If you know me pretty well, you know I went through a LOT of trouble to get on this ride- I went on opening day and ended up missing out on a good boarding group because my Uber driver was 30 minutes late and I had to cancel and call a second one (I will forever hate that first Uber driver). This month, I drove down at 2:30AM to get through that gate before park opening, got my boarding group, stayed awake for 32 hours, and stayed overnight which I really almost never do. And for me- it was 100% WORTH IT.
I read a lot of different tips and tricks for getting a boarding pass- my favorite round-up for recommendations can be found here (also her IG is just super cute). I got to ride two days in a row- both weekdays, one of which school was out for Orange County. Here are the ride tips that I saw multiple times that I followed myself in order to get boarding passes twice-
Get inside the park before 8AM since you HAVE to have your ticket scanned in order to get a boarding group. Don’t wait till later even if it’s a weekday- boarding groups went within minutes on the random Monday and Tuesday that I visited so it’s safe to say they will be gone if you wait even just a few minutes. If you are driving, try to get to the parking garage when it opens if possible (an hour and a half before park opening to account for guests with Extra Magic Hours). Security lines might be long and even if the park is quiet, the line to get in might be insane: make sure you have at least about 30 minutes for just the line to get into the park.
Make sure your phone is working fast. Test the app speed while you’re in line so you know how long it will take to load. You’ll want to turn off WiFi so you’re not wasting valuable seconds when your phone tries to connect. Use your cellular data. Clear space or close apps to ensure optimal speed. Those few extra seconds count- I accidentally opened the wrong app on the second day (probably cuz my hands were shaking since the pressure is real) and lost about three seconds which got me a later boarding group.
Check your signal and be standing somewhere with good reception. Just past the gates worked well for me on both days (for reference, I have Verizon) but this will depend entirely on your carrier. Get there early enough to test it.
Your whole group has to be in your “party” to ride together. Make sure all tickets are hooked up to the party BEFORE you get to the parks. Don’t risk doing it at the last minute! I went alone so this wasn’t an issue but I heard people in line struggling to get them connected before rope drop and it’s extra pressure.
Here are my recommendations as well after two mornings having mild anxiety attacks from 7Am-8AM-
Plan your day loosely. Don’t pack in your schedule because you don’t know when your group will be called. The ride is definitely running way more smoothly now so boarding groups are going back fairly quickly but the times are still unpredictable and the ride could still break down at any given time. For instance, here are my two boarding groups and boarding times-
38- 11:54AM (park opened one hour later)
If you only get a back-up boarding group, don’t panic. Even on opening day, they made it to some of these groups (I kept looking and they got to about 115). In fact, if the ride hadn’t broken down for as long as it did that day, they might have actually made it to my group. The ride closes at 9pm even on days when the park stays open until midnight. I checked the app EVERY SINGLE DAY between opening and my visit and on almost all of those days, they accommodated back-up groups. Disney is also pretty good at sending you a notification if your group likely won’t make it on (I got mine early enough to plan the rest of my day).
Check the park times! My first day the park opened at 8AM and my second, the park opened at 9AM. This does impact when the garage will open as well plus it means on days the park opens later, they will not be accommodating as many boarding groups. If you have Extra Magic Hours, you will still have to wait until the official opening time to get your boarding group with everyone else.
It’s unclear how long the virtual queue will exist but almost one month in, the boarding groups were still going immediately. Don’t take any chances!!!!