Rise of the Resistance, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park’s most innovative and elaborate attraction ever created. It features multiple ride systems, some fantastic interactions, and lasts 15-18 minutes from the time you start the briefing process. Because of the immense popularity of it, a boarding group system was instituted when it opened to control access. Getting a Rise of the Resistance boarding group is currently the only way you can ride this ride. There is absolutely no standby queue available. Group assignments are available to everyone, but you will need to have a valid admission ticket and park pass reservation, have a smartphone, and have fast fingers. Here are my tips for making sure you get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. I snagged us group #28 on my first visit and #2 on my second, so I know what it takes.

Update: Boarding groups are still required to ride Rise of the Resistance, however the process has changed. There is less of a need to arrive before the park opens with the new system. Boarding groups will be distributed twice a day instead of only first thing in the morning. Guests will still need the app and fast fingers, but you’ll have a chance at 7 am and 1 pm daily – and I’m not kidding when I say fast fingers. Boarding Groups are usually gone within seconds.

Basic information about Rise of the Resistance boarding groups

Boarding groups are called sequentially throughout the day to return to the ride and join the queue. There are typically several groups active at once, as you can see in the above picture where groups 2-11 are being admitted. The My Disney Experience app is the best way to stay on top of which groups are being called throughout the day, but the wait time signs at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard will also track this.

When getting a boarding group, you generally want the lowest number possible – this means that you’ll need to be fast. There are two main reasons for this: 1. The lower your number, the more likely you are to get to ride. If Rise of the Resistances experiences significant technical difficulties during the day, the higher number groups may not get called to join the queue. 2. The wait times once you’re called to enter the queue tend to grow as the day goes on. There have been reports of guests still waiting an hour even with boarding passes later in the day. Compared to that, when we had group 28, we waited about 15 minutes and when we had group 2, we pretty much walked straight to the initial briefing with barely a pause.

AT-AT Walkers in Rise of the Resistance

While prepping this article, I periodically checked the app (a total mistake when stuck at your desk in cold, gray Michigan) to see what groups were boarding at a particular time of the day. Here is what I found. Keep in mind that these were all 8 am opening times unless otherwise specified. Note: These were pre-social distancing so it’s no longer the best comparison as ride capacity has changed.

Saturday, February 1 at 9:10am: 22-33 (7am opening)
Sunday February 2 at 7:15am: 2-11 (7am opening)
Wednesday, February 12 at 4pm: 85-96
Thursday, February 13 at 12:10pm: 25-38
Thursday, February 13 at 3:45pm: 39-44
Friday, February 14 at 8:55am: 8-9
Friday, February 14 at 12:15pm: 28-40
Sunday, February 16 at 10:10am: 9-30
Sunday, February 16 at 2:40pm: 38-41
Sunday, February 16 at 5:50pm: 49-66
Monday, February 17 at 2:45pm: 37-46
Tuesday, February 18 at 9:15am: 15-32
Tuesday, February 18 at 11:30am: 34-40
Tuesday, February 18 at 7:15pm: 112-115

You can see how much of a variety there is in terms of when groups get called. This is almost 100% due to downtimes on the attraction. There were a few days I was checking when there still were no groups being called more than an hour after the park opened. You can see just from this small sample set that 2/18 was a pretty good day – the ride got into the 100s, which includes many backup boarding groups, and at 11:30am, it was roughly on par with where it was at 2:40pm on 2/16 and 2:45 on 2/17. If you get a higher number, you just have to hope for good luck and smooth operations.

There are two types of boarding groups – regular and backup. The backup groups will only be called if the lower numbered groups ride that day. If the ride operates at full capacity, there’s a very good chance that at least some of the backup groups will get to ride. If you get a higher number boarding group or a backup group, cross your fingers and hope for smooth operations. Backup groups are only handed out during the afternoon distribution time after the remaining regular groups are gone.

The “guaranteed” boarding groups are usually gone within seconds, and the backups soon after that, so you really do need to be there early if you want a chance to ride. A site I use to track the open/close of groups shows an average of 8-10 seconds of availability in the morning and only a couple more in the afternoon.

In order to get a Rise of the Resistance boarding group, you and all members of your party who wish to ride have to have valid admission tickets and park pass reservations for Hollywood Studios. Previously, you and all members of your party had to be in the park at opening in order to have a chance, but Disney has changed the procedures in a rare move that actually improves the guest experience. Boarding groups are now distributed daily at 7 am, well before the park opens so you no longer have to stress about being inside the entrance by opening time. This used to be super frustrating for anyone relying on Disney transportation as having to wait for a bus for longer than normal could be the difference between you making it to the park in time and missing out. Now you can relax a little and have a rough idea of how early you need to get to the park with an assigned boarding group already in hand.

Rise of the Resistance transport photo

Once you get a boarding group, you can spend your day however you choose. You do not have to remain at Hollywood Studios, so if you have a higher number you’re free to park hop or return to your hotel for a nap or do whatever you please. If you leave the park, you’ll want to monitor the app to see what groups are being called so you can start heading back when your number is closer. You can do this by hitting the “Check Status” button in the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access By Boarding group section of the home screen.

Once your boarding group is called, you’re given a 1-hour window to return to the ride entrance where you’ll have to tap your Magic Band or park ticket for entry. Note that the ride has been opening before the park when it’s running well, so on my last visit our boarding group (#9!) was called at 9:40. I’d been planning on taking it a little slower that morning and heading to a different resort for breakfast, but when we got that low number we had to scrap those plans and head to the park early. We were boarding our bus when they started calling groups, but we still had more than enough time to get to the ride.

The one-hour windows that you have little control over can make things complicated if you have dining reservations. The good news is that CMs are generally pretty flexible, so if you realize you’re going to have a conflict, find a guest experience team member and ask for advice.

The first time we visited, we were watching the boarding groups count up and it became increasingly clear that the timing was going to be an issue for us. We had Slinky Dog FastPasses from 8:45-9:45 and an Oga’s Cantina reservation at 9:30. I was ok walking away from the FastPasses, but really didn’t want to get bitten by that pesky credit card guarantee that would’ve charged us $20 for no-showing the Oga’s reservation – plus, I really wanted my friend to get a chance to have a drink there. I also would’ve been ok with skipping the reservation if I could get confirmation that I wouldn’t be charged the no-show fee. As luck would have it, our group got called as we were waiting to board our Slinky Dog train at about 8:55, so as soon as we got off the ride we headed toward Galaxy’s Edge. We asked one of the CMs at Rise of the Resistance what we should do. He looked at his watch and told us he thought we’d be fine and that we should get in line. Since it was already almost 9:10 at that point and I knew the ride was 15+ minutes long, I was pretty skeptical, but I figured I’d be able to talk my way out of any no-show fees at Oga’s and there was no way we were missing out on Rise of the Resistance. We did end up showing up for Oga’s about 15 minutes late for our reservation, but the CM there didn’t seem to care, and we were brought inside almost immediately. We didn’t even have to explain why we were late, so it worked out well.

How to get your Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group

On our first try, I got group #28. We returned the next day, and having learned a bit from the first go round, I was even faster and got #2. Getting the low numbers was really important to us because we were cramming four parks into less than two full days so we wanted to park hop and not have to return. With group 28, we were off the ride by 9:40 and with group 2, we were off by 7:40 (both days were 7 am openings).

Screenshot showing a low Rise of the Resistance boarding group
Did I post this screenshot on facebook proclaiming myself Queen of the My Disney Experience App? Might’ve.

A few general notes: You’ll want to do these anyway for your trip, but they’re especially important for Rise of the Resistance. Make sure your My Disney Experience app is fully up to date, ideally before leaving the hotel. Make sure that you have added all members of your party as friends and family beforehand as well. You can test to make sure you’re linked by checking to see who you’re able to make FastPass or dining reservations with.

My first tip for getting your boarding group for Rise of the Resistance is to use your cell network instead of the wifi if possible, especially if you’re staying at a Disney resort. There will literally be thousands of people slamming the wifi network when the boarding groups go live, and you don’t want that to slow you down. Test your cell network connection to make sure it’s strong wherever you’re standing – try loading a couple web pages or playing around in the Disney World app for a minute. On my last stay, I wasn’t happy with my signal strength inside our room, so I went out on the balcony at the Wilderness Lodge – on an uncharacteristically chilly 45 degree morning no less – and had much better service.

Droid on Rise of the Resistance

Force kill all the open apps on your phone. Open the My Disney Experience app a couple minutes before the boarding group window opens. Scroll down until you see the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Request Access with Virtual Queue section. There will be a picture of AT-AT walkers. Tap Join. You’ll be early, so the option to actually request a boarding group will not be available yet. I waited here until my phone’s clock hit 6:59 and started repeatedly dragging the top of the screen down to refresh it. As soon as it reloaded without the Join button, I refreshed it again. And again. And again. Until that magic button popped up. Once you get the button, tap Join.

Your group should be automatically selected by the app – this helps even out the disadvantage larger parties had when the system first rolled out – so just hit the button at the bottom as fast as you can. If you’re successful, you’ll immediately see your boarding group number. Last time I was there, I accidentally got a boarding group for a friend who just happened to have a park pass for Hollywood Studios that day but was attending with a different set of friends. They had a higher group number, so I went to the Guest Experience team at the park and they were able to sort it out for us so my friend could ride with the group she was hanging out with that day.

First Order soldier in Rise of the Resistance
Worst spies or best spies? Only time will tell.

What to do when your Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group gets called

You do not have to stay in the park all day, so if you get a higher number, you can choose to park hop or head back to the hotel for a nap. Otherwise, hang out at Hollywood Studios and enjoy the park as normal. When your boarding group is called, you’ll receive a push notification from the My Disney Experience app (make sure you have these enabled on your phone). We were checking the app pretty much every five minutes watching the group numbers count up though, so we knew when we were about to be called.

Your app will tell you what time you need to return to the ride by. If you aren’t at Hollywood Studios, I’d recommend checking regularly to see what boarding groups are currently active so you can start heading back to the park a little before your number is called.

Sign outside Rise of the Resistance showing boarding groups

Once you’re ready to ride, head over to the entrance for Rise of the Resistance – it’s at the end of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge nearer to the Muppets Courtyard. There will be Cast Members there to scan your Magic Bands or park tickets and then you’ll be able to enter the queue. From there, the wait time varies depending on how many people are in line in front of you and the operational status of the ride. I’ve seen articles that report that the later in the day you’re called, but Disney isn’t publishing official wait times. My limited experience does fall in line with that, but it’s far too small of a sample size to actually draw conclusions from. The first time we rode, we were group 28 and we waited about fifteen minutes in line. When we returned the next day and got group 2, we thought the line was longer, but they had less of the queue opened and we barely paused as we walked through so we were on in maybe 2-3 minutes. When I had a group in the low 50s, I waited about 45 minutes.

Rise of the Resistance boarding group FAQs

Can I just wait in line for the ride if I don’t get a boarding group?

No, there is no standby line for Rise of the Resistance. The only way to ride it is with a boarding group.

Do I have to be there early to get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance?

Not anymore. The requirement to be in the park at opening is no longer in effect. Now that there is a second chance boarding group draw later in the day, you’re not completely without hope if you miss out on the morning one.

Do Rise of the Resistance boarding groups cost money?

Unlike almost everything else at Disney World, there is no charge for boarding groups.

Can I use a disability pass for Rise of the Resistance?

Yes, but you and your party still need to get boarding groups. When your group is called, you will likely get to use the otherwise-unused FastPass line to enter.

Is there a rider switch for Rise of the Resistance?

Yes, but everyone who will be riding still needs to get a boarding group. Like the disability passes mentioned above, when the second rider returns, you’ll get to go through the otherwise-empty FastPass line.

What time can I enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Guests are typically admitted around 45 minutes before official park open. Disney has been operating rides well before official opening recently so you could even be on a ride before 10.

What time can I get a Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group?

The first one of the day opens at 7. The second distribution is at 1. If you’re trying for a group at 1, I’d recommend setting an alarm on your phone for a few minutes before so that you don’t get caught up in the fun and miss it.

Can I get multiple boarding passes in the same day?

No, once you acquire one boarding pass, the app will prevent you from getting a second one that day.

Do Disney World resort guests have any advantage for riding Rise of the Resistance?

Nope, unless you consider that the park is walkable from a handful of the Disney resorts, putting those guests in the greatest control of their arrival time. Unlike FastPasses and dining reservations, there is no advantage for resort guests in getting a Rise of the Resistance boarding pass. As long as you have a park pass and are fast on the app, you off-site guests have the same chance of riding as someone staying on property.

Can I get a FastPass for Rise of the Resistance instead?

Not at this time.

Does a boarding group count as one of my three FastPasses for the day?

No. You’re still entitled to your three pre-booked FastPasses whether or not you get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. And just like always, once you use those three you can book additional ones one at a time.

How long will this boarding group nonsense last?

No one knows. At least not outside of Disney management. The boarding groups are still being distributed within seconds, so I wouldn’t count on it ending any time soon.

Is all this worth it if I don’t even like Star Wars?

You probably won’t get as much out of it as I did with my lifelong love of Star Wars, but it’s still a phenomenal ride and totally worth experiencing. I think there’s still a lot of value even if you don’t love the movies.

Please let me know if you have any other Rise of the Resistance boarding pass questions in the comments! I’m happy to help.

And, of course, don’t forget to save this post for later on Pinterest.

Photo of Stormtroopers on Rise of the Resistance with text overlay reading "Everything you need to know about Rise of the Resistance boarding groups"