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. Now that Disneyland reopened April 30, 2021, we have been able to board this incredibly rad ride again! But be warned, recruits: There are new changes to the process, leaving us as padawans once more, including capacity limits and a second opportunity to join each day.
The Disneyland virtual queue process differs slightly from Disney's Hollywood Studios' process. The good news is that park hoppers who start their day at Disney California Adventure Park also have an opportunity to join the second Boarding Group 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 Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. May the Force be with us always.
You may have noticed that the home screen in the Disneyland app changed slightly with a new Virtual Queue box. Disneyland tested out another virtual queue — this one for Indiana Jones Adventure. But since capacity increased and physical distancing restrictions were lifted, it has not been in regular use anymore. (If it were to come back at any point, the Indiana Jones virtual queue did not open at 7 a.m., and instead it usually opened between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. We were able to have a Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group and an Indiana Jones Boarding Group at the same time.)
Plus, to further complicate things, Disney California Adventure has a virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. Don't let that confuse you. The Join Boarding Group button in the Virtual Queue box on the app home screen is where you want to be to access all the virtual queues. When you tap that button, you'll see Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance appear under Disneyland Park. We added a screenshot (further below in this guide) of the next page with the two theme parks at the top of the screen.
How to Join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland
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. A clear barrier between rows allows more parties to ride.
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 Boarding Group?
Disneyland recently released some new instructions for joining the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You will only be able to join a Boarding Group 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 Boarding Group 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 property, but you do need a ticket and a reservation.
- 12 p.m. PT — You must be either scanned in to 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.)
The Disneyland app has a new Virtual Queues menu with a "Join Boarding Group" button. We were hopping with anticipation to join on Disneyland's reopening day. The Force was with us and we got group 17! It's so fun to hear the cheers of others who obtain a Boarding Group. But we feel sad for the people who are not as lucky. Hopfully, they had better luck at noon. We have joined at noon and have also had days where we did not get to join at all. It comes down to luck and speed.
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 in 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 may 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.
- Make sure you are in a safe space (not driving a car 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!
- If you have a lot of future tickets in your app and Legacy Passes as well, you might consider opening a new Disney account with a different email address and only linking the day's tickets to it. Use this account just for joining Boarding Groups. While the app usually pulls only the tickets valid that day, we have had friends get errors when their Legacy Pass got selected. So sad!
Do or Do Not. There Is No Try.
How to join a Boarding Group:
- Set an alarm for five minutes before the reservation window opens so you can prepare.
- Open the Disneyland app.
- Locate the Disneyland Virtual Queue box on the home screen and tap Join Boarding Group button.
- The app will default to the Disneyland Park tab and you'll see Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at the top.
- Stay on this screen until exactly 7 a.m. or 12 p.m.
- You can refresh the app by dragging your finger down on the screen far enough to see the refresh bar appear (with date and time).
- 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 seconds before enrollment time. As soon as the blue "Join" button appears, tap Join.
- 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.) You'll want to confirm quickly and use your speedy fingers to click through to tap Join Boarding Group. We go for a rapid-fire tapping of each button. There are no limits to the number of people who can join a Boarding Group normally. The ride vehicle holds eight people.
- If you do not see your whole party, just keep going. You can worry about ticketing issues later at Guest Relations if your whole party isn't selected.
- After you click Join a Boarding Group at the bottom, hopfully you'll see your Boarding 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. Click Join a Boarding Group at the bottom and you'll see your Boarding Group number!
- 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 all of your 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!
- If there are any errors or missing party members, talk to a cast member after you join. You’ll want to secure the reservations and then worry about problems. You do not have even a second to delay.
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. We have seen backup groups be anywhere from 71 to 82 and up.
- 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 any Guest Relations kiosk once their group is called. The closest kiosk to the ride is just inside the tunnel to Galaxy's Edge near Droid Depot. The DAS will be noted on the rider's ticket. Then, the rider will let the cast members at the ride entrance know they have DAS and may enter a separate queue. 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 Boarding Group on the app's home page. It will tell you which groups are boarding.
- You can also find the 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." Signage in the park will also display this information.
- Boarding Groups receive push notifications when it is time to ride. (But be sure to 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." Some groups have an hour to return (especially in the morning and evening). Some groups have two hours. It can vary, so read it carefully. We had Group 17 on Disneyland's reopening day, and we had an hour to return. We received notice about one hour after the park opened. How quickly the groups move can vary greatly per day.
- The Boarding Groups do not always start with Group 1. Sometimes the first group of the day given out is 11, especially if the ride is getting a late start. So do not go too far if you have a low number.
Even if your Boarding Group gets called and you are 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 complicated ride. Did you know the attraction is one of the most technologically advanced that Disney has ever created? It utilizes FOUR different ride systems! 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 are 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 perhaps a choice of other rides, such as another ride that offers FASTPASS or 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 are 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. The first part of the pre-show is unavailable during the Disneyland reopening period.
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 are lucky enough to join a Boarding group at 7 a.m., you are not eligible to join a Boarding Group at noon. Each guest may ride once per day. That gives the most amount of people a chance to experience this exciting ride.
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.