Space travelers and theme park goers bound for Batuu, you've come to the right place.
Leaders of the Resistance heading to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in anticipation of Disney's newest attraction must be, for starters, early-risers — after all, there are several thousand Star Wars fans itching to experience an up-close encounter with Kylo Ren, storm troopers and others inside one of the First Order's star destroyers.
Rise of the Resistance officially opened earlier this month and thus far, has exceeded expectations and has more than doubled the massive crowds seen earlier this year for Smuggler's Run, the intergalactic user-friendly flight mission inside the Millennium Falcon.
Equipped with your Magic Band, smartphone and lightsaber of choice, here are a few tips on how to ensure you don't miss out on the popular attraction from someone who successfully carried out the mission three times over three consecutive days after opening.
Download My Disney Experience and arrive early: Hollywood Studios is handling overwhelming demand for its newest attraction using an all-new boarding pass system, accessed via the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone. This virtual queue is independent from the Fast Pass option used in alleviating long wait times, and also extremely limited.
Through January, Extra Magic Hours reserved for on-site guests are not available for Rise of the Resistance. Hollywood Studios has opened early since this attraction's debut and will continue to do so to accommodate guests. From my personal experience, my party arrived at 5 a.m. ET prior to 8 a.m. posted openings and the park opened at 6:30 each day. You'll be funneled through security checkpoints with 3 options: no bag, strollers and bag lines.
Pro tip: Veer right. Every guest seemed to join the line near the left side of the Hollywood Studios entrance and there was little to no wait on the other side toward Disney's Skyliner. Don't stress, but getting to the park one hour after opening will almost guarantee that all boarding passes will be taken for the day.
Grabbing your coveted boarding pass: Once you've been scanned into the park, immediately tap 'Join Boarding Group' on your smartphone and you'll be given a boarding group number. Make sure your notifications are on because that's how Disney notifies you that it's time to board (you can also refresh the app to see if you've been summoned to Batuu. This could take several hours, so prepare for other attractions. You'll have two hours to return to board when you get the notification, so if you're in line for Slinky Dog, take a breather — your spacecraft is getting warmed up.
Also, there is little to no wait at other popular attractions during the first hour of the park's opening since most are heading toward Galaxy's Edge. Unless you're in one of the first groups, you'll have plenty of time to ride Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania and others before walking to Galaxy's Edge.
What to expect when it's your time to board: Since Rise of the Resistance is Disney's newest attraction and its most technologically advanced, there have been early bugs — to be expected during the first month of operation. When the ride is running smoothly, your experience begins within 15 minutes of a cast member scanning you in at the entrance. When it's not, prepare to wait. Hollywood Studios provided those within my group with complimentary popcorn, cookies and water during our wait time. It's the magic of Disney after all.
The queue, photo ops and ride system: This attraction features several 'pre-show' rooms which you'll enjoy and you'll need to have your smartphone ready. No spoilers here, but Rise of the Resistance features a trackless ride system that takes patrons through various settings. Tip: It doesn't matter which side of the corridor the First Order sends you to, but being in the first 'car' means you'll get a slightly different view of the ride. Again, you won't be able to choose your flight, but it does feel like two different experiences.
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