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Your Guide to Navigating Virtual Queues at Walt Disney World

by Leap on May 17, 2022 13 Orlando

Guide to Virtual Queues at Disney WorldWhen Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance first opened at Walt Disney World in 2019, it was the first time guests had to utilize a virtual queue to ride a highly anticipated attraction. We frogs had to go through some trial-and-error to learn the system and get some quick amphibian fingers to snag a Boarding Group. And now, the virtual queue for that ride is being paused — meaning Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is now available via a standby line!

While the virtual queue for Rise is paused, there's a chance that it can come back during busy times or for new ride openings. For instance, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure opened Oct. 1, 2021 with a virtual queue for the first few months before switching to a standby queue. As of May 27, 2022, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open at EPCOT and is currently operating with a virtual queue (no standby).

Virtual queues at Disney World do free up time to enjoy the rest of the park (no standing in a six-hour line!). The difficulty is that virtual queues have historically been known to fill up in seconds, so not all frogs will be able to experience these in-demand rides. We've gathered some tips and tricks on how to join a virtual queue to get you prepared and ready to give it a shot — crossing our froggy fingers for you!

All About Virtual Queues at Disney World

Virtual queues at Disney World act as a replacement for a regular standby line. Instead of waiting in a physical queue, you join a virtual queue on your phone via the My Disney Experience app (this is the same place where you link tickets and hotel reservations). Virtual queues allow you to spend the rest of the day enjoying rides and shows, rather than waiting in a line for half the day.

Most notably, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT offered virtual queues. And as of May 27, 2022, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT has debuted with a virtual queue. The best way to find out which attractions are operating with a virtual queue is using the My Disney Experience app. Any attractions utilizing the virtual queue system will have a module on the homepage with details (and of course, your froggy friends will be keeping this post up to date as we know more!).

Pay to Ride with Genie+

Disney Genie, a new, free planning tool, has officially debuted at Disney World to help you make the most of your time in the parks. For an additional cost, Genie+ allows guests to use the Lightning Lane (the old FastPass+ line) for most attractions. For certain popular attractions, you will pay per attraction — and this even includes rides with virtual queues, such as Remy's, Rise of the Resistance and Guardians. This means you will be able to pay to ride and not worry about getting your own Boarding Group. Don't worry — the virtual queue will still remain a free option as it always has! Guests can purchase these a la carte rides once per day, with a maximum of two different rides per day; you'd then use the Lightning Lane to skip the line, similar to its predecessor, FastPass. You can hop over to our Disney Genie post for our tips and tricks on navigating this new service.

How to Navigate Disney World Virtual Queues

Guide to Virtual Queues at Disney World - Accessing the Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

When Boarding Groups are in use, you’ll need the My Disney Experience app as part of the virtual queue. We recommend downloading the app from your smartphone's app store the night before so you can have it ready to go first thing in the morning. If you already have the app, update it to the latest version. You don’t want to lose any precious time before the virtual queue opens at 7 a.m.!

It’s also very important to add your entire party to your Family and Friends list within the app so that everyone can join the Boarding Group at the same time. Each member of your party must have a My Disney Experience account and be linked in your Family and Friends list, or be a guest (such as small children) that you already manage on your account. Only guests with valid admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation for the correct theme park are able to access the virtual queue system at 7 a.m. on the day of their reservation.

Head to the Virtual Queue section on the Home Screen and tap "Join" at the designated times. For Guardians, you could try to join the virtual queue at 7 a.m. (from anywhere) and 1 p.m. (from EPCOT).

  • A valid ticket and a Disney Park Pass reservation are required to join a virtual queue. That means you need an EPCOT reservation for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to join the virtual queue.
  • You can only join each ride's virtual queue once per day.
  • You cannot hold a Boarding Group for multiple attractions at the same time.
  • For the 7 a.m. drop, you can be anywhere and do not need to be in the park (as long as you have an EPCOT reservation for that day). For the 1 p.m. drop, you must have entered EPCOT to give it a whirl. (Sorry, park hoppers!)
  • On the nights with Extended Evening Hours, guests staying at eligible hotels may attempt to join the virtual queue at 6 p.m. from anywhere.
  • Boarding Groups do not guarantee you will be able to ride (the attraction gets through a different number of boarding groups each day due to ride closures, technical difficulties, etc.)
  • If utilizing the Disability Access Service (DAS), all members of the party must join a Boarding Group first. Then speak to a cast member at the attraction for the rest of the process.

Disney recommends selecting one member of your party to access the virtual queue. If multiple people try simultaneously, that may complicate your ability to secure a Boarding Group. We personally have tried using different My Disney Experience accounts on different phones at the same time to increase the chances. There aren't any penalties that we've experienced, and usually, after the first person secures the Boarding Group, the second person will stop trying. But we wouldn't recommend using the same account on different phones so you don't risk any issues.

Guide to Virtual Queues at Disney World - Boarding Group for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

After Getting a Boarding Group

Your planning and speediness paid off  — you got a Boarding Group! Note the assigned Boarding Group number — Boarding Groups are notified in chronological order when it’s time to return to the attraction and enter the queue. The app provides an estimated wait time but it is not an exact number and should only be used roughly when planning out the rest of your day. Keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app to check the status of the Boarding Group progress. Once it’s your turn, you'll have one hour to return to the attraction’s entrance and check-in with the cast members to enter the queue.

You went through the process and got a backup Boarding Group — what does that mean? Backup Boarding Groups are only called if all of the initial groups have been called back and there is capacity for more riders. Don't get discouraged because backup Boarding Groups are regularly called! However, they also come with a higher possibility that your number might not be called (for instance, if the ride closes during the day for a significant amount of time).

Not Receiving a Boarding Group

If you don't get a Boarding Group at 7 a.m., you can try again later! Fewer people will be trying at the 1 p.m. distribution time so there are better odds. But even when following all of the steps correctly, there is always the possibility that you won't get a Boarding Group at either time, so setting realistic expectations is important. Now that Genie+ has debuted, you'll have an additional option to access the ride if you aren't able to snag a spot in the virtual queue and it's a must-do for your frog squad.

How to Join a Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Virtual Queues at Disney World - Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium

As outlined above, you'll get a chance to enter the virtual queue at 7 a.m. (from anywhere) and 1 p.m. (must be inside EPCOT).

  • On the My Disney Experience app home screen, scroll down to the Virtual Queue section.
  • Starting one hour before the virtual queue opens, you can confirm your party. This is an improvement from the old process, which required you to confirm your party after the virtual queue opened and thus slowed down the rest of the process.
  • The screen has a "Refresh" button at the bottom. Once 7 a.m. rolls around, pull the screen to refresh or tap the "Refresh" button to launch the joining process. (Psst ... we actually like to get set up and start refreshing the screen a few minutes before the queue officially opens. If you start opening the app and getting the process started on the hour, you may be too late.)
  • Tap Join Virtual Queue as soon as it appears.
  • You'll receive your Boarding Group number if you are successful.

New to this virtual queue process, guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resort, Deluxe Villa Resort or other select hotels have the opportunity to join the virtual queue at 6 p.m. during Extended Evening Hours. Guests do not have to be inside the park in order to join at this time, but they will need valid admission and a theme park reservation for EPCOT on the same day (or park hopping abilities) to experience during Extended Evening Hours.

How to Join a Virtual Queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Virtual Queues at Disney World - Rise

With the popularity of this immersive attraction, we have a separate guide just for getting Boarding Groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance! While the Boarding Group process has been paused, there's a chance it will return at peak times, so it's a good post to bookmark just in case.

How to Join a Virtual Queue for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Virtual Queues at Disney World - Remy's Ratatouille Adventure Ride Entrance

The newest attraction at Disney World — Remy's Ratatouille Adventure — opened Oct. 1 and initially operated with a virtual queue (now standby is available, as of Jan. 10, 2022). If the virtual queue ever returns, it is the same process as for Rise of the Resistance and Guardians.

  • On the My Disney Experience app home screen, scroll down to the Virtual Queue section.
  • Starting one hour before the virtual queue opens, you can confirm your party. This is an improvement from the old process, which required you to confirm your party after the virtual queue opened and thus slowed down the rest of the process.
  • The screen has a "Refresh" button at the bottom. Once 7 a.m. rolls around, pull the screen to refresh or tap the "Refresh" button to launch the joining process. (Psst ... we actually like to get set up and start refreshing the screen a few minutes before the queue officially opens. If you start opening the app and getting the process started on the hour, you may be too late.)
  • Tap Join Virtual Queue as soon as it appears.
  • You'll receive your Boarding Group number if you are successful.

Frogtastic Tips and Tricks for Disney World Virtual Queues

Virtual Queues at Disney World – Girl on Phone

  • Confirm your party, starting an hour before the virtual queue opens.
  • In the morning, set an alarm on your phone for 6:55 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. so you don't froget later in the day! We even suggest multiple alarms to remind you, so you can avoid being on a ride when it's time to join a Boarding Group.
  • Make sure you have a good signal. We recommend turning off Wi-Fi and using data if in the park.
  • If possible, have more than one person in your party try for a boarding group. Likewise, you can designate someone in your party to pull up the world clock on their phone so you know how close you are — those extra seconds can make the difference sometimes!
  • For the 1 p.m. timeframe, all party members must have entered the park to be eligible to join.
  • Move quickly once the Join Virtual Queue button appears!
  • Have your push notifications on and keep an eye on the app, as you only have a one-hour return window and may need to jump to the queue quickly.
  • Bring a portable charger to ensure your phone lasts all day.

Let us know if you have any questions about Disney World virtual queues in the comments below!

Related: Our Magical Overview of Disney Genie and Genie+

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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Jun 17, 2022 at 1:43 p.m. Lorraine Says...

Hi there

I am trying to get my head around the new disney system and have a few questions:

1) For Guardians I can see that this is a pay per ride and virtual queue. How does this work? Do you enter the virtual queue and if you are successful, you then pay for the Lightening Lane?

2) Or does this mean you can pay per ride Lightening Lane OR join the virtual queue.

If 2 is correct, then can you ride twice. Ie. pay to ride and join the virtual queue?

Thanks

Reply
Jun 17, 2022 at 9:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lorraine!

#2 is correct — you can join the free virtual queue or pay for individual Lightning Lane access. It is possible to do both, if available, but each one tends to fill quickly.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 17, 2022 at 12:46 p.m. Amy Says...

It says you have an hour to get to the ride after your boarding group is called, but I’ve heard people say you can pretty much arrive any time after your boarding group is called. Curious is that is true?

Reply
May 11, 2022 at 1:08 p.m. Renee Says...

If you have a park hopper ticket, do you need to have a park reservation to request a boarding pass? And at the beginning, Remy was available through the ILL and the Virtual Queue?

Reply
May 11, 2022 at 10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Renee!

We still don't know the exact distribution times for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind virtual queue. But if it's the same as it has been in the past, then typically, the virtual queue opened up at 7 a.m. (can join anywhere) and 1 p.m. (must have entered EPCOT to join). Because park hoppers cannot hop until 2 p.m., you would need to start your day there and have a park reservation for EPCOT. Yes, Remy's was initially only available through a virtual queue and an individual Lightning Lane selection, but currently uses a standby line (and is still offered as an individual Lightning Lane selection). The same will hoppen with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind — initially, it will only offer a virtual queue (no standby) and individual Lightning Lane access.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 10, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. Jack Says...

When Epcot is open for extra hours after the park closes for guests staying at certain hotels, is there be a separate virtual queue available for that?

Reply
May 10, 2022 at 1:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jack!

Not all attractions are available during Extended Evening Hours, and it has not been confirmed just yet if Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be a participating attraction (currently, it is not on the list, and it took a couple of months before Remy's Ratatouille Adventure was added to the Extended Evening Hours lineup of available attractions). In general though, virtual queues do not operate during Early Theme Park Hours, Extended Evening Hours or special After Hours events.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 6, 2022 at 5:18 p.m. Trevor Says...

My family is staying at a Disney resort is there a different time for resort guests then general public?

Reply
May 10, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trevor!

While we don't know exact details about the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy just yet, we'd expect it would follow the previous set-up, which was a 7 a.m. distribution time available to everyone (from anywhere) and a 1 p.m. distribution time available to everyone (must have entered EPCOT). We'll confirm once we know more, so keep hopping back!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 6, 2022 at 2:29 a.m. McKenna Says...

Can you do the virtual queue and buy a lightning lane so you can ride a ride (like Guardians) twice in one day?

Reply
May 6, 2022 at 8:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi McKenna!

Previously, upon Genie+ launching while the virtual queue system was in place for Remy's, guests could do both to ride twice in a day. So we'd anticipate that it would be possible again, but we won't be able to test it ourselves and confirm that's still the case until the ride launches.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 21, 2021 at 1:06 p.m. John Martos Says...

How often are boarding groups called? I joined at 7 am and I’m in group 20. When should I arrive at the park / ride?

Reply
Dec 21, 2021 at 8:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi John!

Groups are called in batches, so you'll likely be called within the first hour.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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