Guests Scored Star Wars: Rise of Resistance Boarding Groups Outside Disney World
In a curious development, several readers contacted us indicating that they were able to secure Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding groups from outside Walt Disney World this morning. In this post, we’ll cover the details and offer some commentary.
Normally, the My Disney Experience app validates that you’ve entered Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the day before allowing you to join the virtual queue. If you haven’t tapped in, you can go through the initial motions of joining a boarding group, but receive an error message instead of the confirmation screen.
Because milliseconds matter, we’ve been advising readers in our FAQ & Ride Guide for Star Wars Rise of the Resistance to practice at home. We are far from alone in offering this tip–it’s good advice! As a result, we’d estimate that tons of people outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios are attempting to score a boarding pass on a daily basis…
Well, today there was no validation that guests had entered Disney’s Hollywood Studios when attempting the boarding pass dash in the My Disney Experience app. People were able to obtain boarding groups from anywhere. Not just in another theme park at Walt Disney World, but literally anywhere in the world.
Here are a some of the anecdotes we’ve received from readers:
“HELP! I just got boarding group 13! Only problem: I’m sitting in my bedroom in Minnesota!! I tried the timing out at 7am CST just to see if it would work (I’ve got time date screen shots to prove this). I have tickets linked to my account, but we don’t leave for Disney for another 3 weeks. What should I do? I feel like I need to tell someone. How could this happen?” –Gabe
Gabe was also gracious enough to share a screenshot reflecting the boarding group he obtained while sitting at home in Minnesota:
An hour or so later (presumably while he was still in Minnesota), Gabe was called back to ride. Here are a couple more comments we’ve received thus far…
“We’re headed to WDW next week and have been practicing the process to score a ride on ROTR while we’re there. I’m writing to share my experience from this morning.. Today, moments before the crack of 8 AM, from my home here in the Maine woods, I launched the WDW app, hit ROTR Find Out More, hit Join a Boarding Group, checked in our party of two and, lo and behold… the next screen declared I had scored (back up) group 89!! What??
How could that possibly have happened?!? They’re calling for heavy wet snow today in my neck of the woods, so I doubt we’ll get to Orlando in time to ride .. but we’ll be there next week!! Have you heard of this surprising result happening before? Has someone, from hundreds of miles away, managed to scale the WDW ROTR wall and score a boarding group? Would love to hear your thoughts on this. (Note: I do have a screen shot of this apparition). Lastly, I thank you and Sarah for your valuable, insightful (well written) blog, as I’ve learned so much from you both.” –Cynde
“Tom….Big problem with ROTR today….People not in park were assigned BG’s., including myself……….several people on one of the forums i was reading had same thing happen” –Mike
If you have similar reports, we’d encourage you to share in the comments below. (Just for fun, include where you are in the world.) We’d also really like to hear from guests inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as we can only imagine the disappointment and lines at the Guest Experience Team tents.
We’re also curious if/when/how Walt Disney World might release more boarding groups later today. A good percentage of guests won’t possibly be able to use redeem their spot in the virtual queue, since it’s sorta hard to catch a last-minute flight from Minnesota! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance thus should get through all primary and backup groups, barring major downtime later today.
Some of you might speculate that this is a permanent change, and is occurring so that guests don’t potentially waste their time entering Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After all, this would mean on-site guests can try to score an elusive boarding group while lying in bed at Caribbean Beach or Art of Animation, and only take the Skyliner over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios if they’re successful.
With the recent crowds and chaos (read our Disney’s Hollywood Studios Hours: This Isn’t Working for more insight into that), this would theoretically be an improvement in the guest experience in the mornings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Fewer guests would arrive, and the limited attraction lineup around the park would see lower wait times–among other things.
That’s one theory. We doubt it, though. Although Walt Disney World hasn’t released any official statement about this–and almost certainly won’t–we strongly believe that this was a glitch or error. It’s possible Disney IT is in the midst of tweaking the process and unintentionally pushed this change. Either way, we would not expect a repeat of this scenario tomorrow.
The problem caused by not validating theme park admission is that it’d significantly open the pool of guests potentially competing for boarding groups. As we stated in the above This Isn’t Working post, Walt Disney World needs to shrink that pool to avoid this becoming a lottery.
Expanding the day-of pool would lead to a precipitous increase in disgruntled guests within the park, and lower satisfaction among attendees. There’s definitely an argument to be made for expanding this pool, but that would necessarily entail shifting the timing of the virtual queue entry process. It’d need to be at least a day in advance.
At several points in the hundreds of comments to the This Isn’t Working post, we advocated for shifting the virtual queue to the FastPass+ infrastructure. From our perspective, that’s ideal. Use the same 60/30-day priority booking windows, potentially release inventory over time, but retain the boarding groups (rather than switching to return windows).
In other words, we think a change is due for how Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance distributes capacity. It wouldn’t surprise us if one is on the horizon after Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens and Walt Disney World has a couple of weeks to observe crowd flow and attendance trends. However, this is almost certainly not that change. If this is anything other than a glitch, it would be shocking. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and update this story later today (or tomorrow morning) as we learn anything new.
If you’re planning on visiting the new land, you’ll also want to read our Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Guide. This covers a range of topics from basics about the land and its location, to strategically choosing a hotel for your stay, recommended strategy for the land, and how to beat the crowds. It’s a good primer for this huge addition. As for planning the rest of your trip, we have a thorough Walt Disney World Planning Guide.
Were you in Disney’s Hollywood Studios this morning? Have any observations about guest reactions today? Did you accidentally score a boarding group from home? Do you agree with our assessment that this was probably an error? Or, do you disagree with our assessment and think this was probably deliberate? Have any theories about the future of the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Seriously stop doing this! I was at the park a couple weeks ago..actually in Hollywood Studios and didn’t get into a group at either 10am or 2pm. You all are taking away opportunities from people who are there and it isn’t right.
I was practicing yesterday from NC and scored group 25.
I’m in GA and got boarding group 1 yesterday while practicing!! I screenshot it and then removed myself so that hopefully it would open up to someone else who was actually in the park.
I was there on Sept 20 and did not get a boarding pass at either time. Both my husband and I were trying. I was very disappointed that the park was closing at 7:00 with people there still wanting to see this attraction. I’ve waited 120 min in line for Soarin in the past and at least I had the opportunity to ride that. Not happy with this system.
i just went into the virtual queue at 3:46 p.m. eastern time and it was not accepting any more for today; however, it allowed me from Virginia to try and join it.
I miss just standing in line for a new attraction. You have to do that for every other attraction now. For this it is luck at a particular time with technology with all the problems.
It has become obvious that Disney is tightly controlling the numbers and groups for RotR. This is beyond the glitch that allowed people not in the park to join boarding groups. When all groups, including backup groups, are filled within seconds – this is from a Guest Relations CM, who said it was 12 seconds – on a crowd level 6 day, then on a CL 8 day, they are open for backup groups for almost an hour, it indicates that the availability is being manipulated. Today, CL 10 due to the MMRR opening, the BGs took over an hour to fill.
Also, my husband sat and watched people departing the ride one morning – same day the BGs were filled in seconds. He noted that each wave was 24 guests, so each round was utilizing only 3 ride vehicles. With six pre-ride rooms, each holding 12 guests, filling three vehicles, that stands to reason. However, when we rode on another day (all BGs filled in just under 5 minutes) we noted that only four of the six vehicles were occupied. So, in addition to throttling the number of available groups, they are also running the ride at a lower capacity.
One has to wonder why … is it due to the fragility of the ride, and fewer guests to have to recover with Fast Passes and other goodies (we got nothing aside from a return FP when we were walked off just before the pre-ride room) when it goes down? Or to create an illusion of scarcity to drive the crowds to show up at the crack of OMG-thirty? A combination of both?
We came to conclusion that Hollywood Studios, long the after-thought, poor relation park, now with several E++ ticket attractions just can’t handle the crowds and guest demands. Our interactions with Guest Relations was beyond disappointing, it was infuriating as we were met with rudeness, condescension and apathy for our concerns. They are not ready for prime time, at all.
However, on a positive note – ABC Commissary is now serving breakfast and it’s REALLY GOOD!! Dare I say, BETTER than most other QS breakfast.
I followed the advice of someone on this board who had someone log into their account from home and get boarding passes using a faster WiFi. We also tried at the park but our friend beat us and everyone around us in line. If you have someone you trust with your account I highly recommend this!
We were in line at Animal Kingdom on Tuesday talking to a couple from Missouri. They said that their travel agent had gotten them in boarding group 6 the day before when they went to Hollywood Studios!!!
We scored boarding passes two days in a roll. Group 14 and 16. The key for us was to wait until 8am sharp then open the app and proceed to request the boarding pass. Opening the app prior and refreshing or toggling back and forth was not working for us. We had three phones and we all tried it different ways. Opening the app at 8am worked both times And we scored low boarding groups. Good luck!
We were in HS park on Wednesday 02/26 and didn’t get a boarding pass at 8:00. Even had the app open at 7:59am to prepare and refreshed. We had 3 phones with us to attempt in our party…It glitched & didn’t show the land was open until minutes after 8am and of course all of the boarding groups were gone!
Just noticed that the park calendar switched Sunday’s HS extra magic hour from pm to am starting Sept 6. HS EMH is late night through Sunday, August 30. I would speculate that they hope to have ROTR operating normally (FP and standby) by then because morning EMH wouldn’t make sense if boarding groups are still in play. â€â™€ï¸
I wouldn’t assume that. I think it’s more a matter of simply not having updated the schedule to move EMH from morning to evening beyond late August.
They appeared to have issued more boarding passes today, with backups still being available as late as 8:30. However, it still looked like they started at number 10.
While the glitches obviously caused major problems, I think the biggest issue Wednesday and Thursday was that they intentionally only made a small number of passes available. They were having cast previews of the new Mickey ride on Thursday. IMHO, there were corporate folks onsite and they HS OPS team wanted them to see irate guests firsthand.
Was in the park and didn’t get a boarding pass at 8:00. It glitched didn’t show the land was open until 8:02 after all of the boarding groups were gone.
I was laying in bed at port Orleans riverside planning on a lazy day at the resort. Decided to practice for the next morning. Lo and behold I scored boarding passes for 10. Group 41. Needless to say our 2 families changed plans immediately. ROTR broke down twice, and we had to return later, but we rode and it was amazing. We are chalking it up to a little much needed Disney Magic.