On Dec. 3, Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars: Galaxy Edge opened its doors to a new and highly anticipated attraction: Rise of the Resistance. It was 5 a.m. and a week after opening day when I headed over to Hollywood Studios and waited at the gates of the park with my fellow Disney fanatics and Star Wars enthusiasts counting down the seconds to be let in by the cast members. Disney’s new land, Star Wars: Galaxy Edge, has been open since the end of August of this year and fans have been speculating about how this new ride is going to be like for guests. Cast Members and people who had been invited to get a sneak peak of Rise of the Resistance described it as revolutionary, technologically advanced and an overall amazing theme park attraction experience.
The process of getting into the ride is a bit different than just heading to the ride and actually waiting in a physical line. Disney has developed a virtual queue for this ride. As soon as guest scan their MagicBand or pass to get into the park, they have the ability to join the virtual queue and receive a boarding group number via the MyDisneyExperience app. Once guests receive their boarding group number, they’re technically waiting in line for the ride until their boarding group number is announced; kind of like when they call your boarding group at the airport. This, however, does not determine that guests will be able to join the adventure with the resistance. Due to unpredicted technical issues and unexpected delays throughout the whole day, guests may not get a chance to experience it if they get a high number boarding group.
I got to the park’s gate at 6 a.m. and entered the park at 7:43 a.m. — 17 minutes before the park opens. I received boarding group number 63, which is quite high considering the fact that I entered the park earlier than the opening time. By the time it was 9 a.m., the park announced that all boarding group tickets had been distributed for the day. Cast Members were shocked to find out that they had already distributed all the tickets as early as it was. Having gotten a boarding pass, I expected to be able to join the physical queue, but that was not the case. My friends and I waited for the entire day, anticipating when our boarding group will be called. By the time our boarding group was called. it was around 5 p.m. and as soon as I got to ride, the park announced the ride would be closed due to technical difficulties and did not have an estimated time on when the ride would be reopened.
An hour passed, and I was beginning to lose hope because there were no updates whatsoever. Since we had been waiting for almost an hour and a half, we decided to check out the other rides and hope the ride would reopen. Another hour passed and I checked Twitter for updates. Sure enough, the ride was ready.
The physical queue was quite amazing in replicating the rebel base. The ride itself was truly a whole experience, featuring a pre-show, simulation, and the actual ride. This experience was about 20 minutes long and I felt like I was in the actual Star Wars movie escaping from the evil and sinister Kylo Ren. I would most definitely recommend everyone to make the commitment to being able to take a journey to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios to experience the most immersive Star Wars expedition you will ever know.
Photo: Farhan Shaban