Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the newest attraction within Walt Disney World’s Star Wars-themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, isn’t just the most immersive and ambitious attraction Disney has ever created—it’s also the hardest to actually get the chance to ride. With demand for the attraction far surpassing daily ride capacity, even during the pandemic when park attendance has been limited since Walt Disney World’s July reopening, access to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is managed using a Virtual Queue system that enables quick-reflexed guests to secure a Boarding Group to ride the attraction.
Although joining the Virtual Queue isn’t complicated, it can feel like you need the mental focus and physical prowess of a Jedi to snag one of those coveted Boarding Groups. Groups are snapped up within seconds each day, so if you want to get your chance to join the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order, you’ll need to know exactly what to do and how to do it as quickly as possible. Follow these tips for your best chance to get a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a valid Walt Disney World ticket or Annual Pass linked to your My Disney Experience account, plus a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When You Can Join the Virtual Queue
Currently, guests are given two opportunities each day to join the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue. At 7am ET, guests with a Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park Pass reservation can join from outside the park—in other words, from your hotel room or home.
Guests who did not secure a Boarding Group at 7am are given a second opportunity to join the Virtual Queue at 1pm ET, but must be inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to join. Note: If you secure a Boarding Group at 7am, you are not eligible to join a second Boarding Group at 1pm.
How to Join the Virtual Queue
The day before:
Make sure your My Disney Experience app is updated
Ensure that you’ve downloaded and installed the latest version of the My Disney Experience app. Make sure your ticket is linked and that your Park Pass for Disney’s Hollywood Studios appears under “My Plans.”
Clean up your ‘Family & Friends List’
Your “Family & Friends List” in your profile allows you to share plans and Disney Photo Pass photos with others. Connecting family members and friends here is the only way to get a Boarding Group with others you plan to ride with. But, having people you don’t plan to ride with in your Family & Friends List can slow you down — even when they’re part of your immediate family.
To clean up your list, be sure to remove any friends or family members with whom you don’t plan to get a Boarding Group (you can always add them back later). The reasoning here is that you can’t trust the app to do what you want it to. Guests have had conflicting experiences as to who the app auto-selects to join a Boarding Group.
If the app selects only you, you want to be able to click “Select all” to choose the rest of your party as quickly as possible rather than choosing only the correct people individually. If anyone is on your list that isn’t eligible for a Park Pass, you could get an error that asks you to remove them first, causing you to lose precious seconds.
Who should try for a Boarding Group
Every member of your group who is planning to ride can try simultaneously to join the Virtual Queue. Each of you should “Select all” to attempt to join a Boarding Group on behalf of your whole group. Once one of you is successful, the rest will get an error message that those in the group have already joined a Boarding Group.
The morning of your visit:
Unless you are confident you have lightning-fast WIFI, OR have terrible cell service where you are, turn off WIFI and use your cell service.
Double-check that your My Disney Experience is still updated and that no updates have happened overnight that you need to implement.
Quit all apps on your phone, log out of MDE, relaunch it and log back in.
Make sure you’ve done all of the above by 6:55am to be ready. Review and walk-through the following steps on your phone ahead of time.
1. Select Virtual Queues on your My Disney Experience home screen.
2. Select “Join Virtual Queue”
NOTE: There are two strategies for steps 3 and 4, which I’ll call A and B. Choose whichever you’re more comfortable with.
3A. This is the screen you’ll see leading up to 7am, before you’re able to join.
From here, either pull the screen down to make this page refresh, OR toggle back and forth between this screen and the previous. Most people pull down to refresh, but I prefer to toggle. Either work so try it and see which you feel like you can do more quickly. I practice for a minute or so at 6:58, then start aggressively toggling from 6:59 until 7:00.
4A. When it hits 7:00am, you should see the “Join” button show up. Click it immediately.
Alternate (and my preferred method):
3B. Count down with a digital clock.
Using a smart watch or other internet-enabled device like an iPad or computer, pull up a clock with a second-hand. I use the Workout face on my Apple Watch, but beware—it sleeps quickly.
Stay on this screen while you count down to 7:00:01.
4B. Watch the countdown and click “Join Virtual Queue” as soon as your clock hits 7:00:01.
Technically you should be able to click at 7:00:00, but wait for that :01 to make sure you don’t click too early and have to go back. Once you click “Join Virtual Queue” on the screen above, you’ll be taken to this screen and the blue “Join” should show up. Click it immediately.
5. Confirm your group.
You’ll be taken to a screen showing your Family & Friends list. Hopefully your full group will be preselected, but sometimes the app selects only you. Because you will have ensured ahead of time that everyone in your Family & Friends List is coming with you, you can quickly hit “Select All” to choose everyone and confirm your group.
6. Get your Boarding Group and return at your designated time.
If you’re successful, you’ll be given a Boarding Group number and an estimated wait time until your Boarding Group is called. Once your group is called, you’ll have one hour to go to the attraction and be let into the standby queue to board the ride.
If you do not get a Boarding Group at 7am, you can try again from inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 1pm. Follow steps one through 6, replacing 7am with 1pm. An additional tip: When attempting to join the Virtual Queue from inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to turn off the in-park Guest WIFI and use your cell service instead.
That’s everything you need to know to get a Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group.
Good luck, and may the Force be with you!
Brooke Geiger McDonald is the editor in chief of Make It Better Media Group. A Chicago native, she has worked for publications like O, The Oprah Magazine and SHAPE Magazine and her work has appeared in Parents, TravelPulse, Attractions Magazine, MSN, Disney Food Blog, and more. At home, she is outnumbered by her husband and two sons, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics, always counting down the days to their next Disney vacation. Her favorite nonprofits to support include The Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago and organizations focused on environmental conservation and combatting climate change, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and Shedd Aquarium. Follow her on Instagram @brookegmcdonald and Twitter @BrookeGMcDonald.