Hoppin' news, space travelers! Starting Sept. 23, Disney World will pause the use of a virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios may experience this incredible attraction using a traditional standby queue for the first time since it opened in 2019. Boarding Groups may return to Rise of the Resistance at a later date, or from time to time as needed during peak times.
When Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge first opened, it was the first time frogs could live their own adventure in a galaxy far, far away. This heavily themed land makes you truly feel like you are on another planet! That immersion took on a whole other level with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. With a 20-minute experience and incredible technology, this ride is a game-changer. Not only is the attraction itself one of the most technologically advanced that Disney has ever created (utilizing FOUR different ride systems!), but Disney also initially introduced a virtual queue to manage demand.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney World was the first attraction to require a Boarding Group, but other attractions have picked up virtual queues. The latest? Remy's Ratatouille Adventure over at EPCOT! The Boarding Group system is subject to change and has been modified a few times since the park reopened. As of Sept. 23, 2021, Boarding Groups will be paused for Rise of the Resistance. That means for the first time since the ride opened in 2019, a standby line will be in operation! However, during peak times, Boarding Groups may return, so keep this information handy just in case you need it during your time on Batuu. And stay tuned — Josh D'Amaro, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman, shared with D23 that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be accessible via the all-new Lightning Lane, the paid FastPass+ replacement system.
The best way to determine whether or not Boarding Groups are in use on any given day is using the My Disney Experience app. Now, it's important to set expectations at the outset when Boarding Groups are in use. Because it's such a popular attraction, there is still a chance you may not get a Boarding Group. That said, we want to give you your best chance of success. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Rise of the Resistance, including how to join a Boarding Group when they're in use. Grab your lightsaber!
A Complete Guide to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
This immersive attraction is located in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You're placed in the heart of the action as the Resistance needs your help with a secret mission! Join fellow recruits on a thrilling mission against the First Order as you try to escape the Star Destroyer. You'll see some familiar faces from the films, including Rey and Kylo Ren. With interactive cast members and an incredible trackless system, this experience is truly out-of-this-world. If you're OK with spoilers before you ride, you can check out the full queue and pre-show in the video Tad shot below!
When Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is operating normally with a standby queue, you can hop into the line like you would any other attraction. With the popularity of this ride, expect long waits, as many guests will have the first chance to experience this ride now that standby is available.
Experiencing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance with a Virtual Queue
There may be times where a virtual queue is utilized for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. During these select times, only those who join the virtual queue and receive a Boarding Group may access the attraction. No standby queue will be available. Once Disney Genie is available, a paid option will be available to experience the attraction without joining the virtual queue.
Before You Arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
When Boarding Groups are in use, in order to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you’ll need the My Disney Experience app as part of the virtual queue. We recommend downloading the app from your smartphone’s app store the night before so you can have it ready to go first thing in the morning. If you already have the app, update it to the latest version. You don’t want to lose any precious time before the virtual queue opens at 7 a.m.! (Pssst — check out our full guide to using My Disney Experience for even more tips and tricks!)
It’s also very important to add your entire party to your Family and Friends list within the app so that everyone can join the Boarding Group at the same time. Each member of your party must have a My Disney Experience account and be linked in your Family and Friends list, or be a guest (such as small children) that you already manage on your account. Only guests with valid admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation for Hollywood Studios are able to access the virtual queue system at 7 a.m. on the day of their reservation.
If you don't get a Boarding Group at 7 a.m., you'll still have a second chance at 1 p.m. Guests must be inside Hollywood Studios to access this second opportunity, which is subject to availability and not guaranteed. Park hoppers will not be able to join the virtual queue, as park hopping hours begin at 2 p.m.
What Is a Boarding Group and How to Join to Ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
A Boarding Group was previously the only way to access Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney World. Unlike a FastPass+ return time, once you've joined a Boarding Group, you’ll be assigned a Boarding Group number. These Boarding Group numbers are then notified in chronological order when it’s time to return to the attraction and enter the queue. You may get an estimated time wait time (such as 20 minutes or 210 minutes) but otherwise, the time depends on how quickly the ride can accommodate the Boarding Groups before you.
In order to join the virtual queue, you'll need to access the My Disney Experience app at either 7 a.m. (any location) or 1 p.m. (inside the park). On the homepage of the app, there will be a section named “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance - Request Access with Virtual Queue.” Click on the Join button. This is where you and your selected friends and family members can join a Boarding Group. Thanks to recent app changes, you can confirm your party BEFORE 7 a.m. as opposed to being part of the Boarding Group sign-up process. For the 1 p.m. distribution, only those who have entered the park will be selected. You'll want to confirm quickly and use your speedy fingers to click through the screens. There are no limits to the number of people who can join a Boarding Group.
Boarding Groups can fill up within the first few seconds, so you should be ready on your phone before the clock strikes the hour. Our best tip is to open the app right around 6:58 a.m. (or 12:58 p.m.). About a minute before the hour, pull down on the screen to refresh and a blue Join button should appear.
Disney recommends selecting one member of your party to access the virtual queue. If multiple people try simultaneously, that may complicate your ability to secure a Boarding Group. We personally have tried using different My Disney Experience accounts on different phones at the same time to increase the chances. There aren't any penalties that we've experienced, and usually, after the first person secures the Boarding Group, the second person will stop trying. But we wouldn't recommend using the same account on different phones so you don't risk any issues.
Disney is still implementing backup Boarding Groups. Once the initial Boarding Groups have been filled, you may be notified that you are joining a backup group (this cut-off Boarding Group number changes daily). These backup groups will only be called if all of the initially planned groups have been called and there is the capacity for additional riders. Joining these backup groups does not guarantee access to the ride. A push notification will be sent through the app if your backup group is called.
You’ve Joined a Boarding Group! What Happens Now?
Congratulations! Now that you’ve successfully joined a Boarding Group, you can get ready for the rest of your day. If you still want to head to the park early, we'd suggest taking advantage of any rides with low wait times or making a beeline toward your next priority ride (Slinky Dog, anyone?).
Once you're in the park, you can keep track of your Boarding Group's status through the My Disney Experience app. Be sure to turn your push notifications on so that you’ll receive a notification when your Boarding Group is called! There are also digital boards that display exactly which groups are boarding throughout the park. Once it’s your Boarding Group’s turn, you'll be assigned a one-hour window to return to the attraction’s entrance and check-in with the cast members to enter the queue. Cast members will have to scan your MagicBand or park ticket card, so have those ready to go!
If your Boarding Group is a higher number and isn’t expected to be called until later in the day, you may leave the park and return to your hotel to swim in those luxurious heated pools or take a nap. But keep in mind that you'll only have an hour to return once your Boarding Group is called! We suggest staying inside the park so you don't run the risk of missing your arrival window.
If the ride happens to shut down in order to work out some kinks, there is a chance you could experience a delay. Boarding Groups will stop being called, and entry into the queue will be closed if you're not already in line. Once the ride is up and running again, the order of Boarding Groups will pick up where it was left off. Your return window will be extended if a delay causes you to miss your expiration time, but still keep a close eye on which Boarding Groups are allowed entry.
With the possibility of ride delays, joining a Boarding Group does not guarantee that you'll be able to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Other Tips About the Virtual Queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- If the virtual queue is operating and you have a DAS card, you’ll still need to secure a spot in a Boarding Group first. Once your Boarding Group is called, you’ll show your DAS card to the cast members, who will direct you to the FastPass+ line.
- Similarly, you'll need to enter the virtual queue if you wish to use the Rider Switch service, which is available. When your Boarding Group is called, scan in at the ride entrance and look for a Resistance cast member in a brown vest near the queue for further assistance.
- Each guest cannot get more than one virtual boarding pass for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance per day.
- We've found that turning off Disney's Wi-Fi and using our cellular data works best, along with our speedy fingers, if you wish to get a Boarding Group at the second distribution time. Also, try to find a less crowded spot in the park where there aren't many others around you. If you're off property at 7 a.m., just make sure you have a good signal wherever you are! Move to an area that gives you the most bars.
- In the morning, set an alarm on your phone for 6:55 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. so you don't froget later in the day! We even suggest multiple alarms to remind you, so you can avoid being on a ride when it's time to join a Boarding Group. While you wait, you can confirm your party before the virtual queue opens.
- Likewise, if you're visiting with more than one person, we've heard of families designating one person as the "timekeeper" and one as the "pass getter." The timekeeper will watch the world clock on their phone to be able to give the heads up about a minute before the queue opens to the designated pass getter. The pass getter should then refresh that first page repeatedly until the "join" button turns blue — then tap it!
- Move quickly if you do get past the first "Join" page! Stay speedy as you select your group (which should be automatically selected based on who has a Disney Park Pass to Disney's Hollywood Studios in your party that day). Outside of skimming to select your party, as others in the Frog Pond will tell you, don't waste any precious time reading the text in each step.
- Try not to be discouraged if you don't get a Boarding Group at 7 a.m., as you can try again later! Follow the same steps to prepare for the 1 p.m. distribution time. There is always a chance you won't get able to obtain a Boarding Group. We recommend setting expectations before you go to the park and not let the disappointment ruin the rest of your day.
- Be sure to have your push notifications on and keep an eye on the app, as you only have a one-hour return window and may need to jump to the queue quickly.
- If you find that your ride return time may overlap with a dining or experience reservation, visit a Guest Relations member (generally under blue umbrellas) and they'll be hoppy to help.
Are you ready to join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney World? Do you have any other questions about the virtual queue system? Share in the comments below.