Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups

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Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened on December 5, 2019, at Hollywood Studios in Florida. To everyone’s surprise, the ride is operating with no standby queue. The only way to experience the new attraction is by using the virtual queue called Boarding Groups. The Boarding Group process has evolved since opening, and will likely see more changes over the next weeks. We don’t know how long Disney will keep the Boarding Groups.

To join a Boarding Group, everyone in your party needs to have entered the park. Then, it is just a matter of waiting for the Boarding Group system to be opened, the time of which has varied. For example, on December 18, Disney did not open the virtual queue until 7:00 a.m. when the park officially opened.  Before December 18, Disney was opening the Park between 6 and 6:30 a.m. regardless of published park opening time and opened Boarding Groups at different times. The result: People were starting to arrive before 5 a.m. to line up at security checkpoints. Starting on December 16, Disney expanded the virtual queue to include Backup Boarding Groups. The first day, Disney distributed Backup Boarding Groups until 11:20. The following days, Disney cut off the Backup Boarding groups earlier.

Here’s the data showing park opening, ride opening, Boarding Group opening and closing, and Backup Boarding Group closing.

 

What’s the best strategy if you want to ride Rise of the Resistance? There are two key points: First, arrive early and be prepared to wait. As the holiday crowds build, we do not expect to see the demands for Boarding Groups going down, and we do not expect Disney will change the system so that you can join a Boarding Group before you physically enter the park. Second, be flexible–Disney continues to modify their systems and currently, the official word is that Boarding Groups will open at park opening. Although this official word seems likely to be the way that Disney will carry out Boarding Group availability for the foreseeable future, that’s entirely Disney’s call to make. Things can change. We’ll keep you updated.

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

45 thoughts on “Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm
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    Generally, how long before park opening do I need be there to get through the turnstiles early enough to get a boarding pass?

    Thanks

    Paul M

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    • December 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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      I would definitely be at the park entrance 30 minutes before the park opens if you want a morning boarding group. If you arrive at park opening you will get an afternoon or evening boarding group. 30-60 minutes after the park opens you might get a boarding group, but it may not be called.

      Reply
  • December 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    One quick note/correction: technically, everyone in your party does NOT need to be in the park to join a boarding group. Everyone in your party *needs to have entered DHS that day* to join a boarding group.

    You can tap into the park at 6:30am, immediately leave, and join the virtual queue from your hotel breakfast at 7am. There is no tracking of physical location in play here, only ticket media status.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2019 at 1:41 pm
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    Thanks. I was actually wondering about this. When I was testing the boarding groups, the virtual queue was always opened as soon as we touched in.

    I’ll update the blog post.

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  • December 19, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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    Steve, how long do you see the trend continuing with boarding groups and do they seem like the ride breakdowns are getting fewer? I will be visiting in the last week of Jan 2020 with my nephew and we like our morning sleep.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 9:43 am
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    The huge positive for Disney with the Boarding Groups is they can hide any operational problems. Disney’s app does not show “not boarding” when the ride is down. The rate of boarding groups could slow down. If Disney is reducing the size of later boarding groups, this would also help hide operational problems.

    I expect the boarding groups will be around for a while. Disney needs to get the capacity and reliability higher before they stop the Boarding Groups. In general, I think the virtual queue has gone well. I would expect Disney will use a virtual queue for new attractions openings in the future.

    Reply
  • December 20, 2019 at 10:48 am
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    Ok, dumb question.

    I have my wife and I tickets on my MDE account. (We did not link her ticket to her own and link two MDE accounts.).

    I have been able to make FP+ reservations for us both no issues. Will I be able to join us both to a boarding group?

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  • December 20, 2019 at 11:16 am
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    I assume if you can make FP+ reservations for both of you, you will be able to reserve boarding groups together. You can actually test from home. In the morning, before 10 am, go into the My Disney Experience app, and try to join a boarding group. It will let you start, and select your group. The next screen will say there is a problem because you are not in the park.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm
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    This question is less critical to figuring out how an individual needs to interact with the system but I’ve been curious what the progress through boarding groups has looked day-to-day. You mention the possibility of Disney not keeping consistent sized groups so this information would be substantially reduced in value if that’s the case but have you folks been tracking the progression of groups through a day? You show the starting group, I’m curious about cut-off group, last called group to ride, and perhaps even an hourly breakdown of which groups when.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    How far into the backup groups are they typically marking it through each day? So like on the 19th they gave them out until around 10:50, but did they actually make it through all of them or did some not get called?

    Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 9:16 am
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    We’re going to Disneyland the last week of January, Tues-Friday. What do you predict crowds will be like then? I chose that week a year ago showing that it wasa great time to go. The tracking numbers haven’t changed

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    • December 21, 2019 at 10:05 am
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      The crowd level will not change much due to Rise if the Resistance opening. Mid-week and of January you should be fine. We assume Disneyland will use the same Board Group process.

      Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    Hi, are you going to continue to update this data daily somewhere? Thanks!

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  • December 22, 2019 at 9:03 am
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    So, my question is, can you join a boarding group, then go to another park, to return to HS to ride in the afternoon or evening? Or would you lose your boarding group if you check into another park? We are planning to be at HS on December 31, and also on January 2. Trying to make sure we have the best plan of action around our already booked FP plans is a struggle!

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  • December 22, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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    Do you have any sense of how many people are in each boarding group? Also why is the rise breaking down so often? Thanks in advance!!!

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    • December 23, 2019 at 10:09 am
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      No. We don’t know if the boarding group size is different between days, or even within a day.

      I have no information, but I expect Disney is experimenting with the boarding group sizes.

      Reply
  • December 23, 2019 at 10:04 am
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    Chriss- You can leave the park. You can use FastPasses in a different park. You can watch the Disney App and see how the boarding groups are progressing. When your boarding group is called, you have 2 hours to return to the attraction.

    Reply
  • December 23, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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    Thank you, this helps us a lot!

    Reply
  • December 27, 2019 at 7:15 pm
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    Arrived at the park today at 6:36AM and was assigned a backup boarding group of 146. Received a push notification around noon that the ride would be unable to fulfill my boarding group number. Big bummer.

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  • December 28, 2019 at 8:14 am
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    That sucks! It was a bit of a surprise that on a 6am opening day the boarding passes would go so fast.

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  • December 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Arrived on 12/27/19 at 5:50am. Went into park at 6am but due to a common app glitch it did not recognize our party as being there so we could not get into virtual queue. This app problem affected hundreds of people long lines to correct. Waited in line for 25 minutes for customer service to correct so then at 6:25 best they could do was put us in group 120. At 6:30pm got notice our group would not get to go.

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  • December 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    An employee told me that the entire day had been booked two hours after park open. Not realizing this was the case, I in advance bought four tickets for my family solely to experience this awesome new ride and never got to see it. In theory, I think the boarding system has potential, but without the ability to experience it also waiting standby I feel it’ll disappoint. Either that or they should make it an offered add-on you get while paying for your ticket. I wouldn’t have attended had I known.

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  • December 30, 2019 at 10:29 pm
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    How long is the actual line wait when you arrive for your boarding group window? Thanks.

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    • December 31, 2019 at 10:05 am
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      We hear that Disney is trying to keep the wait under an hour. I’ve waited 30-45 minutes before the first pre-show with Rey and BB-8.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2020 at 12:26 am
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    Steve, thanks for all your info and help in this thread. Wow! Above and beyond. Maybe you can help with my question. We’ve got a friend doing a Disney Race on Thursday the 9th at 5:30am. We intend to enter the park without him and get a boarding group, since we don’t know if or when he will complete the race and make it into the park. Our accounts are linked via the app. If he were to make it in the park sometime after us, but early enough to still get a [higher] boarding group, would We be able to cancel my earlier group and join his later one? (Much like canceling a fast pass to take a different one.)

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    • January 2, 2020 at 10:40 am
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      If your friend can get a Boarding Group or not, I would go to the Guest Experience Team and see if they can add your friend to your Boarding Group. It never hurts to ask.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2020 at 5:13 pm
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    Let me know how this turns out, will you? I have a similar issue coming up for a February trip!

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  • January 3, 2020 at 1:35 pm
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    Great information! The table above shows that they were consistently opening the ride before park opening. Is that still the case or are they strictly adhering to holding BG distribution until park opening time? Trying to determine best time to show up at the park before opening time. Thanks!

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  • January 4, 2020 at 9:27 am
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    Is it still true that you can tap in early to DHS, leave and join boarding group from Hotel at 7:00. We will be at Yacht Club Jan 9-12. Both of us can leave? Or does one of us have to stay in Park? BTW I have used the app from home now (in Canada!) and see that my wife and I are available to add to boarding group before I get the “Is everyone in the Park?” message.

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    • January 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm
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      To the best of my knowledge, this still works. (And I guess Disney could change this at any time.)

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  • January 6, 2020 at 12:59 pm
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    Steve, in the chart above under the “Boarding Group” column, what does the data in the “first” column represent?

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  • January 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm
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    How do we know what time the park will open so we can be there for boarding groups?

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    • January 6, 2020 at 6:05 pm
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      They will start letting people through security about 1 hour before the park opens. Shortly after then they will open touchstiles. They will hold every one on Hollywood Boulevard until park opening. At that time the app will allow you to get your Boarding Group.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2020 at 11:15 am
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    In reply to Steve and E.W. from the question on January 2nd about my fried who would be running a Disney race and coming to HS after we had entered, I and my friend did end up with a group 40 bp at park opening. Our friend showed up after the race and was able to get a backup boarding pass for group 122. We went to a Disney team member by RotR and told them
    what happened and asked if either we could be moved to his group 122 or him to our #40 with no expectations of if either were possible. They were helpful and did end up putting him in our group 40. We were honest about it and they assisted us nicely.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2020 at 12:07 pm
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    We did go to HS on December 31st to try for a boarding group. We were struggling with timing, because we had planned our days based on the ride wait times predicted before the boarding groups were known. We had FastPasses for AK that morning, Avatar at 11, Everest at noon, safari at 1. We’d planned to hit HS after that and wait in a long queue around 3 pm for RotR and Falcon. We had also planned a late night at HS to bring in the New Year. The boarding groups threw the whole plan in chaos. We didn’t want to get an early boarding group, because we didn’t want to risk our Avatar FastPass. So, we arrived at HS about 6:15 am on a 6 am opening day. I was able to get boarding group 109 for our party of 6 at about 6:20. This worked perfectly for us. We enjoyed AK and all our FastPasses there and were actually walking toward the exit at AK to head to HS when we got the call for our boarding group. Whew!

    Reply
  • January 12, 2020 at 6:30 am
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    Hey all… I was able to score boarding group 21 on 1/11 because of some key hints I got from other guests. Yes you have to be in the park before opening but as long as your in the park at 7 when the boarding groups start being disbursed your alright. The line is HUGE to get into the park so if you got there at 630 it wouldn’t leave you enough time to get into the park~ with the current demand going on. I myself got there at about 545 and still waited in a big line that took 30 mins to get up to scan in my magic band and enter. So heres the juicy tips that I was told and didnt see anywhere……. Dont use the wifi be on cellular data everyone uses the wifi and it gunks up. Dont have the app open on your phone till 7 on the dot… dont open the app at 659 you will have to reload it and that will cost you precious seconds. I also heard from people androids are working better then iPhones for this… 1 woman told me she spent 2 mins fumbling with her iphone waiting for it to load and her husband’s droid worked fine ( they of course had it the app open early and had to restart it at 7 so that hurt them too) also heard to not try to book your whole party at once – better to load it 1 person at at time. Just something stuff I heard and utlizited. Good luck the ride is worth it

    Reply
  • January 12, 2020 at 2:47 pm
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    RE: TBONE 1/12/20
    Thank you for the great secret tips!!!
    I’m wondering about not booking whole party at once, better to load 1 person at a time. I will definitely do this, but not understanding, is there a chance that my husband won’t be in the same BG as me if I do this? Thanks for your help.
    Also to TP, is there a way to see how the booking a boarding group looks in our app? Like a step by step procedure?

    Reply
  • January 16, 2020 at 7:32 am
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    Is there an update on this or new tips for January? We are due to HS next week and looking for updates post the Christmas rush. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  • January 23, 2020 at 7:36 am
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    If you have 5 people in your party, should all 5 try to get a boarding group and then accept the best number? What is the best strategy for a group of this size that all have cell fones?

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  • January 25, 2020 at 5:31 pm
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    I don’t have an answer but do have the exact same question. I’m hoping someone can let us know!

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  • January 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm
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    Best bet is making sure you are linked within this Disney App and go for the Boarding group. Each of you can try simultaneously and whichever gets it first it will automatically apply and everyone else will get an error message. There won’t be time to see what’s best and pick. There won’t be a “confirm” button. You basically click “get boarding pass” and when it goes through you’re done and the group is already assigned.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2020 at 12:21 pm
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    Can multiple people log into the same account on different phones? I’m currently the only one with a MDE account and I’d rather not get anyone else set up if I don’t have to.

    Reply

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