Hundreds of people try to get on Disney's new 'Star Wars' ride every day, but not everyone makes it. Here's how to get on the park's best attraction.

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderThese are the delighted faces of my friends Gena and Craig after we learned we received a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance.
  • Disneyland and Walt Disney World recently opened a new “Star Wars” attraction called Rise of the Resistance. It’s easily one of the best attractions in both parks.
  • If you currently visit, you’re not even guaranteed to be able to go on the ride. You can’t just walk up to the ride and get in line.
  • There’s a process you need to go through to get a chance to get on the ride each morning that involves getting there extra early, having the Disneyland or Disney World app downloaded on your phone, linking tickets up, and pushing a button from inside the park the moment it opens. It can be stressful.
  • I recently visited Disneyland and was able to get on the ride with little difficulty.
  • A Disney cast member advised me and my friends that only one person per group should try to push the button when the park opens to give you a better shot at getting a good boarding group number.
  • Here’s how we successfully rode Rise of the Resistance and how you can maximise your chances to get on it as well.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Every morning, before Disneyland opens to the public, hundreds of people gather in the park to push a button at the same time hoping they get a chance to ride the park’s new “Star Wars” attraction.

Rise of the Resistance (RotR), an immersive experience where guests get kidnapped by Kylo Ren and the First Order, opened at California’s Disneyland on January 17, 2020, and in Florida’s Walt Disney World a month earlier in December. It’s easily one of the best attractions in both parks.

Kylo ren rise of the resistance ride galaxys edgeSteven Diaz/Disney ParksGuests try to escape being on a First Order ship on Rise of the Resistance as they’re hunted down by Kylo Ren.

Unfortunately, you can’t just walk right up to the ride and get in line even if you have purchased the most expensive ticket to the park. The only way to get on RotR is with a boarding group pass that’s distributed digitally through the park’s app right when the park opens.

Obtaining a pass can be tricky. You need to get to the park extra early, have the park app downloaded on your phone, and, overall, have fast fingers. Even if you receive a boarding group number, you still may not get on the ride that day.

It can be frustrating if you’re not an annual passholder who can try again another day and are only paying for a single-day ticket. (A one-day ticket at Disneyland ranges from $US104 to $US209 depending on the day you go and if you wish to visit both parks.)

I recently visited Disneyland with friends unaware of some of the preparation you need to do for a chance to even get on the ride. I was just told we needed to get to the park super early and that a person I had yet to meet, Craig, would handle the rest.

If you’re heading to either of the Disney parks and plan to visit the new “Star Wars” attraction, here are some tips from my trip to help put you in the best position to get onto Rise of the Resistance.

Download the Disneyland or Disney World app onto your phone before arriving at the park

This is absolutely crucial to whether or not you’ll ride Rise of the Resistance during your stay. Everything is dependent on having this app.

Before the big day, give yourself some peace of mind by downloading the app that corresponds to which park you’ll be visiting. They look like this:

Disney appsKirsten Acuna/Insider, Apple screenshotThe Disney apps sit in one place on my phone. To avoid confusion, I’m just showing you the icons for the Disneyland app (on the left) and the Disney World one (on the right).

Once you have the Disneyland or Disney World app downloaded, make sure you’re signed in with your Disney account. (If you purchased tickets ahead of time online, you should have a Disney account.) This will make everything a lot easier when showing up to the park.

I’ve been to both parks in the past year, so these were already on my phone and I was all synced up.

Make sure your park ticket is visible on your Disney park app

Disney ParksHere’s how my Disneyland annual pass looks in the Disneyland app. I’ve removed some identifying pieces. Sorry, I can’t have everyone scanning my ID ticket.

If you purchased your park tickets or annual pass through the app or online, it should be connected to your account and visible in the app.

You can check in both apps if your ticket is connected to your account by opening the app and clicking on the lower right-hand corner of the page.

Disneyland app see ticketDisney ParksNeed to see if your ticket is connected to the app? Click on the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the app’s home page.

That will bring you to a welcome page for your account.

In the top left corner, it should say “Tickets and Passes.” Click on that and you should see your ticket, any other tickets you have purchased, and any tickets from friends or family that may be linked to your account.

Disney parks app welcome pageDisney ParksThe Disney avatar you choose to represent yourself shows up in the top right corner. I’ve chosen one of my favourites, Belle, from ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

If you have a Disneyland annual pass and don’t see it linked to your account, you can either try to manually link it to your account here if you have the ID number on the back of the card or reach out to Disneyland at 714-781-7277. If you have a Disney World annual pass and don’t see it in your app, you can manually link it here or reach out to Disney World at 407-560-7277.

If you purchase a ticket ahead of time online, the park site should ask you to log into your Disney account before purchasing the tickets so they should auto-connect when logging into the app.

Disney account ticket purchase'Disney ParksIf you’re not already logged into your Disney account when purchasing tickets online, this prompt should appear before purchasing tickets so they’re connected to your personal Disney account.

In the event you don’t see your park ticket on the app, you should have a bar code that you received after purchasing your ticket. After logging in, head back to the “Ticket and Passes” page. Click the “plus” symbol in the upper righthand corner.

Disney app link ticketsDisney ParksTap the plus symbol to reveal a drop-down menu.

A drop-down menu will appear that asks to “Buy Tickets,” “Link Tickets & Passes,” and “Buy Annual Passports.” Click on the second option to link tickets and passes.

Disney parks app link tickets passesDisney ParksYou’ll be using the Link Tickets & Passes area a bit, so become familiar with it.

Make sure your camera settings allow the app to access your camera.

You’ll then be able to scan any ticket barcodes and they should automatically link to your account.

Disney ParksYou’ll have to pretend this is showing a barcode. I didn’t have one to scan. Every barcode I need to scan has already been scanned.

If you’re still having trouble linking tickets you already purchased, I recommend trying the chat feature on the Disneyland and Disney World sites that pop up on the sidebar. It looks like this:

Disneyland chat buttonDisney ParksThe chat option will appear if you’re on the site long enough.

Otherwise, you can email Disneyland here or call a representative for Disneyland at 714-7181-4636. For Disney World, you can email them here or call someone at 407-566-4985. It’s good to try and get this sorted out before you visit the park.

What else you can do before visiting: Familiarise yourself with the Rise of the Resistance portion of the Disney parks app you downloaded

As I mentioned, the app is critical to securing a Rise of the Resistance boarding pass when you visit.

Each morning, the moment the park opens to the public, you’re able to press a button in the Disneyland or Disney World app to “join” a boarding group. You cannot press it before then. It’s greyed out. It also won’t do anything if you’re not within or around the theme park area.

This is the button you’ll want to push. The Disney park app even tells you that you must be in the park for it to work.

Join boarding group rise of the resistanceDisney ParksThis is the button you need to push for a chance to get on Rise of the Resistance.

The above button only goes live once a day in the morning as soon as the park opens. Within a matter of minutes of the park opening, the boarding groups for the day are usually distributed. If you’re fast enough, you should, in theory, have no problem gaining access to a boarding group for the new “Star Wars” ride.

If you’re not at the park right when it opens, it’s likely you’ll miss out on a chance to even ride Rise of the Resistance. If you don’t hit the button in the app fast enough, all of the boarding groups may fill up.

Once you hit the button, it’s not a lottery that randomly selects guests to ride each day. Essentially, you’re playing a video game. The fastest trigger fingers have the best luck at getting the best boarding group numbers.

Oh wow. That sounds a bit stressful. Where is this Rise of the Resistance button in the app?

Great question. Finding the right button to push can be a little confusing.

The Disney app has another greyed out button in the app that may throw you off. Here’s how to find the one you’ll need when visiting.

When you’re on the app home page, Rise of the Resistance should be the first item you see beneath the park map.

Look for the words “Find Out More.”

Star wars rise of the resistance disneyland appDisney ParksHonestly, this should be a little more clear and say something to the effect of, ‘This is the button you need to click for a chance to get on this ride.’

Clicking the “Find Out More” button leads you to a page with two more buttons. The first says “My Status.” The second reads “Join Boarding Group.”

This is the page you’ll want to be on a minute before the park opens.

Disney ParksThis is how the Rise of the Resistance page looks at any part of the day when the park is opened. If the attraction is open it will tell you what boarding groups it’s accepting.

You would think the “Join Boarding Group” button above is the one you’ll want to push when the park opens.

It’s not.

Instead, you’ll want to click on “My Status.”

Click on that and it leads you back to this page with the faded out “Join a Boarding Group” button. This is the button you’ll want to press the moment Disneyland or Disney World opens to obtain a boarding pass.

Disney ParksThis is the boarding status button you want to click when visiting Disney Parks.

If you head into this part of the app at any other time during park hours it will tell you throughout the day what boarding groups the attraction is accepting, as seen above. If you head there before the park opens, it will tell you the attraction is closed.

Here’s how that looks:

Rise of the resistance closedDisney ParksHere’s how the same page looks when you click into it when the park is closed for the evening or early in the morning before the park opens to the public.

I’ll come back to this in a bit with a detailed breakdown of how to use it when it’s go time.

On the day of your visit: Get to the park at least an hour before it opens to the public

Once you have your ticket situation under control and have a handle on the app, it’s time to head to the park for the big day.

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderI didn’t realise I could wind up going to Disneyland and not even get on the ride. This is a photo I took when entering the park on a less crowded morning ahead of D23 Expo 2019.

I visited Disneyland on a Saturday with three others, one of whom had successfully boarded Rise of the Resistance a number of times in the past.

The park officially opened to the public at 8 a.m. the day we visited. I was told we needed to get on the road by 6 a.m. to get to the park around 7 a.m. in order to get in line to enter the park.

This didn’t phase me much. As someone who grew up going to Six Flags and Walt Disney World, I take park days very seriously. I would get up early to get good parking and get ready to run (if allowed) when they opened to beat the crowds to the most popular attractions. I figured we were doing something similar. Obviously, as I was about to learn, that wasn’t the case.

I had heard something about the virtual queues for Rise of the Resistance before visiting, but I wasn’t aware of how serious or potentially stressful they could be. We were getting to the park early so we could do a number of other tasks first to put us in the best position for a chance to get on the ride. I was told we could only do most of these steps when physically at the park.

We arrived to the park around 6:45 a.m. I wasn’t sure why we were there so early until we walked over to the Disneyland main entrance and I saw a line of people backed up all the way to the entrance of California Adventure waiting to enter the park.

California adventure entrancePaul Hiffmeyer/DisneylandIf you’re familiar with the area, you know the entrance to California Adventure is right across from the Disneyland entrance.

It was instantly clear why we wanted to arrive early.

With that in mind, get to the park with enough time to do the following:

  • Travel from a parking lot or your hotel to park security.
  • Get through park security into Downtown Disney at Disneyland or the parks if you’re at Disney World.
  • Get in line at Disneyland or Hollywood Studios in Disney World (where Galaxy’s Edge is located) to get scanned into the park.

If you’re bringing bags or a stroller, give yourself some extra time as there are separate security lines for those with and without bags.

By the time we did all of this and were inside Disneyland, it was after 7:20 a.m. People were starting to fill the Main Street area of Disneyland and I couldn’t comprehend how people were just sitting around waiting to push a button at 8 a.m.

Link up your park tickets with your friends and/or family

Whoever wants to ride Rise of the Resistance together should have their tickets linked together on the Disney app. Otherwise, if everyone presses the button on their own at 8 a.m. and gets a boarding group, you could all be in a different one. In other words, you would be riding the attraction without your friends and family by yourself.

That’s no fun.

How do I link up park tickets?

This is done the same way you link your own ticket to the app.

When the Disneyland (or Disney World) app is launched, click on the lower right corner. Then go into “Tickets and Passes.”

Disneyland app directionsDisney ParksYou need to head to the ‘Tickets and Passes’ page in order to link up everyone’s tickets.

From there, click on the “plus” symbol in the upper right corner. You’ll see a dropdown with three options. Click on the centre one that says “Link Tickets & Passes.”

Link tickets disney appDisney ParksClick on the ‘Link Tickets and Passes’ button.

Your camera should open and you can scan the barcode on your friends/family’s card, paper, or digital passes in their apps.

Scan link disney passKirsten Acuna/Insider, Disney ParksThe idea is to put the barcode into the box and it will then scan and validate the pass before linking it up to your account. For safety reasons, I blocked out part of my barcode and park ID number.

They should instantly connect and you should be able to swipe through each ticket when it’s all done in the app.

Tickets app disneyland appDisney ParksYou should be able to swipe through every ticket in your party.

We actually had an issue with this and wound up going to guest services, where we got the best advice of the day.

Do not have everyone in your party try to push the button to get a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance when the park opens

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderThis is how the Rise of the Resistance entrance looked before it opened to the public.

A Disney cast member at guest services told us it was better for one group member to try and open the app and push the button instead of all four of us.

Why?

According to the cast member, if everyone in the group pushed the button at once or around the same time, theoretically, we would be fighting against each other in the system for a boarding group.

For instance, maybe my friend would hit the button a millisecond before me. Even though he could be a lock for boarding group 10, if I hit the button a fraction of a second later, I could potentially weigh the group down and get us into a lower boarding group. The system would be able to see that we had multiple people trying to obtain a boarding group and those requests would argue with each other in the system, potentially wasting some time.

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderDespite our poor luck in the morning, a Disney cast member suggested it was better that my friend Craig was the only one trying to get a boarding pass for all of us.

The bottom line? Having four people whose tickets are connected all vying for a boarding group at the same time could result in us getting a lower boarding group number.

You don’t need to follow this rule at all. Feel free to have everyone in your boarding group attempt to try and get onto the ride. But this is what we were told.

At this point, my friend Craig was the only person who was able to successfully link all of our tickets to his account anyway. We were a bit nervous, but knowing that Craig has successfully gotten onto the ride in the past, we felt confident leaving the fate of our day in his hands. We had one shot to possibly get on the ride instead of four.

Have someone watch the time down to the second.

I was told the trick to landing a good boarding group was by being the fastest to hit this button in the app that launched right at 8 a.m.

How do you do that?

Craig claimed you should open the Disneyland app at 7:59.

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderCraig runs through his game plan.

At 7:59:59, he would push the “Find Out More” button on the front page of the Disneyland app so that he’d get a refreshed page on the Rise of Resistance page right at 8 a.m. Hopefully, the “Join Boarding Group” button should finally be available to click.

I was told the mistake that some may make is to stay on the page with the greyed-out button until the park opens. The page most likely won’t auto-refresh unless you are outside of it and then go back in. That’s why 7:59:59 is such an important time to reopen or have the Disneyland or Disney World open. That’s the moment you should be on the home page ready to click into the Rise of the Resistance section.

Since we were at guest services, we stayed with Aries until 8 a.m. She was kind enough to hold up a large official Disneyland iPad with the park time on display so we could count down the seconds to game time.

Disney ipad timeKirsten Acuna/InsiderIt doesn’t get much better than having the official park time in front of you as you try to get a boarding pass.

If you’re able to be in guest services right before 8 a.m. to see, what I call, the official Disney time, this is the way to go.

What we did at 7:59:59 a.m.

I was extremely pumped and nervous as the clock counted down. We had one chance to get on this ride. If we blew it, we’d have to wait to go to the park again another day to try all over again. When the clock hit 7:59:59, Craig went to work.

It turns out, you don’t have just one button to press. There are a series of buttons to hit once it becomes 8 a.m. depending on how you go about this.

Craig hit them all pretty fast in about seven seconds.

Here are the five steps you need to take in order:

How to get rise of the resistance boarding appCourtesy Mike Mauro, Disney Parks. Composite by Kirsten Acuna/InsiderThis is what it takes to get on Rise of the Resistance.

1. Click “Find Out More” from the app’s main page.
2. Click “My Status.”
3. Click “Join a Boarding Group.”
4. Confirm everyone in your party for the boarding group before joining a boarding group. (Your tickets need to be linked up in the app for this step.)
5. Click done and you should hopefully have a boarding group number.

We learned instantaneously that we made it. We were boarding group 14. (Not too shabby!) After our cries of excitement ended, I noticed something more exhilarating. As hundreds of guests were all trying to land a boarding pass, you started hearing similar cheers erupt from the crowd.

This is the sound you hear at Disneyland (and I imagine Disney World) each morning when it opens right now when you learn you were successful in receiving a boarding group to Rise of the Resistance. It really made the morning feel magical.

Aren’t there other simpler ways I can do this?

I’ve found other parkgoers have tried refreshing the “boarding status” page waiting for the “Join a Boarding Group” button to appear.

Boarding status pagePaging Mr. Morrow/YouTubeWould you like to just refresh this page over and over again the minute before the park opens? That’s another alternative some fans use.

That seems to work with mixed results. Honestly, that seems a little more stress-inducing.

I have a boarding group number: Now what?

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderThis board in front of one of the entrances to Galaxy’s Edge will tell you what boarding groups are currently loading for Rise of the Resistance.

If you sign up to receive notifications from the app, it will tell you when your group is boarding. You can also regularly check the app and it will tell you what groups they are currently boarding.

After getting breakfast in Galaxy’s Edge, we received alerts from the app telling us our boarding group was being called. You have a certain amount of time from the moment your boarding group is called to get to the attraction.

When it’s your turn to ride, one person in your group can simply scan a phone with all of the linked tickets and go on your way.

Kirsten Acuna/InsiderA Disney cast member checked our boarding group to make sure it was our time to ride.

One last piece of advice: Go with a Disney expert

A lot of our success to getting on Rise of the Resistance was because we went to the park with my friend Craig, who is someone who visits regularly and understands the park inside and out. More importantly, he knew how the app worked.

If possible, try to head to the park with someone who is familiar with the virtual queue process or speak with a Disney cast member to help walk you through it.

Otherwise, when you plan to head to Galaxy’s Edge at either of the parks, hopefully, this guide will help.

May the Force be with you.

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