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Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance only giving some guests half an experience; When should attractions close for repairs?

by Matt Roseboom

If waking up really early wasn’t crazy enough to experience a new attraction, imagine doing that and missing major parts of it. That’s what is occasionally happening now at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

rise of the resistance

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is more than just a ride; it’s also a walk-through experience. But some guests are missing out on entire scenes due to a ride operation policy. (Spoilers ahead.)

The skipped portion we speak of is the briefing room with BB-8 and Rey, and the I-TS Transport ship that takes guests from Batuu and is captured by the First Order. When the transport ship isn’t working as it should, guests are taken though an emergency exit and into the Star Destroyer hangar to begin the attraction, with no in-story information given as to why they are there.

While passive fans may not care or even notice this skip in the attraction, many guests feel like they are missing out.

The I-TS Transport ship pre-show requires a large room of guests to be moved. It also houses two impressive animatronics and numerous lighting and screen effects. If one or more of these aren’t working as they should, guests can’t experience this part of the attraction.

But at what point does skipping elements of an attraction actually hurt the experience? We previously wrote about “B Mode” and how certain elements of a ride can be modified to keep the attraction running and give basically the same experience. Now we ask, what is the cut off point for you? Should guests be allowed to ride without experiencing these parts of the attraction? Even the Fastpass line, once it’s active, won’t skip these scenes.

rise of the resistance

Expedition Everest has had a portion of the attraction that has not been working for years. The infamous “Disco Yeti,” as guests have named it, is how the massive figure now appears to move. This yeti animatronic used to reach down towards guests with quick and frightening movements. Later on though, the animatronic stopped working and strobe lights are now used to make it appear to move.

While the lead Imagineer on the project, Joe Rohde, has openly spoke about fixing this element, it is still an ongoing effect that doesn’t work as planned. Does it matter to you when you ride?

Once in a while in past years, the showboat scene on Splash Mountain has been seen without any of the animatronics on it moving. Should the ride be shut down when this happens or is it OK for guests to see it this way?

The reality is that we live in an imperfect world where things simply doesn’t work sometimes. Rides go down and shows are cancelled. Ultimately it’s up to park management to decide if an attraction should be shut down for repairs, or continue running for guests with some effects not working.

We want to know what you think about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and other theme park attractions. At what point should an attraction be shut down for a few hours to fix an issue? Would you be willing to experience an attraction that is missing its pre-show as long as you get to go on the actual ride? How much does the storytelling element matter to you versus the thrill of an attraction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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16 comments

Mark January 12, 2020 - 4:32 pm

Considering how incredible that portion of the ride/preshow actually is (I’ve been on it and seen it) I would be crushed if I waited and waited only to find out that they ran it without half of the attraction. It’s not just a preshow it’s half of the attraction!

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Ty January 12, 2020 - 6:52 pm

I took my girlfriend and brother there as a Christmas gift without knowing I even needed the app(she bought me the Galaxies Edge cookbook for Christmas) so I actually felt like I spent $400 JUST TO GET IN for nothing…

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Lats January 22, 2020 - 7:34 pm

Happened to us today… disappointing! But better than nothing I guess. I would like to have been advised of the problem and had the option to wait.

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DANA N BARBER January 12, 2020 - 8:53 pm

Run the ride and give those who go on it a free admission to the park for another day when it is working.. or, give back a percentage of their park admission.

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Steve Gutierrez January 12, 2020 - 10:00 pm

How about giving a discount for guests paying to experience this ride only to find out the ride isn’t available due to not being able to obtain a boarding group. I wonder what Walt Disney would say if he was still alive. This truly is a bad experience that I had.

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Deirdre Unsur January 12, 2020 - 10:22 pm

As a person with back & heart issues the pre-show is all I can do on a good many rides. This is one of the reasons why I go to Disney rather than Universal No pre-show means no joy.

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Betty January 13, 2020 - 9:00 am

The problem is that when Disney has to completely close an attraction due to technical difficulties, the blow-back is SO much worse than if it keeps running with story features that don’t work correctly. The general public is more concerned about actually doing an attraction than getting the full immersive storyline.

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Richard Bradley January 13, 2020 - 1:10 pm

It broke down twice yesterday. Once while we were on it and once when we came back to get back on it.

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Paul January 13, 2020 - 2:22 pm

Happened to me on the 6th. Worst part is missing the story. We went through a hallway, then outside and walked into the Star Destroyer, and then First Order says they will interrogate us, Why, What Info do I have? And then the ride says they will bring us back to Batuu. When did I leave Batuu?
There could have been a “mode C” where a resistance CM explains heavy 1St order nearby, we need to protect the secret base, and tells us our only chance to escape is that hallway, and outside troopers ask us to go through a portal into the star destroyer? Something, anything to tell a full story.
Instead I’m a WDW geek who only thinks RotR was neat, but not amazing.

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Mark January 21, 2020 - 6:13 pm

I agree. You’re not the only one who was underwhelmed by this attraction. I felt like there were so many missed opportunities and that there was nothing that thrilling about it. Overhyped if you ask me. I wonder how much better it would have been if Joe Rohde…or even John Lasseter…were involved. I expected so much more.

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Sarah January 13, 2020 - 4:12 pm

So, we just returned from DW. Did my due diligence before we left. I am not a huge Star Wars fan, but this trip was for my hubby and I wanted him to have a great experience. I read up on the process, talked to cast and prepared ourselves for horrible boarding group numbers. Much to our surprise, we had no issues. We rode RoR on Tuesday the 7th and Thursday the 9th with no problems at all. I really think if people were more reasonable in their expectations. The cast members could close the rides shortly to fix issues and provide a full experience. However there are way too many nasty, demanding people that make that an impossibly difficult task for the staff. We were patient and informed this we had a wonderful experience.

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People hater January 13, 2020 - 5:16 pm

People need to realize if something is broken but they can still go on it! They would rather have that then not do something at all! Even more so if u think! Would u rather say wait 10hrs to get on *going based off how long it takes to go through the numbers* and then when your like right there be told nope it’s closed due to technical issues or go through wait that long and still get to experience half of it at least over nothing at all

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Wendy Johnson January 13, 2020 - 8:15 pm

I was at Hollywood Studios January 3. My friend and I got up at 4:30 am to be at the gate at 6:00 am when the park wasn’t open until 7:00 am. We got boarding group 63 which is a lower end boarding pass. Our boarding group was called at 11:30. We got to the ride about 12:45 and it had stopped working. So we went got a drink sat in the shade the numbers moved so we went back. We were sent into the line it moved and then we got way into the cavern and sat. About 2 hours later we get to the briefing with BB-8 and Rey, the transport, First Order attack and then we are escorted into a hanger full of Stormtroopers. Next we are lead into a hallway for the line for interrogation, then they announce our interrogations have been cancelled. So 2 and a half hours of waiting and we got to two thirds of the attraction. I would rather have it closed to fix it.

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Deborah January 15, 2020 - 5:22 pm

We came in same morning did same thing got boarding pass21 was in at 930 am to ride and had no problems sorry it broke later in the day. I think it does need to be fixed as it would not make since of the pre part was not working.

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DANIEL January 14, 2020 - 7:23 am

We got into RoR in early January 2020 after two days showing up prior to park opening at 7am. It would have been disappointing to discover that we only had access to the second half of the experience. People are laying out cash and dedicating time to come— they deserve the full show.
Obviously, the Everest ride is a roller coaster and the guest experience isn’t dependent just on seeing an animatronic yeti for that fraction of a second. If it moves or not is not central to the story and doesn’t really change the experience to a point where you’ve missed the ride.
For RoR, the attraction is the most complicated ever mounted in any theme park— technically ambitious and dependent on many live cast-members playing active roles. This is perhaps the first attraction that cannot be called a “ride.” Cutting out half the attraction really robs the guest of the experience. Since thousands are turned away already, they need to close it while it is not operating fully rather thank than hustle people through the a disjointed element that breaks the immersive environment.
But I’m worried about the long-term. While they can repair and re-set the equipment during these first weeks after its construction, I cannot imagine what it will be like in a few years. These attractions need to find a design that isn’t so delicate that it can’t last, and is somewhat reliable so visitors can plan on specific days.

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Amanda January 14, 2020 - 12:56 pm

Some people are fine without the pre-show, but obviously it’s important to others. Have a sign posted somewhere and list it on the app that the pre-show isn’t working at the moment. Then you can choose to ride or wait.

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