Latest Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group Changes – Our Opinion and Advice

The latest in the ongoing saga of Rise of the Resistance boarding has generated the most opinions to date. This morning, Disney decided that they were going to announce changes to the boarding group process about 40 minutes before they opened the park. We’ll break this post down into three sections. First, we’ll explain what the latest changes are. Second, we’ll offer our advice on how to secure a boarding group. Finally, we’ll offer our opinion on the process via our on-the-ground reporting and what we were hearing from guests around us.

New Boarding Group Proceedure

Starting today, Disney is opening boarding groups at the same time the park is scheduled to open. That means that boarding groups will be offered at 7am for the next week, and then move to a 6am “go live” time when Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens early for the busy holiday season. Previously, boarding groups were available when the first guest tapped into the park.

In addition to the change in when boarding groups become available to book, Disney isn’t opening the “rest of the park” before 7am. Previously, the park and attractions would be open when the first guest tapped into the park.

Our Latest Advice

It’s always tough to gauge how guests will react to a change in the procedure, but we’ll try to offer our latest advice on how to secure a boarding group with a huge “subject to change” caveat.

Basically, you simply need to ensure that you are inside the park before the official opening. Today, Disney allowed guests to enter the park at 6:30am, a full 30 minutes before they could secure a boarding group. Of course, if Disney sticks with this new procedure, you don’t have to be the first in line or even the 1000th in line to get the same shot at an early boarding group. If Disney continues to open the park 30 minutes before they start distributing boarding groups like they did today, you’d be fine showing up 30 minutes before scheduled park opening and you should be able to get through bag check and into the park in that time.

That said, if Disney changes the time that they let guests into the park even a little bit later, you’ll have to shift your arrival time earlier. Right now, we don’t really have enough data to say it’s perfectly fine to show up 30 minutes before park open, but that’s the best we can offer given how new the changes are. If you want to ensure that you’ll be in the park by the time boarding groups are given out, we still think an arrival time 60-90 minutes before scheduled opening is a good idea.

Our Opinion of the Changes

If you follow us on Twitter, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that we think Disney dropped the ball this morning. Before we get further into our opinion, we want to note that we were able to secure boarding group 15 and ride Rise of the Resistance early without much of a problem. Our opinion on this isn’t based on our singular experience or any disadvantage we might have experienced, because we weren’t actually negatively impacted today. Our opinion is based purely on the new logistics introduced and the principal of it.

In short, Disney created a lottery system that doesn’t place any value whatsoever on the time that their guests are dedicating to them. For example, if you woke up at 3:30am and arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 4:30am, you’d be in the exact same position as someone who is two hours later than you. We don’t think that it’s necessary for Disney to continue to open the park early, but they should respect your time. We’ll use Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a quick example.

If you want to ride Flight of Passage with little wait, prevailing wisdom says that you should wake up early and wait in line at the entrance to the park for rope drop. From there, you are led back to the attraction by Cast Members and you’ll have a shorter wait based on how early you arrive to the park. This plays out every day at all of the Walt Disney World parks, whether it’s for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Test Track, the concept of rope drop and arriving early isn’t new. While Rise of the Resistance doesn’t have a standby like the attractions above, the virtual queue acts the exact same way. Every day of the Rise of the Resistance operation so far has respected the first come, first served concept of rope drop. Today, Disney allowed guests into the park 30 minutes before boarding groups were dispersed, essentially creating a lottery system and completely disregarding the time that hundreds of guests spent very early in the morning to get onto Rise of the Resistance early.

When it became apparent that Disney’s Hollywood Studios park management would not be respecting the time that hundreds of their guests spent in line this morning, many were angry. Of course, there was probably a correlation between how much time you spent in line and how angry you were over the changes. If you showed up early, you probably wouldn’t care much for this change. If you showed up late however, this was a gift, putting you on a level playing field with those who waited in the dark hours before you.

Ultimately, Disney is trying to discourage guests from getting to the park as early as they have been. That said, by opening the park early and essentially encouraging guests to show up earlier and earlier, it’s tough to hold Disney harmless in all of this. In our opinion, Disney needs to go back to respecting guests’ time and opening the boarding groups when they let guests into the park. It doesn’t matter if that is 60 minutes before scheduled opening or right at scheduled opening.

Of course, all of this is probably more entertaining than educational if you plan on visiting in 2020. Disney eventually wants to get away from the boarding group process and allow guests to enter a standby line, but that seems very unlikely before the new year. If you’re coming in February 2020 or beyond, we wouldn’t necessarily be worried about the latest changes at this point. Things will change plenty of times between now and then.

As always, we’ll continue to update you on the ever-changing Rise of the Resistance boarding group procedures, so keep checking back with us here at!

Mike is the owner and writer for Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

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  1. Why do you assume this is the new process going forward? Why do you not consider this was for today only due to the special morning event that was held in Galaxy Edge? I mean no one knows anything till the process is repeated. May as easily go back to how it was tomorrow.

    • Multiple Cast Members told me this morning this would be the new process going forward. I don’t know if it will be, but that’s what they told us as we were waiting this morning.

  2. I disagree. Since the ride is so new and so popular, the playing field should be leveled for all to get an equal chance to ride. I think this does that.

  3. Agreed. We live an hour north of DW but no way am I getting up at 0 dark thirty to experience this ride. I can occasionally snag a FP for FoP in AK and when I do, we shoot down to DW, do the riide and a few others and go home. When or if RoTR settles down we will go and give it a shot. We did standby for Smugglers Run several months ago and only waited about 45 minutes. I have better things to do ( like sleep) than standing around for hours for a ride. Were I here on vacation, I suppose I would do whatever it took to get the ride since spending thousands of dollars ant getting on it would be a real bummer. Fortunately, living close changes my attitude!

  4. My family went on New Year’s Eve morning. We were staying on site and got on the first bus at the contemporary at 5:06 a.m. we arrived at the park 5:22 a.m. and we’re in the gates by 5:40 a.m. then we stood with everybody else on Hollywood Boulevard counting down to 6 a.m. that was when the park officially opened and the boarding groups dropped in the app. Everyone they are got into a boarding group and were able to ride that day. In fact boarding groups we’re still being distributed up to 11:30 a m.

    If there’s anything that does not work well it is the app itself. Disney’s it has never been very good but putting all your faith in this one process is a recipe for disaster. People kept refreshing and restarting their apps trying to get it to work.

    Besides that the number of ride breakdowns is very concerning. There doesn’t seem to be and easy workarounds besides evacuating everybody and shutting the ride down. Until they get those glitches nail down this experience is going to be greeted with mixed reviews by guests. And it will be right for criticism.

    But I expect after this first year is done, the demand will settle down to flight of Passage levels. Millennium Falcon will probably be on par with Star Tours at its most popular times.

  5. What I don’t like about the previous system is that it counted on people knowing you had to get to the park a couple of hours before opening. Disney World requires so much planning and I would imagine it’s really difficult for the average person to know everything you need to know. We had some family in town and they went to park opening for Animal Kingdom but didn’t mention it to us first. They were surprised when the park opened before opening and they ended up getting there ‘late’.

    That they are out of Boarding Groups before park opening is crazy to me but I also don’t know what alternative they can use to make it fair for everyone.

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