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.
UPDATE SEPT. 16, 2021: Beginning Sept. 23, Disney will pause the use of the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and guests will instead access the ride via standby queue.
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.
Note: Updates were made to the My Disney Experience app on the afternoon of Sept. 9, 2021. This post has been updated to reflect changes to the process.
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.”
Review 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.
My Disney Experience auto-selects guests eligible for a Boarding Group in your “Family & Friends List.” An app update now allows you to confirm your party in advance one hour before the Virtual Queue opens, taking some of the stress out of the process. However, it’s a good idea to confirm the night before that everyone who wants to ride is in your Family & Friends List and has a Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park Pass reservation.
Who should try for a Boarding Group
Every member of your group who has a device and is planning to ride can try simultaneously to join the Virtual Queue — provided you’re all logged in on different My Disney Experience accounts. Each of you should 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. 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’
3. Confirm Your Party Up to One Hour Before Virtual Queue Start Time
Between 6am and 7am and between 12pm and 1pm for the afternoon group drop, you’ll have the option to “Confirm Your Party” in advance. BE SURE to do this in advance.
Click “Confirm Your Party,” and you’ll see this screen. If the guests pre-selected in “Your Party” aren’t accurate, select “Change Party” to add or remove guests from your party.
Here’s the screen you’ll see if you select “Change Party.”
4. Count down with a digital clock.
Once you have confirmed your party, at 6:59am or 12:59pm, use a smart watch or other internet-enabled device like an iPad or computer to pull up a clock with a second count. 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.
5. Watch the countdown and click ‘Refresh’ as soon as your clock hits 7:00:00.
Once you click “Refresh” on the screen above, a blue “Join Virtual Queue” will show up. Click it immediately.
Note: You’re given the option to pull-down or refresh this screen. Use the “Refresh” button because this is the same spot you’ll need to click “Join Virtual Queue” on the next screen as well.
6. After you click ‘Refresh’, keep tapping until ‘Join Virtual Queue’ appears then tap ‘Join Virtual Queue.’
NOTE: This step changed on Sept. 9, 2021. Keep your finger in place and continue to tap furiously until you’ve confirmed your group. Do not stop to read anything. Just tap until you receive confirmation that you’ve joined a group.
7. 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 national content director for 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.