rides.

Add in to that the fact that the ride does break down frequently, making the wait even longer.

On top of all of that, the Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lane is the most popular Lightning Lane at Disney World. That means you have some stiff competition.

Because of this, you want to be on My Disney Experience before 7am the day of your Hollywood Studios visit to get set up. As soon as the clock strikes 7am, you want to be booking that Lightning Lane.

The number of Lightning Lanes available are limited and will book up within a few minutes. And once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Despite all of this, using Lightning Lane access is still my #1 best way to ride Rise of the Resistance.

2. Rise of the Resistance Rope Drop – Early Theme Park Entry

This is an option that only works for guests staying at Disney resorts (and other select resorts).

The quick version of early theme park entry – Disney resort guests are able to get into the parks and onto rides 30 minutes prior to park opening.

To learn more about this Disney resort benefit, read through the early theme park entry guide.

While 30 minutes early is the official party line, the reality is that the rides at Hollywood Studios, specifically Rise of the Resistance begin running quietly before that time.

That means if you plan to show up right at 30 minutes before park opening, you’re already too late.

In general, for the most successful Rise of the Resistance rope drop experience, you need to be at Hollywood Studios AT LEAST an hour before the early theme park entry start time. Yes, at least an hour. Honestly, I’d shoot for even earlier.

Clearly, with this strategy, you’re still waiting for over an hour before you get on the ride. But trust me, there’s a different feel to it. You aren’t trapped in a queue and your not wasting valuable park time by spending 2 hours standing in a line.

If you’re really good with this strategy, you could even be on and off the ride and onto another line before the park officially opens to guests.

This is my personal preferred option for how to ride Rise of the Resistance. I don’t want to pay money if I don’t have to. That and I’m a major morning person, so getting there early is no problem for me.

Lt. Bek on Rise of the Resistance

3. The Last 30 Minutes of the Day

It is widely acknowledged that jumping in high demand ride lines at the end of the day is one of the big Disney World hacks. Disney artificially inflates posted wait times, when in actuality, the waits are some of the shortest of the day.

The same holds true for Rise of the Resistance. However, there are some caveats to this.

The frequent ride breakdowns could pose a problem for this strategy. If the ride breaks down for a couple hours earlier in the day, there is a backlog of Lightning Lane guests waiting for their turn.

Disney prioritizes these people over everyone in the standby line. That means your great strategy is the same as getting in line at any other point of the day.

Even worse, if the ride breaks down later in the day, they may simply choose not to reopen it at all. That means when you roll up to the entrance 30 minutes before closing, you can’t get in line. Which means you’ve now lost all ability to get on the ride that day.

When NOT to Ride Rise of the Resistance (aka Regular Rope Drop)

Ok, so trying to get on during “regular rope drop” is a common recommendation.

First, what is rope drop? Rope drop is Disney jargon for trying to get on a ride first thing in the morning as soon as the park opens.

In the past, rope drop was always the best recommendation for how to get on top rides with little wait. And this is still true for people who can take advantage of early theme park entry.

However, if you are staying at an off-site hotel, you simply can’t take advantage of rope drop for the top rides.

By the time the park officially opens, the park is already pretty full of Disney resort guests. And not all the Disney resort guests know they need to be there super early, so they show up at 30 minutes before park opens and head right to Rise of the Resistance.

And all the off-site guests head towards Rise of the Resistance on top of all of that. Therefore, regular rope drop can create some of the longest lines of the entire day.

That’s right, regular rope drop could be the longest wait for Rise of the Resistance all day. Honestly, you’d be better off waiting until late morning once the wait drops down a bit.

And because off-site guests can’t book Lightning Lane until park opening time, you can’t take advantage of that, either.

Storm troopers on Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios

When should off-site guests try to ride?

So all of this begs the questions, when should guests staying off-site try to ride Rise of the Resistance? Getting on the ride towards the end of the day is your best bet.

Remember, the posted wait times are artificially inflated. However, the wait isn’t exactly going to be short, but it could be your best bet.

But as I mentioned above, this isn’t without risks if the ride goes down.

Honestly, would recommend doing a little recon before your trip. A week or two before your trip, on the same day of the week you’ll be at Hollywood Studios, spend some time during the day checking wait times.

This gives you an idea of what parts of the day tend to be better. Listen, you’re gonna have to wait, but at least you aren’t waiting more than you need to.

Alternate Ways to Ride Rise of the Resistance $$$

If you are ok with spending a whole lot of money, there are two ways to get on Rise of the Resistance with essentially no wait.

VIP Tour

Disney World offers the opportunity to do VIP Tours. These are essentially private tours for your group only led by a special Cast Member.

If you see groups walking around with a Cast Member wearing plaid, they are on a VIP Tour.

What this means, is that the group gets to essentially do whatever they want all day. Want to go to four parks in one day? Done. And you go in back entrances to avoid crowds.

Part of the VIP Tour package is the fact that you get to ride all of the rides via the Lightning Lane. Your tour guide simply walks up to the line, and voila, you’re in.

Clearly, with this type of ability, you can get on Rise of the Resistance with no problems whatsoever.

As I’m sure you can imagine, VIP Tours are extremely expensive. If you are a group of multiple families who can split the cost, it might not be so bad. But if you are simply a single family, expect it to cost a fortune.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

Galactic Starcruiser is Disney’s new immersive resort experience. There are a ton of details involved, but essentially it’s a 2 night package that immerses you into your own Star Wars adventure.

While most of the action takes place on the Galactic Starcruiser itself, there is a portion that involves going into Galaxy’s Edge for the day.

All of the Galactic Starcruiser guests essentially have Lightning Lane access to Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon for one ride on each.

Again, this option is extremely expensive and isn’t really an opportunity to do anything else at Hollywood Studios or Disney World.

However, if you are a big Star Wars fan and want an immersive experience, aside from a Disney trip, this could be an option.

Can you ride Rise of the Resistance twice in one day?

Yes, you can.

This wasn’t always the case. When the virtual queue was in use, you could only get one boarding group a day. But now that the ride is essentially running like every other ride, you can ride it as much as you want.

Seriously, if you want to do nothing but ride Rise of the Resistance from open to close, you could. You would just spend A LOT of time on line.

Rise of the Resistance droid

Is Rise of the Resistance worth the wait?

In lieu of a full on Rise of the Resistance review, instead I want to contemplate the question, is Rise of the Resistance worth it?

This is in part because a full review would involve spoilers, and I really don’t want that. But in answering this question, you’ll get an idea of my overall feelings about Rise of the Resistance.

I have a hard time saying this, but yes, all this work is really worth it. Is this my favorite attraction in Disney World? No, that honor goes to Flight of Passage.

Would I wait for 2 hours in a standby line for Rise of the Resistance? No. Would I wait for 2 hours in a standby line for Flight of Passage, my favorite ride? No.

Bottom line, I won’t wait in a standby line for 2 hours, period. But that’s just me, and said from the perspective of someone who’s been on Rise of the Resistance multiple times. So it’s easier for me to say.

If this is your only opportunity to ride Rise of the Resistance, just do it. Seriously, try to minimize the wait as much as possible with these suggestions, but if you wait, you wait.

The ride truly is amazing. It’s on a scale like nothing else. Actually, I would classify it more as an experience than a ride. Disney knocked it out of the park.

On the other hand, if you know you’ll be back and you just can’t seem to get the stars aligned to minimize the wait, I would hold off until the next trip.

Seriously though, if you really want to ride it and it’s a top priority, it will be worth the wait, even if it’s not your favorite ride of the trip.

Even though I won’t wait on standby for 2 hours, I will try every trick in the book I can think of to minimize the wait, including waking up crazy early to get to the park over an hour early.

Because I really do love this ride.

Your Thoughts

Do you have any other tips to add that worked for you? Are you excited to be able to ride Rise of the Resistance? Let me know in the comments below.

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1 thought on “How to Ride Rise of the Resistance: A Complete Guide”

  1. Why is everyone else clicked off? It seems like everyone should be clicked on or they won’t be included. I’m obviously not getting it, sorry. And thanks for your help! I feel like we at least have a chance after reading this and certainly would never get close without this info!!

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