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.
Fantastic advice. We went on July 21 – a family of four – two teenagers. All phones fully charged and plugged into portable chargers. All apps closed. Do Not Disturb mode on. Found 4 bars just outside the Starbucks around the corner from Toy Story parking. We practiced timing so we had it down pat. 2 of us did the easy “refresh” method, 2 of us logged in so we hit the right page at 700a on the dot. THREE of us could have obtained boarding groups for ROTR. THEN – at noon, while eating a burger, we did it all over again and got onto Webslingers. That time, all FOUR of us could have gotten in.
Your phones need to be synced with Disney time. Works like a charm. THANK YOU!
Once again, you have earned the hashtag I created for you: #thankyoutombricker! You always have the best tips. We are ready to go back on May 27 and weren’t sure what the best strategy would be for the virtual queue. Of course you’ve updated your site and your tips are phenomenal. I feel ready to go!
Is there a best strategy for the max number of passes to link to each disneyland app? Is a group of 20 too big?
I noticed that you said that ”you can’t actually book a boarding group without being inside the park.”
This isn’t totally true. I’ve actually gotten a boarding pass from Downtown Disney after entering Disneyland Park on a day that Main Street, U.S.A. opened before rope drop. After entering the park, I went to downtown Disney to meet a friend there. I was able to snag a boarding pass inside World of Disney at 8:00 am.
You have to have had your ticket or AP scanned into Disneyland Park that day, but you don’t necessarily have to be in the park to get a boarding pass.
Thank you for your advice! My husband and I were at Disneyland on 3/2 and 3/3 and went on the ride both days. We are retired engineers and we like to figure out the best ways to do things like this. We knew how many seconds it took to load the Disney App and push the right buttons, which was 4 seconds. Yesterday we were in boarding group 2 and today were in boarding group 10. Yesterday the official opening time was at 9 and we got to security around 8. There was no Magic Morning. The lines to get into the park were long and soon were all the way back to CA Adventure. They let us in the park at 8:30, with the rope at the end of Main Street, before the circle. At around 8:45 they let that rope drop and we could get into the circle area. There were ropes in front of all the lands. Both days we sat at a table at the Jolly Holiday Cafe and checked to see how the cell service was. We had 4 out of 5 bars for Verizon. At 8:55 the ropes dropped in front of the lands. On my iPhone, I have a clock app with a second hand next to my Disney app. When the clock was 4 seconds from 9, my husband and I opened Disney apps on our respective phones, and hit the Find Out More Button, then the red “Join Boarding Group” button. My was gray, but his was orange. We got group 2 and were told to “Head to the entrance…” We went to Galaxy’s Edge and were finished by 9:30! It all happened so fast. Today (3/3) was different. We got to the park a little before 8 and the lines were huge. It was a Magic Morning and they were trying to get all the MM people in, so the only gates we could line up at were the two on the far left. As soon as the bulk of the MM guests got in, we could line up at more of the gates. But the area was packed between Disneyland and CA Adventure. So they started letting the rest of us in. We entered the park at 8:20 and went to the Jolly Holiday. The MM guests were directed towards Tomorrowland where they had to show their tickets to get in. There were ropes in front of the other lands. These ropes were dropped about 8 minutes or so before 9. We got our boarding passes the same way as the day before, but got group 10. We headed over there as it was open, but not working. We waited around 40 minutes before the first boarding group was called. We got part way through the ride before it broke down and we had to leave. We were given priority boarding passes on our phones and told to come back when we saw that boarding groups were being called again. This took about 25 minutes. With these passes you enter directly into the ride and you don’t have to wait in line. For most people, if there aren’t long periods of breakdowns, and you can stay all day, you will get to do the ride. Last Sunday, every backup boarding group was called.
Was at Disneyland last week; on 2/24 passes didn’t run out until 9:19 according to security; my day there was 2/26, we got in line at 7:30 (probably too early) but it was fun anyway. Turnstyles started moving around 8:05. At 9AM a hush came over the park as everyone sat poised on their phones… and we got #64, which boarded around 12:45. It was a good day for throughput on the ride, we were at the cantina at 7:30-8PM and met some folks who were in a 130s group and they had just had their ride. I think 2/26 the passes were mostly gone by 9:03 or so.
One interesting side note about getting in line early, they did NOT take my photo. So, if all you want to spit a Disney ticket, you can enter early, get your paper ticket, ride the rides, at some point leave the park, give your paper ticket (or your phone) to someone else, they will be photographed when they re-enter the park… Obviously you can only ride RoftheR once, but it still has some benefits.
If I buy tickets through the app can other people in my party also add them to their app or do I have to buy physical tickets to be able to scan them all in the apps? Another question is do I have to wait until I am through security and they have checked my tickets before I try for the boarding pass or can I do it as I wait in line? We are going later this month and hoping we can get a boarding pass! If not, I will have a VERY disappointed 12 year old.
You must be through security and tickets scanned for admission into the park before you can try to get in a boarding group. This is why you should go stand in line early (7am) so you are all ready to go at 8am. I don’t know the answer to your first question, sorry! Good luck!
Thank you for your awesome blog!
I just wanted to clarify something. I have all three tickets on my phone . I bought them on Disney app. Is it enough to be considered a group? So am I all set to try and score passes when I am there?
Tom, a few questions I’m hoping you can help me with… Are the boarding passes given out every morning at 8:00? Does that mean that the park is officially opening at 8:00 or 9:00? So when does the extra magic hour happen? At 8:00 or 9:00? We are going in September and I realize things may change by then. My daughter wants to go to the Plaza Inn for the character breakfast on her birthday. What time should we try to get a reservation as not to interfere with ROR boarding pass? What time does the ride usually open? I’m already so stressed out about this!!
Boarding passes are open at regular park opening time – extra magic hour does not change anything, except it does mean there are lots more people IN the park already, so extra magic hour days are not the best days to try for boarding passes.
Has anyone actually tried the approach of scanning into the turnstiles before park opening and then LEAVING? The article suggests you can do this, but this is literally the only resource I’ve found that says it can be done. I called Disneyland and they did not know, although they recommend against trying.
I know you can do this with MaxPass (sometimes I’ll make new fast pass reservations from the airport after a day in the parks because I’m sad to be leaving). I don’t know how they would know you have left once you’ve scanned in. But I don’t want to risk it without knowing for sure it can work!
We’ve done it.
We did. We scanned into Disneyland and then walked right back up and went over to California Adventure. It was empty. We got our boarding group for Rise of the Resistance while walking to Guardians of the Galaxy where we were about 10th in line.
We were there the week of February 16-21. It was extremely busy but thanks to all of your helpful tips and tricks, we had an absolutely amazing time and were able to ride everything we wanted in one day for each park (max line wait was 40 minutes for millennium falcon as we waited until evening most times like suggested) so that we could retire the ones we loved the other days. Took full advantage of fast passes (didn’t get max passes) and just planned ahead. We got boarding passes both days we tried for Rise of resistance using option B both times (4 of us, 2 tried option a and 2 b)- group 44 and 23.
Can’t thank you enough. You helped make our visit incredible.
I have a question about having multiple people in the app. I was thinking it meant having the entire group all signed on to the same account on each of their devices, but does it really mean that each person should have their own account and somehow each one scans each of our tickets so all tickets are assigned to several accounts? I have already logged my account into everyone’s phone, but wanted to make sure before we go in a couple days that is the correct way or if we should set everyone up with their own account. Thank you for the advise on your strategies. I’m hoping we are able to get in!
That’s a good question. My husband and I each had our own accounts, with all our tix scanned into each (us 2 plus our 3 kids). Maybe someone else on here can answer more definitively if there’s a difference. Good luck!
We each have our own accounts, so that’s how we did it.
In theory, it should work either way, but I cannot vouch for that being the case from firsthand experience.
This is my exact question. Did you find out the answer? Currently have all of us logged into my account.
Just got back from Disneyland, and we had success getting in to Rise of the Resistance following your plan! In fact, my husband and I both got through initially. We were in group 44 and we were able to do the “experience” around 12:30. It was incredible; feels like you’re in the movie! Our kids definitely felt it was worth getting up early and making sure we were through security. We got in line at 7:07, and were through security by 7:35. Thank you so much, I would’ve been lost without your instructions. Thanks also for your other great tips; especially bringing an umbrella for sun protection while waiting in line and bringing a portable charger for your phone. We found that to be essential for the max pass and Disney app use! Thanks again, we had a magical vacation!
Looking at the calendar, my wife and I decided to go on Wednesday 2/19 instead of Tuesday since early bird was for California Adventure and not Disney park. Disney indicates to avoid this week due to the mid winter holiday. I thought the crowds would be less during the week since kids had to go back to school after the mid winter holiday (many were off for both Valentines Day and Presidents day (Monday). I heard from one of the park staff that it was really busy the previous few days (even Tuesday).
We got our single park tickets and Maxpass though the Disney app so we did not have to deal with linking tickets to the app. My wife and I drove (left our hotel around 6:30) and got there around 6:45 but lines on the right for parking were more crowded than other lanes. I wished I had stayed to the far left for entering the parking lot where the traffic was much less. By the time we got in line for the gate it was about 7:09. Once the gate opened lines seemed to go fast. We were in the park well before 8 am and had time to get a storage locker and a fuel rod ($30) to recharge our phones. I recommend bringing a battery backup as the Disney app, photos and videos consume a lot of your battery. The good thing about the fuel rod is that it comes with multiple adapters and you can exchange for fully charged ones multiple times for free when the rods run low and use on another phone. If you plan on going back to the park, you can use again.
We followed the advice using method A and B. Just after a kid next to us yelled he got group 8, my wife using method B got group 47 which got us on the ride around 11:30. Getting there early reduced a lot of stress.
Maxpass is $20 per person but it was definitely worth it for 2 people (us) especially if you want to enjoy more rides and not want to walk everywhere or wait in lines for every ride. We did not have time to visit the other park so the single park ticket was a good decision for us. We were able to comfortably get on 7 rides and by the end of the day did not feel like waiting 100 minutes for space mountain (we did have an opportunity to use Fastpass for that ride but chose another instead). This site was very helpful and being prepared is essential.
One correction – It was closer to 1 pm when we got on the ride for Group 47, not 11:30.
Thanks so much for the super-helpful advice!! I was coordinating a surprise party for my husband’s 50th birthday in Galaxy’s Edge, which was AWESOME! The first day we were there I stalled a bit getting out the door b/c the other guests texted to say they were delayed and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. The problem is, if you leave your 15 minutes later it doesn’t mean you will get into the park 15 minutes later than you would have… It’s more like 30 minutes longer, because the crowds get exponentially larger each minute that passes. That meant that although we left the hotel at 7:15 we didn’t get into the park until about 8:03 and almost didn’t get on the ride. We were in Boarding Group 142 which was one of the last they served that day (and we waited for an hour or two in line because the system crashed and it took at least 3 re-boots to get it running again). One the plus side, we got out of it at around 11:30 pm and although it said there was a 25 min wait for Smugglers Run, there was actually almost no line at all so we squeezed in a ride before the park closed. (I should note because we were so excited about the ride in advance of the trip we watched a video that someone had recorded and posted online. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t b/c I think part of the excitement is not know what is coming next, but it was still pretty incredible.)
The next day we actually left the hotel at 7:00 am and made it into the park by 7:30. This victory was is in part because we got an earlier start and also because we discovered that the line headed for Gate entrance 22 was going a lot faster than the others. It think it is because it actually feeds into 3 different turn-styles as you get closer to the gate. I had noticed it the day before when the people behind us in line at the bag check were way ahead of us entering the park. And sure enough, we sped right in on Day 2. That day we ended up in Boarding Group 81. I think it would have been lower number but it took me a second to remove the folks in our party that had not made it though the gate in time. In the end, we let a couple of kids in our party use our spots because they had not been able to ride the day before. They had no problem getting on by around 3:00 pm which was a good thing because the ride appeared to have stopped working an hour or so later and was not back online for the rest of the day.
In other news, I was very glad to have made advanced reservations for Olga’s Cantina, the Droid Depot and the Savi’s (lightsaber) Workshop, all of which I did 60 days in advance. We had only reserved space for 1 droid-maker but they let us bring 2 other kids who also decided to make driods, even though there were no reservations left that day. The kids had a great time and after we left, the droids were communicating with other droids and other things in the park on the way out.
The lightsaber workshop was EPIC and my husband had an incredible time. Also because we had booked through Costco Travel we had a $145 gift card to spend which covered a good portion of the cost which made it even easier to enjoy! He was really thrilled with the lightsaber itself, as well as they way that they created an almost spiritual experience in making it. They only have a very limited number of spaces for that so you can’t add on at that last minute. However, it is definitely worthwhile if you can swing it.
We bought tickets through Get Away Today (thank you so much for the suggestion by the way – I had not anticipated the price hike last week and was bummed about it, but then read your post and was able to get tickets at still last year’s prices – and at quite a discount – ended up getting a five-day-pass for only $20 more then the four-day pass for the four of us.)
But since we bought them through them and not the disney app, they cannot be loaded to my account yet. We are arriving fairly early the day before we want to enter Disneyland – is there a way to already get our tickets all set up (with picture, etc.) so that we can (calmly) scan them into all our apps, instead of having to do this after we go through the turnstiles for the first time the next morning?
And it’s unclear to me – must you be inside Disneyland in order to join a boarding group, or can you have already gone through a DCA turnstile (assuming a Park Hopper pass)
Thanks for all your posts! I’ve been following them for years as our girls have gone from “princesses first” when 4-6 years old to roller-coaster fiends today at ages 10-12, and have made our trips all the more “magical”!
i got my tickets thru Getawaytoday as well for my trip a couple weeks back…
they will email you the printable ticket voucher approximately 7 days before your trip…
you can scan that voucher as if it was an actual ticket…
based on my trip, I would recommend getting to the gates at least an hour before park opening…you definitely don’t want to be at the tail-end of the lines that stretch all the way to the California Adventure gates (which was what the situation was at 7:10am for an 8 am opening and they started letting people in around 7:35ish)
“must you be inside Disneyland in order to join a boarding group, or can you have already gone through a DCA turnstile (assuming a Park Hopper pass)”
You need to enter Disneyland first, and then you can enter DCA. Going through DCA only will not work.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re inside Disneyland, just that you entered the park before attempting to join a boarding group.
Sunday 2/16, crazy busy. We were 5 mins late getting tickets scanned due to not anticipating how long the lines would be. I successfully got a boarding pass on the app, at 8:05am, just seconds after getting tickets scanned. We got boarding group 154, and we were called in at 8:15pm! It was worth the wait! And we would not have made it without your advice Tom!
We were able to ride at Disneyland Anaheim this past Thursday (2/13) and scored group 45. However, there were several scares along the way. Here is my experience and boarding tips.
We had a magic morning for 7am as the park opened at 8am. We figured we didn’t need to get there too early based on the tips here, but when we rolled up at apx 7:20 the lines were HUGE! I got pretty nervous as the lines were nearly half way toward California Adventure. As we got closer we noticed signs for Magic Morning entrance so we made our way to the front and thankfully we bypassed the huge lines and got right in. So the first tip is I would definitely recommend that you get to the park early with either a Magic Morning or just to get in the front of the line which could be much longer than you think. You certainly don’t want to risk not getting into the park on time so go early just to be safe.
Next up was making our way over to Buzz Lightyear as the plan was to be near the physical boarding pass kiosks just in case it’s the one time were the app doesn’t work. There were just a few people in line there so I decided to jump in line also.
As the time neared 8am all six of us in the party were ready to go as we had all scanned in all of out tickets to each of our apps. So as noted in this blog, be sure to scan everybody’s ticket into as many apps as you can. I would recommend that you do this before you even get to the park.
At apx 7:58am I realized that if I attempted to scan the physical tickets one at a time they would certainly not be in the same boarding group or worse yet… maybe some wouldn’t even get in a boarding group! I was right behind a guy at a kiosk so I was second in line and knew I would have to make a split second decision as to whether or not to risk scanning physical tickets.
As the clock approached 8am you could hear a few people counting down the last seconds… 4… 3… 2… 1… go time!! As the guy in front of me fumbled with scanning his physical tickets into the kiosk I continually refreshed the app by changing screens. Within just a few seconds I could hear people cheering and then I saw the orange join boarding group button light up. As soon as I clicked it I got the “you are already in a group” message. I looked up and saw my daughter who said she had got our group — hooray!!! She launched the app from a cold start right at 8am and beat the rest of us by just a hair. So be sure to split the refresh duty as noted in this blog post.
I immediately jumped out of the kiosk line as the guy in front of me was still using it. I have no idea what happened to him as the scene was a little chaotic as people were cheering and high fiving all around me…. myself included
And within just a couple minutes everything must have been gone as the cast members picked up the ropes for the kiosk lines and the crowd disappeared.
We had group 45 so I guessed we would be boarding sometime around lunch. So we headed out and wandered the park like normal. After 30 minutes or so I started to check the app to see what boarding groups they were on, but the app just showed a dashed line under the “Now Boarding” status. By 11am it was still just showing a dash so we headed over to the ride itself to see what boarding groups were being called. As I approached the entrance they had it blocked by cast members. I talked to one of them and he said the ride hadn’t started any boarding groups yet… oh no!! I asked him if this was normal and he said no, the ride usually doesn’t have this late of a start. But he said getting to group 45 would be no problem once it did open.
So we headed back out and I continued to check the app. At 12 noon it still did not show any boarding groups and by this time we were all starting to fear that it was not going to open. But then at 12:30 it finally showed the first boarding groups — hooray!!!
At apx 3pm we finally got called and headed back. However, once again the ride was down as we approached the entrance. So we killed some time by making a couple droids in the depot and then at apx 4:30 we finally got to board! We scanned our tickets and then headed down the path to the ride. Of course the ride was awesome but I don’t have to tell any of you that.
As for the boarding groups, they only reached 82 by the end of the day as the park closed early at 8pm. However, the very next day I tracked the boarding groups for fun and they got all the way to 152. So you just never know.
So good luck to those of you planning your trip and be sure to follow these simple tips:
(1) Scan all tickets for your party into as many apps/phones as you can.
(2) Get to the park early just to be safe. Sleeping an extra 30 minutes isn’t worth risk of possibly not being in the park and ready on time.
(3) Stand near the Buzz Lightyear kiosks, but only scan your physical tickets as a last resort or in the event the app is down.
(4) Have some in your group continually refresh the app a few minutes before opening while others in your group should launch the app from a cold start right at opening.
We didn’t have our A game on but we did follow 95% of your instructions and we scored boarding group 82 for today 2-10-20. Had some trouble with the login part, my husband gave up & freaked out but I kept trying. 🙂 Cannot thank you enough for your help. We are tourists from AUSTIN, TX y’all! Hopefully group 82 gets called.
Thank you for this article! We went to Disneyland on 2/8. Arrived at 7:15 AM and the crowd to get in was huge. After making some bad line choices, we got our tickets scanned at 7:59, with probably 15 seconds before 8 am opening. I opened the Disney app 3 seconds before 8 (looking at the second hand of the iPhone clock app for time) and followed Option A. I had to click My Status and then was able to get Boarding Group 60 to the sounds of other visitors also cheering.
I feel extremely lucky to have gotten on the ride and definitely would not have without following the advice in this article. Thanks again!