PHOTOS: An Updated Look at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Reopening and Modified Virtual Queue Recap
With the official reopening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios upon us, there have been a lot of changes to adapt to, such as the new Park Pass system and modifications to nearly every inch of the Walt Disney World parks to increase the level of safety in a COVID-19 world. For the most in-demand attraction in the world, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is also seeing changes in both how guests are able to visit the attraction, and the experience once they arrive.
Joining the Virtual Queue
In order to have any chance of riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests will need to join the new modified Virtual Queue system. While this can be done by visiting the Guest Experience Team when the queue opens, the most efficient way is through the My Disney Experience app. In the app, the first step is to locate the “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Request Access with Virtual Queue” section and touch “Join”.
Alternatively, touching the menu icon (the three horizontal lines in the bottom-right corner of the screen), then “Virtual Queues”, and then “Join Virtual Queue” will lead to the same page.
The next screen provides some details as to how this is a modified Virtual Queue system. Unlike the ‘old’ method, which was only available at park opening time, the modified Virtual Queue has three different release times for groups – 10am, 1pm, and 4pm, giving guests multiple opportunities to secure a boarding group.
Continuing from this screen presents what, at those different points throughout the day, will be where guests can request a Boarding Group. Until 10am, however, there will be no option to request a Boarding Group – the same basic information from the previous screen will be displayed.
Once 10am does roll around, guests will want to refresh this screen by pulling down on it. As soon as Boarding Groups are live, a “Join” button will appear. Pressing that button will present a page to select who will be part of your party – check the box next to any and all names you want to be in your Boarding Group, then press “Join” once again.
The final screen here will confirm that you have successfully joined a Boarding Group, and presents a screen similar to the original Boarding Group system.
Once a particular timed Boarding Group release has filled, a new message on the “Join Virtual Queue” screen will appear, indicating that the 10am boarding group distribution is complete, the 1pm distribution is complete, or, for the 4pm release, that the capacity for the attraction has been reached.
Another difference from the previous Virtual Queue system is that your reservation no longer shows what Boarding Groups are currently being called. While the green indicator bar will give you an idea of how close you are to being summoned, monitoring the digital times boards throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios will give you a more precise idea of when it’s your turn. Once your group is called, you’ll head to the attraction and have your MagicBand or ticket media scanned for entry.
On a final note related to the Virtual Queue, and perhaps a cautionary tale – if the attraction experiences significant downtime which results less Boarding Groups than expected being called earlier in the day, later distributions will have reduced capacities. For example, on the first day of this modified system, the attraction had multiple hours of downtime. The 4pm Boarding Group distribution was minimal, and the few available groups were gone in less than 30 seconds from their release.
Health and Safety Changes to the Queue
While the queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has not changed in its layout, numerous adjustments for social distancing have been added. It should be noted that these changes result in the line being much longer, though this does not necessarily mean the wait will be longer.
For the bulk of the queue, guests will find themselves significantly spaced from other groups through the use of ground markings in the form of red and white decals.
These markings will indicate where parties should wait until the marker ahead of them has been vacated by the group in front of them. Only once that group has moved onto their next marker should a guest proceed to the next decal.
These markings are found through, quite literally, the entirety of the queue.
Once indoors, several enclosed portion of the queue will include plexiglass dividers in addition to the floor markings. These clear panels are added when guests on either side of a divided queue cannot be sufficiently spaced, or it doesn’t make sense to do so in that portion of the line.
Throughout the remainder of the initial queue, the mix of floor markings and plexiglass shields continues, providing space and protection to those waiting to experience the attraction.
Once guests arrive at the holding area for the first preshow, the “Please Wait Here” markings are replaced with six numeric markings. Each marking is the spot for an assigned party, as directed by the Cast Member.
Once inside the preshow room, guests will stand on or around the same number they were assigned prior to the show, and should remain there for the entirety of the preshow.
This pattern continues on to the holding area for the second preshow, where guests will once again stand on or near their assigned party number.
Inside the vehicle for the next preshow, guests will visit their party’s assigned number for the final time, and remain there for the duration of their trip.
Upon arriving at their unintended destination, guests will be “greeted” by a Cast Member representing the First Order. As the use of face shields is required in addition to masks for Cast Members who cannot socially distance from guests, they will have a microphone and speaker to assist with audibly “requesting” the guests leave their transport.
In this hangar, the “Please Wait Here” floor markings make their return for the remainder of the queue. While this room will often be more free-flowing and allows for guests to self-direct their distancing, if the rest of the queue were to severely back up these markings would be used to extend that line.
Moving on to the final portion of waiting areas, the floor markings continue and the plexiglass panels make their final appearance, safely separating the two sides of this queue.
Prior to entering the third and final preshow, hand sanitizer dispensers are located outside of each interrogation room. Cast Members will instruct guests to apply the sanitizer prior to entering the room, which will be their final stop before boarding their ride vehicles. No more than one party will be placed in the 8-seat transport, meaning even solo travelers will have a vehicle to themselves.
Similarly, at the exit to the ride, multiple hand sanitizer dispensers have been added, allowing guests of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance a final opportunity to disinfect their hands before returning to Galaxy’s Edge and Batuu.
Stay tuned to WDWNT.com for more updates on health and safety changes at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and attractions all throughout Walt Disney World.