Currently, both Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure in Marvel’s Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland are using virtual queues. This post will offer strategy for scoring boarding groups for both in the same day.
Much has been made of the virtual queue “rules” for these two attractions, with viral posts on social media using flow charts to “help” guests determine eligibility. That has underscored just how confusing the process can be, and overwhelming to first-time visitors and even Disneyland regulars.
There’s no denying any of that. We’ve repeatedly described these virtual queues as Disney making “lemonade out of lemons,” which is not to excuse their convoluted nature, but more to convey that Disney has a veritable buffet of bad options, and this is arguably the “least bad” of the bunch.
With that said, we’ve also started to suggest that it might be time for one or both to offer a standby line. Now that physical distancing has been dropped and party mixing is occurring on both coasts, the capacity and efficiency of each attraction (and the small Avengers Campus as a whole) has increased.
Moreover, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance’s reliability has improved, with the attraction processing more boarding groups per day on average. The data also shows that the ride is experiencing shorter and fewer breakdowns per day at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. As such, allocating capacity to a standby line makes sense, and would at least give guests who are shut out of the virtual queue some semblance of control. But I digress.
To access either Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests are required to join the virtual queue, only accessible via the Disneyland mobile app.
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to boil this down to the simplest terms (well, at least as simple as this process gets). What you need to know is that distribution times for both virtual queues are daily at 7:00 am and 12:00 pm Pacific.
Unfortunately, you cannot enter both virtual queues simultaneously at 7 am. This is both a matter of policy and practicality. On the practicality front, both virtual queues fill instantly, and you’d never be able to join both during the morning drop, even with the fastest fingers in the West!
On the policy front, guests may only enter a virtual queue once per day for each attraction, and may not hold a boarding group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure at the same time.
In effect, this requires four things:
You need Park Hopper tickets
You need to join a virtual queue at 7 am
You need to be really efficient at step 2
You need to be scanned into the physical queue of your first boarding group before noon
Out of our 4 attempts at joining both virtual queues, we were successful 3 times. The only reason we “failed” the fourth time is because we didn’t try for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance that day, opting instead to do only Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure.
The other steps should be self-explanatory, so let’s discuss maximizing your efficiency at joining the virtual queues.
This is something we’ve already been over in our various guides, but it’s worth quickly reiterating. First, ensure your timing is accurate and your phone and internet connection are as fast as possible. Do a speed test a few minutes before it’s time to join the virtual queue.
Do this speed test on both WiFi and cellular to see which is faster and use that. If necessary, move around to get away from other people or increase your speed.
Second, make sure your phone is fully updated and force close all apps, including the Disneyland app shortly before it’s time to join the virtual queue. This will speed up your phone so there’s no lag on your end.
Finally, double-check the time on your phone or watch against time.gov, which is what Disneyland uses for opening the virtual queue. Be on the screen above, pulling down “hard” and releasing the second the clock on time.gov hits 7 am or noon. The blue “join” button will appear and you’ll need to hit “select all” on the next screen and then confirm. Speedily following these simple steps will often be the difference between success and failure!
Our first couple days, we stayed on a high floor at the Radisson Blu Anaheim (the other hotel in the photo above) and had incredibly fast cellular and WiFi speeds. Now, I wouldn’t recommend booking that (or any) hotel solely on those bases, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Subsequently, we moved to the Anaheim Hotel and stayed in what was basically the basement. Both our cellular and WiFi absolutely crawled, to the point that I left the room and went to a courtyard when trying for the 7 am drop.
In both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the situation was somewhere between the two extremes. We ended up moving around and away from people–we dedicated about 10 minutes to finding a good location each day, and deliberately avoided being in queues or on attractions during the noon virtual queue entry time. (This might be overkill–but you absolutely need to avoid both Soarin’ and Indiana Jones Adventure during the noon drops, as you’ll likely lose service in both.)
It also helped that there were three of us with experience in the virtual queue trenches doing this (we were joined by Guy Selga of TouringPlans for a couple of our days in the parks). We linked our tickets in the Disneyland app beforehand, and everyone tried to join the virtual queue at each drop time.
Everyone was successful at joining the virtual queue at least once, and everyone else got the standard “Something Went Wrong” message (see above). In this case, the something that went wrong is someone else in our group already scoring the boarding passes. I’m fairly certain we wouldn’t have been 3 for 4 if it had just been one of us trying.
Disney’s official advice is to only have one person per party try to join the virtual queue, as having multiple accounts attempt simultaneously can cause issues. This is bad advice. We’ve done this dozens of times and not once have we had an issue.
My guess is that this is the official line from Disney because it causes less strain on their systems and/or makes things less confusing. You’re welcome to listen to them, but just remember that the odds won’t be in your favor if you do.
For our attempts, we started in Disney California Adventure on 3 of the 4 days. From a regular touring perspective, that’s probably not going to be ideal for most guests. Honestly, it wasn’t for us, either. (Side note: rope drop Radiator Springs Racers–do not rope drop Avengers Campus!)
Our thought process was that Web Slingers is more reliable and likely to open on time, making it easier to get a low boarding group and be done riding by noon. (Also, it was easier to get reservations for DCA when we visited, so this was partly for lack of better options!)
That reasoning ended up being at least partially vindicated. Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure started operating earlier than Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance most mornings of our trip and got through boarding groups faster.
However, that’s very much anecdotal and subject to luck. Both attractions experienced multiple prolonged breakdowns during our visits, and things could’ve played out differently for us. The same could likewise happen for you, or not. Accordingly, I probably would not base my starting park around virtual queue strategizing. The difference simply is not significant or consistent enough.
One problem we (almost) found ourselves having was making it into Disney California Adventure early enough to do Web Slingers.
On two occasions, we got called back before official park opening time and had only an hour to return. However, due to the long line on Harbor Boulevard for bag check, we cut it close twice.
This probably is not a “real” problem. For one, if we had an issue getting into the park on time, Cast Members almost certainly would’ve granted an exception (just as they do for conflicting dining reservations) and allowed us to enter the Web Slingers queue after our window closed.
I’m guessing this is a relatively common occurrence around park opening. For another thing, the arrival experience became smoother every day we were at Disneyland, to the point this may no longer even be an issue.
Ultimately, that’s our experience in a nutshell and hopefully conveys what you need to do in a relatively straightforward way (at least, as much as is possible given the convoluted process). It’s worth reiterating that all of this is subject to change as Disneyland and Disney California Adventure continues to tweak how these virtual queues work, as well as capacity and more.
With that said, even if details do change, you are better prepared than ~90% of other guests simply by virtue of reading reports like this one. We spoke to several otherwise well-informed guests who had no clue they could even try for a second boarding group at noon after they had done Web Slingers in the morning because the wording of Disneyland’s policies makes it confusing. At the very least, you now know that it is possible, how to do it, and the best ways to increase your chances of success!
Have you had success with the Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure and/or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queues at Disneyland Resort? What are your thoughts on the virtual queue? Any other strategy or tips to add? Are you planning a visit to Disneyland Resort for Avengers Campus, or will you wait until later? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!