Kelso Family Adventures

Joining a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance | My Experience

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If you're planning a trip to Disneyland, Galaxy's Edge and the new Rise of the Resistance ride is probably at the top of your list. We went 1 month after it opened and learned a LOT. 
*
In this post I'm sharing my experience with Boarding Groups and the Disneyland App.

In my last post, I left off with me speed walking to Fantasyland about to click a button… my Morning Ride Schedule kicked off with The Hunger Games level anxiety Boarding Group Joining event that is Rise of the Resistance… We were able to ride it TWICE in one trip. First on Wednesday and then again on Friday. Both were very different situations. Here is our Experience.

Joining a Boarding Group | Wednesday

The morning post leaves you hanging at 7:59am while I was counting down the seconds until 8:00 am when my little [JOIN BOARDING GROUP] button would turn orange inside the Disneyland App. Let’s back up a tick if you didn’t read that post and talk about how at 7:55 am the Park announces over a loudspeaker that Boarding Groups begin at 8:00 am sharp. Yes, it’s that big of a deal. Everyone is walking around the Park like a zombie with tunnel vision set on the phone in their hand… perhaps holding it closer to your nose will make you react faster?

*Lesson Learned*

Do NOT set a reminder on your phone to “Join a Boarding Group” for 8:00am. You’ll know. Everyone around you is doing the exact same thing. My alarm went off right as I was clicking. I had to get rid of it, off my screen and out of my way, before I could click the ominous orange button. Just don’t do it. You won’t need it!

The [Join a Boarding Group] Button

At 7:59 AM I was bumping my way through the Peter Pan ride line {which we got on at 8:04am} watching my App like a hawk and trying to breathe in one-second increments. I had the App open, but not on the Rise of Resistance screen. At 7:59:59 AM I clicked the [FIND OUT MORE] button on the main App screen and within a second I had an orange [JOIN BOARDING GROUP] button. Before I even clicked, I heard screams and shouts from all over the park and with loud cheers followed by applause. People began calling out their Boarding Group numbers and bursting into tears. They were tackled to the ground by their excited group members in celebration.

Before I could blink, I refreshed my screen and the button was still there. I panicked. Clicked again, but get a message screen saying, “Wait, wait, wait, You’re already in a Boarding Group!” I closed the app, reopened it, then blurted out way too loud with a near tear myself, TWENTY-FOUR!

The atmosphere, the intensity, the dogpiles of celebrations and tearful applause is truly overwhelming. I collected TEN high fives from strangers in the Peter Pan line. One hug and a massive amount of shoulder pats from total strangers. My hands were shaking, I was trying not to cry {I mean over a Disneyland ride, seriously?} It was exhausting. I looked down at my phone and it was 8:03 am.

Button Pushing Protocol

Here is what I wish I had known… before surviving my first 8:00am Button-Pushing experience. We keep hearing about all this pressure to push ONE button, but there are FIVE steps you have to go through before you’re in a Group.

  1. Click [Find Out More] on the app’s main page.
  2. [My Status]
  3. [Join a Boarding Group]
  4. [Confirm] on a screen where everyone in your party is linked
  5. Click [DONE] and hopefully, you’re in a boarding group!

I found a fantastic article written by Kirsten Acuna in Business Insider about “How to Get on the Star Wars Ride” and all the technical pieces for obtaining a Boarding Pass. She has images and videos that I didn’t even think to take. She also gives you extremely detailed screenshots for how to add tickets to your phone app. I really wish I had read her article before we left and not after while fact-checking my own post!

You’re in a Boarding Group

I did it. We were set, in a group lower than 81. They don’t guarantee you’ll get on if you’re Group 81+ so I knew we were going to ride it that day. HUGE anxiety over! Now that we had a Boarding Group we could carry on, as usual, waiting for our Group call. And we did. Read our Morning Schedule from 8:00am-10:53am before we headed over to Galaxy’s Edge.

The Call to Galaxy’s Edge

As we ate lunch at the Galactic Grill, I felt my phone get a notification. It was the Disneyland App {make sure your notifications are set to vibrate} telling me our Group had been called.

If you're planning a trip to Disneyland, Galaxy's Edge and the new Rise of the Resistance ride is probably at the top of your list. We went 1 month after it opened and learned a LOT. 
*
In this post I'm sharing my experience with Boarding Groups and the Disneyland App. I'll share our Boarding Status and when we were called.

Being in Group 24 we were called at 10:19am. Using my experiences and my own research with the Disneyland App, I estimate they call about 10 Boarding Groups an hour. Groups 1-10 being called between 8am-9am. Then Groups 11-20 between 9am and 10am giving us in Group 24 a 10:19am call. This is complete guesswork and is in no way proven. Disneyland uses this whole Boarding System to manage their wait times and troubleshoot if anything happens to the ride. If the ride runs smoothly all day, they’ll call more groups at a time and eventually get to the higher numbers. But I like the ability to guess when we might be called…

In my next post I’ll start off with us at 11:00am, exactly when we walk into the RotR line sanctions. But first, let me compare my Friday Experience to my Wednesday experience.

Joining a Boarding Group | Friday

The above-mentioned experience happened on a Wednesday, the second-lowest Park capacity day. We went to California Adventure on Thursday and then back to Disneyland on Friday. Friday was also Valentine’s Day and the crowds were much, much bigger. I thought I was panicked Wednesday morning; I was literally sweating when we arrived on Friday morning. We got there at the exact same time, but the lines were 3 times as long. We didn’t even walk into the park until 7:48AM and we made it nowhere near the front white ropes.

Our game-plan, having spent Wednesday at Disneyland learning all the kids’ favorite rides was to head straight for Big Thunder Mountain. My family did that as soon as we walked through the gates. We headed towards the ropes, which were already down by the time we crossed Main Street toward Frontierland.

Button Clicking Protocol

I was head down on my app again, counting down the seconds until 7:59:59 all over again. 8:00AM hit, people started screaming again, I opened my app and my [Join Boarding Group] button was NOT orange! I logged out, logged back in, refreshed and STILL no orange button. I was bumping into people at this point. In full panic mode. At 8:01AM I finally clicked [My Status] then had an orange [Join Boarding Group] from that screen and finally got to my Party confirmation page to click [Confirm]. A click route I DID NOT do on Wednesday.

If you're planning a trip to Disneyland, Galaxy's Edge and the new Rise of the Resistance ride is probably at the top of your list. We went 1 month after it opened and learned a LOT. 
*
In this post I'm sharing my experience with Boarding Groups and the Disneyland App. You'll need a Smart Phone and a Portable Charger to run your App all day. It is needed to scan Boarding Passes.

We managed to get into Group 94 at 8:01AM. Everything worked out for us on Friday, still in Group 94. We were called at 3:38PM and in the line at 3:52pm with plenty of time left in our day.

Since returning from our trip I’ve heard a few theories on why I didn’t have an orange button until 8:01AM including the fact that there were SO MANY more people on the app. The “Parties” of people joining groups were also much smaller. Looking around on Friday I saw hundreds of couples {2 people parties} and even a bazillion single riders. I’ve heard a rumor that the algorithm fills in spots with smaller groups quickly and larger groups, mine was 5, get pushed a little deeper. I have no proof of this but heard it in the winds that swirled around Splash Mountain…

I also didn’t do the proper 5-Step protocol. It is likely I got away with it on Wednesday because the park attendance is so much lower. Clicking the Join Boarding Group button just rerouted me to the Boarding Group Confirmation screen on its own. On Friday I had no chance of out lucking the system. I may never know the real reason, but we did get on and I know many people didn’t at all on Friday… Including this guy…

When it goes wrong

After I secured our Group 94 passes, I walked to catch up with my family in the Big Thunder line. I kept passing upset people, like REALLY having an episode. This one gentleman, who I estimate was in his 50’s was experiencing a full meltdown. I saw his wife attempting to haul him up off the ground while through his tears he muttered, “The WHOLE trip came down to those 5 seconds and I BLEW IT!”

It was a disturbing sight to see… I don’t know what happened to them the rest of the day, but I still think about that guy {and his generation} with this intensive technology battlefield. He and his family probably saved for years to come to Disneyland for one day only and they didn’t get to go on, meanwhile, I’m preparing for my second ride… I’m probably overthinking this as he was a total stranger, but my heartstrings definitely felt for the guy.

If you're planning a trip to Disneyland, Galaxy's Edge and the new Rise of the Resistance ride is probably at the top of your list. We went 1 month after it opened and learned a LOT. 
*
In this post I'm sharing my experience with Boarding Groups and the Disneyland App. I predict Changes will happen for this ride including advance reservations and fast passes.

Changes are coming

I am SURE that Disneyland will eventually change this entire system and alleviate a lot of the stress that surrounds this entire experience. The cutthroat button clicking face off at 8:00am and anxious silence with every human staring at a cell phone cannot be the vibe they’re wanting with this ride.

I’m writing this in March 2020, after having visited Disneyland over Valentine’s Day Week. The RotR ride had been open for less than a month. If you’re reading this after the summer or even after Spring Break, I’m sure the process will have changed. I do know that the ride lines have built areas for a fast pass system AND a single rider line. So that is something. The only question now is a matter of when they’ll add a fast pass and/or make changes. They may pull a Disney World move and begin booking these Boarding Passes 60 days in advance. Then at least The Button Hunger Games will happen in your own home, perhaps before you’ve even booked a flight.

Good luck friends and fast-clicking!

I’m done Adulting… Let’s go to Disneyland!

-All Moms Everywhere

Hi Friends! This Blog Post is from a collection of others ALL about Disneyland. Read them all through my main

Blog Post: How to Plan a Disneyland Vacation


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Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.

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