Return to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Kent and Canaan Reiersgaard from ‘No Vacation Required‘ are back for a special bonus episode with early access to the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now open at Walt Disney World in Floria. Get the full scoop on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort with Kent and Canaan in episode three.
Nisreene Atassi: For today’s episode, we’re trying something completely different, we are heading into battle. Maybe you’ve heard of Star Wars, maybe you’ve been to a Disney park, but I’m betting you haven’t been recruited by a private military force known as the Resistance to fight in space against an army of Stormtroopers and their bosses. Well, now you’re about to. I’m Nisreene Atassi and this is Out Travel the System. Kent and Canaan Reiersgaard were guests of ours in September, they shared their sneak peek experience at Disney’s newest land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Thanks to a mixture of luck and good behavior, Kent and Canaan have returned to Galaxy’s Edge, only this time they get to be one of the first to try out the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance ride. It’s a ride that Disney describes as one of the largest and most ambitious they’ve ever created. Kent and Canaan are taking us along on their experience right now live from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World Resort in Florida. Thanks you two and may the force be with you!
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Thanks Nissy. That’s right, we’re back on the planet Batuu which is the location of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Specifically, we’re at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu. You’ll remember that from our last podcast. This is the sort of infamous port for smugglers and traders and adventurers. You don’t know who or what you might actually encounter here, this place is a little rough. We are here for the land’s premier attraction, Star Wars, Rise of the Resistance. We’re making our way to the attraction right now and we’re really excited. This has been five years in the making. This is going to be pretty nuts. We hear that it’s got multiple ride systems, that it’s super expansive, and it’s super technologically advanced. I think it’s supposed to be one of the most ambitious things that Disney’s ever done.
Before we experience the attraction, we get to speak to an Imagineer who helped develop it. His name is Scott Trowbridge and I see Scott up there waiting for us. Let’s get up there and ask him a few questions before we ride.
Scott Trowbridge: Hey guys, how are you?
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Good, we’re so excited, we can’t believe we get to be among the first people to ride this incredible attraction.
Scott Trowbridge: Yeah, well the Resistance is starting to accept recruits and they’ve been about you, so I’m glad you guys finally showed up.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Well, here we are. Here we are on a chilly morning.
Scott Trowbridge: The suns haven’t quite risen yet, yes.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Tell us what we can expect, we’re so excited.
Scott Trowbridge: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance sets a lot of new high bars not just for us, but I think for the industry. It’s one of the most ambitious things that we’ve ever done in the company and probably anyone’s ever done. It has one of the longest story experiences, it has multiple ride systems. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s going to put you in the position of becoming a new recruit for the Resistance, should you answer that call. I think you guys are up for that.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Okay, so tell us what we should look out for when we ride? What do you want us to pay special attention to?
Scott Trowbridge: Here’s the thing, this is a Star Wars story, so you can kind of know that not everything is going to go according to plan. That might mean that we end up coming face to face with some pretty interesting villains, including maybe even a face to face with Kylo Ren himself. If you have what it takes to stand up against Kylo, to face down the First Order, I think you guys will end up becoming heroes of the Resistance. I guess what I would say to watch out for is just watch out for trouble. You never know where it’s going to come from.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Sounds ominous. I want to hear one more thing. This is the realization of a big dream, so I would like to hear what you’re most proud of with this ride.
Scott Trowbridge: I think the thing that is the most impactful for me is we’ve had the opportunity to help folks like yourself experience this attraction. When people come off of the attraction with tears in their eyes, that for me says that we’ve hit a chord. For many people, this is a culmination of a dream; a 40-year long dream of walking into the world of Star Wars. Giving people that opportunity to realize that dream, that’s why we do this. That is the most impactful part of it all.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Okay, great. We’ll catch you on the backside. The sun’s coming out on this chilly Batuuian morning. We’re walking under a gun turret, this thing looks like it’s been here forever. We’re making our way into the attraction kind of on a constricted, windy path it looks like we’re in a bit of a forest. I think we’re technically on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost now, walking through a forest along these big cliffs, it almost looks like ruins.
It’s amazing, this is a brand new ride, but this looks like an established forest. Now, what’s this? We’re going into a tunnel. Now we’re coming in from the outside into a darker enclosed sort of tunnel passage. Oh wow, this is a narrow little tunnel, it looks like it’s been carved into the rock. There are little corners, blind corners where you wonder what’s around the next corner. Now we’re coming in for a mission briefing. They said it’s one of our first events. We’re in a big chamber that looks carved into the rocks, and there’s a lot of mechanics here. We see BB-8 up here, we’re waiting for a transmission. I don’t know how they pull that off. Okay, so BB-8 just disappeared, stuff is happening and there’s Rey in a hologram.
So we’ve just finished up in the briefing room. We’re walking back outside, we see some kind of transport unit in front of us. We see BB-8 in some kind of craft, now we’re walking over to a transport vehicle to begin our mission. Wow, this is very cool, we’re about ready to head off on a mission!
Yeah, this is pretty exciting. Okay, we’re holding on, this thing moves, even though we’re just standing up in it. This feels like we’re really flying, we are going to go light speed. We’re being attacked by TIE fighters now. It feels like we’re flying through space. We’re kind of bouncing, the shields are up. Oh wow. Okay, we’re going to make the jump. Oh no, we’ve just encountered a Star Destroyer, we can see it through the front window of this craft.
This isn’t good, we are being detained by the First Order, we’re being brought out of this transport shuttle. We’ve just walked into this huge space, there’s like 50 Stormtroopers here. This is really crazy, they’re leading us through, it’s very scary and uncertain. I’m not liking the Stormtrooper thing at all. We just exited the transporter and we’ve walked into this huge space and there is a line of I don’t know how many Stormtroopers, but this is really intimidating.
We’ve been captured by the First Order and it’s like we’re being taken off to detention rooms, detention cells. It sounds like they’re going to take all of our equipment away from us as part of the capture, we may just have to tell you what happens at the end. Yeah, I think we’re on our own now. We’re going radio silent.
A lot has happened. Thanks to our friends in the Resistance, we got our gear back. We went through the interrogation room, we were extracted by the Resistance. Then we went through the entire Star Destroyer, multiple floors, multiple experiences. That ride was nuts, it was all trackless too so it was very freeform.
We were going backward and forwards, and we had no idea what was happening. I do have to say there was that moment where we were driving under the AT-AT walkers, and how many stories tall were those things? That was truly insane. It was as though it was really happening.
At the end of that, we essentially get dropped out of the Star Destroyer and we are plummeting through space. The Resistance cordons us off to a special place where we can then be dropped back onto Batuu and escape this Star Destroyer. It was really cool.
Now we’re going to head back out to Scott to have him tell us a little bit about what we just experienced.
Okay, Scott, we just got off.
Scott Trowbridge: Welcome back, welcome back.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: That was really crazy.
Scott Trowbridge: What happened?
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: It was a mind-bending, immersive journey. I want to ask you about that, tell us about putting together something that has all of these segments and truly more immersive than anything I’ve ever ridden, more immersive than any Disney attraction I’ve ever been on. Tell me about creating that.
Scott Trowbridge: With Star Wars, we knew we had to go big. Like with everything we do at Disney, it all starts with stories. We knew we wanted to do something that had a big story. For this experience, it’s almost like a bit of a three-act play, in that there are multiple experiences that are all kind of working together to tell one story, where you get to finally be the hero of your own little Star Wars adventure. Starting off thinking big meant we had to think about, “How would we realize this experience?” and “What are the kinds of things we want to do?” That led to realizing some of those things aren’t possible today. We had to invent some new technologies and we had to figure out how to do these things. That’s what we do, right? We’ve been able to work on this attraction for over five years. Just building the physical spaces, these are some of the largest physical show set spaces we’ve ever built, so that takes time, energy and passion. Luckily we’ve got a crew and a team that has been passionately working on this for over five years to bring it to life.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: It shows, definitely. You said go big and dream big, and that’s I think my biggest takeaway, is that it felt massive to me.
Scott Trowbridge: Let me ask you this, did it feel Star Wars to you?
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: Oh, it absolutely felt Star Wars to me, like we were part of the story. Part of this whole journey helping the Resistance, it was amazing.
Scott Trowbridge: In many ways, thinking big is thinking Star Wars, right? Star Wars is this epic archetypal myth, if you will, so they kind of go hand in hand. I’m glad you made it back in one piece because I heard you guys had some encounters with some First Order types out there.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: We did. I don’t know what to say because I don’t want to give away too much because I want people to experience this for themselves. I do have to say that there were some very close calls. I think people will be surprised at how genuinely in the story they’ll feel.
Well, we’re going to go ride it again. Thank you very much for sharing some information and for creating this amazing experience.
Scott Trowbridge: It was me and about 70,000 other really dedicated people.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: We’re going to give you full credit.
Scott Trowbridge: Okay, well that I don’t deserve. Thank you for coming and thank you for joining the Resistance.
Kent & Canaan Reiersgaard: That was so great we could talk to Scott and have that experience. We get off a ride like that and we get to talk to somebody who helped create it, that’s mind-blowing to me. As you can imagine, we are immediately going back to ride again.
I just want to say you’ve got to come to check out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and this attraction yourself, it’s totally worth it. I was blown away by how immersive it is and there’s all these different sequences and segments. It lives up to their dream of allowing each visitor to have their own Star Wars experience, I love that.
I don’t know how they made it feel so expansive, but the other thing that really got me was that it feels very established like it’s been here forever. Even though it’s a brand new ride, it’s carved into this land. We stumbled upon it and now we’re characters in this story. It really is truly incredible what they did. We’re totally hooked, so we’re off to ride again.
Thank you guys for giving us the opportunity to be among the first to share this experience with you. For those of you planning your next vacation, just remember Star Wars’ Rise Of The Resistance opens on December 5th at Disney World Resort in Florida, and on January 17th at Disneyland in California.
Nisreene Atassi: If you have any questions or want to learn more about Kent and Canaan’s Disney adventures, we would absolutely love to hear from you. You can check us out on social media and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for listening to Out Travel The System brought to you by Expedia. Hit subscribe now so you don’t miss a thing. I’m Nisreene Atassi, happy travels!