Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the latest attraction at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Due to the popularity of the attraction, the typical queue and line is different from other attractions. In this post we’ll cover the best way to be able to ride Rise of the Resistance, including strategy and different tips. There are no spoilers in this post for the actual ride.
In order to accommodate guests without having a seemingly endless standby line, Rise of the Resistance operates with a virtual queue. The virtual queue allows guests to go about their regular park day until they are called back to then wait a moderate amount of time (15-30 minutes) in the actual queue before riding the attraction. Essentially, guests are waiting in line virtually for Rise of the Resistance while (umm…) waiting in a physical line at other attractions.
Getting a spot in that virtual queue is fairly simple. Every morning the queue opens at the scheduled park opening hour and anyone who is inside of the park logs on to the app (My Disney Experience at Disney World, the Disneyland app at DL) and then can easily follow the prompts to board the virtual queue. All you have to do is push the ‘Join Boarding Group’ button inside of the Rise of the Resistance portion of the app.
There are certainly tricks to all of this, and we’ll get into them shortly, but that is the gist of what happens. Be in the park before opening time, have all of your group’s tickets linked within the app and as soon as the clock turns from :59 to :00 (whatever the actual opening time is will vary) get in the Rise of the Resistance portion and join a boarding group. For what it’s worth, Disneyland has been going with 8 and 9 AM openings while Hollywood Studios has moved to 7 AM openings since the ride has debuted.
Now that we’re through the basics of how the queue system works, I’m going to get into some of the strategy and popular questions that come with the virtual queue. If I leave off any questions you might have, please let us know in the comments below.
Linking Your Tickets
A key step in entering the virtual queue and joining a boarding group is having all of your group’s tickets linked together. At WDW, this isn’t much of a problem thanks to My Disney Experience and the likelihood that you’ve already gotten FastPasses with your group together. If you haven’t linked your group together then just follow the email prompts to add friends and family within the app. We advise that you do this the night before going on Rise of the Resistance, as the morning can be a little chaotic.
Disneyland is a little trickier. If you’re in a group that bought their tickets all together then you shouldn’t have much problem being linked. But if you’re meeting up with others then the app will likely not have everything in one place. It’s an easy fix though. Go into the Disneyland App and hit the the horizontal bars on the bottom right corner. That should get you to this screen:
You might not have Rex at the top of yours and I’m guessing you won’t have my name, but coincidences do happen. From there, hit the Tickets and Passes button that I circled above. After that, you’ll come to this screen.
Enjoy my scribbles? On that page, you’ll hit the plus button that I circled in the top right. The app will ask what you want to do after hitting that button and you just click on link tickets. Then you can just scan your entire group’s tickets and all be connected. It’s a fairly simple process. Have everyone with a phone scan everyone’s tickets. We’ll get into why a little bit later.
Entering the Virtual Queue
After all of the tickets are linked, you’re all set for the big moment. We recommend being at the park gates, no matter if it’s Disneyland or Hollywood Studios, at least half an hour before park opening. If you’re traveling with a bigger group or kids then shooting for an hour early is a good way to go. The parks are typically letting people inside about 45 minutes before the actual opening. None of the attractions will open until the listed park opening (although it could open a few minutes early) nor will the virtual queue (this won’t open a few minutes early) but guests will be able to get inside and be held near the park icon. The main idea here is that you want to be there early enough to where getting inside of the park before the listed opening time isn’t an issue.
Once inside the park, we recommend getting to a spot away from masses of people and with good cell service. At Disneyland, they’ve been opening the park about 10 minutes early every day so people can disperse into other areas. We always walked back to Galaxy’s Edge and sat by the Falcon, waiting for the clock to turn over to a new hour. This worked perfectly each time. I don’t recommend getting in line for a ride if your focus is on riding Rise of the Resistance. Take whatever extra time the park is open to find a spot with few people and good cell service.
That brings us to the waiting game. Find a spot to sit (or pace if you’re really nervous) and open up the app once you get to the :59 of the hour. Or do it earlier if you worry like I do. The second the clock rolls over into the new hour, hit the Rise of the Resistance info button.
Then you push Join Boarding Group on this screen:
The app will then ask who you want in your party. Confirm those you want in there and then quickly finish up. Once in a while the Join Boarding Group button will not flash right at the turn of the hour. This is essentially an app malfunction and you should quickly go in and out of the page until it does turn on. I hope that doesn’t happen though and it shouldn’t if you come into the main page right at the turn of the hour, not before. Once done with all of this (it should take maybe 10-20 seconds) you’ll be given your boarding group.
Honestly, I wish there was more advice to give. All there is to it is to have very fast thumbs and be prepared. Rewarding people for pushing buttons quickly instead of how early they showed up to the park is questionable (and not a topic that we’ll cover in this post) but that’s where we’re currently at. Conceivably someone could stroll into the park 5 minutes before opening and get a better boarding group than someone who’d been waiting for 5 hours. All that matters is that little app and how fast you are inside of it.
Should only one person in my group try to get into the virtual queue?
Absolutely not. Again, have everyone link everyone’s tickets to their accounts. Then when the clock strikes opening time everyone who has a phone should be trying to get your group in. The app will take whoever is the fastest out of your group. Essentially, this just gives you more chances to get into a boarding group instead of relying on one person with one (sometimes faulty) app.
I got a boarding group. What now?
Go have fun! Once you’ve secured your spot in the virtual queue then there is nothing left to do in terms of Rise of the Resistance except ride it. Guests can go anywhere and they will call you back when it’s your boarding group’s time to go on the attraction. Once your boarding group is called, there will typically be a 2 hour window in which you can return. If you secure a boarding group before 30 then we suggest sticking around Disneyland or Hollywood Studios and doing attractions in that park, as it shouldn’t be too long of a wait before the group is called. If it’s later than that then you have plenty of time to go over to California Adventure or back to the hotel, assuming you’re staying close by. If at Disney World, then going over to Epcot is an easy way to go. Turn on the app notifications, you’ll get a text when your boarding group is called, and you’re all set.
How many boarding groups are called daily?
This really just depends on the day. Typically there are at least 100 called a day but, as with any new ride, things come up and there will be some unexpected (as I’m telling you to expect it) downtime. If you secure a group before 100 then you should be safe to ride Rise of the Resistance sometime that day. If not, then it becomes more of a toss up. Unfortunately, there isn’t much good news if you are one of those backup boarding groups over 100. There isn’t anything you can do to speed up the process, just hope that the attraction has a good day.
I guess the one bright side is that the attraction is the only part of Galaxy’s Edge, or the whole park, that utilizes the virtual queue. Even if you don’t secure a spot in a boarding group then you can go into the land and enjoy everything else the park has to offer.
We’ll run through a few other quick notes! Extra Magic Hours (or whatever they’re called at Disneyland) do not apply to the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue. The queue opens at official opening time and that’s that.
If you are planning on getting a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance and also plan on using resort parking, I would advise that you get to the parking structure or Toy Story lot more than an hour before park open. On a Sunday, Michaela (WID Editor), got to the Mickey and Friends parking structure 50 minutes before Disneyland opened, and she did not make it into the park in time to get a boarding pass.
Long lines for paying for parking, long lines for security and long lines for getting onto the tram (or bus) that takes you to the esplanade makes for a pretty long travel time. This will especially be true on the weekends. Walking to the park from your hotel is a much lower-stress alternative if it is close enough.
If you have the choice, try to do Rise of the Resistance on a weekday regardless of if you’re at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Weekends are simply more crowded and it’s much easier Monday-Friday.
There is absolutely no standby line for the attraction. The virtual queue is the only way to get onto the ride and there is no chance that you can just walk up and board the attraction. That is why we don’t recommend getting there 2 or 3 hours early in the morning. There is no benefit to this unless you’re rope dropping other attractions. As I said, it’s all up to your (hopefully) fast thumbs!
Do you have any other questions about the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue system? Let us know in the comments below! Planning a trip to a Disney Resort? Check out our planning guides to help you along the way. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Vacation Tips