Since it opened, Disney has had a virtual queuing system ready for Galaxy's Edge. But apart from the morning of opening day, it has not been used again for the area.
On this post
However, that all changed with the opening of the Rise of the Resistance attraction and now, instead of a virtual queue for the entire Galaxy's Edge, Disney is using a virtual queue for its newest attraction.
This system is unlike anything you'll find on Disney World, but you'll need to understand how it works if you want to get a job!
Here are 7 things you need to know about virtual queue and boarding groups for the Rise of the Resistance.
To ride Rise of the Resistance the virtual queue is the only option.
Rise of the Resistance (similar to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run) does not offer the FastPass +.
But unlike the Smugglers Run, Rise of the Resistance does not have a traditional queue.
That's right - no waiting lines and no FastPass+.
It is necessary to arrive early in the Park
The crowds that pack Hollywood Studios for Rise of the Resistance remain huge, and because of that Disney is making some changes to how things will work for the park's opening.
Here's what you need to know:
- The virtual queue will not open until the park's official opening time. This is a change from how it was previously operating. Initially, Disney was opening the park earlier than the published time (including most attractions opening), and once the park opened, guests were able to find their place in the virtual queue. This led to many days when all available seats were completely gone before the park's official opening time. It looks like this change is in hopes of combating that.
- Visitors can still enter the park early and enter Hollywood Boulevard before the park officially opens BUT this is as far away as possible and guests will be kept there until the park's official opening time.
- There will be a few locations open on Hollywood Boulevard (Starbucks, located inside the Trolley Car Cafe and Keystone Clothiers). Note: The Trolley Car Cafe can giant early in the morning; so you're better off grabbing a coffee before arriving at Hollywood Studios if you know you'll need a coffee fix.
- Only after the park opens will guests be able to log into the My Disney Experience App to secure a seat in a boarding group. And – this is an important thing to remember: unlike the previous method where guests entered in boarding groups, you will have a massive crowd of people who will be eligible for boarding groups all at once. Being a few minutes late can result in you ending up with a boarding group much later than anticipated (or even possibly not getting a boarding party!). So, as time approaches park opening, BE READY to open the app and get your seat.
So what time should you arrive if you want to ride Rise of The Resistance?
Plan to walk in the Slinky Dog on the Rope Drop with the shortest waits? We still recommend that you arrive 120 minutes before the published opening time.
Yes, we know it's crazy early and not easy to do with young children.
But our reasoning is as follows:
Even though the boarding groups don't open until the park officially opens, many people will still show up early.
So if you want to ride the Slinky Dog Dash at park opening (without waiting 45 minutes or so), you'll need to be in front of that crowd. To do this, you will need to arrive early.
If you have a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash and just want to experience the other attractions with minimal wait, you can show up 75 minutes before the park opens.
Is your main goal just to pick up a boarding group?
You'll probably be fine arriving 75 minutes before the park opens. And, during less busy times of the year, you can bring this up to 60 minutes before the park opens.
Want to see how quickly boarding groups are disappearing?
If you're trying to see how fast boarding groups fill up, you can do that from anywhere (you don't have to be in the parks!). This is especially useful in the last few days before you plan to go to Hollywood Studios.
Just open the My Disney Experience app and click the “Learn More” button just below the AT-ATs.
When boarding groups are available, you can click the “Join a boarding group” (of course, if you are not in the park, it will indicate that you cannot participate).
When the boarding groups are full for the day, you will no longer be able to click the button, which is the signal that the groups are full for the day.
Disney indicated that the virtual queue will not be used forever
We don't think this virtual queuing system will be used forever.
In fact, the Tampa Bay Times quotes Disney as saying that this system will be used "for a few weeks".
So while we don't think this system is here to stay, we also don't know exactly how long Disney plans to use it, but we do know it won't be forever.
This means that until we hear something different, your best approach is to assume it will be in place and plan your trip accordingly.
Obviously when Disney changes the procedure to embark on this adventure, we'll come back here with more information!
The Virtual Queue utilizes boarding groups for the attraction
This whole virtual queuing system is like putting your name on a waiting list at a restaurant – first come, first served.
For Rise of the Resistance, Disney places people in what they call “boarding groups” and then calls these groups as space in the queue allows.
You cannot choose your boarding group number; it is assigned when you join the virtual queue and do not know the exact return time, because it all depends on how fast the groups in front of you move and whether the attraction itself slows down (which is quite common now )
Remember: there are a limited number of boarding groups available, and once they're gone, they're gone!
Backup boarding groups
As of December 16, 2019, Disney began offering “Alternative Boarding Groups”.
These groups become available after all regular boarding groups (up to group 120) are filled.
However, guests with one of these new provisional boarding groups will only be allowed on the attraction if capacity allows, that is, it is not a guarantee that they will ride on the attraction. Not that day at least.
Everyone must be in the park
One of the most common questions we receive is “does my whole family have to show up two hours early to join a boarding group?”
And unfortunately, that answer is “yes”.
To join a boarding group, you must have scanned your ticket or Magic Band to enter the park, which means Mom or Dad can't get up early to catch a boarding group while the rest of the family sleeps.
We know this isn't ideal for many people in all kinds of situations, but for now, this is how it works.
Think on the bright side of this, by arriving early there is an excellent chance that you will be able to ride the attraction.
If it were open to everyone, this chance would decrease a lot because you would be running for these “vacancies” with thousands more people
You can leave and come back
One nice thing about the virtual line is that your return window lasts 2 hours and you don't have to wait in the park for your boarding group to be called.
If you have Park Hopper tickets, you can visit a different park OR, if you are too sleepy at 6 am to catch your boarding group, you can go back to your resort to rest.
You can keep track of where Disney is in the boarding groups on the My Disney Experience App, and as long as you've turned on notifications, you'll be shown when it's your turn.
Rider Switch and DAS are available in Rise of the Resistance
The Rider Switch and Disability Access Service (DAS) are available, but you must already have secured a boarding group to use them.
Once you have a boarding group, you should look to an attraction cast member for assistance.
How do virtual queue and boarding groups work?
- Arrive at the park at least 120 minutes before park opening (for the best chance of roaming the morning with minimal waits) or 90 minutes (if you're not interested in riding Slinky Dog Dash or Smugglers Run).
- Note: During especially busy times of the year (such as the holiday season), it is highly recommended that you arrive at the Hollywood Studios gates 2 hours prior to park opening time to maximize your chances of getting a spot in line.
- You'll likely enter Hollywood Boulevard early, however, boarding groups won't be available until the park officially opens. When that happens (and once everyone in your group has scanned into the park), open the app and follow the instructions to receive a boarding group, which will place you in the virtual queue. See video below:
- The app will provide you with a push notification to let you know when it's your turn to walk.
- At this point, you will have 2 hours to reach the attraction.
- You can always check to see exactly which groups are boarding on the app, as well as on boards found throughout the park to get your foot in the door.
When it's time to ride the attraction, head to Galaxy's Edge and go directly to Rise of the Resistance.
Your tickets or MagicBands will be checked before you get in line.
Of course! Have a good time.
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