One of the most wildly popular attractions at Disney World, Rise of the Resistance is a one of a kind, high tech, high production value ride experience bursting with bad guys, action, and adventure.
Did we mention the hype?
Since it opened, Rise has attracted hordes of park guests from all over, all hoping to do their part in the rebellion against the Empire… which has a tendency to drive wait times up a bit. Actually, a lot.
Being a Star Wars fan is not required to ride and enjoy Rise of the Resistance, but a little bit of strategy is! Like with anything worth doing, there are usually a few ways to do it.
For instance, there’s the…
- RISE and Shine (aka Early Entry) Strategy
- Rope Drop Strategy
- Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) Strategy
- Operation: Starship Down (aka when the ride isn’t up and running)
- End of Night Strategy
We’re going to cover those strategies here, plus we’ll even tell you which one is our favorite method. Hint: It actually isn’t the one with the cool name.
RISE and Shine (Early Entry) Strategy
Early Entry (EE) is a park perk for eligible resort guests in which every day, all four parks open 30 minutes before the listed park hours. It’s important to note that while not all attractions or even areas of the parks are open during EE, Rise of the Resistance is currently open during that time.
And HUGE tip, you heard it here(!): sometimes the ride starts running earlier than official Early Entry hours—often up to 20-25 minutes before.
Our motto? If you’ve got it, use it. Early Entry, that is.
Here is the official list of attractions and resorts currently included in Early Entry.
If Rise of the Resistance is a priority for you (and if you’re reading this article, we’re gonna assume it is) and you’re willing to be up and at ‘em early to make sure you ride, aim to be at the park turnstiles at least 45-60 minutes prior to when EE starts. You will want to be among the first entering the park to make it to Rise before lines begin to build. Do realize that this is technically making your actual wait…*not short*. You’re waiting to wait. But, there’s a dopamine rush that comes with this strategy, and a lot of people enjoy it. So we gotta include it.
For example, if Hollywood Studios opens at 9 am, EE begins at 8:30 am. Which means you should plan to be at the gates by 7:30 am – 7:45 am the latest.
Chances are you’ll probably end up using most of your allotted 30 minutes of Early Entry on this ride but that still puts you in a great position to hit up other headliners afterward, especially before the park crowds really begin to swell around 10:30 am – 11 am). Score!
Don’t worry, not-so-early birds, there are ways to make sure you get to ride it, too!
Rope Drop Strategy
Spoiler Alert: We actually recommend avoiding Rise entirely during Rope Drop.
People who don’t have Early Entry (or who don’t want to be up quite that early) but still want to be at the park by opening are colloquially known as Rope Droppers.
Rope Dropping is normally a highly recommended strategy!
It just isn’t a very good one for this particular attraction, unfortunately.
Just about everyone else flooding the gates at park open is headed to Rise, and even they’re already behind the ones who came during Early Entry. At official park open, Rise will often already be seeing some of the longest waits of the day.
Not all hope is lost. Rope Droppers can still use their early bird advantage to hit some of the other headliners while everyone else is distracted, then try a different strategy to experience Rise! Plan on arriving at the turnstiles 45-60 minutes prior to official park open.
Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) Strategy
Simply put, Individual Lightning Lanes are designated to certain rides (usually high-priority attractions) as a paid “à la carte” option for guests regardless of whether or not they’ve purchased Genie+.
At the time of writing, Rise of the Resistance can only be ridden in one of two ways: either you wait in a standby queue, or you pay to skip that standby queue. If you’re willing to shell out the cash, this is definitely the easiest way to get to experience Rise.
How does it work?
For park guests staying on property, you’ll have an opportunity to purchase an ILL for Rise in the My Disney Experience app starting at 7:00 am* the day of your visit to Hollywood Studios.
*Off-property park guests will have the same opportunity to purchase an ILL, but not until the park officially opens (e.g: 9 am).
Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular ILLs on property and on busy days, it can “sell out” within seconds. Sadly, just because you’re willing to pay doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to be available.
What happens if you don’t get one?
We’ll let you in on a secret. When purchasing an ILL, people can hold that ILL in their cart for up to 10 minutes before it gets re-released into the wild.
That means there is often a surge in availability of a “sold out” ILL a few minutes after the first official 7 am drop. If you’re refreshing your app between 7:10 am and 7:20 am, chances are more ILLs will pop up for you to grab!
Off-property park guests, this same rule applies to you! Keep refreshing immediately after park open and watch for ILLs to appear 10-20 minutes after the initial drop.
You can always refresh your app shortly after regular park open (when more ILLs are sometimes dropped) or periodically throughout the day if they become available.
If this all sounds like a lot, it’s because it kinda is! Thanks a lot, Disney. We break all this stuff down further and set you up with even more tips for grabbing those hard-to-get ILLs in our All Access Pass membership.
Operation: Starship Down
The idea here is that what goes down must come back up! That’s usually how it works with theme park rides, anyway.
Rise is a tech-dependent ride that makes for an incredible experience, but also increases the chances for breakdowns and glitches. In the event Rise breaks down, the queue tends to stagnate. No one is entering the line, and others may even drop out of it. That means when the ride eventually starts running again and the line opens back up…
For the record, this one isn’t a “strategy” we recommend! It requires way too much attention on your part and can ultimately sort of be a waste of time.
But if you happen to be in the vicinity when this happens, it’s more of a “good to know” tip in an oddly specific scenario. Worth mentioning!
End of Night Strategy: Our Favorite
Have you figured out our favorite method yet? It’s this one!
If you’re park hopping to Hollywood Studios in the evening or you didn’t want to be up super early for Rope Drop or Early Entry, consider getting in line for Rise of the Resistance in the last few minutes of the park being open.
For example, if the park closes at 9 pm, you can typically get in line up until 9:00:59 pm (although if you have anxiety like us, may we suggest not cutting it THAT close)! The actual standby wait time is usually a fraction of the posted wait time which is often hyperinflated to help with crowd control at the end of the night.
Head to Galaxy’s Edge before you ride Rise at the end of the night and take in Batuu as the crowds start to filter out. Or stay a few minutes after your ride if they let you. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a crowd-free photo op with your lightsaber in front of the Millennium Falcon!