Park of the Week: SeaWorld San Diego

Disney World to Use Virtual Queue on New Marvel Coaster

May 17, 2022, 1:53 PM · Walt Disney World visitors who want to ride Epcot's new Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind roller coaster after it opens officially on May 27 will need to use a virtual queue or pay for Individual Lightning Lane access, Disney confirmed today.

Fans had expected that Disney would use a virtual queue for the new indoor coaster, as Disney has been using that method to avoid massive physical queues for its new attractions since opening its Star Wars Galaxy's Edge lands in 2019. The virtual queue will open through the official Walt Disney World My Disney Experience app at 7am each day, with a second-chance entry available at 1pm.

Guests staying at select Deluxe resorts on property will have a third chance to enter the virtual queue at 6pm on dates when Epcot offers extended evening hours for those guests.

All guests wishing to enter the virtual queue will need a valid admission and theme park reservation for Epcot to join the boarding queue at 7am or 1pm. Guests wishing to join at 1pm also must be inside the park. For the 6pm entry, hotel guests with a Park Hopper can join if their park reservation was for a different theme park that day. Guests may enter the virtual queue only once during regular operating hours each day.

For the Individual Lightning Lane, that will go on sale each morning at 7am, as well. Note that Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will move from Individual Lightning Lane sales to the Disney Genie+ line-up on May 31.

For more about Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, check out our coverage from its recent media preview:

Replies (11)

May 17, 2022 at 9:01 PM

"Or pay for Individual Lightning Lane access," aka Bob Chapek's favorite words in the English language. I wonder if Bobby personally sets the limit on the number of virtual queue passes available each day? "Let's see, if we only let 3000 people get in the virtual queue, that leaves FIFTY THOUSAND INDIVIDUALLY PURCHASABLE LIGHTNING LAND PASSESS, BUAH-HA-HAAA!!"

A pox on his fat pink head.

May 17, 2022 at 4:38 PM

Hmm... I wonder how many folks will try for both and can it work simultaneously? For example, having two people logged in at the same time on the same account and one trying virtual queue while the other tries lightning lane.

Knowing Disney fans and park goers the Lightning Lane passes will sell out almost immediately. I kind of like the virtual queue. I've been on both the winning and losing side of it and at least it gives you a better, not perfect, idea of whether or not you will experience the attraction.

May 17, 2022 at 5:12 PM

And this is why I'm undecided whether Disney gets any of my money on my Florida trip this August. Even though Cosmic Rewind is probably something I'm more excited about than Iron Gwazi, I'm not willing to spend $130 on a ticket without being fairly confident I'll get to ride. If the virtual queue ends up having a lot more availability than it did for past versions or it is deemed unnecessary and dropped, cool. If not, I guess I'll just spend more time at Universal for coasters I can ride as many times as I wish.

May 17, 2022 at 5:37 PM

Exactly @AJ any word on anticipated rph?
I just provided a break down to some family friends who were seeking some advice about the virtual queue. They've decided it's way too much money to practically participate in a raffle to see if you've won the grand prize of a ride. That being said, they opted for a Universal vacation. Disney decideding on the virtual queue for GCR isn't news for me, but it's disheartening to see such individuals who aren't into theme parks, such as all of us here, who are completely dumbfounded when they find out about joining a VQ. My deepest condolences to those who aren't as tech savvy. I've had a few senior citizens ask me to help then join a VQ just mins after the release time. I didn't have the stomach to tell them it would be pointless, so I tried anyway, of course with no success.

May 17, 2022 at 5:58 PM

I am excited about my upcoming turn on GOTGCR on May 24th. Especially considering how the new attraction is getting wall-to-wall great reviews.

May 18, 2022 at 2:04 AM

Sxcymike, as far as I'm aware, there's nothing official (or even unofficial) that has been said regarding the capacity of Cosmic Rewind. However, most Disney E-ticket coasters have theoretical capacities in the 1,700-2,000 range (with actuals a couple hundred lower), so I'm assuming it will likely be similar based on reports of the ride's operation. By comparison, Rise of the Resistance has a theoretical of about 1,400, and from what I've heard the actual is usually around 1,000 (assuming it cooperates). If Cosmic Rewind was temperamental and/or had capacity low enough it would likely be drawing 4-6 hour waits, I'd be a lot more accepting of the virtual queue. However, I think this one would be unlikely to ever get much above 2 hours and will probably have much lower downtime than the trackless rides, so it seems like the virtual queue is just being used to artificially inflate demand to sell more lightning lanes.

I'll also say that I think your family friends made the smart choice. I only have a success rate of getting a spot through the virtual queue of about 50-60%, and that's with knowledge of how the system works and how quick you have to be. For someone with a pass who can easily return, those are acceptable odds. For everyone else, if the virtual queue attraction is your primary reason for going, it's just not worth the risk with the prices Disney is asking these days.

May 18, 2022 at 6:55 AM

Meanwhile, you can be at BG or Uni with a guaranteed ride on Velocicoaster or Iron Gwazi ...

May 18, 2022 at 8:42 AM

@Manny - The system to secure "Boarding Groups" and "Individual Lightning Lanes" is pretty secure, so securing multiple reservations with the same account (or even different accounts with shared individuals in their parties) is virtually impossible. Also, trying to use this hack will delay the reservation process, and potentially cause you to miss out entirely because of the additional steps/time taken because you're trying to game the system.

I think this announcement from Disney was only a formality, as the use of Boarding Groups was a near certainty for this highly anticipated attraction, and will likely be the modus oparandi for all new WDW e-ticket attractions moving forward. I think the only question will be how long the Boarding Groups remain in place. While Cosmic Rewind has been reporting some technical issues here and there, I think it will generally be a solid performer approaching its theoretical hourly capacity more often than not. That means Disney should be able to start utilizing a regular standby line relatively soon (perhaps shortly after July 4th). However, unlike some other recent additions (namely ROTR and Ratatouille) Cosmic Rewind has the additional appeal of the variable soundtrack that encourages re-riding. Since guests won't be able to ride more than once per day using the Boarding Groups and ILL, those who can will be visiting multiple days to get additional rides on the coaster, which may gum up the system for guests who might not be as familiar or proficient with Disney's reservation system. Even with that though, I still strongly believe that the capacity of this attraction will quickly eliminate the need for the VQ, and Disney will be utilizing a standby line no later than early fall.

As far as the system itself, I think it's pretty fair. Maybe we were lucky back in January 2020, but we were able to secure spots for ROTR all three days we tried, and that was when Disney was not doing a second drop at 1 PM. Our personal experience is that if you know how the system works and are relatively quick on the trigger (and logged into your account with your party already set up before the drop), getting a Boarding Group should not be that difficult. There are plenty of guides out there on the internet to provide tips and tricks to make sure you have the best chance possible of securing a spot. Personally, I think the VQ is superior to a standby queue whenever the line is expected to exceed 2 hours, and creating situations like existed when FoP opened is simply unacceptable for a major theme park with the resources of Disney. I think it's more than reasonable for new attraction to open with VQs, but as soon as some of the early buzz wears off, a regular standby line should be utilized within a few months of opening.

May 18, 2022 at 10:22 AM

I think everyone would be just fine with the virtual queue if we didn't know that Disney is gaming it to increase ILL (suitable acronym) fees. Show me a four hour line and tell me I can pay to jump it, okay; show me a readout of how you drastically limited the VQ to effectively force me to pay extra to ride the new ride, up yours.

May 18, 2022 at 1:08 PM

I have an Epcot res for the 27th, so I’ll try the VQ at 7am. It’ll most probably follow the same pattern as Rise and Remy, where 7am can be 50/50, but 1pm is 90%+ success rate. I have my pass holder preview this week, so it’ll be interesting to see if the motion sickness issues are a real concern. Certainly looking forward to giving it a try.

May 18, 2022 at 1:13 PM

I really do not like VQs. It creates artificial demand as there would be a segment of those who get VQ reservations that would not ride if the wait was more than an hour or two (particularly those with APs). However, I know that this is likely the norm as Disney works out the kinks in the ride.

The Disney Dish podcast pair (Len Testa and Jim Hill) has theorized that VQs will last only about 4 to 6 weeks. They are basing this on the observed down time per day the ride is having during media, cast member, and AP previews. They stated it is down for about an hour a day, and that is lower than RotR and Remy is now. I hope they are right.

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