I talk a lot about Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s my favorite ride that I’ve ever been on, and that’s not just because I’m a Star Wars fan. I love every aspect of the experience, from the time my MagicBand is scanned and I get into the queue until I walk off when it’s over. I love it more each time I ride, and I’ve been lucky enough to ride it several times. There is one thing that I don’t love, though. That is the stress of trying to get a Boarding Pass.
I’m not going to go through the steps that you need to take in order to get a Boarding Pass. I’ve done that before. I’ll probably update that information sometime in the near future, just to keep it fresh, but that isn’t what I want to talk about now.
Last month my husband, daughter, and I went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for my husband’s birthday. Our daughter and I are in the parks all the time, but my husband doesn’t go all that often. I was excited, because he hadn’t yet seen Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. He can’t ride Smugglers Run because of health issues, so his only chance to experience Star Wars as an attraction was Rise of the Resistance.
When it was about a minute before 10:00, I started to countdown on my phone. That can feel like the longest minute ever! I realized that my hands were shaking. I knew that there was little chance that we would be in the park all day, so if we did not get Boarding Passes at 10:00 he wouldn’t ride. Fortunately we got them, and he had a great time. But the stress of it was horrible.
A lot of people say that Disney needs to do away with the Boarding Passes. They say that it should just turn into a regular queue, and that people should have to wait in the line all day. I don’t see that happening, at least not in the day and age of social distancing. The lines at Disney’s Hollywood Studios already weave through the park. If there was only a queue for Rise of the Resistance, it would probably take up half of Grand Avenue. It would be a mess, and that would also break the illusion that you’re waiting on the world of Batuu.
There is a problem with using only a queue that many people don’t think about when they say it. Rise of the Resistance breaks down. A lot. Often they have to reboot the system after the problem has been fixed, and that takes extra time. It would be impossible to determine the Wait Time, plus there would be a chance that someone would wait in line all day and never get to ride.
Another possibility would be some sort of hybrid between Boarding Passes and a standby line. That would give those who did not get a Boarding Pass a chance to ride. It could be something similar to FastPass, but without a designated return time, and the majority of the people would ride through Boarding Groups.
I do like that there are now two times each day that Boarding Groups are offered instead of just one. That said, that means that the stress of trying to get in the second group will be with you for four hours. Even if you get spots at 2:00, you might not ride. Normally those are backup groups, and there is no guarantee that you will be called. Most of the time those groups do get called, but it is not certain.
I don’t know what the solution is. My advice is to not put all your eggs into the Rise of the Resistance basket. Arrive at the park hoping to get a Boarding Pass, but promise yourself that you won’t let it ruin your day if you don’t. There are many other amazing rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Concentrate on those instead.