How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

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 How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

If Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was the most anticipated Disneyland addition of 2019, Rise of the Resistance is certainly the most anticipated attraction of 2020! And as of January 17, it’s finally open!

Due to the popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disneyland uses virtual Boarding Groups to access the attraction. In this article I’ll share how to prepare your Disneyland app to secure a boarding group, when to arrive at Disneyland Park, and how the Boarding Group process works. I’ll also share some of my thoughts on the attraction and spoilers below (if you’re into that sort of thing!).

Note – This article was originally published in January 2020 and was recently updated with new information in September 2021.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

What Are Boarding Groups?

Boarding Groups are like a virtual queue for the attraction. Disneyland has implemented boarding groups to avoid having an hours-long wait for Rise of the Resistance. You can request Boarding Group access via the Disneyland app.

The virtual queue is nice because you have a place in line, but are free to roam around Disneyland Park, or even go back to your hotel or home, and wait for your boarding time. Once you join a boarding group, the app will count down with an estimated wait time, and then send you a push notification when it’s your turn.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

If you aren’t already using the Disneyland app, follow the below instructions BEFORE you arrive at Disneyland Park to save time:

1. Download the Disneyland app to your mobile device. Make sure you have the most updated version of the app.
2. Link everyone in your group (via ticket or pass number) AND/OR unlink anyone who will not be riding with you.
3. Turn on push notifications for the app, if you haven’t already.
4. Make sure your mobile device is fully charged before you get to Disneyland.

If you do not have a mobile device or access to the app, please see Guest Services prior to 12 noon. They may be able to assist you.

When Do You Join?

Guests have two chances to join a boarding group – at 7am and at noon.

The 7am opportunity will allow guests to try for a boarding group while still at your home or hotel, as long as you have a valid park ticket and Disneyland park reservation for the day you are making the boarding group selection.

For the noon opportunity, guests must scanned in to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. (You can leave the park once you are scanned in, but you must have scanned your ticket and entered the park prior to noon.)

If you are lucky enough to grab a boarding group, you will have one hour to return to the attraction once your group number is called.

Once your group is called, proceed to the front of Rise of the Resistance, which is located on the west end of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (near the Critter Country entrance).

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland
(Photo credit: Disneyland Daily), who also has a great article about getting on Rise of the Resistance.)

Directions on How to Join the Virtual Queue

So how does it all work?

You need to be ready, with your app open, *before* the queue opening time, and follow these instructions:

Confirm Your Party

  1. Starting at 6am, guests can choose their party members ahead of time, which will make getting a boarding group much easier!
  2. Between 6am and 7am (or, between 11am and 12 noon for the second opportunity), open the Disneyland app and press the “hamburger” menu (3 horizontal lines) on the bottom right of the app. 
  3. Tap on the “Virtual Queues” button. Select “Join Virtual Queue.”
  4. Tap “Disneyland Park” at the top. You’ll now see “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” listed under Attractions.
  5. If it’s between 6am and 7am (or, between 11am and 12 noon), you’ll see a button that reads “Confirm Your Party.” 
  6. On the next screen, you can select anyone who wants to experience the attraction that day and hit “confirm.” (Note – the Disneyland app will pre-select anyone who is already listed on your account and has a ticket/reservation for that day.)

Screenshot of main screen on Disneyland app with "virtual queues" circled

Now that you’ve confirmed your party, you can come back to the app a couple minutes before 7am (or 12 noon) and follow the instructions below:

Join a Boarding Group

  1. Open the Disneyland app and press the “hamburger” menu (3 horizontal lines) on the bottom right of the app.
  2. Tap on the “Virtual Queues” button. Select “Join Virtual Queue.”
  3. Tap “Disneyland Park” at the top. You’ll now see “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” listed under Attractions.
  4. at 6:59am, pull down on the screen as if you are refreshing, but don’t let go yet! 
  5. Once your phone clock turns over to 7:00am, release the screen to refresh.
  6. Tap the button that reads “Join.”
  7. Your party has already been confirmed, so no need to waste time reviewing it. Just press “Join” again as quickly as possible.
  8. If all goes well, you’ll be assigned a boarding group number! The screen will also provide an estimated wait time.

Screenshot of Disneyland app showing the Virtual Queue screen

If you weren’t successful in getting a boarding group, you’ll receive a message that reads something like “Boarding Groups have reached capacity for today.”

If you were successful, as the day goes on your status screen will be updated with a green bar. The green bar grows as you get closer until finally … success! Once you get the notification that it’s your turn, return to the entrance of “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” where a Cast Member will scan your boarding pass. Remember, you will have one hour to return.

**NOTE – Everyone in your group can try for a boarding group at the same time! If someone gets through, the rest of the people in the group will get an error message saying they are already in a group.

If you don’t get a group in the morning, you can try again at 12 noon as long as everyone who wants to ride is scanned into the park. (Meaning, they entered either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure and had their ticket scanned before 12 noon.)

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

Will Everyone Who Tries to Join the Virtual Queue Get In?

Just a word of warning. Everyone who tries for a boarding group will not get one. You could follow these instructions to the letter and still not be quick enough, or have technology fail you. Here are some difficult truths about the virtual queue process:

  • You might follow the instructions exactly but are still “too slow” and don’t get a boarding group.
  • The app might glitch and the boarding groups will fill up before you can even get in.
  • The wifi/mobile connection might be slow, causing the app to run slow. (I suggest turning off the in-park WIFI and using mobile connection while in the theme parks.)
  • You might get into a group but the attraction might break down while in the queue (happened to me).
  • You might get into a group and the attraction might break down while waiting for your group to be called, and if you’re in a higher group, your group number might not get called.
  • You might get into a group and it’s possible the attraction might not open at all that day.

It’s not a perfect system by any means, but I do believe it’s better than waiting in an 8 hour line.

 

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

 

Frequently Asked Questions about obtaining a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance

What are some tips for getting a boarding pass?

Other than the tips I shared above, I would recommend the following:
– Skip the Disneyland WiFi, which is notoriously unreliable. Use your cellular data instead.
– Stand in an uncrowded area, away from other people using their phones. (But also make sure your signal is strong.)
– If you do not see the Join Boarding Group red button right away, DO NOT OPEN AND CLOSE YOUR APP. Simply pull down to refresh. Do not restart the app unless it freezes, or it will cost you valuable time.
– If you are in a group, put your faith in whoever has the newest, fastest phone with the best cellular connection.

Can I try for a boarding pass for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB SLINGERS in the same day?

Potentially … but it’s complicated.

If you are successful in obtaining a boarding group for either Rise of the Resistance or WEB SLINGERS at 7am AND you complete your ride before 12 noon AND you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can attempt to join the virtual queue for the other attraction at 12 noon.

If you manage to make it into the virtual queue but do NOT ride before 12 noon, you will not be able to attempt the virtual queue for the other attraction.

Reminder: You will need a Park Hopper ticket and a theme park reservation. If you are starting your day at Disneyland, you can join the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance at 7am. If you are starting your day at Disney California Adventure, you can join the virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS at 7am.

Can I go to Disney’s California Adventure and still get a Boarding Group?

If you have a park hopper ticket and your starting park is Disney’s California Adventure, you can try for a RISE boarding group during the 12 noon opportunity.

Can I scan into Disneyland, then leave and go somewhere else (like back to my hotel or to Downtown Disney) and still join a Boarding Group?

This *should* work for the 12 noon opportunity. But I highly recommend staying inside the park.

Can I cancel a boarding group?

Yes, you can cancel a boarding group under the Virtual Queue section of the app.

I have Boarding Group number xx. What time will my Group be called?

Boarding Groups are not called at a specific time. Group numbers will be called as space in the physical queue becomes available. Also, if the attraction breaks down, this will affect when Groups are called.

As an example, the first day I had Boarding Group 58 and ended up going on the attraction around 3pm. The second day, I had Group 29 and ended up going on the attraction around 1pm. The attraction had much more downtime on the second day, delaying my group. So as you can see, there is really no way to predict what time your group will actually be called. You can keep an eye on the attractions status in the app, or just wait to get the push notification that your group has been called! You can also check the status board near Plaza Inn for the current groups being called.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How does Disability Access Service pass work with this attraction?

Everyone needs a boarding group, even if you are using the DAS pass. The queue is fully ADA compliant and a typical wait is between 20-30 minutes (without any break down delays). If you need additional assistance, please visit the guest services stand at the Frontierland entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Is rider swap available?

Yes. Again, everyone in the party will still need a boarding group.

Is there a single rider line?

Not at this time.

Can I go on this attraction if I’m pregnant?

I would advise against it since I know nothing about being pregnant. But the choice is ultimately up to you.

What is the ride like? Do I need to worry about motion sickness? I heard there is a drop – how intense is it?

I had all these questions before I rode because I do not like roller coasters or fast rides or drops or anything fun! Motion simulator attractions (like Star Tours) make me queasy and I have to close my eyes. I even have trouble on Smuggler’s Run. I hate drops like Tower of Terror and I won’t even go on Guardians of the Galaxy.

(Very minor spoilers ahead.)

All that being said, I had zero motion sickness issues with Rise of the Resistance. The vehicle section of the ride is trackless and smooth. There are times when you are spun around or you go backwards suddenly, but it’s not jerky or intense. It’s similar to being whipped around on Toy Story Mania.

The drop – Yes there is a short drop that’s over before you even know it. It’s a straight down drop that lasts about a second. I had no issues with it. If you can handle the drops on Pirates or Indiana Jones, you can handle this.

The drop leads into a 30 second motion simulator sequence. Any longer and I probably would have had to start closing my eyes. It’s quick and very smooth.

SPOILER ZONE!

The rest of the article contains spoilers for Rise of the Resistance. Please close this window or tab if you do not want to read about the attraction. If you have any questions that have not been covered yet, please reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram – @fairytalemindy

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SPOILERS ARE COMING UP!
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Okay, I feel like that’s a good enough warning.

Rise of the Resistance is truly an immersive attraction unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else. It combines many elements of so many other attractions and it all works together.

The plot of Rise of the Resistance finds guests being recruited to assist Rey and the Resistance with battling the First Order. The attraction begins in a room where BB-8 is buzzing about, doing droid things. Soon a hologram of Rey appears, thanking us for our loyalty to the Resistance and explaining that our transport off Batuu is waiting.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

From this room, we are led to an outside area where we board a ship – the transport off Batuu, with Poe and BB-8 following behind us on their X-Wing.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

The transport is piloted by Lieutenant Bek, perhaps a Mon Calamari relative of the late Admiral Ackbar. While he is leading the way, the transport becomes under attack by the First Order. Guests are standing inside the transport and there is very mild movement, similar to riding on a subway or bus. Handrails are available to hold onto, but not really needed. There is a lot of look at on this transport.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

Once the First Order attacks, they use a tracking beam to pull our transport into their Star Destroyer. Suddenly the transport door opens and the First Order boards. They tell us we will be led to the interrogation room.

Leaving the transport, you are now in the “Stormtrooper” room you have probably already seen. The First Order encourages guests down the hall but feel free to take a quick photo here. This room is truly, mind-blowingly ENORMOUS.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

From here guests are led down a hallway and eventually split up into small groups for “interrogation.” Guests are told to stand on a certain color floor, and then small groups of 16 are led into the holding area, where a Stormtrooper is keeping watch.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

Suddenly, General Hux appears followed by Kylo Ren. Kylo knows we have seen the location of the Resistance base on Batuu and he tries to read our minds using the Force. They walk away and then suddenly, a loud noise comes from the other side of the wall. The wall splits and a member of the Resistance appears, saying we are being rescued. Groups of 8 are led to transports (ride vehicles) operated by a droid R-5. Cast members (Resistance fighters) assist guests with getting into the transport and safety procedures.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

The rest of the attraction takes place in these escape transports, which are trackless ride vehicles. It goes by fast and there’s a lot to look at! The transport zooms around, goes backward, and has sharp turns as we try to avoid capture by the First Order. There is a slight drop, about a second, and the attraction ends with a quick simulation experience similar to Star Tours that lasts about 30 seconds.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

The level of detail is simply indescribable. Like nothing I’ve ever seen on any attraction.

Good news – you escape the First Order and end up back on Batuu where you exit your transport.

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland

The whole experience takes about 20 minutes.

I truly love this attraction and I hope you love it too. If you’re trying to join a boarding group soon, may the Force be with you!

How to Ride RISE OF THE RESISTANCE at Disneyland