Star Wars Rise of Resistance at Disneyland Strategy Guide
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is Disneyland’s most popular attraction, with California locals and tourists competing to buy Individual Lightning Lane access or waiting in long lines. This ride guide answers frequently asked questions, with step-by-step strategy for the Galaxy’s Edge E-Ticket. (Updated March 28, 2022.)
As we cover in our spoiler-free Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Review, this is one of Imagineering’s all-time greatest feats. It’s also far and away the most popular attraction at Disneyland, with the longest waits in the park by a wide margin and the most downtime/breakdowns. It’s also absolutely worth the effort, frustrations, and cost or long waits.
We update this guide regularly based on the latest changes. Late last year, Disneyland announced that it was “pausing” the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. They left the door open for bringing it back at a later date when crowds increased, but that didn’t happen during the busy Christmas and New Year’s travel dates, so we assume the virtual queue is now gone for good…
Instead of the virtual queue, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now uses a traditional standby line and is Disneyland’s only Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) attractions. (Disney California Adventure has two: Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure in Avengers Campus and Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land.)
On average, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has the longest wait time at Disneyland, significantly ahead of Space Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure. On a normal day during Spring 2022, you could expect to wait 83 minutes for the Star Wars E-Ticket, versus 63 minutes for Space Mountain and 57 minutes for Indiana Jones Adventure. (Several other rides average ~55 minute waits.)
When it comes to the easiest way to beat the crowd at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, that’s paying for front of line access via the Individual Lightning Lane. Daily prices for this attraction are typically $20 per person–more expensive than any of its counterparts at DCA, which usually range from $7 to $18.
With that said, if you’re only going to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes or Genie+ at Disneyland Resort, we’d recommend Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance out of the trio. For advice on that, consult our Guide to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Disneyland & DCA.
There are currently no extra hours at Disneyland Resort for on-site guests or anyone else, so everyone else has an equal shot at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance once the park opens.
As with pretty much any attraction, the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge headliner has its shortest lines of the day right at rope drop. You’ll need to do it first in order to benefit from those low waits–within ~30 minutes of park opening, its wait times spike. Despite this, we do NOT recommend rope dropping Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The reasons for this (lack of) recommendation are covered in our Disneyland Park Opening & Rope Drop Tips.
Wait times are fairly constant–if not slightly increasing–throughout the morning and early afternoon. There’s no lunch lull or other sweet spot to target Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You either want to do it first thing or wait until much later in the day.
Speaking of which, wait times tend to fall in the last 2 hours of the day, with the biggest drop off in the last hour. That will probably become even more pronounced once Disneyland Forever Fireworks, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Fantasmic all return.
One big asterisk when it comes to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is that the blockbuster attraction currently closes before the rest of Disneyland–usually at the same time as the fireworks. Meaning that “last 2 hours of the day” is not 2 hours before the park closes, but 2 hours before the ride closes.
Wait time data indicates that its line is shortest about 60-90 minutes before the attraction closes. You’re still looking at about an hour in line, perhaps more when it’s busy, but that’s the best time to line up if you’re going to do Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance via standby.
The one other wildcard is ride breakdowns, which are still semi-frequent with this complex attraction. Breakdowns earlier in the day can create a backlog of Individual Lightning Lane guests at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Disney prioritizes those “paying guests,” and this means standby will be slow later in the night when the ride has a “bad” day.
The other risk with downtime is that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will have problems towards the end of the night and simply not reopen. A breakdown earlier in the day is one thing–you can always come back later. If it’s the last hour of operations, there are no second chances, unless you have another day at Disneyland. As such, assess your “risk tolerance,” how important Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is to you, and plan accordingly.
That wraps up our revised strategy guide for riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland as of Spring 2022. We’ll keep you updated with what you need to know for doing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
In any case, what follows is information about the regular, pre-test virtual queue in case Disneyland reverts to that system…
Disneyland’s Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue has two openings: at 7 am and at 12 pm. For the 7 am distribution time, guests must have a theme park reservation for Disneyland.
This is before the park opens, so obviously you won’t be required to be inside Disneyland–you could be literally anywhere on earth, the only requirement is that you have a valid theme park reservation for Disneyland. Guests with Disney California Adventure reservations are not be eligible for the 7 am distribution time, regardless of whether they have Park Hopper tickets.
At noon, the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue opens again–this is usually the easier of the two to join. In order to be eligible for the 12 pm distribution, guests must have already entered Disneyland or Disney California Adventure and have a Park Hopper ticket (if in DCA).
Even though Park Hopping guests are eligible to join the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance queue at noon, they won’t be able to Park Hop into Disneyland until 1pm. Entering one of the parks “unlocks” the second drop, so if you leave for a midday hotel break or lunch in Downtown Disney, you’ll still be eligible so long as you already scanned into one of the parks.
With that out of the way, here’s strategy we recommend to join Disneyland’s virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, followed by answers to frequently asked questions about the attraction. The first section assumes some prior knowledge about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, so if any of it is over your head, start with the FAQ.
In addition to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, there’s one other “difficult” attraction at Disneyland Resort. Read our How to Ride WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure Guide for tips on how to beat the crowds at that new ride in Avengers Campus, the Marvel Land at Disney California Adventure.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass Dash
This section will offer a couple of the best approaches for scoring a boarding pass to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. To start with, make sure every competent adult or child who has a smart phone downloads the latest version of the Disneyland app.
Following this, everyone needs to add in all tickets among your party members to their account. To do this, go to the “Tickets & Passes” button on your profile page, click the plus button, and scan. Be sure to delete any tickets for friends or family who have not scanned into Disneyland the day you’re trying for a boarding pass. Deleting is critical–you can always add them back again later.
Next, it’s time to optimize to ensure your timing is accurate and your phone and internet connection are as fast as possible. This might sound like overkill, but milliseconds matter. We’d recommend doing a quick speed test a few minutes before it’s time to join. Anything at or above 50 Mbps should be sufficient, but the higher the better. If necessary, move around to get away from other people or increase your speed to that threshold.
Make sure your phone is fully updated and force close all apps, including the Disneyland app shortly before it’s time to join. Double-check the time on your phone or watch against time.gov, which is what Disneyland uses. These three simple steps can often be the difference between success and failure!
Everyone in your party should now attempt the following strategy. Start by hitting the hamburger button on the lower right corner of the Disneyland app.
At this point, you’ll see the following screen:
You’ll have the option of confirming your party starting at 6 am, or an hour before the queue opens.
Click the blue button to confirm your party, ensuring that everyone visiting with you is selected. So long as tickets are properly linked and everyone has a Disneyland park reservation, this process should be smooth sailing and self-explanatory.
Once you confirm your party, you’ll see the above screen until 7 am.
Use the strategy above to get the timing right, and then either hit the refresh button or pull down to refresh at 7 am on the dot. You’ll then see the “Join Queue” button. Tap that and you’re done!
You’ll then receive confirmation that you’re in the queue…or it’s already full.
Alternatively, if several members of your party were all trying and someone else was successful, you’ll see a “Not So Fast! Already in Boarding Group” error message or a red banner across an otherwise all-white screen.
There is absolutely zero downside to everyone in your party trying to join a boarding group so long as the steps are properly followed here and they add everyone in your party. It’s all upside–whoever has the fastest fingers and app will secure your party the lowest boarding group!
We prefer these strategies as opposed to simply waiting for the “Join Boarding Group” button to turn red (which is Disneyland’s official recommendation) because there’s often a delay in waiting for the app to passively refresh. Based upon our experience, it’s slightly staggered with some guests seeing it several seconds before others. You could get lucky via this route, but you are more likely to be unlucky–and miliseconds make a huge difference here.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance FAQ
What is the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
This is a same-day reservation system like Genie+ Lightning Lanes, but it is the exclusive method for experiencing the new attraction, and can only be booked via the Disneyland app. The ride does not have a standby line.
What are boarding groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
Boarding groups are how Disneyland organizes guests into groups when it’s their turn to ride. Think of these as akin to FastPass/MaxPass return times, but minus the fixed window.
For example, rather than having a set 1-2 pm return time, you might be in boarding group 30. Your return time is not specified in advance, but rather, based upon how quickly the attraction cycles the guests through who are in front of you in the queue. (Plus how many or few times it breaks down.)
What time do we need to arrive to Disneyland?
Due to the new 7 am distribution time, this question is no longer relevant for the purposes of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You can score a boarding pass from home or your hotel room.
For reasons unrelated to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we still recommend getting to Disneyland at least 30 minutes before park opening. It’s always good to beat the crowds by rope dropping Fantasyland!
Do we need to be inside Disneyland to join the noon drop?
You only have to enter the park–you don’t need to stay. Proximity is irrelevant. After you’ve entered, you can go over to Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney, back to your hotel, or wherever. If you want Starbucks, you’re better off leaving and walking to one of the other locations because the line will be far shorter.
Should we use Disneyland’s WiFi to book boarding passes at noon?
Disneyland’s WiFi is about as reliable as AOL dial-up from the 90s, and whatever cell data provider you have will work better. That’s right, even AT&T.
Is there anywhere in Disneyland that’s typically better or worse for cell service?
There are a few dead zones in Disneyland; most notably deep in Tomorrowland, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and parts of Adventureland. Also, several queues (Indiana Jones Adventure, Soarin, and Space Mountain are the biggest offenders).
We’d also avoid being around too many people when attempting to join. Service can become spotty in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle when that area is congested.
Which day(s) of the week are the best and worst for doing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
Now that the Magic Key pass program has launched, Mondays through Thursdays are the best days to visit, followed by Fridays. On all of these days, you’re more likely to encounter a smaller crowd and one that skews more towards tourists. The second part of this is important because many tourists won’t do their research and will be clueless about how to do this.
Saturdays and Sundays are when Disneyland locals are more likely to visit. They are generally much more savvy, and as such, are more formidable “competition” in the boarding pass dash.
Is it possible to join both the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance queue and Web Slingers: Spider-Man Adventure queue in the same day?
Read How to Score Same-Day Star Wars & Spider-Man Boarding Groups for more details.
Can we get more than one Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding pass per day?
Can we leave Disneyland once joining the queue?
You could walk over to Disney California Adventure, or even drive to Los Angeles or Laguna Beach while waiting for your boarding group. (We’ve done all three!)
How do we know when we can return?
If your phone has push notifications for the Disneyland app enabled, you’ll receive an alert that your boarding group has been called.
Failing that, the “My Status” screen on the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance screen displays the same information.
Should we buy Park Hopper tickets?
If you’ve read our Money-Saving Disneyland Park Ticket Guide, you know that we always recommend Park Hopper tickets. Due to Disney California Adventure and Disneyland being a stone’s throw (literally) from one another, walking between the two parks is incredibly easy.
This is doubly true with the queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Park Hoppers enable you to try the Rise of Resistance boarding pass dash every single day of your trip, rather than just the Disneyland days. It’s an attraction you’ll want to do more than once!
Can we just skip all this and wait in a regular standby line for half the day?
Given that the attraction is currently breaking down multiple times per day, a standby line would be 5-6 hours long and would include multiple (yes, really) breakdowns where you’d be stuck in the same spot for 70 minutes.
This virtual queue doesn’t seem very guest-friendly, what if I can’t get to Disneyland until after work?
No system is going to be perfect, but we view this as the most equitable system considering demand, operational realities, and the current unreliability of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This system favors tourists, which is clearly by design. (Hard to fault Disneyland for that.)
If you’re a local who is used to going after work, you’ll have to revise your approach here. As with tourists, you have the option to take a day off work or go on a weekend. The simply reality is that demand far exceeds supply for this new attraction, and there are going to be winners and losers regardless.
Does Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance accommodate Disability Access Service (DAS) card?
Yes, but you still need a place in the virtual queue–there’s no loophole here.
To take advantage of DAS, go to the FastPass return line once your boarding group is called.
What about Rider Switch?
Yep, same process as above.
When will Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance switch from a virtual queue to FastPass/MaxPass and standby?
Nothing is official.
We anticipate that the virtual queue will last until the ride reliability and uptime issues are resolved. That could take until 2022.
Should we just wait to experience Rise of the Resistance until it offers FastPass/MaxPass?
No. It’ll have the same supply/demand issues, just in a different format.
Additionally, this is a very complex attraction with a lot of practical effects, some of which may not exist forever. Just ask anyone who rode Indiana Jones Adventure the first year it was open how the original ride compares to today.
When will this all die down?
Maybe 5-10 years from now.
Seriously. Look at how popular Radiator Springs Racers was for the first several years it was open (and still is, to some extent). Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is significantly better than Radiator Springs Racers. It’s going to be the “hot ticket” at Disneyland for the next decade, at least.
Is California better than Florida?
In general? Yes.
Specifically for experiencing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Also yes. If more elaboration is desired on either of these two responses, we’d be happy to provide that in a follow-up post. Just let us know.
Ultimately, riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance requires added effort beyond the additional Disneyland attraction. However, by arriving early and following the steps here, you should be able to experience it without issue, and will not have to sacrifice hours standing in line. For a blockbuster new ride, it’s pretty easy to do, so long as you’ve done your homework.
It’s also worth it. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the top 10 Disney attractions in the world, on an epic scale that’s only rivaled by Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland. Whether it has the same longevity as all-time greats like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean remains to be seen.
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 Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide.
Are you planning on visiting Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now that Rise of the Resistance is open? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of opening day at Disneyland? Which boarding group were you in? Were you able to experience the attraction? Did you have any downtime? Are you a fan of this system, or would you just prefer a really long standby line? 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.
If we go to RofR at ropedrop do we still need to get a queue time at 7:00 or can we just stand in line?
We went yesterday (Tuesday, Nov 23). We arrived to the park right at opening. Rise of the Resistance had standby lines of 60-120 min all day (based on our frequent checking of the standby time). They close the line at 8 pm (if you are in line by 8 pm, you are good).
We got in line around 630 and were on the ride by 730.
Tom, with the new move to line-ups for Rise at Disneyland, can you suggest best viewing strategy assuming they don’t go back to VQ? Rope drop or get in the line at the end of the night? End of night seems like a good approach for my family but I’m wondering if they’ll put everyone through the ride or claim a break down etc. Any evidence at WDW so far?
Thank you so much for the tips! I hope we’re able to get a spot. I’ve ridden Pirates at Shanghai Disneyland and it’s absolutely incredible. I’m really looking forward to Riser of the Resistance.
Thanks for the helpful tips! Has the Disneyland app changed since this was written because I do not see anywhere it says find out more on the Home Screen. There is a blue virtual queue section. Hopefully, you will see this and can clarify. Thanks again!