Disney Parks blog posted today that the infamous Rise of the Resistance virtual queue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be paused. This is a dramatic development for arguably the best theme park attraction currently built. For clarification, this does not apply to the Disneyland version.
According to “DisneyParks” blog, Disney knows guests love choice and flexibility when planning their time in a theme park. Based on this, starting September 23rd, the virtual boarding pass system will be paused. A traditional standby queue will be used starting that day.
Literally from the moment this was announced, conspiracy theories and rumors have developed about what is really happening.
For this discussion, I am going to stick to just the facts and any logical conclusions that can be reached from those facts.
First, attendance is down currently at all Orlando area theme parks.
This is due to a combination of lack of international travelers, virus concerns, people waiting for the 50th anniversary event, price increases at Walt Disney World and general reduction in tourism.
Second, Rise of the Resistance in Florida has been unreliable almost from the beginning.
The California version has been more reliable. That might be a bit unfair since the California version took a very long break with virus restrictions in that state as opposed to Florida. This lack of reliability has led to issues with having to compensate guests evacuated off the attraction. Today when this happened, guests were given anytime return passes for Rise of the Resistance plus a skip the line pass to any other attraction. Whenever this happens, it throws off the balance of the Force. The actual wait in the attraction queue will increase. Reports of waiting an hour in the queue after a breakdown with a well-earned boarding pass are not uncommon. This is leading to cast member and guest dissatisfaction.
Third, The 50th anniversary is about to start.
Disney needs this to go well after all the obstacles that a virus has created for them. The announcement of Genie+ and individual paid attraction access to a lightning lane has created some negative public relations, Add to that, the increase in annual passes, Disney needs a win at least by October 1st.
Fourth, signs for the new lightning lane have started appearing.
The Genie+ system has been announced. This has led some to speculate that Genie+ and new lightning lane will start September 23rd. We have no evidence of this, but it makes a good conspiracy to take away boarding passes to charge up to $50 to enjoy Rise of the Resistance but once again-NO EVIDENCE.
So, what do we do now if planning a trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Plan on long standby queues for Rise of the Resistance! Plan on lower queue waits at other attractions at Disney Hollywood Studios. The non-Star Wars fan may find their favorite attraction with very low wait times. Also, plan on “Rise” to breakdown. However, now you can decide to wait in a long queue or not. This gives Disney park operation the freedom to not offer compensation for guests if ride breaks down. If they do decide to do that, then it will be easy to move those guests right to front of line, when attraction reopens, since a massive number of boarding passes guests will not be in the actual queue.
Keep an eye on Disneyland operation also. If this change happens there, then maybe boarding passes are going to be gone for a while. If boarding passes stay there, this will just be a pause and expect to see it back for the holidays. Most importantly, expect anything at this point. Try to remember you are on vacation so enjoy yourself!
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