I Was Late To My Disney World Virtual Queue, and Here’s What Happened

I make YouTube videos to help people plan their trips to Disney World ,and that means that I go to the parks a LOT. I’m riding the rides all. the. time.

Quincy and Breedlove at TRON Lightcycle / Run

Whether I’m trying to have the perfect day in EPCOT, letting 10 year olds plan my day in Disney World, or riding every Disney roller coaster in the country in ONE DAY; I tend to find myself having to deal with the dreaded Disney World Virtual Queue. And sometimes…sometimes I’m late. Here’s what happens.

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to see one of those Virtual Queues in action, you can spot it in our video where Emma and I tried to ride all of the rollercoasters in Disney World and Disneyland.

So let’s break it down.

Virtual Queue Basics

Virtual Queues are often used for new and popular Disney attractions. Right now in Disney World, you can find Virtual Queues in use for TRON Lightcycle / Run in Magic Kingdom and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

With these attractions, standby lines are not offered. So, the only way to ride without purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane to skip the line is by joining the Virtual Queue.

To join a Virtual Queue, you’ll need to use the My Disney Experience app. Virtual Queues open at 7AM and 1PM each day and typically “sell” out QUICKLY — sometimes within one minute. If you are hoping to get a Virtual Queue, I recommend confirming your party in advance (you can do so up to an hour prior to the queue opening) and watching a world clock. That way you can refresh the Virtual Queue page EXACTLY at 7AM or 1PM and tap “Join Virtual Queue” to secure your spot.

TRON Virtual Queue

On nights that Magic Kingdom and EPCOT have Extended Evening Hours, you can also join a Virtual Queue at 6PM, and this one tends to go a little slower, but we still recommend trying to snag it as soon as you can — 6PM on the dot if possible. When you successfully join a Virtual Queue, you’ll be given a Boarding Group number. When this number is called, you have a one hour window to return to the attraction and ride!

But, oh no! What if you miss that window? What if you’re LATE?

Want to learn the latest about Virtual Queues? Click here!

So…I was late. 

Listen. I’ve been there — many, many times. Sometimes you have to head to your Lightning Lane or dining reservation EXACTLY during that one hour window, sometimes you might decide to park hop and not have time to get back, and sometimes you just might lose track of time.

It’s happened to me before. So, let’s talk about the different things that can happen when you’re late for your Virtual Queue return window.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

If you’re less than 15 minutes late, you’re ALL GOOD. For most timed reservations, including Virtual Queue Boarding Groups, Disney builds in a 15 minute grace period. So, head on up and scan your park ticket, and you should see Mickey’s lil head turn green.

If it’s more than 15 minutes, well, your mileage may vary, and that depends HEAVILY on which ride you are hopping in line for. If it’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you’re probably still in good shape! I have been late for Guardians DOZENS of times — sometimes by literally 6 hours. Typically, I let a Cast Member know when I’m scanning that I’m late, they crack a fun joke like “Ah, we stop letting people in when it’s been 377 minutes, and you’re 378 minutes late,” we laugh, they approve my ticket, and I head on into the queue.

Cosmic Rewind

Basically, Guardians is pretty lax! It’s a high capacity attraction, so the queue doesn’t often get overwhelmingly long. Still, the earlier you ride, the shorter the physical line will be. AND, there is no guarantee that Cast Members will let you ride late, but at the time of writing, I’ve never been turned away. It’s always safer to go DURING your window, but don’t panic if the time moves a little faster than you’re expecting.

TRON Lightcycle / Run is a whole different story. Yes, you still get that 15 minute grace period but after that, you’re probably out of luck. I have been just ONE minute past the grace period and been turned away. The ride is very popular and when you get your return window, that means RETURN.

There is one exception. First thing in the morning, you may see that your TRON Lightcycle / Run Boarding Group is called BEFORE you can even enter the park. They start calling groups as soon as the ride opens and sometimes that means during Early Theme Park Entry — available only to Disney World hotel guests.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

When this happens, you will probably have a little bit of wiggle room. I was late to an early morning group one time, and when my ticket scanned at TRON, it turned green anyway. I asked a Cast Member, and she shared that as long as you arrive within the first two hours of the park day (and your group has been called of course), you should be golden. Now, I don’t chance it if I can help it. But, it’s worth a shot to try to hop in the line if you’re running a little late.


Virtual Queues can certainly be confusing, and it can be scary to think you’re going to miss your window. Hopefully this post has given you some peace of mind about running a little late. Keep an eye on AllEars.Net for more Disney tips!

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3 Replies to “I Was Late To My Disney World Virtual Queue, and Here’s What Happened”

  1. Oops, 7AM, not 7PM: “That way you can refresh the Virtual Queue page EXACTLY at 7PM or 1PM and tap “Join Virtual Queue” to secure your spot.”

    1. Whoops! That is definitely what she meant, haha. It’s been updated. Thank you for letting us know! 🙂

  2. My guess is they are more strict with Tron to prevent everyone from waiting until dark to swarm the VQ line.