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Rise of the Resistance queue

Let's get one thing out of the way first. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an amazing attraction, and possibly the best dark ride in existence today. Though 2019 was already an amazing year for innovative attractions thanks to Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort's Islands of Adventure as well as Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run (to a lesser extent) at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, it looks like Disney's Hollywood Studios was saving the best for last, because this attraction blew us away. 

However, while you can read more about what we thought about this attraction here, we have to talk about opening day. And what did (and did not) go well. 

A win: Boarding Pass virtual queue keeps guests occupied

Image: Disney

Earlier this year, I waited 14 hours in a single line for the aforementioned Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. And as you might expect, it was miserable. However, Disney smartly avoided this issue for the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, using the "Boarding Pass" virtual queue that debuted with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge earlier this year (but never really used). 

Guests began arriving at the park around 4:00 AM, and around 7:00 AM Cast Members began allowing guests into the park. After guests entered, they could use their My Disney Experience app to join a "Boarding Group" virtual queue to wait for their turn to queue for the attraction. Then, once it was time to enter the queue for the attraction, they would recieve a push notification. And in the event that a guests' phone died (mine definitely did), Boarding Group numbers were posted on screens around the park, so no matter what you were doing to occupy your time outside of the attraction, you could see if you were able to return to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to experience it. 

Disney knew interest would be high in this new attraction on its first day open, and instead of putting guests through a grueling, boring, multi-hour wait, they instead allowed guests to trickle in as space allowed, which was definitely a good thing because...

A loss: Keeping the ride running consistently

Image: Disney

In the run up to the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance rumors swirled that technical problems were plaguing this attraction as it entered its final testing phase. And unfortunately it looks like there was some truth to these rumors, as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance encountered several operational issues throughout its first day, frequently going down with full attraction and queue evacs. Fortunately, Cast Members were swift in dealing with the situation, and were handing out FastPass return tickets and 1-Day park hopper passes for guests who had been waiting all day to experience this attraction. 

This situation actually happened to me personally, as I was in boarding group 98, and was in the attraction's queue at 6:30 PM (around 11 hours after I had checked in via the app at 7:30 in the morning). After waiting an hour in the queue and getting through the pre-show and the first part of the attraction, we were unexpectedly stopped right before the loading area, evacuated, and told to return later. 

Fortunately, we did receive a paper FastPass, and were able to experience the full attraction around 8:30 PM. Though that means we technically waited 13 hours to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in its entirety (one hour less than Hagrid!) because the virtual queue was working so well, we were able to ride ever other attraction in the park (including Slinky Dog Dash, The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run...twice!), plus catch a few shows, and eat lunch and dinner while this attraction was experiencing issues, which made the impact of these operational issues minimal on our overall park experience. 

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