We're hearing that the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue filled in about 3 seconds at 7 a.m. and again in about 5 seconds at 1 p.m. I'm here to help your chances of getting in before those very short windows close each day.
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After years of waiting and weeks of soft open previews for media, annual passholders, and Disney Vacation Club members, EPCOT's newest attraction opens to the public today, May 27, 2022. We were able to ride one time during passholder previews and, while I need much, much, much more time to explore this attraction, it immediately became the most fun I've ever had on a ride. Over Rise. Over Flight of Passage. Over Velocicoaster over at Universal. Over Mission Breakout in Disneyland. Over everything. I am not going to spoil it for you other than to say that I audibly whooped and hollered the whole time. And that maybe Flight of Passage makes you feel like you're flying…but on Guardians, you actually fly.
For reference, I can ride Space Mountain no problem. Everest makes my stomach tickle during the backwards parts but I can manage it fine. The Mad Tea Party has not been on my ride list for years, and I cannot ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey over at Universal without getting sick. I was absolutely fine on Cosmic Rewind. Not to say that you will be too, but that's my frame of reference for what it's worth.
Before Your EPCOT Park Day
In order to ride, you'll first need a park pass for EPCOT for everyone in your party. Also confirm that everyone that wants to ride with you also has EPCOT booked and is linked to you as friends and family.
Before 7 a.m. (and/or before 1 p.m. or 6 p.m.) On Your EPCOT Park Day
From there, on the morning of your EPCOT visit, you have the option of paying for Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (it's one of the à la carte items that you'd have to purchase apart from the usual $15/pp Genie+ service) – or, you can try your luck at booking it for free if your fingers are fast and you have a bit of luck.
At least in the beginning, there will be no standby queue – so the virtual queue or paid Lightning Lane will be your only chances to ride. Since this is an individual Lightning Lane purchase, guests staying on property (or at other select good neighbor hotels) are able to purchase it starting at 7 a.m. All other guests need to wait until the park opens – so as you might imagine, you probably aren't getting a paid Lightning Lane spot any time soon if you aren't a resort guest. (And even for resort guests, Lightning Lane was apparently sold out within a few minutes!!)
If you're instead trying for the virtual queue, you'll have your first opportunity at 7 a.m. before the park opens – and then again at 1 p.m. For the 7 a.m. virtual queue, you can enter from home or your resort. You don't need to be on property – you just need the park pass. For the 1 p.m. virtual queue, you need to be in EPCOT to try to grab a spot.
On select nights there will also be a third virtual queue at 6 p.m. for guests of deluxe resorts and other select hotels to use during their extended park hours. These resort guests do not need to have tapped into Epcot yet to join this queue.
In any case, here's how the process works:
First, head into the My Disney Experience app. Tap the three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner.
Then select virtual queues. It will say you don't have any and will ask if you want to join one. Say yes you do!!
You'll then have the opportunity to confirm your party. Have this done before 7 a.m. But not too far before – because now it's a waiting game until 7 a.m. If you exit out of this screen, you will have to confirm your party again.
Your default party will include everyone on your friends and family list who has EPCOT booked for the day. If there are people on your default list who aren't planning to ride, remove them. From experience with the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue, simply because availability goes so fast, it will be a bit harder to place a larger group.
Now here's the key step that so many people skip – learned from Cast Member friends who oversaw virtual queues like Rise of the Resistance's from the early days: If you are able, then pull up a world clock on another screen or device that you can watch closely. I usually use a website called clock.zone that includes 1/100 seconds.
Watch that counter, and the moment – and I mean the MOMENT – that it's hitting 7 a.m., refresh the screen. Some testing suggests that a pull down of the screen processed as fast as tapping the Refresh button, but I feel like I can tap faster than I can pull, so I tapped. The split second it was hitting 7 a.m.
If you get in you'll get a confirm button. Hit it fast!! And with a little luck….
Please keep in mind that there is ALWAYS a dose of luck involved in this – especially this early on. We're hearing that the virtual queue filled in about 3 seconds at 7 a.m. and again in about 5 seconds at 1 p.m. Don't let your trip ride on getting this one attraction. It will be tough at first – and if you don't get it at 7 a.m. you can try again from inside the park at 1 p.m.
And now all that's left to do is SAVE THE GALAXY!! Good luck!!!
We've since been through the rest of the virtual queue process and, while it will no doubt vary from day to day and issues will crop up from time to time, we had Boarding Group 58 and were called at 10:30 a.m., which was just 2 hours after the park opened. Once called, we were asked to arrive by a time that was 55 minutes later. It wasn't clear whether that was being actively enforced – but perhaps keep that timing in mind if you're doing other things as your boarding group's time approaches.
Like other virtual queues, you could check in whenever you wanted to see where things were, and received an alert from the app once your group was called. (That's when you 55 minutes to return kicks in.)
Once we entered, the first parts of the queue were wide open. We walked straight through (be sure to scan the QR code on the cube on the wall…that's how your pictures from the attraction will connect!) until the “main room”, at which point things kept moving pretty briskly but we were at least in a line with other people.
We boarded within about 15 minutes of entering the queue (I wouldn't mind much more time to explore it!!) and were off a few minutes later!! This is such an efficient process. The attraction can handle a LOT of people, boarding is smooth and simple, and getting out at the end is just as easy. (Unlike something like Space Mountain, which requires a lot more climbing in and out.) We'll see how things unfold, but I am really, really hopeful that things will continue to go this well and we'll perhaps see a reasonable standby queue in the not too distant future.
Oh…and we got I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls this time!! That was secretly the song I wanted. 🙂 🙂
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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.