The theme park company has opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and not everyone is happy despite the ride getting wonderful reviews.
In the old days, back before Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report opened “Rise of the Resistance” at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Hollywood Studios, new theme park rides meant really long lines. That led to some really long lines, but it was a very democratic process.
If someone wanted to ride a new attraction, they would get to the park at rope drop and get in line. That might mean waiting for hours, or even all day, but it was a democratic process that rewarded a willingness to wait. It was, perhaps, not the best system, but it was one that rewarded the most-devoted fans.
That’s not how Disney has handled its most-recent ride openings. The theme park giant has instead used a virtual queue. Under that system — which was also used for “Rise of the Resistance” and “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” –people who want a place in the queue must log in to Disney’s app (sometimes from inside the theme park) and hope they get a spot in a boarding group.
It’s kind of a quick draw competition/a lottery where some people get early boarding groups (which basically guarantees they will get to ride, while some get later groups (meaning they may or may not depending upon how well the ride performs). Others won’t get a group at all.
Getting on the ride at all with a late boarding group was an issue with “Rise of the Resistance” (RotR) in its first weeks as the ride regularly broke down. That does not appear to be a problem with Cosmic Rewind which has not reported similar problems during its test runs and passholder preview day.
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How Does Epcot’s GotG Cosmic Rewind Queue Work?
It’s actually pretty similar to how the “Rise of the Resistance” queue worked when Disney started using the virtual queue for the ride (it has since stopped that practice and RotR is now a traditional standby line.
“Guests who wish to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will need to either buy a $17 Individual Lightning Lane pass to the ride or enter Disney’s virtual queue for standby access. Both alternatives will open at 7am in the official Walt Disney World My Disney Experience app. And both are expected to book quickly, so make sure that you have everyone in your party registered together in the app, then refresh it right before the top of the hour so that you can submit your request at exactly 7 a.m, Eastern time,” wrote Robert Niles at Theme Park Insider.
If you don’t want to pay extra, Disney also offers a second chance opportunity at 1 p.m. The company spreads out the openings to two drawings because it does not want to give people boarding groups that never actually get called (which happened with RotR).
“There will be a second-chance entry to the virtual queue at 1 p.m., and guests of Disney’s Deluxe hotels also may request to enter the queue at 7 p.m, on evenings when Epcot will be open for extended evening hours. For the 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. virtual queue entry opportunities, you must have a park reservation for Epcot, and you must be in the park physically for the 1 p.m. entry opportunity,” Niles added.
Disney/GotG Fans Take to Twitter
Disney World and Guardians of the Galaxy fans are clearly very excited about Epcot’s first roller coaster. Many people posted photos of the ride and the merchandise being sold to commemorate its official launch. A lot of Twitter posts, however, commented on the virtual queue system.
That was a fairly typical comment for people who did not get a spot in the queue. There were many others, however, who praised Disney’s “Imagineers” for the efficiency of the ride.
Some visitors also expressed anger at how people could double dip and get a boarding group from the virtual queue and pay for a Lightning Lane ride. That means some Epcot visitors (those both lucky and willing to pay) could ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind twice before others get on once.