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Disneyland Article
How Disneyland Changed Rise Of The Resistance Because Of The Pandemic

Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance
ID:
TMS-4759
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Rady Macdonald
Dateline:
May 18, 2021
Posted:
May 28, 2021
Status:
Current
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Riding Rise of the Resistance has changed now that Disneyland has removed experiences to make the wildly popular Star Wars attraction shorter, installed safety measures to keep riders socially distanced and tweaked the virtual queue system to spread out demand.

Disneyland was forced to modify the Rise of the Resistance attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge under state COVID-19 health and safety rules governing indoor rides when the Anaheim theme park reopened after a 13-month coronavirus closure.

The Rise of the Resistance attraction had only been open for two months when Disneyland was forced to close in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rise of the Resistance returned with the reopening of Disneyland on April 30.

California’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines require theme parks to restrict indoor rides and attractions to no more than 15 minutes — which meant Disneyland had to remove some of the attraction experiences from the 18-minute Rise of the Resistance to get the ride under the time limit. State guidelines also require theme parks to eliminate all indoor queueing areas and use only outdoor queues.

Rise of the Resistance enlists recruits to join a battle between the heroic Resistance and the villainous First Order. Along the way, the recruits are captured aboard a Star Destroyer, break out of a First Order detention cell, elude the clutches of Kylo Ren and escape back to a secret base on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the 14-acre Galaxy’s Edge themed lands at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The ambitious, first-of-its-kind attraction combines four separate ride systems with state-of-the-art audio-animatronics and visual effects.

In pre-pandemic times, thousands of Disneyland visitors would snap up boarding group spots in a virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance as soon as the park opened each morning.

To say Rise of the Resistance was popular would be a huge understatement. It was a runaway hit unlike anything Disneyland — or its die-hard fans — had seen in decades. Boarding passes typically disappeared each day in minutes — sometimes in seconds.

The reopening of Disneyland brought a number of changes to the Rise of the Resistance attraction experience — starting with the virtual queue distribution system.

Disneyland now distributes virtual queue boarding groups for the Rise of the Resistance attraction twice a day at 7 a.m. and noon.

Visitors accessing the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue at 7 a.m. need to have a Disneyland ticket and reservation — but they don’t need to be at the park. The virtual queue can be accessed via the Disneyland app from anywhere. Visitors with a Disney California Adventure parkhopper ticket can’t access the 7 a.m. virtual queue boarding groups.

Both Disneyland ticket holders and visitors with DCA parkhopper tickets can access the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue boarding groups at noon each day. For the midday virtual queue, visitors must have entered Disneyland or DCA. Those with DCA tickets don’t need to be in Disneyland to access the virtual queue boarding groups.

Visitors with DCA parkhopper tickets can enter Disneyland starting at 1 p.m. each day. Those with single-park tickets for Disney California Adventure won’t have access to the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue.

Once a Rise of the Resistance boarding group is called, riders will need to show their boarding pass to a Disneyland cast member at the entrance of the Galaxy’s Edge attraction.

Before the pandemic, the very end of the Rise of the Resistance outdoor queue was rarely used — but that’s not the case anymore. The socially distanced queue for Rise of the Resistance can stretch to previously unimaginable lengths now. Of course, the 6-foot gaps mean the line moves much faster than in pre-pandemic times and isn’t really as long as it looks.

During busy periods, Disneyland is using all of the Rise of the Resistance outdoor queue and then some. Riders returning for their virtual queue boarding groups can find the Rise of the Resistance line stretching all the way to the entrance of the Hungry Bear restaurant and sometimes even to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction.

The Rise of the Resistance line can vary wildly in length from a few parties to hundreds of groups stretching deep into Critter Country. Frequent ride breakdowns can lengthen the queue later in the day as boarding groups stack up, reports the Disney fan site.

Once riders reach the attraction entrance, they are taken through the previously unused FastPass line — skipping the long indoor section of the standby queue. Riders are rushed through the first pre-show room and skip the mission briefing with the Rey hologram and BB-8 audio-animatronic.

Disneyland employees dressed as Resistance troops direct riders to stand on one of 11 socially distanced spots outside the Intersystem Transport Ship — with one party per location.

Plexiglass dividers inside the Intersystem Transport Ship keep groups of visitors separated from each other during the 3-minute experience. Each of the 11 rider parties stands on a spot in the I-TS transport shuttle — which keeps the groups socially distanced.

The Intersystem Transport Ship spills riders into the Star Destroyer hangar bay, where they are met by Disneyland employees dressed as First Order soldiers. Riders are routed down a hallway lined with plexiglass separating the queue lanes. Riders are marched directly into the First Order detention cells without lining up in the hallway — with the sliding doors to the cells open and awaiting their arrival to shorten wait times.

Four markers on the floor of the detention cell indicate where rider groups are instructed to stand to maintain social distancing during the interrogation by Kylo Ren.

Exiting the jail cell, the four parties are led to one of two waiting First Order fleet transport dark ride vehicles — with one party per row and two parties per vehicle. Plexiglass dividers between the two rows of seats keep riders physically separated in each vehicle.

Social distancing means single riders will have an entire row to themselves. In theory, the two ride vehicles could be dispatched with four riders in each row — but that is rarely the case during pandemic times. Typically, each ride vehicle heads out for the dark ride portion of the attraction at one-third to one-half half capacity.

After the queue and pre-shows, the dark ride portion of Rise of the Resistance attraction remains largely unchanged.
 
Attractions Referenced

Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance

 
Restaurants Referenced

Hungry Bear Restaurant

 
Lands Referenced

Critter Country

Star Wars Galaxys Edge

 
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