Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Virtual Queue, Lightning Lane & PhotoPass Info

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is the reimagined ride replacing Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This covers how to experience the ride since there will be no standby line when it debuts–instead, you’ll need to join the virtual queue for the long-awaited attraction or use the Lightning Lane.

Virtual queues are really nothing new at this point, with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure being the fifth new attraction at Walt Disney World to use one. Prior to this, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure both used the systems, but stopped using them a while ago. In the case of the former, the attraction became sufficiently reliable that it was no longer needed. In the case of the latter, demand died down enough that physical queue space became sufficient.

Currently, both Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT and TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom still use virtual queues. By my calculations, Cosmic Rewind has now had a virtual queue longer than any other ride (during normal ops) and I’m surprised it didn’t drop its VQ ages ago. But that’s beyond the scope of this post.

More interesting is TRON Lightcycle Run, since that’s also in the same park as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. If nothing changes between now and when the Princess and the Frog log flume ride open, this will be the first time that two attractions in the same park both use virtual queues.

Given that Walt Disney World has never done that before, it’s possible that TRON Lightcycle Run will retire its VQ before Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens. It’d be incredibly guest-unfriendly to have two virtual queues in regular use at the same park and force guests to choose–or pay money for the Lightning Lane access. It’s one of those something’s gotta give scenarios.

In any case, here’s the announcement from Walt Disney World…

Let the good times roll, Tiana has sent the invites out for her big Mardi Gras celebration! While the princess and her fun-loving friend Louis are finishing up details on the party down in the bayou, you are probably wondering what to wear, what to bring, and how you should prepare for an exhilarating musical adventure that crescendos with a 50-foot drop right before the grandest celebration this side of the Mississippi.

Here are a few helpful things you need to know before riding Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when the attraction opens on June 28, 2024:

1. Drop on in-to virtual queue – When Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens on June 28, it will use a virtual queue. Guests can request to join the virtual queue via the My Disney Experience app at one of two times: 7 a.m. or 1 p.m. While a standby queue will not be available during the attraction’s initial opening days, Walt Disney World expects to open a standby queue soon after the attraction’s opening.

See our Virtual Queue Strategy Guide for tips & tricks to experience the attraction for free, including our ‘speed strategy’ for scoring a a low boarding group. (That’s written for TRON Lightcycle Run, but should be fully accurate for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, too.)

2. Use Disney Genie+ service – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will also be included as a Lightning Lane entrance in Disney Genie+ service*. Purchasing this service on the My Disney Experience app helps you get to some of your favorite attractions faster through Lightning Lane entrances and includes digital downloads of select Disney PhotoPass attraction photos taken in the park on the day of your purchase at no additional charge. Guests may check the app on the day of their visit for pricing and availability.

3. Smile for the camera! – No party is complete without pictures. As you make your way through the bayou to get to Tiana’s party, Disney PhotoPass Service will serve up a special photo when you’re almost there. 

Want to download this attraction photo and your other magical moments? Try Memory Maker – with this all-inclusive photo package, you can download all of your Disney PhotoPass photos taken during your vacation. Learn more about the other photos Disney PhotoPass Service captures of you in our Guide to Memory Maker & PhotoPass at Walt Disney World.

4. Be prepared to get wet! – At some point when you drop on in to Tiana’s party, there’s a strong chance riders may get wet. While most guests will appreciate the refreshing cool down, others may want to bring their rain gear. Didn’t bring any? No worries. There are plenty of places to find ponchos in Magic Kingdom.

5. Shop new attraction merchandise – After riding the new attraction, we can bet you’ll want to take a piece of the bayou home with you. Starting June 28, you can find the collections for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and “The Princess and the Frog”-inspired merchandise at the Emporium at Magic Kingdom.

Shortly after the attraction debuts, the merchandise will hop over to Critter Co-Op in Frontierland. Additional details about the various merchandise collections will be shared soon.

6. Try some of Tiana’s Famous Beignets – A trip to the bayou is never complete without some good eats and sweet treats. Among the food and beverage offerings we look forward to sharing soon will be Tiana’s Famous Beignets, of course.

Beginning opening day, Golden Oak Outpost and The Friar’s Nook will be serving up these light, sweet and fluffy beignets drizzled with honey and powdered sugar. These will be available for a limited time only so let the good times roll.

In terms of commentary, this sounds like pretty good news to me. And keep in mind that I’m anti-virtual queue (even if it does benefit me, personally.) Moreover, I really don’t want to see is two virtual queues at Magic Kingdom with rigid rules that effectively force many guests to choose between one big new ride or the other.

That’s a guest-unfriendly result, and Disney should attempt to avoid that outcome. It would only add fuel to the fire about the complexity and convoluted nature of planning and doing Walt Disney World, at a time when the company is otherwise trying to address such complaints.

However, I’m heartened by this line from Disney’s press release: “While a standby queue will not be available during the attraction’s initial opening days, we expect to open a standby queue soon after the attraction’s opening.” The we in that is the Walt Disney Company, not DTB. That strongly suggests they’re just going to use a virtual queue for crowd control during the initial rush.

Given that line, my bet is that the virtual queue is retired by July 8, 2024 at the latest. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll reevaluate my perspective on this–as noted above, I do not want two virtual queues in regular use at the same park. The first week isn’t regular use, though, it’s simply the time when colossal crowds of bloggers/vloggers/influencers/locals and everyone else who has the “thirst to be first” will descend upon Walt Disney World to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

If the choice is between 300 minute wait times or a virtual queue for that first week or so, I’m choosing the virtual queue. In that specific scenario, it is the guest friendly option–even if it wouldn’t be if the virtual queue sticks around for weeks or months thereafter.

I can deal with the reimagined ride having a virtual queue for a week or two. Moreover, I’m willing to roll the dice that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening and changing up Magic Kingdom operations increases the odds that TRON Lightcycle Run retires its virtual queue. I don’t necessarily think that’ll happen, but there’s a non-zero chance that it will–and it’s certainly more likely with TBA opening than it would be otherwise.

Finally, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure being added to Genie+ is a fantastic and slightly surprising move. Previously, we said that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure should be added to Genie+ given all of the long-term considerations, but that there was nevertheless a better than 50% chance it’d be an Individual Lightning Lane attraction despite that.

Very happy to be wrong-ish on that one. (For that matter, happy to be wrong-ish on the virtual queue status, too. Using a VQ but in the style of the short-lived one for Moana’s Journey of Water is the right move. So long as that virtual queue is gone by the late summer off-season!)

All in all, this strikes me as good logistical news for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Magic Kingdom as a whole, and park guests. My hope is that the opening of the attraction has positive cascading effects (appropriate, since it is a water ride) for other rides in the park–most notably, TRON Lightcycle Run and (more of a longshot) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Regardless of any other changes, the best park for buying the Genie+ service at Walt Disney World–Magic Kingdom–just got better!

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YOUR THOUGHTS

Are you excited for the grand opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom on June 28, 2024? Glad that it’ll have a limited time virtual queue for the initial opening period, or would you prefer a multi-hour standby line? What about TBA getting Genie+ status as opposed to an Individual Lightning Lane? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? 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!

27 Responses to “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Virtual Queue, Lightning Lane & PhotoPass Info”
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