In December I headed to Disney World for a quick weekend trip to experience all the Christmas activities and decorations. The trip was just a few days after the new Star Wars ride Rise of the Resistance opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This ride was highly anticipated and I knew it would be hard to get on so I had no intention of trying to ride it this weekend. After not being able to resist looking at spoilers online and hearing about the new Boarding group process I decided to check it out. Since the boarding group process is new to Disney and I know a lot of people have questions, I wanted to share my experience with some tips on how the boarding group process works.
Due to the amount of guests waiting outside the gates each morning, Disney had been opening the park as early as 6am even though park opening wasn’t until 8am. The morning I decided to check it out was an extra magic hours day. The day before they decided to start the extra magic hours at 6am instead of 7am and they stated that the ride would not be available during extra magic hours. This worked in my favor. Instead of getting up and being at the park by 6am, I decided leave the hotel around 7am so I would be in the park and ready at 8am to get a boarding group. I was staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort so it took me no time at all to get there via the skyliner. I walked out of my room at 6:58am and when I walked into the park at 7:08am.
When I entered the park, cast members were handing out flyers that stated boarding groups would open at 7:45am. I went to grab breakfast and as I was walking I noticed a lot of people looking at their phones and then there was an announcement regarding boarding groups. I opened the app and noticed the boarding groups were already open so I hit join boarding group and got boarding group 21. I’m so glad I didn’t wait until the published time of 7:45 since ALL boarding groups for the day were gone by that time.
How to access boarding group (this can be done after you enter the park):
1) Open My Disney Experience App
2) On home page, there is a section for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access Boarding Group, hit Find out More
3) Hit Join Boarding Group (this will be greyed out when there are no more boarding groups available)
4) Select everyone in your group (it’s important that before you get to the park you have everyone in your group linked to your My Disney Experience account so that you can all be selected and added to the same boarding group)
5) It will then tell you what boarding group you are in (see picture above).
After you join a boarding group, you are free to explore the park or even leave the park to head back to the hotel, to another park or anywhere else you need to go. When you hit Find out More on the app it will show you what boarding groups they are boarding now (as seen in this screenshot). When your boarding group is called you will have 2 hours to get back to the park and on the ride. They seem to call approximately 12-15 boarding groups an hour when the ride is working correctly. The morning I went, the ride broke down for quite a while, so it wasn’t until after 11:30am before I got on the ride.
Once your boarding group is called, you can head over to the ride. The line is minimal at that point and it pretty much keeps moving, I think I was in line about 10 minutes. The ride itself is more of an experience will multiple pre-shows that totally immerse you. In total the ride experience took about 20 minutes.
A lot of you may be wondering if all the hassle that goes into this is worth it. The ride is by far the best ride I’ve ever been on and definitely worth getting up early and rearranging my day for. I am already eagerly awaiting trying to go on it again during my next trip in February. If you ever wanted to truly feel like you are part of a Star Wars movie, you will love this ride. I’ve yet to hear anyone say it wasn’t worth the wait.
Tips to remember from BB8:
1) Get to the park no later than opening time (they are no longer opening earlier than the stated open time).
2) Open the app the minute you get into the park.
3) Make sure your entire party is listed in your app (the same as when you make fast pass reservations) so you can select all of them and are in the same boarding group.
4) Remember you can leave the park but have 2 hours once your boarding group is called to get back and onto the ride.
5) And finally, have a blast experiencing this amazing ride.
If you have any questions or need any further tips on this ride, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. firstname.lastname@example.org