On my last trip to Disney World I decided to get up before sunrise to ride Disney’s newest ride – Rise of the Resistance. Due to the popularity of the ride, the only way to ride is to be at the park prior to park opening and get a boarding group. Don’t worry if you have no idea what a boarding group is or how to get one. Read on for my guide on how to ride Rise of the Resistance.
What is a Boarding Group?
In order to combat lengthy wait times for Rise of the Resistance, Disney has implemented a virtual queue system called a boarding group. Once you have scanned into Hollywood Studios for the day, you are eligible to join a boarding group. Your boarding group number will determine when you get to join the line for Rise of the Resistance. Boarding will usually begin soon after park opening and groups will continue to get called throughout the day. Having a boarding group does not guarantee you access to the ride that day. Once your boarding group is called you have 1-2 hours to return to the ride. With the boarding group process, once you are in line you will likely be through in less than an hour.
How do I get a Boarding Group?
Boarding group distribution begins at the published park opening time. The initial boarding groups are usually gone within the first five minutes. After that, if there is any availability, backup groups will be distributed. Backup groups will be called if there is still time after they have gotten through the initial boarding groups.
Boarding groups are distributed through the My Disney Experience app. If you do not have a smartphone, you can also see a Guest Experience cast member for help, but your best chances are using your own device. You will be eligible to receive a boarding pass once you have scanned your ticket at Hollywood Studios. When the park officially opens, an announcement will be made that boarding groups are now available. Once that happens, click ‘Join Boarding Group’, add the members of your party, and then click ‘Join Boarding Group’ and hope for the best. The lower the number you receive, the earlier in the day you will be called. Once your boarding group is called you will have between 1-2 hours to return to ride Rise of the Resistance.
My Experience Riding Rise of the Resistance
Getting to the Park
On the day I rode Rise of the Resistance, Hollywood Studios opened at 7:00am. I was staying at Coronado Springs and I took the first bus of the day which picked me up at 5:58am. The bus arrived at Hollywood Studios around 6:15am and I got in the bag check line. After I got through bag check I got in line to scan into the park. They started scanning everyone in around 6:25am and I got through the line at 6:40am.
Once you are in the park you have access to limited areas, so I was on the hunt to find a location where I got the best cell service. It is best if you can get off Wi-Fi when getting your boarding pass since so many people are trying to use it at once. I found a spot inside of Mickey’s of Hollywood next to the T-shirt display where I got all four bars.
Using the App
Once 7:00am hit I opened the app and clicked ‘Find Out More’ under Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access by Boarding Group.
Then I waited for ‘Join Boarding Group’ to light up. I kept refreshing the page but ‘Join Boarding Group’ still was not lighting up.
I decided to click ‘My Status’ to see if that would help and that brought me right to a screen where I was able to click ‘Join a Boarding Group’.
From there I was able to select my party and join a group.
The Wait Begins
I got into boarding group 79, so I knew it would be a bit until my group was called. In the app, I was able to track the boarding status and get an idea of when I would be called. They moved through boarding groups fairly quickly until they got to group 30. Boarding was delayed, and no new groups were called for about an hour. My assumption is that the ride was down. Rise of the Resistance has been going down quite often so this is not a rare occurrence. Since I knew I wasn’t going to board until the afternoon, I took the skyliner over to Epcot to enjoy Festival of the Arts.
At 1:30pm I recieved a notification through the app that it was my turn to board! I had two hours to scan into the ride at the entrance of Galaxy’s Edge so I hopped back on the skyliner and made it back over to Hollywood Studios. From the time I scanned into the ride to the time I got off was around 45 minutes. To me, this was a much more enjoyable experience than waiting in line for 4 hours. I had to get up early, but I got so much done that day. If I wanted to I could have even gone back to my hotel room to take a nap.
From my experience and from what I have heard from others I have a few tips and tricks for you on how to get the lowest boarding group possible.
Tips and Tricks to Ride Rise of the Resistance
- Ensure all members of your party are scanned into the park and connected on My Disney Experience. You will not be able to get a boarding pass for someone who has not scanned in. In order to ensure you are in the same boarding group as your party, you must all be connected on My Disney Experience.
- Use your cellular data, not Disney’s Wi-Fi if possible. The Wi-Fi network gets congested with all of the people trying to use it at once and your screen will likely load faster using your cellular data.
- Have multiple people in your party attempting to get a boarding group. Don’t just rely on one person to get the boarding group. Half of this process is luck, so the more people you have trying, the better luck you will have.
- Use the first few minutes after you have scanned into the park to find the best cell service. I had good luck inside of Mickey’s of Hollywood near the T-shirts and I also found good service outside of Celebrity 5 & 10 across the street.
- You can use Disney Transportation in order to get to the park in time. Disney Transportation starts running an hour before park opening. There should be minimal traffic in the morning so you should have no issue getting to Hollywood Studios in time. Make sure you are on the first bus and if no bus is coming, order an Uber or Lyft.
- You don’t need to arrive at Hollywood Studios super early. As long as you are in line 30 minutes prior to park opening you should be fine. Getting there earlier does not give you a better chance of getting a boarding group. Everyone who has entered the park prior to park opening has an equal chance.
- You will have between 1-2 hours to get back to Galaxy’s Edge once your boarding group has been called. The app will show your return time once your boarding group has been called.
- I have been told that it is better to not open your app until boarding groups become available. This may be why I had issues with my ‘Join Boarding Group’ not lighting up. However, I think if you click ‘My Status’ and join a boarding group from there, you shouldn’t have any issues.
- Don’t panic if you have other dining reservations or FastPasses that occur when your boarding group is called. You will have 1-2 hours to scan into the ride. If there is still an issue find a cast member and they should be able to assist you.
Hopefully these tips help you get to ride Rise of the Resistance. Good luck and may the Force be with you!