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Rise of the Resistance: Complete Guide to Riding with Boarding Groups

This is a guide to riding Ride of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You can find my initial awed reaction to the attraction RIGHT HERE.

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We first rode the new Rise of the Resistance attraction in Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios the morning it opened to the public. Going in that day, we had no idea what the queue system would be. We simply filtered into the park with a wave of humanity at around 4:30 a.m. full of excitement and expecting to spend the bulk of the day in line.

As we walked into the park, Cast Members handed out papers to guests. We grabbed one and continued to walk with the crowd…and then I glanced down quickly and realized that the paper was instructions for what we all now know as the Rise of the Resistance boarding queue system.

(As an aside, Disney was SO smart not to announce this system in advance. There would have been mass hysteria getting into the park at the touch points.)

Yesterday we rode again. Between the fact that we were at the intersection of holiday crowds and marathon weekend crowds, the recent lifting of the Gold Level Annual Passholder blackout, and local kids' being at the end of winter break….we more or less walked into the highest crowd level you could deal with when trying to ride Rise of the Resistance. Which made it a PERFECT opportunity to test out the system for all of you. 

Here's how we have planned and executed our day each time we've ridden, complete with tips on how to make the most of YOUR experience under the current system. 

  1. Make sure you have the official Disney World app installed and set up on your phone. 
  2. Add everyone that plans to ride with you to your friends & family list.
  3. Everyone that plans to ride with you needs to be in the park to be added to a boarding group, so plan to head to the park together.
  4. You'll likely be waiting for awhile to ride, so go ahead and make some regular FastPass+ plans at Disney's Hollywood Studios for your group for the day. 
  5. Arrive at the park about 60 minutes before opening.
  6. If you can travel without bags to bypass security bag check, that's great!! If not, don't sweat it – your bags will be prechecked when you arrive, so  it shouldn't impact getting into the park in plenty of time.
  7. You'll then wait in lines in the area between the touch points for park entry and bag check until it fills.
  8. When that space becomes crowded, they will begin letting people into the park. Have your Magic Band (or card pass) ready to go. 
  9. Once you're inside, head to your chosen section of the park to wait. If you want to hit Rock ‘N Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror first, stroll down Sunset Boulevard. If you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash or Toy Story Mania, head toward Toy Story Land. If you want to try to Smuggler's Run, go wait in Batuu. That way you can head right to your first attraction when the park officially opens.
  10. Have your phone ready to go. The boarding queue on the app will open right when the park opens. You'll often hear a voice over the loudspeaker make an announcement at that time – but watch the time yourself as well so that you can get in right away. 
  11. OPEN THE APP IMMEDIATELY. You'll see the boarding group section right at the top on the home screen of the app. It's the same thing you will have seen before – but now, when you select it, you'll have the option to join a boarding group. Tap it.
  12. Select anyone on your friends and family list that will be riding with you. If you try to select someone that isn't also in the park, you'll get an error – so again, make sure everyone is there with you.
  13. Submit the boarding group request. You'll immediately get a confirmation that says what boarding group you've gotten.
  14. You can then continue to check the app over the course of the day to see where they are in the process. Once your group is called, you'll have TWO FULL HOURS to enter the queue for the attraction, so feel free to relax until your number gets close. Enjoy the rest of the park, head back to your hotel or home to rest, hit another park if you have a hopper – just make sure that whatever you do, you can get back to Batuu within 2 hours once your group gets called.
  15. When your group gets called PUT YOUR CAMERA AWAY and just enjoy it all. There is SO MUCH to take in along the way. I promise you will miss so much of it if you are looking at it through a phone screen. The experience is bigger than anything that your phone can capture anyway – so cut yourself a break and put it away.

I love, love, love this system. Is it tough to wake up early to get to Disney's Hollywood Studios well before opening? Of course. But in exchange for that, we don't have to spend our day waiting in line. You can enjoy the rest of your vacation day freely and head back to Galaxy's Edge when your time has come.

I'd wait in line for hours for this attraction. It's more than worth it. But I love that we don't have to!

To see how this system played out on an extremely busy park day, here's how our day panned out yesterday.

  • 6:00 a.m. – Arrive at Hollywood Studios.
  • 6:10 a.m. – Through security bag check.
  • 6:20 a.m. – Touch points open, lines of people start to enter the park.
  • 6:35 a.m. – Enter Hollywood Studios. 
  • 6:45 a.m. – Waiting on Sunset Boulevard for access to Tower of Terror and for boarding groups to open.
  • 7:00 a.m. – Boarding groups open. We enter right away and got boarding group 79.
    • I've heard that it's best to have the app closed and open it right away when the park opens. Smaller groups also seem to get earlier boarding groups than larger groups – if only because it takes a few seconds to check off the members of your party on the friends and family list. Don't fret. If you get a high number you can relax until later when your group is called.
  • 7:05 a.m. – We had a Tower of Terror Fast Pass, so we went ahead and used it.
  • 7:09 a.m. – All boarding groups were distributed and the system is closed to new riders for the day.
  • 8:00 a.m. – We had a pretty high number, so knew we had lots of time. Hollywood Studios was pretty packed, so we strolled over to the Skyliner and rode it over to Epcot to pass a few hours. 
  • 11:45 a.m. – Our number was getting close and we were excited, so we rode the Skyliner back to Hollywood Studios.
  • 12:25 p.m. – Our boarding group is called. We enter the queue pretty much right away.
    • If you see a stall in the boarding groups, don't fret. Sometimes the ride system needs to be rebooted. This takes about 40 minutes, and during that time the boarding group numbers won't progress. 
  • 1:35 p.m. – Exit the attraction. All done!

Hoping this helps everyone out in their planning!! I know this might seem stressful, but I promise that it's extremely well organized and a wonderful way to experience this wonderful attraction without spending the day in line.

 

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