With the announcement that TRON Lightcycle Run would continue utilizing a Virtual Queue through at least the end of October, we wanted to take an updated look at the Virtual Queue process and your chances for success. In this article, we’ll offer a brief recap on how to use the Virtual Queue, and then jump into some data to show how easy or difficult it is to join the Virtual Queue.
What is a Virtual Queue?
A Virtual Queue is exactly what it sounds like. While most of the attractions and experiences at Walt Disney World require guests to physically wait in line, there are a select few attractions and experiences that require guests to wait in a digital line.
Formally introduced in late 2019 for the debut of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Virtual Queue system has expanded to various experiences and attractions. Essentially, anything that Disney World fears will generate an unacceptably long line will require guests to join a Virtual Queue and return when it is their turn to experience the thing. Anything from Annual Passholder magnet distributions to meeting Santa Claus to limited-release merchandise to Disney’s latest multi-million dollar attraction is fair game for a Virtual Queue.
A Virtual Queue contains Boarding Groups. This is a number assigned to your position in line. Disney World will then call blocks of Boarding Groups when there is space for the next wave of guests to experience the thing they’re waiting for. When your Boarding Group is called, you generally have one hour to return to the experience before your Boarding Group entry entitlement is no longer valid.
How to Join a Virtual Queue Boarding Group
The process for joining a Virtual Queue is easy once you know how to navigate the My Disney Experience app.
Before Your Visit
Make sure you have the My Disney Experience app, with notifications enabled so you receive important updates about the virtual queue—including callback details and daily distribution times.
Get Ready to Join the Virtual Queue!
On the day of your visit, you may have the opportunity to join the virtual queue at daily distribution times, which are subject to change or cancellation as availability allows. Distribution schedules will be available in the My Disney Experience app.
To check on your Virtual Queue status, or to join a Virtual Queue, navigate to the Virtual Queue page within the My Disney Experience app. In our screenshot below, we have demonstrated two ways to navigate to the Virtual Queue section within the app.
- The easiest way to navigate to the Virtual Queue section of the app will be via the card on the main page of the My Disney Experience app. We’ve outlined the Virtual Queue card in green in our screenshot below. From this single card, you can either navigate to the page to join a Virtual Queue or to the page where you can check your Virtual Queue status
- Alternatively, there is a Virtual Queue tab within the general overflow menu. You can access the general overflow menu from any screen within the My Disney Experience app by clicking on the “hamburger menu” (≡) in the lower right of the menu bar (blue circle in first screenshot). From the general overflow menu (second screenshot), you can click on the Virtual Queues tab to check the status of your Virtual Queue and join any available Virtual Queues.
If you click on “My Queues” from the main page Virtual Queue card, or if you navigate to the Virtual Queues tab within the general overflow menu, you will be taken to the “My Queues” page (left screenshot below). If you click on “Join Virtual Queue” from the main page Virtual Queue card or if you click on “Join Virtual Queue” or the “+” button from the “My Queues” page, then you will be taken to the available Virtual Queues page (right screenshot below).
On the “Join Virtual Queue” page, you will be able to see all of the Virtual Queues in use on the day of your visit and cycle through them by clicking on the theme park or location at the top of the page. Here’s a look at the Virtual Queue page on May 4th when the merchandise event was added to the existing lineup of attraction Virtual Queues.
Click on the “Join Virtual Queue” button for whichever experience you’re trying to get a Boarding Group for and then confirm your party by selecting which guests you’d like to secure the Virtual Queeu Boarding Group for. As long as your Disney account is linked to your group’s park tickets, and everyone has valid admission and park reservations for the park you will visit, you can enroll everyone in the virtual queue at the same time (subject to availability).
Some Virtual Queue Boarding Groups are distributed within seconds and some are open longer. Continuing from the screenshots above, we clicked the refresh button right at 7am and it turned into the “Join Virtual Queue” button as seen in the first screenshot below. Once we clicked on the “Join Virtual Queue” button, we were taken to a page that revealed what Boarding Group we were assigned (Group 83).
That’s it! Now you’re in the Boarding Group and you can relax until your Group is called. Once called, you’ll get a notification in the app and have one hour to return to the attraction or experience.
TRON Lightcycle Run Boarding Group Availability
Ok, time to get to the data of just how difficult it is to join the TRON Lightcycle Run Virtual Queue a month after the attraction opened. When it first opened, it was quite difficult to join the TRON Lightcycle Run Virtual Queue. All Boarding Groups were fully distributed within seconds, making it a difficult venture for the average vacationing family.
Guests must have valid admission and a theme park reservation to join the virtual queue. There are 2 daily opportunities to request to join the virtual queue for TRON Lightcycle / Run:
- 7:00 AM (Guests do not need to be in the park when they join, but must have a theme park reservation for Magic Kingdom park)
- 1:00 PM (Guests must be in Magic Kingdom park to join the virtual queue)
Just over a week after the grand opening, we saw the Virtual Queue operations change. The only explanation is that Disney World expanded the number of Boarding Group spots that were distributed during a normal operating day. What was once a distribution window that closed in seconds was suddenly open for 90 minutes. Since April 15th, data from thrill-data.com reveals that the 2pm distribution window is a near certainty, while the 7am window remains quite difficult to find success with for the average guest. Here are the stats since the April 15th change:
- 7am distribution closes in less than 5 seconds on average
- 1pm distribution remains open for 2 hours and 33 minutes on average
That means that while the 7am drop is still difficult, you should (generally) have no worries about securing a Boarding Group during the 1pm distribution window. As a matter of fact, during the past few weeks, it has been possible for guests who were park hopping to Magic Kingdom to secure a Boarding Group during the 1pm distribution window after they tapped into the park at 2pm due to how long the 1pm window has stayed open.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!