A few weeks ago, I took my family to Disneyland in California and got to visit the much anticipated newest attraction of 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For every Star Wars diehard fanatic, or any sci-fi enthusiast, a visit to this section is a must when visiting Disneyland Park.
At the time of our November and December 2019 visits, the attraction had been in operation for about six months. For our visit, it was all about ensuring we got to ride Millennium Falcon. This simulated ride had a wait of nearly two hours. Here’s my experience and what I wrote on my Facebook post:
110 minutes standby line at Millenium Falcon? We ain’t got time for that. We lined up over at Single Rider (no long lines). Waited no more than 10 minutes. Maddie & I were able to ride together.
That’s right. We had no time to line up for 2 hours. So my first tip is to consider using the Single Rider line. What is this line for? No matter how busy the ride may be, there’s almost always a space that’s not taken since those who are in line would like to go in big groups. In order to fill in those empty slots, those who are in the Single Rider queue are assigned to those empty slots.
As a single rider, if you decide to go with your group in a single rider queue, you may not end up riding together. You could be assigned on the next ride. But for this Millennium Falcon ride that my daughter and I lined up for, she and I were assigned together on the same ride. Sweet!
Okay, now let’s talk about the latest craze that’s taking Disneyland by storm.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – first-hand experience
According to Disney Parks Blog:
This new, epic experience draws you into a sprawling Star Wars narrative that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, delivering thrilling action driven by cutting-edge technology and innovative design that gives you the feeling of stepping inside a Star Wars film.
According to ThemeParkInsider:
Disneyland is using what it is calling a virtual queue system to manage the crowd for Rise of the Resistance. Park guests must use the official Disneyland app to enter the queue, where they will be assigned a “boarding group” number that will be called via an app notification later in the day.
Guests must be inside the park to join the virtual queue, which opens at the park’s published opening time. But guests are slamming the app as soon as the queue opens, resulting in all of the day’s boarding groups being claimed within minutes. And it’s getting worse each day. This morning, all the groups were gone for the day within just two minutes.
In practice, this isn’t a virtual queue if all the day’s boarding spots are going that quickly. What Disneyland has for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is really a lottery, instead.
Fortunately, we have a couple of first-hand experience from those in my inner circle. My son, Ethan, went to Disneyland, along with friends, nieces, and nephews. They are all lucky annual pass holders who were one of the first ones to check out Rise of the Resistance. Another family friend, Colin, also went to Disneyland and had his own first hand experience.
My niece, Ashlei Joy aka AJ, posted these tips on her Instagram account. She visits the park quite regularly, and this is what AJ wrote:
10 tips to successfully grab boarding passes to Rise of the Resistance
1. Download the latest version of the Disneyland app. Sync your park ticket or Annual Pass to the app.
2. Don’t fret & try to get there unusually early. Boarding pass distribution begins promptly at the published park time. Try to arrive at the gates at least one hour before the published park time so you can be scanned in at least 30 mins before park opening. For example, today the park officially opened at 8am. You will have a high possibility to get a boarding group if you’re scanned into Disneyland by 7:30am.
3. Choose one person in your party with the Disneyland app to be the one to book your party’s boarding passes. Add the park ticket or Annual Pass ID for each of the people into your party into their app. This will ensure that your party will all be in the same boarding group.
4. LOG ONTO THE DISNEYLAND GUEST WIFI BEFORE 8AM. A guest next to me was logged onto the Disneyland WiFi & I was not. She was able to select her boarding pass quicker than me. Then, close out the Disneyland app COMPLETELY.
5. Precisely at 8AM, open the app and under the “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access by Boarding Group” section, select the Find Out More button.
6. Select the “Join Boarding Group” button and follow the prompts to select the people’s tickets in your group. Please note that you can only join a boarding group IF YOU HAVE BEEN SCANNED INTO THE PARK. Don’t select people to join your boarding group if they have not been scanned into the park. You WILL receive an error and will have to try to join again. This will give you a later boarding group.
7. Once you have your boarding group, do a little happy dance! You did it! During AJ’s visit, all boarding groups were booked by 8:03AM. That’s three minutes from the time the groups were released! So be quick.
8. Be patient & don’t panic. Anticipate ride breakdowns. Another one of our family friends, Colin, was there during a ride breakdown on the Star Destroyer. Colin’s tip – bring water in case the ride breaks down while you’re in line – there’s no air conditioner and you could be there awhile.
If you’re on the waiting list, stick it out. 114 groups were able to ride on Friday, January 17. Disneyland Cast Members only expected 82 groups would be able to experience Rise of the Resistance. AJ, Ethan, and the rest of their group got group 105. Colin went the day after, he was assigned an earlier group – Group 21.
9. You CAN leave the park and come back when your boarding group is called. Keep track of the groups called for boarding in the Disneyland app.
10. If you need a break, check out the Grand Californian lobby. Anyone can go in there and relax. We spent three hours in the fireplace corner and we literally took much needed power naps! You will also see a message like this which tells you which group/s are boarding.
To sum it all up in one quick video, here’s what AJ put together.
BONUS: Star Wars Star Sighting
It never fails. A visit to Disneyland could result to star sighting. That’s exactly what happened to Colin. “While we were checking out the Lunar New Year Festival, we saw the back of Jason Earles (from Disney’s Hannah Montana), and as we got closer to take a picture, we noticed the cast members of High School Musical The Series (Matt Cornet and Julia Lester).”
Make sure to get your smartphone ready and you never know which celebrity you’ll be running into.
Lastly, if you’re from Southern California, and do not have tickets yet to Disneyland, here’s an offer on how to get tickets to Disneyland Park for as low as $67 per day.
Have you been to Disneyland lately? Got any tips? If not, we hope that these tips help with your next visit.
Many thanks to @ashleijoy (AJ) and @po4838 (Colin) for sharing their tips and pictures.