The new Star Wars ride Rise of the Resistance opened last month in Florida and is set to open this week in California. The information in this article is based on my experience with the Florida location but will hopefully help you in both locations.
- Based on current practice and demand, you should arrive early to the park.
- You can get a boarding group using the My Disney Experience App or the Guest Experience Team located throughout the park at Hollywood Boulevard, Grand Avenue, Toy Story Land, and Sunset Boulevard.
- If you will be using the app, ensure you are logged in with an account linked to the active ticket(s) or pass(es).
- To ensure the same boarding group, link family and friends passes/accounts prior to your trip in the My Disney Experience App.
- You (and all members of your group that want to ride) must be scanned into the park with your active ticket(s) or pass(es) before you can get a boarding group. (It may take a couple minutes before entrance is registered on the app.)
- A boarding group does not guarantee entrance to the ride.
- You are given a two hour window to get to the ride once your group is boarding. The current groups boarding are listed on the app, and on signs throughout the park.
- If there are no groups available for the day, it is noted on the app and physical signs are located throughout the park. Currently, boarding groups assignments have progressed to back-up boarding groups within 10-15 minutes of the park opening.
- You do not have to remain physically in the park between getting a boarding group and boarding time.
- Above all else, have fun and enjoy the experience!
Here is more detailed information based on my personal experience:
Before you go make sure you have the My Disney Experience app downloaded to your phone and connected to your ticket(s) or pass(es). My friends and I were able to connect our accounts so that one of us could grab a boarding group for all of us to enjoy the ride together. If you would like to do this, there is a Family & Friends List from your profile where you can invite others by clicking “Add a Guest”. You can invite them by e-mail if they are over 18 years old.
When you arrive at the park, make sure your app is logged in to your account. I double checked mine by trying to get a fast pass about 20 minutes before they opened up the app to get boarding groups. Even though I used the app the day before to connect with my friends, it told me that my password was incorrect. I had to reset my password, and those few minutes could have pushed me to a back-up boarding group number and the possibility of not riding.
It helps to get there early. I have been twice, and both times they opened the park 30 minutes prior to the posted opening time to let people in; however, it is unknown how long this will be the practice. I did notice that it was better to be towards the center or more to the right side, because the line at the end when you first come in from Security had to funnel in together. One of the times I went was on a Friday and the posted park opening time was 7 a.m. I arrived at 6 a.m., they let us enter the park at 6:30 a.m. (though had us in a secondary waiting area inside the park until 7 a.m.) and at 7 a.m. the app was active letting people grab a boarding group. By 7:15 a.m., the estimated wait was already Backup Group.
When you open the app, they make it easy by putting Rise of the Resistance access by Boarding Group on the front of the app. When you click to find out more you will be able to click “Join Boarding Group”, if it is open and boarding groups are available. If boarding groups are not available the button will be greyed out.
Even if you get a boarding group you are not guaranteed to ride. I went the first weekend the ride was opened and it was shut down multiple times — two hours each time. The second time it shut down that day was after I got through the pre-shows and was about to get on the ride. The ride can be down for up to two hours or longer due to the massive size of the structure and how long it takes to get riders off the ride in order to troubleshoot the issue.
This last time I was in boarding group 34 and we were able to ride by 10 a.m. Opening weekend I was in boarding group 56. Group 56 wasn’t called until 4 p.m., but due to shutting down again it wasn’t until almost 7 p.m. before I could ride. Therefore, there is no set time a boarding group number will be called.
Once you get a boarding group number, you do not have to stay in Hollywood Studios (though there is lots of stuff to do once you are in there!). The app will send you a notification when it’s time and you are given a two hour window to get to the ride. Once in line it was about a 30 to 45 minute wait until I got to the pre-shows.
I have heard mixed reviews on the virtual queue. I personally love having my place saved and able to explore the rest of the park while I wait. My non-spoiler review is that the ride is the most immersive ride I have been on! You can easily get lost in the experience and feel like you are in the action. Whether you are a fan of the light side, the dark side or neither, there is something for everyone!
May the Force be with you!