Rise of the Resistance continues to struggle one year after its debut

Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is arguably the best attraction Disney has made in recent memory. Unfortunately, the ride’s complexities and low capacity continues to be an issue one year after its debut.

The attraction opened inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World on December 5, 2019. Rise of the Resistance was immediately praised for its immersive environment, great effects and ability to bring guests straight into the world of Star Wars. But, that praise was diminished by downtime, broken effects and a boarding pass system that leaves many guests frustrated.

So, how do things look one year later? The first anniversary of Rise of the Resistance may sum things up perfectly.

December 5, 2020, the attraction’s first birthday, was one of the worst days in its history. The ride didn’t open to guests until after 4pm due to technical issues. This follows a stretch where a variety of effects haven’t been working or were in “B” mode, including the encounters with Kylo Ren, laser blast impacts and more.

The downtime and uneven experiences are enough to make Rise of the Resistance’s first year a disappointing one. Adding in the hurdles guests have to jump through in the virtual boarding pass system, the first year of operation doesn’t look too good.

To be clear, the challenges facing Rise of the Resistance are not caused by the pandemic. Disney did reduce capacity upon initially reopening Disney’s Hollywood Studios, limiting vehicles to one per group, but that has since changed with the installation of plexiglass dividers.

Rise of the Resistance’s problems date back to well before the pandemic, leading many to wonder what Disney will do to improve the experience.

Disney knew Rise of the Resistance would have capacity issues even if it was consistently running smoothly. The theoretical hourly capacity will never be able to serve all of the guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios even on an average day. Creating a super popular ride with low capacity seems like a misstep right out of the gate. Even more so when factoring in the need for “people eater” attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not addressing the growing list of issues is doubling down on the problem.

Should Disney close Rise of the Resistance for an extended maintenance period?

The perfect time to take a deep look into what makes Rise of the Resistance go offline was when Walt Disney World was closed. Budget cuts, layoffs and safety measures prevented that from happening, but Disney will eventually have to do significant maintenance on their star attraction. The nightly maintenance is nothing more than patches and quick fixes when it sounds like the ride needs considerable work.

Closing Rise of the Resistance will inevitably upset guests. But, daily breakdowns and diminished experiences following a hectic virtual boarding process is not the way forward.


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