Snafus with Star Wars Rise of Resistance Virtual Queue
Last week, Walt Disney World unveiled Two Big Changes for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, debuting today, November 3, 2020. In this post, we’ll cover “first impressions” of our experience trying to join the virtual queue at 7 am, which unsurprisingly was not problem-free.
To quickly recap, the first modification was to the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction itself, with more plexiglass dividers being installed around the pre-show areas as well as on the ride vehicles themselves. Prior to this, the ride-through portion currently accommodated one party per vehicle, which could mean a single rider, family of 8, or any size group in between. Disney installed plexiglass barriers between the front and back row, roughly doubling ride capacity.
The second previously-announced modifications allow any guests with valid Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios to access the virtual queue system and check for an available boarding group starting at 7 a.m. on the day of their park reservation. This can be done before you leave your Disney resort hotel, or wherever else nearby you might be at that time.
Some good news right off the bat–since the plexiglass barriers were installed last week in the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride vehicles, it has not been a de facto lottery. Boarding passes have not run out at 10 am exactly, instead lasting several minutes or longer.
Of course, last week and this week (thus far) have been unusually quiet at Walt Disney World, so it’s premature to surmise that Walt Disney World has fully addressed the supply shortage for the popular headliner. They just met demand of the rope drop crowd during the off-season. It’s undeniable progress, but still a low bar.
Moving along, as soon as the virtual queue changes were announced, we made Disney Park Pass theme park reservations for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We did so because there were still many unanswered questions we had (as did readers), and wanted to see the process for ourselves.
Being seasoned veterans of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and ‘drop day’ for new Walt Disney World technology, we were confident that everything would work flawlessly. Of course I’m kidding. The best laid plans of mice, men, and Mickey’s IT department often go awry, so I’m sure you’re not shocked that things didn’t work as planned for us…
As usual, we both tried for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding groups, using different strategies.
Above is a look at the approach from the virtual queue page at 6:59 am.
At 7 am on the dot, the blue “Join” button appeared for me.
Working fine thus far!
NOT SO FAST.
(Additionally, Sarah was not auto-selected for me, but I wouldn’t extrapolate a ton from that since My Disney Experience didn’t think she had a boarding pass in the first place. We’d love to hear from other readers who did have success whether everyone in their party with Park Pass reservations was auto-selected. It’s a seemingly little thing, we know, but milliseconds matter with this!)
Before we even had the chance to troubleshoot (not that it would’ve helped), the virtual queue was already full. This was by 7:00:30 am, at the very latest.
I’d also be very reluctant to extrapolate much from the virtual queue filling up in under 30 seconds. Given that boarding groups have not been gone instantly the last several days and that the allotment of Disney Park Pass reservations has not increased since yesterday, the likely scenario here is that Walt Disney World released far fewer boarding groups than normal for the ‘opening day’ of the new system.
Given the circumstances and the company’s many IT fails, this is actually a savvy approach. As we previously noted, it takes time for word of mouth to spread about any policy changes, so there are undoubtedly going to be a lot of guests showing up at ~9 am expecting there to be a 10 am drop.
Between that and the inevitable tech glitches, it would make sense for Walt Disney World to release a very limited number of boarding passes at 7 am on the first day, and gradually ramp up over time. Accordingly, our expectation is that far more spots in the virtual queue will be released at 2 pm than normal.
For what it’s worth, our “snafu” was far from unique. Similar reports are scattered across social media and Disney fan forums, with identical circumstances.
Other more unique wrinkles include My Disney Experience only recognizing some guests in large parties as having Disney Park Pass reservations, despite all having been booked together. It wouldn’t surprise us if other issues existed–please share your experience (good or bad) in the comments below!
We could’ve gone to Disney’s Hollywood Studios anyway to see what the situation was like at rope drop and 2 pm, but figured those are going to be anomalies that are unrepresentative of anything beyond today.
Instead, we opted to cancel our DHS Park Pass reservation and attempt rebooking for EPCOT. There were questions about whether this would work, and it did for us!
In hindsight, this might also be an anomaly. My Disney Experience didn’t recognize us as having Disney Park Pass reservations in the first place, so it might not have “locked” us into DHS when trying to join the virtual queue.
That detail thus probably ends up being about as useful as whatever we would’ve learned by visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios today. Oh well. (For what it’s worth, I’m still betting this will be possible in the future; I don’t see Disney adding even more complexity to a system that barely works in the first place.)
Another thing is what “nearby” means. To our knowledge, Walt Disney World has declined to answer this (and we doubt they will) or clarified what it means. We’re only a few miles from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but we know people as far as 27 miles away who were successful at joining the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue.
As we said before, the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue has never used geolocation. It has always validated whether guests tapped into the park (or now, have a Disney Park Pass reservation). We think it’s highly unlikely that Walt Disney World changes that now–it would be another complicating factor to a system already not known for its reliability.
It likely won’t matter whether you’re on property at Disney or in Duluth, Minnesota–you should still be able to score a spot in the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Walt Disney World is probably just using the nebulous “nearby” term to discourage residents of Duluth, known for their tomfoolery, from booking Park Pass reservations just to “test” the system from home. There have been problems with far-flung fans scoring boarding passes on test runs before, and this new system would theoretically make that easier for distant Annual Passholders. Disney understandably wants to discourage or at least minimize instances of that happening.
Anyway, that was our first day “experience” with the modified virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We were hoping to bring you a comprehensive report with how this changed the rope drop dynamic, wait times around the park, photos of the queue and ride vehicles, etc. Unfortunately, that will all have to wait.
Unless you’re planning a trip in the next couple of days, it’s probably better that we give it some time for the dust to settle, as the first day is never indicative of the subsequent days and weeks. Walt Disney World’s goal is likely to debut this new system during a lull in crowds, and iron out the kinks by the busy Thanksgiving week. (Not exactly an ambitious timeline for implementing a seemingly simple change, but whatever.) We’ll keep you posted–and look forward to hearing your first hand accounts of how the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue and attraction experience went for you!
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Did you have success scoring a spot in the virtual queue today? If so, how many miles away were you? If not, did you receive the same error as us, or something different? Thoughts on these changes to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Do you think these moves will help, hurt, or have no impact? Do you plan on arriving to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at rope drop, or will you utilize a late arrival strategy? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? 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!
Day 1…issues with 7am boarding slot. Was in reservations, however Disney had my son as NOT reserved for HS that day(which he was). So by the time we retried it was full by 7:01. As per your advice we clicked join just seconds before 7am. That wasn’t the issue it was a Disney glitch that prevented us from going further. We did head for rope drop to do and see everything else. At 2pm followed the same advice, 3 phones just before 2pm, got #90 finished the day and hoped we would get called for boarding…we did and actually they made it up to 100 or higher. Our group was called at 6pm for time reference.
Day 2 – jumped on the Disney app at 7am for a family of five, We scored Boarding Group 6. We’re staying just outside of Disney over by Westgate.
Hi Sarah and Tom! I’m the crazy woman who shouted “Sarah!” In the rain on Sunday at MK like I know her personally (I only feel like I know you both from reading the blog). We happened to have HS park passes for Nov 3 and when the change was announced, I was nervous it would not work. It didn’t. When I tried to join from our resort at 7:00, my party of 4 was pre-selected, but the system said I did not have a park reservation. By the time I removed myself and tried to join, the passes were gone. I talked to a Guest Experiences cast member and they confirmed it was a glitch and hoped it was fixed. In HS, there were tons of people everywhere staring at their phones at 1:58. At the 2:00 drop we secured backup boarding group 82. Our group was called around 5:00 and we were able to ride ROTR! I’m impressed they got through so many groups and am looking forward to another day at HS later this week! Glad I ignored your question last week about whether you should skip HS and forged on with my plan. Just kidding. I love your blog. It is very helpful and fun to read whether my trip is 12 months or 12 days away. Keep up the great work!
It’s second day of 7 am reservations and I am staying at Boulder Ridge and was up early to join virtual cue. Tried at exactly 7 to join for my husband and I. Before 7:01 and was told it was full. This is ridiculous. I will try again at 2 but have absolutely no hope that we will get in. We are tied to DHS as we have dinner reservations.
The risk being you receive boarding group 1 and only have an hour from park opening, which could be a struggle depending on from where you are travelling.
We had the same issue this morning (staying at Yacht Club). I was the only one who ended up with a boarding group and it said my son didn’t have a park reservation. Luckily, the rest of my party was added after standing in line at guest relations. It was our first time on RoR, and even having to wait for an hour when it broke down this afternoon, totally worth it! The lines in general were long; it is 6:30 and runaway railway is 80 minutes. Needless to say, we didn’t get to do everything today. It’s our only day here, our first trip to DW as a family so bummer we missed out on some rides. But we will be back!
We did not have any trouble. Boarding group 15 for a party of 2.
Our party was also automatically selected
I’ll be at DHS next Tuesday. It works for us.
I’m not the least bit surprised Disney is having IT issues since they fired their entire American IT workforce. They brought in foreign labor to do the IT department. Nice move Disney.
That was my first peek behind the magic curtain. I was horrified as I read how Disney gave their long-term IT employees an ultimatum – train the new IT staff for a period of time and you may gain employment elsewhere within Disney or immediate dismissal. The article stated very few of the existing IT staff after training their replacements received employment from Disney. Poof, Disney worked their magic and made them disappear. One of the IT staff recounted how he had received an award for a job well done one day and was given the ultimatum the next. Heartbreaking read.
Lol… Minnesota native here, not near those tomfoolery folks though.. thanks for the laugh!
We had a park pass reservation for HS today (staying at boardwalk) and we were able to score boarding group 29. My party was automatically selected for me.
Read your article a few minutes after our first Rise of the Resistance. The booking worked perfect for us. Since we already had a park pass Disney sent us an email about the new policy so we were ready at 7:00 and got boarding group 43. Everything worked perfectly and we really lucked out being able to try this on the first day.
So for those who have pre booked Hollywood studios with their park tickets but aren’t staying in a Disney Resort Hotel will lose out? We won’t get a look in to join and be accepted for Rise of Residence?
I did a chat w Disney CS on Saturday and that person told me you did not have to be on Disney property to try and get on that 7am queue; which this reiterates what Tom has said that the app doesn’t use geolocation (GPS) to see where you physically are at the time of using the app.
The separate email I sent to Disney CS gave me this canned response: You will be able to access the virtual queue system starting at 7 a.m. on the day of your Disney’s Hollywood Studiosâ„¢ park reservation to check for an available boarding group. This can be done before you leave your Disney resort hotel, or wherever else nearby you might be staying at that time. You will need to be nearby, as you will be required to arrive at the attraction entrance within 1 hour if your group is called.
I’m loving the elaborate titles with alliteration on the last three posts!
This blog takes great pride (too much, really) in thinking up alliterative titles for posts. It’s what 95% of the effort goes into, with the remaining 5% spent on the actual content!
ADR’s seem crazy. I was up very early and there were a lot of ADR’s for restaurants I couldn’t get when logging in at 3 am PST 60 days before our trip. Like Yak & Yeti . With lots of times. Now after a few hours, you can’t get on a dining page (the page was “eaten”). I had one page open from earlier that still shows, but when you refresh (I’ve done it many times), it shows zero reservations available.
Yeah, not totally sure what’s up–my guess is that restaurant capacity was intentionally increased, and the subsequent Stitch eating the page errors are due to a surge in booking traffic.
Of course, with Disney IT, other scenarios are also plausible…
“ to discourage residents of Duluth, known for their tomfoolery…” My coffee nearly went out my nose!
We have an early February trip planned (let’s hope it happens) and I reserved 2 DHS days, the first is our arrival Sunday. Eagerly watching how this new system plays out because I’d love to try getting our boarding groups while waiting at the airport gate. We figured we’d be trying in person at 2 that day and take it from there whether we’d use our second day at DHS or choose somewhere else. Also hoping (but losing hope) that park hopping will return by then.
So can you and your wife both try at the same time to get a boarding group for RoR?
We are planning 2 Studios days in the hopes of getting a boarding pass but if we can’t get it the 2nd day are hoping we can switch parks as you posted.
We are going next spring and really want to try RoR.
How bad is the “drop” on RoR? I would never due Tower of Terror but have no issues on Star Tours but that is all simulated.
The RoR drop is nothing like tower of terror – I would put it more along the lines of the short drop on Pirates of the Caribbean. I think it’s definitely worth doing the ride even if you don’t like drops – it was an incredible experience.
The drop in RoR is very small – you don’t have to worry. In contrast, I can’t do a lot of other thrilling rides at Disney World, including Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, etc.
Have you ridden Flight of Passage? The flight takeoffs and dives in that are far, far worse than on ROTR, but still nothing like TOT. Ride ROTR if you can get in, you will not regret it!
When we tried that this morning I received an error message while my husband was able to get a boarding group. We have our accounts linked so I think he was slightly faster in getting into the system. Otherwise got boarding group 8 and we’re in line for the ride around 10:10!
Staying at the Grand Floridian and we had the same experience as did 3 other families in line for the bus this morning.
What happened for y’all?
We checked with the Guest Experience Team when we got to the Park, and it turns out that my 16 year was placed in boarding group 63 unbeknownst to me during the snafu this morning. They were able to add the rest of our family to that boarding group. We got stuck in the queue for an hour, but it was worth it!
Nice, as our pal Borat would say, Great Success!
Thanks for the update. I saw a lot of posts today about reservations opening back up in November and December. Any theories?
Are you referring to ADRs or Disney Park Pass?
My guess for the former is that Disney intends upon reducing table spacing. As for the latter, it happens all the time now–so much that I’ve stopped paying attention.
I was referring to dining reservations. I’m curious how much closers the diners will be. That may be a deal breaker for my trip in January.
Dulutians are the worst.
Some might call them Dulutianal