Edited by: Stella Shon
& Keri Stooksbury
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland recently, you know how crazy the crowds can get. Even if you are just doing research for a future trip, the amount of new information out there can likely be overwhelming.
One of the latest additions to planning a trip to Disney is trying to score a Virtual Queue. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone.
Disney has been using Virtual Queues and Boarding Groups to help improve the “waiting in line” experience for its most popular rides. Instead of guests having to wait in line for hours to try to experience the latest attraction, they can instead attempt to secure a spot in a virtual line, so they can spend time enjoying the park, avoid a lengthy wait, and return when it’s their turn.
In theory, this concept seems like a great idea. However, in practice, it means waking up early and facing the reality that you might be out of luck if you aren’t the fastest app user. But don’t worry, we will show you exactly what you need to do to secure your party a hard-to-get spot in a Virtual Queue, and what to do if you aren’t successful on your first attempt.
Lately, many rides have demands that exceed daily ride capacity throughout the Disney parks. In an attempt to give all guests a fair chance at riding, and avoid families wasting hours in lines, Disney introduced Virtual Queues.
The first Virtual Queue was rolled out in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which was (and still is) an extremely popular ride.
Since then, the program has been used when needed at other new rides, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.
You will have 2 opportunities to snag a Virtual Queue — the first is at 7 a.m. on the day of your park visit and the second is at 1 p.m. that same day. For the 7 a.m. attempt, you can be in the comfort of your hotel room, however, in order to be eligible for the 1 p.m. drop, you (and your party) must be inside the park.
To give yourself and your party the best shot at scoring a Virtual Queue Boarding Group, be sure to do the following:
This may seem a bit extreme, but if you have spent hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a Disney vacation, you will want to give yourself every advantage possible when it comes to getting a seat on the best rides.
Ok, you are minutes from the queue opening up … here are the steps to take to (with a little luck) secure a Virtual Queue Boarding Group:
Hopefully, you have now secured a Boarding Group!
Hot Tip: Instead of tapping the Refresh button, you also have the option to pull down to refresh. We prefer tapping because the Refresh button is in the same location as the Join Virtual Queue button on the following page. That means you can just keep tapping as quickly as possible until you get through.
Congratulations! Hopefully, your hard work has paid off and you have secured a Boarding Group for yourself and your party. If you weren’t so lucky, fear not — you still have options.
At 1 p.m. you can repeat the process above from inside the park. You (and your entire party) will not be able to join the Virtual Queue from anywhere else. And again, be sure to turn off the Wi-Fi, especially in the park.
Once you have your Boarding Group, keep an eye on your app and watch the Estimated Return time as it can change.
One thing to keep in mind, as awesome as it is to receive a Boarding Group, that doesn’t mean that a ride is guaranteed. If you have a high-numbered Boarding Group and the attraction experiences closures throughout the day or technical difficulties, it is entirely possible that your number will not be called.
Fortunately, Disney is working out most of the kinks, so that shouldn’t be a common issue in the future.
If you were unsuccessful in both of your attempts at securing a free Virtual Queue Boarding Group, there is 1 more option … a paid Individual Lightning Lane.
As part of the Disney Genie+ service, guests can pay to skip the line at select rides. These rides are often the most popular attractions, so there is a good chance the Virtual Queue you were trying to get for “free” will be available for purchase as well.
Currently, you can find these pay-per-ride options at the following attractions:
Disney California Adventure Park
Prices vary between $7 and $29 for Individual Lightning Lane access depending on demand and are also subject to availability.
If there is a ride that you are dead set on experiencing and didn’t get a Boarding Group at the 7 a.m. drop, it may be a good idea to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane early in the morning.
We went over some basic tips, but they are worth repeating if you really want to score a Virtual Queue Boarding Group … plus here are some extras:
Once you score a Virtual Queue, be sure to turn your app notifications on and keep an eye on your Boarding Group so you don’t miss your assigned time.
Planning a trip to Disney nowadays is far from a relaxing experience, but it can still be worth it.
We used to think that using FastPass+ took a lot of effort, but in hindsight, that was nothing compared to trying to make the most of your park time with Disney Genie+ and Virtual Queues.
Your best bet at having a successful park day (riding your preferred rides and avoiding lines) is by preparing in advance. That means reading tips like these and studying up on how to make the most out of Genie+, Virtual Queues, and Individual Lightning Lanes.
All of these new terms and techniques may seem foreign at first, but getting a firm grasp of them before your vacation will save you a lot of frustration (and disappointment) compared to just showing up and hoping for the best.
A Virtual Queue replaces physical lines at very popular Disney attractions. You can attempt to score a Boarding Group via the Disney app at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
No, there is no extra cost to use a Virtual Queue, but you must have a valid theme park ticket registered to your Disney account.
Virtual Queues open at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day.
If you want to have the best chance at scoring a Virtual Queue Boarding Group, do the following:
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.