Disney World Makes It Easier to Get on Its Most Popular Ride

October 29, 2020, 1:05 PM · Starting next week, you won't need to rush over to Disney's Hollywood Studios first thing in the morning to try for a spot in the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance queue anymore.

The Walt Disney World Resort today announced a change in the procedures for the wildly popular attraction's virtual queue. Starting November 3, the virtual queue will open at 7am for ticket holders and annual passholders who hold a Disney Park Pass reservation to Disney's Hollywood Studios that day. Virtual queue reservations are made through Walt Disney World's official app, so you should link all tickets for people in your party before trying to get a spot in the queue. But you will not need to be physically present inside the park's gates to attempt to enter the virtual queue, as before.

Disney will continue to hold a second chance opportunity for Star Ware Rise of the Resistance virtual queue spots, at 2pm each day. You will need to be present inside Disney's Hollywood Studios to attempt to get a spot in the queue at 2pm, however.

Either way, your chances at getting Star Wars Rise of the Resistance have gotten better, as Disney has increased the ride's capacity by adding a clear barrier between the rows on the main ride vehicle, allowing Disney to seat more riders on it.

But if you don't get one of the coveted virtual queue spots, or you're not visiting Walt Disney World anytime soon, or you just want to re-live the experience on one of the world's top theme park attractions again, we've got you:

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Replies (38)

October 29, 2020 at 1:23 PM

Not a fan of this. Allowing people to sit on their home computer (and hard-wired internet connection) to compete against guests that are physically near or in the park (and reliant upon slammed and intermittent broadband/WiFi service) is just not fair to those that take the initiative to get their butts out of bed and to the park when it opens. It's also not good for business by allowing APs to simply not bother showing up on days they have reservation if they're not lucky enough to secure a Boarding Group for RotR.

Adding plexi between the rows seemed like a no-brainer, and I'm pretty shocked it had not been used prior to now.

October 29, 2020 at 1:43 PM

When we were there in September we got boarding passes quite easily for both DHS days. There were only two of us and I think things get more complicated with larger parties? I logged in (using my phones data) and had no problem getting boarding group 33 the first time and 14 the second time.

While I'm not a fan of the scenarios Russell mentions in his post, I think this will do wonders on reducing crowds early morning. The only time it felt truly unsafe and not physically distanced was the time right before 10am hit. Everyone is crowded around the entrance promenade or by the Chinese Theater leaving little opportunity to physically distance. Then when its over everyone cattle drives in basically three directions: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story land, towards ToT and RR. Its such a cluster and complete opposite of what you want right now.

October 29, 2020 at 1:52 PM

Having just returned from Orlando and DHS last week, we were luckily enough to obtain a boarding group during the last reservation open slots. ROR has a nice build up, but falls flat during the ride sequence in my opinion. *ducks to dodge thrown knives* Once the public announcement was made, about 15-30 mins before the reservation opening, there were many individuals, particularly senior citizens, who started to panic in preparation to obtain a boarding reservation. One couple in particular even asked me if I could assist them with trying to get them a boarding group since they weren't familiar with their phone. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful for them but seeing the faces of customers who were unwilling to obtain a boarding pass is bone chilling to me. Although yes, even modern rides aren't reliable to always be operating on your visit, but its really disheartening when the ride is open, but just not for you.

October 29, 2020 at 1:53 PM

Just makes me feel so much older to vividly remember when you had to be in person, got lucky with wait times and the idea your phone could somehow allow you to know how to get into a line early was pure science fiction. Today's generation has no comprehension what the world before the Internet was like.

October 29, 2020 at 2:07 PM

@Russell-

While I definitely agree with that, I think at least for now, this is a good change because it helps with that huge mess from park opening. Especially during covid, we can't have a huge glob of people coming from 9am-10am and all wait either in a line at the turnstiles or on Hollywood Blvd. This will also help with cutting costs because in order to counter the glob of people, Disney has begun to load guests into rides before the park opening, thus paying all these cast members to run the rides before park opening. While this isn't ideal, it's understandable why Disney is doing this. Plus, now since less people will be at the park before/at park opening, there will be shorter waits at the beginning of the day, so it would still behoove those "early park goers" to still get there before park opening to have a better experience at the park.

The only change I would recommend would be to make it at 9am. DHS doesn't open until 10am usually. Who would want to wake up at 6:55am on a vacation when they don't have to.

With all that, does anyone know if you can change your park reservation during that day? I wonder if people will schedule a day at DHS and try to get a boarding pass and then if they cant get one, I wonder if they will try to switch to a different park for that day. However this only works on days where it isnt crowded and there are park slots still available.

October 29, 2020 at 2:17 PM

Great idea for Disney to implement this idea. Seeing youtube videos of guests flooding the entrance of Hollywood Studios for a chance to get a boarding pass doesn't exactly scream safe. With reservations being required, makes total sense to put this into play. Bravo

October 29, 2020 at 2:29 PM

If the only way to get on this ride becomes to get up several hours early and snag a spot, I likely won't be riding it anymore. As good as Rise of the Resistance is, it is not good enough to lose a couple hours of sleep IMO, as that could impact my day more aversely than missing a single attraction. Especially with the plexi glass and COVID procedures...this was the most aversely affected attraction at the resort in my experience, and I really have no desire to do it again in COVID mode.

If Disney's not comfortable running this ride with a standard queue, the best option would be for guests to select a ride time the day before. These would be 30 or 60 minute blocks during which guests have to report to the entrance to ride, and once selected they cannot be changed. To accommodate potential downtime, those in the second half of the day would have fewer slots in case guests need to ride later, with those opening up for day-of selection once all guests in the earlier slots have ridden. This system may reduce some of the opening rush at the park, but it would definitely prevent the clustering that occurs each morning and would avoid the frustration that comes with losing sleep on a vacation only to be unsuccessful anyway.

October 29, 2020 at 2:54 PM

@AJ Hummell: "If the only way to get on this ride becomes to get up several hours early and snag a spot, I likely won't be riding it anymore."

I can clearly recall when that was the only way to get one some theme park rides....

October 29, 2020 at 2:57 PM

Very cool ride. Disney has done well taking ideas from Universal on these style rides. I do notice WDW folks complain a LOT less than Universal about screen rides. I love them all

October 29, 2020 at 3:59 PM

Mike, care to elaborate? Because in the nearly 30 years I've been going to theme parks, I cannot think of any ride besides Rise of the Resistance where anything beyond getting to the park at a reasonable time was necessary in order to take part in the experience (especially beyond the first couple days or weeks of operation).

October 29, 2020 at 4:30 PM

I completely agree with Russell and AJ. While I have always gone to the park when it opened. It completely changed the dynamic of the park. I don't support getting the reservation from home. A plan as suggested by AJ could work where at multiple times over the course of the day reservations are released - but only for guests physically inside the park.

October 29, 2020 at 9:38 PM

@sxcymike "but falls flat during the ride sequence in my opinion."

Care to elaborate? I've yet to see in IRL, but watching the ride-through it seems more "empty" than even Indiana Jones.

October 29, 2020 at 10:23 PM

I recall when Batman the Ride opened at Six Flags Great America in 1992 and 90-minute waits within five minutes of the park opening. And long waits for a lot of the Mountains, Body Wars and others almost immediately upon opening. Sure plenty of tales from Cedar Point and other amusement parks to match it. Again, a lot different before you could figure wait times via your phone.

October 30, 2020 at 12:08 AM

Also, on being there at opening, I can relate. A tradition for me for years was to be at Studios when opening, hit Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, perhaps a Fastpass for one or the other but those were two rides always big.

My last trip there (2012), I realized it had to be Toy Story Mania first (our boat guide from Swan hotel openly said that's where everyone went first thing) so not shocked Rise also quite popular fast.

And, still recall how for years, Disneyland's Jungle Cruise used the joke "we're now passing Indiana Jones and the Four Hour Line" and that was after Fastpass took off.

October 30, 2020 at 6:31 AM

@thecolonel Don't get me wrong, I love the storyline, different scene rooms and the the live interactions with the cast members/performers. However, personally we thought it needed just another element to really push it over the top (another thrill factor, smelling component or fight scene). Either way, ROR is still impressive, but nothing I'd tell my family is a must ride.

October 30, 2020 at 6:48 AM

Prepare for the Virtual Queue to open, refresh/spam the millisecond it opens, wait in the Virtual Queue, wait in the actual queue. Sounds more like a day at work than a vacation.

October 30, 2020 at 7:51 AM

i'm happy about this news because even though i've been going to the parks a lot since they reopened, i have yet to get on ROR due to my schedule not allowing me to get to the parks until after noon and i have struck out every time i've tried. next week, maybe i can finally ride this thing.

October 30, 2020 at 9:10 AM

Since no guests are actually inside the park at 7AM, I'm not concerned about someone having a better connection through a cable away from the empty park. And there are very few days when I'm going to a WDW park where I'm not awake by 7.

October 30, 2020 at 9:41 AM

Filled within 7 seconds this morning according to forum posters on Inside Universal.

October 30, 2020 at 9:50 AM

Thanks Mike, that's interesting. Haha @ "smelling component" (though I get what you mean).

Does seem that the awesomeness of the line is meant to be part of the overall ride, more so than any other ride at Disneyland, for sure.

October 30, 2020 at 10:19 AM

I hate the fact that access to this ride comes down to "who has the fastest smartphone". And doing a theme park vacation without those damn gizmos should be an option.

October 30, 2020 at 11:02 AM

It's not really about the "line" per se, it's more about the overall experience once you reach that first pre-show room. There's really nothing special about the queue before you see BB-8 and Rey, so standing in the Resistance Compound is not essential to the experience any more than any other themed queue at WDW. However, once you walk into that first pre-show, the experience should be seamless from there to the transport to the hanger bay to the interrogation room to the actual ride itself. I have not experienced RotR under the current setup with social distancing and other procedures, but I don't think it's been significantly affected aside from slowing the overall flow of guests.

I agree that the actual dark ride part of the attraction is missing that extra something. In my review, I posited that it's the lack of heat and more percussive sounds and some grittiness to make the experience more immersive. For me, that would have added the extra dimension to the experience that the best dark rides in the world possess.

October 30, 2020 at 10:40 AM

@Still a fan - Well, now it's down to "who has the fastest home internet connection". Pick your poison.

October 30, 2020 at 11:04 AM

Robert and all others here. If the whole ROR topic is about how to get on the attraction, it is because it has been such a challenge. Why do people keep posting spoilers ?! Obviously many have not had the opportunity to ride it, so why are you assuming it is appropriate to ruin it for people who have not had the same opportunity as them.

October 30, 2020 at 11:18 AM

@2relax!:

I was thinking the same thing myself

October 30, 2020 at 11:30 AM

Some good points here from folks regarding people getting spots from home. Definitely not a perfect system however with Disney really putting a emphasis on safety, probably their best move. At least you do have to be in the park for the 2pm window. Yes agreed avoid spoilers. The ride is amazing and is one not to be missed.

October 30, 2020 at 11:59 AM

Rusell raises a good point as I think something sometimes lost in these faster lines is how the queue area sets up the ride. I know, some don't like WDW Haunted Mansion's new waiting area but I get a kick of the statues with the game of "who killed who" and other bits. And how Star Tours has you through the village then the "garage" with all the robots doing funny bits.

Sure, a few duds over the years (I love EPCOT Center as much as anyone but a lot of the lines were just standing by blank walls waiting for things to move) but Universal was great putting in fun stuff for Dueling Dragons and others and the Marvel easter eggs for Spider-Man.

Another example is Great America's Batman the Ride. You walk through a nice bright park ("Donated by Wayne Foundation) then enter a seedy backalley to sell the contrast of Gotham City and how it needs Batman. It was always better to entertain when waiting and set up the full ride.

October 30, 2020 at 12:48 PM

I'm trying to figure out what "spoilers" have been given away here, aside from the POVs. There have been very few specifics about the attraction discussed here, and none that could be categorized as "spoilers" as they have been openly revealed in Disney's publicity for the attraction.

The attraction has been open for nearly a year in Florida and operated for nearly 3 months in California. Even if what was has been discussed here elevated to the status of "spoiler", how long is a website supposed to keep discussion of a top attraction like RotR (despite its limited throughput and difficulty to secure a spot in line to ride) "spoiler free". 1 year? 2 years? Forever?

FWIW, if you think any specifics of the attraction that has been discussed here constitute "spoilers", than you've probably already been exposed to real spoilers somewhere else.

October 30, 2020 at 1:45 PM

Russell, home internet connection? Only if you live in Florida, which most visitors don't (at least, in normal times). I'm in Canada. This ride is no more accessible to me than it ever was. And I have no use for smartphones, but it looks like I'll have to get one for my next trip (if that ever happens). or resign myself to missing this ride.

October 30, 2020 at 1:51 PM

@Still a fan - That's my point. Those that live in Florida (and have APs) can sit on their home internet connection, putting tourists and those that actually show up at the gate when the park opens at a disadvantage. Considering how hard it is already to get a Boarding Pass, this is only going to make this more difficult because APs, who ONLY want to ride RotR, can bombard the system from home with no consequences if they don't get a coveted Boarding Pass. If they're unsuccessful, they can just stay home.

October 30, 2020 at 2:21 PM

"Disney's Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, presented by SpaceX Starlink Internet. Get your boarding pass first with Starlink!"

October 30, 2020 at 2:33 PM

"In my review, I posited that it's the lack of heat and more percussive sounds and some grittiness to make the experience more immersive. For me, that would have added the extra dimension to the experience that the best dark rides in the world possess."

That's interesting, thanks Robert. I was meant to ride it at Disneyland in April, but, you know. Will be interesting to see how perception changes over time, I still enjoy reading about the decidedly mixed reaction to the Haunted Mansion when it first opened, now it's hard to imagine it any other way.

October 30, 2020 at 2:41 PM

Given that there are scores of videos of the ride all over, not sure how you can "spoil" It.

October 31, 2020 at 12:58 PM

@MikeW by some having the will power to not watch the videos in interest of wanting to experience in that manner. @russel Don't know if you live in the Anaheim area, but do you remember people lining up at 6:00am to get into the park and boarding groups were still gone in a few minutes for the day. The word was if you were not in line by 6:30am to get in, and that was after you cleared security during the week, you wouldn't get through the gate in time to have a chance at a boarding group !

October 30, 2020 at 11:05 PM

Russel, you're right. And the situation sucks. Disney needs to set up boarding group reservations in a kind of fast pass system, so that tourists can reserve well in advance, like we used to do with FPs. Getting shafted by locals, who already have an advantage over tourists, is just unfair.

October 31, 2020 at 9:58 AM

After I rode ROTR, I read details I'd avoided. Almost every review mentioned how they were curious before riding about a certain element in the ride that I won't detail here, and that I had NO IDEA even existed before riding. I did not know what kind of ride system it was until mentioned by a friend, and it irritated me to know that. I know nothing about Hagrid's beyond the name. Nothing about FOP except the ride system. Nothing about Navi'i River adventure except there's an impressive animatronic, and the title suggests boat ride. We fly across the country to Orlando every 5 years, and I used to absorb absolutely everything about everything before we traveled, but I have now gone in the opposite direction.

So, yes, even among those of us that read park sites every day, maybe even wrote for one of them for a few years, sometimes the slightest detail does constitute a spoiler. It's not always easy staying completely ignorant about details of a ride, I respectfully ask that it not be made any difficult.

October 31, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Well said Marc

October 31, 2020 at 1:49 PM

With social media and 24/7 online news I just accept if I dont want somebody or something ruining it for me, I just have to go or see it in the few days, otherwise forget it. I watched that dinsey plus imagineering story and that had spoilers for rides I've never been on. I agree the experience will be less since I know what's going to happen, but that's just the way it is these days. I remember everybody talking about Sopranos and games of thrones. OH YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS SHOW! ITS SOOOO GOOD. Unfortunately maybe I didnt have hbo at that time or too busy with life to keep up but it was impossible to avoid the endings or those shows. Everybody was talking about it at work. It was talked about online, on tv, in magazines. I was able to see both shows years later but knowing the ending already it did ruined my experience watching them. I kept thinking to myself, I dont see what the hype was for these shows? I felt they were ok. But yes maybe had I watched these shows when everybody else did my perception may have been different.

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