Remember: Cosmic Rewind doesn’t open until May 27, so neither of these options will be available until then.
It’s also important to note that if you don’t want to pay to ride Epcot’s newest and only roller coaster, then you’re going to have to try to join the virtual queue — for right now, at least.
Now, you can ride both attractions either via the Standby Line or guests can also pay to ride by purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane Selection.
We imagine Cosmic Rewind will follow suit, eventually.
But, until then, here’s what you need to know about the virtual queue and boarding groups for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
We like to compare Disney’s virtual queue system to putting your name on a restaurant’s wait list. It’s essentially first-come, first-served.
But, instead of being put on a list, you are assigned a “boarding group” that gets called as space in the queue allows.
By implementing a virtual queue, this is Disney’s way of eliminating the hassle and chaos that usually comes with a Standby Line for a brand new ride.
Important: You can’t choose your boarding group number; it is assigned when you join the virtual queue, and you don’t know an exact return time because all that depends on how fast the groups in front of you move and whether or not the attraction itself goes down.
Keep in mind that while Cosmic Rewind is the only ride using a virtual queue at Walt Disney World, Disney previously stated a “virtual queue may be used again at a later date” for both Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Rise of the Resistance.
Step-by-Step instructions for the Virtual Queue & Boarding Groups at Cosmic Rewind
Before we even dive into the step-by-step process of how the virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind works, you must make sure that everyone in your party has both valid theme park admission and an Epcot park reservation.
If you don’t, you won’t be able to try to join the virtual queue. Once you have obtained both, follow these steps on your park day:
1. Know the times. For the 7 a.m. drop, you will be able to request to join from anywhere (as long as you have a valid theme park reservation), but for the 1 p.m. drop plan to arrive at the park in time to be inside the gates before 1 p.m.
2. Up to 1 hour before you can join the queue, confirm your party.You don’t have to do this right at 1 hour before you can join the queue, but give yourself a few minutes before the queue opens to confirm your party. To do that, open up the My Disney Experience app, select Virtual Queues, select Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and then select “Confirm Your Party”. Make sure the correct people are selected (it should default to people in your group that have Epcot Park Pass Reservations). A common snag is the app automatically selecting people without tickets (like kids under 3). Make sure that your party only consists of people with Epcot Park Pass Reservations and park tickets.
3. We recommend having the My Disney Experience app open and ready to go a few minutes before the official time. Boarding groups go fast (within seconds), so you don’t want to waste time clicking around and waiting for the app to open. Use a smart device to countdown the seconds (like a smart watch, a second phone, etc.). Don’t have a second smart device? Use the clock icon on your phone which has a second hand.
4. Boarding groups will not be available until the official queue drop times. Immediately as the clock turns to either 7 a.m. or 1 p.m., follow the instructions to be assigned a boarding group, which then puts you into the virtual queue. The people you’re connected to in My Disney Experience with Park Passes to Epcot will automatically be selected when trying to get a boarding group (if you haven’t already confirmed your party as discussed in the previous step).
If you find that some members don’t want a boarding group, don’t take time deselecting their names as that will likely cost you the chance to get boarding groups. Get them for everybody and then change it later.
5. The app should provide you with a push notification to let you know when it is your turn to ride. Your boarding group info should give you an estimate for how long it’ll take to be called (the time estimate is how many minutes from the current time they expect to call you). When you’re called, you’ll have 1 hour to make your way to Cosmic Rewind. You can always check to see exactly what groups are boarding both in the app as well as on display boards found throughout the park.
6. When it is time to ride, head to World Discovery at Epcot and go directly to Cosmic Rewind. Your tickets or MagicBands will be scanned before you enter the line.
Each guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day. Guests may not hold a boarding group for more than one experience at the same time. If more than one experience is using a virtual queue, guests will need to enter those virtual queues one at a time.
Guests Park Hopping to Epcot from another park will not be allowed to join the 1 p.m. boarding group.
The only people allowed to try for the 1 p.m. boarding group are guests who have booked their original Park Pass reservation for Epcot who were unable to secure a boarding group at the 7 a.m. drop.
Want to see how fast boarding groups are disappearing?
If you are trying to see just how fast boarding groups are filled, you can do that from anywhere (you don’t have to be in the parks). This is especially useful in the final days before you plan to go to Epcot.
Open the My Disney Experience app, scroll down on the main screen until you see the virtual queue section, and click “join” where it will show you which groups are currently boarding.
Here’s a screenshot from what it looked like for Rise of the Resistance, but the appearance should be similar for Cosmic Rewind.
When boarding groups are available, you’ll be able to click the “Join a boarding group” button (of course, if you aren’t eligible, it will tell you you can’t join). When boarding groups are unavailable, you won’t be able to click the button, which is the sign that the groups are full for the day.
What happens if the boarding groups are gone?
Remember: there are a limited number of boarding groups available, and once they are gone, they are gone.
At that point, your only option to ride will be to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane Selection.
Backup Boarding Groups for Cosmic Rewind
It is important to note that at this time, we do not know whether or not backup boarding groups will be used for Cosmic Rewind.
Backup boarding groups were common for Rise of the Resistance. So just in case they will be used in Epcot for Cosmic Rewind, we wanted to make sure we mentioned it.
Remember, these backup groups were never guaranteed and only became available after all regular boarding groups were filled. And of course, they were only called if the capacity for the day allowed for it.
Below is an example from when Rise of the Resistance had a virtual queue.
You do not have to be in the park for the first round of Boarding Groups
One of the most common questions we’ve received is, “does my entire family have to show up to get into a boarding group?”
And, for the first round of groups, that answer is “no.”
This is a change in how things have been done in the past (where previously everybody that wished to ride had to be in the park). Now, the first round of boarding groups open up at 7 a.m., and guests with a valid Disney Park Pass reservation will be able to request to join from anywhere.
The second boarding group opportunity (which is at 1 p.m.) is different, however.
In order to request to join a 1 p.m. boarding group you must have scanned your ticket or MagicBand to enter the park.
You can leave and come back
With the new Disney Park Pass System, guests can still leave a theme park and return.
But, keep in mind that the modified virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind only gives you a one-hour return window.
This means you have up to one hour from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of the attraction, so keep that in mind.
You can follow along with where Disney is on boarding groups inside the My Disney Experience app, and as long as you have turned on notifications, you’ll get a pop up when it is your turn.
Rider Switch and DAS are available
After you have a boarding group, you can see a Cast Member at the attraction for assistance.
Individual Lightning Lane Selection with Cosmic Rewind
If you are unable to score a boarding group via the virtual queue, you can always try to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane Selection.
However, we recommend that you have a game plan for the day before the virtual queue and Individual Lightning Lane Selections open up to guests.
If not, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away without either.
More than likely, both boarding groups and pay-per-ride options will disappear very quickly, so you need to decide what you want to do before 7 a.m. because 1 person won’t have time to do both.
Tip: If you are traveling with at least 2 people with their own My Disney Experience accounts and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a “must do” for you, split up the duties and have 1 person try for the Virtual Queue right at 7 a.m. while the other one tries to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane selection.
Remember, the virtual queue opens up to ALL guests with an Epcot theme park reservation and valid theme park admission starting at 7 a.m., no matter if a guest is staying onsite or offsite.
But, Individual Lightning Lane Selection purchases begin for onsite guests starting at 7 a.m. Offsite guests can’t book these until park opening, which is usually one hour after onsite guests have already snagged all, if not most, pay-to-ride availability.
So, if you’re staying offsite, you should at least try for the virtual queue since Individual Lightning Lane Selections don’t open up until official park opening.
And if you don’t get a boarding group, once Epcot opens, you can try for a Cosmic Rewind Individual Lightning Lane, depending on availability.
Whether you’re staying onsite or offsite, you don’t have to be inside the park to purchase any Individual Lightning Lane attraction.
Keep in mind that the virtual queue system is completely separate from Individual Lightning Lanes, meaning if you can book both, you could end up riding Cosmic Rewind twice.
At this time, we don’t know the pay-per-ride price. Seeing as Cosmic Rewind is brand new and will be very popular, we anticipate pricing to be around the same as Rise of the Resistance ($15 per person).
Be sure to read all of our guides on Disney Genie, Genie+, and individual Lightning Lane attraction selections.
- How to Use Disney Genie at Walt Disney World
- How to Use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World
- How to Book Lightning Lane Selections at Walt Disney World
- The Most Frequently Asked Disney Genie+ Questions — Answered
- Best Genie+ Choices at Walt Disney World (book these first!)
- Touring plan strategies for Disney World (with and without Genie+)
- First Thoughts on Disney Genie & Genie+
- How Genie, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections Differ
- A Genie+ Timeline of What to Book When for Walt Disney World
- Comparing Genie+ at Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- Complete Guide to Genie+ at Disneyland (including timeline and WDW comparison chart)
Do you use the app or a browser to get a boarding group?
Disney makes it confusing because some functionality is available only via a browser and some through the My Disney Experience app. Boarding groups are in the app.
Do you open the app right at 7 a.m./1 p.m. or just before?
As you watch the second hand click closer to the time, you’ll want to open the app just before the time so that you can click “join” right at 7 a.m. or 1 p.m.
What about having a child under 3 who doesn’t have a ticket or a park pass?
When getting a boarding group, the people with Park Passes will automatically be selected to join, but that shouldn’t include anybody under 3 since they don’t have tickets or a Park Pass. They will, however, be able to ride.
Tips for snagging a Boarding Group
- Test your cell signal. Disney Wi-Fi is notoriously bad, and we recommend you use your cell signal instead of relying on the Wi-Fi. But, that means you will definitely need to test your signal before the big day. Depending on your resort, you may need to leave your room and head to someplace more open to get a strong signal.
- Practice. Even though you won’t actually try for a Boarding Group until you have a Park Pass Reservation, you can still walk through many of the steps. We highly recommend you do this so that you can get familiar with the process.
- Set an alarm. If you’re determined to get one of the coveted groups, set your alarm and be ready to go a few minutes before the clock turns to 7 a.m.
- Don’t waste your time changing the party. After you select “Join Group” you’ll be shown a screen that should already have your party created. Even if it isn’t 100% accurate, don’t waste your time removing or adding members. Instead, finish snagging the Boarding Group and then go to Guest Services if you have somebody missing from your group. If you try to update the group, you’ll likely miss out snagging a spot.
- Countdown the seconds. Traveling with more than yourself? Have somebody else pull up a world clock with the seconds visible. Depending on your phone, you may need to download an app, but if you have an iPhone, the clock app’s analog clock should have a sweeping second hand. Watch it closely and hit the button to request a boarding group as soon as the clock ticks to 7 a.m. Even a few seconds delay can cause you to get a later group or even miss out on a boarding group altogether.
- Have only 1 person in your traveling party attempt it.Previously, we would recommend that multiple people in your group try. However, Disney has been notifying guests via email to “Please keep in mind, only one Guest per traveling party should attempt to enroll in the virtual queue. Multiple Guests and devices attempting to enroll the same party could complicate securing a boarding group.” Better safe than sorry and stick to 1 person.
We’ll be sure to keep you and this post up to date as we learn more information about Cosmic Rewind’s virtual queue.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure At Epcot Dropping Virtual Queue In January
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure Will Pause Its Virtual Queue
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Opening Memorial Day Weekend
- Disneyland Testing Hybrid Standby & Virtual Queue For Rise Of The Resistance
- Hollywood Studios Is Pausing Rise of the Resistance’s Virtual Queue
- Disneyland vs Disney World: Which One Should You Visit? - May 16, 2022
- How the Family and Friends List Works in My Disney Experience - May 11, 2022
- Lightning Lane Passes at Disney World (what it is and how much it costs) - May 11, 2022