Okay! Today’s the day. You are finally going to get in the virtual queue and experience Disney’s latest attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. But when the time comes to claim your boarding group, you get stuck in the “backup” boarding groups. Not only that, but you are in the 100s. You’ve seen this same situation go down on social media in the past, and you are starting to feel defeated. “How is it possible to get on the ride? There’s no way we’ll get on!”
I’m here to tell you don’t get disheartened. Secure your boarding group, and go about your day. You will get on the ride, and a lot sooner than you think. I know from personal experience.
On Saturday, February 1, 2020, I decided to drive up to Walt Disney World to give it a go. Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened at 7 a.m. that morning, and I knew fairly early in my drive that I would not get through the park gates before 7:30. Still, after crossing the threshold, I decided to see if I could join the queue. At ~7:45 a.m., I was added to boarding group 108. My boarding group was called just before the clock struck 3:00 p.m.
So, I thought I’d take this time to answer some lingering questions regarding the virtual queue that will hopefully put you and the rest of your Disney crew at ease.
“Do I have to stay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios once I join a boarding group?”
No, you don’t. You can park hop while you wait.
You are locked into that boarding group as you would a FastPass. The only difference is that a FastPass tells you what time you need to be back in the park and on the ride. With the Rise of the Resistance boarding process, you have to be checking your status in the app constantly.
Stuck in boarding group 108, I decided to spend some time in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Being there so early–and the fact it was a cold and rainy day in the park–the wait for Toy Story Mania was under 30 minutes, and the wait for Slinky Dog Dash was just under an hour. After Slinky Dog, we decided to park hop. There was no way we were going to get on the ride before noon. So, we set off for the Magic Kingdom.
While in line for Slinky Dog, I secured a last-minute reservation brunch reservation at ‘Ohana’s. Okay, it wasn’t technically “brunch,” but it was breakfast food served at 11:30 a.m. with mimosas. The last time I checked that is the exact description of brunch. Either way, we got to say hi to Stitch and Mickey. We were relaxed.
Once we were done with brunch, we headed back for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It ended up being faster to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and then board a bus from that depot back to Hollywood Studios. (Those planning on staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in the near future, take note). On the bus, I watched on my phone as the boarding group numbers continued to rise. But, we got back soon enough to ride the latest edition of Star Tours.
“How long do I have to get in line once my boarding group is called?”
You have two full hours to get in line.
Boarding group 108 was called at 2:58 pm, and we joined in the line right away. But, the app assured me that we had until 4:58 pm to join the line. I did not know this ahead of time. I had an extra two hours to play with. Of course, I didn’t want to play with it. I wanted to get on that attraction as soon as possible. But, that extra time was comforting to know. I was through the attraction by 3:40 pm and decided to walk to the Boardwalk for a drink at AbracadaBar.
Our Suggestion: Relax, Be Vigilant and Treat the Virtual Queue like a FastPass.
The only issue I have with the boarding system is the timing. The virtual queue is like a reverse FastPass. You really have no idea when you’re going to get on the ride. Keep your eyes on the queue, and don’t put yourself in a position where it will take you more than two hours to get back to the ride entrance.
Your day is not ruined by a high or backup boarding group. Just work around it. You have more time than you realize, but at the same time, you will be called to board sooner than you think. Have faith that the ride will remain operational.