The Secret to Earning SwagBucks Quickly

SwagBucks is an online platform where you can earn “SB” (or in other words…. SwagBucks) to redeem for gift cards or a cash out to your PayPal account! Since I have had a lot of free time on my hands during quarantine, I thought I would take the opportunity to foster my SB account to start earning a little more side cash. Emphasis on “side” cash.

SwagBucks is not in any way a true, viable source for income. Depending on what activities I do to earn SB, I can make maybe $3-$20 a day. It’s not a lot but I’m not using it as a way to pay for anything huge. In fact, I’m actually using it as a way to make a little more money for my first trip to Walt Disney World next year! Any money I make on it is essentially just a little savings account to use as spending money for Disney. And since I started a year in advance, I have plenty of time to rack up some money before I head over there! Over the lifetime of me using SwagBucks at this point in time, I have earned around $280!

SwagBucks Survey List

You can earn SB in a number of ways. The biggest being by taking surveys, listed under the “Answer” tab on the left hand side! You won’t qualify for every single one, and most of them average 25-75 SB (which comes out to 25 cents and 75 cents respectively). But sometimes you will hit a JACKPOT with a survey that you qualify for and make 1,000 to 4,500 SB (which is $10-45)! I have been qualified for a few of these surveys that required me to do some more in-depth online discussions for the group over a span of three weeks and was able to earn $40 from doing it! They had simply asked me to check in once a week for three weeks to share my opinions on their ad campaigns. The exercises maybe took 15-20 minutes each time I logged in, but the reward was worth it in the end! Now those surveys are hard to find and sometimes even harder to get in to, but they do exist. Don’t bank on them though. Most of the SwagBucks that you will earn from surveys will come from doing the ones that don’t offer a ton of points and don’t take a lot of time.

Example of SwagButton in action on the Shop Disney website

Another way to earn is by adding the SwagButton to your home browser. What this does is that any time you come to an online store that is affiliated with SwagBucks, a banner will pop up in the top right corner and ask if you want to activate a cash back offer. The cash back comes in the form of SB! With all the online shopping I have been doing over the last year, this seemed like a very easy way to rack up the points because I was buying stuff from these stores that I was already going to purchase or needed. Using the SwagButton was just an added bonus of making the purchase. And another little perk of it is that the Button will act as a coupon locator! Once you go to the checkout page, it will search the site itself or other sites to find the best coupon for you and apply it to your cart! The Button will then read “Apply [X number it finds] Coupons” – click that and it will run through all of them quickly to find you the best one to apply to your cart! I love this function because 1) it takes out the work of finding a coupon, and 2) it takes out the hassle of going through expired coupons that I find on the internet myself. It’s literally a one-stop-shop kind of Button!

SwagBucks Discover Page with lots of offers!

Third, I have been finding VERY good luck with the SB Discover page. Here they have offers from brands, apps, and stores that can help you gain a little more traction in earning SB. Specifically I have been taking advantage of the app offers because a lot of them offer INSANELY HIGH SB opportunities for downloading and playing a free app. In fact, this is how I found the myVEGAS apps that allowed me to save around $200 on my trip to Las Vegas over the summer! I think with apps alone, I have gained at least $65 in SwagBucks. By playing a free app. Ridiculous! It’s always one download per user and you have to be a first time user of the app to be eligible for the reward. But you will also want to check the Terms of the SB because sometimes it says you have to reach a certain level in the game within a certain time period, and some of those time periods make it impossible to play the game without spending something in their game’s store to give you that boost you need to reach that level in time. If that’s the case, just try your best to complete the level and if you can’t do it in the time allotted, just delete the app and cut your losses! I’ve done this a number of times and I regret nothing because I got to play a fun app and kept myself entertained. But there should be no reason for you to pay into these apps because this is not the point of SwagBucks! You’re there to earn, not to spend money on an app!

SwagBucks Watch Page – watch the uninterrupted loops in the top row!

Lastly, and this one is the least amount earned but it keeps you earning during times that you can’t earn (like when you’re asleep or at work), and that is SB Watch. I pick one of the options from the top row (this is important because these are the ones that play on an uninterrupted loop), and just let it run. However, I do NOT suggest doing this if you are working on your computer because every time it switches between “activities”, then it will pop the page back up in front of your face. So definitely only use this option as a “pull up and leave alone” kind of option otherwise you will be consistently interrupted every 10 seconds. I also highly recommend doing this on a desktop computer and not on your phone or through the SD Watch app. If you do it through your phone, it overheats after a while and if you do it through the app, it doesn’t really play on repeat as easily.

Do you want one last bonus way to earn SwagBucks quickly? Give yourself a head start on earning by signing up with my referral code! Click here! Once you do, you’ll receive an EXTRA 300 SB after you earn 300 SB within the first 30 days of signing up. No time to waste – get to earning now!

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The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary for Las Vegas

Well it’s only been a few months since my trip, but I am now getting around to writing this blog! With Cody and I living in San Diego, a trip to Vegas is close enough for us to drive to but also far enough away to feel like we are stepping out of our norm. Now I know some things look different now due to the ‘rona, but we still had a great time there and were able to do so many things while we were there. So let’s take a look! (If you want to watch the total adventure of this trip on my Instagram Story instead, click here!)

Seven Magic Mountains

We decided to drive there rather early in the morning, mostly because we both woke up around 3am and we couldn’t back to sleep so we just got up and left. Our first unofficial stop was the Seven Magic Mountains which is right outside of Vegas! Because this is such a tourist hotspot, I am glad we got there before the crowds. We arrived around 7am, took a few pictures, and then we kept on driving – there was one other group taking pictures at the same time as us.

We booked our stay with the Bellagio which is a MGM Grand Resort. Our room rate per night was around $140, but with each day we received a $75 food and beverage credit that we could use at any MGM Grand Resort on the Strip! I feel like I don’t have to tell you how insane of a deal that is. Online said check in wasn’t until 3pm, but we took a chance that it being kind of slow in Vegas with travel that we could check in early, and by 8:30am we were in our room!

Most of what we did during our stay was driven by the rewards we received by playing the various myVEGAS apps. If you want a full detailed blog about all of those apps and how it works, click here to read that blog! By playing the games on these apps, we were able to save a total of $200 on our trip!

That being said, once we got changed, we went out to redeem our first reward! To redeem your rewards from the app, you have to first stop by a M-Life Reward Desk (located in MOST MGM Grand Resorts) to pick up your membership card (don’t worry, it’s free) and then depending on the resort, you then have to redeem your rewards for that specific location at each desk in the resort. I think the only resort that didn’t have a desk was Vdara. So we stopped by the Aria to redeem our free cocktail from Aria and our free breakfast at Vdara! However, it being as early as it was, we did have to wait like 30 minutes before the bar opened, but in that time we were able to walk across the courtyard to Vdara and have our breakfast. It was a super easy process, we picked up our vouchers from the M-Like desk and took it to the little restaurant in Vdara and then back to the bar at Aria that we could redeem the reward from. The only downside, and it was kind of the running theme with redeeming all of our alcoholic rewards, was that you HAVE to buy some sort of food with it. But because a lot of places know that people just want alcohol, they have very small, cheap options to choose from – like fries, or a bag of nuts. So overall, that investment is like $3 but then you get your drink.

Conservatory and Botanical Garden at Bellagio

After that, we came back to the Bellagio to explore a little bit more! It was our first time at a fancy-schmancy hotel anyway. They have a beautiful indoor garden with some of the most incredible flower arrangements. It’s free to walk through, but it can get crowded from other visitors wanting to take a look. Most of our Day 1 was just walking around to the casinos closest to us like Caesar’s Palace, which neither of us was impressed with – they were kind of old style and dirty..

Exploring Caesar’s Palace

To begin our Day 2, we stopped by New York New York because, surprise surprise, we had a reward to redeem for a free beer. We bought a basket of fries for the both of us and then we were both able to grab a beer. Me being a responsible human being in Vegas, I realized that if I started my morning without food first then it wouldn’t be a pleasant day, so I decided to get a Starbucks breakfast sandwich beforehand. And because New York New York is a MGM Grand Resort, we were able to use part of our food and beverage credit at the Starbucks inside of the casino and they just charged it to our room at the Bellagio!

After downing our ginormous beers, we walked to Mandalay Bay, which I don’t recommend in the heat of Vegas. It looked closer than it was. But we were heading there to redeem our reward for the Shark Reef Aquarium they had! But unlucky for us, we didn’t know we had to make a reservation for a specific time slot. So we just made the reservation for the next day. Since we were already in that neck of the woods, we stopped by Luxor to redeem our free shot. I cannot take shots but hey it’s Vegas – so I sipped it out of a cocktail straw. On our walk back to the Bellagio, we just decided to casino hop our way there. I really recommend casino hopping just because it’s something to do and it’s fun to see the different themes of all of these hotels and casinos! Plus the rewards really helped motivate us to see them all.

Walkways to Pools at Bellagio
PRIME Steakhouse at Bellagio

After getting back to the Bellagio, we lounged by the pool for a little bit but we got over it really quickly because we had to wear a masks even if we were sitting down in a lounge chair away from everyone else. We just didn’t understand why it was ok to not wear a mask sitting at a restaurant but not while sitting outside. But if we were in the pool with everyone else, then it was ok to not wear a mask. It just didn’t make sense to us, so we soaked in a few rays, got way too hot with dealing with that, and then left. Our rest of the day was spent trying to get lucky on some slots because again I had a reward for $150 in free play on slots, but also Cody wanted to teach me how to play Craps! Later that night we used another reward at the Bellagio restaurant, PRIME Steakhouse, for two free glasses of champagne with a purchase of an appetizer. So we dressed up all fancy to get our appetizer and left – we saw the other prices on the menu and that was way more than we wanted to spend. The two free glasses of champagne alone were regularly priced at $54!! We did however get McDonald’s afterwards.

Poolside at the MGM Grand Lazy River

Day 3 – boy oh boy did Cody have a struggle getting up. You remember how I got food the morning of Day 2 because the day would be spent drinking? Yea well Coy decided that his 28 year old body could still party-hardy. And he suffered the consequences. But moving right along, we used a reward to get a free room at the MGM Grand because I wanted to experience their epic lazy river! Pre-COVID, if you stayed at the Bellagio, you could have free access to the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay pools, and if you weren’t a guests at the Bellagio, you could still buy a guest day pass to use the pool. But since they wanted to limit the number of people entering and leaving their hotels and pools, it was only available to guests. So using that reward to get a free room allowed us to have a nice pool day and experience a new hotel! The other downside was that you couldn’t rent the inner-tubes they had – you had to buy them. So $20 later, I was living my best life and floating down the river. We stayed there for a few hours but we couldn’t stay long because I had purchased tickets for use to go the Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Venetian!

There are multiple locations in Vegas but I bought the tickets the week prior knowing that the Venetian was farther down the strip from what we would normally be doing and I wanted us to be able to see all the hotels. I did call in advance to make sure that they weren’t doing any maintenance for the day I purchased because the site made it clear that they would have days for sanitization and obviously I didn’t want to book for that day. So after the pool, we got dressed in our MGM Grand room and made our way over to the Venetian! Upon arriving, we found out that the Ice Bar was closed… You could say I was a little disappointed because I had called in advance for exactly this reason and the tickets said no refunds. But an hour later, I saw some employees in there setting up, told them the situation and how now we wouldn’t be able to go because we had our Mandalay Bay Shark Reef reservation that day and we were able to get a refund. If you decide to go, make sure you call.

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef

By that time, we had to make our way to Mandalay Bay Shark Reef for our reservation! We were both really excited for the aquarium, but in full honesty, do not pay for this experience. Regularly, tickets would have been $29 a person, but we walked through the whole thing in 20 minutes. This place is TINY. Do not expect a lot. It was cool seeing the shark room, and really there was only one room with sharks, but other than that we got to the end and we both looked at each other like “that was it..?” Knowing that now, I probably won’t spend my reward points to go again either.

The Top of the Paris Eiffel Tower Las Vegas

Later that day, we walked around the strip some more to do some more exploring, gambled a little bit here and there, but I told Cody that I really wanted to see the fountain show that takes place in front of the Bellagio. We saw it around dusk time and it would go off around every 15-30 minutes but there is a schedule online so you don’t have to guess when the next show is! After that we went and got dinner at the Tilted Kilt because they had a great happy hour deal, but as we were walking back, we saw the Paris Eiffel Tower all aglow so we decided to go check the casino out. Once we arrived, we saw that you could take an elevator up to the top of it and we were sold! I believe tickets were around $30 a person but the view from the top was gorgeous! My favorite part was that you can watch the fountain show from the top too! You can’t really hear the music but you can see the fountains from a different angle and you can see just how high the water gets!

Avengers STATION

Day 4 was our final day and they only thing we had planned was something that Cody found for us to do a few days before we left for the vacation – going to the Avengers STATION! Me being a Marvel nerd, I was all too quick to say yes to it! This amazing exhibit can be found at Treasure Island and honestly it was pretty freaking badass seeing all the props from the movie and getting to interact with the exhibit itself. We were one of three groups there but we never really saw the other two groups, I only heard them in the other rooms. The website that we bought the tickets from was holding a sale and we got a deal and we were both able to go for $60 (usually tickets are $41 per adult). Also we both got an exclusive pin from the exhibit for free when we checked in! I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this experience! It was a blast and my little Avengers heart was so full.

Overall, we got a lot done! Every group’s itinerary will be different, but we couldn’t have asked for a better schedule! If you plan on going to Vegas any time soon or even in the future, definitely check out my other blog to help you save some money and give you some motivation to try some new things! They are always adding new experiences and I can’t wait to rack up some more point and head back there ASAP!

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Making the Most of myVEGAS Reward Points

If you want to make the most of your trip to Las Vegas like Cody and I did this last week, then have I got the scoop for you! I am going to inform you about all the apps that you will use to gain free rewards for your time in Las Vegas, including how to get FREE rooms from MGM Resort hotels on the Strip! There are other vacation spots (and as of last week there is a BIG update coming in terms of new rewards – read to the end for that update!) in these apps as well, but the focus is definitely on Vegas specifically. And if you want to read about everything we did during our trip (including all the things we scored from these rewards), read my blog “The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary for Las Vegas“!

What apps to use

There are five apps involved with the myVEGAS family that, once connected, you will be able to collect all loyalty points gained from all apps into one big bank! The five apps are:

Although having a Facebook account isn’t required, it will help you immensely! Especially since Konami Slots, myVEGAS Blackjack, and myVEGAS on Facebook will all require that you have a Facebook to be able to connect your loyalty points into one pool and purchase rewards. However, if you don’t have a Facebook, you can still play and gain loyalty points to redeem for free rewards by hooking up your email or Apple ID to myVEGAS Slots and POP! Slots. For example, Cody doesn’t have a Facebook but he was still able to gain a decent amount of points and help to purchase different rewards for our trip!

Do I have to pay to use it?

All of these apps are FREE! There are in-app purchases, but they are 100% NOT required to make bank on these apps. Every day you will get a Daily Bonus for each app, and every two hours you can collect a Time Bonus that will give you extra coins to keep on playing! Like I said, having a Facebook gives you an advantage because once you connect your Facebook to these apps, then you will start receiving daily emails that have will have even MORE free coins to collect for each app (except POP! Slots). Even on Facebook you can make quite a bit! If you go to the myVEGAS Facebook page, they post regularly with updates, but every update also has a link to collect MORE free coins – either through the Facebook game or through myVEGAS Slots (sometimes both!!). And those links don’t expire for six days, so if you started playing right now, or if you don’t check Facebook for a few days, you can go back as far as 6 days ago and collect ALL of those free coins. So there’s really no need to pay to buy more coins to play the slots on the app because there are so many opportunities for free coins.

How to “buy” rewards

The Loyalty Points will be what you use to buy the rewards (see the next section on how to earn them). Although most of the rewards are the same across all the apps, there are some rewards that I found that were on specific apps. That being said, just be sure to check all the apps’ available rewards. Loyalty Points also cap out per day per app, assuming that you don’t use all your coins before you hit the cap. This is set up so that you aren’t just letting the games run all day and night without stopping. This cap increases with your level though! I don’t have any definite amount that it caps out on based on your level – however I do know that with my current level on Facebook being 82, that my Loyalty Points stop going up after I have gained 1,100 points on that app. The way to tell if you have capped out is that next to your Loyalty Point tank will be a green check mark once you have reached your daily Loyalty earning limit on that app. The only app that doesn’t show the green check mark though is the Facebook app. Unfortunately for that one, you will have to watch to see if your tank is filling up and if doesn’t fill up a little more with one of the spins, then you know you have reached your daily limit. But just because I cap out on one app, doesn’t mean that I can’t gain any more in a day! I can easily go to another app and keep on gaining! With each app having their own cap and level, you will find that you can gain and gain and gain all day!

How to gain Loyalty Points

You gain Loyalty Points by filling up your Loyalty Points “tank”. It starts filling up with each spin. The higher you make your bets per spin, the faster it fills up! Once it fills up, it will give you a certain amount of Loyalty Points. That amount will depend on your game level. For example, every time Cody fills up his Loyalty Points tank on myVEGAS Slots specifically, it awards him 200 Loyalty Points, but me being a higher level than him on that app, every time I fill up my tank, it awards me 400 Points! And for reference, I am level 315 on myVEGAS Slots. But again, each app has a different tank and each tank will award a different amount depending on the level you are on that certain app. Also the higher level you are, the more it will take to fill up your tank. Per day across all apps, I can gain around 10,000 Loyalty Points before I either run out of coins or I just want to use my phone for other things because I’m sick of playing. However that amount is smaller if for some reason I have more going on in my day and can’t have the games running on Auto. But again just remember to be aware of that green check mark next to your Loyalty Points! That check mark will appear once you have reached your daily limit for receiving Loyalty Points for that day! Once you see that, stop spinning and wasting your coins, and move on to the next app.

How long does it take to gain enough points for my trip?

One of the questions I got via Instagram was how long it took me to gain as many points as I needed to buy everything for my four day trip to Vegas. The simple answer is I have no idea. I have been playing myVEGAS Slots for about a year, but I didn’t download or play the other four apps until maybe a month or so ago and that’s when I was REALLY set on gaining Loyalty Points because at that point the trip to Vegas was planned and bought. But please don’t think that you need to be playing for a year to gain enough to have a good time in Vegas. Honestly I really only played religiously for a month or two to gain what I needed to buy everything for Vegas. What’s great about gaining the points is that you can literally put the game on Auto Spin and walk away from it. Very few of the games require you to be a more active participant, but sometimes the slots will stop spinning if you gain a level and they require you to Collect a Level Up Bonus.

PRO TIP: If you plan a Vegas trip far enough in advance, say two months out, STOP PLAYING THE APPS. Why? After our first trip to Vegas, Cody and I stopped playing the apps because we didn’t need to gain the rewards anymore. Once we booked our second trip three months after the first one, we reopened the apps. What we found was that each time we opened one of the apps, it automatically gave us about 20,000 Loyalty Points per app that we opened!! WHAT! Exactly – these apps are designed to get you to go to Vegas and spend your money, and what better way than to entice you to come on over. So play the apps, get some steam going, AND THEN STOP. Give it a month or so and reopen the apps. You will be pleasantly surprised with how much you can earn for doing nothing. Disclaimer though: I don’t know if you need to redeem a reward first to trigger this.

Purchasing and cancelling rewards

It’s always fun to look at the Rewards page prior to buying just to get a feel for how much you need to gain to purchase that reward with your Loyalty Points. Most every single hotel, including the Bellagio, offer FREE rooms! That’s right COMPLIMENTARY rooms are available for the BEST MGM Resort hotels on the Strip!! You do however have to pay for the room fees/taxes though. But still, it’s a good deal! Before purchasing a reward though, it’s a great idea to make sure that the reward you are purchasing won’t expire before you can use it or that the place that hosts the reward isn’t closed due to COVID related reasons. If for some reason you do purchase a reward that ends up being unavailable to actually use, don’t worry! You can Cancel the reward and get your points back! Easy peezy! Cody and I weren’t able to use all of the rewards we bought while we were there just because our schedule was so jam packed (or because we didn’t check if things were available when we got there and realized afterwards that it was closed) so we were easily able to get those points back and now we have another little bank going for our next trip!

Best course of action for buying/using rewards

We also kind of did a “divide and conquer” situation to buy rewards. Since I had more time to play since I was furloughed and Cody was at work, I used my Loyalty Points to buy the bigger rewards such as our comped room at the MGM Grand or two free glasses of champagne at Prime at the Bellagio, and Cody used his Loyalty Points for 2-for-1 deals since those tended to be a lot cheaper. But then there were rewards that we both bought to make sure we could do them together, like the Mandalay Shark Reef reward and the free shot at Centra reward.

Rewards aren’t just for Vegas!

Overall there’s no right or wrong way to get the rewards! You will find your own little system for your own trip that will help you and the person or people you go with to have the best time and maximize how much you are able to save! Especially since as of this week, they have announced that they will now be offering rewards that you can use at home!! This is an absolute game changer because now you can play these games without this idea that you HAVE to go to Vegas to get rewards. You can now play and redeem for things like an iPad! How amazing is that!!!

What are you waiting for? Get to playing!

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How to Get Your Dose of Disney in the Midst of Park Closures

Alright Disnerds – the news of all these parks being closed is pretty sad, but I respect the decision being made to close the parks! Although COVID-19 is not something to panic about, I know they made the decision to close the parks because they know people like us who love Disney more than lots of things in life will still continue to go there, even if we aren’t feeling 100%.

So yes it sucks, but it was a good call!

But how do we cope with all the Disney withdrawals that we are sure to get in these next couple of weeks?

1. shopDisney

Well first off, you can go to the tried and true retail therapy that is online shopping at! Find something you love and I am sure that will lift your spirits seeing that magic mail arrive on your doorstep!

2. Disney themed sleepover

This one is a little more middle school but come on, grown up sleepovers are kind of the best! Not only can you stay up to whatever time you want, be as loud as you want, eat whatever you choose, but you can also get those good times flowing in the form of your favorite adult beverage. You can break out the DVDs or if that’s too old school for you then you can binge watch literally everything on Disney+! Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana? You will be entertained forever! Just make sure your invite list doesn’t ask people to come over who aren’t feeling well and make sure you have hand sanitizer for your guests upon entry.

If you would rather make it a party of one or just have a movie night with your significant other, I would say that still counts as getting a good Disney fix!

3. Adding Disney flare to your wardrobe

If you have the ability to add some Disney accessories to your wardrobe for work, then do it! A watch, a necklace, a belt – things like that are simple and subtle. I wear a uniform for my job so I will be banking on these small pieces to add to my uniform that people won’t be able to see. Like my socks!

One of my favorite Instagrammers, @britishbelle, actually does a Disney Bound every Friday at work! She has her coworkers try to guess who she bounds as and more often than not, I have been able to guess through her posts who she is. So if you have the ability to do something like this, it could be really fun for you too!

4. Follow Disney fan pages on Instagram

Trust me when I say that you are not alone in feeling the withdrawals, but this does not mean content creators, small shops, and photographers don’t have a lot of pictures to rely on! There will never be a shortage of pictures and videos of your happy place. You can even watch the new Disneyland parade, “Magic Happens”, in its entirety on YouTube!

Here are some of my favorite Disney Instagramers: @dizmagic (photographer and CM), @ashhtaylor (influencer), @holaitsraquel (influencer and CM), @brit_at_wdw (photographer), @kingdomnommies (influencer and merch guru), and @wordofmouseco (mouse ear small shop)

5. Karaoke car jam sesh

Alright, this one is pretty straight forward. Get in your car, turn the volume up, and HANDLE IT! You have tons of Disney soundtracks at your fingertips with Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and Google. Your passengers can either sing along or get out.

Obviously these are not all the things you could do with your downtime to make Disney come to you instead of you going to Disney, but at least it’s a start! So wear those Mickey sweatshirts proudly, talk to strangers about how cool Rise of the Resistance is, and don’t let those mouse ears get too dusty. It’s a temporary closure after all!

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One of the most iconic pictures to take on the new Rise of Resistance Star Wars themed experience at Disneyland and Walt Disney World - a room full of First Order Stormtroopers!

TIPS: Rise of the Resistance

I’m just going to get this out in the open now – Rise of the Resistance deserves ALL of the hype it’s getting! I rode it for the first time yesterday and I just wish they took pictures at the end of it because I know that I was wide-eyed, open mouthed, and shocked to my core from everything.

A screenshot from the Disneyland app of the main page for you to get a Rise of the Resistance boarding group.

To get on this ride, you will need to get into a boarding group. To obtain a boarding group is essentially a lottery system of getting on a reservation list. The boarding groups go fast and you will need to prepare yourself for the fact that you may not get one. To get your boarding group, you will need to download the Disneyland/Walt Disney World app so that you can make your reservation via the app. There will be a way to get a paper version of a reservation, but that will only be available if the spots have not already been filled electronically. To find a paper location, ask a cast member! But at Disneyland, you can find it near the the fast passes for Astro Blasters.

You will also need to ensure that you are IN the park before 8am. The reservations will go live at that time and if you do not have your whole party’s tickets scanned, then you will not be able to get a pass. Now that we have those basics out of the way, let’s get started with the tips.

  1. Download the app.
  2. Link your pass and everyone else’s pass onto your app.
  3. If you have multiple people’s passes connected who are NOT there, delete them. This will save you time in the reservation process.
  4. Use multiple phones. If you have a group with you, this will ensure that you can recover from someone’s phone dying, lagging, or crashing.
  5. Close all apps on your phone INCLUDING the Disney app.
  6. Shut off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I cannot emphasize this enough – DO NOT TRY TO USE DISNEY WI-FI! Mobile data ONLY!
  7. Stand in an area that has good reception (I would try City Hall)
  8. Open the app at EXACTLY 8am. Do not try to open it early to account for load-up time, this will only result in the app not loading and showing an error code when you try to join a boarding group.
  9. Once the app is open, click “Find Out More”, this will lead to a secondary page that will say “Join a Boarding Group” – click that!
  10. Make it ALL THE WAY THROUGH the prompts. It will first ask you which passes you want to make a boarding group for, and if you ONLY have the people who are in your group on your app, then you will not be unchecking any boxes from the list of passes that pop up. From there it was ask you to confirm the reservation. The main point I’m making here is not to just click “Join a Boarding Group” and think that you got it! You WILL need to get to the end screen that shows your boarding group number.
  11. Lastly, STAY CALM! This is obviously a very anxious time and getting worked up will only cause you to panic.

Other things to note:
  • You will need to have an early morning. We were at the parking structure by 6:15am (they open at 6:30), in line out front of the park by 7, and on Main Street by 7:25am. When they opened the park around 7:20, there was a HUGE line behind us to get in so make sure you are getting there as soon as you can.
  • Do not open the app even a second before 8am. You have to open it at exactly 8am otherwise the app will not time stamp your phone at 8am so it will not register that you can grab a boarding group.
  • Boarding groups start getting called at 9am.
  • Not all boarding groups are guaranteed entry, and each day will have a different guaranteed group. It will say on the bottom of the “Find Out More” page which boarding group they are guaranteeing for that day.
  • You will not get a push notification when your boarding group gets cleared for entry. You have to be the one that checks your status.
  • You have two hours to get to the ride from the time your group is called. After that, you will not be allowed on.
  • From the time you get into the line, to the time that you get off of the ride (with no delays/ride closures) takes about 50 minutes. I am sure this will change as well since the day we went was a rather tame day in terms of park attendance and we did not see the full extent of the queue.
  • The ride will stop calling boarding groups 3 hours before the park closes to ensure that everyone who is already in line can get on the ride.
  • Even if you use multiple phones, you will still only get one boarding group! Why? Because you only have one pass per person and the app will update with who got the reservation first and will not allow you to obtain any others after that.

I want you to follow these tips to a T! I had some trouble trying to get a group because I tried to be smarter than these tips. Our biggest mistake was trying to account for load-up time. It was me, my mom, and my boyfriend all trying to make the reservation. We all had each other’s passes connected to our apps. We had my mom assigned to open the app 10 seconds before 8am, I was assigned to open the app 5 seconds before 8am, and my boyfriend was going to open the app at exactly 8. My mom and I both could not click “Join a Boarding Group” because it was greyed out. Why? Because even though the load-up time of the app put as at around 8am, the app is smarter than that. The moment we clicked the app is when our phone’s got time stamped. That time stamp determines the app’s time itself thereby making it absolutely impossible for us to get a boarding group because the app had not registered an 8am time stamp.

Only a couple of seconds had gone by but everyone around us was cheering and yelling out which group they got and that made us all so discouraged. Especially me since I was the one that brought them to the park that day – I felt like I had failed them in my expertise of Disney and that I ruined our chances of getting on the ride. But my boyfriend came in clutch! Unfortunately/Fortunately he had accidentally opened his NFL app at 8am exactly (because it was right next to the Disney app) but because he got into the app a little bit afterwards, his time stamp was the one that got us on the ride that day. By 8:01 we had a boarding group of 54!

That day they were guaranteeing a boarding group of 42 which yes seems low. We figured this was because the day we went, Disneyland was hosting 80’s Nite and the park would be closing to non-party guests at 8pm. Fortunately our boarding group was cleared for entry at 1:16pm! We kept checking the app after we had ridden it just to see how far the groups would go that day! Lucky for us and a lot of other guests that day, the ride did not shut down once and they ended the day accepting groups up to group 112!! It just goes to show that even if you don’t get a super early group, it is still VERY possible for you to get on the ride!!

I hope this helps you get on the ride as stress-free as possible! And.. may the force be with you!

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