Fans view a model of the new Star Wars theme park that will open in the California and Florida Disneyland Parks in 2019 during the D23 expo fan convention at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California, on July 15, 2017. (AFP/Mark Ralston)
Disney opens on Thursday what it is calling its most ambitious Star Wars attraction to date; Rise of the Resistance includes a cast of 'real-life' Stormtroopers, holograms and a dramatic face-off against Kylo Ren.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens to the public at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida on Thursday -- an 18-minute attraction that parachutes guests into a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Throughout the immersive, interactive experience, guests are parachuted into the storyline as new recruits within the Resistance who are captured by the First Order.
As one of several media outlets to get a special preview of the attraction, CNBC has a blow-by-blow account of the experience.
To start, guests board a life-size rebel transport ship as part of a Resistance mission that goes awry when the ship is captured by the First Order.
A live cast of more than 30 Stormtroopers and First Order officers bark at guests -- disparaged as "spies" and "Resistance Sympathizers" -- who are trapped in holding cells before being sprung free by rescuers from The Resistance.
Guests are then instructed to board ride cars to make their escape, and zip through the halls of the Star Destroyer. As the vehicles are trackless, guests don't know where they'll turn next or what to expect, adding to the element of surprise.
After opening in Florida, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens at Disneyland Park in California January 17, 2020.
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