Disney World’s Rise of the Resistance

So before I catch you up on our upcoming adventure, we just embarked on a mini-adventure at Disney World. We finally got to ride on Rise of the Resistance, the newest ride of Galaxy’s Edge. This isn’t just a “wait it out” kind of ride. There’s serious planning and a very early morning to be had if you want to be part of the infamous resistance.

It goes a little something like this…

4 am Thursday morning – Time to wake up and head to the park. It’s clearly a no-makeup kind of day. Hoodie and yoga pants, and of course, a cup of coffee, is all I need to ready myself for the day.

4:50 am – Leave the rig and make the drive to Hollywood Studios. Man, it was dark outside. Typically these days, we’re lucky if we roll out of the rack by 11 am, so this kind of dark was all new!

5:10 am – Shit! We totally just cleaned out our wallets and realized we didn’t have our parking pass. I am so not paying the $25 for parking. Dad turned it around and headed back for the house.

5:30 am – Ok, whew! We’re back to where we were. Disney, here we come!

6:00 am – Parked and making the cold, brisk walk to security. We’re magic banded up, no bags, so it should go fast!

6:10 am – Wow! There’s a shit ton of people here. I see now why they say the virtual cue boarding passes complete distribution in minutes. However, I feel pretty confident. We’re standing just shy of the ticketing kiosks so it won’t take too long to get through the gate.

6:29 am – Sweet! They’re letting people through the gates. Basically, you need to be on the other side of the turnstiles by the time the park opens with phone in hand and ready to access the Disney My Experience app and “Join Boarding Group”.

6:40 am – Ok, we’ve made it through, hit the bathroom, and are making our way down Hollywood Blvd.

 

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If you want to hit Galaxy’s Edge first thing, follow this sign. Do not try and shortcut your way to the land. They have many areas blocked off until after the park opens. And see, I told you it was dark!

 

6:40 am – We’ve made it to the Disney Vacation Club kiosk near the entrance of Toy Story Land. We’ve decided to hit Slinky Dog because we just can’t seem to get a fast pass or hit it at the right time, and we’ve gotta wait somewhere!

6:55 am – We’ve got two phones logged into our My Disney Experience app and are refreshing the “Join Boarding Group” page.

6:59 am – Everything goes silent. Seriously the crowd just kind of zones in on their phones, and the energy is tense. We’re all trying to do the same thing, and chances are many of us will be left without a boarding pass. What a bunch of weirdos we must look like! Ha! But so fun 🙂

7:01 am – Dad’s in! He’s got our passes. Now cheers of satisfaction can be heard all around! The app is easy. Just keep refreshing the Boarding group page, and once you’re live, the app should recognize who in your party has scanned into the park. Select all, accept the boarding pass, and you’re done!

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7:04 am – All the “guaranteed” boarding passes have been distributed, and back up groups are still being issued.

7:10 am – That’s it, folks! Distribution has concluded for the day. I still can’t believe it really did happen that fast, and we are supposed to be here on a slow day if those even exist anymore!

8:30 am – Our boarding group has been called, and we now have 1 hour to make it to the entrance. By this time, we had already hit Slinky Dog, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. After a quick coffee cart stop and a Mickey Pretzel, we made it to the entrance, so exciting!

9:00 am – The rides down! Ha! This happens a lot! It’s cool though, we’ve got a fast pass for Star Tours. And now that they’ve called our boarding pass, and the ride was down, we have all day to use our pass, pretty nice perk!

After Star Tours and a quick check-in with guest relations, we headed for Galaxy’s Edge again. The ride was still down, but we wanted to scoop up one of these baby’s…

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After purchasing our under $3 souvenir, we opted to stay in the area. It seemed like people were starting to gather by the entrance of Rise of the Resistance, so we wanted to be nearby in hopes that the ride was opening soon. Sure enough by the time we get to Smuggler’s Run, single rider line, of course, because it only takes like 20 minutes to get through, Rise of the Resistance was back open. Whoo hoo!

9:40 am – Not wanting to risk the ride going down again, we hopped out of line for Millenium Falcon Smuggler’s Run and raced to the entrance of Rise of the Resistance.

9:50 am – We’re in line, and things are moving pretty quickly. Within less than 15 minutes, we are in front of a cast member inquiring about party size. We are then ushered into a room with a small group and ready to fight for the Resistance.

BB8 and Rey help get us prepared

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And then, to our surprise, we get escorted outside to a transport ship. This starts our journey of “oh wow” moments that continue for the remainder of the experience

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Once onboard, you’re asked to hold on tight. The tram reminded me of an airport shuttle but a lot more exciting.

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Unfortunately for us, we were busted by the First Order…Time to get boarded

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And then taken into the most awe-inspiring room of the entire ride

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Now it’s time for an interrogation but don’t worry the good guys are there to help you out of your jam

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And from there, it’s just one amazing room after another.

Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

The trackless cars are incredibly smooth and sophisticated. There’s a great little drop, and it wouldn’t be Star Wars without an AT-AT encounter

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Just amazing! All in all, I think the whole experience takes about 20 minutes. Disney has truly out done themselves. I can’t possibly capture all of the awesomeness this ride has to offer. But we sure are glad we got to be a part of it! Way to go, Disney, you sure know how to keep our hard-earned paper dollars!

Up next a trip across the pond!!!

 

All’s well in Sunny Florida…Mostly ;)

So Wednesday, we left Anchor Point and made our way north to Anchorage. A couple of nights in a hotel there, and it was time to make our way to Nashville. Probably the quickest and easiest flights we’ve had. Once in Nashville, we picked up a rental car and headed for Lebanon, TN. Just about an hour east of BNA. We crashed out for the night, and when we awoke Saturday morning, it was time for the big reveal of the truck that’s been stuck in Pigeon Forge since December!

After a minor situation with a dead battery, whew what a relief, we were on the road to TYS to drop the rental car. I’ll be honest it was a bit of a quiet ride. By now, we were on our 4th day of travel, and I think we were all a little anxious about the truck. Plus, we had just heard from Grammy that morning that she had a heart attack at Amazon and was going in for bypass surgery. Jeez! Poor lady! So while travel was going well, we were all trying to figure out what to do with the Gramster.

We made it to GA by about 10 pm that night and once again kind of just fell over out of exhaustion. The good news was the truck made it, no check engine light, excellent gas mileage, all signs pointed to success!

Sunday morning, we awoke to one of the shittiest most expensive hotels in the area, and we were grateful no one woke up covered in bites, HA! We met up with our friends for a tour around the airbase and a leisurely lunch. Nice to be in the air conditioning, eating good food with good friends!

As we all predicted, time got away from us, but we got on the road to Orlando about 3 pm, and we were officially Disney bound! Yeah!

The kiddos wanted to do the park on Monday while Dad and I got the rig set up, so we opted for a cheap little hotel on the main drag so we could drop kiddos off early and go pick up our house. In no time at all, Dad and I were up at the storage lot, a few butterflies in our tummies, just wanting everything to be OK with RV.

We popped open the door and quickly did the smell test, a good indicator of anything awful inside. Totally clear, just dryer sheets and my glade air fresheners. Hooray! We did a quick look around, and everything looked to be in good shape! While I continued to get the rig roll ready, not much to do, but we had put down trays of kitty litter, charcoal, and such, Dad set up the hitch on our truck. We had only done this once before, but with a little effort and a manual, we agreed we were ready to roll.

After a few miles of going the opposite direction, we couldn’t figure out where to turn around, we arrived at our RV park, parked, and got situated. And once again the truck did great! This was our biggest fear becuase towing seemed to anger the truck prior to repair, so we have pretty high hopes that it is officialy fixed! By this time, the kiddos were cooked from the hot Florida sun, had done a ton of rides, and were ready to come home. First things first, we got the air, water, and sewer set up, and off we went for the kiddos.

All was going great!

A quick trip to Walmart to gather a few staples, a trip to Chipotle for lunch, and we were all happy in our home, ready for our big adventure!

We agreed that Tuesday would be a day of much-needed rest so we could charge up for our adventure.

All was going great until we heard a big bang and thud from the bathroom. Poor Olivia had fallen, and her leg was definitely not OK. An ambulance ride and an ER visit later, we found it was relatively minor, just a dislocated knee cap, but definitely enough to throw a wrench in our plans.

As of now, she is resting comfortably with a brace and crutches, let me tell you crutches in the RV is for the birds, HA! But she’ll be ok. We’ll follow up with an ortho down here to make sure all is good, but with a little rest and recovery, we think she’ll be fine.

Guess we just have a little more time for school 🙂

As for Grammy, her surgery is tomorrow; we are all thinking good thoughts, and I’m sure I’ll head north to get her settled back in her rig at some point. Liv’s will rest. And we’ll all just be happy we’re able to be together as a family!!

I’ll take it!

Top 10 Disney Planning Resources

Click on the images below for some great deals and information. As I get the Disney Page going please feel free to contact me with any questions.

 

#1 – Disney Official Site

You can’t plan a trip to Disney without checking out their official site. Of course there are tons of private sites that offer great information, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Be sure to download your free vacation planning videos by following the link. No matter how many times you do Disney these are always a great way to get into the spirit. FREE Disney Planning Videos! *You will need to create an account if you don’t already have one, but who doesn’t want a little magic in their inbox every now and again!

 

#2 – Touring Plans

Touring Plans not only has tons of information but their specialty is park crowds. I have to admit that we have never truly stuck out one of their touring plans, I guess I’m just too much of a free spirit, one of the benefits of doing Disney weeks at a time, but I LOVE all the data. And we do tend to pick our dates using their crowd calendars. If you love spreadsheets, like me, you will love transforming their info into your own magical spreadsheet. And if you’re not into doing any more work than you have to they’ve got it all figured out for you, just point, click, and print!

 

#3 – MouseSavers.com

A great website for all things Disney!

 

#4 – DIS Boards

Lots of information on all things Disney but my favorite part of this site are the forums. You can find answers to almost every question imaginable.

 

#5 – Undercover Tourist

Most trusted site for discount tickets!

 

#6 – Mickey Visit

I love to read through Gavin’s site. We have done Disney on both coasts too many times to count, but I always find something new on his site.

 

#7 – Mouse For Less

Again a great site for all things Disney. There are so many sites out there to choose from. For me it all comes down to ease of use. Mouse For Less has a great layout with awesome information.

 

#8 – Sorcerer Radio

Anyone who knows me understands, or at least tolerates, my addiction to Disney Music! Sorcerer Radio is a must in the background when researching a Disney Trip.

 

#9 – Disney Sing-A-Long DVD’s

               

So these may date me a bit. But you won’t be disappointed. When the kiddos were super-duper young we would put these on while we gathered up all the “things” and packed up the car. Even now at 13 and 12 they still humor me and watch these videos in preparation for our trip! Whatever the season there’s a Disney SingAlong that sets the perfect mood. I suppose with all the you tube stuff out there these may be a thing of the past. But to us that’s exactly what Disney is for, to take you to a world where today doesn’t exist!

 

#10 – Disney Reads

              

I love reading about Walt Disney. He was an amazing man and I am wowed every time I experience what he created. These are a few of my favorite reads to get ready for a big trip!

Hollywood Studios – Darth Vader

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And lucky for us we did, because the new Star Wars Launch Bay had just opened a day prior. When we got to the line it was quite long, but just as fate would have it, Mike from “Coruscant” walked up to Ryder and asked us to follow him. Hubby and I didn’t quite know what to think, but when we saw Darth Vader we were just kind of awe struck. And this is why Disney will always have my heart.

Epcot – Kiddos are growing up

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My 11 year old and 9 year old kiddos are proving to be quite the amazing twosome. We branched out this trip and gave them a little more independence. I must admit I was a little teary eyed the first time we let them go off on their own and they came back wanting more, but I knew that this was the first step and I couldn’t have been more proud of these little guys! Here they are at Epcot, Olivia decided to treat her brother to a Starbucks just before meeting back up.

Meanwhile…

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Disney went through some major transformations in our 5 days away. I can not convey how happy I was to be back. Oh Disney I am so madly in love with you, even when I hate you, I love you! There is no doubt in my mind that we have absolutely devoted way more time to Disney than should ever be allowed and because of my obsession I have like the weirdest relationship with this place. In any case we were back and ready to take on all Disney had to offer.