How Disney is handling huge demand for ‘Rise of the Resistance,’ its most ambitious ride ever

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Disney has spent the last several months talking about its extremely “ambitious” Star Wars attraction — and now “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” visitors are lining up to find out if the ride lives up to the hype.

The attraction opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida last week. Featuring four ride systems, enormous show buildings and astounding special effects, the ride that was touted by Disney as the “most advanced” ride ever is now the most in-demand attraction at Walt Disney World (here’s an inside look and even more photos from Travel Pulse).

Disney describes the 15-plus minute attraction like this:

“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.”

Anticipating big crowds and long lines, Disney implemented a virtual queue that allows visitors to avoid a traditional line while waiting for their turn to join the Resistance and fight the First Order.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Boarding groups

If you have visited Walt Disney World over the past several years, you are likely familiar with FastPasses. However, if you want to confront the First Order and experience this attraction, you will need to join a “boarding group” — and you will need to do it early in the morning.

When visitors enter the park and scan their ticket, they can request to join the virtual queue and will be assigned a boarding group, either with the My Disney Experience app or by visiting a kiosk inside the park.

When your boarding group is called, you will receive a notification on your phone and will have two hours to return to the attraction. According to Disney, visitors can leave the park while waiting for their group to be called.

Several times since the ride opened, the daily allotment of boarding groups were issued within an hour of the park opening to visitors.

The ride has also experienced some downtime during its first several days of operation. While this is expected for any new attraction (and one of this scale), Disney has made every effort to accommodate people who were unable to experience the ride during their assigned time.

Tom Bricker, who compiled a comprehensive FAQ on his website DisneyTouristBlog.com, says those who do their research and wake up early have the best odds of experiencing Disney’s newest ride.

“While there’s a lot to know and this all might seem like a lot of work, there’s a huge silver lining to all of this. Anyone willing to get up early and follow this guide is pretty much assured to be able to do every ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios while waiting for your Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance return time.”

It remains unclear when Walt Disney World will begin utilizing traditional FastPasses for the attraction.

Disney is expected to use the same boarding group virtual queue when Rise of the Resistance opens at Disneyland on January 17.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Credit: Nexstar Media / Ryan Pastorino)

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