Rise of the Resistance is Disneys latest and greatest ride at Disneyland California and like all top tier, rides it is very popular. It’s also a very accessible ride, meaning almost anyone stepping foot in the park is going to want to ride it. From young children, who meet the 40 Inches height requirement, right up to Grandma and Grandad. It is a ride on one of the grandest of scales, with 4 separate ride elements, including a full-size Flight-Deck from a Star Destroyer, an intricately themed Dark ride featuring Laser battles, animatronics, and an epic space battle, and finally a fun-filled drop-ship escape! It really is as good as it sounds…all means the queues are terrible!
2-hours+ queues are commonplace, longer when it undergoes some of its regular breakdowns! And while the queue-theming is pretty cool, it’s still not a place you want to spend two hours of your Disney time unless you have to. The good news is you don’t! We are here to show you How to Beat the Queues on the Rise Of The Resistance in Disneyland California and spend less time queueing and more time doing the things you want to do!
Star Wars Rise of the Resistance
The first thing to consider is the Ride itself. Now, if you are a Star Wars Fan, then the ride is an absolute must-ride. It is filled with Star Wars Easter Eggs, Nostalgia, characters, and franchise artifacts. From legions of Stormtroopers, full-Size AT-ATs, Droids Galore, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, Light Sabers, Blasters, Drop Ships, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Rae, and even Lieutenant Bek of the Resistance.
It’s a Star Wars Fans Dream, and as close as you will ever get to actually boarding an Imperial Star Destroyer!
But the sheer scope and complexity of the ride mean people with a lesser interest in Star Wars will still get a lot out of the ride. It really is a simulated journey to a distant Space Craft where you get captured by Space Nazis and then fight a fierce battle to escape! You don’t have to love Starwars to find that exciting. And people of all ages can get on board with that! It’s not a very intense ride either, at least in terms of the ride mechanics. The most thrilling ride element is the drop at the end and that is nothing to be alarmed about.
You can read our full review here, but it is currently one of the top rides in the Resort and we have nothing but good things to say, but that is exactly what leads to the colossal Queues.
Is the Rise Of The Resistance worth a 2-hour queue? Yeah, it really is, but not if you don’t HAVE to queue for that long!
So let’s take a look at how to legally beat the queues and hopefully avoid paying the rather hefty Lightning Lane feature. We also look at which tactics you may have heard about but which do not work currently. We are not talking about queue jumping here or anything frowned upon or that could get you ejected and banned. These are all 100% legit ways to help queue less for the Rise Of the Resistance.
The Ride is not currently featured on the Genie+ app so you cannot select free return times for the ride. This is the main reason queues are so long, there really are only two ways to get on the ride, the LONG standby line, and paying for a Lightening Lane.
1 – Disney’s Lightning Lane
Cost – $20
Loathe it or hate it, Individual Lightning Lanes are here to stay and the only real way to skip the line is by paying $20 per person to access the Individual Lighting Lane.
This can turn a 2-hour wait into a 5-10 minute trundle. However, the economics just get worse and worse the more you look at them. $20 to skip a queue sounds horrible, but when you start multiplying it things get really ugly. That’s $100 extra for a family of 5! It is a big chunk of cash and when you already have to pay to access Genie+ it really does sting.
Not as much as a 2-hour queue though! There is another way to skip the queue, however, and it won’t cost any extra money. It will however cost you some time in the sack!
2 – Get up EARLY
If you are looking at how to get the shortest queues you may have taken a look at the Disneyland App and noticed that queue times are huge from the very second the park opens. Meaning even getting there for rope drop is a bust.
This is not the case. These times are for anyone arriving at the ride at that point, the reality is there are already a host of guests already there and most of these will have basically no queue at all. So if you get up early and get to the park at rope drop you really can basically walk straight onto Rise Of The Resistance. But be warned you need to be there EARLY.
The truth is you are still queueing, but the queue is staggered and does not feel like you are really queueing at all, and you are losing zero park time as the queueing is done before the park opens as you secure your place first in the line at Rise Of The Resistance.
You need to rise seriously early. If Park Opening is at 8 am, you are a little late if you arrive at security at 7:15! But this is still workable, however, we were there at 6:45 and the queue was nearly out of the Disney Property.
As we didn’t get on the ride until 8:15 we had a 1:30hr queue but as were said this was staggered and we would have needed to queue for park entry anyway.
At around 7:15 am the Security checks opened up and people started moving through. This was a fairly steady flow and we got through and headed to the park gates to join the next queue. Again, around 7:30 am the gates opened up and started letting Guests enter the Park. However, this again is just another stagger.
You are held in the Main Plaza until Rope Drop at 08:00 am, while this is a long wait and you have really got up super early just to stand in a Plaza this is preferable for a number of reasons. One, you are in Main Street Plaza, which is directly in front of the Castle and a beautiful place to enjoy the early California Sun.
You are also now in the park and the Genie+ app comes to life, you can now purchase it if it wasn’t included in your ticket and can start making your first reservations. As you are heading to Rise Of The Resistance, now is a great chance to bag Smugglers Run for right after Rise. We got 08:05-09:05 and we were off Rise Of The Resistance by 08:30 so had loads of time.
At 08:00 the Ropes drop and all hell breaks loose. You now have to “charge” to your preferred first ride, and for this article that is Rise Of The Resistance. We messed up here and had not properly worked out the routes and tried a clever right hook, through Fantasy Land and into the top of Galaxy’s Edge that way. This was a failure and we were cut off by two large streams of guests despite being the first people into Galaxy’s edge that day.
The best route is into Frontierland behind Big Thunder Mountian Railway, through the Tunnel into the Edge and then left direct to Rise Of the Resistance. There is a left hook route through New Orleans and past Splash Mountain: this is further, but it brings you directly to Rise Of The Resistance.
Whichever way you take getting to the ride in the first 5 mins means you will have basically no queue. The way the ride operates, means there is still a bit of queueing and standing around watching pre-shows, you won’t actually be on the ride for a while but you have effectively bypassed the entire queue!
We also used the term “Charge” and this is how it feels however it should be made clear you are NOT allowed to run. This is a fast walk and you should take care of those around you as being kind is far more important than getting one a ride. And in reality, if you are here at this point you are going to miss most of the queue, losing 100-200 places now will make little difference.
Note: This is hectic, lots of families get split up. there are always those who push their way through the queue saying “we need to get to our group!”
This is queue Jumping, if you need to meet up with your group the front members should let others past until you are reunited. People strategically send one or two group members forwards to secure better queue positions. It’s Queue jumping and is not allowed.
3 – Stay up Late
After the first 5-10 mins, this window is closed. The queue times will rocket up to 1 hour plus and stay there nearly all day. Your best shot now is to wait (or cough up and go for the lightning Lane).
There are two well-known low points for the queue no one better than the other. And that is late on. Disneyland stays open until 12 pm most nights and the queues really do drop off after 11 pm
It’s not cast in stone and you may find a really stubborn day where the queues just don’t drop. But people tend to flag and fail as the night draws on and the queues dwindle. Remember, barring a ride failure, if you are in the queue for 12 pm you will be allowed to ride.
SO if you have missed the early slot then all you need to do is hang on until the very end. This tactic works better for other rides, but there is usually a downturn in the numbers as the day draws to a close. How much? Well, not a great deal to be honest they can drop to 50% of the daytime numbers, but more typically 25-30%
But we have seen lower numbers than that and even heard of practical walk-ons at this point.
However, there is a reason for this. It really does take quite a bit of staying power to hang on right till the end of the evening. There will be locals who turn up in the evening and obviously have the staying power, but for those who have arrived in the morning, it is an incredibly long day. A good option is to stay locally and head back to your room and get some rest before heading back in the evening.
So while this trick definitely works it’s really tough to spend 16 hours in the park, and while many flag, give up, and head home, it’s reasonable to assume you may do this also! However desperate you are to ride, you may well get to a point where you are so tired and dead on your feet, that you just give up.
If you are only on a one-day visit or this is your last shot, it’s a bit of a gamble!
4 – Fireworks and Nightly Spectaculars
While we do hear people suggesting visiting during Lunchtime, this is a red herring, there may be a slight dip, but it’s pretty much inconsequential. Apart from the early morning and late night windows, there is only really one other point in the day when the queues dip. And that is the fireworks or Nightly Spectacular shows.
These shows are very popular and many people make these their highlight of the day. People start securing places at the shows over an hour before the nightly shows. This inevitably leads to a small drop in queue numbers. Maybe 20-30% is an optimistic suggestion.
There is a very obvious downside to this, in that you will miss the Fireworks shows yourself. If you have seen them before or on a multi-day trip this is OK but we adore the fireworks shows and feel missing them to avoid 15-30 mins queueing is a bad plan.
However, you could try scarpering early from the shows. Stay at the fringes and then bolt as the show draws to a close and head up towards Galaxy’s Edge to join the hopefully diminished queue line.
5 – Date Timing
Of course, the BEST way to find a low queue is to head there on a quiet day. We have mentioned % drops in the last two suggestions, but of course, if the longest queue is actually quite short then you are on to a real winner. On quiet days the queue can almost reduce to nothing in the latest hours of the day and can be really short during the shows, while on really busy days even the reduced queues can be well over an hour.
Naturally, weekends are the worse. As so many visitors to Disneyland are California Residents, weekends are naturally much busier, as people visit without taking time off work.
We cannot always pick the dates we visit but when there is an option picking a quieter day is ALWAYS a good choice. It is impossible to know when it’s going to be packed and when it’s going to be quiet, but there are some ways to have a really good guess.
Crowd Calendars are your best bet and we love the Undercover Tourist one above. It is purely guesswork, but it’s frighteningly accurate. The best you will find is an amber 4-5 score at the minute which will still lead to queues of over one hour, but this is still better than a Red 8-9 day which will see it topping 2 hours!
You can still use all the other techniques on quiet days and get the queue down even further and remember all other queues in the park will be lower on these days too. Also, remember the Early Bird Tip will also need you to arrive even earlier to get ahead of the queues.
However, it is worth noting that the Rise Of Resistance Individual Lightning Lane is NOT surge charged at present. So is actually better on busy days as the same $20 will skip a larger queue on busy days. (The Lightning Lanes for Webslingers and Radiator Springs are Surge charged on busy days!)
FAIL – Staying in Resort – Extra Magic Hours
Staying in Resort used to offer a great way to skip the queues on the most popular rides but these Magic hours have been recently reduced to a ‘Magic Half Hour’ and do not include Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. Currently staying at the official Disney Resorts will not provide any real advantages in terms of beating the queues at Rise Of The Resistance.
This isn’t really a tip for beating the queues but it’s something we should mention. The Disney Disability Access Service is designed for groups that contain at least one person with a disability. Due to the unique challenges faced by disabled guests, the DAS service lends a helping hand to these guests to prevent them from waiting in long lines when this may be challenging.
It is not a skip-the-queue pass but allows the booking of return times to help ease the amount of time spent in any particular queue.
It’s a great help for anyone with genuine difficulties and well worth looking into to help ease your day. Read more here: We have to be honest we have never used the service as we do not qualify in any way but it is well received by those who do qualify and helps get people onto rides who otherwise would possibly miss out.
Hopefully, we don’t have to mention anyone abusing this service is a despicable human being and has nothing but our disdain!
Beating the Queues on Other Rides
We could re-publish this article, word for word, but with the name of the ride replaced with any other ride in Disneyland. These highs and lows hold true for the whole resort, and the ways to skip the queues are equally valid.
The big differences are the fact there are other options to bat these too, such as the excellent Genie+ service and the brilliant Single Rider Queues as well.
Overall there are very few ways to effectively skip the queue completely. Even with the Paid Lightning Lane, you can still face a 15-20 minute and it’s obviously a very unwelcome extra cost. But you can avoid the absolute worst of the queues.
We can no longer stomach any queue over about 30mins, and we were resigned to paying to get Rise Of The Resistance. But the Early Bird trick worked a treat. And while we made sure we checked out the other tips we had already ridden so did not have to stay until the end or miss out on fireworks to experience the ride.
So for us, it’s a case of deciding between paying $20 or getting up at Stupid-O-Clock.
Have Your Say
Let us know your experiences of beating the Rise Of The Resistance Queues. Did you manage to skip the worst of the queues or were you stuck for hours in the Standby line? Let us know in the comments below and let us know if you have your own top tip for skipping the line (Legally)! As always any questions just fire away in the comments.
You May Also Like
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Rise Of The Resistance Review
- Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run Review
- Disneyland’s Genie+ Explained