Bright suns, Star Wars fans!
When we planned our annual December trip to Disney back in January, we had no idea that the highly anticipated Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction would be opening the day before our arrival! John ended up backing out of our trip due to school and sports commitments so Whit was absolutely thrilled to get to invite cousin Jay in his place. Those two had the best time and it was so sweet to see them together.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is likely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World Resort… or anywhere else in the galaxy! Due to anticipated (and realized) demand, getting on this ride is not as simple as showing up or as easily planned as a FastPass.
If you would like a chance at experiencing Rise of the Resistance during your Disney World vacation, it is imperative that you arrive at the park 1 hour MINIMUM before park opening. Everyone in your party will need to be there.
At opening, you will scan your admission. Once everyone in your party is inside Hollywood Studios, open the Disney World app. Click on Find Out More under Access by Boarding Group on the home screen. From there, click Join Boarding Group and select each person in your party. You can see here that at 6:42 AM we were in Group 21.
If your notifications are enabled, you will receive a message when your return window opens. From that point, you have two hours at arrive at the attraction. You can also check the current groups boarding on the app and on signs around Hollywood Studios.
Waiting to Board Rise of the Resistance
There is no need to go to Galaxy’s Edge to join your boarding group, so once you’re in the virtual line, you can head off to other attractions. Everyone will, of course, go to Toy Story Land so expect a crowd if you aren’t one of the first there. We lucked out with a 5 minute wait for Slinky Dog Dash and a walk on for Toy Story Midway Mania. We also had breakfast at Woody’s Lunchbox in Toy Story Land. By the time we were done there, it was time for group 21 to board!
Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance
We headed off to Galaxy’s Edge absolutely thrilled to get to ride Rise of the Resistance!
We were all grinning from ear to ear as we entered the queue. I called this Sunrise over Rise. :-)
Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission. With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of the Resistance, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When your transport is captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers—and even Kylo Ren!—you’re going to need all the help you can get. Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters—including Rey and BB-8—is at the ready to give you a fighting chance to escape… and a chance for the Resistance to rise.
The queue is pretty lengthy, but almost all inside. The boys loved examining every crack and crevice.
When you get to this briefing room, you know the fun is just about to begin!
BB-8 briefs you on your mission and the Rey hologram is quite impressive!
Like in Smuggler’s Run, I love that there are some unique photo opps inside the queue.
NOTE: it was at this point that the ride broke down and everyone was evacuated from the queue the first time we attempted to ride. While it was such a bummer, Disney gave us a FastPass to return to the ride at this exact point later in the day, as well as a FastPass to use on any other attraction in the park (we did Slinky Dog again!). Due to a series of events, we ended up in another boarding group and were able to ride the attraction again the following day. Hence, you will see that the kids have on different clothes in the pictures that follow as we did it twice on two separate days.
The real fun begins when you are hurried on to the transport vehicle.
And then are captured by the Star Destroyer… The cast members are all in complete character and are an excellent addition to the experience.
This room literally had all of the guests in awe. It was SO cool!!!!!!!!
The ride itself is trackless and extremely smooth. You will see so many iconic Star Wars items and the whole thing is incredibly impressive.
Start to finish, with a boarding group you can expect to spend an hour in the ride. That is assuming nothing breaks down, which has been happening frequently.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Tips & Tricks
- My tips for getting on the ride are current as of mid-December. For my clients traveling in future months, I will update your itineraries with the lastest and greatest thinking two weeks before you travel.
- There is a FastPass line set up for this ride, but FastPasses are not currently available to book. Smuggler’s Run is the same way. I expect they will add them at some future date, but don’t expect to get one yet.
- The minimum height is 40″ and nothing is particularly scary if you are a Star Wars fan. The ride vehicle is appropriate for most big and tall guests as well.
- Arrive at the park a minimum of 1 hour before the scheduled opening and be prepared to wait in a large crowd.
- Ask your Disney World resort concierge the night before if they have any insight on the possibility of the park opening BEFORE posted hours and what time transportation will be running if you don’t have your own vehicle. Uber and Lyft are also viable alternatives.
- Be sure you have your MagicBands set up and tickets properly linked BEFORE arriving at Hollywood Studios. The last thing you want is to have an issue getting in and have to wait on guest services. (I do this for clients.)
- Along those lines, download the most recent version of the Disney World app before you arrive. Log in and ensure you see your personal information.
- You will also need to be sure you are properly linked to everyone else in your travel party that is not staying in the room with you. (I do this for clients.)
- There is no need to go to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge to get a boarding pass. Start working on it the second you are through the turnstiles.
- Everyone in your party must be inside the gate and through the turnstiles before you can get your Boarding Pass. Only one person needs to use the app to get everyone in your group a Boarding Pass.
- Since you won’t know or get a return time until 2 hours before, know that flexibility will be required to get the most out of your day.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Snacks
After the attraction, Jay used a gift card from his parents to get a Mouse Droid popcorn bucket and we all took a little break to debrief on the ride while we snacked.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to our reservation at Oga’s Cantina!
The cantina has added wine to the menu (chardonnay and a red) as well as a charcuterie plate. I think both were good additions!
By the time we came out, the sun had set over Batuu!
It was an epic day that the boys are STILL talking about!
A Complete Traveler’s Guide To Star Wars In Disney’s Hollywood Studios
There are so many Star Wars attractions spread all throughout Hollywood Studios that some are easy to overlook. This post details ALL of the Star Wars experiences to be found in the park.
I hope you are all hanging in there during what I think is the craziest week of the year! I’m trying to knock out my work before neighborhood caroling tomorrow night and then parties and fun from there till the New Year!
As Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.
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