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Unpopular Opinion: Virtual Queues are awesome

If you're a Disney fanatic and have been to a park since Rise of the Resistance opened, you're well versed on virtual queues by now. However, Disneyland and Walt Disney World have recently utilized virtual queues for new rides, and only some people like them.

My hot take - It's pretty awesome - But...

There is much strategy involved. And that's where people can get annoyed with getting into a virtual queue.

Even on slow days, wait times for popular rides, like Rise and Slinky Dog or Radiator Springs Racers, can be well over 2 hours. And that is a lot of wasted park time. Recently, Disney has employed virtual queues for new rides, like Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and Tron. In addition, Disneyland recently opened Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway with a virtual queue. However, shortly after opening, they moved the ride to the Individual Lightning Lane.

How Does It Work

Depending on your destination, you must have the Disneyland or My Disney Experience apps for WDW. In addition, you'll want to have already signed in and set up your travel party, linking everyone's tickets to the app.

The virtual queue opens a few times a day, depending if the park has evening hours for select hotel guests. The first will be at 7 am (WDW or Disneyland local time), and you do not need to be in the park to enter the queue. Remember - you must have a ticket and a park reservation for that park to enter the park in the morning hours.

If you are park-hopping to the park later in the day, you will only be able to enter the second drop at 1 pm of the virtual queue.

Pay attention to where you will be during this second drop - you want to avoid being deep in a queue for another ride or on a ride - it won't work. The third drop happens at 6 pm for select resort guests eligible for Extended Evening Hours.

If you are in a hotel, I recommend using your cellular data instead of the hotel wi-fi, so you know you won't have it suddenly go down.

Confirm your party set up in the app about 10-15 minutes ahead of time. Then, select the people you will be riding with and hit Refresh. It will tell you the queue isn't open yet, but it will save your selection.

As it gets closer, we've found it incredibly helpful to have someone monitoring a clock on their phone. My daughter loves doing this, so it's an easy task to have assigned. Have them do a countdown once you get to 10 seconds before the opening of the queue and start hitting the Refresh button. This is where having a second person with the tickets all linked comes in handy.

The "Join Virtual Queue" button will turn Blue, and it will confirm you on the next screen if you got into a boarding group. It provides an Estimated Wait Time, but check periodically during the wait to ensure you are still on track. When it opened, we had done the virtual queue for Ratatouille, and they called our group early. This is also where having notifications turned on for the app comes in handy because it does send you notifications when you are called.

Undercover Tourist has a great walkthrough video showing you the screens, too, in case this caused you all kinds of anxiety with the anticipation.

What are your thoughts - do you like the Virtual queue? Let me know in the comments!

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