Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently opened the most anticipated and, in my opinion, the best attraction in Disney Parks history. Massive crowds want to ride, but are turned away because the “Boarding Groups” are usually gone before the park officially opens. Here’s a complete guide on how to score a boarding group and what happens when the ride breaks. There are NO ride spoilers!
When should you arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
It’s still very early in the history of this terrific attraction, but I suggest arriving at least 2 hours before the announced park opening. Three hours would give you an even better chance at a good boarding position early in the day.
This seems crazy, right? Who wants to go on vacation and show up 2-3 hours before a park opens. It’s worth it! If you don’t arrive early, you WILL NOT RIDE. There is NO stand by queue. You MUST have a boarding pass!
How to reserve your boarding group.
Right after you enter Hollywood Studios, not before, you can take out your phone and book a boarding pass from the My Disney Experience app. You’ll find the boarding pass area prominently featured right under the map. Click on that section.
Next, you’ll find a button on the bottom right that says “Join Boarding Group.” Tap that button. If you see an error message that asks if you are already in the park, then CLOSE the app. Backing out does not work.
If the button works, then it will let you choose the members of your group. However, if the system doesn’t recognize even one member of the group, you must CLOSE the app again until it does. It’s a bit of pain, but it’s the only way to book them in the same group.
Do all members of your party have to be present?
YES. EVERY member must be in the park. No one can sleep in. No one can be late. As I mentioned above.
Can I use DAS?
Yes and no. First, EVERYONE must have a boarding pass. Even if you have DAS, you must have a boarding pass. You can’t stroll up and ask for DAS or ask for a boarding pass. Also, those using DAS have been upset to be told that they must use the long Boarding Pass line instead of the short Fastpass line.
Throughout your wait for your group to be called, you can check “My status” on this page again. It will just show the progress with little green bars being filled and tell you what groups are being called.
When your boarding group is active, you’ll receive a popup notification on your phone. You can also check the available groups at the attraction with that long blue sign to the left of the attraction below
How do I use the boarding pass?
You’ll need to return to Rise of the Resistance within the 2 hour boarding window that is allowed for boarding. However, if the ride breaks down, and it will, you can return anytime through the day. I had some issues with that on day one, but it was ironed out more by day 3.
You’ll want to be at this spot in the photo below. This is the area they use to tap magicbands and tickets for the returning boarding groups. You’ll then be sent through the regular stand by line.
How long is the wait?
If you have one of the first boarding groups, you’ll have little or no wait. If you have a later one, you wait could be 45-70 minutes. It does not post a wait time and it breaks frequently.
If it breaks while you are in line, it means that you may have to stand in the queue for a long time. They don’t usually evacuate the entire queue when a breakdown occurs. I was evacuated 3 times in 3 days and each time I was in the actual attraction at some point.
What is the guest recovery for a break down?
The cast are prepared for the ride to breakdown. It’s new and untested and it happens several times per day. The Cast Members will first present you with a paper Fastpass like the one below. This will actually function as a real Fastpass when the ride re-opens.
Guests who use these paper recovery Fastpasses are allowed to take the short walk through the Fastpass line and avoid the entire queue. You’ll be placed in the holding room before the first part of the attraction.
If they ever do offer Fastpass, you’ll be happy to have it. You don’t really miss much in the queue. It’s just rock work and props.
I was informed by some Cast Members that they would accept these paper Fastpasses for up to 7 days from the date of issue because they realize that you may not have planned to return the following day.
In addition to the paper Fastpass, you should be given a “Multiple Experience” Fastpass digitally on My Disney Experience.
NOTE: Rise of the Resistance is listed as a “Fastpass” on this list. It is actually giving you access to the Boarding Groups line, this digital version acts like a Fastpass everywhere in Hollywood Studios EXCEPT Rise of the Resistance. It is a great plus for the Millennium Falcon though!
What happens if my Boarding Group is never called?
In the first few days, they were allowing guests to book a second Boarding Group, if they arrived early enough to accomplish this. Most of those second groups were never called by the system and the guests didn’t get to ride Rise of the Resistance.
Because they were not allowed to ride, even though the Boarding Group pass said you may not be able to ride, Disney took the step to provide a Multiple Experience Fastpass for ANY attraction in Walt Disney World AND they offered a 1 day park hopper ticket per person.
As a local, it’s a great benefit to have an extra ticket. As a first time guest or out of town visitor, that would be a major disappointment to miss out on the ride because no regular line was allowed to be formed.
All new attractions need time to become seasoned attractions and have all the many moving pieces work in sync. I have confidence that they will solve the frequent breakdown issues.
This attraction is worth the wait. It is a unique and interactive experience that goes beyond being “just a ride.” When guests do take part in the Resistance, they usually walk away with a big smile on their faces.
If you have any questions for me. Leave them in the comments below or on my Facebook page.