As I told you a few days ago, Disney has updated the procedure to obtain a Boarding Pass for Rise of the Resistance. You no longer need to be inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to grab a spot. You do need to have a Disney Park Pass Reservation and valid admission, but your location no longer matters.
The spots now open at 7:00 each morning. You will make the reservation through the My Disney Experience App. The initial announcement on Disney Parks Blog said “This can be done before you leave your Disney resort hotel, or wherever else nearby you might be at that time.” That caused a lot of speculation, because of the word “nearby”. Does that mean that you need to be on Walt Disney World property? Not at all. I live 10-15 minutes away, and I had no problem making my reservation. I’ve heard of people a couple of hours away who were able to do the same. I think that the word “nearby” was used to discourage people who aren’t going to use the reservation because of distance to try, just because they could.
I have been pretty good at getting reservations inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but I was a little worried about getting one from my home. Would my Internet connection be strong enough, or should I turn off Wi-Fi like I always did in the park? I decided to keep Wi-Fi on, and it must have been a good decision, because we ended up in Boarding Group #17.
What I will usually do to get a Boarding Group is to open the My Disney Experience App a few minutes early. I do this just to make sure that it is working properly. That way, I have time to restart my phone if there is an issue. I will then close the app and watch the clock on my phone. (I have an iPhone XR.) At 6:59 and 15 seconds, I’ll open the My Disney Experience App again. I’ll then find Rise of the Resistance on the homepage, and hit “join”. You can’t join that early, so when that page opens I’ll just keep refreshing it until the next “join” button appears. You no longer need to go through your Friends and Family list, your whole party should be checked at the top of the page. After I hit join I’ll wait to see if I was fast enough. It only takes a couple of seconds, but it feels much longer.
As far as I could tell, all of the Boarding Groups were gone in less than a minute, so that hasn’t changed. Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t open until 10:00, so there is time to kill before heading to the park.
As usual, my daughter was my companion for the day. We left for the park at about 10:30. When we arrived, I immediately noticed a difference. When you had to be inside the park to get into a Boarding Group, there would be a crowd of people at the front at the beginning of the day. The crowd was much more evenly dispersed throughout the park. Social distancing was much easier.
Just like before, guests can try to get a Boarding Group at 2:00 if they didn’t get spots the first time that they were opened. For this you do need to be inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Overall, I think that changing the procedure for getting a Boarding Group was a good idea on Disney’s part. I do feel a little bit sorry for those Annual Passholders who live further away than I do. I know that my Boarding Group can be called and I’ll make it there within the one hour timeframe with time to spare, but not everyone has that luxury. Things worked smoothly for me the first time I used the new system. It helped to keep crowds from gathering, and it was nice to not have to be in the park when it opened if I didn’t want to be. I applaud Disney for finding a solution to something that was a real problem for many guests.