Tips for Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – UPDATED

Cosmic Rewind is now open to the general public–well, sort of. It’s basically open for savvy guests who manage to score a virtual queue boarding group or an Individual Lighting Lane ticket. Oh, and Deluxe Resort guests have an extra time slot to try and ride on select nights. Your head may be spinning from all of the options, and that’s BEFORE your head can spin from the ride itself. But don’t fret! I have done the research on the myriad options to ride the attraction so you don’t have to. Let’s get cosmic.

Before I jump in, if you are interested in hearing my full review of riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind earlier this month, check out the newest episode of my Defacto Dad podcast!

Ok, so why do you need tips for getting on a ride? Well, because there is no standby line. This means that guests cannot stand and wait to ride Cosmic Rewind. Even if you have a ticket and a park pass. You simply cannot go wait in line. This method has been in place for new attractions since Disney opened Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in 2019.

So, what options are available to guests? The first is the virtual queue system, and the second is the Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) option. These are similar but different options to ride the attraction, each of which can be impacted by where you are staying and/or your particular park pass. Let me explain.

Virtual Queue Option. The virtual queue system is a free option that guests can try to score using their My Disney Experience app. If you are able to nab a virtual queue option, you are assigned a Boarding Group and a time slot to ride the attraction. You are free to do as you wish while you wait for your time slot. (As mentioned, the virtual queue was introduced for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and later briefly used for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.) Here are some quick tips for the virtual queue option:

  • 7:00 AM Opportunity: Guests have their first opportunity to join the virtual queue each day at 7:00 AM. Guests can be located anywhere at this time, meaning they do not need to be inside EPCOT when using the My Disney Experience app to attempt to join the virtual queue.
  • 1:00 PM Opportunity: Guests have a second opportunity to join the virtual queue at 1:00 PM. Importantly, for this virtual queue opportunity, guests MUST be INSIDE EPCOT when trying to join the virtual queue.
  • What Does this Mean for Park Hopping? As a reminder, Walt Disney World guests with park hopper options are only required to make a park pass reservation for the first park they intend on visiting on a specific day. Park hoppers are only allowed to enter their second park–the park they do not need a park pass reservation for–after 2:00 PM.
    • This means that park hoppers MUST have a park pass for ECPOT and be inside EPCOT to attempt to join the virtual queue at 1:00PM. This is because this option is clearly before 2:00PM (when park hoppers can hop), and there is an in-park requirement.
    • This also means that park hoppers do NOT need to have an EPCOT park pass to attempt to join the virtual queue at 7:00 AM, since it can be done from anywhere.
  • 6:00 PM Opportunity: Disney announced that guests staying at Deluxe Resorts have an additional opportunity to join a virtual queue at 6:00 PM during their stay. This option is only available on nights EPCOT has Extended Evening hours, so check your calendars! (This is sure to be huge incentive for park visitors looking to enter the park with less crowds, and hoping to battle fewer guests vying for the virtual queue during that time.)
    • A list of the participating Deluxe Resorts and the current Extended Hours dates can be found here.
  • A Note About Multiple Boarding Groups: Disney expressly stated that guests who garner a virtual queue option at 7:00 AM cannot join the queue at 1:00 PM. But, Disney has yet to clarify whether guests that score either a 7:00 AM or 1:00 PM virtual queue boarding group are prohibited from joining the queue at 6:00 PM. For now, if you have the option, might as well try every chance you get!

Individual Lightning Lane Option. This option can be made using Disney Genie, also in the My Disney Experience App, to purchase access to the Lightning Lane. The Lightning Lane is the newer term used to refer to the line that used to be called the Fast Pass line.

As a reminder, Disney Genie is the section of the My Disney Experience app where you can plan your day and more importantly, purchase Genie+ or an ILL. The Genie+ option provides you with access to the Lightning Lane for a batch of rides at suggested times throughout the day. The ILL is an option to purchase access to ONE attraction at a specified time; notably, attractions available for the ILL are not included in the batch of rides under the Genie+ option. For simplicity (lol), think of the ILL as the option reserved for the newest, hottest attractions (“e-ticket” attractions, if you will).

  • 7:00 AM Opportunity: Guests staying at a Disney Resort can use the My Disney Experience app to purchase an ILL for Cosmic Rewind at 7:00 AM each day. Note, this is available for guests of all Disney Resort guests, not just guests paying the price to stay at Disney Deluxe Resorts.
  • EPCOT Park Opening Opportunity: All other guests–meaning, everyone not staying at a Disney Resort–can attempt to purchase an ILL when EPCOT opens. Lately, EPCOT is opening at 8:30 AM, but be sure to double check the Park Hours page as EPCOT sometimes opens later than the other Disney parks.

Key Takeaways:

The Disney Resort Difference. Guests staying at Disney Resorts benefit under both options, at different time periods. For the virtual queue option, Deluxe Resort guests have an extra option to join the virtual queue for an evening time slot on select days. For the ILL option, guests staying at any Disney Resort have the option to purchase ILLs for Cosmic Rewind over an hour before other guests. This is crucial because the ILLs sell out in mere minutes, especially during the 7:00 AM opportunity. If you are planning your next trip around riding Cosmic Rewind, you may want to consider staying at a Disney Resort, if only to bolster your chances of getting a ride.

The Park Passes Predicament: A park pass is required to enter a Disney park, period. But, if you are park hopping, not for each park you visit: only the first park you plan on visiting. So, guests with park hoppers looking to try to join the virtual queue boarding group at both 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM must select EPCOT as their first park, and thus, they must have an EPCOT park pass for that day. Park hopping guests who do not have EPCOT as their first park, and as a result, do not have an EPCOT park pass, can only try to join the virtual queue at 7:00 AM (or also at 6:00 PM, if they are staying at a Deluxe Resort on an Extended Evening).

Opportunistic Options: Interestingly, guests are able to try to board the virtual queue AND pay for the ILL, depending on the circumstance. Disney does not appear to limit guests that are quick (and lucky) enough to nab both options in one day.

That was a lot of information! In whats become the norm, it takes a certain degree of studying to understand how to navigate the Disney parks, especially when a new ride opens. However, with a little time–and whole lot of patience–you can figure it out, and hopefully get to ride this wild new coaster!

As mentioned, I gave my full review of my Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind experience on the newest episode of my podcast–let me know your thoughts! And if you are planning a trip, and/or planning to ride Cosmic Rewind, drop your questions or comments below.

6 thoughts on “Tips for Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – UPDATED

  1. So glad you made this guide! We’re toying with the idea of a December trip and I’m trying to do all of the research I can!

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