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Shuffling through standby lines at Disney theme parks is a battle scar some guests wear proudly. Other park guests prefer to spend less hours in long lines. The Disney virtual queue is one way guests can seek some relief.
Instead of standing in line for a ride over an extended period, the virtual queue lets you enjoy other parts of the park until it's your turn to get on the ride. Let's explore what the Disney virtual queue is and how it works.
How the Disney virtual queue works
Disney’s virtual queue feature helps manage high traffic at popular attractions, and it can be a welcome respite for large groups or families with young children. That said, it’s only available for a few attractions and experiences at each Disney park. Availability changes daily and is limited, and joining the queue isn’t guaranteed.
For example, one day the virtual queue might be available for “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” at Disneyland, but it might not be offered the following day. Disney's virtual queue is often used for newly launched attractions and experiences, so look out for virtual queue availability if you want to participate in a popular offering.
If you’ve secured a virtual queue boarding group number on your reservation day, the Disney app will push a notification through when it’s your group’s turn to get in line. Once you receive this notification, you’ll have an hour to get to the attraction or experience.
Upon arriving at the attraction, tap your Disney app, MagicBand+ or your admission card on the touchpoint or check in with a cast member to get into the line.
Although virtual queues at Disneyland and Disney World don’t eliminate lines entirely, it reduces the wait — especially during peak days.
» Learn more: The best Disney credit card might surprise you
How to join a Disneyland or Disney World virtual queue
How do Disney virtual queues work in practice? To join the Disney virtual queue, follow these steps:
Make a park reservation. To join the virtual queue, all participating members should have a valid admission ticket and park reservation for the day. If you have an Annual Pass or a Park Hopper ticket and are visiting from another park, you may not be able to join the queue.
Download the Disney app. You’ll need the My Disney Experience app to join the virtual queue and receive updates about your place in line.
Enroll your group’s tickets. Choose a designated person from your party to handle the virtual queue for your group. This person must use the app to link their Disney account to each group member’s admission tickets.
Find attractions using the virtual queue. Available experiences for Disney's virtual queue vary depending on the day and park. Click on "Virtual Queues" from the app's home screen to see if your desired experience is available on your reservation day. The times the queue is available to join will also be listed.
Launch the Disney app. Launch the app a few minutes before your chosen queue time. For example, if the queue opens at 7 a.m., launch the app at 6:50 a.m. and refresh the page until the queue officially opens. If you’re hoping to join the virtual queue before the parks open, you don’t need to physically be at the park to join. However, once the park opens, you’ll need to physically be at the park to join the queue.
Confirm your details. Make sure you’ve chosen the correct experience and that each participating group member is included in your queue details. If you need to modify your group, select “Edit” to the right of the section.
Join the queue. Select “Join Virtual Queue” to finalize your selection. If successful, you’ll receive a boarding group number. Remember, despite getting into a boarding group, getting on a ride or into a show isn’t guaranteed.
» Learn more: How to plan a trip to Walt Disney World
Disney virtual queue tips
Getting a boarding group assignment for a virtual queue can be competitive, so here are some tips to give you the best chance of securing your spot:
Launch the Virtual Queue option in the Disney app about 10 minutes before the queue time opens.
Get ready to rapid-fire hit the refresh button to (hopefully) get into the queue and secure a boarding group number.
If queueing up later in the day, make sure you’ve entered the park already. If you have a Park Hopper ticket, you need to be at the park where the queue will be used.
Keep your day flexible. If you miss your return window, you might not be accommodated to enter the line.
Don’t have multiple members in your party simultaneously attempt to join the virtual queue. This doesn’t improve your chances of getting into the queue; rather, it might hinder your success.
» Learn more: Is Genie+ worth it?
Disney virtual queues recapped
Joining a virtual queue for a popular Disney World or Disneyland experience is generally a no-brainer.
The biggest caveat is that you won't know exactly when you'll be called to return to the line, which makes planning your day a little more challenging.
However, the time it saves you from standing in line can be spent grabbing a snack or quick lunch, or enjoying another attraction with a shorter standby line.
Plus, when Disney offers a free feature to maximize your time at the park, it’s generally wise to seize the opportunity.
(Top photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort)
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