Rise of the Resistance is opening at Disney World first

It was to have risen first in Disneyland, a ride so technologically advanced that it would anchor the theme park’s most ambitious project since it opened in 1955.

So it is with great disappointment — to Disneyland fans in general, and to annual pass holders especially — that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open first not in California but at Disney World in Florida, even though Orlando’s version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debuted three months after Anaheim’s.

When Rise of the Resistance opens Thursday, Dec. 5, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, fans on the West Coast are left to wonder what the heck happened to create this disturbance in the theme-park force.

Had all gone as planned, Rise of the Resistance would have debuted in Disneyland not long after Galaxy’s Edge opened on May 31.

Instead, the first videos of the experience will hit YouTube as soon as Disney bloggers ride it during Wednesday’s media previews in Orlando. By the time Rise of the Resistance opens Jan. 17 at Disneyland, it’ll be old news.

So what happened? Turns out the attraction was a bit more ambitious than anyone expected.

What is Rise of the Resistance?

The story is fairly simple. Visitors board a shuttle, are kidnapped by the bad guys, then escape with the help of the good guys. The attraction uses 3D sets, animatronics, holograms and screens to take guests into space and back.

Why is it so complicated?

Rise of the Resistance employs three ride systems: a motion simulator (like the Star Wars ride in Tomorrowland), trackless vehicles and a drop. Add to that more than 50 stormtroopers in a vast hanger, a couple of life-size AT-ATs (the four-legged tanks) and tons of laser fire, and things get pretty involved.

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