Lieutenant Bek on Rise of the Resistance transport ship

Remembering the Chaos of the Early Days of Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance is my favorite immersive ride. It’s so much more than a ride, though. It’s Disney Imagineering at its finest.

Yes, I am a huge Star Wars geek. I saw Star Wars (not yet subtitled A New Hope) in a theater sitting on my dad’s lap. It made an impression. You only have to see my office shelves to see how much.

But I digress.

The first time I rode ROTR was exactly one week before Walt Disney World shut down for Covid. Back then you needed to be inside the park to get one of the coveted Rise of the Resistance boarding groups. We woke up way too early that Sunday morning. The spring-forward time change had us feeling extra awful. We left Wilderness Lodge at 6:15 AM and were loitering at the gates by 6:45. Why we got there so early when we were allowed in the park a full hour before the boarding group window opened is beyond me. Did we want to feel a part of something? I only felt nauseated.

People lining up to get into Hollywood Studios in order to try for Rise of the Resistance boarding group
Why in the world did we do this?

Once they let us in, I scoped out the best network signal spots, trying to determine if we should use Wi-Fi or cellular data. We set up shop next to Gertie. Then we waited.

At 7:59 AM I felt like barfing.

At 8:00 AM I tapped the button. In the early days of boarding groups, you couldn’t select your party beforehand. I had pared down my friends list prior to our trip, but I still had to scroll through and click a few boxes. Then my phone glitched. I started hearing screams and groans throughout Hollywood Studios.

I think I got it.

My wife
Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group screen shot

I had spent so many hours researching the ideal boarding pass procedures, but my phone said, “eh, not today.” Thank goodness for my wife. The only issue… she wasn’t in our party. The MDE app was as glitchy as my phone, but a Cast Member fixed that bug without too much hassle. It was only 8:15 AM. Our estimated boarding time was after 11 AM. We didn’t have the energy to stand in line for our favorite rides, so we got breakfast and relaxed. I almost fell asleep. The stress and adrenaline were gone from my body.

Storm Troopers in the Rise of the Resistance Star Destroyer hangar
Tie fighter inside the Star Destroyer hangar from Rise of the Resistance

And the ride? As advertised. Worth the stress for sure. 10 out of 5 stars. Would go through it all again. Thank goodness we don’t have to.

Be sure to take your time “documenting your failure” in Rise’s Star Destroyer hangar. There’s no need to rush!