It’s one of the most popular attractions at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the most unique rides Disney has ever built. Since its opening days at the resorts, this attraction has been anything but normal. Had Disney opened it like any other attraction, the standby lines would have been 6+ hours. Fastpass? Forget about it. They would be gone in seconds. And that’s the real dilemma that this attraction faces: time.
There’s just not enough of it in a day to get everyone who wants to ride it on. Thus from day one Disney came up with a “solution” called the virtual queue. I’m going to explain more about this below but for guests who just aren’t aware, Rise of the Resistance up to this point does not have a standby line that anyone can just get into. It’s a hard concept to grasp as we’re all so use to being able to just get in a line if we want to ride something. However, this is not the case with Rise of the Resistance.
My guide below is going to answer some of the most basic questions about how Rise of the Resistance works as well as dive into some details including how to get a guaranteed boarding group when it’s time to join.
What is the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance?
Queues are what we call the lines guests wait in before they actually get on an attraction. So when you see a ride at Walt Disney World and you want to ride, you’re going to get into the queue so you can ride it. It’s literally the part of the attraction where you stand and walk, stand and walk, getting you closer to the actual riding part.
Now I would call his a physical queue because you’re actually physically there going through it. A virtual queue is where you get in line for an attraction but you do so via technology without having to physically be at the attraction.
Since day one of opening, Rise of the Resistance has only ever had a virtual queue. So as I was explaining above, no guest (currently) can just walk up to the ride and get in a line). You must join the virtual queue in order to ride the attraction.
How Do I Join The Virtual Queue?
This can be done via the My Disney Experience App available for any smartphone, Apple and Android, from their respective stores. Simply download the free app to your phone (this should be done before your trip) and log-in. Your log-in is the same as what you used to put your trip together online at disneyworld.com.
The app will load all your plans including hotel reservations, tickets and group members, FastPass+, dining reservations and more. You must be logged-in to see this information and to join any virtual queue.
If you have multiple people in your party and they all control their own tickets and family members, they will have to do the same.
- Once you have the app loaded, look for the three lines (hamburger) menu in the bottom right corner of the app.
- Once clicked you’ll see several options, one of which is called Virtual Queues.
- In this option you can choose to join a queue which is what you want to do.
- The next screen pulls up Rise of the Resistance and its current options for the queue. As of January 2021 you can join the virtual queue at 7AM and 1PM EST. For the 7AM one, you do not need to be in the parks to join. All you have to do is have a park reservation. For the 1PM one you and your group do need to be in the parks (or at least gone in at some point) in order to join (this has created some confusion for guests who are going to Park Hop to Hollywood Studios that day and want to join at 1PM. Unfortunately it’s not possible to do this right now).
- Once 7AM or 1PM comes around the screen that you see will change and a JOIN button will appear. Simply click this to join the virtual queue. The app will automatically select any of your friends or family members whom you manage to join the queue so don’t worry about selecting them.
- At the bottom of this screen you’ll see another blue JOIN button. Click this and you’re done!
- The next screen will tell you what boarding group you’re in.
How Fast Does The Virtual Queue Fillup?
You don’t want to hear this answer but it’s mere seconds before the queue fills up completely. I’ll say that again because it’s hard to grasp: The virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance fills up in a matter of seconds. For guests who visited pre-COVID, there was about 10-15 minutes before it use to fill up. This is no longer the case and will continue to fill up within seconds as long as Disney World stays open at reduced capacity.
So what does this mean for you? There’s a solid chance that newbies won’t ever get into the virtual queue to ride. This is a sad reality and no Cast Member at the parks will be able to help you no matter how much complaining or excuses you make to them. I’ve seen it a million times from guests and they will not budge. When the virtual queue is full, that’s it.
This should make you nervous and ancy. That’s normal. What you want to do is learn exactly how to join at the right time to ensure you get it. I’ve highlighted exactly how to do this below.
Just so you can see how fast the queue fills up, I’ve created a video for you. In it you’ll see that it’s 4:59 MST which is 6:59 EST. The queue opens at 7AM EST or in this case 5AM MST. Watch the time change at the top to 5AM. I refresh the page, tap join and then join again and it’s already full in a matter of seconds. I purposefully made the mistake of not refreshing immediately just to show you how fast the queue fills up. In my tips below, I’ll teach you how to make sure you get through this process much quicker, which significantly increases your chances of getting in.
What If I Don’t Make It Into the Virtual Queue?
It’s a sad reality but happens to thousands of guests everyday. Because the attraction cannot accommodate everyone, people will be left out. If you tried the 7AM and didn’t get in, try for the 1PM one. If you don’t get either of them, try another day. There’s nothing that can be done and no Cast Member will be able to help you get into the queue, even if you say you didn’t know how it works. They will educate you and send you on your way. I’ve seen it a million times. Just keep trying and be sure to read my tips below on how to get in almost every time.
What Is A Boarding Group and Does It Guarantee Me Entry?
A boarding group is what you’re assigned assuming you were able to join the virtual queue using the steps above. A boarding group determines when you show up to ride the attraction. Disney starts at boarding group 1 and continues to call them throughout the day. Every day is different as far as how many boarding groups are called. This is because things can slow down or speed up the process of calling groups.
For instance, if the attraction breaks down, they stop calling boarding groups until it’s back up and running. So if it’s down for 30 minutes, they may have just lost boarding groups at the tailend because now there’s not enough time to call them before park close. However, if there are no issues throughout the day, they may get through more boarding groups than they thought.
Thus being assigned a boarding group does not guarantee you entry onto the attraction. For this reason Disney has created what are called backup groups. These are groups that Disney can place guests into in case all goes well and they can be accomodated. Backup groups are always at the tailend of the days boardings and like the other groups, are not guaranteed to have their group called.
A typical day calls group 1 and can make it through about 100 groups or so. I’ve been in a backup group of 112 and made it on. I’ve also see it when only 89 groups made it in a day. Again, it comes down to how the attraction is operating that day.
If you were to ask Disney how many boarding groups there are on any given day, their answer would be, “as many as we can accomodate”. They do not have a set number and never guarantee anyone the chance to ride.
Having said this, the lower the number your boarding group is, the better chance you have of riding. If you are put into a backup group, don’t fret. Just plan on being in the parks all day or returning later while you monitor your boarding groups status.
I Have A Boarding Group, Now What?
First of all congrats! That is very exciting! Now you play the waiting game. Your app will tell you what groups are being called so it should be constantly monitored so you have a good idea of when to show up. Again, there can be delays so just keep checking. Your app, assuming you allowed notifications from it, will tell you when your group has been called. This is nice. It’s even nicer when you show up a few groups before and hang off to the side until your group is called. That’s will put you at the front of your group and on to the attraction that much faster. Just don’t try to get in line hoping your group will be called. If it hasn’t, you’ll be turned away.
If your group is called and you’re across the parks, don’t fret. You typically have an hour after your group is called to show up. The app will tell you.
What If I Use the Disability Access Service or Don’t Have a Smartphone?
Rise of the Resistance can only be ridden by using the virtual queue, even if you use DAS or the Disability Access Service. This means you must follow the same steps above as everyone else.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you’ll want to speak to a guest relations Cast Member or Experience Team member to see what your options are. Obviously the easiest way to join is having the app on your phone and logged-in. I haven’t actually asked to see what options are available if you don’t have one.
Top 5 Tips To Get Into the Rise of the Resistance Queue
This is what you’ve been waiting for. I’ve been joining this queue since day one and can tell you it’s never failed me. If you’re not familiar with the app, you need to do so before following these steps. In fact, this is step #1.
- Familiarize yourself with the app. Learn how to access the virtual queue page and that you’re logged into the correct account and haven’t been signed out.
- Make sure everyone in your group has a valid ticket AND a park reservation. If any of these things are missing, they’re out. If you’re aiming to get the 1PM queue, make sure everyone has already entered the park, otherwise they’re out.
- Make sure you know how to refresh the virtual queue page by pulling down and releasing. This is a critical step in getting into the queue. Practice it for several minutes before, don’t bank on it just working.
- If you’re at the parks, have a second phone in front of you with the World Clock website pulled up. Disney’s queue system runs off of this and it allows you to view the time and seconds which is critical.
- As you watch the World Clock, when it gets to 5 seconds before the queue opens, pull down on the virtual queue page as if you were going to refresh it but don’t let go yet. Once the clock hits the exact time (7AM or 1PM) let go and the page will refresh with the blue JOIN button. Click on this immediately. Then, without changing the list of selected guests, hit the blue JOIN button at the bottom of this page. That’s it! You should be in!
A few notes about this. First, the reason you should NEVER modify the list it pre-populates is because the app automatically adds anyone in your group who has a valid ticket and park pass reservation onto the list. Wasting precious seconds “verifying” this list or modifying it will lose you your chance to join. That I can promise you.
There are only three serious steps you should be taking to join: 1. Refresh the virtual queue page right when it opens. 2. Hit the first JOIN button and 3. Hit the second JOIN button. Stalling or delaying in any way, shape or form will leave you without a boarding group.
Remember that the queue fills up in a matter of seconds so every millisecond counts. Even if you feel like you did it the fastest or as fast as anyone else, you may end up in a backup group. Don’t fret. You’ll get better at it.
My other note is concerning the internet. I am not a fan of Disney’s free park Wi-Fi and would never chance joining a virtual queue with it. I always turn my Wi-Fi off and run on my own data during this process. In general, make sure you have the internet when you’re doing this.
Below is a video of exactly how you should be joining the queue. While I don’t have the World clock being shown, I’m watching it. Watch as my phone’s clock turns 12PM (now changed to 11AM) (1PM EST) and that’s when I let go of the screen refresh. My JOIN button clicks are extremely fast as well.
Be prepared. If you can’t make it into the Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue the first time, try again. There are two chances each day. I always suggest visiting Hollywood Studios at least twice in case you can’t get in the first day.
Make sure you have the My Disney Experience App downloaded onto your smartphone and you’re logged in.
Become familiar with the Virtual Queue pages on the app and how they work.
Wake up early or jump on the app about 5 minutes before the queue is going to open. This is just in case you were signed out or can fix any errors they may be.
Have a friends phone or computer in front of you with the World Clock counting down the seconds. This is critical.
Don’t do anything with your group during the process. Any delays will cost you a boarding group and the chance to ride.
**UPDATE** Disney’s Virtual Queue used to open at 2PM EST. This was changed recently to 1PM and we have noted the changes on this page. Videos may still show old times.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.