Disney World is currently offering limited park capacity, and one of the biggest differences we’ve seen in the parks is shorter wait times across the board! Prior to the park openings, limited capacity and the other major changes we’ve seen at Disney World caused many to wonder how the Boarding Group process for Disney’s newest attraction, Rise of the Resistance, would be impacted.
What we’ve experienced, however, is a whole lot more of the same when it comes to snagging a Boarding Group. So with access to this attraction being nearly as tricky as it was pre-closure, here are tips and tricks to guarantee yourself that elusive Rise of the Resistance boarding group.
Don’t forget to make a Park Pass Reservation!
Disney World’s new Park Pass Reservation System is an added requirement to be able to enter the theme parks during their limited capacity reopening. Simply having valid park admission, like an Annual Pass or a Single Day Ticket, is NOT enough! In addition, everyone in your travel party NEEDS to secure a Park Pass Reservation.
Depending on your ticket type, you might have an easier or more difficult time securing a Park Pass Reservation ahead of your visit to Hollywood Studios. Since the system rolled out, Hollywood Studios is definitely the most popular park when it comes to these reservations, so the MOMENT you know what days you want to visit, get those reservations!
Once you have your valid park admission and your Park Pass Reservation, you’re all set to head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Wake Up EARLY!
UPDATE: Beginning December 20th, 2020, Boarding Group distribution times will change to be 7AM and 1PM each day.
Currently, Rise of the Resistance has two Boarding Group distribution times each day: 7AM and 2PM. This is a big shift from before the closures, when all of the Boarding Groups were assigned right at rope drop. So while you have more than one opportunity to get a Group, our biggest piece of advice is to try for that 7AM slot first.
This is one of the factors you actually have control over when trying to secure a Boarding Group, so be sure to double-check those alarms! Thankfully, the recent change allows you to try for a Group from anywhere at 7AM (yes, anywhere), so you won’t need to stress about getting ready and getting into the park right at opening. (Remember when people showed up to Hollywood Studios at 6AM?)
Keep in mind, if you’re trying for the 2PM slot (or 1PM slot after December 20th), you will need your ENTIRE party to be scanned into the park, so make sure everyone is ready to go if you all want the same Boarding Group (more tips on riding together below!).
Keep in mind those NEW distribution times
As we previously mentioned, Rise of the Resistance is no longer handing out all of the Boarding Groups at rope drop as they previously did. Now, you have TWO chances to score a Group, at 7AM and later in the day at 2PM.
Don’t mix these up with the ride’s distribution times when the park first reopened, which were 10AM, 1PM, and 4PM. The ONLY times where Boarding Groups are now distributed are 7AM and 2PM (or 1PM after December 20th).
In our experience, we have not seen either time fill up more quickly or slowly than the other time. They both go very, very fast. So, do NOT assume that you’ll have an easier time getting a Boarding Group at 2PM! Consider the 2PM distribution time your Plan B in the event you don’t score at 7AM.
Rise of the Resistance is also notorious for experiencing technical difficulties, so aiming for that 7AM time is the best way to give yourself the most chance of actually riding on any given day.
Be ready to snag a Boarding Group QUICKLY
Let’s break the whole process down step-by-step when it comes to actually getting a Boarding Group. The last thing you want to see happen is to put all that time and energy into waking up early, only to experience some technical snafus on your phone!
1. If you’re trying for the afternoon slot, make sure your ENTIRE party is scanned into the park with your tickets linked on My Disney Experience
As we mentioned earlier, My Disney Experience will not allow anyone who is NOT scanned into the park to join a Boarding Group. So if your entire travel party wants to ride together, make sure you are all inside the park gates and ready to go.
You will also want to make sure everyone’s tickets are linked together on My Disney Experience. Do NOT attempt to get Boarding Groups individually, as each person will get separate Boarding Groups and will, therefore, be unable to ride together!
2. Disconnect from Disney’s WiFi and refresh My Disney Experience BEFORE the hour strikes
Disney World’s complimentary WiFi is spotty at best, therefore, you DON’T want to rely on it when you want to get a Boarding Group! In most circumstances, we have heard that folks have an easier time working off of their regular cell service when joining a Boarding Group. So make sure your WiFi is turned OFF before the hour strikes.
You will also want to completely close out of My Disney Experience and re-load the app just before the hour. This step is especially useful if you had to link other tickets to your account. You’ll want to make sure My Disney Experience recognizes that all your tickets are hooked up!
3. When the time comes, select “Join Boarding Group”
There are a couple of things you’ll need to do right on the hour to select a Boarding Group. First, you’ll need to select “Join Boarding Group.” Everyone in your travel party can attempt to join a Boarding Group at the same time, so don’t just select one person! Get everyone and their phones involved to try to get a group!
Next, you’ll want to be sure that your entire traveling party is included! Everyone on your friends and family list who is eligible for a boarding group at the time you’re requesting one will be automatically selected as a part of your party, so you won’t have to select each one manually. After confirming your party, you’ll just click on “Join Boarding Group” again, and you will be randomly assigned a Boarding Group!
A new feature they introduced on My Disney Experience is an estimated wait time for your Boarding Group. Note that this wait time is an approximation and not an exact science, but you should be able to gauge how much time you have to explore the rest of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge or Hollywood Studios while you wait!
4. Turn your Push Notifications On
Once you have a group, make sure your Push Notifications are turned ON for My Disney Experience to make sure you know when your Boarding Group is called. The return window is shorter than you think!
Be aware: the return to ride window is shorter now!
So you were able to grab a Boarding Group, hooray! We have one final tip that you’ll need to know about in order to actually experience Rise of the Resistance!
This is a notable shift from the process pre-closure, so even if you were a pro before March, you’ll need to know about this change!
When your Boarding Group is called, you will have ONE hour to return to the entrance of Rise of the Resistance and check in with your group. In the past, guests have reported two to three hour return windows, so don’t assume you have as much time as you may have before!
You can keep an eye on what Boarding Groups the ride is currently accepting so you can better assess how much time you have before your group is called throughout the day. But if you get caught up in a Dining Reservation like we did, Cast Members have been more lenient if you happen to miss your return window.
But, just like with a traditional FastPass, don’t assume every Cast Member will allow you to miss your window, especially if you arrive super late! If you think you’ll be in a bind, speak with Guest Relations or a Rise of the Resistance Cast Member ahead of time.
Our biggest tip is to make sure you’re giving yourself and your group as many opportunities as possible to ride Rise of the Resistance. That means showing up to Hollywood Studios early, aim for that 10AM distribution time, and have your My Disney Experience app ready to go! If for whatever reason you don’t succeed at 7AM, follow all the same steps above for the 2PM distribution time.
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Have you been on Rise of the Resistance? Let us know in the comments!