Take cover! Laser blasts from platoons of heavily-armed Stormtroopers ricochet around the belly of the First Order Star Destroyer, drowning out the maniacal beeps and trills of an R5-series astromech droid, as we slalom between the legs of two stationary AT-AT walkers standing over 20 metres tall.

Tiny hairs on the back of my neck prickle with nostalgic glee as John Williams' orchestral score swells and our eight-person troop transporter, which has been hacked by members of the Resistance to facilitate a breathless escape, pirouettes and reverses at dizzying speed.

If bigger is better, then Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is the best single attraction in any Disney resort around the world. California will proudly share that honour when the ride opens at Disneyland on January 17.

With a pulse-quickening flight time of 15 to 20 minutes, which relies on a steady flow of Padawans through the ride's various elements, this ground-breaking centrepiece of the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge park conjures a perfect storm of technical virtuosity and interactive storytelling.

In 2017, Pandora - The World Of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom raised the bar on daring creativity to fully immerse visitors in the bioluminescent home of the indigenous cyan-skinned Na'vi tribe.

Rise Of The Resistance vaults comfortably over that bar (with enough room to spare for a low-flying X-wing starfighter) as the most technologically-advanced and ambitious spectacle of its kind, using multiple ride systems to realise a fierce battle between the Resistance and First Order on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on planet Batuu.

The ride's lengthy queue snakes through a network of weather-worn and hand-chiselled stone caves, which seem to burrow into the heart of the planet and reverberate with garbled Resistance communications. Interactive elements, accessed via the free Disney Play app, set in motion the tautly-paced story line enriched with ingenious design elements.

Impact holes appear in walls and ceilings in real time as Stormtroopers discharge their weapons, a roar of cold air threatens to suck us out of the troop transporter and into space when the hull of the Star Destroyer is breached, and a giant mirror, cleverly positioned on the rear wall of the AT-AT hangar bay, creates the illusion of rows of hulking death machines just out of view. Attention to detail is astonishing.

Set in the aftermath of the Battle of Crait, where the Resistance and First Order traded cannon blasts and lightsaber blows on plains of salt-encrusted blood red soil in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, the stupendous new ride provides a narrative bridge to the concluding instalment of the cinematic saga, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker, released on December 19.

An impressively clear holo-transmission of Daisy Ridley as Luke Skywalker's Jedi protegee Rey appears in a makeshift briefing room to relay orders with technical assistance from mechanised scene-stealer BB-8.

She confides that a First Order Star Destroyer is en route to Batuu and all rebels should head to General Leia Organa's hideout. "It is vital that you keep the location of the Bakura base secret," insists Rey, then adds stirringly, "Welcome to the cause, may the Force be with us!"

The doors to the briefing room open with a deeply satisfying whoosh to reveal an Intersystem Transport Ship, which will be piloted by Resistance officer Lieutenant Bek under armed escort. Nearby, a full-size black- and gold-liveried X-wing starfighter awaits Poe Dameron to lead the guard of honour.

Time is of the essence and we shuffle expectantly into the escape craft, staring out of windows positioned on the bow and stern at a digital panorama of planet Batuu, which disappears as the craft tilts and pitches in a similar fashion to the Star Tours motion simulator flight.

One of the running jokes of the Star Wars saga - "I have a bad feeling about this..." - tumbles from the perfectly-synced lips of the animatronic Lieutenant Bek at the helm. His gloomy prediction rings true when an intended jump to lightspeed is interrupted by swarms of First Order craft. Their cannon fire causes the transport ship to shudder and groan. "Where are all those TIE fighters coming from?" barks Bek. On cue, a hulking Star Destroyer locks onto our position with a tractor beam and pulls our merry band of Resistance fugitives inside a docking bay.

"By whose authority are we being detained?" demands Lieutenant Bek. The instantly-recognisable image of Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux fixes us with a steely glare as he flickers on the transport ship's monitors. "By the authority of the First Order, Resistance scum!" he sneers. "Now bring down your shields and prepare to be boarded."

How to get there

Virgin Holidays (virginholidays.com; 0344 557 3859) offers seven nights in Walt Disney World, including flights from London Gatwick to Orlando with room-only accommodation at Disney's All Star Sports Resort, from £1,024 per person, based on two adults and two children aged 3-9 sharing. Price includes park tickets and car hire.