Universal Orlando Resort is a place that allows you to explore the streets of Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit a real-life Raptor Encounter to meet Blue the Raptor, float down the Kopiko Wai Winding River at Volcano Bay, and finish with a cold beverage high in the sky at Bar 17 Bistro on top of Universal’s Aventura Hotel all in one day.

With so much to see and do, how can you get the most out of it during your first-time visit? Here’s a few first timer tips to get the most out of your upcoming visit.


Fifty menacing First Order Stormtroopers await guests as they arrive in the hangar bay of a Star Destroyer as part of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the groundbreaking new attraction opening Dec. 5, 2019, inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Jan. 17, 2020, at Disneyland Park in California that takes guests into a climactic battle between the Resistance and the First Order. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Wed, December 18, 2019
Virtual Queue at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opens with Advertised Park Hours
Thomas Smith by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

We’re happier than a womp rat in a sand storm about the response we’ve been getting for our newest attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It’s clear guests visiting Black Spire Outpost are enjoying the opportunity to help the Resistance in their fight against the First Order.

As more and more guests ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we’ve been testing new ideas to make the overall experience the best it can be. We’ve been learning so much and are focused on continuing to make the process of getting into the park and onto the attraction even better every day and want to ensure all of our guests know what to expect when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here’s what to know:

Virtual queue will be available at the published park opening time. We may welcome guests onto Hollywood Boulevard prior to opening the rest of the park, and limited nearby locations will be open for your convenience. This includes Trolley Car Café where you can pick up a beverage for your own personal “jump to lightspeed,” and if you need to grab a few galactic gifts, Keystone Clothiers will be available.
At the park’s published opening time, the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens along with offerings throughout the rest of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests must be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to access virtual queue in the My Disney Experience app.
Due to the incredible popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we will continue to distribute backup boarding groups after the initial planned groups have been filled. 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. 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).

For anyone with questions or needing a hand with the virtual queue, the members of the Guest Experience Team are available throughout the park to assist. And while people wait for their turn to rise up with the Resistance, there’s plenty to do around Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here are a few of our recommendations!

Now is the time to join the cause. Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Ignite the spark! Light the fire!

As a reminder, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will debut at Disneyland park on January 17, 2020.


If you’re as excited for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure as I am, you’ll love this! The sign for Gustau’s restaurant was just installed in the new area of the France Pavilion at Epcot.  The new sign is visible if you’re going to or from Epcot via gondola so make sure you keep a eye out on your next ride!

Expired Annual Passholders able to renew their AP’s at Walt Disney World

Credit:  ChipAndCo.com

Since Walt Disney World reopened after the COVID-19 closure, annual passes have not been available to purchase. Pre-existing passholders have been able to renew or cancel their passes but not purchase new passes outright. Now, some previous annual passholders are being allowed to purchase a new annual pass.

This offer is only available to Annual Passholders whose passes were canceled or expired after March 16th, when Walt Disney World Resort first closed. If you qualify and wish to purchase a new pass, you’ll need to contact Guest Services. Cast Members will determine a guest’s eligibility for purchasing a new pass on a case-by-case basis.

Hot Diggity Dog A New Food Truck At Disney Springs

A new food truck is making it’s way to Disney Springs called Hot Diggity Dog!
According to the Disney Springs Twitter page, the new food truck will be open later this month.
The new food truck is said to include “mouth-watering gourmet hot dogs” and yummy house-made chips!
We’re excited to hear more about the new food truck as we get closer to it’s opening day!

Spaceship Earth Renovations

Walt Disney World has announced that the latest Spaceship Earth transformation will begin on May 26th.
Disney first announced the transformation last year during the D23 expo but hadn’t said when it would start until now.
We don’t know a whole lot about the renovations but Disney has released this statement about it: “The next iteration of Spaceship Earth will focus on the story of humanity, following our long journey from prehistoric humans to today brought to life with magic and depth that only Disney can deliver,” a post on the official Disney Park Blog reads. “Many of the moments you know and love will be updated in amazing ways, blended with brand-new scenes to tell a story about our human experience.”
We don’t know how long the renovations will last but we’re excited to see what they have in store for the classic ride.

First Flamingo Friday

Here are 3 flamingo fun facts!

  1. An adult flamingo is 3.3 – 4.6 feet tall and they weigh anywhere between 3.3 – 9 pounds.

2. Flamingos have a winspan that ranges from 3.3 – 5 feet.

3. Flamingos hold their breath while feeding

You can see our favorite feathered friends anytime at SeaWorld Orlando!

Disney’s Riviera Resort Recognized for Excellence


One of my favorite places at Walt Disney World Resort is Disney’s Riviera Resort. Whether I am discovering a piece of artwork for the first time, imagining myself exploring the Riviera, or witnessing the excitement of guests as the Disney Skyliner whisks them away to EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I am truly amazed by Disney Vacation Club’s newest resort.

Today, I’m excited to share with you that the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has presented Disney Vacation Club with its ACE Project of Excellence Award for Disney’s Riviera Resort. One of ARDA’s most prestigious recognitions, this award recognizes the highest levels of excellence in the resort industry, taking into account the design of the resort, day-to-day operations and more!