Rise Up: How the Virtual Queue Works, and How to Secure Your Spot on Disney’s Rise of the Resistance!

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the biggest ride in Disney history, but it’s a little complicated to get on board. Every day, hundreds, if not thousands, of potential Resistance fighters arrive at Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, only to come face to face with that dreaded sandwich board…

The dreaded “all boarding groups… have been distributed” sign!

If you have just one day for your Disney vacation, how can you ensure a spot on that Star Destroyer? Our guide will show you how.

What is a Boarding Group?

While Rise of the Resistance technically has a queue like any other ride, you can’t simply walk up and join it — you’ll need to join what’s called a Boarding Group. If you visited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it first opened, you’re probably familiar with the concept, but here’s a quick overview for those who aren’t.

The Boarding Pass window is located on the front page of your park’s guest experience app.

Think of a boarding group like your spot in a virtual queue. Rather than wait in a physical line all day, your group will secure a spot in a virtual line. When your group number is called, you’ll be allowed to enter the traditional queue for the attraction.

Group Number Assignment for Rise of the Resistance

There are some notable advantages to this system over a traditional line. First, it keeps the actual waiting in line to a minimum. You won’t spend more than an hour waiting to board the attraction once your group is called, with typical wait times being less than thirty minutes. This also has the added safety benefit of preventing a rope-drop stampede to the ride in the morning, and helps spread traffic out around the park.

Opening day crowds for Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland

The downside, however, is that, so far at Rise of Resistance in both Disney World and Disneyland, every Boarding Group has been distributed shortly after park opening. After the initial boarding groups run out, backup boarding groups are distributed. That being said, backup groups do not give you a guarantee for riding the attraction. If you’re used to the traditional system of waiting in line, or even waiting until park close to slip into the queue, you’re out of luck. No group, no ride. Period.

However, you can make the most of this system. In fact, if you plan properly, you can secure your boarding pass, explore the rest of the resort (even different parks), and even go to your room to sleep! Here’s how.

Pre-Flight Checks: Before you Go

The My Disney Experience App is key.

Before you even go to the park, make sure you have the My Disney Experience App (for Walt Disney World), or the Disneyland App installed on your mobile device. The apps are resort specific, so make sure you have the right one! It also helps to make sure that the device you’re using has a good battery and a strong data connection. While you can use the complementary WiFi after you secure a Boarding Group, you might want to consider using date for the opening rush, because there will be a lot of people competing for WiFi.

Disneyland Time Guide

Next, check the opening times for your park. Rise of the Resistance has caused some big changes to operating times lately and they’re constantly updating, so be sure to confirm the opening time before you go. Your goal is to arrive anywhere between thirty minutes to an hour before the posted opening time. For guests at Disneyland, you may want to err on the side of caution and arrive an hour and a half early, as that park is typically far more active than Hollywood Studios.

Make sure you have appropriate transportation; if you’re at Disney World, check the transportation schedule to see if the buses or Skyliner are running at the time you need them to. You can also consider taking your own car, or booking a rideshare. Just make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the park, no matter what mode of transportation you choose.

Upon Arrival: Getting Your Pass

The line to enter the park fills up very quickly, so the sooner you arrive, the sooner you can enter the park.

Your goal is to enter the park before the official opening. So far, Disney has typically been allowing guests past the gates into a limited section of the park before opening. While this is not a confirmed method, and we don’t know how long this will be implemented, it seems to be their preferred procedure in the mornings so far. And, if you’re past the turnstile prior to park opening, you’re in a good spot!

Donald, Mickey, and Minnie are linked together on My Disney Experience!

You’re going to want to make sure your entire group is present and scanned in by the posted opening time. No one can stay home to sleep in; you all need to be physically present with your tickets or MagicBands scanned. Along that same line, it’s a good idea to make sure your entire group is linked on the app — if you have been able to book FastPass+ together, you should be linked, but having your group in your Family and Friends will become important when booking your Boarding Group!

Once you’re all inside, have one member of your party set their phone to data (not WiFi), and prepare to open the app. Constantly refreshing the boarding pass page will slow you down, and using WiFi will force you to share bandwidth with thousands of other guests.  It’s also important that only one member of your party try to secure a boarding group. Multiple members using the app at once will slow down the process.

When the opening time rolls around, immediately open the app, select the Rise of the Resistance page from the banner, and select join boarding group. Pick the members of the party who will be riding, click submit, and then you’re done!

If you’ve gotten a lower number boarding group, you’re golden. Anything below 100 is basically guaranteed a slot on the ride. However, you may see the following warning;

The backup group notification.

If this happens, you aren’t guaranteed a ride. You should still go through with the registration, but temper your expectations. One additional note; prerecorded announcements at the park will tell you that you can sign up for a boarding group at Guest Experience Kiosks throughout the park. Never do this. You have a much better chance of getting a group using the app.

So you’ve got a boarding group – Now what?

This cute little animation will help you keep track of your place in line.

Once you’ve gotten your boarding group, you’re free to do whatever you like. The hard part is over. You can ride other attractions, use FastPasses, and just treat the rest of the day like a normal Disney vacation. In fact, you don’t even need to stay in the park. If you’d like to hop on the Skyliner to Epcot, travel across the way to California Adventure, or even go to your room and sleep, you can. Disney doesn’t care that you’re in the park when you’re called, just that you’re in the park when you book your pass.

Your phone will send you a push notification when your boarding group is called. You can also check your boarding progress on the app, or on screens posted throughout the park.

Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups Board

Once you’re called, you will have two hours to approach the ride and scan in. If you don’t arrive during that window of time, your place in line is forfeited. If you’re on resort property, you will typically have plenty of time to get to Galaxy’s Edge and board before the window is up, but be mindful of what you commit to as your number grows closer.

Scanning Boarding Groups at Disneyland’s Rise of the Resistance

If the ride breaks down after you’ve been scanned in at the ride entrance, and service is unable to be restored within a reasonable amount of time, you’ll be given a complementary FastPass+ for the attraction, as well as a ticket to the park for the following day if applicable.

Keep all of this in mind, and you and your party will be facing off against the First Order without a hitch!

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Have you had a chance to ride Rise of the Resistance on either coast? Let us know about your Boarding Group experience in the comments below!

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Austin Lang is an Orlando local with a love of Disney, puns, and Disney puns. He's been a contributing writer for AllEars since 2019, and has been sharing his quirky view of Disney life ever since.

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19 Replies to “Rise Up: How the Virtual Queue Works, and How to Secure Your Spot on Disney’s Rise of the Resistance!”

  1. Does anyone know if you can join the virtual queue after entering California Adventure in Anaheim, or do you have enter Disneyland? I know the fastpass can be gotten for either park regardless of which park you are in.

  2. I like having a virtual queue but HATE the current boarding system. Having to get to the park before opening and still no guarantees of a boarding group is frustrating. Boarding groups should be dispersed throughout the day and limits on Annual Passholders (like 2-3 a month).

  3. It is not true that only one person in your group should be trying to obtain a boarding pass. Every single person in your group that has a phone should be logged in (they can all be logged in to the same MDE account) and trying exactly at opening time to get a BG for everyone in your party. Whoever gets in first will get the BG, the others will get a message that they are already in a BG

    1. You are supposed to find a cast member to help you…good luck…we didn’t see any at Disney World in January, but in Disneyland they also have kiosks…hopefully they will put an end to this soon and just do FastPasses. Going to the World tomorrow…and trying for BG again on Friday. Will report back if any improvements. Park does open an hour later so that will help in getting more sleep! 🙂 And since it’s a complete lottery, as long as we are inside at opening, we have as good a chance as anyone, providing our technology works this time….right….

  4. Well, we went on January 2nd about a month after opening and there was NOT this much known about the process. Due to health issues, it is VERY hard for me to get up and out to a park super early. But it was last time my son was going to be able to do this on a family trip with us, so we decided to do it! So, staying at Shades of Green, we got up at 4:30 and all 4 of us ready and out the door to be at park at 6:15 am like the cast members in the park recommended the day before. Yes, many many people there. But all going smoothly even with crowds. Got in the park way before the 7 am opening. At the end of Main Street (or whatever it is called in HS) and have phone out and ready to go! Well, my phone was not getting any response, the app or my phone DID NOT WORK…nice huh? So hubby belatedly pulls his phone out and he gets us group 105! Well, based on day before numbers, we knew this would be early afternoon at the earliest. But we knew we had to leave to drive home. Well the groups were boarding quickly, so we waited. We had checked out of hotel so had no hotel to go back to and sleep/rest. Around noon, the groups were slowing down and somewhere around then, the ride went down!! The cast told us it did that every day! So we waited all day until 3:20 when we finally were forced to leave, greatly disappointed and feeling tired and sick. DAS doesn’t get you any accommodation for this ride. Our group was called around 5:30 pm when we were 2 hours into our ride home. Oh well. We had talked to guest services after we had the problem (not realizing this was happening to many others too) and the cast member was not very magical as she said “well you all weren’t in the park” because my husband had gone out to smoke and scanned back in at 7:35 am while I was on the line. She couldn’t or wouldn’t look at our earlier 6:15 am scan in time. Nice. Call your “guests” liars while they are talking to you about how their great system isn’t working very well. We are going for 2 days next week and have been watching the boarding groups yesterday and today. The ride must be down a lot. Only boarding groups 55 around 6 pm. App says groups above 71 not assured to get on. It was groups 128 and above back in January!! Not a good sign. So what to do next week? Not sure if we should even try or just wait until they have regular Fastpasses. So last time our group 105 was probably our best shot at riding the ride, but we had to leave for our 4 hour drive home. ;-(

  5. My husband and I are frequent WDW guests. We were there in November for “rope drop” in order to get on Millenium Falcon. It was crazy! Everyone was running to get in line. We will be back in September with three grandchildren who will be on a school break and, of course, they want to go on Rise of the Resistance. This whole process is ridiculous! And, it will get worse when more WDW hotels open.

    1. Kris, we’ll keep tabs on what the Rise queue process is as time goes on. Hopefully by September it’ll be more comfortable a process for everyone!

  6. I could be wrong but I think I read somewhere that while Walt Disney world gives you a 2 hour window to return once your boarding groups is called that Disneyland only allows a 1 hour window?

    1. Moke, there has been some uncertainty about that. We were told one hour on-site in the first few days of the ride, but at publication, it was two hours.

  7. My husband and I will be traveling with our son who will be too small to ride. We were thinking of riding solo. If we were to do this, would each of us have to try to get a boarding pass or can one of us try to get both of our boarding passes, but still ride it separately (I.e, he’ll ride, I’ll stay with our son, and then I’ll get on line and he’ll stay with our son when he’s done)?

    1. Why not do the rider swap? I have to think that this would still be available on this ride. That seems like it would be easier for your party.

    2. Megan, you’ll want to get both adults in your party on the same boarding pass, then when you’re boarding group is called, talk to a cast member at the entrance and let them know you need to do rider swap. The first adult will ride while the other waits with your son. When the first rider emerges from saving the universe from the First Order, the second adult will check in at the entrance, letting the cast member know you’re a rider swap. They will likely send you through the FastPass queue. Note that you both need to scan into the park to get on the same boarding pass.