It’s pretty safe to say that virtual queues at Disney World are here to stay. They have been utilized for most major attractions that have opened in the past few years including Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot. Both have moved towards offering standby lines and Lightning Lane Individual Passes (available for purchase), but Disney’s newest attractions are still utilizing a virtual queue.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in Epcot and the newly opened TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom are both utilizing a virtual queue at this point. And it’s safe to say that future attractions will use one as well due to their popularity… even if these two attractions eventually move towards having a standby line in the future.
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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2023? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster, updated nighttime spectaculars, and more!
What is a Virtual Queue?
Many were hesitant when Disney began offering virtual queues at Disney World, but when an attraction is super popular… it can be a great way to avoid lines stretching to be hours long. After all, who wants to spend their day at Disney waiting in line for one attraction? Virtual queues are accessible using the My Disney Experience app. Guests can request their virtual “spot in line” via the app and return to the attraction when it’s time to ride. When a virtual queue is in place, a standby line will not be available to guests. That means that if you want to experience the attraction, you MUST use the virtual queue.
When you get a Boarding Group, you will be given a spot in line and an estimated wait time. Keep in mind that wait times are estimated. You are not getting a return window to ride like the old FastPass+ system, but rather you are getting a boarding group number. When it’s your turn to ride, you will be notified via the app. You can also check the status of your spot in line on the app.
How Do I Utilize the Virtual Queue?
It’s a fairly straightforward process actually. Here’s how it works:
- Download the My Disney Experience app the night before (or earlier) so it’s ready to go in the morning. (Make sure it’s updated to the latest version if necessary.)
- Starting one hour before the virtual queue opens, you can confirm your party. Make sure your entire party is added to your Family and Friends list within the app. This way everyone can join the Boarding Group at the same time. *Only guests with valid admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation for the correct theme park are able to access the virtual queue system on the day of their visit.
- Be ready a little BEFORE 7:00 AM. This is very important! Disney’s most popular attractions go fast… On busy days… boarding groups can be gone in seconds.
- Make your way to the Virtual Queue section on the Home Screen of the app and tap “Join” at the designated times.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – You may join at 7:00 AM (from anywhere) and 1:00 PM (from Epcot)
- TRON Lightcycle Run – You may join at 7:00 AM (from anywhere) and 1:00 PM (from Magic Kingdom)
It is worth noting once again that a valid ticket and a Disney Park Pass reservation are required to join a virtual queue, and you can only join each ride’s virtual queue once per day. You also cannot hold a Boarding Group for multiple attractions at the same time. On the nights with Extended Evening Hours, guests staying at eligible deluxe hotels may attempt to join the virtual queue for either attraction at 6:00 PM from anywhere. (You must have valid admission and either have the correct park reservation or have park hopping abilities and already hopped to your first park.)
What Happens If I Don’t Get a Boarding Group?
If you are unsuccessful in your attempts to secure a Boarding Group, don’t panic! There are other options! The first is that you can try again at 1:00 PM when the window opens once again. The second is to purchase a Lightning Lane Individual Pass via Disney Genie+.
Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting a Boarding Group?
Yes! Here are some tricks and trips to help you in securing a Boarding Group for your favorite attraction:
- Make sure you are logged into your My Disney Experience app 10-15 minutes prior to when the boarding groups open up.
- Check to make sure everyone in your party is attached to your account.
- To speed up my phone as well as my internet connection, I close out all of my apps. I also turned off my wifi and made sure I was in a good spot with all of my bars. (Rumor has it that cellular connection is faster that using the Disney wifi as there will be so many trying to use the Disney wifi all at once to secure their boarding groups!)
- 1-2 minutes before the groups open up, click the button on the main home screen of your app to “join” the boarding group.
- You will see that it’s not time yet to join, but you should begin pulling down on the screen as often as you phsyically can to refresh so you are able to see the blue “join” button the second it is posted. (I was able to every 3-5 seconds.)
- When you seen the blue join button pop up, immediately click on it! There will be one more button on the next screen as well to confirm your party. Hit that button immediately! (This is why it is so important to check your account to make sure everyone in your party is linked up. You don’t want to waste time on that second screen confirming your party!)
- Hopefully at this point, you will see your Boarding Group number as well as an estimated amount of time before your group is called! Enjoy the ride!
**I hope you enjoyed this guide to virtual queues at Disney World! Looking to plan your first Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!