Are Virtual Queue Lines The Future Of Walt Disney World

Weekly Disney Rumor Update

Jungle Cruise Entrance Sign Adventureland Disney World

Rumors are growing that Disney is looking to expand virtual queues throughout Walt Disney World amid the pandemic. Many queue lines are not big enough to accommodate the longer lines, at least in size if not in waiting time, that are caused by the social distancing rules that are now looking like they are here to stay for an extended period. These lines have been extended into the park pathways, which is not exactly what you want when you are trying to avoid crowds.

So we are going to talk about how this might work and what rides might use this system. Finally, we are going to discuss if this may point towards the future of Walt Disney World even after COVID19 protocols end at some point in the future.

Slinky Dog Dash Final Drop Toy Story Land Disney's Hollywood Studios

Chances are this would not be used on the most popular rides, but rides that have lines that are consistently being overrun in the parks. The only significant long term use of this in Disney history has been with Rise of the Resistance which has fairly consistent breakdowns. The virtual queue prevents the line from being overrun during each downtime.

But this could easily be extended to rides that are now being overrun daily.

Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Land Disney's Hollywood Studios

Smugglers Run has had a line that requires frequent use of a backstage area, meaning this ride could desperately use a virtual queue system.

Another Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction, Slinky Dog Dash, has also often extended to into another land, using the line of Voyage of the Little Mermaid as well as its own. Rock N Roller Coaster also frequently extends into the rest of Sunset Boulevard.

Jungle Cruise has faced the same problem, especially as few people can fit on each ride vehicle due to having to not only social distance each group on the ride, but also the skipper.

There are a variety of other rides that also face this problem, notably the entire Mexico Pavilion in Epcot.

Disneyland Paris debuted a virtual queue system, to uneven levels of success, but it could certainly be built off of in Walt Disney World.

Figment Sight Lab Journey Into Imagination Epcot Disney World

So how would this work?

There are really a few different ways this could work but all of them are based in the same organizational idea. You would make a reservation on the My Disney Experience app and then use this to ride the ride. This would ideally keep the queue line from extending beyond the immediate area of the ride, limiting crowding, as well as wait times.

Gran Fiesta Tour Entrance Mexico Pavilion Epcot Disney World

The main question is how you would be notified of when to come back to the ride. Would you receive an exact return window, similar to the Fastpass+ system from before the pandemic, or would it be similar to the boarding pass system where you only get a rough estimate of when you will be able to ride?

There is also the question of if all times would all be given out at the beginning of the day, or if they would be given out on a staggered basis throughout the day.

There are certainly advantages to this system, both related and unrelated to the pandemic. In a world without Fastpass, this could help minimize some of the longer waits while ideally making managing lines easier for cast members and safer.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Storybook Circus Magic Kingdom Disney World

But if implemented, will this system last in the parks after the pandemic?

Before the pandemic, there were growing rumors that Disney was looking to make some changes to the Fastpass+ system, potentially involving changing the number of reservations that could be made, or charging for some version of the system. There is no guarantee that the same system will come back after the pandemic.

Virtual lines could be the future of Walt Disney World. Universal had been increasingly using them with new rides from Race Through New York and Fast and Furious Supercharged. These are a great way for parks to keep people out of long lines, and potentially get them spending more time, and money, in shops and restaurants.

Big Top Souvenirs Storybook Circus Magic Kingdom Disney World

This was the real purpose of Fastpass, not to make waits shorter, but to get people out of lines and into shops. Virtual lines do this on a more widespread scale by getting everyone out of the lines, not just Fastpass users. Especially in a world where park capacity is lower than before, it allows more people to spend less time in lines and more time experiencing other attractions.

Virtual lines certainly could change the way Disney Parks work forever, and if successful in the pandemic, I certainly think they could become more long term.

A lot of Disney parks are becoming pressed for expansion space. While new expansion is likely paused indefinitely due to the pandemics' economic effects, getting rid of sizable queue areas could give parks a new place to expand. While most are not big enough for attractions, they could easily bring new shops or dining locations to the parks.

The future of the Disney Parks around the world is in many ways a large question mark at the moment, so it is fun to explore the ways the pandemic may change the parks forever in ways we may never have expected.