When Will Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic: Rewind End Its Virtual Queue System?

Theme park Guests often have mixed opinions on virtual queues for new attractions. While some appreciate that they will spend little to no time waiting in line thanks to the virtual queue, others find the system for entering the queue virtually confusing or tedious. And many fans agree that a standby line should always be an option for those Guests who do not mind the wait, whatever it may be.

At Walt Disney World, we have already seen Disney add and remove virtual queues based on business and Guest needs at attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT

Credit: Zach Riddley

Now, with some of the lightest crowds reported at Disney Parks since 2020, we have to wonder…When will Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind lose its virtual queue?

Since EPCOT’s newest attraction opened earlier this year, Guests have had two options for how they can ride. One is to enter the virtual queue, which opens twice per day giving Guests another opportunity to virtually hop in line after the initial morning queue fills up. The other option to ride as of right now, is to purchase an individual Lightning Lane selection (for $14-17 per person.)

Regardless of our own opinions on virtual queues, this system at least “works” when the Park is crowded. It keeps wait times short and allows Guests who have followed either procedure to ride. When the Park is slow, however, this system can run into some issues.

As @DrewDisneyDude recently pointed out on Twitter, light crowds in EPCOT has led to empty queues for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

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At first glance, the empty queue may look like a welcome sight but we have to remember how exactly Guests are able to enter the physical queue. Lightning Lane selections continue to sell out even on some lighter crowd days, but on those days the virtual queue is actually preventing Guests from riding. And, if Lightning Lane selections do open up, Guests are then “forced” to purchase them if they want to ride as no standby line is available.

Guests are only able to enter the virtual queue once. This means that even if space remains in the virtual queue (like it did in the day in Drew’s tweet) Guests who already rode through the virtual queue cannot get in line again.

When we consider a light crowd day in EPCOT combined with the fact that not every Guest is going to join a virtual queue for a thrill ride with a height requirement, we can now see the strange predicament that the virtual queue is causing.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Credit: Zach Riddley

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Typically Disney catches onto this change in how the virtual queue works, and in the past with other attractions the company has offered a standby option or opted to remove the virtual queue system altogether.

There is no saying how long it could take Disney to make the decision, but if crowds continue to trend down going into the fall, we may see a standby line open up at Guardians of the Galaxy soon.

In the meantime, if you missed Lightning Lane access or the morning’s virtual queue, be sure to keep checking later in the day. As long as the virtual queue is still being used and crowds remain light, you should be able to get on the ride (for the first and only time) later in the day with the virtual queue.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind features all your favorite characters from the hit Marvel films alongside classic musical hits on the first family roller coaster at Walt Disney World with a reverse launch.

We will continue to monitor updates to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind here on DisneyTips and will be back with more information as we have it.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."