Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened today in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Disneyland resort in California to an unprecedented crowd with the virtual queue filling up in less than 5 minutes.
Here’s the breakdown of events:
- 8:00 a.m. PST: The Virtual Queue scheduled to Open for “Rise of the Resistance.”
- 4:00 a.m. PST: Guests were seen lining up at Disneyland.
- 5:30/5:45 a.m. PST: Disneyland began letting guests through the gates and onto Main Street.
- 7:45 a.m. PST: Disneyland was forced to officially opened, 15 minutes early than originally planned.
- 8:01 a.m. PST: All Regular Boarding Groups were filled.
- 8:02 a.m. PST: Over 100 total boarding groups (including regular groups and backup groups) were filled.
Main Street Flooded with Guests
On a typical day, Disneyland will begin letting guests through the gates and settle on Main Street, U.S.A., around 30 minutes before the park is scheduled to open. So, approximately 7:30 a.m. PST. Today, people were let through the gates starting at around 5:30-5:45 a.m. PST, and the park was scheduled to officially open at 8:00 a.m.
Cast Members on hand told Inside the Magic that Disneyland began letting people in so early because they had to make room outside. After around 5:30 a.m, the gathering crowd was so large, they were pushed back all the way to the entrance to Disney’s California Adventure, and there needs to be a clear walkway in the Disneyland Esplanade, the courtyard space between the two parks.
A Line for Coffee that Could Cover a City Block
Even though the rides remained closed, the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. began to open, allowing guests to pass the time and get a little breakfast. But Main Street’s Starbucks — called Market House — was the biggest hit. At one point, the line stretched from the around coffee shop all the way down to the Silhouette Studio that stands across the street from Main Street’s Penny Arcade. That is close to the equivalent distance of a city block. But who can blame them? After all, if these people were awake and moving before 5:00 a.m. this morning, they’re going to need some coffee, right?
Disneyland Opens Early
The crowd on Main Street continued to grow and grow until it was too much for the park. Disneyland caved and opened the park at 7:45 a.m., 15 minutes early. However, Cast Members clarified that this was a move to simply alleviate and disperse the overwhelming crowd that had gathered on Main Street. The virtual queue still would not start until 8:00 a.m. This also allowed guests who were relying on the paper Boarding Group distribution areas (instead of the Disneyland app) to join the virtual queue.
Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue Filled in 1 Minute!
The clock struck 8, and thousands of guests took to their phones! Guests heard cheers echoed across the park. Like a deerless hunter hearing rifle fire echo from other corners of the forest, the cheers were tell-tale signs that someone was a little luckier than you on this opening day.
By 8:01 a.m. PST, every regular boarding group was filled. By 8:02 am, guests were being placed in “Backup Groups,” and over 100 total groups were filled. Backup groups are like waiting stand-by at the airport. You have the chance at a seat, but only after everyone in the regular boarding groups has already been seated and through.
Disneyland Distributing Paper Boarding Passes?
While it still isn’t surprising that the boarding groups filled up so quickly, Inside the Magic learned that there were two kiosks with Cast Members distributing paper boarding group reminders for guests who don’t have the Disneyland app or a smart phone. One is by Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland, and the other by Splash Mountain in Critter Country.
This was done probably to help disperse the crowds across Disneyland Park and also to ensure the WiFi and Disneyland App didn’t get overwhelmed and crash, and also so that guests without smart phone could still have the opportunity to join a group. Regardless, every single available boarding pass was accounted for in mere minutes.
“Why so early?!”
You can thank the virtual queue for the early morning. While you can expect extra-early lineups for any ride on its opening day, the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance takes early crowds to a whole new level.
As we learned at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, there is no standby line for Rise of the Resistance. You need to join the virtual queue and join a boarding group. But unlike a Fastpass, you can’t join a boarding group until the park opens on the day you want to ride it, and you have to be in the park to join a group. So, we wholeheartedly suggest crossing the threshold into Disneyland Park well before official opening if you want a shot at a boarding group.
Book Your Disneyland Vacation
Are you planning your next Disneyland trip so you can experience “Rise of the Resistance?” Well, our friends at Academy Travel are here to help. Backed with years of experience and award-winning customer service, the agents at Academy know what it takes to make your next Disneyland vacation your most magical yet. Reach out today for your free no-obligation quote!