What if I told you there was a ride that really makes you feel like you're in a "Star Wars" movie? You can find this ride far, far away at the edge of the galaxy. The good news is that it's not really that far because it's at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland. The adventure begins in a Resistance hiding spot deep in the forest and caves on the planet of Batuu.
Now that the virtual queue has ended (for now), you'll need some tips for riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland without waiting in a long line. We have updated strategies to get you to the secret base.
If you're a "Star Wars" fan, you don't want to miss this immersive ride! Even if you're not a huge "Star Wars" fan, your mind will be blown. Popularity comes at a cost, and that cost is a long wait time. But we can help you find the shortest wait of the day! Here are our tips for skipping the lines for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland.
How to Find the Shortest Wait for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland
Before we get started, we need to say that this very complicated ride — utilizing four different ride systems — is highly volatile (not unlike the First Order), and it can break down. We call this ride the plan wrecker because it's so unpredictable and can really disrupt the Force (or our carefully laid-out plans for the day). But it's toadally worth the effort it takes to ride it. You just have to roll with it.
So listen up, recruits! You'll want to be as flexible as possible and be ready to act if things don't go as planned. Keep ALL these options in mind just in case your first method of choice does not work out. May the Force be with you always.
Hop in Line at Park Opening
One of the shortest wait times of the day is when the ride first opens, but you will need to follow orders to do this properly.
Arrive at Disneyland turnstiles at least 30 minutes before park opening (you'll have better luck if you are there an hour early and are one of the first people in the park). At the Hub, join the crowd forming near the Frontierland entrance ropes. Follow the instructions of your cast member leaders. At rope drop, they will send all recruits to the ride. It's usually through the Frontierland entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. You are not supposed to run but people definitely run (be careful if the ground is wet).
Trust us ... if you head through Adventure Land, over the Pirates bridge to the (now open) Critter Country entrance, you need to be at the front of the crowd and very fast. Why? Since most people head through Frontierland, if a growing line extends outside the ride, you'll have to pass the ride entrance and search for the end of the line that extends towards Droid Depot. Actual details are subject to change, but be sure to follow the cast members and you will be fine.
So here's the potential issue with the rope-drop plan: Sometimes the ride does not open right away. That happened to us. We rushed all the way to the ride to find out that it was not open, and they were not letting us get in line. Boo! We love the first hour of park opening when we can ride multiple other rides during the least crowded time of the day. We don't want to waste that time waiting for one ride to open up. That's why we prefer the next tip, riding at the end of the ride's opening hours.
Hop in Line Just Before the Ride Closes for the Day
Are you arriving late or staying until the evening? Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland has shorter hours than most other Disneyland attractions. Check the app or Disneyland site for the hours on the day of your visit. Let's say the ride closes at 8 p.m. Then hop in line just before 8 p.m. We tried it on a Sunday night at holiday time. The app said the ride closed at 8 p.m. and had a 60-minute wait. We hopped in line at 7:43 p.m. and were at the door for the first pre-show experience 17 minutes later at 8 p.m. We exited the ride at 8:22 p.m. so our combined wait time and ride experience came in under 40 minutes, which is significantly less than the posted wait time of 60 minutes to ride.
What can go wrong with this plan? The ride could break down at the end and you lose your chance to ride it. Something else in the park could delay you from making it in time, so if you go this route, give yourself a safe window of time to get there in the last hour.
On a Saturday night when the ride closed at 9 p.m., we hopped in line at 8:42, waited 30 minutes and just as we were about to board, the ride went down. No ride for us, as they cleared the line and the ride did not reopen (being after hours). But we did get a multiple experiences pass, so we rode Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run instead. But this is why we only recommend the end-of-the-night plan for guests who have already ridden Rise of the Resistance.
Look for Surprise Extended Hours
A couple of nights when we visited, we got surprised by extended hours. Earlier in the evening, the ride was listed as closing at 8 p.m. We checked the Disneyland app at 8:01 p.m. to see if the ride was listed as closed, and it turns out the app showed that the ride was open until 9 p.m. We asked a cast member who told us the closing time can get extended. Don't count on that, but if you missed riding the ride during the day and think it's closed, it's worth checking again. Or maybe you want to ride a second time. You might get lucky! And since other people aren't planning on riding that late, the line should be manageable.
What can go wrong with this plan? Obviously, the ride closes at its expected time. Do not count on the ride staying open later. But if it does, seize the opportunity to ride with a short wait.
Hop in Line Just After the Ride Reopens After a Closure
Since Rise is subject to breakdowns, some people will leave the line when the ride breaks down, shortening the wait for others once it comes back up. You never know when it will come up, but being down for an hour is common. If you hoppen to be in the area as the ride reopens, hop in line.
This is harder to predict, of course. Also, there could be a surge of people accessing the Lightning Lane, which can slow down the movement of the standby line. Keep in mind that wait times can be inflated. Our actual waits have usually been less than the posted wait time. However, a breakdown while you are in line can change that. Recently, even with a breakdown, our wait was shorter than posted, but that may be due to a lot of people ahead of us leaving the line.
Here's how to assess the line. If the line is not visible from the outside and mostly in the building, the line is pretty short. Even if it is weaving outside but still contained in the official outside queue area, it's manageable. But if the line leaves the official queue area and extends down the path toward Critter Country, it's likely more time than you want to spend waiting. Use a different strategy.
Buy Your Way In
Here is the newest way to skip the line, but it will cost you. You can purchase an individual Lightning Lane (LL) selection for Rise of the Resistance in the Disneyland app. It's usually $20 per person. You'll receive a one-hour window during which you can use the Lightning Lane to skip the standby line. You can read up on individual Lightning Lanes in our guide to Genie+ at Disneyland.
What could go wrong? As you may have guessed, this ride could break down in your reservation window. So what hoppens? If the ride breaks down and you aren't able to use your Lightning Lane selection as scheduled, you'll see a change to your plan in the app. The time constrictions get lifted and you can use your individual Lighting Lane selection any time that day until the ride closes for the night. That part is convenient. If you get a breakdown and are unable to ride before you need to leave the park that day, your unused individual Lighting Lane reservations will be automatically refunded to your credit card in two to five days.
When you get a breakdown for an individual Lightning Lane, it also seems to lift the limitation of purchasing only two individual Lightning Lane selections per person per day, allowing you to purchase a third ride if you wanted to. So if you were looking to purchase the other two rides in Disney California Adventure, you can purchase both of them instead of just one of them. Without a breakdown, you would have to choose just one of them to buy.
Other Potential Ways to Access the Line
There are a few ways to access the line that apply to limited guests or may apply temporarily.
Disability Access Service (DAS)
If you have someone in your group who has disabilities that prevent them from waiting in a standard queue, you may qualify to use the Disneyland Disability Access Service. Our DAS post has all the details on how to sign up. If you use DAS, you can get a return time for Rise of the Resistance. You will still wait to ride, but you can wait in an alternate location. Your return time does not expire until the ride closes for the day or you use it, whichever comes first. This ride can only be reserved once you have entered the park that day. It is not an available choice for DAS Advance (two rides you may reserve before you arrive).
Virtual Queues (Not currently in use)
As of Nov. 22, 2021, Disneyland started testing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland without a virtual queue. During this testing period, Disneyland may implement a virtual queue as needed. Check the Disneyland app for ride wait times or news about the virtual queue on the day of your visit. Since the virtual queues ended at Disneyland, we have not seen them reinstated, even during the busy holiday season, so you don't need to worry about them at this time. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, which is the newest ride at Disney California Adventure, is also testing a standby line.
Even though virtual queues are not in use, we are going to leave the old information right here for a froggy minute just in case they do return. For the time being, you can pretty much ignore this outdated information. Chances are that even if Boarding Groups are reinstated, the process will differ from what it was before, so don't spend too much time worrying about them. We will jump to it and update this information if a new transmission appears.
You can see on the home page of the Disneyland app that a Virtual Queues box appeared. It states that a virtual queue may be used from time to time. There are two rides that may offer a virtual queue. Disney California Adventure had a virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. Don't let that confuse you. The Join Virtual Queue button in the Virtual Queue box on the app home screen is where you want to be to access all of the virtual queues, should they return. When you tap that button, you'll see Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance appear under Disneyland Park.
I like to think we had pretty much mastered joining the virtual queue (also called a Boarding Group) for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland in the few short weeks that the ride was open in 2020. But then COVID-19 happened, and the ride and both Disneyland theme parks were closed for more than a year. After Disneyland reopened, there was a disturbance in the Force, with new changes to the process, leaving us as padawans once more in training. The changes were positive, however, with a second opportunity to join each day and the ability to confirm your party before it's time to join.
Park hoppers who start their day at Disney California Adventure Park also have an opportunity to join the second virtual queue each day. (At Disney World, both joining opportunities are reserved only for people with Disney’s Hollywood Studios reservations that day.) Disneyland's two theme park entrances make park hopping a quick and easy process, so this difference makes toadal sense to us. Let’s go over how to join a virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
How to Join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland (Only If Virtual Queues Return)
Time is of the essence! Boarding Groups are distributed in seconds. I’m not trying to send your anxiety into hyperdrive, but am trying to set reasonable expectations. Even with the park at full capacity, demand is high and seats are limited. Yes, the ride is that good. To allow as many people as possible to ride, guests are allowed to join one Boarding Group per day.
You’ll need to be as prepared as possible and ready to go when the window opens. We will go over how to prepare, how to join and what to do if you are lucky enough to score a Boarding Group.
When Can I Join a Virtual Queue?
You will only be able to join a virtual queue if you have valid admission and a Disneyland Theme Park Reservation that day, linked in the Disneyland app. Guests now have two opportunities per day to join a virtual queue at Disneyland (morning and afternoon):
- 7 a.m. PT — Before park opening for people with reservations to start their day at Disneyland. You do not need to be scanned into a park or on Disneyland property, but you do need a ticket and a reservation.
- 12 p.m. PT — You must be scanned into either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park (if you have a park hopper).
In order to give as many guests as possible the opportunity to join the Resistance, each guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day. So if you luck out in the morning and join a Boarding Group, you cannot try again for the afternoon. (You can, however, try to join the virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at noon if you have a park hopper.)
One hour before these enrollment times, a new button appears. You can tap Confirm Your Party to select or remove party members. That way, you do not waste precious time during the boarding process or encounter unknown problems when you only have seconds to act.
The Disneyland app has a new Virtual Queues menu with a "Join Virtual Queue" button. When you tap it, you'll be taken to a screen that has the theme parks at the top. The app defaults to Disneyland and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. But if you were trying for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, you would have to tap Disney California Adventure. You can read more about that in my post on Disneyland virtual queues.
Prepared, You Must Be (Advance Planning Tips)
If Master Yoda were with us, I’m sure this would be his advice. You’ll need to prepare. The attraction’s virtual queue is only accessible via the Disneyland mobile app. Make sure you have a valid park ticket and theme park reservation for Disneyland Park to access the virtual queue system on the morning of the day of your park reservation. You will get this before entering the park.
For the later opportunity, you must also have a valid Disneyland ticket and theme park reservation, but you must have entered Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park (with a Park Hopper ticket) by the second enrollment time. Guests beginning their day at Disney California Adventure Park may then enter Disneyland Park with their Park Hopper ticket after 1 p.m. for their Boarding Group.
Here are some tips and guidelines for preparing to join the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance:
- Before you arrive, download the latest update of the Disneyland mobile app.
- Link your entire party's tickets in the app. You may have done this in order to make a park reservation, but you may have other users who need to link. Do it all in advance.
- To link tickets, open the Disneyland app. Tap the three lines on the bottom right corner, tap Tickets and Passes, then tap the + icon and link the ticket of each person in your party.
- You can now link all tickets to one Disney account or to each Disney account in your party.
- Some guests with older tickets may not be able to link until they have entered a theme park and received a new ticket at the turnstile to link. That means they can only attempt the second chance to join a Boarding Group that day. Croak!
- Turn on Notifications — for Apple, open settings, tap Disneyland, tap Notifications and turn on Allow Notifications. For Android, open your settings, tap Apps & Notifications, tap Notifications and turn on Disneyland.
- When it's approaching the time to join the queue, close the app and reopen just to make sure your app has reset.
- Be in a safe space (not driving a car or on another ride at the time) and try not to be in the Disneyland parking structures, which never have a good signal.
- Use a speed-checking app to make sure you have a good signal. Areas vary based on your carrier. Guests in the park may want to turn off Wi-Fi and use data instead.
- Pack phone chargers to bring to the park. You want to stay fully juiced so you don't miss any notifications!
Do or Do Not. There Is No Try.
How to join a virtual queue:
- Set an alarm for five minutes before the reservation window opens so you can prepare.
- Make sure you have a strong phone signal (and are not on the Disneyland Wi-Fi).
- Open the Disneyland app.
- Locate the Disneyland Virtual Queue box on the home screen and tap the Join Virtual Queue button.
- The app will default to the Disneyland Park tab and you'll see Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at the top. Tap Confirm Your Party.
- Make sure your party is correct or tap Change Party to edit.
- Anyone who has a reservation that day and is currently linked to your app should automatically be selected for your party. (For the second opportunity of the day, all party members should have entered a park.)
- Note the new "Refresh" button on the bottom of the screen.
- In the seconds leading up to the eligibility period, repeatedly tap that refresh button.
- You can also refresh the app by dragging your finger down on the screen far enough to see the refresh bar appear (with date and time).
- You can have someone else in the party pull up a world clock and count down the last five seconds, so you can start repeatedly refreshing the app a few seconds before enrollment time. As soon as the blue "Join Virtual Queue" button appears, tap it.
- After you tap Refresh, hopfully you'll see your Group number!
- For the second enrollment period of the day, you'll need to make sure all tickets have been scanned at the park entrance or it will not go through.
- You'll confirm and receive updates.
- You can have multiple people attempt to get a Boarding Pass for the group, but once the first person secures a Boarding Group, the other people trying will get error messages. If the tickets are only linked to one account, you can have multiple party members try to join. But as soon as one person gets in, everyone else should stop trying. Disneyland does not have a Friends and Family list to link your entire party like Disney World. A cast member has recommended that only one person attempt to join, but we have also had success with more than one person attempting to join. You never know who has the fastest signal!
The Force Is with You!
You were successful on your mission to obtain a Boarding Group! Hip, hop, hooray! Here's what you need to know:
- Admission to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is subject to capacity. Being assigned to a Boarding Group does not guarantee entrance to the attraction.
- Guests may be assigned a "Backup" Boarding Group. These are called only if all other groups are called and there is extra capacity for additional guests. The number can vary based on the day.
- Boarding Groups above a certain number may receive a push notification in the afternoon or evening that tells them that they will not be boarding. The Boarding Groups move at different rates each day, and we expect each day to be a little different to account for breakdowns and varying park hours. We recently received notice about 4 p.m. (park closed at 7 p.m.) that our Backup Boarding Group of 138 would not be boarding that day.
- Guests who use Disability Access Service (DAS) must also join a Boarding Group. The DAS users can talk to a cast member at the ride entrance once their group is called. The DAS will be noted on the rider's ticket. Once the cast member confirms you have DAS, they will direct you to a separate queue to scan your Boarding Group codes. The line for people with disabilities joins the standard queue just before the pre-show experience begins.
- If you have a tadpole who cannot ride, ask about Rider Switch at the ride entrance.
- Go enjoy the rest of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure while you wait for your group to be called. You do not have to stay in Disneyland Park while you wait.
- To check your group's status in the app, click Join Virtual Queue on the app's home page. It will tell you which groups are boarding.
- You can also find the status information on signage in the park.
- You can view your party and remove guests from your party in the app.
- A range of Boarding Groups is accepted at a given time. The app may say, "Now Boarding Groups 5-14."
- Boarding Groups receive push notifications when it is time to ride. (But keep checking the status on your own, just in case.)
- When it is time to board, you will receive a boarding pass with a scan code. Read the part that says "Please Return by." Most groups have an hour to return. It can vary, so read it carefully.
- We had Group 6 one day but we did not even get called until 11:49 a.m. How quickly the groups move can vary greatly per day from park opening to several hours later.
Even if your Boarding Group gets called and you're in line, there is no guarantee that you will get to ride. That can be toadally frustrating, but that's the reality as Disneyland works out breakdowns for this ride that has a lot of moving parts. When the ride breaks down, it can take an hour to reset it. But we promise, once you do ride it, it is toadally worth it. If the ride breaks down while you're in line, you may receive a Multiple Experiences pass that allows you the choice of coming back to ride Rise of the Resistance later, or you can choose from a list of other rides such as Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Yes, Boarding Groups usually do fill quickly — in seconds — so you need to be ready to go. The slightest hesitation or error can mean you cannot get a Boarding Group. If you're not lucky, go make the best of your day at Disneyland. But if you do acquire a Boarding Group, you are free to enjoy your day without standing in a long line. With reduced time indoors, your wait when you arrive will be primarily outside the building.
If you have a very high backup group number, you are not likely to ride. It's not impossible, but every day is different, so there is no way to know if and when a particular group will be called. If you see a lot of ride breakdowns, like we did on a recent visit when we were in a Backup Boarding Group, you might get a notice that says the ride has reached capacity.
If you're lucky enough to join a Boarding Group at 7 a.m., you are not eligible to join a virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance at noon. Each guest may ride once per day. That gives the most amount of people a chance to experience this exciting ride. But you can try to join the virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure! as long as you have scanned into Rise of the Resistance by noon. When we have a late boarding group for the morning ride, the guests who would prefer to ride the other ride in the afternoon can remove themselves from the first queue and try for the other ride at noon.
If you were unsuccessful at 7 a.m., you can try again at noon. If you are park hopping, you will have a choice to make at noon. You can go for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure! at Disney California Adventure at noon. Remember that the app defaults to Rise of the Resistance, so you will have to select Disney California Adventure Park to access the WEB SLINGERS page and start refreshing the app just before 12 p.m.
*A virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance may be implemented to deliver the best possible guest experience, so guests can enjoy the rest of the park while waiting for their turn to ride. The Disneyland app will have a dedicated module, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Status and Access, available from the main page. Learn more about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the virtual queue experience by visiting Disneyland.com/starwars.
Are you excited to potentially ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Prepare to have your mind blown! You'll want a multi-day ticket for multiple chances to join. Good news! Your favorite froggy friends have discount multi-day Disneyland Resort tickets and hotel bookings to save you some green.