The parks are back open, and so is the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios.
And while most of the process is the same as what it was before the closure, there are a few differences that will hopefully make the entire process easier and, more importantly, safer.
This system is unlike anything else you’ll find at Disney World, but you’ll need to understand how it works if you want to ride.
Here’s what you need to know about the virtual queue and boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance.
UPDATE: Guests with a valid ticket or annual pass and a Disney Park Pass System reservation will now be able to access the virtual queue system via the My Disney Experience app and check for an available boarding group starting at 7 a.m. on the day of their park reservation.
Beginning November 3, 2020, guests wishing to request to join the first round of virtual boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance will no longer have to be inside the park.
Instead, as long as you have a valid Park Pass Reservation for Hollywood Studios, you’ll be able to access the first opportunity from outside the park.
Compared to how things have looked since the opening, this is a huge change – but it just makes sense.
The previous rules requiring guests to be physically inside the park to try for a boarding group meant that there was a huge rush of guests to the gates of Hollywood Studios in the hours before park opening.
But now, what began as an inconvenience in December, has been transformed into a social distancing nightmare in the current times.
This is the second attempt to help spread guest arrival out. When it reopened, Disney announced that instead of 1 “drop” of boarding groups, they would do multiple throughout the day.
And, while that might have helped some, most guests (ourselves included) appeared to be viewing that 2nd drop as a backup opportunity if they failed to snag a boarding group in the first wave. And with downtime frequent, it made sense to maximize your chances of getting a ride by arriving in plenty of time to try for the first group.
But now, for the first drop of the day only, guests will be able to try for a ride without being inside the park.
To help guests plan their days, the first boarding group opportunity will move to 7 a.m. from the previous 10 a.m.
To be clear, there remains a second virtual queue opportunity that will reopen daily at 1 p.m. for those who weren’t able to join a boarding group earlier in the day. But, you must be INSIDE Hollywood Studios to request a 1 p.m. boarding group.
Guests Park Hopping to Hollywood Studios from another park will not be allowed to join the 1 p.m. boarding group.
The only people allowed to try for the 1 p.m. boarding group are guests who have booked their original Park Pass reservation for Hollywood Studios who were unable to secure a boarding group at the 7 a.m. drop.
What you need to know:
Unlike when Rise of the Resistance first opened, guests no longer have to arrive early to snag a virtual queue spot.
With the phased reopening of Walt Disney World due to the current pandemic, the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue is now modified.
Here’s what you need to know:
- To join a boarding group, guests must first have a valid ticket and a Hollywood Studios Park Pass Reservation.
- Depending on availability, guests can request to join the queue at two different times: 7 a.m. (you can request to join from outside the park) or 1 p.m. (you can only join if you are inside the park)
- This means that you no longer have to arrive super early to the park to snag a boarding group!
- At 7 a.m., using the My Disney Experience app, guests with a valid Park Pass Reservation for Hollywood Studios will be able to access the virtual queue system from outside the park to request a boarding group.
- Guests unable to secure a boarding group at the 7 a.m. drop will have the opportunity to try again at 1 p.m. However, to try for a boarding group at 1 p.m., you must be inside Hollywood Studios.
Note: Joining the virtual queue does not guarantee you’ll be able to ride Rise of the Resistance. Guests can only enter the virtual queue only once per day, and available spots are limited.
Step-by-step instructions for the virtual queue & boarding groups at Rise of the Resistance
1. For the 7 a.m. drop, you will be able to request to join from anywhere (as long as you have a valid Park Pass reservation), but for the 1 p.m. plan to arrive at the park in time to be inside of the gates before 1 p.m.
2. We recommend having the app open and ready to go a few minutes before the official time. Boarding groups go fast (within seconds), so you don’t want to waste time clicking around and waiting for the app to open.
3. Boarding groups will not be available until the official queue drop times. Immediately as the clock turns to either 7 a.m. or 1 p.m., follow the instructions to be assigned a boarding group, which then puts you into the virtual queue. Tip: you can have multiple people trying for boarding groups at once. As soon as one person gets in, the app will lock out the others. Using multiple people/phones maximizes your chances and gives you a backup in case something goes wrong.
4. The app should provide you with a push notification to let you know when it is your turn to ride. At that point, you’ll have 1 hour to make your way to Rise of the Resistance. You can always check to see exactly what groups are boarding both in the app as well as on display boards found throughout the park.
5. When it is time to ride, head to Galaxy’s Edge and go directly to Rise of the Resistance. Your tickets or MagicBands will be scanned before you enter the line.
Want to see how fast boarding groups are disappearing?
If you are trying to see just how fast boarding groups are filled, you can do that from anywhere (you don’t have to be in the parks!). This is especially useful in the final days before you plan to go to Hollywood Studios.
Just open the My Disney Experience App, select the menu icon in the lower right-hand corner and then select “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.”
When boarding groups are available, you’ll be able to click the “Join a boarding group” button (of course, if you aren’t actually in the park, it will tell you you can’t join). When boarding groups are full for the day, you won’t be able to click the button, which is the sign that the groups are full for the day.
The virtual queue utilizes boarding groups
This whole virtual queue system is kind of like putting your name on a waitlist at a restaurant – first come, first served.
For Rise of the Resistance, Disney puts people into what they call “boarding groups,” and then they call those groups as the space in the queue allows.
You can’t choose your boarding group number; it is assigned when you join the virtual queue, and you don’t know an exact return time because all that depends on how fast the groups in front of you move and whether or not the attraction itself goes down (which is pretty common right now).
Remember: there are a limited number of boarding groups available, and once they are gone, they are gone.
Backup Boarding Groups
As of December 16, 2019, Disney has begun offering “backup boarding groups.”
Even during the phased reopening of Hollywood Studios, some guests might even be able to join one of these backup groups.
These groups become available after all regular Boarding Groups have been filled.
However, guests with one of these provisional boarding groups will only be allowed onto the attraction if the capacity allows (once all regular boarding groups have completed their ride).
You do not have to be in the park for the first round of boarding groups.
One of the most common questions we’ve received is, “does my entire family have to show up to get into a boarding group?”
And, for the first round of groups, that answer is “no.”
This is a change in how things have been done in the past (where previously everybody that wished to ride had to be in the park). Now, the first round of boarding groups will open up at 7 a.m., and guests with a valid Park Pass reservation will be able to request to join from anywhere.
The second boarding group opportunity (which is at 1 p.m.) is different, however.
In order to request to join a 1 p.m. boarding group you must have scanned your ticket or MagicBand to enter the park.
You can leave and come back
With the new Disney Park Pass System, guests can still leave a theme park and return.
But, keep in mind that the modified virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance only gives you a one-hour return window. This means you have up to one hour from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of the attraction, so keep that in mind.
You can follow along with where Disney is on boarding groups inside the My Disney Experience App, and as long as you have turned on notifications, you’ll get a pop up when it is your turn.
Rider Switch and DAS are available
After you have a boarding group, you can see a Cast Member at the attraction for assistance.
Tips for snagging a Boarding Group
- Test your cell signal. Disney Wi-Fi is notoriously bad and we recommend you use your cell signal instead of relying on the Wi-Fi. But, that means you will definitely need to test your signal before the big day. Depending on your resort, you may need to leave your room and head to someplace more open to get a strong signal.
- Practice. Even though you won’t actually try for a Boarding Group until you have a Park Pass Reservation, you can still walk through many of the steps. We highly recommend you do this so that you can get familiar with the process.
- Set an alarm. If you’re determined to get one of the coveted groups, set your alarm and be ready to go a few minutes before the clock turns to 7 a.m.
- Countdown the seconds. Traveling with more than yourself? Have somebody else pull up a world clock with the seconds visible. Depending on your phone, you may need to download an app, but if you have an iPhone, the clock app’s analog clock should have a sweeping second hand. Watch it closely and hit the button to request a boarding group as soon as the clock ticks to 7 a.m. Even a few seconds delay can cause you to get a later group or even miss out on a boarding group altogether.
- Have only 1 person in your traveling party attempt it. Previously we would recommend that multiple people in your group try. However, Disney has been notifying guests via email to “Please keep in mind, only one Guest per traveling party should attempt to enroll in the virtual queue. Multiple Guests and devices attempting to enroll the same party could complicate securing a boarding group.” Better safe than sorry and stick to 1 person.