Monday, March 22nd, was the first full day of my Walt Disney World trip with my cousin (Sasha) and her wife (Chastity). We had a park reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I made sure I was up and ready to try for a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area of the park. I have to admit I was worried about whether or not we’d get a boarding group considering the park would be busier than it was when I visited in January. March is when most schools have Spring Break and even with the limited park capacity (reportedly at 35%), there would be more people in the parks than I encountered in January, so I knew the odds of getting a boarding group were slightly worse.
At around 6:45a.m., I began checking and double checking that the My Disney Experience app on my phone was up-to-date, opening properly, and otherwise working. I had already disconnected my phone from the Disney World WiFi because I noticed the night before that the room WiFi was already kind of slow. My biggest concern was whether or not the app would automatically select all of my party when I tried for the boarding group. I knew that the boarding groups would be gone in less than 2 seconds so if I had to select Sasha and Chastity before moving to the next screen, I felt like I’d miss out.
I was able to experience Rise of the Resistance in January, but I wanted Sasha and Chastity to be able to see it because I loved it! So when 7:00 started to get closer, I was getting nervous about whether or not we’d get a boarding group. I know, that’s a weird and insignificant thing to be nervous about in the grand scheme of things, but I really wanted to be able to ride this during this trip.
Side note, I wish Disney would find a better way to have people experience Rise of the Resistance. Regardless of how some people feel about it, the boarding group requirement and the fact that the boarding groups fill up within seconds makes for a lot of trip anxiety and anger for some people who are unable to ride this during their trip. It’s really luck of the draw, but it just sucks that some people go to Disney World specifically to be able to see Galaxy’s Edge and ride Rise only to be unable to get a boarding group at the 7a.m. or 1p.m. sign up times.
Anyway, back to how I was waiting to try for a boarding group. I had the app open and I was on the Virtual Queue page right before 7:00. When the time flipped to 7, I immediately started hitting Join on the app. In a split second I saw that all three of us were already selected in the app so I just kept hitting Join, Continue, Done, or whatever the buttons said in order to try to get a boarding group. I didn’t read anything so I couldn’t even tell you what the join page asks or anything. I was just all tap, tap, tap, tap! After that last tap on my phone screen, I was taken to a page that said something about the 7:00a.m. boarding groups being full and suggesting to try again at 1p.m.
Darn…or some similar word… I was disappointed, but I knew there was so much more to do at Hollywood Studios and we weren’t only there to get on Rise of the Resistance. I started to back out of the app and my screen went to the My Queues page where I saw this:
Oh, wow (or some similar words)! I had been tapping away so quickly that I missed the fact that I actually DID get us a boarding group! Woo hoo! Based on the Estimated Return, we’d probably have our boarding group get called around 11:30 or so. Now I just had to hope there were no technical difficulties on the ride that might cause it to shut down or something else. Yes, this does happen sometimes but I was just happy that we got a boarding group!
For comparison, in January, I ended up getting boarding group 3 which was called right around the time the park officially opened at 9a.m. For anyone who doesn’t know, once your boarding group is called, you have an hour to get to the attraction entrance.
We got to Hollywood Studios right around 9:00 but they had been letting people in for probably around 30-40 minutes already so there were already some higher wait times at the more popular rides. And by higher, I mean over an hour, which really isn’t that bad considering in non-pandemic times some of these wait times get up to over 2 hours. Since Sasha is a big Toy Story Fan, we ended up heading to Toy Story Land first. Toy Story Mania had the lowest wait time of the rides in this area so we got in line there and were on the ride within about 15-20 minutes. After that, we contemplated getting in the line for Slinky Dog Dash but it was about 85 minutes, so we decided to go ahead and do Alien Swirling Saucers instead.
If you read my blog, you know Alien Swirling Saucers is one of my One and Done attractions. I only ended up riding this because Sasha and Chastity wanted to check it out and I decided it didn’t make sense to find somewhere to sit and wait for them to ride it just because this ride isn’t that exciting to me. The line for Alien Swirling Saucers was about 30 minutes and we definitely waited the full wait time here.
Once we were done there, I checked the My Disney Experience app for the wait time of Slink Dog Dash and remarkably, it had gone down to 55 minutes so we went ahead and got in line there. I also checked the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance and it showed we were estimated to get called back there in around 50 minutes so it would work out perfectly to ride Slinky and then be ready to head to Galaxy’s Edge after that.
On Slinky Dog Dash, I was sitting behind Sasha and Chastity and Sasha left her hat on during the ride only to have it fly off suddenly about halfway through the coaster ride. I got lucky and saw it start to fly off of her head and was able to catch it before it flew completely off the ride car. We laughed so hard about that moment! Someone behind me saw me catch the hat and he yelled in supportive response. 😆
Ok, this post is getting quite long, so I’ll end it here for today and continue with our time at Galaxy’s Edge and the rest of Hollywood Studios in an upcoming post! °O°