Debating the merits of the virtual queue and boarding pass system for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a time-honored Disney Tourist Blog tradition. (Well, as of the last few months…but it feels like an eternity!) Coverage of the boarding group process for the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge flagship attraction at Walt Disney World and Disneyland has been a figurative roller coaster ride.
Initially, we praised Disney’s Hollywood Studios for quietly opening early and operating every attraction with a pure first-come, first-served system. This didn’t go over well with some families who (for some odd reason?!) didn’t want to get up at 4 am on vacation. The park eventually moved to a hybrid lottery and first-come, first-served system, which we felt was a good balancing of interests.
Then came larger crowds and chaos, leading us to proclaim “this isn’t working.” Since that was met with a little too much fan ire (via 400+ comments/complaints), we back-peddled a bit (I guess?) with Hollywood Studios: Walt Disney World’s Best Rides & Most Frustrating Park. We weren’t alone in our incessant critique of the virtual queue, and when the parks closed, many joked that at least now there wouldn’t be a daily argument about the merits of the boarding group system. Au contraire!
The latest update for the Disneyland app hints at an expansion of the virtual queue system at Disney California Adventure and/or Disneyland.
If you click on the updated Disneyland app’s hamburger button, here’s what you’ll see:
As you can see, there’s now an icon for Virtual Queues. Plural.
Upon clicking that icon, you’ll see this screen:
That then takes you to the “My Queues” screen, which currently only shows Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (see below).
However, there is space for additional attractions below it, making this more like the MaxPass selection process, minus selecting the return times.
This same screen can also be accessed from the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance module on the home screen of the Disneyland app.
It’s the “My Queues” button on the right side of that.
With Avengers Campus slated to open on July 18, 2020 (as of right now, at least), it seems likely Disneyland might want or need to use the virtual queue feature for this Marvel Land’s only new attraction, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, the family-friendly interactive game ride that’s similar to Toy Story Midway Mania.
This strikes us as odd from a popularity perspective, as Web Slingers is the “supporting attraction” for the new Marvel Land, with the major E-Ticket opening in several years (if ever). Think of it as akin to Navi River Journey in Pandora – World of Avatar or Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
There is the possibility that Imagineering is anticipating issues with Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, but that also seems highly unlikely. This is an iterative attraction rather than an innovative one, and there’s no reason to believe it’ll have operational woes or downtime.
Another possibility is that Disneyland simply wants to expand the virtual queue system. This could either be as a counterweight to balance out some demand for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, or for some other purpose entirely.
As we’ve stressed previously, the virtual queue system at Disneyland heavily favors tourists on weekdays. This is because many Southern California locals show up after work and are willing to spend as many hours as necessary waiting in standby lines.
By contrast, visitors have limited vacation time and a lower balking point in terms of posted wait times. Using only a virtual queue allocates all ride capacity to those who arrive earlier in the day–disproportionately tourists (again, on weekdays).
There’s also speculation (“a lot of people are saying“) that this is in preparation for Disneyland to bring back Country Bear Jamboree and the Peoplemover. Disney knows the demand will be sky-high for these national treasures, and overwhelm the FastPass and MaxPass system.
The physical queues cannot possibly hold the millions of guests that will storm to Critter Country and Tomorrowland. A virtual queue is the only way.
Now, I realize it might be disappointing for the Walt Disney World-centric fans who were eager to argue about what this means for the Florida parks. Just keep in mind that there’s nothing to say a similar update won’t be rolled out for My Disney Experience in the coming days.
It’s better to be safe than sorry and argue away! 😉
Joking aside, it seems most likely that Disneyland’s IT team has nothing better to do and is just tinkering with things, with no actual intention upon expanding the virtual queue feature. It’s the perfect time to make real time adjustments to the Disneyland app with zero stakes. Not like it’ll impact anyone in DCA or Disneyland.
Or perhaps it’s a strategic move by Disney to savvily generate some headlines on fan blogs without the word “coronavirus” in them. (Although in fairness, “virtual queue” has only a slightly higher approval rating.)
Personally, I welcome the change of pace with open arms. I don’t care if it’s nothing at all, it’s nice to be writing about something totally different, and speculating about things that, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty insignificant. I’m looking forward to the ensuing speculation, and why this should or shouldn’t happen. I long for the simpler days when bickering about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was how Disney fans filled their days online.
Even if this is nothing, I hope Disney learns from this and takes the opportunity to plant other rumors. A new theme park complex in Australia? What about Texas! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge being converted to Aladdin Land? Sounds plausible! A fifth gate at Walt Disney World? How about a 6th and 7th while we’re at it! McDonald’s halting construction on the restaurant near the All-Star Resorts? Whoa there cowboy, some things you don’t joke about.
Why do you think the Virtual Queues feature was added to the Disneyland app? Are you anticipating that it’ll be used for Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure? Think it’s more likely that this means Country Bear Jamboree is returning? Or maybe it’s for a new attraction coming to the all-new Port Disney park in Long Beach, California?! 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!