Placing guests in an incredible battle between the Resistance and First Order, Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular attractions in Disneyland California. It’s a completely unique ride experience and we’re huge fans!
We wanted to share our guide to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland: we have included our best strategies for short wait times and how to make the most of rope drop to get close to the top of the line.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Location: Star Wars: Galaxy Edge, Disneyland Park
Individual Lightening Lane: yes, typically $20 $25 per guest
Minimum height requirement: 40″/102 cm
Rise of the Resistance places guests in a dramatic battle between the Resistance and the First Order. It is an incredible mix of a motion stimulator, walk-through, trackless and drop ride and it is like nothing else we’ve been on in any other Disney park (with the exception of Rise of the Resistance in Walt Disney World obviously!).
If you want the ride experience to be a complete surprise you can skip through the next couple of paragraphs:
The Rise of the Resistance experience begins with the line. It passes through a Resistance base and the first stop is a preshow with appearances from BB8 and Rey.
Riders then board a Resistance Transport shuttle (a motion simulator with standing room only) as they depart for Batuu where a First Order Star Destroy is threatening the planet. It’s not long before you are captured by the First Order Star Destroyer. As the doors to the Resistance Transport shuttle open you are faced with a squad of stormtroopers in a scene that is one of the highlights of Rise of the Resistance.
After an interrogation by Kylo Ren and General Hux, you will escape to a trackless vehicle and experience an eventful passage through the ship. The ride comes to an end with a thrilling crash landing on Batuu.
Rise of the Resistance is an 18 minute experience, making it the longest ride in Disneyland California.
Ride of the Resistance Disneyland tip: up to 8 passengers can ride in each trackless vehicle with the 2 rows of seats each fitting 4 riders.
Does Rise of the Resistance Breakdown?
Due to its complexity and wide variety of ride experiences, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is prone to breaking down. If it does go down it can be down for a significant part of the day. It can also result in the ride opening late which isn’t great if you plan to rope drop!
Our strategy is to try and ride Rise as early as possible in the day – in fact, we usually aim for rope drop and take the risk that it will be open. This usually gives the best chance of avoiding breakdowns (we find they typically happen later in the day) or, at least, if it does break down you will still have time to ride it later in the day when it reopens.
How can I ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
There are a number of ways to grab a spot on the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Individual Lightning Lane: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of two rides in Disneyland California that operates an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL), the other being Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. At the time of writing the ILL for Rise of the Resistance costs $20 to $25 per guest. To avoid the additional cost, we typically try and rope drop Rise of the Resistance. However, if you are short on time and don’t want to wait in line or do an early rope drop then the ILL gives you the flexibility to skip the line.
Early Entry and Rope Drop (OUR TOP TIP!): if you are a Disneyland Resort hotel guest then you will get access to a number of Disneyland Rides in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland 30 minutes before the regular park opening time. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge does not open during Early Entry but, if you have early entry, then we have an amazing tip for Rise of the Resistance – there is an entrance leading to Star Wars: Galaxy Edge in Fantasyland just past the Red Rose Tavern that opens at the same time as the park opens. You can wait at this entrance during Early Entry and, when it opens, you will beat the rope drop crowds to Rise of the Resistance.
Standby Line: riders can join the standby line for Rise of the Resistance throughout the day. The line typically exceeds 60 minutes a few minutes after the park opens and can reach 120 minutes at peak times – it depends on how busy the parks are. If you wait until just before closing you might grab a spot in less than an hour or if you catch the park on a quiet day you might also be in luck!
Standby Line at Rope Drop: you can rope drop Rise of the Resistance and the wait time should still be relatively low even if you are behind the early entry crowd. We’ve rope-dropped Rise of the Resistance a number of times and if you use our recommended rope-drop route, you should make it in line for a wait time of 10-20 minutes – more on this below.
Single Ride Line: there is no single rider line for Rise of the Resistance.
Rider Switch on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Rider Switch is a fantastic service for families with kids who don’t meet the attraction height requirements or don’t want to ride. It allows one parent to wait in line and experience the attraction with the children who are riding while the other adult stays with those who aren’t able/don’t want to go on Rise of the Resistance.
After the first parent rides and exits the attraction they can switch with the waiting parent who can then use the Lightening Lane so they don’t have to wait in the full queue again. This means both parents have a chance to experience Rise of the Resistance while avoiding having to queue twice – it is a huge time saver for families.
To use a Rider Switch on Rise Of The Resistance let a Cast Member know when you enter the line. The Cast Member will scan your Disneyland passes in your app and then apply a Rider Switch pass to your account. This will allow the other adult to return to the ride via the lightning lane once the first adult has completed the ride. A maximum of 3 people can ride in the second group.
Rise of the Resistance tip Disneyland tip: we have a 5, 4 and 1 year old so have used Rider Switch extensively over recent years! It is an invaluable offering for families and is the only we can both experience popular rides like Rise of the Resistance.
Rise of the Resistance: Rope Drop Guide
Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular attractions in Disneyland California and one of our rope drop favorites. Rope Drop is the only real opportunity to ride Rise of the Resistance without a huge queue or having to pay extra for a Lightning Lane entry.
First of all, let’s cover how to rope drop at Disneyland California:
What is Rope Drop at Disneyland California?
If you are a first-time visitor to Disney you might be wondering what rope drop actually is! It is really just the name given to the Disney park’s opening times – if you are waiting to enter the park at regular opening time then you are ‘rope dropping’ Disneyland California! The cast members often section of the park with a rope across the closed area and, at park opening time, the rope is dropped – hence the name rope drop!
Disney typically allows guests to make their way through the main thoroughfare of the park in advance of opening time so they have fast access to the rides. So if the park opens at 8am and you arrive in advance of this, you will have the chance to pass through security and the ticket entrance and be in the main thoroughfare of the park ready to make your way to the rides by the time the park opens – in Disneyland Park, rope drop guests wait in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Cast members will actually start scanning guests into the park at the gate 30-40 minutes prior to the park’s official opening time.
While it sounds hectic, rope drop is a really fun experience and we regularly rope drop with our young kids.
Where is Rope Drop for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park. It is to the rear of the park, behind Frontierland and Critter Country. This area of the park is not open during Early Entry.
There are 3 routes to Rise of the Resistance – one that works only for those with Early Entry and two that are best for rope dropping.
We’ve outlined the best rope drop routes to Rise of the Resistance below.
Map of Rope Drop Routes to Rise of the Resistance
The map below shows the three routes we’ve used from the rope drop entrances to Rise of the Resistance.
- ————- the route to Rise of the Resistance via the Adventureland rope drop entrance
- ————- alternative route through Frontierland
- ————- Early Entry route
Best Rope Drop Route to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
If you’re wondering which is the best route to Rise of the Resistance during rope drop the answer is it depends! Here’s a lowdown of the 3 routes to Rise of the Resistance so you can decide which is the best for you:
If you have Early Entry: this early entry route almost guarantees you are among the first guests to arrive at Rise of the Resistance!
Route 1 – Early Entry Fantasyland Entrance: during Early Entry you will see crowds start to gather at an entrance just past the Red Rose Taverne in Fantasyland. This entrance leads to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and opens at the same time as rope drop – if you are waiting here then you will reach Rise of the Resistance before the rope drop crowds make it through.
If you don’t have Early Entry: there are two routes you can take to Rise of the Resistance
Route 2 – Adventureland Rope Drop: this route through the Adventureland Rope Drop and past Critter Country is the shortest distance to the Rise of Resistance. So, in theory, you can be among the first of the rope drop crowd to get to the Rise line if you follow this route.
However, the Adventureland rope drop route only works if:
- you are at the top of the rope drop line (first 50/75 people)
- you can get to Adventureland fast
The reason for this is the way the line starts for Rise of the Resistance. It forms towards the Frontierland route so you have to get there before those coming from Frontierland – if not, you will be meeting the line coming towards you and have to join the end of it – all the while, the Frontierland rope drop crowd are continuing to pile into it so you can end up with a much longer wait time!
The Adventureland route tends to be much less crowded.
Route 3 – Frontierland Rope Drop: Most guests use the Frontierland Rope Drop and this is the best rope drop route to Rise of the Resistance if you aren’t close to the front of the crowd or if you aren’t able to walk the Adventureland route at a fast pace.
This route passes by Big Thunder Mountain and meets the start of the line for Rise of the Resistance so you can join the line as you meet it.
Best Time to Arrive for Rope Drop
We aim to arrive at Disneyland 60 minutes prior to park opening on days we want to rope drop Rise of the Resistance. This allows time to get through security and the ticket entrance and to secure a spot close to the top of the rope drop crowds.
Is it worth Rope dropping Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
We think so! There are a few reasons we like to rope drop Rise of the Resistance:
- save the time that we would have spent waiting in line if we chose to ride via the standby line later in the day
- save the cost of Individual Lightening Lane if we wanted to skip the line later in the day (we prefer to buy Genie+ instead)
- less chance of a ride breakdown earlier in the day
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is amazing earlier in the day when the crowds are low
What to do if Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is down?
We always like to have a backup at Disney in case our ride of choice is down. If Rise of the Resistance isn’t running:
- tick off Matterhorn, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain early in the day.
- if you want to stay in the Star Wars frame of mind, we love to ride Millieum Falcon: Smuggler’s Run or spend time exploring Galaxy’s Edge.
- if it’s down at rope drop we tend to give it 15 minutes before we move on – some days it is just slow to get started and you can still grab a low wait time entry if you just wait it out. Make sure to set a maximum time that you are prepared to wait or you could end up wasting the quieter morning hours in the park.
For more on Disneyland California
- Our recommended Early Entry strategy for Disneyland Park California
- If you’re visiting DCA: Early Entry Strategy for Disney California Adventure