Over the last few years, whenever a new attraction has debuted in a Disney theme park, a Virtual Queue has been implemented instead of the typical standby line where guests simply walk up and wait to ride. The Virtual Queue allows guests to enjoy other attractions and experiences, or even a meal, while they virtually wait in line to board the newest ride.
There are some very important things you should know about the Virtual Queue, so let’s get started.
Firstly, there is no charge to utilize the Virtual Queue; it is free to all guests with valid park admission and a theme park reservation. All guests must have both in order to join a Virtual Queue.
Guests will need to use the My Disney Experience (MDE) app to join a “boarding group” for any attractions that utilize Virtual Queue.
There are typically two opportunities to join a Virtual Queue each day:
- 7:00 am (Guests do not need to be in the park when they join but must have a theme park reservation)
- 1:00 pm (Guests must be in the park to join the Virtual Queue)
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of actually securing a boarding group in the Virtual Queue. You MUST ensure that you are logged into MDE before the clock strikes 7:00 am. It is imperative to either close out of the MDE app completely and log back in. You can also refresh the website if you’re in a browser before the clock strikes 7:00 am. You have to be fast about getting started, or you will miss out; these Virtual Queues have been known to fill up within seconds – no joke. If this sounds like a stressful thing to be doing before seven o’clock in the morning when you’re supposed to be on vacation, it is. There’s simply no way to sugarcoat it. If there was a way, trust me, I’m the one who’d figure it out.
Here are a couple of things to check off either the night before or at least an hour before the Virtual Queue opens on any given morning:
- Ensure your MDE app is up-to-date with the newest updates from the app store.
- Verify that your Friends and Family list in MDE is current and lists everyone you want to include in your boarding group.
- Only guests with valid admission and a theme park reservation can join the Virtual Queue.
A few minutes before 7:00 am, go to the Virtual Queue section on the home screen of the MDE app and tap “Join” at the appropriate times. The “Join Virtual Queue” button will turn blue the moment it becomes clickable.
For Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you can try to join the Virtual Queue at 7:00 am (from anywhere) and 1:00 pm (from EPCOT). For TRON Lightcycle / Run, you can try to join the Virtual Queue at 7:00 am (from anywhere) and 1:00 pm (from Magic Kingdom).
On nights with Extended Evening Hours, guests staying at eligible Deluxe Disney Resort hotels can try to join a Virtual Queue at 6:00 pm from anywhere. You must have valid theme park admission and either a valid park reservation or have park hopping capabilities, plus have already hopped to your first park. It’s a lot to remember, I know!
If anyone in your party is utilizing a Disability Access Service (DAS), all members of the party must join a boarding group first. After your party has successfully joined a boarding group, you’ll need to speak to a cast member at the attraction so they can guide you through the rest of the process.
We recommend that you choose one person from your party to access the Virtual Queue, preferably the one with the fastest fingers. Ahem. Sorry to anyone who is a control freak about these things, but if you’ve got someone who knows how to navigate the MDE app quickly, you’re going to want to let them take over.
Once you’ve successfully secured a boarding group in the Virtual Queue, you will see a screen similar to the above photo showing. The screen will show your boarding group number, estimated wait time, and the attraction you’re waiting to ride.
It’s important to note that boarding groups for a virtual queue are limited, subject to availability, and are not guaranteed. Not all boarding groups may be called to return, based on the availability of the experience. Late arrivals may not be accommodated.
At the time of this post, two attractions at Walt Disney World use Virtual Queue; TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.
Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº