Upon reopening, Disney has announced that Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios will continue to use a virtual queue system.
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.
UPDATED: Want to ride Rise of the Resistance? The virtual queue is still your only option.
Want to ride? You'll need to get in line.
But not a regular line - a virtual one.
This attraction is incredibly popular, and even before the shutdown Disney utilized a virtual queue to control the flow of guests riding it.
Now as the parks reopen, that virtual queue will continue to be utilized and while the overall process is very similar, there are a few tweaks.
You don't need to be early
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:
- Depending on availability, guests can request to join the queue at three different times: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., or 4 p.m.
- What this means is that you no longer have to arrive super early to the park to check the virtual queue and hopefully grab a boarding group before they're all gone.
- Only after the park has officially opened will guests be able to then jump into the My Disney Experience App to snag a spot in a boarding group. So when the park has officially opened and if you want to try joining the 10 a.m. virtual queue, be ready.
- Like before, the virtual queue will not open up until the official park opening time. This is also a change from how it had been operating. Initially Disney was opening the park way earlier than the posted time (including opening most attractions), and as soon as the park opened up guests were able to snag their spot in the virtual queue. That led to many days where all the available spots were totally gone BEFORE the official park opening time. It appears that this change is in hopes to combat that — and to protect the health and safety of others by promoting social distancing.
- It's unclear if guests may still be allowed into the park early and onto Hollywood Boulevard before the official park opening, especially due to the new health and safety protocols. Previously, guests were allowed further in, with guests headed towards Toy Story Land heading to the right of the Chinese Theater (where Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is located) and guests heading towards Galaxy's Edge being directed to the left of the theater. BUT that is as far as people would go and guests would be held there until the official park opening time.
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.
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 wait list 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 backup groups.
These groups become available after all regular Boarding Groups (typically up to group 120, however, that number can change depending on the day) have been filled.
However, guests with one of these new provisional boarding groups will only be allowed onto the attraction if the capacity allows (once all regular boarding groups have completed their ride).
Everybody must be in the park and you must have a Park Pass
One of the most common questions we've received is "does my entire family have to show up in order to get into a boarding group?"
And, unfortunately, that answer is "yes."
And now, not only does everybody need to be inside but everyone needs to have a Park Pass, too.
In order to join a boarding group you must have scanned your ticket or MagicBand to enter the park, so that means that mom or dad can't get up early to snag a boarding group while the rest of their family sleeps in. Everybody has to be there.
We know this isn't ideal for lots of people in all sorts of situations, but for right now this is how things work.
You can leave and come back
With the new Disney Park Pass System, guests are still allowed to 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.
How the virtual queue and boarding groups work:
1. Arrive to the park in time to be inside of the gates before one of the queue drops (10 a.m., 1 p.m., or 4 p.m)
2. Boarding groups will not not be available until the official queue drop times. Once that happens (and once every person in your party has scanned into the park), open up the app and 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.
3. 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 in the app as well as on display boards found throughout the park.
4. 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.
Ready to give it a try? See how we recommend touring Hollywood Studios now that this amazing new attraction is open!