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January 17, 2020 has to be one of the biggest days in recent Disney Parks memory. Over on the east coast, It's the first day of Epcot's International Festival of the Arts, and the official debut of three new films in different parts of the park. And on the west coast, the highly anticipated Rise of the Resistance attraction is finally opening at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland. It's an incredibly ambitious attraction, and so, perhaps not surprisingly, Rise of the Resistance has had a slow start on day one.
Rise of the Resistance is using a virtual queue system like its east coast counterpart, which means guests have to join Boarding Groups via the Disneyland app. Then they wait for their group to be called to go get on the ride. As expected, those boarding groups were gone within minutes of the park opening this morning, however, the problem was that even those lucky enough to join the first group couldn't just go on the ride when the park opened, because the attraction wasn't open when the rope dropped, and it stayed close for a while. Several Disney Bloggers were on site for the event, and were waiting with the crowds.
In fact, it was almost 9 AM, an hour after Disneyland had opened for the day, before the ride officially opened for the general public. However, since then, it looks like the ride has been working smoothly. At least for those people who were able to join a boarding group in the first few minutes of the day.
Rise of the Resistance has had the occasional downtime problem at Walt Disney World since opening last month, but nothing too out of the ordinary considering that the ride is both new and massive. The biggest complaint guests have had came recently when the attraction was open, but part of the pre-show experience was down, meaning those that experienced the attraction didn't get to see everything.
If there's anything else causing issues at Disneyland, it's the crowds. The park looks absolutely packed. While Disneyland is never empty, the park looks a lot more crowded than usual. This clip from before rope drop shows a lot more people waiting than you would normally see, especially in January.
When Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened at Disneyland in May it didn't see the massive crowds that many were expecting. One of the theories was that those looking to plan vacations were going to wait until the other major attraction, Rise of the Resistance, was open, based on this first day, it looks like that theory may have been true.
While a lot of Disneyland guests are Annual Passport holders that go frequently, most of the guests are vacationers who may be on their first trip ever. Those people certainly wanted a complete Galaxy's Edge experience since they might not be returning for a long time, and so may have held off on a trip until they knew they could see everything.
Of course, if getting Boarding Passes for Rise of the Resistance continues to be so difficult, that might still be tough.