Walt Disney World has as soon as once more up to date its insurance policies on digital queues, reflecting one other manner large adjustments are coming to the visitor expertise beginning on January 9, 2024. This submit covers how TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will work after that, plus our commentary about how this might affect crowds–and why WDW ought to retire VQs fully. Right here’s the announcement:
On occasion, a digital queue—accessible by way of the My Disney Expertise app—could also be used for choose points of interest or experiences. When a digital queue is in place, you may request to get pleasure from that attraction or expertise later within the day, so you may get pleasure from different experiences when you wait. When the digital queue is in place, a standby queue won’t be out there, and Friends should use the My Disney Expertise app to enter the attraction or expertise.
Beginning January 9, Friends will be capable to be part of one attraction digital queue at any theme park the place they’ve legitimate admission. Friends might maintain one attraction digital queue at a time. Like right this moment:
- Choose admission varieties may require a theme park reservation to affix a digital queue.
- Friends don’t must be inside a theme park to request to affix the digital queue at 7:00 AM.
- Friends should be contained in the theme park to request to affix the digital queue at 1:00 PM.
Said otherwise, common tickets that don’t require reservations will be capable to try to affix the 7 a.m. digital queues with out restriction. Walt Disney World’s system will merely validate that you’ve got eligible park admission–no reservations will probably be vital. Not an enormous shock, as that is precisely the way it works with single-day tickets, the 4-park magic tickets over the summer season, and different choose ticket varieties that already don’t require reservations. We’ve by no means heard of anybody having issues becoming a member of the digital queue with any of these tickets.
Though not expressly said, the identical will nearly actually be true for Annual Go good-to-go dates. Walt Disney World’s system already can validate on reservations or park tickets, so presumably there’s an “off-switch” of kinds for admission varieties or occasions that don’t require reservations. You by no means actually know with Disney IT–it’s all the time a wildcard–however they’ve been managing this efficiently for a number of months already. Secure to imagine it’ll proceed to work the way it has for choose ticket varieties.
One factor to notice–particularly as Park Hopping restrictions are dropped–is that Walt Disney World’s official insurance policies nearly actually will not be 100% appropriate. It has by no means been the precise coverage that it is advisable to be within the park for the 1 pm entry time. Everybody in your get together does have to faucet into Magic Kingdom or EPCOT (because the case could also be) in some unspecified time in the future earlier than 1 pm with a purpose to “unlock” entry to the digital queue at 1 pm. Which means you might arrive for park opening, stroll over to Steakhouse 71 on the Modern for lunch, and check out at 1 pm out of your desk.
Prior to now, not one of the digital queues have been geofenced or primarily based upon proximity—this performance has unlocked within the My Disney Expertise app for every visitor after they’ve bodily tapped into the park’s faucet/turnstiles. You possibly can depart after tapping in and nonetheless be part of throughout the afternoon entry time out of your resort room or wherever–you might actually be inside Magic Kingdom or Manitoba, it wouldn’t matter.
The digital queue system solely validates whether or not you’ve tapped into the park the place you’re attempting to affix a VQ (which means Magic Kingdom or EPCOT), not your present location. It may possibly truly be advantageous to depart the park noon, as that’s when crowds and wait occasions are worst. For those who’re like us, you additionally might choose to do lunch at a Magic Kingdom space resort relatively at Walt Disney World’s worst meals park.
Going ahead, we additionally see quite a few eventualities the place we’re bouncing backwards and forwards between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and that ought to make the 1 p.m. digital queue simpler.
Talking of technique, a number of readers have requested how we predict this can affect crowds and/or demand for digital queues. That’s a great query, however my reply is just not actually in any respect. A few of you’re enjoying 4D chess whereas the vast majority of Walt Disney World friends are struggling simply to search out their checkers items.
It’s positively a “energy consumer” thought to assume like this. The reasoning could be that, when you’re shut out of the 7 a.m. digital queue, you rapidly pivot to a distinct park. That manner, as an alternative of placing all of your chips into the 1 p.m. digital queue, you may strive the 7 a.m. VQ once more on a distinct day, and guaranteeing a spot within the VQ earlier than you even enter the park.
It’s good theoretical logic. The issue, I feel, is that the one individuals who truly assume this fashion are extremely more likely to be superb at becoming a member of digital queues, and thus, they won’t be shut out within the first place in any significant numbers. Said otherwise, the particular person gaming this out is at just about zero danger of being shut out of the digital queue.
By and enormous, those that do get shut out would by no means think about doing this within the first place. It’s not only a ability problem–the kind of planners who’re extra inclined to care sufficient to pivot most likely have ADRs and different issues locking them into particular parks on particular days.
This dynamic might be completely different on Annual Go good-to-go dates. A much more possible situation than the above is APs solely visiting Magic Kingdom or EPCOT in the event that they’re capable of rating a spot within the digital queue for TRON Lightcycle Run or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Nevertheless, good-to-go days are going to be ones the place the attendance forecast is decrease for the parks in query and there’s extra capability for Annual Passholders with out reservations. So there’s the sensible actuality of that and the nonetheless relatively-low probability of a excessive variety of APs revolving visits round digital queues.
As such, my reply is that this digital queue change could have a negligible affect on attendance and crowds. At most, we’re most likely speaking about fewer than 100 folks per day who would pivot. Except all of these folks have a meet-up and one way or the other queue up in entrance of you for each single journey, it’s not going to affect you.
One other higher query is likely to be whether or not it is best to pivot when you get shut out. Additionally no.
Once more, I feel there’s a low likelihood–most likely lower than 10%–that any of you who’ve learn our pace technique are getting shut out of the 7 a.m. digital queue. The most definitely situation the place it occurs is a tech glitch–and people positively do happen. There are additionally nonetheless some days the place, even with quick fingers and all going based on plan, you lose out on the VQ at 7 a.m. However that’s taking place much less and fewer.
Extra importantly, there’s nonetheless the 1 p.m. digital queue even when one thing goes fallacious with the 7 a.m. entry. The 1 p.m. VQ is now a lot, a lot simpler to affix on the overwhelming majority of days. Final time we checked, it was open for a number of minutes over 85% of the time for each Cosmic Rewind and TRON Lightcycle Run. In different phrases, the percentages are very a lot in your favor–particularly as an influence consumer.
I perceive that ~85% continues to be not 100%, and that leaves ample room for uncertainty. The issue, although, is that the remaining 10-15% of dates are very busy, and you actually ought to have ADRs and, ideally, Lightning Lane reservations on these days (no less than for Magic Kingdom). So a method or one other, you most likely shouldn’t alter your plans!
I’ll wager lots of you opened this submit pondering that the large change for 2024 could be Walt Disney World eliminating digital queues. Once I first noticed the blurb about digital queue expertise updates, that was actually my hope.
Truthfully, we’ve been anticipating the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind digital queue to be retired for some time. We first wrote concerning the declining demand for it final July, and predicted it might be retired by the beginning of the August low season. When that ended up being fallacious, we moved that prediction to mid-January…then shortly earlier than TRON Lightcycle Run’s opening.
At this level, we’ve resolved ourselves to the Cosmic Rewind digital queue one way or the other nonetheless current when Megatron is tall sufficient to journey. Each time it looks like it’s about to occur–like this summer season, when Walt Disney World arrange an outside overflow that changed into a seating space–the plans are deserted for no matter purpose. (Additionally this summer season, we acquired a survey with main questions that, I feel, was despatched to bolster the preordained conclusion that friends need digital queues.)
Truthfully, I like digital queues and am selfishly, not-so-secretly (since I’m posting about it right here) comfortable to see them proceed. Nevertheless, I may also respect that I’m not the typical visitor and that what’s good for me is just not good for the park-going public.
I like digital queues as a result of I’m superb at them. Which may sound like a humblebrag, however at this level, you’re most likely fairly good at them too. For those who’re studying this weblog by way of the pc in your pocket, you’re within the prime 5% of the park-going public by way of expertise or information. That applies even when you’re planning your first journey!
Digital queues are nice for folks like us as a result of they operate equally to how free FastPass used to work–though the return strains have gotten worse this 12 months. At minimal, they’re extra environment friendly than ready in a standby line and/or are cheaper than shopping for an Particular person Lightning Lane.
I’ve talked about this elsewhere, however I’ve gotten to the purpose the place I solely be part of the 1 p.m. digital queue and hesitate for a bit (often round 1:05 p.m., nevertheless it’s crowd-dependent) so I get a callback time later within the night when the return line is sort of all the time shorter (except there was important downtime earlier).
Utilizing this technique, I’m doing TRON Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind nearly each single time I go to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT–even on days which might be “only for enjoyable” with no technique or analysis agenda. The one different headliner attraction I journey as a lot as these two is Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice (can’t resist on the finish of the night time when it’s a walk-on). That almost all positively wouldn’t be true if the rides had been posting 90+ minute standby wait occasions–and each would however for the digital queue.
I do know I’m not alone on this, and lots of different Annual Passholders and locals who would in any other case balk at excessive standby wait occasions are doing Cosmic Rewind and TRON Lightcycle Run each single go to. The factor is that journey capability is a zero-sum recreation. If the digital queue is filling up with a bunch of APs and locals who would skip a 90-minute standby wait, these spots are coming on the expense of another person (assuming that the points of interest are working at or near 100% effectivity–and they’re).
The losers on this situation are possible disproportionately first-timers and different low-knowledge or technology-averse friends. Whereas these folks typically are oblivious to digital queues or are unable to affix for no matter purpose, lots of them are ready or extra inclined to attend in an extended standby line. The balking level is greater for them–they’ve by no means achieved the journey and its advertising would possibly’ve been one of many causes they booked the Walt Disney World journey within the first place!
These are the very demographics that, in my view whilst a biased and self-interested Annual Passholder, Walt Disney World ought to be favoring. It’s most likely higher for the sake of visitor satisfaction and creating new followers to make issues simpler for these folks, and eradicating one layer of friction.
This would possibly sound loopy to a few of you. For those who booked a visit after seeing advertising for Cosmic Rewind or TRON Lightcycle Run, wouldn’t you do the requisite analysis to make sure you’ll have the opportunity journey?!
But it surely’s essential to keep in mind that not everyone seems to be such as you. It’s additionally simple to underestimate how a lot information you’ve amassed through the years, and simply how daunting or unintuitive all of that is to the uninitiated. For just like the thousandth time, there’s a purpose why we are saying that when you can grasp visiting Walt Disney World, you may journey anyplace. Language boundaries, prolonged worldwide occasions and time zone adjustments don’t have anything on the complexity of WDW!
Perceptions of digital queues amongst Walt Disney World followers have modified a ton since late 2019 when the system debuted for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. For some time, our strategizing for that attraction was essentially the most standard matter on this weblog. There was a lot concern, uncertainty, doubt–and thirst for solutions. That way back ceased to be the case, as most you studying this turned snug with digital queues and began leveraging them to your benefit.
Give followers sufficient time to learn to exploit one thing, they usually’ll be taught to like what they as soon as hated. (Save this sentence for when first-reactions roll in for Lightning Lane advance-booking, and immediately a bunch of Genie+ followers come out of the woodwork!)
Each winners and losers nonetheless exist with digital queues, as capability is finite. That has not modified. What has modified is that you simply studying this at the moment are sometimes the winners as an alternative of potential losers. So your notion of digital queues has largely modified–or on the very least, it stopped being entrance of thoughts.
As most of us have complained concerning the quantity of display screen time and overreliance on know-how in visiting Walt Disney World, we should always likewise proceed to help the retirement of digital queues. They might profit us on a person stage, however total and in combination, they’re a adverse for the visitor expertise. Digital queues add yet one more pointless layer of friction and make issues overwhelming and intimidating for inexperienced and older friends.
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Ideas on the digital queue adjustments for TRON Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind? Joyful or disenchanted about this? Assume this can have any affect of attendance, crowds, or the dynamic with VQs? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation of digital queues being guest-unfriendly as an entire? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!