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New Star Wars ride at Disneyland reaches capacity within minutes

Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

On the day it debuted at Disneyland, the Rise of the Resistance ride reached capacity almost immediately Friday morning, sparking celebration by those lucky park visitors who secured spots on the Star Wars-themed attraction and protests from those who were left out.

Expecting huge demand for the high-tech, immersive ride, Disneyland required all visitors to use a virtual queuing system that distributed reservation numbers via the park's smartphone app, starting at the official opening time of 8 a.m.

But demand was so high that even some who opened the app to get a "boarding group" reservation at exactly 8 a.m. didn't get a spot on the ride.

"I'm kinda bummed," said Marvee Ona of Riverside, who was wearing a black Star Wars cap as he stood in front of the entrance to the ride, holding his smartphone. "I was super excited about the ride. I won't be able to go on today at all."

Other Star Wars fans who didn't know about the online reservation system were frustrated to learn they couldn't stand in a line to wait for their turn on the ride.

"They don't give anyone a chance," said William Olvera of Moreno Valley, who came to the park with seven friends. "We solely came for this ride. We even skipped breakfast to be here early."

 

Rise of the Resistance is the second of two attractions to open at Disneyland's $1-billion Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansion. In the first few days after the land opened May 31, the park distributed colored wrist bands, signifying a four-hour period when visitors could enter the 14-acre land.

Still, wait times for the first attraction in the land, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, stretched to more than an hour on opening day and a space-themed cantina was so crowded that Disney instituted a time limit on guests. The waits for those attractions were shorter Friday -- about 50 minutes to get on the Millennium Falcon at one point in the morning -- but Disneyland sported a healthy crowd.

Even though Rise of the Resistance reservations weren't given until 8 a.m., many fans began arriving to the park in the pre-dawn hours.

Within five minutes after the app began to give out reservations, a message appeared on the app, saying that the ride had reached capacity and that only the first 82 boarding groups were guaranteed to ride the attraction. Signs were placed throughout the park, issuing the same news.

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