Since Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened, guests have been arriving hours before Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened to get first crack at the ride’s virtual boarding group system.

As of Dec. 18, early risers no longer have any advantage. 

The new operating procedure may allow guests onto Hollywood Boulevard early, but none of them will be able to snag a spot in the virtual queue until the park’s advertised opening time. 

So if Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled to open at 7 a.m., all guests in the park will be logging onto My Disney Experience app at that time to get assigned a boarding group — whether they arrived two hours or 10 minutes earlier. 

Before this change, when Disney began assigning boarding groups seemed to change on an almost daily basis. On the ride’s second day of operation, Dec. 6., Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened nearly three hours before its advertised 9 a.m. opening, and all boarding groups were gone by 8:30 a.m., so guests arriving at the scheduled opening time would have no chance to experience Rise of the Resistance

Disney responded by moving Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ official opening up to 7 a.m. starting Dec. 12, but the park still opened early. Because Disney was holding guests outside the entrance until this earlier opening time, and boarding groups could only be assigned once guests scanned their park tickets or MagicBand, those who arrived earlier had an advantage. 

Those who miss out on the initial morning rush can now join “backup boarding groups,” wrote Disney Parks editorial director Thomas Smith. 

“Backup boarding groups will only be called if all of the initial planned boarding groups have been called back and there is capacity for more riders that evening,” Smith wrote on the Disney Parks Blog. “If we are able to accommodate boarding groups that evening, guests will be notified through the My Disney Experience app by a push notification (if enabled).”

The West Coast version of Rise of the Resistance will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim on Jan. 17. While Disney has not said whether the same virtual queue system will be utilized there, Touring Plans statistician Steve Bloom suspects it will. 

“It works so well, people hope it will stay and expand to other attractions,” Bloom told Orlando Rising.

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