When Rise of the Resistance first launched at Disneyland and and at Disney's Hollywood Studios it was Disney Parks' most anticipated attraction in years. And so, in order to deal with what was expected to be massive demand, it implemented a new Virtual Queue system. Rather than simply getting in line, or getting a FastPass+ return time, guests had to request their place in line via an app, and wait to be notified when it was time to return and actually get in line. There was no Standby Line option, and since FastPass was never offered on the ride, if you couldn't get a virtual queue return time, you simply couldn't get on the ride at all, but that will change beginning September 23.
Today Disney World announced that on September 23 the virtual queue will be "paused" and that instead, guests will be able to simply get in a traditional standby line in order to experience the attraction. The timing of the decision is interesting because barely more than a week later, on October 1, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will open at Epcot, and it's already announced that the ride will use the virtual queue system when it opens. It could be that Disney World wants to only have one ride running a virtual queue at a time, although Disneyland Resort has one virtual queue ride running at each of its parks and that seems to be working just fine.
The announcement comes as something of a surprise considering the ride first launched at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2019 and had only ever used the virtual queue system. The system was even just recently updated to make it a lot more user friendly. I used the updated system at Disneyland just this week and found it a lot easier to use, and maybe not coincidentally, also had much more success getting a spot.
Having said that, there have been days recently when Rise of the Resistance was clearly seeing less demand than it used to, so it could be that the demand is low enough now that the virtual queue simply isn't necessary. One assumes a big part of the need for the virtual queue was simply that the attractions space for the line wasn't enough to handle the people that wanted to ride it.
Officially, the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance is only being "paused" according to Disney, which indicates that it could come back in the future. This may simply be a test to see which solution works best.
All this is also happening following the announcement of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. The replacement for FastPass+ doesn't have a start date yet, but the new system is expected to arrive sooner rather than later. It will include several rides running on a system similar to FastPass where for a per ticket fee, guests have access to shorter lines for multiple attractions. In addition there will be select attractions where Lightning Lane access will come for a separate additional fee. It's been strongly indicated that Rise of the Resistance would be one of those rides.
It's possible that plays into the decision to end the Virtual Queue for Rise. There were many fans who felt that limiting attractions to either the luck of a virtual queue slot, or adding an additional fee, was bad form. Assuming that Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane will have its own fee attached, at least this way, all people who are unable or unwilling to pay the fee will have a chance to get on the ride. Alternatively, there's the possibility that without the virtual queue option, people that might have used it might be more willing to pay the additional fee rather than wait in line.
At this point, this decision has only been made at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland's version of the ride is sticking with the virtual queue. Although, since it looks like the Lightning Lane system will be hitting Disney World first, signage there has already begun to change, it could be that Disneyland is just waiting to get closer to the change over.
A lot of people didn't care for the virtual queue system, so this can be seen as a very good thing from that perspective. What do you think? Let us know in the poll below.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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