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So you wanna ride Rise of the Resistance—I’ve got Rise of the Resistance strategies for you! A good Disneyland ride strategy is one of the reasons I created this website and I even help people plan step-by-step Disneyland itineraries for their time in the parks.
I was at Disneyland the day Galaxy’s Edge and Smugglers Run opened, but Rise of the Resistance is a whole new ball game. When Galaxy’s Edge opened, Disneyland required reservations to enter the land which took away a lot of the guesswork. UPDATED April, 2021.
The reservations were fantastic because you knew before you even got to Disneyland exactly what time you’d be entering Star Wars land. You even knew about what time you’d ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Pictured above is me on far left with my Disneyland with Kids co-founders and then President of Disneyland Resort, Josh D’Amaro (he’s now president of Walt Disney World Resort).
The biggest problem during opening days of Galaxy’s Edge was the demand for Oga’s Cantina. There was a “not really a line” line to get in the real line for Oga’s and many people spent the better part of their reservation hovering around the entrance.
True, there was also high demand for building droids and lightsabers but Disneyland quickly adjusted and refined the process. Today you can get a reservation for any and all three of those immersive Star Wars experiences up to 60 days in advance on the Disneyland App.
You need more than just official word from Disney regarding Rise of the Resistance. Keep reading for all the details (photo above taken by Becca Robins) and insider tips. I successfully joined the virtual queue on a busy weekend with my kids in tow, then on a weekday as well. Here’s what worked for me.
Rise of the Resistance Before Your Trip Strategies
If you want to increase your chance of riding Rise of the Resistance, you must be prepared even before you leave the house to Disneyland.
- Buy your tickets in advance. Do not wait to buy at the parks. Discount tickets are available here. Be sure to buy multi-day tickets with a park hopper. You’ll need all the chances you can get at Disneyland to increase your chances for riding this popular attraction. Don’t chance it and leave it to one day only!
- Download the Disneyland App and get familiar with how it works. Practice joining the virtual queue specifically for Rise of the Resistance via the app a few days before your trip. You’ll want to have the app open at the exact time Disneyland opens to practice going through the steps. Yes, it’s that important. You want to be familiar with what you’re looking at. Encourage other members of your party to do the same; more on this below.
- Add everyone’s ticket to the app. If they’re traveling with you, their ticket should be in your app. If they are not traveling with you—delete their ticket from the app. Having extra tickets will slow you down! Note you may have to call Disney to have them remove the tickets. My app no longer shows the option to remove tickets, but I did see others who still have that option.
Question about the Disneyland App, adding or deleting tickets? Please comment below and I’ll respond as soon as possible.
Rise of the Resistance Day of Strategies
Joining the virtual queue can be stressful as you race the clock each day at Disneyland. Guests who have slower connections or bad wifi (don’t rely on Disneyland’s wifi) may find they’re out of luck as Boarding Groups fill to capacity within seconds of virtual queues opening.
Here’s my top tips to join the virtual queue in those first few seconds so you can ride Rise of the Resistance. See how fast the virtual queue filled on opening day here.
- Parking seems to be the biggest choke point and can significantly delay your entry into Disneyland. Disneyland Parking opens 90 minutes prior to the park opening. Make sure you have time to clear security and still get to Disneyland’s gates. My best tip to avoid this is to park offsite and walk over. Here’s how you can park at nearby hotels for less money and save yourself valuable time.
- Arrive at security check points well before the virtual queue opens. If you’re crunched for time—leave all bags in the car and look for the “no bag line” in the center of security check points. You can always return to your car later.
3. Enter Disneyland before the virtual queue opens (they’ll open the gates at the latest 10 minutes prior to official opening if you arrive early AM) and clear your phone of open apps, check you signal strength and wait.
4. Open the app one minute before the virtual queue opens. Then be prepared with quick fingers to tap Join a boarding group or My Status>Join Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance via the app as soon as the virtual queue officially opens. If you have little ones’ tickets who won’t ride, join them to a group anyway! No time to lose by unselecting them. Just join.
For a quick reminder on how it works, remember the acronym JEDI. Here’s what I mean by JEDI.
J: Join a boarding group instructions.
E: Everyone enters Disneyland together before the virtual queue opens.
D: Don’t open the app until 1 minute before virtual queue opens.
I: Immediately tap Join a boarding group or My Status>Join Boarding Group.
What happens if you can’t join the virtual queue or you arrive late in the day? Here’s what to do if Rise of the Resistance is sold out during your visit.
Rise of the Resistance Strategies FAQs
There’s a lot of information to keep in your brain for one ride. It’s much more complicated to learn an entirely new system that only applies to one thing, not like Disney MaxPass that works for the majority of Disneyland attractions.
That being said, it’s likely you have more questions about Rise of the Resitance strategies, so let’s do this!
Can I use FASTPASS for Rise of the Resistance?
FASTPASS is not being used at this time; the only way to ride Rise of the Resistance is to join the virtual queue. Please see my Rise of the Resistance Guide for more information on this, Rider Switch, wheelchair accessibility and more.
Is Rise of the Resistance open during Magic Morning?
Magic Morning is an early admission option offered with advance 3+ day tickets at Disneyland Park. Guests with Magic Morning get access to Disneyland a whole hour earlier than the general public. Boarding groups and virtual queues will only open during regular park hours, not during Magic Morning.
You still have an advantage using Magic Morning because you’re already in the park. You won’t be able to join a boarding group, but at least you are scanned in.
What time does the virtual queue open for Rise of the Resistance?
The virtual queue opens at the same time Disneyland opens. Keep in mind this is published park hours not Magic Morning hours.
NOTE: Disneyland has shifted to multiple virtual queues per day upon reopening. This gives you an opportunity to ride even if you don’t arrive first thing in the morning. Times for virtual queues will vary based on park hours.
Can we try to join the virtual queue using multiple devices?
Yes, and I encourage it! Use every device you have. Just make sure everyone is together to communicate effectively.
Can we try to join the virtual queue with multiple Disney accounts?
Yes! You can either all be logged into one account on multiple devices or be logged into multiple accounts, across various devices. The tips remain the same though, so make sure everyone has all tickets scanned into whatever account their using.
Can I join the virtual queue from California Adventure?
Note: upon reopening, this might change. More info soon. But last year it was true that you must have first entered Disneyland Park to join the virtual queue. Walt Disney World has a different procedure so don’t get confused. You can then leave Disneyland after first scanning into the park and then enter California Adventure and attempting to join the virtual queue.
I have also not personally tested if you can join the virtual queue after being scanned into California adventure but never being scanned into Disneyland.
Most people don’t want to risk that, but if you’re willing to try let me know how it turns out. Bottom line: entered Disneyland Park on the day you want to ride and stay there until you secure your spot in the virtual queue.
How many times can I ride Rise of the Resistance each day?
You will only be able to join one boarding group per day, essentially limiting your ride to once per day.
Does the boarding group guarantee I will get to ride Rise of the Resistance?
Disney officially says “admission into Star Wars: Rise of the resistance is subject to capacity being assigned to a boarding group does not guarantee entrance to the attraction.” Boarding groups are called back via the Disneyland app in numerical order and can not accommodate early arrivals.
How much time do I have to get to the ride once my boarding group is called?
The time period to return to Rise of the Resistance varies. I have seen return times of one hour, two hours and three hours. be sure to check the Disneyland app throughout the day so you can be prepared to return to the attraction.
More Tips for Rise of the Resistance
I’m placing bets this ride will be one of the most (if not the most) popular attraction at Disneyland Resort for years to come. Cue Radiator Springs Racers that opened in 2012 and still regularly runs out of FASTPASSES by mid-day.
Rise of the Resistance is in high demand and I expect these tips to come into play during the year:
- When’s the best time to go to Disneyland? It depends on so many things. My Disneyland planning guide helps break it down for you.
- Check Annual Pass calendars, but don’t let crowd calendars consume your planning. Good strategies can help you plan your day at Disneyland way better than crowd level guesses.
- Utilize Magic Morning on days with larger crowds, even if you’re not lining up for Rise during Magic Morning (more tips on that below).
- Arrive for rope drop and join a boarding group as needed.
What am I missing? What would you add to my Rise of the Resistance strategies?