We’ve nicknamed Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance the Early Riser as you have to rise very early in the morning to secure a boarding group number and with it your spot in the virtual queue.
On Sunday morning we showed up at 5:15am and were in Boarding Group 14, which meant we were able to ride as early as 7:30am. However, if you weren’t inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios by then you had missed out on your chance to get any boarding group at all.
Update – 12/18/2019: Disney has changed the procedures for securing a Boarding Group pass again.
Now that Disney has been running the virtual queue for more than a week, they’ve made some tweaks to the boarding group system and feel more confident in how fast they can move guests through the queue. That said, it is a new attraction and unexpected closures can happen.
In the past if you had a boarding group, but didn’t get on the ride you would automatically get a Fastpass for the next day and a park ticket for a chance to come back and use it.
Now Disney is adding a Backup Boarding Group. It won’t guarantee you a spot in the virtual queue, but will give you a chance to sneak in a ride at the end of the night if all goes well and all the regular boarding groups get a chance to ride.
We expect the backup boarding groups won’t get a Fastpass if their number isn’t called. This allow Disney to better manage guest expectations and reduces the influx of Fastpass riders if the attraction does go down the day before.
As with the normal boarding group, you need to reserve your spot using the My Disney Experience app and we recommend turning on notifications so you get pinged when your number is called.
Another small change, there’s a new sign at the entrance that displays which boarding group number is allowed to enter the standby queue at that time.
So will you be able to show up after the park opens and get a Boarding Group now? Probably not. We expect all the Backup Boarding Groups to be gone before the usual park opening time too. This will probably continue through at least the first week of January when the holiday bookings finally begin to thin out. Even then we expect all the boarding groups to fill up quickly each day.