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.