The Best Tips for Rise of the Resistance Boarding Passes & For Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We’re here to offer the best unofficial guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios now that the park has re-opened during this COVID-Careful period. This especially includes how to get a boarding pass to Rise of the Resistance. But it includes many other ideas for how to enjoy other great park attractions, plus making the best of entertainment, dining and retail. If you are looking to visit the park during 2020 and probably the first part of 2021, you want to listen to this podcast and pay attention to the notes that follow.

You can find our podcast here on PodbeaniTunesSpotifyMyTuner, and ListenNotesKey notes and photos are below, but you’ll find most of my commentary on the podcast.

The Challenge

There are many differences guests are facing as they return to the parks during this COVID-careful period. But there are some unique circumstances that make visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios even more challenging. They include:

  • Less choices to experience with no live stage shows available
  • A park with a smaller footprint
  • Huge demand to see the new attractions just built
  • The requirement of acquiring a boarding pass to experience Rise of the Resistance.

With those issues in mind, let’s look at how to optimize a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. How do you create the best experience possible, which hopefully includes obtaining a boarding pass to Rise of the Resistance.

Departing for space. Rise of the Resistance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Currently the hour to obtain a boarding pass to get into the park is the same hour that the park opens. The challenge is that with a later opening hour, more people are converging into the park at the same time. Waits can occur with:

  • Lining up for buses, boats or skyline cabins when staying on Disney property
  • Driving up to the toll entrance at the front of the park and getting parked
  • Getting through a fever check
  • Getting through a security check
  • Obtaining ticket media if you have not already
  • Entering the park itself
The wait one hour before park opening. It doesn’t reflect what’s behind us, which is doubled. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The answer to all of this is get there early. If the stated time is 10:00 am, I would recommend arriving at the turnstile by 9:30. That means you need to grab a bus from your hotel more than 30 minutes prior. It means arriving at the toll booth about 30 minutes prior.

By the way, here’s a tip for parking in a Disney parking–especially when they have long lines of cars trying to get parked. When there are lots of cars to park, they will usually take two lanes of cars and park in two separate lanes at a time. Always get into the outside lane from the lot they are parking in. When they start parking a new lane, they use the inside lane of cars, and those cars are the ones that are thrown way out to the end of the parking lot lane. Cars on the outside lane are usually fed into the spaces closer to the tram boarding areas.

Sometimes just this queue can be lengthy. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
As is evidenced here. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The good news is, the earlier you arrive, the more you’ll be able to enjoy attractions with little if any wait. In the first 30-45 minutes you could do two major attractions from choices like Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Slinky Dog Dash, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Doing two of those attractions could easily take an hour and a half if you started after 10 am.

Queues all over the entrance to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway just 15 minutes after the official opening hour. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

In short, the earlier you get to the park, the better. This will be even more important as hours are cut and the total time the park being opened is shortened.

By the way, know that there are no wait times listed on the app prior to the official opening time at the park. Just know that those three, first tier attractions are your best choices when you arrive before the stated opening time, and shortly thereafter:

First Tier Attractions:

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (Note, no single rider possibilities during this re-opening phase).
The ever familiar Millennium Falcon set against the back drop of the Black Spires. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Getting a Boarding Pass

Here are some important tips for getting a boarding pass:

  • Have your reservation.
  • Make sure the entire party is in the park prior to 10 am
  • Turn off and on your phones.
  • Set your phones to your carrier–not to the Disney WiFi.
  • Refresh your MyDisney app.
  • Check to make sure your party is all shown on the app. If you are having problems or are unsure of any of these things, reach out to someone on the Guest Experience team well prior to the announced time.
  • Identify someone outside the parks to help you try it. I suggest David at Out the Door Travel. But even if you don’t use a travel agent, call on someone to help you who understands the My Magic system.
  • At the designated time, let everyone with a phone go for it until someone gets through!
  • If you didn’t get one, try it again at the 2nd announced time.
Boarding Pass Update includes an estimated return time. Image by Disney.

Morning Choices

Once the first set of boarding passes have been allocated, it’s time to enjoy some attractions. Hopefully you have experienced at least one of the three mentioned earlier.

If not, you should do at least one of those now, and the other two later in the day towards closing. This is a great time to do these second tier rides:

Second Tier Attractions:

  • Midway Mania
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Toy Story Mania now has much shorter lines than 5 years ago. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Noon Time Choices

If you’re leaving the park to go back to your hotel for a little while, you may just want to grab a quick bite to eat and move on. But if you are staying through the day and you want to enjoy a sit down meal, lunch is the time to do it. First off, it puts a break in your day, especially if it’s hot outside. Second, you want to use your time to finish off attractions with little or no queues at the end of the day around dinner time. So make a reservation in advance and enjoy the break.

Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

It’s okay if you do a counter service at lunch and save your finer dining experience until after the park closes. Know that you should utilize mobile ordering. And you may want to order an hour or so in advance. During noon to two, it’s very likely that you will have to wait for a later time to pick up your meal. So plan ahead.

Now through mid afternoon is a good time to check out attractions that are not on the first two tiers:

Third Tier Attractions

  • Star Tours–The Adventures Continue*
  • Walt Disney Presents *
  • Muppet Vision 3D*
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy*
  • Disney Junior Play and Dance!*
  • Disney Society Orchestra and Friends
  • Vacation Fun*
  • Any other stage shows if they should open in the weeks and months to come.
    • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration*
    • Beauty & The Beast: Live on Stage
    • Voyage of The Little Mermaid*
    • Disney Junior Dance Party*
    • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

* Indicates Attractions/Shows with Air Conditioning

Costumes from Disney’s Mulan on Display at One Man’s Dream. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Now through mid-afternoon is a great opportunity to build a droid at Droid Depot or create your own light saber at Savi’s Lightsabers. Know that as a land in the park, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is an attraction in and of itself and can be enjoyed on many levels. Now and mid-afternoon may be the best time to check out all the details, themes, and stories. This could include the interactive activities found on the Play Disney app.

Kylo Ren and Stormtroopers appearing. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Mid Afternoon Choices

By now you may be tired. It might be a great time to go back to your hotel for a swim or a nap. If the schedule is shorter, you may want to keep going on and experience all that you can while the park is opened.

If you haven’t received a boarding pass to Rise of the Resistance, now is the time to try it again. If there is a second time for dispersing passes, repeat the steps listed above and try again. This includes doing it from your hotel room, car, store, or wherever you may be. You do NOT need to be in the park to obtain a boarding pass. But you MUST have checked into the park earlier in the day or prior to trying to obtain such a pass.

Also, an important tip! When your boarding pass gets called to Rise of the Resistance, finish up what you are doing and head there right away. This attraction can go down several times a day.

Boarding the Star Destroyer in Rise of the Resistance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

If while you are on the attraction and it breaks down they will give you a Fast Pass to return if you are on it when it breaks down (as they do with all attractions). But late in the day it may go down and never come back up, so get there while you can.

If you chose to stay in the park, this is the time to check out all of those Noon Time choices we listed earlier.

Late in the afternoon (but not end of the day) may be a good time to check out Oga’s Cantina if you don’t have a reservation.

If you are planning on specialized shopping–particularly purchases from Galaxy’s Edge, or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, then now is probably the best time to do that shopping.

Merchant Row in Galaxy’s Edge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

End of Day Choices

The last three hours of the day may be the most important choices or preferences you didn’t get a chance to do earlier. This means checking out first and second tier attractions. That’s why you don’t want to be using this time for fine dining. Save that until after the park is closed.

Know that you can get in line for an attraction the minute before closing time. Just be sure you’re there a minute before. A minute after and you will not be admitted into the queue. This is ideal for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway if you haven’t had a chance sooner.

The Chinese Theater. Entrance to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

By the way, Slinky Dog Dash is great at night. But later in the day is when storms are more likely, and those storms can close down this coaster. It’s better to go earlier if it’s not a long line (20 minutes or less).

Retail shopping at the Studios will continue from 30-60 minutes after the park closes on Hollywood Boulevard. If you’re looking for a keep sake, this is the best time to buy, as you are not having to take time during precious park operating hours, and you won’t have to haul it around.

Leaving the Park

If the park is closing earlier, than plan a server-style meal during this time, so you don’t lose time in the park.

Note! The Skyliner operates 90 to 120 minutes after park closing. Check signs or ask to be sure. You could hop the Skyliner and do a great meal over at Topolinos in Disney’s Riviera Resort or at Sebastians in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Then return to the park from there by Skyliner.

Sebastian’s at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


No trip is perfect, but if you follow these ideas, you will optimize your experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the best way possible. Moreover, you will have the best chances for getting a boarding pass and enjoying Rise of the Resistance. May the Force be with you as you plan out your next trip to Walt Disney World.

Entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Night. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Two More Tips!

1. Call David at Out The Door Travel

Meanwhile, is it time to book your next trip to Disney? The best person to answer that question is David Zanolla, owner and agent of of Out The Door Travel, LLC. There’s no cost–but it could save you a lot of time–and even money–especially when you put it in the hands of someone who really knows Disney and travel. Call today at 309-863-5469 or reach out to him via

2. Get the Free Star Wars Complete Guide to Galaxy’s Edge.

This is the most definitive guide to everything that is Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as at Disneyland in California. The complete guide includes the following:

  • A unique, interactive map detailing where everything is in this new land
  • Details showcasing food & beverage, shopping experiences, and entertainment
  • A thorough look at Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • A queue to exit outline of the new Rise of the Resistance attraction
  • Insights to navigating your experience when you visit at either Disneyland or Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Overview of the new Star Wars Hotel coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Over 100 photos, drawings, and videos showcasing this newest Disney experience

It’s yours when you subscribe to Disney at Work and Disney at Play. Visit here, and check out Galaxy’s Edge in the most complete guide possible.

Logo to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: A Complete Guide.

J. Jeff Kober

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