The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 has led, for better or worse, to a whole new world of Star Wars stories, including a multi-billion-dollar-grossing Sequel Trilogy, the fully-immersive theme park land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland Park in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, and next year’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort experience.
Galaxy’s Edge first materialized at Walt Disney’s original Disneyland Park on May 31st of 2019, offering guests an experience set in the village of Black Spire Outpost on the frontier planet of Batuu between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. While Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run was operating on opening day, the land’s marquee attraction came online six months later with the debut of Rise of the Resistance.
Employing a unique queueing protocol by which hopeful riders arrive at the park in the early hours of the morning to join virtual Boarding Groups that get called back throughout the day, Rise of the Resistance is already being described by many as one of the most revolutionary theme park attractions ever. When it’s operational, that is.
Data compiled by Touring Plans indicates that, while Rise of the Resistance can potentially accommodate up to 1,700 rides per hour under ideal conditions, an average of about 13,000 guests are actually moving through the attraction on an average 12-hour day, with about 110 Boarding Groups generally getting their turn.
Those numbers are significantly reduced by recurrent mechanical malfunctions, however, because when Rise goes offline, it tends to stay down for large chunks of the day. On January 19th of this year, the attraction experienced back-to-back failures that lasted four hours; on the 22nd, 23rd, and 25th, it broke down for roughly two hours each day; and on Sunday, January 26th, Rise suffered three failures over the span of just eight hours.
Utilizing a groundbreaking combination of multiple ride-systems and practical effects, it’s no wonder that the attraction is also experiencing a commensurate amount of downtime, but that’s understandably little consolation to guests who have spent thousands of dollars and hours of their days waiting to experience a single attraction during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Shutdowns tend to be worse and more frequent in the early days of an attraction’s lifespan as mechanical issues become apparent through operation and get solved on a day-to-day basis. After all, the newly opened Skyliner system at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida similarly experienced a breakdown in October of last year that left guests stranded for several hours in gondolas suspended up to sixty feet from the ground.
Besides, Walt Disney once said that “Disneyland will never be completed,” the downside of which is that there will always be new and more challenging glitches to work out. Including ones at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.