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How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind w/ Virtual Queue & Boarding Groups

Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened in May 2022 in EPCOT, it’s been important to know how to ride it. Disney has been using the Virtual Queue as well as boarding groups for its new E-Ticket attractions in recent years and you now need to know how to use it here too.

Close up of Nova Ship at entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Since the Virtual Queue system was introduced in 2019, it has been one of the most difficult and frustrating additions to the Walt Disney World theme parks and guests often cannot figure out how to use it to get on their favorite attractions.

(UPDATE) Since Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened on May 27, 2022, it has been using the Virtual Queue. At this time there will NOT be a standby queue available.

We expected that when Disney opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind it would use the virtual queue, which is consistent with the way Disney has been opening new rides lately, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.

In this post, we are going to explain everything you need to know about using the virtual queue with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT. We’ll explain why Disney is using the virtual queue, how boarding groups work, and give you step-by-step instructions on how to get a boarding pass.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue loading screen

We’ll also answer all your questions like how many times you can ride per day, how to tell when your boarding group is ready, and our best tips and strategy for using the virtual queue system to make sure you get on this amazing new attraction.

Lastly, we’ll give our best guess as to how long Cosmic Rewind will end up using boarding passes. Consider this your Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue 101 class where you will learn everything you need to know.

Whatever changes are made to the system we will update you right here, and whenever Disney decides to start using a standby queue for Cosmic Rewind, we’ll let you know.

Before we get started, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. We will update you with any changes to the boarding procedure for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and share the latest vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Why Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Using the Virtual Queue?

ride vehicle for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster

When Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance debuted, guests were introduced to the Disney Virtual Queue instead of a traditional standby queue. Other new attractions such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the new France pavilion expansion, and WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure in Disney California Adventure have also used it for a time upon opening.

It would be an understatement to say that the Virtual Queue has not been the most popular new addition to the Disney Parks, in fact, most people think it’s just a big hassle. In fact, because of the virtual queue, many guests have not been able to even get a boarding pass for their favorite ride, leading to many tears from people who may have traveled thousands of miles to ride.

We’ve witnessed this in the parks numerous times, and it’s not a fun sight to see.

In any case, Disney decided to make the Virtual Queue system operational for most new rides when they first open and are in the most demand. This system stops crowds from getting too long outside, and also prevents mobs of people running for the ride entrance at rope drop.

Chasing Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

When it comes to Cosmic Rewind, this has pretty much been the most popular ride the park has ever seen. There have been some big attraction openings in the last few years such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After. Both of those rides are still extremely popular and can have wait times pushing 2 hours long.

With the massive hype around Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, so far, this has topped both of those rides easily. It hasn’t quite reached the same level as Rise of the Resistance has, but it will be close. That means using boarding groups can significantly cut down on the amount of time guests will have to spend in line.

It also helps Disney since they don’t have to lay out extra queues when an attraction first opens to handle the overflow of guests. Not to mention it makes guests feel more satisfied not having to wait in line for 5 hours, and that they got more for the money they spent that day (that is of course if they were able to get a boarding pass).

Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster Model at Epcot Experience

The riding options for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind are:

  1. Virtual Queue through the Boarding Group System
  2. Individual Lightning Lane Purchase

A standby queue is not available for Cosmic Rewind, at least for the time being.

It’s worth noting that when Disney stopped using the Virtual Queue for Remy’s and Rise of the Resistance, they said they “paused” and “suspended” those services, leaving the window open for them to come back in the future at those attractions or other new ones like Cosmic Rewind.

The only new attraction that hasn’t opened with the Virtual Queue is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The reason is likely because that ride can handle a large number of guests per hour and is fast-loading, so boarding groups aren’t as useful.

Cosmic Rewind on the other hand is a roller coaster and does not have the same shear capacity as Runaway Railway. For those reasons, Disney felt strongly that Cosmic Rewind needed to use the virtual queue, at least for a while.

If past experience comes into play with Cosmic Rewind, getting into the Virtual Queue is somewhat of a lottery and you can expect it to fill up within seconds. For that reason, we highly recommend reading our instructions and tips in this article which will help give you the best chance of riding.

How Does the Virtual Queue Work for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride loading station

The virtual queue allows you to reserve a spot in line for a specific attraction, without actually having to get in line physically for that ride. It is supposed to make guests wait less time in line and be able to enjoy other areas of the park until it’s their time to ride.

When the distribution time starts, guests log in to the My Disney Experience app where they receive a boarding pass telling them when it’s their turn to get in line.

Only guests with a valid theme park ticket and park pass reservations (no longer needed after January 9th, 2024) to EPCOT on the same day will be able to make boarding group reservations. Don’t forget to link your theme park tickets to your My Disney Experience account otherwise you will not be able to get a park pass reservation.

  • REMEMBER: When the Virtual Queue is running, it’s the only free way you can ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. If you don’t get into the Virtual Queue, the only other option is paying to ride using the Individual Lightning Lanes which is part of the new Disney Genie system.

What are Boarding Groups?

To use the virtual queue, guests are assigned boarding groups. This is how your place in the virtual queue is held. Boarding groups are typically numbered anywhere from 1-200. Guests are assigned boarding groups in numerical order and are then called when it’s their turn to ride the attraction.

Guests can see what boarding groups are currently being called and the estimated time until their group number is called.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue

What Time Do Boarding Groups Open?

There are three daily boarding pass distribution times for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

  • 7:00 am
  • 1:00 pm
  • 6:00 pm (Extended Evening Theme Park Hours Only)

With two boarding group distribution times, it means that guests have 2 opportunities to get into the virtual queue each day and ride Cosmic Rewind. If you aren’t able to get a boarding pass in the morning, you still have another chance later in the day.

Plus when Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are running in EPCOT, guests staying at a Deluxe Walt Disney World Resort hotel or Deluxe Villa have a third chance to get into the virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind!

7:00 am Distribution Time – Reservations for boarding passes in the morning can be made from anywhere outside the theme park, including your Disney World Resort hotel or your home.

1:00 pm Distribution Time – Boarding pass reservations during the second distribution time must be made from INSIDE EPCOT.

6:00 pm Distribution Time – This third time is only available to guests staying in a Deluxe Disney World Resort hotel or Deluxe Villa and only on select days when EPCOT offers Extended Evening Hours. Reservations for boarding passes can be made from outside the park.

In the future, it’s possible that Disney changes the boarding pass distribution time slots for Cosmic Rewind, but we’ll let you know if that happens.

Getting a Boarding Pass Step-by-Step

join the virtual queue

Now we are going to explain step-by-step how to get into the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

STEP 1: How to Prepare Ahead of Time

The very first thing you need to do before using the Virtual Queue is to download the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device. Without that, you can’t get into a boarding group. Thankfully, it’s easy to do and it runs on both iPhone and Android devices.

After you install the app, create a personal account and link your theme park tickets to your account. Repeat this step for all members of your family or group and make sure everyone is connected together in the Family & Friends list. If you are not connected, you won’t be able to ride together.

Once that is done, you need to make park pass reservations for everyone in your group for EPCOT on the day you plan on visiting.

  • TIP: Check the Theme Park Reservation Availability for your park BEFORE buying park tickets. Otherwise, if there are no park reservations available for EPCOT for those dates, you will be stuck with the park tickets and have to use them to go to a different theme park and you won’t get to ride Cosmic Rewind.
Tip Board in My Disney Experience for Cosmic Rewind

STEP 2: Pre-Selecting Your Party

Every second counts, so one trick that will save you some time is by pre-selecting your party before trying to get a boarding pass.

The nice thing is that this process should happen automatically if you are linked properly in My Disney Experience. The system knows who among your Family & Friends list also has a park pass reservation for that same day and should put you in the same party for Cosmic Rewind.

If for some reason you check and see that not everyone is pre-selected into the same party before the distribution window opens, you will have to do it manually. That’s why taking care of this before boarding pass distribution starts is key. Trust us, you don’t want to waste those valuable seconds as it could make the difference between getting a boarding pass or not.

Pre-selecting your party can be done as early as 6:00 am on the morning of your booking, though you don’t need to wake up that early. Just checking it 5-10 minutes before 7:00 am is enough time.

confirming party Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue

STEP 3: Making Reservations

  1. Get to a spot where you have a good Wi-Fi signal or cellular data signal on your phone. The fastest guests win, so you don’t want to have a weak signal. Test your connection first by loading some pages on your internet browser and making sure it works.
  2. At 6:50 am, open up My Disney Experience. This will give you at least 10 minutes before the distribution window opens to get ready (open it at 12:50 pm if going for the 1:00 pm window, or 5:50 pm for the 6:00 pm window).
  3. Make sure your account is properly logged into My Disney Experience as it sometimes logs you out automatically. You don’t want to lose those valuable seconds doing this at 7:00 am as it can mean all the difference.
  4. Go to the Virtual Queue page in the app and tap on the button “Join Virtual Queue.” At 3 seconds before 7:00 am, start tapping the “REFRESH” button on the page as quickly as you can. Keep doing this until you see the “JOIN” button and press it immediately!
  5. Your party should already be pre-selected so on the next page just click “JOIN” once again and you are in! If you are successful, you will then be given a boarding group number which lets you know your approximate return time.
  6. When your number is called, proceed to the entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to ride.
Making reservations for Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue

If a Distribution Time Has Filled Try Again in the Afternoon

What happens if you try to get into the Virtual Queue during the morning distribution at 7:00 am but there are no more boarding passes available? This could easily happen to you because boarding passes usually sell out in seconds since they are the only free way to ride.

afternoon distribution Cosmic Rewind

If you can’t get a boarding pass at 7:00 am, don’t worry. Everyone has two chances to get one. Just try again at 1:00 pm during the afternoon distribution and hopefully you will get in. If EPCOT has Extended Evening Hours, you’ll also have a third time at 6:00 pm.

The only problem with the afternoon is that there are usually fewer boarding passes to give out by that time in the day. If a ride goes down unexpectedly, it can really slow down the boarding groups and the ones in the afternoon could be limited.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Concept Art Xandar Gallery

Getting a boarding pass in the afternoon distribution also means you will be called in the evening, possibly close to the park closing which means you will have to stick around all day, and potentially miss the EPCOT fireworks or dinner.

That’s why we always get up early and try for the morning distribution at 7:00 am.

  • REMEMBER: You need to be inside EPCOT park to get a boarding group during the 1:00 pm distribution. You can’t be at your resort or in another theme park.

If the Virtual Queue is sold out for either distribution time, a message will show on the “Join Virtual Queue” screen saying that the distribution time is complete. This happens first at the 7:00 am window, then again at 1:00 pm, or 6:00 pm.

On a normal day without Extended Evening Hours, once distribution for the 1:00 pm window is complete, capacity for the attraction that day is finished and you will need to try another day.

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How Do I Know When My Boarding Group is Ready?

digital sign EPCOT boarding groups Cosmic Rewind

There are two ways to check if your boarding group is ready for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

  1. First, you can check your My Disney Experience app under the section “Virtual Queues.” There it will show you any queues you are currently in and how much time is left until you are called. You’ll also get a notification through the app if you have notifications turned on for your smartphone.
  2. The status of the virtual queue is also available by looking at the information boards located throughout EPCOT.

Checking the virtual queue allows you to see which groups are currently boarding and what your “Estimated Return” time is. Your estimated return time updates constantly and counts down the minutes until your group is called.

Knowing how much time is left allows you to grab a bite to eat or ride one of the other EPCOT attractions while you are waiting.

If you don’t want to check yourself all the time, just enable the “Push Notifications” for the My Disney Experience Mobile App. This will send you a message automatically to your mobile screen right when your boarding group is ready.

It's time to head to Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue boarding groups ready

Even though this normally works very well, we still recommend going into the app and manually checking from time to time throughout the day. You don’t want to leave it to chance, only to discover that your boarding group was called 2 hours ago and now it’s too late to ride.

Once your boarding group is ready there will be a message in the “My Queues” section of the app:  “It’s Time, Head to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind by: (insert time).”  Once you see this message it’s time to ride.

When you show up at the entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a Cast Member will scan your MagicBand and allow you to enter the ride.

How Many Times Can I Ride Per Day?

Guests are limited to one ride per day on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind using the Virtual Queue during regular park hours. This allows as many people as possible an opportunity to ride.

However, it is possible to get into the Virtual Queue and also buy an Individual Lightning Lane to ride a second time. Technically, it’s also possible to ride 3 times on the same day if you buy an Individual Lightning Lane and get into the Virtual Queue during regular park hours, and another time during Extended Evening Hours.

Concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading Area

Once it eventually moves over to a standby queue, you will have the chance to get back in line and ride as many times as you like, just like all other attractions.


Since getting a boarding pass is a very complicated process, you probably have a ton of questions running through your mind. Here are the answers to some of the most common FAQs:

What Time Do I Need to Arrive at the Park?

Driving to EPCOT park

What time you need to arrive at EPCOT to ride Cosmic Rewind all depends on how things went during the morning distribution time and what boarding group number you were assigned (if any).

If you get a boarding pass during the first distribution window at 7:00 am, you can arrive at EPCOT any time you want, as long as you are there before your boarding group is called.

If you weren’t able to get into the Virtual Queue at 7:00 am, then you need to be inside EPCOT before the second distribution time starts at 1:00 pm. Not in the parking lot, but tapped into the park entrance and through the turnstiles. If you are not inside before 1:00 pm, you may miss your opportunity for a boarding group.

Does Everyone Have to Be in the Park to Join a Boarding Group?

Whether or not your entire party must be in the park to join a boarding group depends on which distribution time you are trying to get a boarding group for.

If you are trying during the 7:00 am window, you are not required to be in EPCOT (the park doesn’t open that early anyway) and you can make your reservation from anywhere. This includes your hotel room, your home, or anywhere else you are. (The same is true for the 6:00 pm window).

If you are trying to get into the virtual queue at 1:00 pm, however, all members of your group must be present inside EPCOT or it won’t work.

Do All Guests Need to Have the My Disney Experience Mobile App?

boarding groups Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Not everyone in your party needs to have the My Disney Experience mobile app installed on their phone. Everyone having My Disney Experience will make things much easier, but it’s not 100% necessary to ride Cosmic Rewind.

Whoever in your party does not have My Disney Experience installed, make sure their tickets are linked to the account of the person making the boarding group reservations. If they are not linked together in the Family & Friends list, you won’t be able to ride together.

Should I Use the Disney Wi-Fi or Cellular Data When Getting a Boarding Pass?

Since every second counts to get into the Virtual Queue, one of the most popular questions we get from readers is whether to use the Wi-Fi located in the park, or your cellular network to get a boarding pass.

After trying both many times, we prefer using our cellular data network to get a boarding group rather than relying on Disney’s Wi-Fi network. Disney doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to their in-park Wi-Fi and there are many blind spots where it just doesn’t work.

The worst scenario would be not having a good internet connection right at the moment when you are trying to get into the Virtual Queue.

We recommend walking to a place inside EPCOT where your mobile phone has a strong data connection to the cellular network and staying there until your make your reservations.

Can I Be in the Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Another Attraction at the Same Time?

Boarding Groups at Disneyland

You cannot be in the Virtual Queue for two attractions at the exact same time, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Fortunately, right now, Cosmic Rewind and TRON: Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom are the only attractions in Walt Disney World using the Virtual Queue, so there shouldn’t be any issues.

In that case, we typically recommend visiting EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom on separate days as it would be almost impossible to be able to ride both on the same day.

In the past, Disney has allowed guests to be in two virtual queues at once, but we don’t expect them to change this unless they decide to make more attractions use the virtual queue.

When Should I Return to the Queue to Ride?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium

Once your boarding group is called for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you can head to the attraction entrance to get in the queue. From the moment your boarding group is called, you have 1 hour to return to the ride before your spot in the virtual queue expires.

For example, if your group is called at 2:20 pm, you have until 3:20 pm to show up and get in line.

Guests are usually given a grace period of about 15 minutes more so if you are running late for some reason you can still make it in time.

It’s important that you continue to check the boarding group status frequently during the day so you don’t miss getting called. That way you will know the estimated time until you can ride and what other attractions or entertainment to do while you wait.

Even though you have an hour to return once your boarding group is called, we recommend going there right away. Theme park attractions are not always reliable and if Cosmic Rewind goes down unexpectedly, it might reopen that day which means you lost your chance to ride.

Can I Leave EPCOT and Go Back?

Guests with a boarding pass for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind are allowed to leave EPCOT and come back later in the day. Just remember you must be back in time when your boarding group is called. If you miss the return window, that’s it.

Keep an eye on the progress of the current boarding groups in My Disney Experience and give yourself plenty of time to get back since you only have 1 hour to ride from when your group is called.

What if the Ride is Down When My Group is Called?

Guardians of the Galaxy ride coming to Epcot sign

If Cosmic Rewind goes down after your group is called, don’t worry, you won’t necessarily lose your chance to ride. Guests who were called but didn’t get to ride because of the closure are given a pass that lets them return at any time during the day to ride.

Once the ride reopens, they can enter the attraction at any time. At that point, Disney will start calling the next boarding groups where they left off from.

Just in case, we recommend taking a screenshot of your boarding group number immediately upon making your reservation. That way in case there is an issue, you have proof that you had a boarding pass at that time.

Also, Disney will not always notify you when the ride is back up and running so keep checking the status in My Disney Experience.

What Time Do Boarding Passes Run Out?

Nova Corps star symbol

During the 7:00 am distribution time, for all attractions, the virtual queue typically fills up in 5-10 seconds max. Due to the high popularity of Cosmic Rewind, that is also what we have experienced here as well.

Historically, during the 1:00 pm distribution time, boarding passes last a little longer and at times you can even get them 30 minutes or more after opening. We’ve also seen that to be the case most days with Cosmic Rewind, and often you can still get a boarding group without too much trouble.

Cosmic Rewind hasn’t been quite as popular as Rise of the Resistance was prior, but the boarding passes for any time frame still sell out extremely fast especially the morning distribution window. And the morning boarding groups are still more desirable than the afternoon ones because you are almost guaranteed to ride, while that’s not always the case if you get one of the last groups.

That’s why it’s so important to take the other tips so seriously. Even 1 second could mean riding it or not riding it that day.

The hourly ride capacity for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind also plays a huge part. So far, it has been pretty efficient and guests get in and out quickly. That makes it easier for Disney to open up more Virtual Queue inventory.

The reliability has also played a factor because it doesn’t break down as much as Rise of the Resistance when it first opened. But the days it does have significant downtime, not as many guests can ride, and even if you have a boarding pass, you might be on the outside looking in.

Cosmic Rewind During Extended Evening Hours

fireworks outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind EPCOT

Guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort, Disney Deluxe Villa Resort, or other select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have an additional opportunity to ride Cosmic Rewind.

On days when Extended Evening Hours are running in EPCOT, there is an additional Virtual Queue distribution time at 6:00 pm. Guests do not need to be in EPCOT to make reservations but they do need valid theme park admission and a park pass reservation for EPCOT, or they may have a park pass reservation for another park that they entered earlier in the same day.

Extended Evening Hours usually take place for 2 hours after the regular park close which is from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm at EPCOT.

While having an extra Virtual Queue time at 6:00 pm is a benefit, we don’t recommend relying on getting a boarding pass at that time. The best strategy is always to try getting into a boarding group during the first distribution at 7:00 am, and then again in the afternoon. If that fails, you now have a 3rd option, as long as you are staying at one of the Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villas.

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Is It Possible to Join the Virtual Queue During Regular Hours and Extended Evening Hours?

Yes, it is. If you are able to get a boarding pass during regular park hours, it is possible to get into the Virtual Queue again during Extended Evening Hours. Technically, you also could purchase an Individual Lightning Lane and ride Cosmic Rewind 3 times on the same day.

Boarding Groups Strategy & Tips

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster model Epcot

Let’s face it, planning a trip to Walt Disney World is already a stressful experience with everything else you have to plan, let alone worrying about getting into the Virtual Queue just to ride an attraction.

In fact, it can be so stressful that you will hear people cheering in the park when they are able to get a boarding pass.

But getting a boarding pass isn’t the only goal, it’s also nice to get a low number. The lower number your boarding group is, the earlier in the day you will be able to ride. It could be the difference between doing the ride at 12:00 pm or having to wait until later in the evening when you might have dinner reservations.

Also, you are just more likely to not have a maintenance issue stop you from riding altogether.

Here are our best tips to keep in mind:

Check Your Phone Settings

The first thing you need to do is make sure the settings are correct on your phone and that it is displaying the time correctly. Disney’s clocks are synchronized with the site so make sure your clock is set correctly.

Second, test the speed of your phone ahead of time. This is important and could make the difference between riding or not. A score of around 50-60 Mbps should be fast enough.

Before it’s time to make your reservations, close out any other apps on your phone and make sure the My Disney Experience Mobile App is the only one running. Other apps can slow down your phone significantly and you don’t need that when making boarding pass reservations.

Get Familiar with the Virtual Queue

Multiple Virtual Queues in My Disney Experience

The best way to get ready is to be familiar with My Disney Experience and the Virtual Queue page ahead of time. You can do this from your home or in your resort in the days leading up to you getting boarding group reservations.

Sure, you won’t actually be able to join a boarding group unless you have a park pass reservation for that day, but that’s ok. Practicing ahead of time will get you familiar with the app and how the whole process works, which will be invaluable to your success in scoring the lowest boarding group possible.

Have Multiple People Getting Boarding Groups

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind concept art

One of the best tips I can give you is to not have only one person in your party trying to book the boarding groups. Instead, get multiple people on their phones all trying at the same time.

The more people you have attempting to get a boarding group when the window opens, the far better your odds of getting into the Virtual Queue are.

Just make sure that everyone that attempts to get the boarding groups is linked up to all the guests in the party! This is crucial!

When the distribution window for the Virtual Queue opens each day, you are simultaneously competing against thousands of other guests for a limited number of spots in the queue. Just as an example, if there are 10,000 spots each day and there are 20,000 people trying to get one, you basically have a 50/50 chance.

Disney World virtual queue join

However, if you have 3 or 4 people in your group all trying at once, it makes it much more likely you get a boarding group. Your phone can freeze up or there could just be a glitch in the system and if you are the only one trying, by the time you get it fixed it will be too late.

We recommend that everyone capable of using a cell phone is in there trying.

Whoever is the first to get into the virtual queue will get a confirmation message for the group saying it was a success. Everyone else will then get a message also confirming they are in a group.

Just make sure everyone has the My Disney Experience app downloaded and set up correctly the day before attempting to get a boarding group.

Your Timing is Crucial

If you haven’t figured it out by now, every second counts when trying to get into the Virtual Queue, and delaying by just one second could mean the difference between riding Cosmic Rewind or not. Included in that is when you open the My Disney Experience app and when you refresh the page to make a reservation.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening concept art
  • Open the app at least 5 minutes before the distribution window opens. This will help you to get used to the page and know where to click before the big moment. Look at the page and get everything lined up and ready to go so you aren’t fumbling at the last second.

Also, having a newer phone is going to make a huge difference as the pages will load faster. Whoever has the latest model of whatever phone you use will have an advantage over people with slower phones.

Refresh Your Page Often

Join boarding group button Disney Virtual Queue

One mistake we see is people waiting too long to refresh the Virtual Queue page or not doing it at all.

Once you are about 5 seconds from the distribution time, start refreshing the virtual queue reservations page continuously to give you the best chance of getting in.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Continuously tap the “Refresh” button at the bottom of the page until the “JOIN” button appears. Then continue making the reservation.
  2. Swipe down on the page to refresh. Do this every second until the “JOIN” button appears and then proceed to make your reservation.

Both of these ways work, but the first option of tapping the “Refresh” button is quicker and gives you the best chance. Start this a few seconds before the window opens up and click it repeatedly until it shows up.

Again, speed is the key here so don’t hesitate or you might not get in. It’s a lot harder to get a boarding pass during the 7:00 am distribution time, and you may have more luck during the afternoon spot.

Don’t Forget to Set Your Alarm

iPhone Alarms in phone

Even if you practice all the above tips over and you are super-prepared, you can still ruin everything if you oversleep and don’t wake up in time.

The morning distribution time starts at 7:00 am. Remember, the boarding groups sell out in seconds each day so being online before 7:00 am is essential.

We recommend setting your alarm to go off at least 10 minutes before that at 6:50 am. This will give you a few minutes to wake up, open your phone, and get ready to score a boarding pass.

Even if you are only trying during the second distribution window at 1:00 pm, set your alarm on your phone for 5-10 minutes before that. With everything that goes on in the theme parks, it’s easy to forget to make reservations for the Virtual Queue, so set your alarm as a reminder.

If You Make a Mistake

It depends on what mistake you make, but for the most part, they can be fixed. The most common mistakes with the virtual queue are not including everyone in your party or adding additional guests.

The most important thing to remember is: Do NOT delete your boarding group and try to create a new one! If you do this you will lose your reservation and will likely not get it back, ruining your chance to ride.

If you have a mistake to fix, go to a Disney Cast Member, and either they will help you fix the issue, or they will direct you to someone who can. Of course, always treat the Cast Members with the utmost respect. They want to help you resolve the problem as much as you do, so using kind words and having patience go a long way.

If You Can’t Get a Boarding Group Use Lightning Lane

Lightning Lane Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

If for some reason you are not able to get a boarding pass for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, that’s not necessarily the end of the world. There is still another way to ride it.

You may know that Disney has two paid FastPass+ systems called Genie+ & Individual Lightning Lanes. These allow you to pay to ride a specific attraction without having to wait in line for it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is also an Individual Lightning Lane attraction which gives you another option if you can’t get into the Virtual Queue.

To use the Individual Lightning Lane at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind it costs between $14 and $17 per person.

That’s expensive, but not quite as much as Rise of the Resistance which can be as high as $25 per person or TRON: Lightcycle Run which is normally $20 per person.

Genie+ basics

This of course is the last resort. I don’t like paying for a ride any more than you do and I avoid doing it 99% of the time. However, if you are only visiting for a short period of time and only have one day in EPCOT, it is probably worth paying the price instead of missing Cosmic Rewind altogether.

The only problem is Individual Lightning Lanes tend to sell out quickly each day too so you can’t wait too long in the day to decide. If riding Cosmic Rewind is of the utmost importance to you, my suggestion is to try getting into the Virtual Queue first, which is the free option.

If that doesn’t work, take one for the team and just pay for a Lightning Lane pass. But do this right away before they fill up too!

Read our post How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Rides for step-by-step instructions and tips.

Is It Possible to Get a Boarding Pass and Individual Lightning Lane on the Same Day?

Lightning Lane Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Theoretically, it’s possible to do and it would let you ride Cosmic Rewind twice on the same day, but it’s very difficult to do.

While there is nothing stopping guests from booking a reservation in the virtual queue and from purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane on the same day, both of these open to guests at 7:00 am, and both sell out extremely quickly each day. The paid Lightning Lane doesn’t go AS QUICK as the free Virtual Queue (5-10 seconds), but normally it can sell our within minutes on busier days.

If you want to book both of them, you should have two people online ready to make reservations at 7:00 am on the day you are visiting. This will give you the best chance at both of them.

If you are the only person making reservations, you will have to choose which one you want more. The Virtual Queue is the free option, but most people will try that one first for that very reason. Skipping the Virtual Queue and going directly for an Individual Lightning Lane selection will give you the best odds of riding Cosmic Rewind.

Park Hopping and the Virtual Queue

EPCOT and Spaceship Earth in the Spring at Flower and Garden

Park hopping at Disney World lets you visit multiple parks in one day and is one of the best ways to see as many things as possible in a short period of time. With park hopping returning back to normal in 2024, it can be a great way to snag a boarding pass during the 1:00 pm distribution time.

Post-pandemic and prior to 2024, park hopping wasn’t possible until after 2:00 making it impossible to grab boarding groups during that second time slot at 1:00 if you weren’t already in the park. We are glad to report that as long as you are inside EPCOT anytime at 1:00 pm or before you can grab a boarding pass for Cosmic Rewind, which is now possible again.

While it’s still best to increase your chances as much as possible by trying at 7:00 am first especially if you only have one day to visit EPCOT. But if you MUST visit another park in the morning, you can begin doing that in 2024 and just make sure your in EPCT prior to the 1:00 pm window opening up.

While this isn’t the best strategy for increasing your odds of securing a Cosmic Rewind boarding group, it might be your only option!

Virtual Queue with DAS

DAS Disability Access Service Disney World

With Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind using the Virtual Queue, how does that affect guests who use the Disability Access System (DAS)?

Actually, when the Virtual Queue system is used, DAS doesn’t change that much, but there are still some things to keep in mind.

  • Guests using DAS still must use the virtual queue to get a boarding pass for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Guests cannot skip the virtual queue just because they are using DAS.

The same rules that apply to all guests for the Virtual Queue also apply to DAS guests. You can join the virtual queue at 7:00 am or 1:00 pm, just like everyone else. Make sure you and your entire party are connected in My Disney Experience otherwise you can’t ride together.

When your boarding group is called, everyone in your party should proceed to the entrance of the attraction. Instead of getting into the normal queue, you will go to the Lightning Lane entrance and tell a cast member there you are using DAS.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Boarding Groups Virtual Queue

The person with DAS will first scan their MagicBand, card, or phone, and then the rest of the members in the party will follow.

The attraction is fully accessible and available to guests driving an ECV, scooter, or in a wheelchair. You can take these devices with you into the queue and a cast member will direct you the rest of the way.

One thing to keep in mind is by using DAS and the Lightning Lane, you will miss some of the regular queue, which has some of the coolest details, including a whole display of Xandar, and many funny moments from the Guardians. This however is the tradeoff you need to make if you want to use DAS.

How Long Will Disney Use Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle testing

At this time, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has been using the Virtual Queue system since it opened on May 27, 2022. The natural question is: “How long will they use it for?”

At this point, it’s really impossible to say for sure, but we can look at some past examples when Disney used boarding groups for other rides and how long those lasted.

When Disney decided to use the Virtual Queue system on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, it lasted for a long time, almost 2 years. Eventually, it switched over to a standby queue but at times it felt like it would use boarding groups forever.

Another example was when Disney decided to use the virtual queue for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. They knew it would be very popular with guests and it was convenient to help prevent crowding in that area of the park. That was much shorter, however, and only lasted a couple of months.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Disney World

The only ride that didn’t adopt the virtual queue was Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but that attraction is able to handle a larger number of guests per hour than the others making the virtual queue not as useful.

Really, we don’t really know what Disney will do Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Since it opened, it’s been the most popular ride in EPCOT, and Disney may decide to keep the Virtual Queue around for a few more months, or even longer.

So far, it doesn’t seem like the ride system is nearly as complicated as other rides like Rise of the Resistance, and it really hasn’t had any issues staying open all day without major shutdowns. A situation like that could cause Disney to keep it around longer, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

I don’t have any insider info on it, but I haven’t heard of Cosmic Rewind having any serious maintenance issues so far which is a good sign.

TRON Lightcycle Run concept art

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see what Disney decides to do. We’ll keep you updated with any changes to the system and let you know when Cosmic Rewind starts using the standby queue.

That ends our look at how to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with the virtual queue. We hope this guide will be helpful in getting a boarding pass on your next visit to EPCOT.

Nova Ship at entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Here are some other guides to the Virtual Queue that might be useful:

For more information on planning your vacation to Walt Disney World here are some of our most useful posts:

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about using the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT…

  • Do you like using boarding groups?
  • What changes would you make to the virtual queue for this ride?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

George Mells

Saturday 4th of November 2023

My first objection to the virtual que is that like too many other companies Disney is requiring someone to have a smartphone and data account in order to get on a ride. My last Disney experience was at Disneyland in September of 2019, shortly after the Galaxy's Edge area opened but before Rise of the resistance was working. At that time the "Get a ticket Fast Pass" system was working and we used it a couple times. It did provide some relief from the super long lines like was endured for Smuggler's Run and did not require the use of a phone. Now it seems that the virtual que makes getting a ride time as hard as getting a Taylor Swift concert tickets. Of course there is also the Lightning Lane system which has its own shortcoming. I like it as much as I like the High Occupancy Toll lanes (HOT) on highways. Great for the people with lots of money to spare but impractical for the average person. It is a benefit for the elite. Now don't get me wrong, I have used an exclusive option like when I bought VIP tickets for Universal Hollywood but that should be the exception rather than the only alternative to ride limitations. But since i doubt I will be visiting a Disney park again I guess none of this directly effects me.

Michael Nelson

Tuesday 21st of March 2023

I HATE the virtual queue and will not return to WDW until this is gone!!! It is like winning the lottery and when a family of 4 has to sign up for this while getting kids up and ready is really too much- not to mention you spent 5000 for 5 days and may not be able to ride the rides is absurd!! Bring back the fast pass which was fair to all Bob

Ziggy Oskwarek

Wednesday 29th of March 2023

Hi Michael, you are correct. The biggest negative is that many people are shut out from riding that otherwise could just show up early and get in line. I know it's a hassle, but the only way to increase your odds is to plan 2 EPCOT days (at least 2 mornings), that way you have more chances to ride. Try the 1:00 pm distribution time too, it's easier to get a boarding pass there


Wednesday 11th of January 2023

In a few of your screenshots of the Boarding Group notification - it says Now Boarding Groups _______ through ____, estimated wait is _______. Does this mean even if you go to when they say your boarding group is ready - you'll still have to wait that huge amount of time?

Thanks for your help!