By Sophia Villamor
In January 2020, Disneyland unveiled its brand new attraction in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Rise of the Resistance. The attraction was met with instant acclaim and adoration, but securing a seat on it is somewhat difficult. Here’s everything you need to know in order to get on the ride and join the Resistance.
1. You can’t get on the ride without a Boarding Pass first.
What is a Boarding Pass you ask? Disney has implemented a new system for parkgoers in order to separate the number of people trying to go on the ride at once. A boarding pass is basically a return ticket that gives you a group number. Throughout the day groups will be called about 10 at a time. The good news about boarding passes is that you can resume your normally scheduled super fun day and explore Disneyland while you wait instead of standing in line!
2. You’ll have to wake up bright and early!
In order to get a boarding pass, all guests within your party must be in Disneyland park (as in through the front turnstiles) by the park’s opening. Both parking structures open 90 minutes before Disneyland, and there can be a bit of a wait often to get a spot. I suggest parking at the Toy Story lot on Harbor Boulevard as opposed to Mickey and Friends; there is usually no line to park or get on the buses that take you to the entry gates for Disneyland.
In order to make it inside the park by its opening, you should arrive at the parking lots about an hour to 45 minutes beforehand. This is because in addition to the time it takes to park, Disneyland does not begin letting guests in until about 20 or 30 minutes before the park opens. People get to the park pretty early, and usually, long lines form outside of the turnstiles before guests are let inside of the park. On busy days like weekends or holidays, guests can fill the entire esplanade. Moving from the very back of the line to the front turnstiles will take about 20 minutes give or take, so keep into account your position in line and the time it takes for all guests to be let inside the park before it opens. Once again, arriving at a parking structure an hour before the park officially opens is typically enough time to make it inside Disneyland.
3. Download (and update) the Disneyland app
There are two ways to obtain a boarding pass that you need to get on the ride: through the Disneyland app or through a physical machine in various locations around the park. I personally have not attempted to obtain a physical boarding pass and am not familiar with the system, so I can’t recommend that option. Getting a boarding pass through the app can also be difficult, as what number boarding group you get depends on how quickly you can get into the app. Do NOT open the app before Disneyland’s official opening time, and make sure to fully close the app before you open it again. Log into your account and have all of your tickets uploaded on the app before the opening time, and when the clock strikes at the exact second, open the app and click on the boarding group tab on the front page. This process is quite stressful and there is no skill in it, just be sure to have your app updated, tickets uploaded, and keep up those reflex skills so that you can get a good boarding group number!
4. Even if you get a Boarding Pass, you aren’t guaranteed to get on Rise of the Resistance
Scary, right? Don’t be too alarmed. If you obtain a boarding pass within a few minutes after Disneyland’s official opening time, you should be in the clear. Although it changes every day, Disney has advertised that usually boarding groups under number 85 are guaranteed entry; any group above that is left to luck. The reason Disney has implemented boarding groups is so that guests can have a definitive pass to go on the ride, but they cannot be held accountable for how long it takes until your group is called, if it’s called at all. The two times I have gotten a boarding pass it has been between groups 70-80, and my group was called between 3:00-5:30pm. It really depends on how many times the ride breaks down throughout the day. They will not advertise whether or not it is broken unless you are physically in the queue, but you can tell it is stopped when the boarding groups stop increasing on the app. The amount of boarding groups that are called varies by day, but typically it stops around 90-100.
5. All of the hassle is worth it!
I went on Rise of the Resistance with almost no expectations because I was a bit scared that I would be disappointed. Every single aspect about this ride absolutely blew me away and I honestly will never be the same after experiencing it. Disney really went all out on this attraction and you can tell how much time and money was put into crafting the perfect storyline, ride vehicles, and animatronics. Every second of the experience is enjoyable and it is really worth all of the effort that it takes to get a boarding pass! I cannot recommend the ride enough, it will literally change the way that you view what an attraction can be.
I hope that this article was helpful and provided some clarity about the kind of insane process you have to go through to get on Disneyland’s amazing new ride. I wish you luck and may the force be with you!