Without a doubt, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is currently the most popular ride at Walt Disney World. It is also stressful to try to get a chance to experience it. You need to get a spot in a Boarding Group in order to ride, and those groups are gone in just a few seconds. Social distancing makes it even harder, because the number of people who can ride is severely limited right now. Is that about to change? Is there a way to increase capacity, and still make sure that the CDC guidelines are followed? There are signs that Disney is soon going to increase capacity for the ride, and that it will be done safely.
I rode Rise of the Resistance on Friday, October 23. I was able to ride again on Tuesday, October 27. Some interesting changes were made in between those two dates. Nothing that I am going to say here is officially from Disney, it is just from my own observations.
I’ll start in the area that has the preshow with BB-8 and the Rey hologram, because that is where I first noticed a difference. Ever since Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened each party would be given a number, and that is where you would stand. That was what happened when my daughter and I were there on October 23. On October 27, the numbers were gone, replaced by three colors (yellow, green, and blue). Your party would stand on a circle of that color. There were several circles of each color, I think that there were 11 or 12 circles in total. Plexiglass had been installed in the room to separate groups on dots that were next to each other.
After leaving the briefing, we would again stand on a circle of the same color. This was in the outdoor area near Poe’s X-Wing. Besides the circles instead of numbers, I didn’t notice anything different here.
The next part of the ride is the shuttle. There are now plexiglass partitions inside this as well. You’ll stand on your same color circle. It looked to me like there are areas that used to have only one group, but now have two, with the plexiglass between them.
Of course, none of this means anything if the number of people in each ride vehicle for the final segment of the experience remains low. It looks like this could be about to change. There are now plexiglass barriers between the two rows of seats. When we rode on October 27, I was there with my friend Cindy from DisneyLists.Com, and it was still just the two of us in the vehicle, but I expect Disney to be using both rows the next time I ride. The only thing I wonder about is the holding cell area, because that’s a small room and I don’t know if there is enough space for up to four groups of four to social distance. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are soon markers on the floor in the cell as well.
Plexiglass has worked in all four theme parks, and I can see that it will help to increase capacity on Rise of the Resistance as well. Some people might say that it takes away from the ride experience, but right now everything is a little bit of give and take. I’d rather see the plexiglass and increase ride capacity than have them remove the plexiglass and then miss out. I think that it’s a good idea.