Lawsuit Filed! Did Disney Steal Rise of the Resistance Ride Idea?

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

rise of the resistance stormtrooper room with r5 unit in foreground

Credit: Disney

When visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort chances are you have one attraction in mind… Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. While Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is a fun attraction, it doesn’t compare to the flagship attraction, Rise of the Resistance. Now, the extremely popular attraction is stuck in the middle of a lawsuit with a former Universal executive claiming Disney stole a ride idea.

rise of the resistance stormtroopers
Credit: Disney

Disney describes the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction as “An Attraction on a Scale That Is Impressive, Most Impressive”:

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at the Disneyland Resort… or anywhere else in the galaxy! The Resistance needs your help! Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission. With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of the Resistance, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When your transport is captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers—and even Kylo Ren!—you’re going to need all the help you can get. Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters—including Rey and BB-8—is at the ready to give you a fighting chance to escape… and a chance for the Resistance to rise.

AT-AT in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Credit: Disney

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The attraction truly is most impressive indeed with several favorite moments. Maybe you enjoy seeing the massive AT-ATs as much as we do. Or how incredible is the moment when Kylo Ren‘s red lightsaber breaks through the ceiling? There are SO many impressive parts to the one-of-a-kind attraction. But, one of the BEST parts is under question.

That’s right, remember the moment in the ride when you enter an escape pod near the end of the attraction? You lock-in and DROP into space as you head back to land for safety. According to a former Universal executive, Disney stole this idea from him.

stormtroopers rise of the resistance
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

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According to a report from FloridaPolitics the former Universal executive’s company, called Raven Sun Creative, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for patent infringement in the U.S. District Court’s Orlando Division. Louis Alfieri is the Chief Creative Officer for the New York-based company and is known as a former Universal creative director behind the popular Universal Orland Resort coaster, Rip Ride Rockit. The report continues with:

“In the lawsuit, Raven Sun Creative says it has a patent for technology that coordinates a vertical-moving rider trolley with videos on a screen, so theme Park riders feel like they are really moving in the environment they see on the screen. The movement on the tower is synced with the video screen and the seat’s movements, making the theme Park ride experience feel more immersive and real. But the lawsuit alleges Disney used that same technology in the Rise of Resistance scene when theme park-goers feel like they are jettisoning out of an escape pod during the ride’s controlled drop finale.”

Stormtroopers in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Credit: Disney

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Raven Sun Creative reached out to Disney Imagineers developing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in 2014. They went as far as submitting a detailed proposal for the technology. The lawsuit shows that Disney was not interested in the proposal. Then in March 2020, Raven Sun Creative reached back out to Disney informing them that the attraction Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was infringing on the Raven Sun Creative’s patent. Months later in November 2020, Disney informed Raven Sun Creative it wouldn’t pay for its “continued infringement of the ’028 Patent”. This leads us to now… Raven Sun Creative suing Disney.

Is it a coincidence that Raven Sun Creative and Disney came up with the same ride invention? Or does Raven Sun Creative have a valid lawsuit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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